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12 years to the Premiership - Part 1


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By Moorsman
June 6 2010

A look back at Exeter Chiefs players in the 12 years leading to this season's successfull attempt at joining the Premiership. Part 1 - 1997 - 2000.

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Twelve years to the Prem

Part 1

Tony Rowe commented that it has taken 12 years of trying to get to the Premiership, which set me thinking about how many players had been involved during that time.  Of course there are many ex-players from before this time who are still involved with the club but these lists only cover tose who played in each season.  With help from Statbunker I have compiled details of those who played in each of those twelve years (ranked on match appearances).  There's a link to the Statbunker site for each player just click their name in the lists. Those in bold are part of the 09/10 Championship winning squad, the list of those who played in this is:-

Tom Hayes  Richard Baxter  Matthew Jess   Mark Foster Brett Sturgess  
Phil Dollman  Gareth Steenson  Chad Slade  Neil Clark  James Hanks  
Hayden Thomas  James Scayesbrook  Chris Budgen  Matt Cornwell  
Hoani Tui  Paul McKenzie  Emyr Lewis  Chris Bentley  Clive Stuart-Smith
Andy Miller Bryan Rennie  Simon Alcott  Tom, Johnson  Sean Marsden   Nicolas Sestaret  Danny Gray  Sean Tomes  Ruaidhri Murphy  Josh Matavasi  Steve J Jones  Ben Moon  Thomas Bedford  Alan Miller   Saul Nelson     
Sam Blythe  Richard Bolt  Jamie Fleming  Drew Locke  Dave Gannon     

It has to be noted that many others played their part in preparing the players to compete so effectively.

Compiling this has brought back many memories for me and I hope it does for you.  Here's the first three years, 1997 -2000.

Season 97/98 - 11th of 12 sides, Top points scorer John Fabian 174, most tries James Alvis with 6.  Bedford won the league with 40 points, West Hartlepool 2nd on 31.

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

For

Against

Points Diff

Points

22

6

0

16

334

553

-219

12


Season 98/99 - 6th of 14 sides. Top points scorer Bryan Easson 241, most tries Mark Woodman with 9.  Bristol won the league with 44 points but 10 points better points difference than Rotherham who also had 44 points.

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

For

Against

Points Diff

Points

26

14

1

11

591

598

-7

29


Season 99/00 - 4th of 14 sides with the same points as Worcester who were 3rd on points difference. Top points scorer Sam Howard with 312, most tries Andy Beattie with 10.  Rotherham won the league with 72 points, Leeds were second on 66.

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

For

Against

Points Diff

Points

26

19

0

7

742

466

276

57


County Ground last match

The County Ground

97/98
Allied Dunbar
Prem 2
98/99
Allied Dunbar
Prem 2
99/00
National Division
1
Richard Gibbins
Craig Barrow
Rob Baxter
Mark Woodman
James Alvis
John Fabian
Jason Thomas
Roger Hutchinson
Richard John
Robert Armstrong
Martin Wooltorton
Shaun Doyle
Andy Turner
Andy Green
Richard Baxter
Nick Southern
Mark Curry
Del Cross
Will Newman
Mike McLoughlin
Richard Wasley
Simon Carter
Andrew Birkett
Farhad Tchahardehi
John Batchelor
Lee Webber
Chris Williams
Andrew Cudmore
Andy Maunder
Meeku Patidor
Stefan Jones
Paul Livingstone
Wayne Reed
Gary Willis
Marcus Webb
Rob Pugsley
Simon Johnson
Steve Pooley
Huw Thomas
Jim Hudson
J Collins
Graham May
Jon Adams
Phillip Greenaway
Phil Sluman
Scott Kelly
Richard Ward
Bryan Easson
Rob Baxter
Gary Willis
Del Cross
Mark Woodman
Paul John
Robert Armstrong
Lee Webber
Richard John
John Fabian
Phil Sluman
Mark Rose
James Alvis
Wayne Reed
Colin Laity
Andy Turner
Richard Baxter
Richard Gibbins
Chris Wall
Craig Barrow
Ricky Pellow
Roger Hutchinson
Andy Beattie
Murray Craig
Jason Thomas
Shaun Doyle
S Ryan
P Hargreaves
Phillip Greenaway
Martin Wooltorton
Nick Osman
Steve Shortland
J Purnell
B Goss
Jamie Sussex
D Oxland
Nick Southern
Shaun Westcott
Lee Inckledon



