Dominic Roman – @DomRoman
TORQUAY UNITED HAVE WON A GAME! The outpouring of joy and surprise at TUFC managing to not only score two goals last weekend, but also collect the three points against mighty Hemel Hempstead just shows how far we’ve fallen! I used to have no idea which league the likes of Hemel Hempstead, Gloucester City and East Thurrock were in – now its real life people…
What caused the win? Well Owers jiggled about with his tactics and personnel to make us more offensive and more aesthetically pleasing, but the main reason was the influx of two bright youngsters into the fold – Opi Edwards and Jake Andrews. Two keen players with confidence to spare, no fear of failure in sight and quality to go with it – a difference-maker in every respect. Even with the new recruitments we were lucky to keep them at bay, but the defence stood firm again and fitness plus a bit of quality finally told.
Jamie Reid’s goal might kick-start his season, the celebration in front of the family stand was unsurprisingly stern! He strikes me as a player who’s not at ease with himself, generally looking prickly and feeling under-appreciated due to comments from a proportion of the Yellow Army. Maybe it’s to do with his dreams at Exeter City being shattered and ending up in non-league football whilst his old mates play in League Two, but he has to accept reality and try to enjoy life and football. Be positive and keep working hard. and just maybe the rewards will continue to come; I’m fed up of criticising this guy and hope he comes good for the benefit of our season.
Is the team better without Brett Williams? Our match reporter Elliot Milner view was that the Gulls only came to life, when our captain was replaced in the 2nd half. Now Brett needs goals that is for sure, but when he’s not getting them his all-round game is always going to be scrutinised. His movement is never going to be more than limited; where Ruairi will keep on his toes and keep looking for space, Brett generally stays central asking for the ball to feet. At the moment we need to see more energy and enthusiasm, and BW will be lucky to keep his place this Saturday. Going by the HE Owers will be sticking with him, so he better find his shooting boots sooner rather than later.
The win was a lifeline for his boss, who desperately needed something to hang his hat on. The incident with the coffee/tea may have actually done him some favours, as fans sympathised with him for a change! Is the win an early turning point in our season? We’ll know more by 5pm tomorrow. Beating Chippenham should be very dooable, though the away team are no easy-picking going by results so far this season. A better first half would make a change, we don’t seem to come alive in the first 45 minutes. Owers, Taylor and Brett have got to get them revved up for a fast start – just uttering those words makes me wish we had stronger characters/leaders in that dressing room! I’ll predict a scrappy 2-1.
Tomorrow sees the first appearance of the TUFC Fan Zone, something that the Trust has been integral in arranging (see below). Such is the low esteem that supporters hold the club in, I think people will be worried about it being a poorly organised shambles – let’s be honest we’ve seen it all before! However, with the Community Trust, Supporters Club, TUFC and TUST all involved I think it will be well worth a visit and kids will get some pre-match entertainment to brighten their day (even if the football doesn’t!). Well done to all involved in this, it is nice to see all factions of the club come together and is a glimpse of what can be achieved when everyone is on the same page. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!
One person who is leaving Plainmoor and won’t be involved in future events is club secretary Tim Herbert. Tim has had a thankless and constantly challenging task during his time at the club, as the club seemingly shifted from one crisis to another and the football matters went pear-shaped. He has remained upbeat and tackled the task head on, and remains a firm supporter of the club. Tim told me he’ll be back to Plainmoor for games and I’d imagine he’ll enjoy the less stressful Saturday afternoons! I wish him good luck for the future and thank him for allowing me to write for the programme, something I really enjoyed doing.
Here come the girls! Last weekend saw the start of the TULFC’s 2018-19 campaign as they lost narrowly to Western Super Mare in the FA Cup (TUFC and TULFC’s fixtures are starting to look similar these days!!). The ladies league season begins this weekend and we spoke to captain Danni Wyatt in our latest ‘catch-up’. Danni came across brilliantly and I can tell why she has been made captain. I hope that Jamie McInnes and the team can keep the momentum from 2017-18 going and challenge for honours. We’ll be speaking to Danni again (and Jamie) as the season progresses, and will be backing the ladies as always.
LAST WORDS. I said last week about the Trust stepping up as Clarke continues to plan his ‘multi-purpose’ stadium and was promptly handed the link below by Luke on the Saturday morning. The fact that MP Kevin Foster is very much immersed in this whole new stadium issue and is able to put pressure on Clarke Osborne is heartening. He has had first hand experience of events going wrong at Coventry City and clearly wants to protect Torquay United from a similar terrible experience. Well done Kevin and the TUST, and keep it up to protect our future. Fans focus will always be more shifted to how the manager and his team are performing, but the bigger picture is keeping our club alive and kicking for future generations.