Harry awards his Player of the Month for April 2021
What a month it has been! Gary was talking at the start of April about how he wanted to win the manager of the month award for April, or should I say club of the month! He knew that would involve us winning the large majority of our games in April and would give us some immense boost going into the last part of the campaign – pulling us right up within the chasing pack for promotion to the EFL and back to the summit of the table. A total of 6 wins and a draw, scoring 11 in the process, and of which all bar one game has consisted of a last 10-minute goal for United (and 3 of those being in the 90+ minutes) has taken us to top spot. It is certainly impressive considering the amount of injuries we still have; Danny Wright of course being side-lined once again! Not to forget the amount of money teams like Hartlepool, Stockport and Chesterfield are chucking at it to be in with a chance of winning the league or the play offs. It has certainly become a competitive league this season (and no one team running away with it), with 4 teams (I believe) in the race to win the division. Whilst Sutton have been knocked off top spot due to their recent dip in form, ourselves, Hartlepool and Stockport have crept up and made it a nail biting finale.
We have played some very good football this month, and without setting the world on fire, we have got the results we have often deserved in games…in the end! This team certainly knows how to keep going, an issue we have often had in the past. The spirit, desire and determination every single one of those players out there wearing yellow has on the pitch accounts for our passionate, team togetherness we have this season. And, I’m sure, we have given a fair few of our fans heart attacks this month, with so many late goals. One story which I do not mind sharing is the way I celebrated the goal in the 97th minute against Aldershot. After being very narked off at the officials for cancelling the award of a rather obvious penalty kick, Boden’s late header rather put all those emotions of anger, excitement and disbelief together which made me jump up, realise my chair wheel had come off and fall onto the floor. Of course, I was in no way bothered by the fact I was lying on the floor at this point, although I doubt my neighbours were too impressed with the cheers, shouts and cries of “Gary Johnson’s Yellow Army” for the next hour or so!
1 – ADAM RANDELL – PLAYER OF THE MONTH
The first player I would like to highlight this month (and in fact consistently all year round) has got to be Adam Randall. This man honestly has some unreal talent and it does not surprise me that Ryan Lowe has him in his plans at Argyle for next season. His ability to pick out a pass, control the game in midfield and create quality opportunities for the team is second to none. I have mentioned this several times to people, but his awareness of the game in certain situations is something which makes him an incredible asset to have. His weak foot crosses have come to be an important aspect to our game- 3 come to mind, one being against Sutton and another two being against Aldershot. These assists are what Gary always describes as creating a quality opportunity and Adam turns what could be a very poor delivery which gets swept away at the near post to a real goal-scoring opportunity that the likes of Asa and Scott have been putting away.
He has the ability of creating a goal-scoring opportunity out of nothing in games, which has meant we have often gone on to win them. Without those touches of brilliance we would have been struggling. My credit also goes out to the lad as he has often been put out wide, an un-natural position for him. But he hasn’t been a shrinking violet, he has stepped up to the plate wherever he has been put and when it has mattered. For a kid the age of 19-20, being sent out on his first proper professional loan, that is an incredible achievement for him. A huge asset in this Torquay United team.
TT PLAYER PROFILE – ADAM RANDELL
Date of Birth: 1st October 2000 – 20 years-old
Former Clubs: Plymouth Argyle (on loan to TUFC)
NL Stats 20-21: Player 36, Goals 2, Bookings 4, Red Cards 1
2 – DEAN MOXEY
My next mention this month has to go to Dean Moxey. Considering he is (in football terms anyway) ‘knocking on’ a bit, the experience this guy has brought to the team this month has been invaluable. His calm and composed defending and experience has reduced our vulnerability on the counter-attack (although not completely eradicating it) and has strengthened our entire back line. His long throw-ins have been a massive asset to us, scoring off them on many occasions- including Wynter against Notts and Sherring against Wrexham. One of the main reasons we have been scoring so late on in games is because we ‘lump’ the ball in the box when we know time is running out, and, although we like to play football on the ground, Moxey is good at doing both. This man has certainly given us some defensive reassurance at nervy times, whilst also helping us going forward with his throw-ins and crosses.
