TT BLOG – Back at Plainmoor by Thomas Kelly

TT BLOG

Thomas

Thomas Kelly – @Tommyktufc

Not long to go now Gulls fans! Tomorrow fans will once again be back inside fortress Plainmoor.

Some of us were fortunate enough to be able to return to Plainmoor towards the latter end of last year, whilst for others it will be their first return home in a very long time. I wrote an article on TorquayTalk about my matchday experience at returning to Plainmoor after our 3-1 win at home to Wrexham and describing my feelings about how good it was to be back. It was quite an emotional feeling back then and it probably will be again on Saturday. Covid 19 took away a huge outlet for so many people. Matchday weekends just didn’t feel the same knowing that we couldn’t attend and as good as our streams have been, it can never replace that Plainmoor matchday feeling.

Let’s just say, I’ve missed Plainmoor & I bet you have too. My excitement level has grown ever since I was able to get my ticket. It was worth the stress after hours of continuous failed attempts & slow, slow access to the ticketing site.

Dom has asked me to share the things that I am looking forward to about the Barnet game the most and hopefully they resonate with you as well.

Catching up with friends & family pre/post match

Watching football at home being played in empty stadiums during the season showed me how much that as much as I enjoy watching football, it’s the stuff that happens before & after the game that I enjoy just as much (and sometimes more when the football result goes against us!). Just chatting football nonsense, catching up over a few beers, it’s all part of the matchday experience that I’ve missed so much. With the current social distancing guidelines meaning that we will all be spread out and possibly not in our usual spots in normal circumstance, it won’t feel quite right, but hopefully we can get back to a position for next season that we can regain some form of normality on a matchday at Plainmoor.

Being able to express my gratitude to the entire squad and management for what has been a truly excellent season (so far!)

What Gary Johnson has done since he entered the club back on Sept 2018 is nothing short of incredible. A team on their lowest ebb, struggling to perform to their expectations as the only full time outfit in the NLS, languishing in 14th place, it all looked pretty hopeless until Gary came along. Suddenly we had belief, we began winning games, scored an absolute hatful of goals and most importantly, we won the league & promotion back to the National League at the first time of asking. Last season the signs were there that the club had the quality to fight for another promotion and this season, Gary has steered us to a title challenge which still isn’t over. To be saying that we would be disappointed to end up in the play-offs is testament to the work that the whole squad has put in this season and whatever the result on Saturday, I hope we all share our appreciation and let the lads know we are right behind them to the very end.

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Traveling 170 miles for a home game/Travelling to Plainmoor

Those who know me will know how much I love to travel. My job is travelling to and from different countries as an air steward. Due to obvious reasons, I don’t do a lot of that right now and have a bit more free time on my hands. To actually have a weekend planned to travel to the Westcountry, to now be allowed to stay with family members over the weekend, catch up with friends & family and watch Torquay play, it’s a very exciting prospect. I know a change of scenery will do me the world of good and I know it will do for the many exiles also travelling to the game as well.

The Plainmoor roar!

When I attended the Wrexham game, there were 975 fans in attendance. The atmosphere that day was strange and I mean that not in a bad way. Fans were encouraged not to shout or chant too much, the wearing of face masks was strictly enforced (which I thought was great.) and although I was in the Popside, it wasn’t my usual spot. It felt weird. Then just before kick off, the first chant in unison across all four sides of Plainmoor grew louder. “YELLOW ARMY! YELLOW ARMY!”. It brought a smile underneath the mask. Then the goal and the crowd roared in celebration. That moment that everybody had been waiting for for so long. I can’t describe how good that moment felt. To know that we will have almost double that number of fans at Plainmoor on Saturday knowing that a win keeps the pressure on Sutton on Sunday, I’m expecting a much better atmosphere and hopefully plenty for us to cheer about come full time.  

That first pre-match pint

Boots & the Gulls Nest may be closed, but that won’t stop me and my friends from enjoying that first pre-match pint(s). It’s a shame that the club are unable to open either but that’s the situation. I’m sure those of us who want a drink or seven will find a place to be social and responsibly enjoy a few pre/post match beers. I look forward to my first pint of cider around lunchtime Saturday! (Hint hint Dom!!)

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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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