Paul Tisdale, the manager of Exeter City, has had to take drastic action to make sure his side can field a full side this weekend, by registering himself as a player for the club. Nothing seems to be going right for Exeter at the moment; with finances running low, the captain being forced out the club and now a virus hitting the team before Saturday’s opener against Portsmouth.
Four players have been struck down this week, and with Scot Bennett and Liam Sercombe facing late fitness tests the Grecians’ squad will be down to the bare bones. The 41 year old retired from football some 14 years ago after injury forced him out of the game. He was something of a journeyman around the South, playing for Southampton, Yeovil and Bristol City as well as a loan spell at Exeter in 1997.
This will not be the first time Tisdale has put himself on the pitch; he gave himself a brief appearance as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday in 2011 after he guided the team to eighth place in League 1. Just three years down the line the team are in a much different state; with attendances dropping finances have taken a hit, with the club having to take a PFA loan at the start of June. Until this is repaid the club face a transfer embargo.
With nine players leaving over the summer, including captain Danny Coles after obscene Twitter messages the Devon side will be up against it in the season ahead. Tisdale will be hoping to bring in some players once their embargo is lifted to add some experience to a fairly youthful side. Some new signings could also save the managers legs after 14 years on the side lines.