Dominic Roman – @DomRoman
Since my last blog so much has happened in the kooky and silly world of TUFC I could write a book about it all, but thankfully for you guys I’ll just condense it into this blog. No time to waste, are you sitting comfortably?! Let’s begin.
Let’s tackle Tuesday’s game for an opener. I’m always better at discussing matters on the pitch after all. If the sign of a ‘good team’ is to win matches when they’re not playing well, then we are on the right track, because we were awful for much of the 90 minutes. Simple things like passing to team-mates, closing down an attacker and controlling a ball were all too taxing for TUFC players. I don’t like to single out players, but Jamie Reid had a nightmare 1st half – the ball bouncing off his shin with alarming regularity – his withdrawal at half time was for his own good to be honest!
The combination of Brett Williams and Jamie looked doomed from the start. A lack of appreciation for each other and two individuals failing to forge a partnership. Brett wasn’t much better than JR, resorting to lethargic strolling at times and no sign of captaincy increasing his appetite for the challenge. He does however, show quality touches on the ball and occasionally looks like scoring – so worth his place in the team for now. The always energetic Ruairi Keating made a difference on arrival, just by playing for the team rather than himself and looking to link up with BW. Their combination is more likely to prove fruitful and could be given a rare chance by GO this Saturday. *Warning ‘the goals (lack of) conundrum’ will most likely continue though.
Bath impressed me with the way they approached the game and the away team really should have scored in the second half. But never mind, Liam Davis eventually provided the match winning touch, banging one in the corner to send us home happier with the 3 points. The only players who stood out for me were Liam, Ryan Dickson and Asa Hall (at times) – the rest of them have to improve rapidly and we were lucky it wasn’t Billericay visiting as they would have turned us over! With a new squad I was always expecting a mixed start, a new set of players doesn’t just gel overnight and certainly not with our quality of manager. Bag another 3 points against East Thurrock and it will be a good start, something to work on as the fixtures continue thick and fast next week.
Monday was quite eventful in a weird and wonderful Twitter way! I normally get the club to give Rich a shout out on his birthday (normally the first game in August) and e-mailed them the request. The response? A request of £20 for a shout-out and his name on the big screen, or…wait for it…£50 if I wanted the birthday message in the programme as well! I was staggered to be honest and made it clear no payment would be forthcoming. Instead Twitter worked some magic and TUFC legend Kevin Nicholson delivered a card to a delighted Rich before Monday dinner-time, courtesy of James Murphy’s generosity. Oh and in the end some strings were pulled and the match-day announcer even read out his name. Yellows Twitter 1-0 TUFC Hierarchy.
Going further back and I attended the Plainmoor open evening for season ticket holders last week. Tempted by the promised buffet, players in attendance and Clarke Osborne actually turning up to Plainmoor I couldn’t resist. Well the food was very good, the players were awkwardly huddled but friendly and then we had speeches from Clarke, Owers and the mayor. The seagulls started circling as soon as Clarke began, they could sense an evil presence perhaps?! His voice was jittery and nervy, clearly struggling to put together coherent sentences about the football and then gaining some confidence and gleam in his eye as he moved onto the stadium. Our confidence in the man didn’t increase from that showing, and after that Gordon Oliver piped up gushing with praise for Osborne’s contribution to the club and his vision for the future (uncomfortable viewing). Clearly Oliver is buying into everything he says and Clarke must be hoping that will be enough to get his project over the line.
The stadium plans are all pie-in-the-sky to me and it’s heartening to see Kevin Foster reassure fans that nothing will be agreed before a proper business plan is investigated. The jotted down plans and photo-shopped photos were laughable, and developing a 10,000 seated stadium for a club that struggles to entice 2k is all ridiculous. Clarke won’t let his dream die without a fight and this story will no doubt run and run. In the meantime the football will continue to be lower on the list of his priorities and I don’t supposed he’ll attend any games this season either. Rising up the leagues will be very difficult under this ownership.
Gary Owers also spoke. He seems like a gentle Geordie who wants to do well and is going to give it a go. Has he got the heart and guts to motivate these players for the season ahead, it doesn’t feel like it and my mate Sam Druiff was especially scathing about the guy (Sam’s fantasy football team is called ‘Owers Out’. An able-bodied and enthusiastic assistant would surely make all the difference and I do wonder if Chris Todd could be that man. We all saw Chris’s determination and spirit as a player, if he can bring that to United and help Owers win over the Yellow Army then it would be a brilliant appointment. All speculation though of course and there is no sign of an appointment any time soon.
Chris Todd of course left Truro City along with Lee Hodges the other day. Why has not been explained but after signing new 2-year deals, something major must have occurred. Would we swap Gary Owers for both of them…ummm yes probably! I have so much sympathy for Truro fans, I can’t imagine being told to travel 100 miles for home games and they have been treated with very little respect by Pete Masters. Like it or lump it seems to be his side of the story, and with so few home supporters City could really struggle in the NLS this season. 362 for the first game at Plainmoor is telling, it could be as little as 200 as the campaign wears on (and the weather gets worse). That would be pitiful.
One thing that wasn’t speculation is the lack of BBC Radio Devon commentary on TUFC games this season, something which they have received plenty of criticism for. You can tell they are trying to keep favour with supporters by doing more social media stuff during matches, but they remain on the naughty step and there they will stay! So credit to the club for stepping in and providing commentary instead. TT’s Sam Jones listened the other night and said it was very good, at least with that in place Radio Devon will not be missed. If we ever find our way back to the League proper they’ll be begging to come back I’m sure!
At TT towers we will try to cover every game again this season. Whether that’s possible is another thing! I have networked more than ever since editing this site and have got a brilliant group together, we’ll see shall we… Otherwise, there will be opposition interviews, only for away games as 46 of them (plus cup games…47 total?!) would be too much of a stretch. I have lined up Oxford City and Slough Town interviews and I am learning more and more about the NLS as we go along. So stick with us and look out for Ben Currie who will be reporting back from the East Thurrock game. They were unlucky to lose to Dulwich Hamlet this week and could yet make us sweat this Saturday. We must take nothing for granted and increase our intensity and quality, especially after some of the garbage on show Tuesday night! Come on you Yellows.