New father Baldwin is happy to get back to football after a hectic week
Pat Baldwin is glad he can get back to focusing on his football after a week that will certainly change his life for the better.
The Exeter City defender became a father for the first time when his wife, Alex, gave birth to Finnley last Sunday, forcing the 30-year-old centre half to miss the Grecians' League Two trip to Morecambe the previous day.
Baldwin had also been a doubt for the game against AFC Wimbledon on August 17, which was actually the date his wife was due to give birth. But, with Finnley safely delivered and at home with Mum, the new father can now get back to work and help Exeter maintain their decent start to the new season.
"It has been a busy week," he said. "It started off as a scary week with my wife having an emergency C-section, but both are doing well now, so that's the main thing.
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"I didn't want to miss anything, so I took a bit of a gamble. This doesn't happen often in your life, so I asked if I could stat back at the weekend and to be fair, Tis [manager Paul Tisdale] was fantastic about it and very understanding. It started on Saturday with a few contractions, that went into Sunday and he arrived on Sunday night."
Baldwin added: "I said to Alex last Friday that because I was staying behind, she had to have the baby this weekend otherwise we'd be knackered because we can't have it going into another weekend!
"But I was glad I was there for it and she was really pleased I was there as well considering what happened during the birth. I'm just glad it's all over and I can concentrate on the games ahead."
The Grecians certainly missed Baldwin's presence in their back line at the Globe Arena, with the first goal especially poor from a defensive point of view.
Kevin Ellison was completely unmarked to nod the Shrimps into the lead before he added the second nine minutes from time. But, despite that defensive disaster, Baldwin is not taking an immediate return to the starting XI for granted.
"To be honest, I haven't had a chance to see the goals. This week has been so busy and a bit of a blur," he added. "By all accounts, it was just one of those things.
"I'm available for selection, but that doesn't mean to say I am going to go straight back in. You just never know.
"I enjoy playing with Danny and we have played a lot of games together, He is a very good player and I think we have built up a very good understanding, but that's out of my hands. It's down to the manager what he wants to do, I will respect whatever decision he makes for Saturday, but fingers crossed I do get to play."
City have made a decent start to their games at St James' Park this season, beating both Bristol Rovers (2-1) and AFC Wimbledon (2-0).
The performances have been just as impressive as the results as well, and it is all in stark contrast to last season when Exeter struggled to win regularly and perform consistently on home turf.
"It was very patchy throughout last year, but this year, we are very positive and have made some good signings that have made a hell of a difference to our home form," Baldwin said. "Tis has done his homework and looked into the reasons why we weren't quite performing last year and so far it has paid dividends.
"We just have to keep going as we are, have a positive attitude like we have been and hopefully that will be good enough.
"The first half against Wimbledon was as a good a first half as I have ever been involved in and I have played in some pretty good teams. The football we played was outstanding and hopefully we can replicate that on Saturday."
Meanwhile, the Grecians have announced three fixtures for their development and Under-18 squads.
City will send an Under-21 side to Camelford on Monday, September 9 (7pm) before the ever-popular Varsity match at St James' Park against the University of Exeter on Wednesday, September 25.
City's Under-18s, meanwhile, will take on Manchester City Under-18s at the Park on Tuesday, September 10.