TUFC DREAM TEAM
Ian East – @Easters86
Ian picks his TUFC Dream Team
It’s always a fun topic isn’t it a dream team? Rarely anyone’s are the same as we all have our favourites and for different reasons most of the time. This has been harder than I thought it would be but hopefully I’ve explained my rationale behind each player. Enjoy….or argue whatever
GK – BOBBY OLEJNIK
Now as Torquay fans we like to focus on the negatives quite a lot of the time and we think of all the bad ones we’ve had over the years, but we’ve actually been blessed along the way with some very good keepers for a club of our size and at our level. Honourable mentions for Neville Southall, Kevin Dearden (personal fave) Scott Bevan and Michael Poke, but Bobby is the best all-round ‘keeper I’ve seen for us. Solid, dependable and although we only had him for a year he was outstanding.
RB – LEE MANSELL
I’m really sorry Manse, I didn’t want to put you at full back but I want you in the team. This isn’t a position we’ve had lots of options with, maybe even Ben Wynter could be a shout but Manse was a whole-hearted player for us, proper salt of the earth guy who gave his all for us in any position and played a key part getting the club back to the Football League and doing well for us when we got back in.
LB – KEVIN NICHOLSON
Tougher selection, Paul Gibbs was an early favourite of mine and Robbie Herrera was another very good full back for us. Dean Moxey is the best thing we’ve had at left back since Nicho but again for me he’s part of my favourite era of TUFC. A wand of a left foot, always popped up with a few goals or set piece deliveries, another proper Torquay player.
CB – GUY BRANSTON
Personal favourite, made an enormous difference first joining on loan then permanently from Burton. Branno career is one of feast or famine, had loads of clubs but only worked at some. Didn’t work at Burton came to Torquay and was immense. It just suited him perfectly and it was a shame when he left, I reckon he might regret that move to Bradford because no-one else got the Branston that we got. Wouldn’t be in your 5 a-side team but what a proper defender, headed and kicked everything for us when we had the best defence in the division.
CB – CRAIG TAYLOR
Narrowly beats out Steve Woods for me, captain of the promotion side another proper leader and centre half. Not much would get past these 2 CB’s in the air I don’t think, again another position we’ve had lots of good ones. Chris Todd is a personal favourite, Brian Saah, Aaron Downes, could go a bit further back to Darren Moore but I was too young to appreciate him in all truth.
RM – JASON FOWLER
I wanted to put Wayne Carlisle in here because he was such a silky smooth operator on the flank and popped up with a few important goals but Fowler was very much the same if not fractionally better than Wayno, injuries robbed him of his latter career but he was outstanding in the 03-04 promotion season and showed the quality that had him playing at a higher level.
LM – KEVIN HILL
One of the easier selections, Mr TUFC one of the only bright sparks in a traditionally difficult era for TUFC. Deceptively good in the air, always got goals from the flank and all-round legend.
CM – ALEX RUSSELL
The best footballer I’ve seen for TUFC. Would be the creative midfielder in the side, can pass the ball all around the park and was on another level to his team mates for the majority of his 4 years with us. Superb player, should have played higher for longer.
CM – CHRIS HARGREAVES (CAPTAIN)
My captain, leader, warrior scorer of playoff final goals, all action midfielder – just a shame we didn’t get him till he was 35, but Chris was still our best player at 37 which showed his qualities. Absolutely imperative in the promotion season, very much an Asa Hall type, while Asa maybe has a bit more natural ability and definitely more of an eye for goal, Greavsie still ahead of him for me, though..just.
ST – RODNEY JACK
On his day unplayable, which was often in the late 90s, mercurial talent scored 25+ in 98 when we lost in the playoff final to Colchester. Went to Crewe and did well but one of those players that made you wonder “what is he doing playing for us?”.
ST – TIM SILLS
This is maybe a bit of a surprise pick that I’ve left out David Graham, wasn’t easy as he was different class as well and got a move to a higher division and only he knows really why it didn’t work out for him because it should have, but Tim Sills is everything I like in a centre forward. Wins his headers works for the team and crucially gets goals and big goals at that. The year we went up he hadn’t scored for about 10 games, but when it mattered, a goal vs Histon and a goal in the final. Danny Wright is the closest thing we’ve had to Tim since and he is equally important to the current side as Tim was to us for 2 or 3 years.
GK – Neville Southall
DF – Steve Woods
MF – Wayne Carlisle
ATT – David Graham
MF – Eunan O’Kane
Manager – GARY JOHNSON
I was a big fan of Paul Buckle and the team he built along with Martin Ling, but I would take Gary over both in all honesty. We have the best manager in the division and that will always give us a chance.