GARY JOHNSON’S TUFC INCOMINGS by Dom Roman

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Dom_Roman

Dom Roman – @DomRoman

As we await signings I rate all of Gary Johnson’s incomings since he arrived at Plainmoor..

GOALKEEPERS

Lucas Covolan – Rating: 4/5

Lucas who? Aah that goal-scoring keeper chap who left us a few days after the play-off final. But seriously the Brazilian proved a lot over his time at Plainmoor, maturing into a dependable no.1 and silencing doubters who preferred Mac. I’ve blogged about him already so I’ll keep it short, good luck at Port Vale Lucas.

James Hamon/Marcin Brzozowski – 2 

Two capable looking goalkeepers, the bets are on Hamon returning in place of MacDonald.

Chadwick - Covolan
Photo courtesy of Chadwick Photography

FULL BACKS

Ryan Law – 3/5

With Dean Moxey out injured it was de-ja-vu at United as we struggled again without our experienced first choice at left back. Youngster Law came in from Argyle and did a fair job deputising for Mox. A player who’ll probably be linked with a return in the future.

Jackson Longridge – 4

Longridge arrived with a good reputation and left with a good reputation, showing welcome aggression and fitness up the left hand side. A player we would surely have welcomed back again if it was possible.

Ramarni Medford-Smith – 1

Liam Davis’s absence from the TUFC side left a big hole that we struggled to fill. Young loan man Medford-Smith looked promising, but struggled to adapt to first team football and didn’t stay long at Plainmoor.

Dean Moxey – 4

Gary Johnson wanted more experience in his squad for 20-21, so signing Dean Moxey was a no-brainer. The full back went onto have a good season at Plainmoor, struggling with fitness at times but also showing his quality (and long throws) in many of our biggest games.

CENTRE BACKS

Robbie Cundy – 2/5

Robbie Cundy’s time at Plainmoor was highlighted by some very strong performances and some absolutely stinking performances. To be fair to the lad he kept plugging away and earned a loan move to League One last season.

Fraser Kerr – 2

The Scots defender joined in the summer of 2020, and admittedly hampered by injuries, never commanded a regular place in the line-up. Never looked very steady in the games he did play.

Joe Lewis – 4

Lewis originally joined on loan from Swansea City and made a fine impression on everyone at centre and full back. GJ was quick to snap the defender up in January this year to reinforce our squad, and with Kyle Cameron picking up an injury, his partnership with Sam Sherring became a key factor in United almost winning promotion. 

Jamie Sendles-White – 3

Jamie Sendles-Quite Good. JSW bolstered Johnson’s squad in 18-19, and settled in well enough despite some uncertain early appearances. In the end he showed his character in some key games, but it wasn’t enough to earn a new contract from GJ.

Sam Sherring – 5

Sam Sherring was terrific last season, playing like a veteran and becoming an ever-present. One of Gary Johnson’s best signings for TUFC and someone who should be destined to be an EFL player, even though I’d prefer him back here.

Gary Warren – 3

Veteran Warren slotted in well alongside Kyle Cameron in 19-20, so it was no surprise when he reappeared for 20-21. In the end his appearances were limited (and so was his pace), but I’m sure his experience did help behind the scenes.

Thomas Lang SUtton Lewis
Photo Courtesy of Thomas Lang

MIDFIELDERS

Matt Buse – 3/5

Busey’s last kick as a TUFC player was a terribly sad one. The ex-Taunton lad deserved more from his time at Plainmoor, as he plugged gaps when required and never let the side down. A solid professional.

Lloyd James – 1

James made his debut in the Trophy and looked competent enough in midfield. But after that, much like the team, his confidence dipped and his lack of fitness showed. Not the playmaker we were hoping for.

Connor Lemonheigh Evans – 5

The Welshman had been at Plainmoor the previous season under Owers, so we already knew his qualities as a player when he returned under GJ in 2019. He became a key player in the NLS title winning season, then struggled with injuries before having a fantastic 2020-21 full of special moments. Hopefully the midfield maestro will be leading the charge again for promotion in 21-22.

Armani Little – 3

Armani Little – hit or miss? Well I’d have to sway towards the latter so far. He showed his repertoire with fantastic goals versus Plymouth and Barnet, but then injuries have hampered him ever since. In the end he did command a place in the promotion chasing team, but rarely inspired confidence. A new contract has been offered after a good display in the final, so the boss has definitely got faith in him. 

Adam Randell – 5

One of the best youngsters we’ve had at Plainmoor in a very long time. Not much more to say about Adam Randell, he was just unreal last season and we’ll all be keeping an eye on how he does at Home Park.

Max Sheaf – 1

Sheaf looked like he could be a handy signing early in 2021, but in the end his loan spell came to little as he fell away from the squad and never returned.

Frank Vincent – 3

Frank joined in January 2019 to boost our options in midfield, and slotted in nicely. The midfielder returned for 19/20 and played 20 times for the Gulls that season, showing versatility and calmness on the ball. A tidy player.

