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Tisdale stiffens Exeter City defence

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 03, 2012

Kevin Amankwaah

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Paul Tisdale swelled his defensive ranks at Exeter City yesterday by bringing in Kevin Amankwaah and Pat Baldwin, who ended the last campaign on loan at St James' Park.

Amankwaah, 30, ended last season at Rochdale, but rejected their offer of a contract for this season in preference for a return to the Westcountry and a deal with Exeter.

The former Bristol City, Yeovil Town, Swansea City and Swindon Town defender will provide competition for Steve Tully at right-back, and Exeter's manager was delighted to bring him to Devon.

"With any signing that we make, there has to be a motivating factor for the player because we are out on a limb here in Devon and it is not always easy to get players to come to us," Tisdale told the Western Morning News.

"Kevin fits the bracket of a very good senior player who has had maybe a period where he has not had the best time of his career, and he would like an opportunity to kick-start and get going again.

"We have done that with players before, and we will continue to do so. He is familiar with us as a club, I have seen him play for a number of years now, he is a versatile player, primarily a right-back, so there is competition there for Steve Tully. He is also someone who can play in a back three or as an attacking full-back or in midfield. He is a good footballer, athletic, and he knows us as well."

Baldwin was released by Southend United in May, having made only two appearances following a switch from Essex rivals Colchester United in January of this year.

The 29-year-old went on to make a further nine appearances for Exeter as they were relegated from npower League One, and Tisdale has backed him to forge a strong partnership with Danny Coles at the heart of the Grecians' defence this term.

"Pat enjoyed his time here and it is always necessary that a player wants to play for us, and I think that is the case with Pat," Tisdale said. "He experienced the end of the season here, we got on very well and he is a mature, experienced senior professional and the type of player we need for the start of this next cycle.

"I think he will strike up a good relationship with Danny Coles. He is just the right type for us at this stage in our rebuilding process. He wants to improve his game and he sees Exeter as the right place for him at his stage of his career.

"He is a very good age, and I think he will also add value to a lot of the young players that we have coming through. There is a theme to the signings we're making this summer – we've got a really good group of young players coming through and it's important I have the right mix between them and the first-team group."

The arrival of both defenders calls into question Richard Duffy's time at the club. He is yet to agree a new deal with Exeter, and Tisdale says he is not on the look-out to further improve his defensive options.

"At the moment, no," he admitted. "We have Danny Coles, Pat Baldwin and Scot Bennett. In case of emergency, I know Steve Tully and Kevin can play at centre back as well."

Exeter's npower League Two rivals Plymouth Argyle have arranged a pre-season friendly at home to Birmingham City. The Championship side, now managed by Lee Clark, will visit Home Park on Saturday, August 4 (3pm).

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