Joseph Pope


Joseph Pope – @OffTheLineBlog

Joseph casts his eyes over wingers and strikers who could be on Gary Johnson’s radar this summer


With Aaron Nemane supposedly not yet agreeing to stay on the south coast and holding-midfielder turned right-winger Adam Randell returning to Argyle and not likely to return, that leaves Jake Andrews as the only real winger on the books at present and so this is one area that Gary Johnson will have to look at strengthening during the summer. Here are four wingers that I think may well be in the reckoning, and I choose the one player who I think may already be on their way to Plainmoor.

Enzio Boldewijn (released by Notts County)

That would be the ultimate response to losing Kyle Cameron to Notts County, wouldn’t it? Boldewijn was released at the end of the campaign, to somewhat of a surprise to Magpies fans it must be said, and he is someone that I think could fit well into our side. Adept on either flank, he is primarily better when coming in off the left and getting the ball onto his right, and so perhaps represents a good replacement for Ben Whitfield, who also looks to be on his way. He is strong and skilful, good with the ball at his feet and running at players and is not adverse to the odd goal from range too.


Position: Winger

Date of Birth: 17th November 1992 – 28 years-old

Height: 1.85m

Former Clubs: FC Utrecht, FC Den Bosch, Almere City, Crawley Town, Notts County

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 39, Goals 7, Bookings 3

Play-Offs – Played 2, Goals 0, Bookings 0

Ricky Korboa (released by Northampton Town)

Who, I hear you ask? Well, if you are the avid fan of lower non-league as I am, you will know that Korboa has dazzled in the non-league scene for Carshalton Athletic over the past couple of years and such form earned him a move to then-League One side Northampton Town at the start of the campaign. If Nemane doesn’t return, he would be the perfect replacement, as Korboa offers trickery, pace and real energy on the right hand-side, and in keeping with one of the givens of a Johnson side is that he is capable of playing in a front two as well. It is perhaps unfair to say he is similar to Nemane, as I am sure he holds his game in higher regard than lowering himself to a rival player, but he is someone that clearly has a future in the game as a non-league starlet and with the knowledge of Gary and Pete in giving chances to non-league players, he may well fit the mould of what they are looking for.


Position: Winger

Date of Birth: 2nd August 1996 – 24 years-old

Height: 1.78m

Former Clubs: Carshalton Athletic, Northampton Town

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 16, Goals 2, Bookings 1

Lamine Kaba Sherif (released by Accrington Stanley)

Another name that is perhaps not that familiar, Kaba Sherif was released at the end of the campaign by Accrington Stanley. He is another that I think is very much In a similar mould to Nemane in that he also has real pace to burn, has the intricate, tricky demeanour to glide past players and stretch the opposition, and similarly comes from a good grounding during his younger years at Leicester City. He is only 22 years of age, and while he has featured for Stanley, he may well be looking for that break and regular playing time now that we gave to Nemane at Plainmoor. He is a skilful player who is good at taking players on, and I think could be worth an outside shout.  


Position: Winger

Date of Birth: 27th January 1999 – 22 years-old

Height: 1.77m

Former Clubs: Leicester City, Accrington Stanley

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 8, Goals 0, Bookings 1

MY CHOICE: James Dayton (released by Leyton Orient)

The final winger in this selection is someone that I would put a good amount of money on being the actual winger that we go for. Gary Johnson is not adverse to using the connection of former players, with Danny Wright, Billy Waters, Asa Hall and Aaron Downes having all been a part of his Robins title-winning side, and Dayton is another component of this. He is someone that Gary will know very well, with Dayton playing for Cheltenham as they won the National League and also played for Gary’s son Lee at Oldham. Dayton is a left-winger by trade, and given that it looks very likely that Whitfield will not be a Yellow next term, Dayton would be – in my opinion – a good replacement. He is experienced, having won two promotions from this level, and perhaps with that brings a more reliable edge to his game. Whether or not he gets another EFL offer remains to be seen, and so in that case I think a move to Devon may well be in the offing – shall I start the car?


Position: Winger

Date of Birth: 12th December 1988 – 32 years-old

Height: 1.71m

Former Clubs: Crystal Palace, Yeovil Town, Crawley Town, Kilmarnock, Oldham, St Mirren, Cheltenham, Leyton Orient

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 12, Goals 0, Bookings 0


Danny Wright has thankfully extended his stay in Devon after an impressive campaign, but with Billy Waters, Josh Umerah and Andrew Nelson all departing at the end of the season and Olaf Koszela not yet ready to be playing week-in, week-out as a starter for a side wanting to be pushing for a return to the Football League, Gary Johnson will want to look to strengthen his attacking armoury, and so here are a few players who I think could be on his radar.

