After a tumultuous summer of mass change amongst the ranks of Devon’s premier club, Gary Caldwell’s Exeter City were looking to find new figureheads amongst their new cohort of bright young talents to drive the team forward this season.
Five games into the new season and the murmurings around St James Park would suggest that the club have found their new star.
Trevitt, whose play resembles the variety of a Swiss army knife, expressed his adulation over the Grecians’ recent 2-0 victory away at Carlisle, in which the youngster scored his first professional goal – lashing in a half-volley into the bottom left-hand corner from 20 yards out.
However, this landmark represented the bare minimum for the Brentford loanee.
He said: “I wanted to score a bit quicker than that just because I have high expectations of myself.”
Ryan’s career began at Leatherhead Youth, where he spent the fledgling part of career rising up the ranks of the Surrey club until the age of 17.
This journey had its ups and downs, with Ryan being unselected at trials with Fulham and QPR.
Heartbreak occurred, as the starlet was unable to make the leap on multiple occasions.
Andy Maciel, a close family friend of Ryan’s, has been his coach since he was 10-years-old and still works with the player on a one-to-one basis. He described the anguish Ryan felt after rejection from QPR.
Maciel is still a close friend of Ryan’s and frequently watches the 20-year-old play for The Grecians.
He said: “The worst one was QPR.
“He went up with his dad, all excited and they said ‘I’m sorry, we’ve made a mistake.’
“His dad phoned from the car. He said ‘Andy, I’ve never seen Ryan so low before.”
The crushing experience did not deter Ryan and his longtime mentor was unsurprised by his ability to bounce back.
He said: “He’s been a tough, tough boy.
“His resilience is unwavering and it’s no wonder he’s achieved what he has.”
A toughness perhaps gained from experiences of playing in Catalonia. This sequence began with trips to Spain with Ryan and other Leatherhead academy players – to play futsal at Fútbol Salou.
Maciel described the experience, saying: “We played local sides like Espanyol and we beat them. They couldn’t believe it.
“Ryan can pick a pass out like no one else I’ve seen.
“They would ask: ‘These boys aren’t English are they?’”
The highly technical, intricate state of futsal has translated well to Trevitt’s professional career. A natural ability to control the tempo and highly adept positional awareness are just some of his ingrained traits as a footballer. As a lifelong Arsenal fan, it’s no wonder that Trevitt’s favourite player as a child was Cesc Fabregas.
Photo credit: Scott Palfrey/Exeter City FC
Speaking to the 20-year-old, he highlighted his ability to play a number of varying roles within Gary Caldwell’s system.
He said: “If I was to describe myself as a player, it would be a number eight – someone that can play the ten, eight and the six. I can do three jobs.
“If I’m deeper, I can help build up play, track, control the game and then if I’m higher up I think I have a knack for scoring goals and getting assists.
“So I think I can provide the attacking and defensive sides of my game.”
The Exeter number eight is far from purely a technical player. His time playing rugby nearly changed the course of his life, as the midfielder was spotted by Harlequins rugby club early on.
The grit displayed was spotted by Manchester United’s number 14 – Christian Eriksen. The Danish international star was an admirer of Ryan’s footballing ability.
Andy said: “The first thing is that Brentford really like him and (Christian) Eriksen really appreciated him.
“They played some friendlies and Ryan was his shadow which was a great experience for him.”
Ryan is a fan favourite already, having picked up a goal and an assist, along with a man of the match award in his first five games for the Grecians.
After his star performance against Carlisle, manager Gary Caldwell had high praise for his midfielder.
Caldwell said: “Ryan’s been brilliant since he joined the club and I can see him scoring a lot more goals between now and the end of the season.
“He’s got a brilliant knack of finding the corner. It was a brilliant finish.”
Looking to the future, the sky is the limit. Trevitt conveyed that his personal goals, whilst important, are secondary to his hopes for the Exeter City team.
Seven points from the first four games of the new season have kickstarted the Devonshire side into seventh place. However, Trevitt wants more from the team.
He said: “The main thing is to see the team have a really see successful season and try to finish as high in the league as we can.
“I feel like I have a lot to prove and hopefully bring the statistics. I’ve started out with goals and assists.
“The team’s the main thing.”
Have Exeter City found a new, young leader? Andy Maciel seems to think so – for this season at least. He explained: “He leads by example. He’s not a screamer or a shouter.
“He will let other players know and he will lift them when they need it.
“If they need a bit of a dig, he’ll do it.”
Trevitt conveyed this when discussing the new-look midfield, which includes former Tottenham Hotspur player Tom Carroll and Brentford academy graduate, Reece Cole:
He said: “We’ve got a good understanding of each other already, so I’ve enjoyed playing with both of them.”
Trevitt and Exeter host Reading at 3pm today – another stern test for Caldwell’s men as city look to push further up the League One table.