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Exeter City 2019-2020 Season 
Posted on September 6, 2016 at 02:19 PM.

September 1, 2020

- Exeter, UK

It has been a busy year for Exeter City staff, players and supporters. After signing Fabian Delph (79 OVR) and Joaozinho (80 OVR), hopes were high that the Grecians could make this their final year in the FL Championship and gain promotion into the Premier League. The two midfielders had left Premier League teams and made it clear in statements to the public that they had every intention of coming back to the pinnacle of British football the following year.

Many fans felt that Exeter City's management had sacrificed too much of the team's youth to bring in only two players. They also questioned the sale of GK Gael Perdomo who had led the FL Championship in clean sheets last season after joining the team on a free transfer. This hadn't been the first time a player spent only one year in Exeter and it wouldn't be the last.

Coming out of the summer transfer window, Exeter City looked like a team destined to achieve their goal of promotion. The team was instantly transformed in the midfield with the additions of Delph and Joaozinho. In addition, Colombian left winger Jose Izquierdo (78 OVR) quickly became a scoring machine and was named player of the month in September and October after leading the FL Championship in goals through the first three months of the season. Exeter City had a strong hold on 2nd place in the division through the fall and entered January with only three losses in league play.

By January 1st, Exeter City had a five point cushion on 2nd place and looked almost unbeatable. They had been eliminated from the Capital One Cup early in October but had made the round of 32 in the FA Cup. With the team's success in the league, a quiet winter window was expected.

The excellent play of new arrivals Fabian Delph and Joaozinho had kept Jacopo Dezi (70 OVR) out of the starting XI for the season. The 27 year old center midfielder had been playing for the Grecians since 2014 and even had a stint as captain of the team only a couple years earlier. His lack of playing time had been voiced to management throughout the fall and by January, Dezi had demanded a transfer.

Exeter City midfielder Jacopo Dezi demands a transfer after losing his starting spot.

With the window now open, Exeter City would grant the Italian midfielder's request and looked to sell Dezi for a profit. Ultimately, a suitor was found and Dezi was swapped for Peterborough right midfielder Jon Taylor (67 OVR).

Peterborough midfielder Jon Taylor is sent to Exeter City in exchange for the disgruntled Jacopo Dezi.

With the Dezi saga behind them, Exeter City switched focus back to holding their promotion spot in the league. Two quiet weeks of January went by when suddenly, another ECFC midfielder demanded a transfer. This time, it was starting midfielder John Beavon (77 OVR) who had been playing exceptionally well for Exeter City since his arrival from PAOK in 2016. It is still unclear why Beavon requested to be sold but management had little time to get a deal done. Beavon had amassed two goals and four assists by that time but his value had always come in his defensive and possession skills. The offers came in quickly for the 21 year old and eventually, Crystal Palace won the English center midfielder's signature for $15 million.

With one of their starting midfielders suddenly gone and an infusion of cash into the transfer budget, Exeter City had only one week left to work the transfer window. The team would not be able to sign anyone to replace Beavon in such a short amount of time but they were able to turn his sale into four free transfers to bring in for the following season. They were:

Gaetano Letizia (LB, 71 OVR) - 30 yrs old from Carpi
Jose Mauri (CM, 74 OVR) - 24 yrs old from Parma
Danny Rose (LB, 77 OVR) - 30 yrs old from Spurs
Simone Scuffet (GK, 77 OVR) - 24 yrs old from Udinese

Simone Scuffet is bound for English FL Championship side Exeter City next season on a free transfer. The team is currently in 2nd place and hopes to be promoted to the Premier League for next year.

The hole in the midfield left by John Beavon would have to be filled internally but the free transfers signed after his sale look like improvements across the board for next year. Exeter City would just need to hold on with temporary replacements for the remainder of the year.

Tottenham Hotspur and English national team defender Danny Rose will join Exeter City next season on a free transfer.

