Gulls legend Nicho kindly agreed to be the next to pick his ‘TUFC Dream Team’ for TT from his days of playing and managing at Plainmoor, check out his choices below:
Goalkeeper: Bobby Olejnik
He made 1 mistake in his season at TUFC and even that could have been Saahsys fault!! Great guy who had the almost perfect season and as good as I’ve played with.
Left Back: ME!!
In our 1st season back in League 2 Bucks tried to replace me with pretty much anyone who agreed to play Left back and Adam Smith wasn’t bad but as he’s a right back really, I think I get the nod!!
Right Back: Aman Verma
I’m desperate to choose Manse here but I’ll go with Verms who wasn’t a right back but did incredibly well after Durrell Berry’s awful injury and to be able to go and play there when I asked him to despite never having done it before and any mistakes could have meant relegation, was testament to him as a man and a footballer.
Hugely proud of what he has gone on to achieve and my role in it but by the end of my 1st season as manager the guy was a monster and in total control of his game and those around him.
Pretty sure he kicked or headed the ball off the pitch 75% of the time it went near him but he did it with style, confidence and total belief. He had one of his best seasons with us, never made a mistake (or at least that’s what he tells me) but was a huge part of our success.
Left Wing: Mustapha Carayol
He’s run close by Danny Stevens & Zebs both of whom I loved playing behind but Muzz took his game to a new level after Bucks had tried to get him out for half a season and he was unreal by the end of that year. You knew what he was going to do with his step over but still couldn’t stop him.
Right Wing: Wayne Carlisle
The ultimate pro, knew his game, performed pretty much every week, incredible delivery and a student of the game. Could be an angry Irishman but even that was for the betterment of the team! The Wembley cross for Sillsy just sums him up. Class.
A proper captain, lead that promotion team brilliantly and would run through a wall for his team….. as long as his hair looked good and it was all about him!!!!
Lee Mansell ‘Manse’
What a guy, another outstanding captain, leader of men, the world’s best ever deflector, always someone else’s fault, enjoyed passing it to the opposition so he could go and tackle them or passing it off the pitch and telling me I should’ve been there. If the team was made up of 11 Lee Mansell’s there would be a lot of success and teeth, and sheep-like hair but the guy is a winner and I loved every second I spent on the pitch with him.
No.10: Eunan O’Kane
He just oozed class, came to us as the slightly under-sized, not overly strong Irish kid who John Milton has dug up from somewhere in Ireland and developed into a tremendous all round football player. Had everything and has gone on to play at a level his ability and his attitude deserved. Top guy, top player.
Striker: Tim Sills
Another who I just loved playing with, I knew where he would be without having to look, he scored from all of my good deliveries and a lot of my bad ones and had a fantastic 2 seasons at the club. The Wembley header, with the mask that only a total fanny would wear but he loved the attention, was a fitting end to that season and a great way to rubber stamp promotion.
Not far off Bobby, the best I’ve seen taking crosses and an outstanding person.
Got over cancer quicker than most people recover from a hamstring tear, absolute warrior and another incredible guy.
If you had seen his 1st couple of weeks in training you’d have thought I was crazy but proved me right and then some and has gone on to be a serial promotion getter!! Top man.
A very angry guy who I loved. He was ‘son of’ (deemed to be the managers favourite) with me, the lads knew it and he will go even higher. No way he was getting in this team ahead of me but great player and better person.
The most coachable player I had, tell him something once and he did it, had the best month a loan player could ever hope for and has gone on to do great. He was on his way to sign for me when his agent rang and told me Ipswich had come in for him and he had changed course to go for a medical!! Can’t blame him!!!
Manager: Paul Buckle
He was outstanding in his 1st job. A very good coach, planner and motivator with great attention to detail and his hunger for success was contagious. His recruitment was generally very good too. You would have run through a wall for him and despite trying desperately to get me out on a couple of occasions he would always be open-minded enough to take me back in if I proved him wrong. He had his fair share of good fortune with some of his decisions, but he talked the talk and walked the walk during that period.
Martin Ling was the best man manager I’ve ever played for but he benefitted hugely from the discipline and almost militant mind-set that Bucks has drilled into us over 4 years. Both fantastic managers and I had my best ever individual season under Lingy which I’m always very grateful for, but Bucks pips him for overall spot.
VERMA – MACDONALD – BRANSTON – NICHOLSON
CARLISLE – MANSELL – HARGREAVES – CARAYOL
SUBS: B MOORE, BUTLER, TODD, BLISSETT, K MOORE