Rob Baxter
Sam Howard
Liam Mooney
Keith Brooking
Martin Ridley
Gary Willis
Brian Meinung
Richard Baxter
Phil Sluman
Ian Leighton
Jason Hewlett
Del Cross
Craig Townsend
Mark Woodman
Blair Foote
Andy Beattie
Andy Perry
Lee Webber
Richard John
John Fabian
Bryan Easson
Robert Armstrong
John Hill
Ian Harrison
Mark Rose
Craig Barrow
Phillip Greenaway
Liam Chapple
Neil Clark
Adam Harris
Jamie Sussex
Jerry Shedden
Ian Brown

Part 2 - 00 - 03 soon.

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thechiefstribe.com
12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
thechiefstribe.com (IP Logged)
06/06/2010 10:26
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Moorsman (IP Logged)
06/06/2010 17:05
sorry guys the player link isn't working but I'll let you know when I've managed to fix it.

 
TCB
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
TCB (IP Logged)
06/06/2010 20:39
Some memories there.

The Andy Green/Andy Maunder combo. Great to watch.

Blair Foote. Never liked to take the ball into a tackle, gave some superb hospital passes. Used to have a bit of an effiminate way of running. Not that I ever told him of course. lol.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Moorsman (IP Logged)
06/06/2010 23:15
player links now working (Sm106)(Sm134)

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Moorsman (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 15:56
I've also updated the article with a few notes about each season.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
chief pee wee (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 16:05
TCB, I don't agree with your assessment of Blair Foote. He was agreat footballer and it was a shame he went back to New Zealand

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Hototo (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 16:50
Yes, always impressed by Blair Foote. Very good at the breakdown.

Moorsman - I guess Ricky Pellow should be in bold too!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Moorsman (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 17:00
HoToTo - he should and now he is.

 
ArmyChief2010
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
ArmyChief2010 (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 19:25
For what it's worth, in my view, Blair Foote was an excellent player and one of the first of the new signings which Ian Bremner brought to the club. In the previous year Bryan Easson and Colin Laity were stand-out players.

Isn't a bit of nostalgia nice!

 
TCB
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
TCB (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 20:35
Apologies for my disparaging comments regarding Blair Foote. I have him confused with a No. 10 that used to play either around the turn of the Century or just after.

Racking my brains now to think who it was. Only stayed with us for a season or two. I expect it will be in the next installment of the route to the Premiership.

I'll correct my statement when I remember who it was.

Tony

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
DancesWithScrumpy (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 22:09
Who was the massive south sea islander who played on the wing for one season? I think he was on loan from worcester. He came with a pretty decent flanker called vaili or viali. I remember watching him at the county ground and laughing at him just bulldozing opposition wingers out of the way. He couldn't turn or sidestep, he was just an irresistable force!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Geronimo Jim (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 22:43
That would be Saiosi Vialli, who came along with Dale Rasmussen who both then went to Worcester, with Dale still there. I think Dale played centre though as he does at Wuss.

At the end of their last game for us I went onto the pitch with my family and Saiosi kindly posed for a photo with us, despite the fact that he had played the whole game with a broken rib sustained in the previous game. Such was his determination to pay Exeter back for the break we gave him in this country, don't know where he is now.

 
TCB
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
TCB (IP Logged)
08/06/2010 22:50
Got it. Been racking my brain (what's left) all night.

Sam Howard was the No.10 I was referring to above. Apologies to Blair Foote if he reads this.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Hototo (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 08:49
I think Janner_75 was meaning Sione Kepu, who played for us on loan from Worcester in 2004-5. He was a winger, a cousin of Jonah Lomu. Went to play for Toshiba in Japan.
Siaosi Vaili & Dale Rasmussen came to Exeter together, and both then signed to Worcester (I think when Worcester got promoted). As Geronimo Jim says, Vaili was a flanker & Rasmussen a centre, both quality players, and Rasmussen was still playing at Worcester last season. From a quick google, Vaili moved on to a club in Italy.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Geronimo Jim (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 09:04
Ah yes, it was the mention of the two together that threw me.