Following John Beavon's exit, ECFC veteran Patrick Brough (71 OVR) looked to be inline for a starting role. Brough would get more playing time but it would be more substitution work as Exeter City switched to a 4-3-3 and sometimes 5-3-2 to counteract the loss of Beavon in the middle. Fabian Delph continued to excel for the Grecians even after the transfers and formation changes.

Patrick Brough, an Exeter City midfielder since 2014, looks to have his workload increased after John Beavon's exit.

After the transfer window excitement finally ended, Exeter City set off determined to finish the season in a promotion spot. Heading into February, the team still only had three losses in the league but would soon miss John Beavon in the middle. ECFC suffered five losses combined through February and March and dropped as low as 5th place in the table following the transfer market closure. The team's formation changes and midfield replacements were not working out and the team was losing form.

The defense also started to succumb to injuries with starting center backs Koray Gunter and Do Heon Kim both missing significant time. Reliable striker Sebastien Romero went on a ten game goal drought, the longest of his career at Exeter City. Even leading scorer Jose Izquierdo saw his lead for the Golden Boot vanish during this late winter slump.

By April 1st, Exeter City sat in the playoff position of 4th place and saw their mighty hold on promotion vanish. The Grecians had little time left to make up ground on the first two teams but after losing in February to Middlesborough in the FA Cup, league games were the only matches left.

"Staying focused on our goal of promotion is our only thought right now," stated Exeter City's manager koszak27 in early April. "We have the players to secure a top two finish and that is what we will do." The confidence of the ECFC boss seemed to trickle down to the players as the team's form started to get better. The 5-3-2 formation had worked well on a few occasions but the team did not have enough healthy center backs to properly execute the formation every game.

Eventually, Exeter City regained their form with the help of a third striker, Tom Nichols (69 OVR), stepping into a starting role and notching 5 goals and 3 assists in 16 games. His scoring touch seemed to helped the other strikers as Romero ended his drought in April and Izquierdo got back on track in the Golden Boot for the end of the year.

The Grecians fought and clawed their way back up the table and by May 1st, they sat in 2nd place to Bolton with only two games left. Bolton had a three point lead on ECFC and would finish the season six points clear after Exeter was only able to win one of the final two games. Regardless, koszak27 and Exeter City had achieved their goal of earning promotion into the Premier League.

Argentinian midfielder Jose Mauri will be excited to learn that Exeter City, the team he will join next season on a free transfer from Parma, has earned a place in the Premier League.

This was the Starting XI for Exeter City at the end of the 2019-2020 season:

Here are the player stats for the 2019-2020 season:

Soccer Leaders - Updated: Jul 1, 2020
1. Baris Antalyali451. Jose Izquierdo25
2. Jose Izquierdo432. Sebastien Romero13
3. Joaozinho433. Fabian Delph10
4. Ben Davies424. Florian Martin8
5. Michael Schimpelsberger425. Ben Davies5
AssistsAClean Sheets (GK)CS
1. Sebastien Romero61. Baris Antalyali15
2. Jose Izquierdo52. Nicolas Rojo1
3. Fabian Delph53.
4. John Beavon44.
5. Florian Martin35.
Average FormAFOverall IncreaseUP
1. Jose Izquierdo7.21. Domenico Sereni5
2. Danny MacGillivray7.12. Lorenzo Curiale4
3. Sebastien Romero73. Carlos Aldair4
4. Martinho Feijo74. Martinho Feijo3
5. Fabian Delph6.85. Hugo Medeiros3
Overall DecreaseDWN(Points/Games) + Average FormPGA
1. Fabian Delph01. Jose Izquierdo7.9
2. Michael Schimpelsberger02. Sebastien Romero7.45
3. Fabien Danic03. Tom Nichols7.2
4. Jon Taylor04. Fabian Delph7.18
5. Jacopo Dezi05. Danny MacGillivray7.1

It was a dramatic finish for the Grecians after their 3rd season in the FL Championship. Each year they finished higher and higher in the table and now found themselves preparing for their inaugural birth into the Premier League once the summer window opened. Free transfers Jose Mauri, Gaetano Letizia, Simone Scuffet and Danny Rose would be joining ECFC for their first season in the BPL. Millions of eyes would be seeing the Grecians, their crest and their players for the first time in August 2020 after the club's hard fought rise though the lower leagues of English soccer.

