Dom Roman – @DomRoman
“Something in our DNA doesn’t allow TUFC to accept mediocrity”
Nine games left to turn this season that has looked destined for mid-table, into something rather special. The Gulls have been written out of the play-off script more than a recurring Eastenders character, but have clawed themselves back into the reckoning with grit and determination that’s made me proud to be a supporter – refusing to lie down and refusing to wilt into a mid-table stupor. Something in the club’s DNA doesn’t allow TUFC to be medicore! Sound reasoning suggests that sometimes we should accept it, but the chaotic nature of United is different to most clubs and whether we’re good or bad you can never write off a rollercoaster end to a Gulls season.
So what fixtures have we got left to look forward to?
HOME – Notts County, Eastleigh, Chesterfield and Maidenhead
AWAY – Woking, Dagenham, Grimsby, Stockport and Southend
How many points do we need? Around 20 points from 9 games gives us a great chance, so at least 6 wins are required to put us in the mix.
It’s a tough run-in. Eastleigh represents on paper our easiest 3 points, whilst Maidenhead should be a win…but Alan Devonshire’s team have a habit of being party poopers, and old foes Woking would love nothing better than to put a dagger into our hopes at the Kingsfield.
Notts County, Dagenham and Grimsby are all 6 pointers if we’re still in contention by the time we play them, whilst Chesterfield are tough, but not the same team without Kabongo Tshimanga. That leaves Stockport and Southend away to finish, how exciting would it be to take it to the wire? Very!
My thoughts are that we’ve just got too much to do and we’ll fall a little short (how Gary Johnson would love to just have another few points on the board). I think we’ll keep fighting and win at least 4 of the last nine, ending up on around 67 points, which would be a decent total considering everything that has gone on. Momentum to take into the summer, one in which GJ will hopefully revamp the squad ready for a proper promotion tilt in 2022-23.
But you can take my predictions with a pinch of salt, because anything is possible in the crazy game of football. A win over County would certainly ruffle some feathers to start with….
Armani Little and Ben Wynter looked pretty good in that England kit this week didn’t they…..just a shame the match was disastrous! Gathering a group of random NL players together for a couple of days of training is unlikely to result in something spectacular, and so it proved. Thankfully for our part, neither of these important players were injured and can return to the much more important business of National League fixtures.
Little has returned to his best form in recent weeks. He had been disrupted by injury and just lost some sparkle in his game, but unsurprisingly it didn’t take long for the midfield maestro to rediscover it. It’s been a journey of a season for Armani and one he’ll look back on with great pride I think.
Initially he looked uneasy becoming captain in Asa’s absence and with the crowd getting on his back, it was almost like he was trying too hard to prove himself and trying too hard to show what a good player he was.
However, he now looks much more assured in a Torquay shirt and more confident is his ability. The midfielder is picking the right ball rather than looking for something stunning when it’s not on, sharpening up his distribution and waiting for the right opportunities to arrive. He’s also working more cleverly off the ball for his team mates and creating space for those around him. This shows a maturity in his game and an improved focus, add to that his ability to hit the back of the net, stronger fitness and we’ve got a better version of Armani Little than ever. A key man.
Meanwhile Ben Wynter has been absolutely splendid in recent months and deserved his call-up to England C. Now on over 150 games for United, he’s the type of player we need more of at Torquay – mentality strong, a player who is ready to play week after week and of course consistent. Gary Johnson would love to find some more of that ilk this summer and Wynts deserves all the praise and recognition he is getting. Well done Ben.
The TT YouTube channel has been bubbling along nicely for a few months now, with the latest ‘Gull’s Eye View’ being our 18th of the season. Our amenable and busy host Sam Swann keeps evolving the content, whilst at the same time flicking and re-adjusting his hair, who says men can’t multi-task?!
My involvement has increased as the weeks have gone by. An initial reluctance (and shyness) to get involved has now been overcome, and even if I’m still more suited to blogging it’s been a lot of fun. I think our latest episode is our strongest yet (link below), with a more relaxed ‘chatting down the pub’ kind of vibe starting to set in as we become more accustomed to the dreaded Zoom. Our latest guest Chris Wade always has plenty to say and I recommend giving it a watch.
The content will continue, and we’ll try and diversify into some different TUFC-related topics once the season ends. The platform has given TT a new lease of life I think, so if you enjoy YouTube, then subscribe to the channel and see what we have to offer – I can promise opinions if nothing else.