TWO former Somerset students are moving up the ranks with Exeter City Football Club after signing professional contracts.

Gabe Billington and Max Edgecombe became professional footballers in late March this year, and during the current pre-season have been enjoying more time on the pitch.

Billington is from Taunton and is a former Bishop Fox's student and a Taunton District Schools FA old boy. 

While Edgecombe is from Wellington and attended Courts Field School. He was also the captain of the Taunton District Schools side at one point.

The pair both took to the pitch earlier this week in the pre-season friendly against Taunton Town FC.

Both looked sharp as well, as Edgecombe lined up on the left side of defence while Billington was on at right back.

On signing his pro contract, Billington told "I'm so grateful for all the work everyone has done for me since I joined the academy aged 9, all the way to now, and to all my teammates.

"My journey has been amazing, I was a young lad just signed from a tournament, and now I've worked my way up. The coaches have been brilliant with me, they're always pushing me to perform to the best of my ability, and making us better people as well."

Edgecombe said: "This is a really proud moment for me and my family and I'm really pleased.

"Every coach has had a massive part in my journey so far, and my development, having been here since I was 8. There is so much they haven helped me with, not just becoming a better player on the pitch but a better person as well."

Head of coaching at Exeter City, Brad-Lee Miller said: "Gabe is an outstanding young man, polite and well mannered and very talented. He has excellent receiving skills and handles the ball well, and he can move through the midfield. 

"Max is a first year scholar is a fantastic young man, as we say about all our lads who come through the academy. 

"He works incredibly hard on his game, enthusiastic, and has a lot of potential. He is very very good and his left foot is outstanding, and we are delighted that he has committed his future with us."