Matty Hayward gives us a rundown of TT’s output in July
Matty Hayward – @mattyhayward96
The wait for non-league football’s return drags on and, as such, the need for TT to dig deeper into the recesses of our collective nostalgia grows. That’s never really been a problem for us, though. We’ve got some eager, young contributors whose passion about the last decade of football shines through, and whose musings on the current TUFC squad and football in general are worth reading. Meanwhile, our elder folk tend to remember players and stories of the eighties more vividly than what they had for breakfast yesterday. So here’s a summary of what we’ve been up to, a contents page of the month’s articles, just in case you’ve missed any absolute gems.
The one constant, throughout the tumult of the last few months and indeed years, is the TT Blog. Editor Dom Roman returns fortnightly with thoughts and updates on all things Torquay United. His most recent upload discusses the disappointing but inevitable announcement that the National League season is set to commence – later than the Football League – on the 3rd October, and the ramifications of that for our season.
Meanwhile this month, I began my own topical blogging series. When Dom suggested this to me, I think he expected me to write a whimsical rant about fake crowd noise or Jamie Reid (again). The intention is that some of my blogs will be in that whimsical vein, but the main story in football news at the time was racism and Black Lives Matter, so I wrote about that instead. My most recent effort tackled the less important issue of the new five substitutions rule: something that I view as another straw on the camel of modern football’s back.
Deep Nostalgic Dives
As mentioned, some of our more senior contributors love a throwback to yesteryear. In the latest of one of our most long-running features, Martin Salloway talked us through his TUFC Dream Team. In a beautifully sentimental piece, a modest Martin talks us through his selections for his ideal Gulls XI with the rogue but completely understandable inclusion of Frank O’Farrell as Director Of Football!
In a similar vein, TUST board member Rick Williams recounted his TUFC story (a newer feature) through ten instalments. He describes his love affair with the Gulls which started in Brixham, takes us through Sheffield, to Wembley, Barnet away, right up to glory of Ben Wynter smashing in his equaliser at Woking. There really is something in this piece for everyone (well, probably only Torquay fans).
The latest in our Gullactico series – where we ask a contributor to discuss one of their favourite ex-Yellows – Clive Hayward writes about the legendary winger Mark Loram. Clive recalls some highlights and personal memories of Lors’ career in a Yellow shirt: a maverick who never settled at a higher level but, when comfortable at Plainmoor, was one of the very best to wear the Yellow shirt.
We have a couple of resident statisticians at TT, one of whom is Steve Harris. Upon Reidy’s departure, the job naturally fell to him to curate an XI of players who appeared for both Torquay and Exeter in the last 40 years. The Gulls-Grecian lineup includes the ale-inspiring Jim McNichol, the man with one of the best Yellows songs in history Wayne Carlisle, and the Stagger himself. Read it here.
Slightly Shallower Dives
Not all of our nostalgic pieces are about events before my lifetime! At the start of the month, Tom Kelly blogged about that rare beast of a Torquay United mid-table finish. In light of our relatively uneventful 2019/20 campaign, Tom talks about our 14th place finish in 1989, and our 13th place finishes in 1995 and 2015.
A feature that spawned from our paucity of content at the start of the pandemic was TT Top Trumps. A panel of TT contributors take players whose surnames begin with a certain letter and rank them on a series of criteria. This month we’ve had J and K where, in my opinion, Ruairi Keating gets insufficient praise for the best assist I’ve ever seen in the flesh (Woking away) and only gets a 6 for passing. Oh well Ruairi, I Love You Anyway.
In another of our Lockdown-introduced features, Matt Roberts looked back on our incomings in the summer of 2015. I should be talking up these pieces but let me tell you this one makes bleak reading. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the writing, in fact it’s very engaging, but being reminded of Waide Fairhurst, Fabian Spiess and Exodus Geohaghon can’t be good for anyone’s mental health.
A Bit of News!
Actual news, like stuff actually happening, has been hard to come by this month. Usually July is the month of pre-season friendlies, anticipation, evenings with sun in your eyes and misplaced hope in your heart. But this year, as with everything, this has been delayed. Nonetheless, this week we have had some transfer news! It fell to me to give a lowdown on these players, discussing their careers and attributes with a little help from some flattering YouTube highlights and some more flattering praise from their new gaffer. Here’s the one on our new strikers – Andy Nelson and Danny Wright – and here’s one on defensive reinforcements Gary Warren and Fraser Kerr.
You didn’t expect anything at TT to fit neatly together, did you? We’ve had some articles which don’t fall into any of these categories but that needn’t make them less important or worthy of remembering. We’ve had a couple of Tweets of the Week articles – which, to be absolutely fair – appears to have become a Tweets of the Fortnight feature while there’s not much going on. Here, Rich celebrates some wonderful facemasks, and some wonderful bants about facemasks. Topical.
Finally, we have an interview with TUCS Trust and Torquay Women’s manager Jamie McInness. He talks Dom through the various roles he’s held at the club, the excellent work TUCST do, and the challenges facing the women’s team in recent years. Keeping in touch with the women’s team is something we, at TT, are keen to do, and we hope the club follow suit in supporting them as much as possible.
So that’s what we’ve been up to this month. We hope you’ve enjoyed it, and that this article has pointed you towards one or two interesting or fun pieces. If you have any ideas for features, or fancy making your own contribution to one of the current features, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, Dom or the TT account on Twitter.
COYY – Matty