Confession time, I only dipped in and out of Saturday’s game at Chesham (and that was only because a free stream appeared on YouTube) but very little seemed to happen during the 90 minutes. I was surprised at the strength of the line-up, and you got the feeling that players were holding some energy back as we approach the Xmas fixtures. In the end it was enough. The only entertainment came from the technical difficulties that Chesham suffered for much of the afternoon, on short notice it was perhaps inevitable! The huge writing that hastily appeared towards the end of the second half was more memorable than the tepid game that’s for sure.
Honestly, I’d never want Torquay to lose a game but the FA Trophy matters very little to me this year. Regaining our league status is huge. Over six years we have toiled below the Football League, and at times it’s felt like we’ll be in non league football forever. But this season is a real chance to make the leap and anything that can distract, tire or injure this promotion chasing squad is a threat rather than an opportunity. If we win the FA Trophy but fall short of going up then Gary Johnson will be disappointed. The remit is clear, promotion is the ultimate ambition – nothing else really matters.
The main positive to come from Saturday was the return of Armani Little and Dean Moxey to the starting line-up. I’ve probably repeated this a number of times to anyone who’ll listen, but it feels like the main threat to us this season is fitness. I know his absence is due to suspension, but we saw how losing Asa Hall made a dent to United’s confidence last Tuesday night, and the squad is strong in quality but it is also compact. Injury luck is required, after last season we are due.
Having Dean back means another leader on the pitch to push us onwards and also the return of Kyle Cameron to centre back (give us a goal to enjoy big man!). No disrespect to either Kerr or Warren, they are both decent defenders – however Cam gives you aggression and pace to shackle strikers from the first minute to the last. Yeovil may be having a dog of a season (evil cackle…), but they can still carry a threat. Xmas derby games occasionally throw up wild occasions, just think back to those Forest Green fixtures when they were flying high and we were struggling. Anything can happen, and the lads need to be focussed like any other game. Gary Johnson will demand it!
The intelligence of Armani Little gives defences more to think about when they’re facing the Gulls, and I’m sure he’ll be involved heavily on Boxing Day. If we start on the front foot like the Wrexham and Maidenhead games, squeeze the match into Yeovil’s half and find our clinical edge then we should have more than enough for the Glovers. It’s been a game in the back of our minds since last year. The embarrassment of Boxing Day 2019 and then losing to 10 men a few days later was tough to swallow! In truth I’ve rarely raged so much as that game at Plainmoor, the lack of fight was excruciating. Time to put this right.
All in all what a year it has been. In a strange way it’s flown by, despite large parts of it dragging! The site has been a welcome distraction from the trials and tribulations of 2020, and I have put my heart and soul into keeping it bubbling with content throughout the year. My contributors have responded magnificently and provided plenty of lovely articles to warm our cockles, and when the time finally arrived to report on TUFC games again we were ready and waiting with open arms. The obsession we have with Torquay United has not been stymied during this year, it’s been strengthened through new friendships and the realisation of what the football normally brings to our lives.
My nostalgic look back at seasons such as 1990-91 and 2007-08 probably brought me the most joy, even if that Exeter City defeat came back into view. I like TorquayTalk to stay in the present normally, but no football gave us no choice, and it was fun to dust off some of the old programmes. Any excuse!
We’ll be pushing hard into 2021 to bring even more content to the table and who knows, perhaps celebrating an easing of COVID restrictions (and hopefully some overall normality returning) with a National League title triumph – open top bus tour around Torquay included! Ah well the latter may be unlikely in this climate, but I’ll happily take the former – whatever celebrations are in order. Football continues to provide an anecdote to the ‘real world’ with it’s ability to transport you away from your troubles, and this year I’ve appreciated that more than ever.
Merry Christmas to all the wonderful Yellow Army. Look after each other and thanks for all the banter and fun you’ve provided in spades this year, it’s helped keep my spirits up! Back our boys to the hilt as always – a fantastic bunch of lads who are doing us proud.
COYY – DOM
My Top 5 TUFC moments of 2020
1 – Wrexham (h). 9 months on and back down to Plainmoor at last – despite the restrictions and changes = pure joy.
2 – Hartlepool (a). Putting down a marker on BT Sports with a game full of attacking bravado and brilliant goals.
3 – Squad re-signings. The likes of Cam, Wynter and Whitfield remaining at Plainmoor showed we were ready to have a go in 2020-21.
4 – Gary Johnson fist pump. Stockport at home, end of the match celebrations directed into the camera. Sweet.
*5 – TUFC 2-0 Chorley. A non-descript game but the last time we attended a game in the normal manner (and with the normal pint!).
*A comfortable win over Yeovil to banish the nightmare of last year will quickly usurp no.5!