“To get promoted at any level you need a special leader and a group of winners that can play, TUFC had that in abundance”
Gulls legend and new St Austell assistant manager Chris Todd blogs about TUFC and their successful 18-19, plus memories of 2009:
Chris Todd – @ChrisToddBook
2019, Gary Johnson and back in the National League
What a season it has been for the mighty yellow army, back to the National Conference for the first time of asking.
When the club fell out of the Football League in 2014 it was heartbreak when the club worked so hard to get back there in the first place. It is, and will be a tough ask to return back to the promised land, this is where myself and so many others believe the club belongs.
The day the club were relegated to the National Conference South was a shock, in fact, a disaster on so many levels.
When a disaster happens you find people come together and unite, this does not happen overnight. It can take weeks, months or sometimes even years to find that spark again. Well, in Torquay’s case it took a good man to lose his job and another to walk through the door, that man being Gary Johnson.
Prior to Gary getting the job, I believed that I was the right man to guide the club back to where it belongs, how wrong I was. When Gary was announced I was amazed, just like everyone else. His pedigree is second to none and it was clear TUFC had struck gold.
What Gary has achieved is very impressive and he has shown how to galvanize, not only a team, but a club. The back end of the season I found myself being able to oversee how Gary and his team work, this is because the Pro-Direct Academy I run out of South Devon college, became partners. This has been nothing more than a learning tool for myself to see Gary work on a daily basis, as they say, “every day is a school day”.
To get promoted at any level you need a special leader and a group of winners that can play, TUFC had that in abundance.
Promotion is a special thing that lives with you forever. I was lucky enough to be promoted three times with Eastleigh, Newport and of course my very special season with the mighty gulls. I’m sure no one will forget that time. I will never ever forget it, disaster to glory in a very short time. On that note, I would like to congratulate everyone who is involved with TUFC on the great achievement this season.
Let us not forget the vital part the clubs board and directors played behind the scenes. They made two decisions that for me will probably live on to be the two biggest in the clubs history; one, staying full time when it would have been so easy to go part-time, and the other appointing Gary Johnston.
One thing is for sure the club is in very safe hands on and off the field. The future is bright, the future is yellow.
2009, Wembley and Promotion
On bouncing back after that Exeter City defeat…
“We were confident in the final even though we were the under-dogs, our previous Wembley experiences through the squad were a bonus and the hurt we felt losing against Exeter in the semis the year before drove us on”.
On Wembley memories…
“My main memory was winning and celebrating (Klinsmann style) at the end, then joining my family with my MOM award”.
On the 2008-09 promotion squad…
“The squad had a family feel and a special bond. We did not just go home after training, we spent time together mostly competing in the gym to see who was the strongest”.
On the celebrations afterwards…
“Celebrations after were heading back to the Hilton hotel London to catch up with staff family and fans”.
On catching up with old team-mates and taking on Kevin Nicholson in a tyre flipping challenge…
“Still in contact with 90% of the squad, mostly through social media. I’m not sure who would win that one, as he is closer to the ground with strong stumpy legs and I have lamp post legs!”