@ExGulls looks at former Gulls who are on the move this summer
15 ex-Gulls have found a new nest since the suspension of the 2019-20-football season; some have found a new club with a different role on the side, and one has found pastures new on the continent. In this article, we’ll be looking at where some former players will be plying their trade next season.
Jamie Reid, Torquay United to Mansfield Town
Who else could we start with other than the ‘Prince of Plainmoor’, who for a few seasons had found life tough at Plainmoor under Gary Owers, spending most of his time either out of position on the left or collecting splinters from the bench. His fortunes, much like the Gulls, changed when Gary Johnson arrived in October 2018, creating a formidable strike-force with Bristol City loanee Saikou Janneh on the way to the National League South title. When it came to the next season, he continued where he left off, bagging himself 18 league goals. Only Kabongo Tshimanga of Boreham Wood (18) and Scott Quigley of Barrow A.F.C. (20) could either match or score more than Reidy.
As January quickly approached, we all feared he would be thinking about his next step, with apparent interest from Championship strugglers Luton and Huddersfield Town. Many speculated that the Club were left with only two options, selling him for some money in January, or potentially losing him on a free at the end of the season. In the end it turned out to be the latter, and he has earned himself a well-deserved 2-year deal at Field Mill, giving him the chance to show what he can do in the Football League. He no doubt leaves with every Torquay United fans’ best wishes.
Aiden O’Brien, Millwall F.C. to Sunderland A.F.C.
Elsewhere in the Football League, former loanee Aiden O’Brien said goodbye to Millwall F.C. after 12 years at The Den. He played over 225 games for the Lions but felt that the time was right for a new challenge. Sunderland A.F.C. have been fighting for promotion for the last few seasons and will hope to make it third time lucky. O’Brien becomes the Black Cats’ first signing of the summer as Phil Parkinson looks to add to his squad.
Jamie Sendles-White, Crawley Town to Aldershot Town and Josh Rees, Bromley F.C. to Aldershot Town
After being released by Gary Johnson following the 2018-19 campaign, Sendles-White landed himself a one-year deal with League 2 outfit Crawley Town. He was a regular in Sussex towards the end of his time there, but the club opted not to give him a new deal. Jamie quickly found a new team, and has signed for National League side Aldershot Town for the upcoming campaign.
Towards the end of the month Aldershot Town also completed the signing of Josh Rees from Bromley F.C. He spent the 2018-19 season with Gillingham F.C. before returning to Bromley F.C. where he played his best football. During the break he took his mind away from football, and with the new season looming, he has now become the new addition to Danny Searle’s side.
Nathan Blissett, Solihull Moors to Maidenhead United
Whilst Danny Wright has joined Torquay United, reuniting with Gary Johnson and Aaron Downes, another striker who departed Damson Park was Nathan Blissett. The nephew of Watford F.C. legend, Luther Blissett, has joined the side managed by his uncle’s teammate from the early 90s at Watford F.C., Alan Devonshire, at Maidenhead United. A striker who had his best season since leaving Plainmoor last year with Solihull Moors might’ve been a name on a few lips of Gulls fans to come in this year, but with him signing to the Berkshire club alongside Gary Johnson announcing the signings of Danny Wright and Andrew Nelson, that rumour has firmly been put to bed.
Tyrone Marsh, Boreham Wood to Stevenage F.C.
Another striker who has switched National League clubs is Tyrone Marsh, who has joined recently relegated Stevenage F.C. Last season, Marsh had his best season in front of goal, scoring 14 goals for Luke Garrard’s side who fell short in the play-offs. Stevenage F.C. have had a big rebuild ahead of the new season, as Alex Revell’s side are looking to be the favourites for the title next season.
Jean-Yves Koue Niate, Aldershot Town to Aguilas F.C.
The most interesting transfer in this article sees former defender Jean-Y’ves Koue Niate swap North Hampshire for the Spanish region of Murcia, joining one of Spain’s oldest clubs, Aguilas F.C. Last season they played in the Tercera Division Group 13 where they finished 16th before the season was halted. Jean was a well-loved character at Plainmoor and wasn’t scared of picking up a yellow card or two. Despite leaving for Aldershot Town in January, he’s still ended up being Torquay’s dirtiest player from last season. He received 8 yellow cards and 1 red card last season, receiving the latter against Yeovil Town on New Year’s Day.
