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Slade Agrees Chiefs Deal
Slade Agrees Chiefs Deal
22nd September 2014
A product of the club’s highly-successful Academy structure, the Plymouth-born back is the last of the club’s promising young guns to commit his future to the Sandy Park outfit.
Slade follows Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dave Ewers, Sam Hill and Jack Nowell in agreeing terms on a contract that will keep him in his native Devon until the summer of 2017.
The announcement of Slade’s contract talks came just minutes after the Chiefs returned to the summit of the Aviva Premiership on Friday night thanks to their 25-22 win at Gloucester.
Slade slotted six points in that success and his form this season - alongside Hill in the Chiefs midfield - has been stunning, winning him plenty of admirers both in the Westcountry and much further afield.
Commenting on his new deal, Slade said: “I’m obviously delighted to have signed such a long deal and to stay at a club that is going so well. We’ve started the season very well and it’s a sign of the way the club is going - for me it’s a pleasure for me to be a part of it all.”
Having so many of his young mates alongside him, though, is merely a bonus for the playmaker who since making his debut in the Premiership last season has since gone on to represent the England Saxons and England in their traditional end of season clash with the Barbarians at Twickenham.
“It’s awesome that we have all come through together at the same pace,” added Slade. “Obviously Nowellsy has pressed on to be fully capped, but hopefully we can follow suit if we keep working hard. I think it’s great for the club to have a bunch of young guys coming through like this.”
Being thrust into the limelight at such a young age can be daunting for some players, but Slade says the support he and his young team-mates have received around the club from the coaching staff and their fellow players has helped to nurture their cause.
“When we have been playing we’ve been helped along by the older boys and that has really helped us,” he said.
It has, however, been a whirlwind 12 months for Slade - who along with Joel Conlon, Hill, Cowan-Dickie and Nowell - helped England Under-20s to lift the IRB Junior World Championship crown during the summer of 2013
“It’s all come pretty thick and fast,” he explained. “The way all us young boys have been eased in has helped us a lot. Initially I came out of the Under-20s onto the bench, got a bit of game time, got more game and then got a few starts. I think all that helped because it didn’t chuck me in at the deep end and I was always comfortable when I was put in the team.”
As mentioned, his combination with Hill in the heart of Exeter’s back division this season has won both players a lot of plaudits, including the likes of Austin Healey and Will Greenwood, but Slade insists neither will be letting anything get to their heads.
“I have known Hilly for years, we played against each other as kids and it’s great to have someone who I know so well alongside me,” he said. “Of course it’s helped the transition, but as long as I am on the pitch I’m happy to play anywhere. Right now I’m over the moon with the game time I’m getting.”