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Fulham striker Jay Stansfield doing well at Exeter City

last updated Friday 25th November 2022, 10:19 AM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham Striker Jay Stansfield
Fulham Striker
Jay Stansfield
Jay Stansfield
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Fulham striker Jay Stansfield says, as he reflects on his loan move to Exeter City, "One of the main worries of coming back down was living in his shadow," .

The 20-year-old's surname is synonymous with Grecians fans through his father Adam, who, like his son, played up front, but passed away from cancer aged just 31 while a player at the club.

Having come up through Exeter's academy ranks before moving to Fulham in August 2019, Stansfield knew the League One club well, but needed to talk to his family about whether coming back was good for them as well as him.

So far, it seems his decision has been an excellent one. He has scored four goals, added another four assists and won October's EFL Young Player of the Month award.

"I'm coming down here for me and my development, and Exeter is obviously a very good place to be for the academy and producing young players," Stansfield told BBC Sport.

"I still see myself as an Exeter player, even though I'm at Fulham, but still a youngster and I knew I'd be able to come here and develop.

"I think a lot of loan players go out and rush their decision, and they might go to a place where it might not work out or where they don't feel comfortable.

"But coming down here where my family lived and a place that I knew, I thought I could just come down here and be myself."

Stansfield began the season in the Premier League, partnering Aleksandar Mitrovic up front in the west London derby against Brentford in August and featuring against Arsenal and Wolves.

Since his deadline day move to Exeter, the Grecians have got a new manager as Matt Taylor - a former team-mate of his father - left for Rotherham United and Gary Caldwell took over.

Former Scotland defender Caldwell has no doubt that Stansfield has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of former Exeter youngsters including Ethan Ampadu and Ollie Watkins and get to the top of the game.

"He's been incredible really, you forget how young he is to come on loan back to the club he was at as a kid and perform the way he's performed," Caldwell said.

"The sacrifice he's made in these big games and the work he's doing defensively take away from what he does in an attacking threat and how he is in that attacking phase, it's fantastic for a young player to be able to do that.

"What we're giving him in terms of game time, exposure, experience and what we are providing for Fulham moving forward will be brilliant when he goes back there in the summer.

"I'm sure he'll be a massive success in the Premier League with them, but we are giving him that experience that will help him moving forward."

And Stansfield himself is quite clear on where he sees his career going.

"Short term, I want to help the club be where they are and be in the top half of League One," he added.

"On a personal note, I want to get as many goals as possible and become a more mature and better player for when I go back to Fulham at the end of the season, and then see where that takes me.

"It might take me on another loan move, or I can try and push on and try and be in and around the squad more."

Source BBC Sport
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