TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
The Ed discusses talking points from the game versus Tiverton
The fourth 2021 friendly on Tuesday night and my first in the flesh assessing the Torquay United squad for the coming season. Fantastic to be back in amongst the Yellow Army, putting the world to rest with mates and pushing away from those Ashton Gate memories. Definitely time to move on!
Anyway here’s my talking points from what was an enjoyable night at Ladysmead…
1 – HOLMAN (TRIALIST B)
After Dan Holman made an appearance versus Argyle last Saturday, there was plenty of scepticism about another ex-Cheltenham player re-joining Gary Johnson at Plainmoor. However, at Ladysmead Holman showed he meant business. The 31 year-old initially struggled to impact the game at first in a front 3 with Lolos and Koszela, but an excellent cut in from the left and top corner finish illustrated what he’s capable of. Then a timed run to win a penalty and cool spot kick finish put a cherry on top of his 1st half performance. Plenty of food for thought for Gary Johnson, as another striker is a must (maybe two) before the season starts. Does the experienced striker represent our best value option or are we better looking elsewhere? GJ won’t be rushed into any decisions I’m sure.
2 – THE SEARCH FOR A CENTRE BACK CONTINUES
Four centre backs were used on Tuesday night, but only one looked capable of National League football – unsurprisingly that was Joe Lewis, who was his usual sturdy self in the second half. The Tivvy strikers gave Trialist C and Louis Slough plenty of problems in the 1st half. Trialist C was too slow, indecisive and not nearly fit enough on that performance, whilst Louis Slough can clearly play but in contrast to Mr C, needs to bulk up for the challenge of first team football – otherwise he’ll be outmuscled too often in the National League. Trialist D did a little better in the 2nd half, but had the advantage of Wynts, Lewis and Moxey alongside him. A little ungainly, he didn’t stand out to me either. Other options required, let’s face it the wait goes on to see if Mr Sherring will return – that would be just the ticket.
3 – OLAF KOZSELA
Olaf started on the right of a front three, and made barely a ripple in the 1st half, finding little space and little possession as the Yellow Army encouraged him on. Is the young chap a striker or a winger? Is he capable of standing out in a Gulls team this season? Can he be a super sub? The jury is very much out on all fronts. Gary Johnson has stated his belief in the attacker and is clearly desperate for him to make the step up to the first team, but he’ll have to do much better than Tuesday night. The Ashley Yeoman comparisons loom large, I dearly hope Olaf can find his niche and footing in this Torquay squad – in the words of Elvis, it’s Now or Never.
4 – TRIALIST A
A for effort, and A for professionalism. This chap impressed in previous games, and barely put a foot wrong at Tiverton. Cool and calm at right back, Mr A looked very much a first team player, defending solidly and also distributing in an unfussy manner. Onto the second half and a move to midfield was taken in his stride, with strong work rate and a willingness to get forward. Looks highly motivated and versatile to me, and whilst not being the biggest, I’d say a contract is a no-brainer for this guy who could be a valuable squad player for 2021-22. Nice job.
5 – MOYSE AND PIPER
Sometimes young players just look ready for 1st team action, and Alex Moyes is one of them. I have no love for the Grecians but they know how to produce talented players, and the ex-City midfielder can definitely play. Not the tallest but physically well built, the young lad has a swagger about him and wasn’t afraid to conduct possession for United on Tuesday night. Too often his passes didn’t find their mark, but his intentions were good, so was his confidence. A player who could make a big impact as the 21-22 season progresses. Meanwhile Scott Piper arrived in the second half on the wing and had the youthful enthusiasm you expect, but also some tight knit skills, pace and close control to go with it. Physically not as developed as Moyes, his time will probably have to wait, but a promising substitute spell from Scott.
6 – INCOMINGS
At the moment we have a strong squad, but the ultimate success of our 21-22 could hinge on the signings we make in the next few weeks. Sounds a little melodramatic I know, but I think the squad just lacks some x-factor at the moment that could make us proper contenders. Luckily for us Gary Johnson can be trusted to add what we need to the mix, so let’s judge this squad come the 21st August at Plainmoor. I can’t wait for that one, friendlies are all very well but performances from then on are all that counts.
COYY – Dom