Chamberlain keen to take chance afforded him by Exeter supporters
Elliott Chamberlain has spoken of his pride at becoming the third Exeter City player to have his wages paid for by the club's supporters.
The 20-year-old Wales Under 21 international agreed a deal with the Grecians last week after being identified by manager Paul Tisdale as an ideal candidate to be associated with the club's "1931 Fund".
The Fund is group of around 60 Exeter supporters who contribute towards the wages of a young, up and coming player and Chamberlain is third player to be associated with the scheme, following in the footsteps of James Norwood and Callum McNish.
"I was delighted first and foremost to get a contract and I feel lucky that the club's loyal fans will pay my wages and give me the opportunity to hopefully get into the first team squad and play regularly," he said.
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"Tis mentioned to me that the fans play a big part at this club and that they give the chance to a player every year to stake a claim to progress and become a good player and when he mentioned it, I was really pleased and surprised.
"Not a lot of clubs do that and I think it is a great opportunity. The fans here have given me that chance to progress as a player
"I haven't spoken to anyone involved yet, but I hope to speak to a few of the fans paying my wages in the next few weeks. I would like to thank them and it would be great to speak to them."
Chamberlain, along with another summer signing, Matt Oakley, was released by Leicester in the summer after falling victim to new owners and a huge influx of new signings. He was a graduate of the Foxes' Academy and was tipped for big things before the changes at the club led to him losing his way a little.
When signing for City, Oakley spoke of a difficult time amid such changes and Chamberlain tells a similar tale.
"I got on well with Matt at Leicester," Chamberlain said. "He is a good bloke and has had a great career and he is a player I can learn a lot from. Hopefully I can do that while I am here.
"I enjoyed it at Leicester, but it got harder as I got older because of all the changes and the chances weren't there. They had a bit if money and new owners and even now, new players are coming in regularly, so it was hard to break through.
"I learnt a lot and enjoyed it, but chances were limited there. Luckily for me, I have this opportunity at Exeter now.
"It effects your confidence and it is hard going into training every day knowing that you have a 99 per cent chance of not being involved, but that's football and that's life. You have to dig in when you need to and it makes you a stronger person at the end of it."
Chamberlain will have to be patient to get his chance with City as well though. With Jamie Cureton, Alan Gow, Guillem Bauza, John O'Flynn, Tom Nichols and Jamie Reid all strikers, Tisdale certainly has a wealth of them at his disposal, but Chamberlain is prepared to fight for a first team place.
"I have loved being down here," he said. "All the coaching staff, the players and everyone have made me feel welcome from day on. The training sessions have been spot on and I have been really pleased to have settled in so well.
"The manager said from day one to play my own game and show what I have got. He told me what I had to work on and hopefully I can keep building over the next few months and become a better player.
"Since being here and settling in, I have become more confident. I am being myself more and the manager gives you the opportunity to express yourself on the pitch.
"Hopefully I can get a few games and become more confident and take it from there."