Goalkeeper James Bittner spent two years at the club immediately after relegation to the Conference. After a lengthy non-league career he finally made his Football League debut, for Plymouth Argyle, shortly before his 33rd birthday.
After briefly spending time at Swindon and Fulham as an apprentice, Wiltshire-born James played for Salisbury City and Chippenham before signing for Exeter City in July 2003 following a tip-off from a Salisbury supporter. He made his debut in the Grecians’ first-ever match in the Football Conference, a 1-1 home draw against Halifax Town and, establishing himself as first-choice keeper, went on to make 37 Conference appearances in 2003/04 together with being selected to play for the England non-league side against Belgium and Italy. In 2004/05 he only started five matches for Exeter before being sidelined with a shoulder injury which later required surgery. During his time at City James had the unfortunate distinction of being sent off twice in a week against Hereford United: once on Boxing Day; then on New Year’s Day.
With Paul Jones and Martin Rice now at the club, James was released in August 2005 to join Torquay United where he sat on the bench as understudy to Andy Marrioot for every game of the 2005/06 season without appearing once. From Plainmoor James moved on to Woking, Salisbury City (for a second time), Forest Green Rovers and Hereford United playing regular Conference football along the way. Then, after a third stint at Salisbury, James returned to the Football League in a back-up role at Plymouth where, on 24 January 2015, he finally made his Football League debut as a second-half substitute in a game against Morecambe. He was to play a full-game for Argyle the following season.
James went into coaching in 2016 as assistant to former Grecian Sean McCarthy at Newport County prior to becoming under-23 goalkeeping coach at Reading where he worked with eventual Exeter City loan signing Jökull Andrésson. In October 2022 James was appointed first-team goalkeeping coach at Cheltenham Town.
League 42; Cups 3 (45)