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Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale 28-02-2015 1.jpg
Tisdale managing Exeter City in 2015
Personal information
Full name Paul Robert Tisdale[1]
Date of birth (1973-01-14) 14 January 1973 (age 46)[1]
Place of birth Valletta, Malta[1]
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1987–1991 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1997 Southampton 16 (1)
1993Northampton Town (loan) 5 (0)
1996Huddersfield Town (loan) 2 (0)
1997–1998 Bristol City 6 (0)
1997–1998Exeter City (loan) 10 (1)
1998Dundee United (loan) 0 (0)
1998 FinnPa 0 (0)
1998–1999 Panionios 18 (1)
1999–2000 Yeovil Town 15 (1)
2007–2011 Exeter City 1 (0)
Total 73 (4)
Teams managed
2001–2006 Team Bath
2006–2018 Exeter City
2018–2019 Milton Keynes Dons
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Paul Robert Tisdale (born 14 January 1973) is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a midfielder. He was most recently manager of League One club Milton Keynes Dons.

Tisdale represented Southampton, Bristol City, FinnPa, Panionios and Yeovil Town during a career which began in 1991 and concluded in 2000. During his time at Exeter City, he remained registered as a player between 2007 and 2016, making his debut as a late substitute in a 2–1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2010–11 season and naming himself as a substitute in the EFL Trophy match at Oxford Utd on 30 August 2016.

Tisdale previously managed Team Bath. Having managed Exeter City from June 2006 until June 2018, he was, for 19 days, the longest-serving manager at one club in the English Football League.

Playing career


A former England schools international,[1] Tisdale came through the youth system at Southampton. He signed as a professional in June 1991. He was loaned out to Northampton Town in February and March 1993, where he made five league appearances.

He eventually made his Southampton debut in a League Cup game against Huddersfield Town on 5 October 1994. Unfortunately, at this time Southampton were enduring frequent changes of manager and, as a result, Tisdale never had a settled run in the first team. Having played his last senior game for Southampton on 27 April 1996, he again went out on loan in the 1996–97 season, this time to Huddersfield Town, where he made only two appearances.

In his time at Southampton he made a total of 18 first team appearances, scoring once, against Manchester City on 16 March 1996, when he took one touch and delicately lifted the ball over goalkeeper Eike Immel. Following the departure of mentor David Merrington, Tisdale moved to Bristol City in August 1997.

Bristol City and abroad

At Bristol City his appearances were limited. It was while at Bristol City that Tisdale got his first taste of life at Exeter City, with a three month loan at the club during the 1997–98 season. He left Ashton Gate after just one year, and played abroad for both Finnish club FinnPa and Greek club Panionios before returning to England to spend a year with Yeovil Town.[3]

Coaching and management

Team Bath

Injury forced him to end his career early, and he took a coaching role with non-league club Team Bath in 2000. Tisdale entered the University of Bath side into the 2002–03 FA Cup,[3] becoming the first university team to enter the competition since Gonville & Caius in 1881. Team Bath entered in the preliminary round and advanced through four qualifying rounds to the first round proper, before losing to Mansfield Town. At Team Bath, Tisdale led the club through four promotions in non-league football.[4]

Exeter City

During the summer of 2006, Tisdale left Team Bath to take up the vacant manager’s position at then Conference National side Exeter City. In his first season he led the club to their first playoff finish, just missing out on promotion after losing the final 2–1 to Morecambe at Wembley Stadium on 20 May 2007.[5]

However the following season success would soon follow, with Tisdale eventually leading the club to yet another playoff finish and ultimately promotion to the Football League following a 1–0 final victory over Cambridge United on 18 May 2008.[6] Following promotion, Tisdale signed a new two-year rolling contract with the club in October 2008.[7] Under his guidance the club continued their impressive form with Tisdale eventually leading the club to a second place finish and promotion to League One, becoming the first Exeter City manager in their history to lead the club to back-to-back promotions.

