Jon Challinor looking forward to City return
Returning players rarely get a generous reception from home supporters, but there is sure to be an exception to the rule at St James' Park today.
Jon Challinor became a fans' favourite after signing for Exeter City from Aldershot Town in May 2005 and he went on to make 87 league appearances, scoring 21 goals, before his release two years later.
Nowadays, the likeable 31-year-old is playing for York, who he helped to win promotion from the Conference in May and he is hoping to start against his former club today.
"I had a great time down there and the reception I got first time I came back was unbelievable and I hope I get the same thing with York," he said.
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"They want the three points, we want the three points, but I do love the club and I love the fans down there. It's a club that's close to my heart.
"I'll do what I have to do to get the three points, but I am looking forward to it. It will be a good day."
Only Steve Tully and Liam Sercombe remain from the last squad that Challinor was a part of. That one reached the Blue Square Premier play-off final at Wembley and it was Challinor who set up Lee Phillips for the opening goal of the game against Morecambe.
The Shrimps went on to win 2-1 though and that turned out to be Challinor's final appearance in an Exeter shirt before he joined Rushden & Diamonds.
Challinor made many friends during his time in Devon, none more so than the late Adam Stansfield, whose tragic passing still strikes a chord with Challinor today.
"I couldn't believe it when I was told and it is still hard to take now, but it's better to have known Stanno and played with him than to have not," he said.
"There are a lot of people touched by what he did and who he was and how he came across and you couldn't have met a nicer bloke.
"I speak to a few of the lads when I play against them, but you don't always get to catch up and spend as much time with them as you'd maybe like. In an ideal world, you'd like to keep in touch with the majority of the players, but as you move on, you go your separate ways and you have other things going on.
"That is kind of put into perspective really with Stanno's passing and you try as much as possible to keep in contact. I like to see what my old colleagues are up to. If you don't speak to them, you like to see what they are up to and see how they are getting on."