Paul Tisdale

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Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale 28-02-2015 1.jpg
Tisdale managing Exeter City in 2015
Personal information
Full name Paul Robert Tisdale[1]
Date of birth (1973-01-14) 14 January 1973 (age 44)[1]
Place of birth Valletta, Malta[1]
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Exeter City (manager)
Youth career
1987–1991 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1997 Southampton 16 (1)
1993 Northampton Town (loan) 5 (0)
1996 Huddersfield Town (loan) 2 (0)
1997–1998 Bristol City 6 (0)
1997–1998 Exeter City (loan) 10 (1)
1998 Dundee United (loan) 0 (0)
1998 FinnPa 0 (0)
1998–1999 Panionios 18 (1)
1999–2000 Yeovil Town 15 (1)
2007–2011 Exeter City 1 (0)
2014 Exeter City 0 (0)
Total 73 (4)
Teams managed
2001–2006 Team Bath
2006– Exeter City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Paul Robert Tisdale (born 14 January 1973) is an English former professional footballer who is the manager of League Two club Exeter City.

Tisdale represented Southampton, Bristol City, FinnPa, Panionios and Yeovil Town during a career which began in 1991 and concluded in 2000. During his time at Exeter City, he remained registered as a player between 2007 and 2016, making his début as a late substitute in a 2–1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2010–11 season and naming himself as a substitute in the EFL Trophy match at Oxford Utd on 30 August 2016.

Tisdale previously managed Team Bath. Having managed Exeter City since June 2006, and as of september 2017, he is the second longest-serving manager in the English Football League behind Arsène Wenger.

Playing career[edit]


A former England youth international, Tisdale came through the youth system at Southampton. He signed as a professional in June 1991. He was loaned out to Northampton Town in Feb-March 1993, where he made 5 league appearances.

He eventually made his Southampton debut in a League Cup game against Huddersfield Town on 5 October 1994. Unfortunately, at this time Southampton were enduring frequent changes of manager and, as a result, Tisdale never had a settled run in the first team. Having played his last senior game for Southampton on 27 April 1996, he again went out on loan in the 1996–97 season, this time to Huddersfield Town, where he made only two appearances.

In his time at Southampton he made a total of 18 first team appearances, scoring once, against Manchester City on 16 March 1996, when he took one touch and delicately lifted the ball over goalkeeper Eike Immel. Following the departure of mentor David Merrington, Tisdale moved to Bristol City in August 1997.

Bristol City and abroad[edit]

At Bristol City his appearances were limited. It was while at Bristol City that Tisdale got his first taste of life at Exeter City, on a 3-month loan in the 1997–98 season.

He left Ashton Gate after just one year, and began a globe-trotting career, playing for FinnPa (Finland) and Panionios (Greece) before returning to spend a year with Yeovil Town.[2]

Coaching and management[edit]

Team Bath[edit]

Injury forced him to end his career early, and he took a coaching role with Team Bath in 2000. His time at the University of Bath side is best remembered for the FA Cup run in the 2002–03 season,[2] in which they became the first university team to enter the competition since Gonville & Caius in 1881. Team Bath entered in the preliminary round and advanced through four qualifying rounds to the first round proper, before losing to Mansfield Town. At Team Bath, he had a great deal of success, earning four promotions. During the summer of 2006, Tisdale left the club to take up the vacant manager's position at Exeter City.[3] He was replaced at Team Bath by Andy Tillson who later joined up with Tisdale at Exeter to become Development Coach.

Exeter City[edit]

Tisdale's achievements at Team Bath prompted Exeter City to appoint him as their manager on a one-year rolling contract on 26 June 2006.[4]

Following a major summer clearout under predecessor Alex Inglethorpe, three of Tisdale's four summer signings were defenders. Centre-half Rob Edwards was the one key first-teamer, but the transfer window closed with City boasting just three strikers and no winger, much to the alarm of many Grecians. However, Tisdale's neat footballing style was warmly welcomed at St James Park, with his side's patient approach and desire to pass the ball in all areas of the pitch catching the eye amid the rough and tumble of the Conference.

In his first season at Exeter, Tisdale led The Grecians to their first appearance in the end-of-season playoffs, where they played Oxford United in the Semi-final. They lost the first leg at St James Park 1–0; however, they still managed to go through to the play-off final after a 2–1 victory at Oxford. This resulted in a 4–3 win on penalties, where they met Morecambe at Wembley on 20 May 2007 in the final in front of 40,000 fans. However, a late goal from Danny Carlton meant that Morecambe won 2–1.[2]

In Tisdale's second summer at Exeter, City's transfer moves seemed more notable for players sold or released than those signed. Tisdale also re-registered himself as a player for the beginning of the 2007–08 season, giving himself the squad number 17, but he did not feature in the first team.

However, his City side continued to play smart, tidy football and held their nerve in a tense climax to the season to qualify for the play-offs with a game to spare.

