Chris Perry discusses possible Gulls signings for 2020
In baseball during the 1980s & ’90s, the Oakland A’s were the best team. They were the elite of Baseball for a while, with top players helping them to reach a World Series on 3 consecutive occasions.
Their players were paid very well, more money than the rest of the league could afford. Until the mid ‘90s and that changed following a takeover. The budget was reduced and those top players left, leaving the club to make some tough choices with regards to replacements.
With a reduced budget, Instead of trying to replace those departures like for like, they looked at their goals and rebuilt the team based on a combination of individual capabilities, rather than obvious star power. They became the first team to build a squad by using data.
TUFC can’t replace Jamie Reid or Kalvin Kalala like for like. How much will it cost to replace a 25 goal a season striker or a winger who can beat an opponent at ease with magic? So those goals/assists have to be replaced in other ways.
Take the 1997/1998 season under Kevin Hodges. Rodney Jack was even better alongside a strike partner who could do what he couldn’t physically. Andy McFarlane played alongside him and helped him, owing to his size and aerial ability which wasn’t Rodney’s game. McFarlane didn’t score that many goals, but his presence help Rodney to flourish all the more.
If that didn’t work, Paul Gibbs and Andy Gurney scored goals to cover McFarlane’s goals; or lack there of.
Kalvin Kalala is known for his attacking flair and ability to beat a man, but not so much defensively. So we might see a defensive minded winger come in, so that Ben Wynter can get forward & grab 10 goals a season, knowing the defensive winger signed, has dropped back and filled in at right back. Or Danny Wright possibly signing may mean it’s to add experienced if we go with Olaf Koszela as a starter.
After leaving Solihull Moors , Wright has been heavily linked in recent weeks to the Gulls, so it would be no surprise if he’s unveiled as our first signing of the summer. Gary Johnson and Aaron Downes know the experienced target man well from their time together at Cheltenham and won the National League title in 2016 to give Wright his first taste of the Football League. Danny will turn 36 in September, but could add some much needed steel and authority to a young United squad if the expected signing comes to pass.
Josh Clarke of Brentford is available on a free transfer. He’s missed much of the past 2 years, through niggling injuries and having fallen out of favour with Thomas Frank. But did make 60 plus appearances under Dean Smith.
His last regular football was on loan at Burton Albion where he was unable to impress Nigel Clough, playing 6 times and returning to Brentford. Has played full back or out wide in midfield.
Nathan Tella is a Southampton youngster, who’s recently returned from 10 months injured. A loan may work out well for both clubs and player. He came through the youth system at Arsenal and is at an age (21 years old) where he will need game time. Torquay could offer this tricky attacking midfielder that game time.
Tyreke Johnson may be familiar to Torquay fans. He played for Woking on the same evening Ben Whitfield made his Torquay United debut at Kingfield. A speedy winger, with the ability to look as fast with the ball as without it. He spent some time on loan at Woking for 6 months, before a shoulder injury. He’s linked up with Radhi Jaidi, his ex-youth coach at Southampton – joining Hartford Athletic on loan in the USA.
*Johnson scores on 3 mins of the video
Ben Pringle, who enjoyed a loan spell with the club from Derby County is available after his release from Gillingham. Ben went on to enjoy success with Rotherham in four productive seasons, before a move to Fulham. The left-footed midfielder is still only 31, and has had a somewhat nomadic last few years.
Whitely has experience at Dagenham & Redbridge and Ebbsfleet United in the National League and spent part of the 19-20 season with Bromley on loan from his parent club Newport County. He’s not made a big impression in League 2, since joining last summer and may be available, as per his loan to Bromley. Corey has shown he’s an exciting and direct winger at our level.
Shay McCartan is available on a free transfer, following his release from Bradford City. He enjoyed success with Lincoln under Danny Cowley during a year’s loan in 2018/19 and spent four years at Accrington in League Two. His 3 years at Bradford haven’t proven successful with game time not available to him. Can play out wide or upfront.
Mo Sagaf is available on a free transfer, Carlisle releasing him after his 1 year deal expired. He plays centrally in midfield and fits the mould of young, talented and with scope for improvement. He made 17 appearances for Carlisle, but it was at Braintree the previous season when he made a name for himself in the National League, despite his team’s relegation.
Elliott Frear started off with hometown club Exeter City and has enjoyed loans with Tiverton and Salisbury. Possibly better known for his days with Forest Green Rovers in the National League, which earned him a move to Motherwell (featuring 60 times in 2 seasons). Frear rejoined FGR on a short deal, which was extended until the end of the 19-20 season. If he’s allowed to leave, his work rate and the quality of his delivery would be a welcome addition.
*Elliott scoring after 2.20 for Motherwell