Departing Exeter City players wished best with their careers

Exeter City manager Gary Caldwell has wished the departing senior professionals who are leaving St James Park the summer the best with their careers. Gary Woods and Kyle Taylor have been released following the expiry of their contracts, while James Scott will move permanently to St Mirren.

Midfielder Taylor joined the Grecians in 2021 on a free transfer from Bournemouth. The 24-year-old though ruptured knee ligaments and damaged bone and cartilage at Oldham in March 2022, and missed the entirety of the 2022/23 season.

Taylor returned to first team action in August, and scored in the 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Crawley Town in only his second game back. He made 32 appearances for City this season, the last of which was as a substitute in January away to Barnsley.

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“This time last year we were not sure if Kyle would ever play again,” Caldwell said. “He had a serious injury and has worked extremely hard and trained pretty much every day this year. He has been fully fit baring a little ankle injury in pre-season.

“Kyle has shown character and resilience that you need to be a professional football player, and also, he has a massive technical ability that will be a huge asset to any football club.

“Hopefully Kyle finds a home where he can play and show that ability as he’s worked really hard to get to a level where he can do that and he leaves with our thanks, he scored a big goal for us in the Carabao Cup and came on and performed well in some difficult moments, and hopefully he can go from strength to strength from here.”

Goalkeeper Woods joined City on deadline day in January 2023 and in total made nine appearances for the Grecians. But only two of which were in the 2023/24 season, with his last action being in the record-equalling 9-0 defeat to Reading in the EFL Trophy. He suffered a groin injury in October, but once fit, was third choice behind Vil Sinisalo and Shaun MacDonald, and wasn’t named in a matchday squad on his return.

“Gary was a great signing at the time as we needed cover and someone to push Jamal Blackman,” Caldwell said. “He did that and got into the team and had some really good moments. This year he faced real competition from Vil Sinisalo who was outstanding, but Gary was always there to support Vil and was great for Shaun MacDonald and Harry Lee and he was a great character in the dressing room.

“I can’t thank him enough and we wish him well wherever he goes, he still wants to play, and he can be a really good No.1 for someone, so hopefully he keeps his career going somewhere this summer.”

Striker Scott also joined on deadline day in January 2023 and made 15 appearances in his first season. The 23-year-old scored in his opening two appearances this season, but only scored one more goal in his next 26 outings before moving to Scottish Premier League outfit St Mirren on loan in January, where he played ten times without scoring. That move will be made permanent when his contract expires.

“James is a great talent and character, and it just didn’t work out for him here,” the manager said. “He’s been involved in bits for St Mirren since January and has a big summer ahead of him and pre-season and hopefully he gets fit and starts to show his talent on a regular basis.”

Academy graduates Alex Hartridge and Harry Kite also departed having turned down the offers of new contracts. Fellow youngsters Joe O’Connor and Harrison King were also not offered deals. Demetri Mitchell, Tom Carroll, Harry Lee and Caleb Watts have all been offered new deals, as has Zak Jules, who has been offered a longer deal than the one-year extension City have an option to trigger.

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