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League Two

Exeter City: Bowman eyes place at Wembley

17 June 2020

Striker Ryan Bowman is eyeing promotion with Exeter City and is desperate to help the club achieve a place in Sky Bet League One after two failed attempts in previous years.

Losses to Blackpool and Coventry City in the 2017 and 2018 Play-Off Final will no doubt still be fresh in the memory of Exeter City supporters and players, but the Grecians will be hoping to go that step further this year as they look to secure their place in Sky Bet League One for next season. 
One man who could be key to the Grecians success as their Play-Off campaign begins is top scorer Ryan Bowman. With 14 goals to his name in all competitions this campaign, the striker is keen to end on a high. 
“The football club is disappointed about those two seasons and losing in the Play-Off Finals,” he says. "Losing once in a Play-Off Final is hard enough but to do it twice in as many years is always difficult.”
Bowman signed for the League Two side from Motherwell in January 2019, making a total of 62 appearances for the Devon club so far. 
“This is my first proper year with the club,” he continues.  
“We've come on leaps and bounds from when I joined a season and a half ago, we've been in and around the top spots in the division and we have a big opportunity ahead of us. They do say it's third time lucky don’t they!”
A place at Wembley awaits, promotion the ultimate prize. But before Wembley, they must overcome Colchester United, who have certainly had a season to remember. 
There has been nothing to separate the two sides in previous meetings this season, with both fixtures ending in a draw earlier this season. Bowman however, was on the scoresheet the last time the two teams met at the Jobserve Community Stadium, and he knows when not expect from John McGreal’s side.
“They are a very good side and have players that could hurt any team in the league,” he adds.  
“But like all clubs, they have weaknesses too and we are going to try and work on that. But it’s a tough place to go, there’s no doubt about that and they have very good players in their squad.
“We got a draw there last time we played them away from home, so we can take positives from that and take that into Thursday's game.”
“Losing in the Play-Offs is something that you don't get over in a few days time, those losses time to get over, and that's a feeling that I don't want to feel ever again."
In his first full season with the club, Bowman has found the net 14 times in all competitions, scoring five match-winners over the course of the season, but the forward has paid tribute to the league's top assist-maker and teammate, Randell Williams. 
“Randell gives you that boost,” he says. “Every day out on the training field he's working on his dribbling or his shooting, and he is one of the quickest players in the division.
“I room with him on away games as well so we have a really good connection on and off the pitch, we get on with each other really well. When you have someone like that on the wing for you delivering constantly, it's going to give you a boost. 
“He has 14 assists in the league and has had a magnificent season personally also.”
The first leg of the Play-Off Semi-Finals will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, giving fans the opportunity to watch their team from home, and the striker says he and the rest of the side want to give the fans at home something to celebrate. 
He adds: “The main thing is people's safety and that is why it’s being played behind closed doors. But it’s on TV and the fans can get behind the team despite not being able to be at the ground itself.
“I know the Exeter fans are good people, I have spoken to a lot of them outside the ground and I don't believe that there will be anyone that will ruin that or go against government guidelines.
“So my message is to stay at home and watch us, and we will hopefully give them something to celebrate on Thursday night.”
You can watch the Sky Bet League Two Play-Offs live on Sky Sports Football from 17:00 on Thursday or follow all the action via @SkyBetLeagueTwo on Twitter. 

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