The following 2009–10 season proved more of a challenge however, with the club surviving relegation from the third tier with an 18th-placed finish on the final day of the season following a 2–1 win over Huddersfield Town.[8] Exeter City’s second season in League One under Tisdale proved to be far more successful, with the club finishing in eighth place at the conclusion of the 2010–11 season – equalling the club’s highest ever league finish. During the final day of the season, Tisdale – also a registered player at the club – came on as a 90th-minute substitute in a 2–1 away win over Sheffield Wednesday.[9] The 2011–12 season however, concluded Exeter City's short stay in League One under Tisdale, with the club eventually relegated to League Two following a 23rd-place finish.[10]

Over the following four seasons under Tisdale's management, Exeter maintained their League Two status with consecutive top half finishes. At the end of the 2016–17 season – Tisdale's eleventh season as manager of the club – Exeter City finished in fifth place, achieving another playoff finish. After defeating Carlisle United across a two-legged semi-final,[11] Tisdale led Exeter to Wembley once again. The final would end in disappointment however, with Blackpool defeating Exeter 2–1 on 28 May 2017.[12]

The 2017–18 season was to be Tisdale's final season as manager of Exeter City. Once again he led the club to the playoffs after achieving a fourth-place league finish. Following victory over promotion rivals Lincoln City across two legs, Tisdale led Exeter City to a Wembley playoff final for a fourth time. Once again, the day was to end with disappointment for Tisdale and Exeter City, with Coventry City winning the tie 3–1 on 28 May 2018.[13] On 1 June 2018, following a failure to agree a new contract, Tisdale left Exeter City after twelve years at the club. At the time of his departure, Tisdale was the longest serving manager in English football's top four divisions.[14]

Milton Keynes Dons

Tisdale was appointed manager of newly-relegated League Two club Milton Keynes Dons on 6 June 2018 ahead of the 2018–19 season.[15] After a near-perfect month which saw the club gain 16 points from a possible 18, he was named League Two Manager of the Month for October 2018 by the EFL for only the second time in his career.[16] Tisdale went on to lead Milton Keynes Dons to automatic promotion back to League One at the first attempt, achieving a third place finish.[17]

Following a poor start to the 2019–20 season in which Milton Keynes Dons achieved only one point from a possible 27 - the worst run of results in the club's short history - Tisdale's contract with the club was mutually terminated on 2 November 2019 following a 1–3 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers.[18]

Personal life

He went to school in Bath, where he was childhood friends with actor Andrew Lincoln. In 2017, Lincoln said "One of my oldest and dearest friends happens to be Paul Tisdale. So I've been watching him very avidly throughout his whole career and I've been very proud of him."[19]

Tisdale's uncle is Game of Thrones actor James Faulkner who played Randyll Tarly in the show.[20]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 2 November 2019[21]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Exeter City 26 June 2006 1 June 2018 626 241 159 226 038.5
Milton Keynes Dons 6 June 2018 2 November 2019 73 31 13 29 042.5
Total 699 272 172 255 038.9


As a manager

Team Bath

Exeter City

Milton Keynes Dons



  1. ^ a b c d "Paul Tisdale". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  2. ^ Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan; Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 482. ISBN 978-0-9926-8640-6.
  3. ^ a b "Top Ten: Football League Bosses | Bristol City News, Fixtures, Results, Transfers". Sky Sports. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Paul Tisdale". League Managers Association. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Exeter 1–2 Morecambe". BBC. 20 May 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Exeter 1–0 Cambridge United". BBC. 18 May 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Tisdale signs new Exeter contract". BBC. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Exeter 2–1 Huddersfield". BBC. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Sheffield Wednesday 1–2 Exeter City". BBC. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Carlisle 4–1 Exeter". BBC. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Exeter City 3–2 Carlisle United (agg: 6–5)". BBC. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Blackpool 2–1 Exeter City". BBC. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Coventry City 3–1 Exeter City". BBC. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Paul Tisdale leaves Exeter City after 12 years in charge of Devon club". BBC. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Paul Tisdale: MK Dons appoint former Exeter City boss as new manager". BBC Sport. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  16. ^ "League Two Manager of the Month: Paul Tisdale". 9 November 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Milton Keynes Dons 1–0 Mansfield Town". BBC. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Paul Tisdale: MK Dons part company with manager after third successive loss". BBC Sport. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Flashback: Exeter City 3–3 Yeovil Town: A stunning comeback witnessed by Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln". DevonLive. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  20. ^ James Faulkner [@jamessfaulkner] (18 May 2019). "Huge congratulations to my nephew Paul Tisdale on taking MK Dons up to Division One. Time Uncle Randyll got an invitation to a game. #GameOfThrones #BeautifulGame #RandyllTarly" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Managers: Paul Tisdale". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  22. ^ a b c "League Managers Association – Paul Tisdale". League Managers Association. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month: Exeter City's Paul Tisdale wins August award". EFL. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  24. ^ "League Two Manager of the Month: Paul Tisdale". EFL. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.

External links

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