26th May 2015
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Signed during the summer of 2013 from Welsh region Cardiff Blues on an initial one-year deal, the 35-year-old loved life at Sandy Park that he was more than happy to extend his stay further when the offer came a year later.

Featuring alongside fellow playmakers Gareth Steenson and Henry Slade, the Glyncoch-born back not only helped the Devon club to back-to-back LV= Cup finals and a return to the Champions Cup this season, but he was also on hand to pass down his top level experience to a number of the club's fledgling stars.

It has - in his own words - been a "fabulous" two years for Sweeney, who next season will be back with Welsh club side Pontypridd where he will see out the dying embers of his playing days with that of a coaching role at Sardis Road.

“Ponty have got some good youngsters and I don’t want to be taking their game-time. I have to be realistic, I’m 35,” said Sweeney, who won 35 international caps for Wales.

“I’m not coming back to play every week although I do want to play some matches. The big thing is for me to work closely with and help the youngsters.

“I did that role at Exeter with young Henry and it’s something I enjoyed. My business Concept Fire and Electrical, in which my former Ponty team-mate Nick Kelly and I are partners, has taken off but I would like to get into coaching. I’d like to work on the attacking side of the game, building game plans and looking at ways to unlock opposition defences."

And whilst coaching remains a long-term goal for Sweeney, the man himself has been proud to be part of a Chiefs set-up that has continued to flourish under the stewardship of their head coach Rob Baxter.

He continued: "“I only signed for a year when I went to Exeter in 2013m but they offered me a second and I was only too pleased to accept it because Chiefs are an awesome club.

“Everybody is behind them in the city and the South West, the atmosphere is brilliant and the set-up is probably the best I have played under with their man-management and the way they treat the boys.

“The head coach Rob Baxter, backs coach Ali Hepher and the rest of the back-room staff are fantastic, while the Aviva Premiership is a wonderful competition.

“The support is incredible. We played Bath in an Anglo-Welsh LV Cup match last November on the same day as England were playing and we still had a crowd of 10-11,000.

“Exeter have definitely gone about the business the right way with what else they have got going on at Sandy Park. As I said, I've had two fabulous years there, but it’s time to go home to Ponty. It’s where it started for me and I’d like to give something back.”


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Dave B

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