During 87-88, yet another youngster emerged from the ranks of Mike Radford's youth policy (which also brought on Martin 'Buster' Phillips, with whom you should now be pretty familiar). Scott Hiley was from Plymouth, but the Green Slime were not operating much of a youth policy when he was 14-15, so he signed for Exeter.
Scotty played sporadically at first, often in a midfield/wing rôle, in which he showed only limited potential. However, when Terry Cooper took over in 1988, Scott moved to right back, where he blossomed to become one of the cornerstones of the side that won the 4th Division championship by 9 clear points in 89-90.
Cooper then buggered off to Birmingham a year later and gradually poached several of our better players for fairly pathetic sums. He got Hiley for £125k, a disgracefully low fee for a player who, at that stage, looked a dead cert to play at the highest level. He was one of the players I regularly bored friends with, going on about how he would play for England in due course.
In virtually his last game for Exeter, whilst Bally was manager, he had the most stupendous game against Reading. Pushed up to an attacking midfield rôle because of injuries, he seized the game by the scruff of the neck, scoring a hat-trick as we triumphed 4-1 at Elm Park (not something we make a habit of doing!)
As he had been our Player of the Year for 91-92, I was gutted when a knee injury forced Scott onto the sidelines so early in his Birmingham career (us lower division types get very possessive about our former starlets) and by the time he was fully fit, Cooper had been replaced by Fry. He quickly brought in Gary Poole from Southend, so Scott's opportunities in the past couple of seasons were limited to a handful of games.
I can safely say that Scotty is one of the best players I have seen in my 10 years watching Exeter (and yes that is a compliment, against some fair competition, despite what fans of bigger clubs may think) and I would be delighted if he were to get a fair crack of the whip at Man City.
If Buster's progress in his outings thus far is any guide, I can't wait!
Postscript: Scott never really got a decent chance at City, due to a combination of injuries and management changes during a very turbulent period for the club. He joined Southampton on a free transfer during Joe Royle's player clearout of Summer 1998.