 

David Holmes Randell and Wynts
Photo Courtesy of David Holmes

WINGERS

Jake Andrews 3/5

I think Jake has struggled to win GJ’s trust since being at Plainmoor. The gaffer rarely keeps him in the side for long and preferred Kyle Cameron in the play-offs. The left winger did enough last season to give hope for the future, scoring some lovely goals and making others with pinpoint crosses. I think we’ll all be glad to have this rascal back and look forward to more free kick specials.

Amrit Bansal-McNulty – 0

A nippy little winger on loan? A regular occurrence over the years at Torquay! Amrit could play a bit, but made no impact at Plainmoor.

Kalvin Kalala – 4

Kalvin looked like a 10/10 signing during 2018-19, boy could he play! Zigzagging through defences and creating goals at will. But when defences became stronger in 2019-20 he couldn’t make the same impact, and seemingly hasn’t found a club since.

Aaron Nemane – 4

Ex-Man City youngster Nemane joined a TUFC team struggling with injuries and had an inconsistent few months before COVID struck. Having improved his fitness and confidence, Aaron showed what he was all about in 20-21. Driving the team forward, creating chances and scoring some nice goals. As we all know injury struck and who knows if the winger will be back for 21-22?

Lucas Tomlinson – 0

A tricky little winger to deputise for Aaron Nemane? Definitely little but in the end barely used by Gary Johnson, so hard to judge Lucas.

Ben Whitfield – 4

Boy did we miss this lad towards the end of this season. Ben came in during 19-20 and was a breath of fresh air on the wing, with all his enthusiasm and desire on show week after week. This season was no different as he ran full backs ragged and alongside Aaron Nemane, forged a brilliant wing partnership. Then injuries cropped up, with perhaps the lad’s heavy workload taking it’s tole. But nevertheless still an excellent signing by GJ.

DSC_2553
Photo courtesy of Adam Williams.

STRIKERS

Adebayo Azeez – 3/5

With Jamie requiring some help upfront, ex-Gulls striker Azeez was brought in on loan from Newport. In the end it wasn’t a long spell due to COVID, but the striker worked hard and scored on his debut to beat Halifax.

Scott Boden – 3

Shit-housing his current team Chesterfield and that goal at Aldershot were the highlights on Boden’s spell at Plainmoor. So that’s worth a 6 alone. He did a decent job when called upon and scored 6 goals, so not a bad return.

Louis Britton – 2

The Bristol City youngster burst onto the scene with a late show stealing performance versus Stockport last October. After that the striker never really caught fire at United, and was replaced by Billy Waters after returning to Bristol.

Manny Duku – 1

Manny Duku’s CV looked impressive enough when he arrived in 2019 and pre-season friendlies saw him do well. But after the season start the striker never got going, there was plenty of effort but he frankly couldn’t hit a barn door for the Gulls. A big disappointment.

Saikou Janneh – 4

Saikou arrived on loan in 2018 and showed no fear, striking up a partnership with Reidy that propelled us to the title. The next season he returned to much acclaim but couldn’t make the same impact in the National League. However, fond memories of the 18-19 season remain.

Benji Kimpioka – 2

The late miss against Bromley still sends a little shiver through my bones when I think about it! Benji couldn’t find the back of the net at Plainmoor, but has potential as his career develops.

Jared Lewington – 1

Jared looked to be a panic buy from GJ as injuries hit home in the middle of the 19-20 season. The striker made a handful of appearances, and showed plenty of effort, but looked out of depth in the National League.

Andrew Nelson – 0

Has a player ever spent a whole season after joining the Gulls, without actually making it onto the field? Friendlies apart, an injury curtailed his United career before it began. Zero games, zero marks.

Rob Street – 0

Dear me, Rob Street just made no impression in his time at Plainmoor. Hard to pick out anything the striker added and a real disappointment in a time when we needed much more.

Mo Touray – 0

Blink and you missed him. Took weeks to make an appearance in 2019 and it wasn’t worth the wait – all a bit of a mystery.

Josh Umerah – 2

Josh really impressed in pre-season last year with lively performances, but despite some promising moments never gained the faith of Gary Johnson in the 20-21 season. A rough diamond who’ll hopefully find a first team place and faith in him somewhere else.

Billy Waters – 3

Waters was often derided last season for his quality on the ball and some missed chances, but the striker did manage 8 goals for the Gulls and did his bit as we battled for the title. The less said about that penalty the better, I wish him well for the future.

Danny Wright – 4

Wrighty’s signing had been nailed on for weeks before it happened last summer. Did the veteran player still have anything left in the tank? After a slow start the striker soon found harmony with the likes of CLE and Whitfield, as United buzzed merrily to the top of the table. His injury on Boxing Day was perhaps one of the most poignant moments of the National League season, as the Gulls would surely have not been caught with Danny up top. The play-offs brought celebration and then misery for the striker, but he’ll be determined to have a good crack at it again next season.

Wright
Danny Wright – Photo courtesy Graham Scambler

COYY – 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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