TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Football. At last! Weekends in October/November just don’t make sense to me without the Gulls playing. But we’re back, with a massive NL clash against Dover (massive may be stretching it a tad) this Saturday. Game 14 of the National League season for Torquay United, let’s delve into the pre-match talking points..
Dover AFC have only three draws from 13 league games (and lost to Yate Town in the FA Cup), so let’s be honest any result other than a TUFC win would be rather shambolic. However, we’ve all seen Torquay United struggle against lowly teams before, and if the team do not approach this game with the right attitude and with the right aggression, then it could happen again. With a decent crowd likely and United needing points to start inching up the league, the motivation should be there to put in a winning performance. No complacency please lads, go get those three points.
ACE BACK IN THE PACK?
After a spell on the sidelines, Dover could be the game when Asa Hall returns to skipper the Gulls. Before injury, the skipper had struggled to recapture his fantastic form from last season, but the leadership he gives the Gulls has been missed and there’s plenty of time this season for Asa to get his mojo back. What that would mean for the line-up is anyone’s guess, as CLE, Little and Lapslie are all quality players who deserve to be included (Chiori Johnson has also done well in midfield recently). Danny Wright and Jake Andrews must also be getting close to full fitness, so the squad news at Plainmoor will be eagerly awaited…even if it’s won’t include the absent Sinclair Armstrong and the departing Alex Addai.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR HOLMAN & LOLOS
With Sinclair sadly unavailable due to an international call-up, Dan Holman and Klaidi Lolos have a great chance to take his mantle upfront and add to their goals tally against a Dover team who have conceded 31 goals in 13 National League games and 9 in their last two (Stockport and Southend the opposition). With options limited, I’d imagine both strikers will be called upon and if the Gulls can hit their stride (which is never a sure thing) opportunities should present themselves. Dan Holman has taken part in every game this season, with Gary Johnson clearly believing he’ll come good eventually. Meanwhile Klaidi Lolos is slowly making his presence known at Torquay, and I’ll look forward to seeing his twinkle toes on Saturday.
MOORE MOORE MOORE
With our wingers failing to impress Gary Johnson this season, and more recently an uncomfortably imbalanced 4-3-3 formation fielded, the signing of Byron Moore looks a good one. The right winger featured heavily for Plymouth Argyle last season and should be able to make an impact in the National League once fit. A partnership on the right side with Ben Wynter could give United a nice balance of width and a bit of pace, which have all been sorely missed since the days of Whitfield and Nemane. Just a shame that Alex Addai has left, as the wings had real potential to take United forward, but it clearly wasn’t to be! Watch out for another loan signing and another winger, I expect GJ will push to get one in very soon.
FREE TICKETS FOR NHS
Non-football related, but the clubs offer of free tickets to NHS workers and care staff for the Dover match is another nice gesture (following on from the Community Day) and hopefully the take up will be good. There’s no harm in making such offers, getting people through the turnstiles who might not make the trip otherwise, and forging a better connection between the community and the Gulls. That connection has always been difficult to maintain – the Gulls just don’t capture the imagination of the Torbay public enough unless they are doing very well, and that’ll probably always be the case. In the meantime well done to Torquay United and see you all at Plainmoor.
COYY – Dom