Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Two busier weeks in the world of ‘Torquay United’ have passed and the season starter at Chelmsford creeps closer and closer. I can’t wait to be honest as the end of the World Cup left a void that Wimbledon and The Open just do not fill! Anyway onto talking about the latest news jolting the TUFC landscape.
The departure of Martin Kuhl was a little surprising. I had assumed he would stay at the club as long as Gary Owers, but obviously the two weren’t ‘thick as thieves’ after all. Moving closer to family was sighted as the reasoning and that may be true, but there may be more to that than meets the eye. He probably goes down as one of our most unpopular coaches ever, a man with a shouty and aggressive reputation who arrived in confident manner and left with nothing but a quiet whimper. Thanks for nothing Martin.
No announcement on a replacement yet. GO has to connect and establish a rapport with the players this season and the appointment of a coach with man-management skills and fresh ideas would be extremely welcome to build those bridges.
INCOMINGS and SQUAD UPDATE
Five incomings in recent weeks:
Ryan Dickson played for us over 11 years ago – wow times flies whilst your…supporting United! Much like Asa Hall, Ryan should be comfortably good enough to excel in the NLS. Early suggestions are that the left-footed midfielder will play in midfield rather than on the wing and his fitness will have to improve quickly. Hopefully he’s not this years Jake Gosling (knackered after 60 mins!).
I always feel Goalkeeper is an under-rated position and their will be high responsibility on young shoulders this year as Alex Bass takes the Number 1 jersey. Loaned from Pompey, the Fratton Park club clearly believe in him for the future by offering Alex a new contract. Experience is often required in goal, but if Bass is good enough he’s old enough!
And the three others? Shaun MacDonald drove all night to get to Plainmoor, well not that long but it did the trick! He’ll have to bide his time as Bass is definitely first choice. Jean-Yves Koue Niate is a big strong lad who has played for a few clubs, including briefly Guiseley last season. Reports suggest his attitude will be excellent and he could become a valuable squad player soon. Finally Kyle Cameron is a left-footed centre back who can bring balance at the back and has already impressed in the recent friendlies.
The latest squad:
Goalkeepers – Alex Bass, Shaun MacDonald
Full Backs – Ben Wynter, Liam Davis
Centre Backs – George Essuman, Jacob Sokolik, Jean-Yves Koue Niate, Kyle Cameron
Midfielders – Asa Hall, Bobson Bawling, Jason Banton, Samir Nabi, Ryan Dickson
Strikers – Brett Williams, Ruairi Keating, Jamie Reid, Olaf Koszela
Transfer Listed – Josh Gowling and JP Pittman
I have to confess I haven’t attended a friendly yet, something I hope to remedy this Tuesday when Bristol City make the visit to the Bay. The general verdict so far from my Yellow Army mates is that we’re doing ok, looking pretty solid at the back but not creating much going forward. Similar to the 2017 friendlies actually!
A draw against Cardiff City is not to be sniffed at though. Sure the Premiership outfit were not at full strength or at full throttle, but United gave a decent account of themselves and didn’t succumb to Neil Warnock’s team. I wonder if Gary asked NW if any young City players were available for loan, we’ve had brilliant help from him over the years but the temptation of sending a lad to the NLS may not be enticing!
Ruairi Keating scoring was popular. We’d all love to see the Irishman do well after a painful 2017-18. It didn’t seem like Owers rated him, but RK is back and with a newly styled haircut to boot! Out of the strikers we have on the books, a Brett Williams/Ruairi Keating combo would appear to be the best option as TT’s Matty Hayward suggested. I am still hoping for another striker making an appearance mind. We need more goals.
More games to come and more chance to gather cohesion and momentum in the squad. Bristol City should be an entertaining game, the Championship team will expect to turn us over and play lovely football. After that it’s the mighty Dorchester, which is a challenge closer to our current level of opposition!
RADIO DEVON COMMS
Dropping down to the NLS was always going to impact on how much exposure TUFC gain in the media world. However, the news that Radio Devon will not be doing commentary on most of our games next season is a real kick in the teeth. The reasoning from Mark Grinnell is outlined below:
So they simply don’t think it’s worth bothering. I may be biased in my love for the Gulls, but totally disagree and think the loyal Yellow Army will still be following their team this season. Listening figures would be better than whatever dull local programming is scheduled in it’s place. My dad never misses an away game commentary and I am sure many other fans will be dismayed by this terrible decision. Yes people still care about TUFC, unfortunately none of them seem to hold sway at the Beeb these days.
It had actually been a pretty harmonious time for the Yellow Army; with new arrivals, decent friendly performances, a smart looking kit and Martin Kuhl departing. Back down to earth this weekend, as Clarke Osborne popped his head out of the parrapit with a statement on a projected groundshare with Truro City – I’ve stopped hoping for more communications from Clarke, when they come I always wished he hadn’t bothered!
We all know that Pete Masters and Clarke are best buds and the GS had been mentioned before. However I think we all hoped the speculation had ended a while ago. Well it is back on the table and will apparently be an excellent chance to practice for our new multi purpose stadium, coming to a Torbay area no time soon.. CO doesn’t do any statement without mentioning that.
A groundshare will mean extra revenue from Truro, but also constant use of the pitch and there are bound to be more postponements as the bad weather arrives. Even the brilliant Chris Ralph will struggle to cope when games are played every 3 to 5 days.
The Osborne/Masters link up may run and run, and who knows how the future will pan out for TUFC with these guys involved – a sharp reminder of how uncertain things still are at Plainmoor and it is disappointing that this news will overshadow what has so far been a positive build up to 2018-19.