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One month until the season starts: Paul Tisdale's Exeter City to-do list before the big kick-off

By David_Byrom | Posted: July 05, 2017

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There is plenty to keep Paul Tisdale occupied prior to August 5

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It is exactly one month to go until Exeter City's season starts again.

August 5 marks the date of another big kick-off, so what is on City boss Paul Tisdale's to-do list before that point?

Sign a new right-back

It is the one position City are short on at the moment, with just Pierce Sweeney having played first-team football in that role. After last season's injury crisis at the back, Tisdale will be keen to have as much cover as possible in defence so that he does not have to fiddle around with things too much. There has been some talk of a right-back being on trial with the club, meaning it is clearly a position Tisdale has designs for.

Read more: How redevelopment work at St James Park looks with one month to go until the 2017/18 season begins

Run the rule over trialists

City have an interesting preseason schedule this year, with the majority of games falling in a short space of time. This means it could be a little more difficult to judge how trialists perform – particularly someone like Ryan Brunt, who has not played a game since March 1, 2016; asking him to play multiple matches in a short space of time in order to win a contract is a little harsh. However, it also means Tisdale will be able to see how players' fitness is holding up.

Get the players used to SJP

City start at home against Cambridge United. Yet it will be a different type of SJP to the one that the players are used to, with the Old Grandstand shut and the away end demolished. Steve Perryman confirmed last month that Tisdale is looking to hold some preseason training sessions on the SJP pitch in order to acclimatise the players to their new surroundings – after their poor start at home last season, it is vital that the Grecians feel at ease at home early on.

Nail down players' futures

There actually has not been too much speculation over David Wheeler and Ollie Watkins so far this summer, despite their impressive campaigns last year seeing them linked to higher-league clubs. However, the last thing City want is for speculation to surround the key duo in the opening few weeks of the season – particularly because any departing players will be more difficult to replace once the football gets under way. Whilst it is difficult to gauge what other clubs will do, it is important for Tisdale to try and get an idea of what may happen to Wheeler and Watkins in the next month.

Keep the bonding going

City went surfing last week and will be playing a mini cricket tournament next week – two things that you probably won't find in every side's preseason schedule. Yet, with City's final game of the season coming at the end of May, fitness probably is not as big of an issue for the Grecians than it is for other clubs. For that reason, Tisdale can afford to break up the monotony of preseason with some team bonding exercises, especially as it will help to avoid any unwanted hangover from losing in a play-off final.

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