Scott Rendell, Eastleigh F.C. to Maidstone United
Closer to home, veteran striker Scott Rendell has dropped down to the National League South, joining John Still and former Torquay loanee Hakan Hayrettin at Maidstone United. Rendell was Eastleigh’s third top goal-scorer last season and played in a majority of the games; he appeared in 34 of Eastleigh’s 37 fixturing last campaign. He’ll be hoping to push with The Stones for promotion this season. Last season The Stones missed out on a play-off spot, falling by an agonising 0.07 points on average to Dorking Wanderers who finished 7th.
George Essuman, Concord Rangers to Hemel Hempstead Town
Another transfer in the National League South, George Essuman, has joined Hemel Hempstead Town. He was given an opportunity under Gary Johnson to impress the new boss but found a temporary home at Dulwich Hamlet in January 2019 before being released at the end of the 2018-19 season. He joined Concord Rangers for the new season but soon joined Margate F.C. alongside another ex-Gull, Kadell Daniel. Since the end of the season both have left the club and Essuman has made the move to Hertfordshire to join Hemel Hempstead Town, who, just like Maidstone, look to mount a promotion push next season.
Yan Klukowski, Hungerford Town to Hereford F.C.
This move sees Yan Klukowski look more towards life after his playing career at Hereford FC where he’s joined another ex-Gull, Josh Gowling. Since leaving Plainmoor, Klukowski has been taking some coaching sessions outside of training and playing during his time with Chippenham Town and Hungerford Town. Josh Gowling, after a brief spell as caretaker manager, has been given his first permanent role as manager of the phoenix club. In this role, he’s hoping to push them towards the top of the National League North table after a mid-table finish last time.
Brett Williams, Weymouth F.C. to A.F.C. Totton
Former Gulls captain Williams has had an up-and-down career since leaving Plainmoor for what seems like the final time. He started the season as the club captain in 2018-19 but joined Sutton United when he fell out of favour with Jamie Reid and Saikou Janneh scoring goals for fun. After half a season with Sutton United, he moved to National League South new boys Weymouth F.C., where his 7 goals helped The Terras into a play-off spot. However, he then joined A.F.C. Totton before the play-offs to be a part of their first team, alongside taking up a coaching role with their newly formed academy.
Jared Lewington, Torquay United to Tiverton Town and Alex Fletcher, Plymouth Argyle to Tiverton Town
Tiverton Town have made the double signings of strikers Jared Lewington and Alex Fletcher, to contest stalwart Levi Landricombe, who had an injury-hit season last year. Lewington didn’t have the time at Plainmoor he was hoping for last season, and Gary Johnson thought it was both parties’ best interests to not renew his contract; he has since returned to Ladysmead.
Alex Fletcher has spent most of his senior Argyle career away from Home Park, and last year spent his time with Aldershot Town and Tiverton Town on loan. The latter, where he found success, and after being released by Plymouth Argyle, it seemed like a no-brainer to permanently sign for Tiverton Town.
Ryan Dickson, Torquay United to Truro City
Ryan Dickson was a transfer I think we all saw coming halfway through last season when he joined Truro City on loan. When he came off the bench during the 2018-19 campaign, his experience and leadership was on show, but with injuries hindering his time at Plainmoor, he never had a consistent run with the team and so a loan move away was best for all. It was revealed close towards the end of the season that he wasn’t going to be offered a new deal, and made the move back to his home county Cornwall.
Nathan Craig, Caernorfan Town to Flint Town United
Moving to Wales for the final transfer, we see an ExGull, Midfielder Nathan Craig, who spent a few years with Torquay before returning to Caernarfon. The Welshman made over 200 appearances for his hometown club before deciding to join Cymru Premier new boys Flint Town United on a free transfer for the upcoming season.
TWITTER – @TORQUAYTALK – @torquaytalkpod
INSTAGRAM – torquaytalk
SPOTIFY – TT PLAYLIST – TORQUAYTALK POD
ITUNES – TORQUAYTALK POD
Proud Away Sponsor of Kyle Cameron