TT PLAYER PROFILE – DEAN MOXEY
Position: Full Back
Date of Birth: 14th January 1986 – 35 years-old
Former Clubs: Exeter City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Bolton Wanderers
NL Stats 20-21: Played 17, Red Cards 1
3 – LUCAS COVOLAN
My third mention this month goes to Lucas Covolan. As much as Shaun (Macdonald) had kept us in many games, it is certainly nice to see Lucas back between the sticks after a long period side-lined due to injury. He has been incredibly reassuring in goal, coming out and commanding his box, alongside making some incredibly valuable saves to either keep us in games or keep us ahead. I do often feel the role of the keeper is overshadowed somewhat by the goal-scorers, but Lucas has stepped up when it has mattered and has contributed to us winning points as much as the other players in the team. His save against Sutton stood out for me; moments after scoring, it looked as though they had taken the lead straight off us, but Covolan was there to reach out a glove and push it out- what a save that could be! He has also allowed us to have the chance to go on and claim our late victories. The positioning and save he made to prevent Toby (Edser) scoring from an Aldershot counter attack in the 90th minute, allowed us to get straight back up the pitch and create another opportunity, to which we took advantage of! He has not only kept us in a game, he has also kept us the lead when we have had it. A very safe pair of hands!
TT PLAYER PROFILE – LUCAS COVOLAN
Date of Birth: 6th June 1991 – 29 years-old
Former Clubs: Vasco, Atletico-PR, Bento Goncalves, Toledo EC, Rio Branco, Whitehawk, Lewes, Worthing
NL Stats 20-21: Played 18, Clean Sheets 8
4 – SAM SHERRING/JOE LEWIS
We cannot possibly write this without mentioning a central defender, so I will mention them both – Joe Lewis and Sam Sherring. Both young lads have little experience of men’s football, but are flourishing under the pressure. They are both well drilled as a unit, work very well alongside each other and certainly command the air well – in fact I think they have probably won 75%+ of their aerial battles. A total of 4 clean sheets and United conceding only 4 goals this month has certainly helped in our quest to win games. Now I am not saying this is just solely down to these two but a goalkeeper is no-one without a strong back line!
TT PLAYER PROFILE – SAM SHERRING
Position: Centre Back
Date of Birth: 8th May 2000 – 20 years-old
Former Clubs: AFC Bournemouth (on loan to TUFC), Weymouth
NL Stats 20-21: Played 36, Bookings 2, Goals 2
5 – CONNOR LEMONHEIGH-EVANS
My final mention goes to Connor (Lemonheigh-Evans). He has been with us a while now and for me this month he has shown why he is still an integral part of this team. His link-up with Randall, Andrews and Hall is very strong and his ability to get us up the pitch, take on a man or two and get us into the opposition’s box has paid dividends. He has also chipped in with a few goals which have all been well composed, tidy finishes. I think it is his energy, pace and skill which separates him from other players in the division, and even though, like most of our players he had a bad few months, he’s certainly pulled it back together when it has mattered most!
TT PLAYER PROFILE – CONNOR LEMONHEIGH-EVANS
Date of Birth: 24th January 1997 – 24 years-old
Former Clubs: Bristol City, Bath City
NL Stats 20-21: Played 36, Goals 8, Bookings 6
International: Wales U17 – 5 caps
Of course, I could have mentioned near enough every player in this months’ awards as they have all contributed towards such a successful run of results, leaving us within touching distance of a return to the EFL. However, I have picked out the players who have shown the most for me this month, and that is not to dis-credit anyone else in this amazing team that we have this year. That was why this became so hard to write as I could have chosen any one of those players this month for a number of reasons and so narrowing it down took some careful consideration.
Let’s hope for an equally successful May and if that is the case then fingers crossed we can win the National League and get promoted to the EFL! I have full faith in Gary and his squad to get us over the line and I cannot wait to be back at Plainmoor for what is looking to be a very mouth-watering final home game against Barnet on the 22nd May. Whatever happens this season, it has been a tremendous campaign and full credit has to go to Gary and the boys for making such an impressive showing of ourselves. If it has to be play offs, then so be it, and I am sure we will be ready for it if that should arise. However, our priority at the moment is on winning the league and it is certainly going to be a month of many twists and turns, but let’s hope come 2:30pm on the 29th May we are a football league club once again.