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Lower league managers with future potential: Part 2 – League Two

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Paul Tisdale 

42 year old Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale has shown incredible commitment to the club having spent almost a decade with the Grecians.

As a player, his career was cut short due to injury, and began his management venture with university side Team Bath. During his five years with the team, Tisdale led them to four promotions, and also managed to qualify for the FA Cup – the first university side to do so since 1881.

Tisdale arrived at Exeter in 2006 when the club were in the Conference. In his first season, he led the Grecians to the playoffs. After overcoming Oxford United in the semi-finals, Exeter eventually lost to Morecambe in the final, but the following season, Tisdale again led his side to the final, this time beating Cambridge and gaining promotion to League Two.

As Tisdale prepared his side for a long, hard fought battle in League Two, his side achieved something that only a handful of clubs has been able to do. Finishing 2nd in the league, Tisdale had led his side to back to back promotions. In his first season in League One, which included teams such as Leeds United, Norwich City and Southampton, Exeter avoided relegation, a magnificent achievement considering his budget compared to some of the other clubs in the league. The following season, Tisdale’s side fell just short of a play-off finish, as the club ended another remarkable season in 8th.

But Tisdale couldn’t take his Exeter side that extra step, and following a 23rd place finish the following season, the Grecians were relegated back to League Two. In the last three seasons in England’s fourth tier, Exeter have finished 10th either side of a 16th placed finish.

Tisdale has shown immense loyalty to stay with the club, especially as he has attracted interest from bigger sides during his double promotion winning spell. It’s this loyalty that has seen him remain as manager even through three successive ‘dissapointing’ season’s in League Two, but his achievements prove that he could, one day, manage a Championship or even a Premier League side relatively successfully.

Darrell Clarke Derek Adams gareth ainsworth Paul Cook Paul Tisdale Teddy Sheringham

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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