Kepu was immense (literally). The first time I saw him was at a preseason game at Redruth, he came on in the second half and with his first touch on the left wing stormed about 60 metres to score leaving no less than 4 Reds players in his path. Three of them neaded treatment of some kind and it was quite amusing to see their physio not knowing which bundle of rags to go to first! All got up and continued to play but weren't quite so keen to tqackle the man mountain again!

 
Exeforever
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Exeforever (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 11:27
Vialli and Rasmussen came to us for half a season in order to be noticed by a Prem club, that was always the deal with them as was the time that chris malone spent with us before he went to Bath. Bremner was very good at attracting those type of players to Exe. Laity and To'ou Vaega (spelling?) were further examples. IIRC Blair Foote had to go back to NZ as his visa expired. The "funniest" run was Mark Chatterton's who used to play on the wing mid 90's and had a very "high stepping" style, as he was tall, very thin and had long hair he did look slightly odd.

Looking at the lists I am surpriesed by how many players (25) I can't recall at all, either what they looked like or where they played. I'll have to go back to the old squad pictures in the relevant programmes and see if I can jog my memory. Of those who have retired from playing I would say that Bob Armstrong is probably the most talented player on the lists.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
DancesWithScrumpy (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 13:56
aha well done guys, yes the man I am thinking of was indeed Sione Kepu. That dude was a monster! Other barnstorming players I remember are prop James "try machine" Alvis and centre Brian Meinung who was about 5'9 and weighed about 16 stone.

 
chiefswatcher
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
chiefswatcher (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 20:25
Quote:
Janner_75
aha well done guys, yes the man I am thinking of was indeed Sione Kepu. That dude was a monster! Other barnstorming players I remember are prop James "try machine" Alvis and centre Brian Meinung who was about 5'9 and weighed about 16 stone.

janner_75 - your photo? did nigel chaunter click that one?

it is just sooooooooooooooo flattering.

im falling in love . . . .

X

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
minuteman (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 20:55
Sione was just amazing to watch, for me the player that stands out as a 100% each match was Ian Brown.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
DancesWithScrumpy (IP Logged)
09/06/2010 22:57
Quote:
chiefswatcher
Quote:
Janner_75
aha well done guys, yes the man I am thinking of was indeed Sione Kepu. That dude was a monster! Other barnstorming players I remember are prop James "try machine" Alvis and centre Brian Meinung who was about 5'9 and weighed about 16 stone.

janner_75 - your photo? did nigel chaunter click that one?

it is just sooooooooooooooo flattering.

im falling in love . . . .

X

Why thank you chiefswatcher, and I must say there's absolutely no inbreeding in this part of Devon at all...

 
The Ghost of Alexander Obolensky
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
10/06/2010 22:10
Totally agree about Ian Brown - a fine lock who served us really well for years.

For me, though, Andy Beattie was the best. I have a lingering memory of him laying waste to the Worcester pack at the County Ground in his first season. He was only 20 at the time.

'The Beast'has always been very popular at Bath and it'll be great to meet up with him again next season.

 
chipips
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
chipips (IP Logged)
12/07/2010 00:20
Hiya, just a pondering question i wonder if anyone might have the answer to? I noticed that upto 2001 one of the players was Del Cross, any idea if he is still playing and where?

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Moorsman (IP Logged)
12/07/2010 10:35
Don't know if he is still playing but the last info from Google showed he was haveing a trial at Bristol in September 2003

 
chipips
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
chipips (IP Logged)
12/07/2010 14:35
Hey thanks for that it looks like it was only a short period, you wouldn't have any ideas of other ways for me to see if he is still playing, thanks for your help.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: 12 years to the Premiership - Part 1
Moorsman (IP Logged)
12/07/2010 14:53
If he's still playing 'League' Rugby you could try asking on the National League Message Boards

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