Similarly to the previous year, Exeter lost the home leg 2–1, yet won away 4–1 with three goals in the last 20 minutes for Exeter – this time against Torquay United – to seal a return to Wembley. Tisdale led the side out at Wembley before his side claimed a 1–0 win against Cambridge United on 18 May 2008.[2] He is one of only four managers to lead The Grecians to promotion.

With Exeter back in the Football League, Tisdale was able to bring in former Ipswich Town player Marcus Stewart from Yeovil Town. However, in true Tisdale fashion, there were departures too. Lee Elam, Wayne Carlisle, Jon Richardson and Andy Taylor left in the summer, and early in the 2008–09 season, George Friend was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £350,000.[5]

In October 2008, Exeter City confirmed that Tisdale has signed a two-year rolling contract.[6]

City started brightly back in the League, maintaining their place in the play-off zone until the turn of the year despite sticking – Stewart aside – largely with the Blue Square play-off winning squad.

In naming Tisdale among the League's top ten managers, wrote in October 2008: "Tisdale is renowned for ensuring his sides play short, tidy football."[2]

In December 2008, Exeter City extended their record of league (including Conference) games without back to back defeats to 125 matches, including the first 120 under Tisdale's management. This shattered the club's previous record of 53 league games without consecutive defeats. Defeats against Brentford in the last game of 2008 and at Notts County in the first of 2009 ended the run.

Tisdale cemented his place as one of Exeter City's most successful managers ever by guiding the club to second place in League 2 during their first season back in the Football League in 5 years, in doing so becoming the first Exeter City manager to win successive promotions.

On their return to football in League 1, Exeter secured safety on the final day of the season with a 2–1 win over Huddersfield, securing 18th place in the league. The winning goal coming from Ryan Harley 8 minutes from time in front of a packed St James' Park. For Tisdale to secure League 1 status for the club was remarkable given the comparative differences in playing budget between themselves and other teams in the league such as Leeds United, Norwich City and Southampton.

Even more remarkable is the fact that on top of previous player sales, Tisdale also recouped notable sums by selling Dean Moxey to Derby County and Danny Seaborne to Southampton. He has paid a transfer fee for just one player, Troy Archibald-Henville, £50,000 from Tottenham Hotspur in 2010.

In the 2010–11 season, he guided the club to 8th in the league, equaling the club's best ever finish. Tisdale came on as a sub against Sheffield Wednesday on the last day of the season; the first time for the club since becoming manager, and the first time as a player for more than a decade, since his Yeovil Town days. The club confirmed his retirement as a player on 23 May 2011.[7] However, he re-registered as a player for the start of the 2014-15 season as a result of a sickness bug affecting several members of the squad.[8] He named himself as an unused substitute for Exeter's first game of the season against Portsmouth.

In the 2015–16 season, in the 3rd round of the F.A. Cup with Exeter City in League Two, he coached Exeter to a 2–2 home draw against Premier League Liverpool. Although Liverpool fielded a team with a number of Premier League players absent, the draw was a remarkable achievement, with commentators stating that Tisdale's astute tactics were related to identifying the weaknesses in the Liverpool defence.[9]

In Tisdale's 11th season in charge of the Devon side he managed Exeter to a play-off final in the 2016/17 campaign, however they eventually lost to Blackpool 2-1 in that final. Tisdale's success at Exeter has gained him much interest from clubs at a higher level and he was rumoured to have been on the shortlist for the England u21 managerial role following Gareth Southgate's promotion to England senior manager.

After an unbeaten start to the 2017–18 season; Tisdale won his first manager of the month award having been on the shortlist 11 times, Tisdale cited that he was 'grateful to have been chosen for the award'.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 21 November 2017
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
Exeter City 26 June 2006 Present 592 225 152 215 038.0 [10]
Total 592 225 152 215 038.0

Honours and achievements[edit]

As a manager[edit]


Team Bath
Exeter City


Personal life[edit]

Tisdale was born in Malta, listed as a UK Armed Forces birth.[12] He went to school in Bath, where he was childhood friends with actor Andrew Lincoln. In 2017, Lincoln said "One of my oldest and dearest friends happens to be Paul Tisdale. So I've been watching him very avidly throughout his whole career and I've been very proud of him."[13]

In October 2013, the Daily Mirror wrote an article about Tisdale being the best dressed manager in football.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Paul Tisdale". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Top Ten: Football League Bosses | Bristol City News, Fixtures, Results, Transfers". Sky Sports. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Player Profile: Paul Tisdale". Exeter City. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Tisdale named new Exeter manager". BBC Sport. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Mail, Birmingham. "Fans will find Friend in George". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "New deal for Tisdale". League Managers Association. 21 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 May 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Exeter City release 12 squad members". BBC Sport. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Exeter City 1 Portsmouth 1". BBC Sport. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Rose, Gary (8 January 2016). "Exeter City 2–2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Managers: Paul Tisdale". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "Manager Profile: Paul Tisdale - Honours". League Managers Association. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "Flashback: Exeter City 3-3 Yeovil Town: A stunning comeback witnessed by Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln". DevonLive. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "Wally meets.. Exeter's Paul Tisdale - the best dressed manager in football". Daily Mirror. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 

External links[edit]