After taking over the League 2 team in 2014, manager koszak27 had reached the pinnacle of the league and joined 19 of the best teams in the world. With him, he would be bringing only five players who had been with the team since the beginning of his tenure:

Michael Schimpelsberger (RB, 71 OVR) - 29 yrs old, Austrian (Captain)
Ben Davies (LB, 68 OVR) - 25 yrs old, English
Patrick Brough (LM, 71 OVR) - 24 yrs old, English
Tom Nichols (ST, 69 OVR) - 27 yrs old, English
Matthew Jay (ST, 59 OVR) 24 yrs old, English

These players would survive the summer window and make it into the Premier League, but many of the former youth academy prospects were again sold off. Fans were not happy but management again blamed the boards stingy transfer budget as the reason.

The first move in the summer window for Exeter City was the sale of LW Tim Doyle (73 OVR) to Reading. Although Reading had also just come up to the Premier League, they didn't seem to suffer from the same financial restrictions as ECFC. Reading paid $12 Mil for the 20 year old winger and immediately gave Exeter City some cash to work with in the window.

With money in hand, Exeter City looked to France for a first team quality midfielder. Their first signing in the window came in the form of pacey left midfielder Georges-Kevin Nkoudou from FC Nantes. The purchase would cost the Grecians $8 Mil plus former youth academy center forward prospect Danny MacGillivray (65 OVR).

Former FC Nantes left Midfielder Georges-Kevin Nkoudou will join Exeter City for their first ever season in the Premier League.

The next transfer was again the sale of a goalie after only one season with the team. With Scuffet arriving from Udinese, Baris Antalyali (69 OVR) was left out of the first team plans even after his 15 clean sheet campaign of the previous season. Many offers came in but the 20 year old Turkish phenom would finally sign with Norwich in the Premier League for $5.8 Mil.

August was drawing to a close when the biggest sale of the window would come at Exeter City. Defensive star Koray Gunter (79 OVR) had just finished his second stellar season for Exeter City and many big clubs had taken notice. The free transfer had been a big reason why ECFC had finally made it to the BPL but after several attempts, AC Milan finally won a bidding war for the 26 year old German national for $15.5 Mil. Exeter City later expressed their sadness at the loss of such a great player but the deal was done and a big hole was left in the middle of the Grecian defense.

In order to patch up the defense after the loss of Gunter, Exeter City used the final days of the window to bolster the back line. Sheyi Harris (66 OVR), a 20 year old English center back, was signed as a free agent to bring in some depth. Exeter City also paid to transfer Luciano Lollo (73 OVR) from Belgrano in Argentina. The 33 year old had been a rock on defense for years there and would be joining the Grecians on a 1 year contract for a $1.6 Mil transfer fee.

The biggest defensive signing at this time was a transfer for Penafiel center back Everton Santos (72), a promising 21 year old who had just played a full season starting for the club. Santos would transfer to Exeter City for $9 Mil plus right defensive back Okan Alkan (66 OVR) who was in the final year of his contract.

With new additions to the defensive line, ECFC would make one more signing in the window, bringing in striker Federico Rasic (73 OVR) from Gimnasio La Plata in Argentina for $2 Mil plus center midfielder Nicky Rhead (67 OVR). The Argentinian striker would provide some strength and size to the Grecian attack which would be needed in the physically punishing BPL.

Exeter City will be bringing all 6'4" of Federico Rasic to the Premier League from G. La Plata in Argentina.

The last transfer for ECFC in the summer 2020 window was the sale of 19 year old Domenico Sereni (66 OVR). The young Italian attacking midfielder was a star in the Exeter City academy and was purchased on deadline day by Real Madrid for $6.5 Mil. This would leave Exeter City with a nice transfer cushion to hold onto for the winter window.

