Dom Roman – @DomRoman
It’s been well over 2 weeks since my last confession…I mean blog. I simply didn’t have much to discuss, but at least recent developments have enlivened summer 2018 ‘Yellahs Social Media’ and made the scribbling of a new blog more enticing.
The Twitter banter for the announcement of our two latest signings was very enjoyable, especially the part Brett Williams played! Brett’s tweets are usually entertaining and this time he was on top form with the emoji hints – anything to bring a smile to the faces of TUFC tweeters. George Essuman was unveiled with the Tweet below…lovely stuff.
George joins from Dover, having played on loan at Margate last season and after failing to find a spot in the Kent team’s first eleven. The 21 year-old has already represented a number of clubs, and I guess he’ll be hoping to settle his career down at Plainmoor. At 6′ 4″ he’s certainly big enough! A lot will depend on the players Owers can surround the centre back with. An experienced partner would be perfect – though (before you say it) this is unlikely to be Josh Gowling.
We said all season that Gowling’s participation was crucial, and his worse period of injuries happened at the worse possible time for us. He hasn’t definitely gone yet, but reports of fallings out between him and GO do not bode well, and heading into his mid-30s, questions on his fitness will linger on. I’d imagine teams would be interested in taking him as a player-coach to utilise his know-how and don’t expect to see Josh back at Plainmoor for the start of the NLS season.
It could yet be Sean McGinty. He’s not been unveiled anywhere yet, though I’m not sure the prospect of NLS football will persuade him to sign up – even if many of his displays last year (and his wayward distribution) were NLS standard. To be honest I’m not too bothered either way, I’d rather have a big muscly brute who will ruffle feathers and strike fear into the opposition – Guy Branston circa 2010. A rock who will inspire players around him, Sean is not that man.
The other signing we know very well! Ruairi Keating returns. After the Ebbsfleet game his body-language looked for all the world like a farewell to supporters, but Keating’s TUFC script has not been fully written just yet. He has another chance to forge a football career and must take it.
If Owers wants him to succeed, he has to show belief in the player. Last season Ruairi was only used sparingly after Xmas and when he did appear it was without sharpness or confidence. Owers/Kuhl also need to help iron out the flaws in him game. Most evidently the striker’s work with his back to goal; too often his control wasn’t tight enough and possession was lost PLUS of course most importantly the Irishman’s finishing. RK is definitely not frightened of hard work and comes across as a lovely lad with a big heart. I think we all would love him to bag plenty of goals next season.
Those two take us up to 6 for 18-19, plus JPP and Gowling who are still in contract. Plenty of work to do yet. Getting the spine of the team right really must take priority – Goalie, Centre Back, Midfield and Striker. Four players with experience and wisdom would be beneficial, but as long as they possess confidence, leadership and quality I’d be happy.
At least 4 or 5 more new guys by the end of June would ease Yellow Army jitters a little, and give the ‘leap of faith’ season ticket renewers something to cling onto. After all our 1st friendly is only 4/5 weeks away, and developing a rapport/team spirit/cohesion etc within the squad cannot be started soon enough. I’ve had enough of Owers bashing for the time being and will judge him again at a later date once incomings are complete and results roll in!
The summer of change at the club is sweeping along gently. Acquiring Boots and Laces back into TUFC’s hands is a welcome move by the owners. Let’s face it the pub only profits majorly when games are on, and it is actually part of OUR ground after all! I hope to see more offers on for match days, loyalty cards perhaps and some better food options; so many TUFC fans get to the ground just before kick-off. Give them more reasons to turn up early! (And please don’t keep calling it iconic!).
It all comes back to the club networking with the fans and showing us how much they value our business – unfortunately with our Chairman and General Manager totally disconnected from the Yellow Army, that seems as unlikely as ever. The communications will most likely continue as before, with statements fed out only when they are nudged into it. Geoff continues to tiptoe around in the background, keeping expertly away from the ire of the supporters has become his speciality.
Last but not least the Torquay United Ladies have been celebrating the end of their season recently. The team started on fire, but just lost momentum with a number of annoying postponements over the winter/spring. However, with new coaches and new players soon arriving, they are on the up – optimism abounds at one TU club and it would be great if the Sian Chapman and the rest of the girls can win the league next season. Watch out for more articles and interviews on TULFC in 18-19 as their momentum continues apace.
Happy Birthday to Luke Hunter today – an indispensable TT contributor.