Friends to foes for Tisdale’s gang of ‘MK Grecians’

Mel Gwinnett (left) and Matt Oakley (right) joined Paul Tisdale and Pete Winkelman at MK Dons
Mel Gwinnett (left) and Matt Oakley (right) joined Paul Tisdale and Pete Winkelman at MK Dons

Exeter City visit Stadium MK on Saturday, and it will be a reunion for several new faces at MK Dons this season.

Paul Tisdale is no stranger to standing on the touchlines during Exeter City games, but this Saturday he will be doing it from the opposition dugout for the first time.

Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale

After 12 years at St James Park, the Grecians will take on their former boss when they visit Stadium MK for the League 2 clash, and there will be plenty of familiar faces to catch up with.

Nine new personnel at MK Dons this season were, at one stage, part of the Tisdale movement in Devon, including Jordan Moore-Taylor, pictured left, and Tuesday night’s goal-scorer Robbie Simpson.

DevonLive, who cover the Grecians, recently questioned whether Dons were trying to ‘steal Exeter City’s identity’ with the number of defectors making the switch north, and with both sides making undefeated starts to the League 2 campaign ahead of Saturday’s game, it will only add to the spice and incentive to get three points.

Seldom in football these days do you see a one club man - overlooking Dean Lewington’s one club career - or indeed a man spending more than a decade in the same job, so Tisdale’s decision to leave Exeter for Milton Keynes was not as big a ripple in the pond as it would have been in days gone by, but despite his achievements at St James Park, there will still be some quarters of the traveling fans baying for blood on Saturday.

Jordan Moore-Taylor was Exeter City captain last season, but was Tisdale's first signing for Dons

Jordan Moore-Taylor was Exeter City captain last season, but was Tisdale's first signing for Dons

Understandibly for Tisdale, it will be an emotional reunion. The club which helped make his name in football will be turning up on his new doorstep eager to get one over on their new boss, but the heartbreak of the last two seasons’ play-off final defeats are still raw - an affinity he shares with everyone still associated with City.

When asked how he will feel on the touchline on Saturday, he simply responded: “I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see on Saturday.”