Matt Green (released by Grimsby Town)

The first player on this list is one well-known to Torquay United fans having spent the best part of two seasons in Devon, and was released at the end of the year by Grimsby Town. He is 34, but that not does represent a sticking point for me as we have seen ourselves that age is not a problem with Danny Wright, and I think that Green – alongside perhaps a young player on-loan – with Wright would be a good mix of forwards. Green is vastly experienced, and has got out of this division three times before, something I think is key when recruiting in our situation. He perhaps not an energetic, pressing forward that many would like, but I’d rather have one that is hallmarked by a cleverness and sharpness in the box rather than their redeeming feature being that they can ‘run about a bit’ and work hard. This could be a case of ‘look what you could have won’ for The Mariners, and may well be a good option to explore.


Position: Striker

Date of Birth: 2nd January 1987 – 34 years-old

Height: 1.83m

Former Clubs: Newport County, Cardiff, Darlington, Oxford Utd, Torquay, Cheltenham, Mansfield, Birmingham, Lincoln, Salford, Grimsby

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 28, Goals 3, Bookings 3

Diego De Girolamo (contracted to Buxton United)

I love the lower leagues in non-league and so I have turned to them for inspiration for my second striker, with Italian Diego De Giralmo getting on this list. In truth, I think Johnson will still look to pursue Wright as the main man next season – and with reason to as well – so whoever he brings in I think will have to be content with a spot on the bench more often than not, and so a gamble on someone like De Giralmo may be worthwhile. He knows Johnson from their time at Cheltenham Town, and has really developed over the last few seasons with Buxton United. He is a small, nippy striker and so I think would complement Danny Wright really well. His goal-record at the moment speaks for itself in that I think he is too good for the level he is at, so why not a move to the sunny south coast instead?


Position: Striker

Date of Birth: 5th October 1995 – 25 years-old

Height: 1.78m

Former Clubs: Sheff Utd, York City, Northampton, Bristol City, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Macclesfield

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 8, Goals 8

Jamie Reid (contracted to Mansfield Town)

What, I am not going for Jamie Reid as my pick of the forwards on this list? No. I would hope that Johnson has enough self-pride and is intelligent enough to find someone a bit better than having to return to someone that turned us down last summer. However, given the rumours as to his potential return and Mansfield Town signing some additional forwards already this term, there will be questions raised as to whether he may make a return. Personally, I would steer clear of Reid, as I would like to see us go for someone a bit different, as there are no guarantees that Reid takes to National League life as well as he did the first time around. Obviously, he has got a good goal-scoring record for us and if he was able to replicate that then he would represent a good addition, but I think we have actually benefited from having a team of players all able to chip in with goals as oppose to having to don our cap on one player to get us out of trouble, and so I would shut the door on that enquiries. Besides, I think that he will feature for Nigel Clough next year.


Position: Striker

Date of Birth: 15th July 1994 – 26 years-old

Height: 1.81m

Former Clubs: Exeter City, Dorchester, Weymouth, Torquay United

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 38, Goals 6, Bookings 3

MY CHOICE: Ajay Leitch-Smith (released by Morecambe)

My choice, however, to be our new addition upfront is Ajay Leitch-Smith. He is always a striker I have admired greatly and thought he is a really clever player. He is another player to have played under Johnson before during his time at Yeovil Town, and someone who has gone a bit under the radar. He featured infrequently in the Morecambe side that was promoted this term, and made his name as part of the Crewe Alexandra side that was promoted from League Two. He brings a versatility to be able to play across the front line and in a number of different positions, and links the play very well. In many regards, he is a bit like Scott Boden, but much more clever and intricate with his play. He is not necessarily blessed with pace, but is technically very good and is a worker. He is very intelligent, and you need that If you are to go up. I think he would be a great addition.


Position: Striker

Date of Birth: 6th March 1990 – 31 years-old

Height: 1.73m

Former Clubs: Crewe, Halifax, Newcastle Town, ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar, Curzon Ashton, Yeovil, Port Vale, Shrewsbury, Dundee, Morecambe

League Stats 20-21: League – Played 5, Goals 1, Bookings 1


COYY – Joseph








INSTAGRAM – torquaytalk





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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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