Rounding out the transfer window was the loans of Martinho Feijo (58 OVR) to Luton Town and Javier Rios (62 OVR) to Gillingham. The following youth academy players were called up prior to the start of the 2020 season:

Mamadou Mensah (NIG) - 55 OVR, GK
Roque Alvarez (CHL) - 66 OVR, CB
Pedro Cardenas (BRA) - 69 OVR, CAM
Basil Xenakis (GRE) - 59 OVR CB
Felipe Marcano (ARG) - 53 OVR, GK

After playing a few friendly games in August, Exeter City would begin its inaugural Premier League Season against Chelsea. They would lose 2-1 in a close match followed by a 2-0 loss to Liverpool and then a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa. They currently sit just outside the relegation zone with 1 point from the month of August and will need to quickly pull themselves up to meet the board's expectations of avoiding relegation.

Many supporters, old and new, are hopeful that koszak27 and the Grecians can overcome this difficult start to have a successful first year in the BPL.

This is the Exeter City starting XI on September 1st 2020 during their inaugural Premier League season:

This is the current Exeter City team depth chart:

Exeter City Depth Chart - 2020
GKScuffet (77)Mensah (55)Marcano (53)
RBSchimpelsberger (71)Medeiros (71)
RCBKim (75)Danic (67)
LCBLollo (73)Santos (72)
LBRose (77)Davies (68)
RMJoaozinho (82)Busellato (63)
RCMMauri (74)Brough (71)
LCMDelph (79)Stevens (66)
LMMartin (74)Nkoudou (73)
RSRomero (77)Curiale (74)
LSIzquierdo (79)Nichols (69)

Manager's Notes:
We finally made it to the promised land. It was tough and it took 6 full seasons but it was worth it. I managed to keep five of the original players and two of them (Shimps and Davies) have been my starting left and right backs since day one. Only now with Rose coming in on a free transfer is Davies on the bench, but his five goals last season were clutch. He will be right back in for tournaments, mid-week games or injuries.

I'll start with the 2019 winter window which I thought would just be a quick sim to the end. I knew Dezi was unhappy being replaced by Delph so I got him in as many games as I could but it seemed like he wasn't going to be happy unless he started the game. Because I sim all but one game per month, there was no way I could start him and then take him out. By January, he was emailing me to transfer him but I ended up getting a good player out of him. Jon Taylor is very pacey and I would use him late in games as a super sub on the wings to out run everyone. He didn't seem to be used much in the simulations but I had fun with him.

Beavon demanding a transfer really caught me off guard but his sale is what enabled me to do everything in the window. I had very little time once he was sold but I made the most of it and got four free transfers to instantly upgrade my team for the eventual Premier League birth.

After the window ended, things got really dicey with Beavon gone. We previously had no trouble beating up on most teams (I don't think my 1st team lost any games before February) but once I started to sim the last few months of the season, the players were not doing well. I tried different subs and formations but ultimately adding Tom Nichols as the RW in the 4-3-3 did the trick. I don't know why but that guy scores a lot through the simulations. In the three friendlies of August 2020 (all simmed), he had 4 goals!

I thought it would be smooth sailing to the end of the year in 2nd place but it was a nail biter. We hung on in the end though and managed to finally crawl out of the FL Championship along with Bolton and Reading (through the playoff).

The summer 2020 window was aggravating because the board gave us $1 Mil in transfer budget and $7,000 in weekly wages. That is pathetic for the Premier League and much less than the $5.5 Mil and $25,000 weekly wages we got the previous year in a lower league. I was forced to sell anyone I got an offer for and use youth academy players to offset the costs of buying new players. I was torn on selling Koray Gunter but ultimately I couldn't say no. AC Milan was paying well above his value and the only other big offers I was getting were for Romero and Izquierdo who I want to keep up front.

I have a good amount of money saved for some free transfers in the winter and if the first three games are any indication, we will need some help to be successful in the BPL. We just need to finish out of the bottom three this season, see who we can develop and determine what formations/players will work up here with the big boys.

Next update will be in 1 year, on September 1st 2021.
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