Season in Review: The TT Team Vote for Their 2021/22 Highlights.

Luke_Hunter

Luke Hunter – @lukehunter8


Luke’s Summary: A Collective Breathe.

I have often found myself clamouring for a season of midtable mediocrity, given that it is something Torquay United fans so, so rarely get to ‘enjoy’. For the most part, this psyche is probably driven by the emotional whirlwind we tend to find ourselves in come what May – it is at times unbearable. I believed for a significant spell that this season would again subject us to that fate – but unfortunately, I was guilty of focusing on the shortcomings of our playoff chasing congeners (Boreham, Bromley, *almost* Chesterfield) rather than our own. 

Understandably, there’s disappointment that we fell short this season, perhaps amplified by 20th June 2021, or maybe because of our turn of form in the middle months. Either way, I am finding myself taking stock and keeping context along a slightly longer scale. It is just four years since relegation to the National League South – and for me, this season still represents progress in that regard – I vividly remember thinking that relegation could change the dynamic of the club, and it did, but not in the way I expected and not until Gary Johnson and Aaron Downes entered the picture.

Nevertheless, stretch that context a little bit further and we find ourselves preparing for an eighth consecutive season in the non-league; a length of time that draws a sigh and leaves me questioning ‘how has it been that long?’ – but, last season GJ and AD recalibrated our expectations; we are once again a club capable of challenging for the league status that befits it. Given the mess we found ourselves in when they arrived, that is an accomplishment and one that earns them a season – this season – to relay the foundations, draw breathe and consolidate.

That is how I’m personally summarising 21/22 – a collective breathe. There is absolutely no way that between Ashton Gate in June and Altrincham in August, this club could have physically and mentally been ready to go again. Moreover, we were the last to reach the transfer market and there was surely not a worse prepared team in the pyramid when it comes to time on the training ground. To be honest, I think that is something we can all unequivocally take from this season – the longer Gary Johnson spends on the training ground with his team, the better they get – and with that we should have optimism for the 22/23 campaign.

As the TT coverage comes to an end for another season, we’ve wrapped our highlights into a neat little package for all to enjoy. As in seasons before, I have circulated a questionnaire to the TT contributors who vote for, and justify, their seasonal highlights. I should say, as usual, the output from TT this season has been absolutely astonishing. For the fourth season in a row, every single friendly, league and cup match has been reported on, as well as a plethora of other features and interviews – the site reaches far and wide and the growth in just five years is remarkable. 

This year, our illustrious panel consists of:

  • Andy Charles (AC)
  • Ben Currie (BC)
  • Chris Wade (CW)
  • Clive Hayward (CH)
  • Dom Roman (DR)
  • Joe Uglow (JU)
  • Luke Hunter (LH)
  • Marcus Arscott (MA)
  • Matthew Roberts (MR)
  • Matty Hayward (MH)
  • Rachel Malloch (RM)
  • Rich Heesem (RH)
  • Sam Swann (SS)


Player of The Season: Armani Little.

SS: “Armani Little – he has kept our season going. He was the main reason I looked forward to going to Plainmoor this season, especially during the tough first 18 games. Shaun McDonald a close second place.”

CW: “Armani Little – absolutely outstanding. Ability, drive, creativity, goals, assists, leadership. The absolute lot.”

AC: “Shaun MacDonald. His performances helped turn the season around from what was looking like a relegation battle”

LH: “Shaun edged it for me, in a very close battle. He changed the season and really stepped up”

DR: “Armani Little – A close call but his stats have been fantastic and he has matured as a player this season.”

MA: “Tom Lapslie, because he tucks his shirt in and wears black boots. Pure class.”

POTS_21/22


Young Player of The Season: Joe Lewis.

MR: “Joe Lewis: Wisdom and experience far beyond his years. He’ll go far higher up the pyramid if he continues at this rate.”

RM: “Joe Lewis. Oozes quality and plays like an experienced pro who belies his 22 years. A constant and a reliable player.”

CW: “Joe Lewis – rock at the back. He has improved his communication loads and his passion and desire is great to identify with as a supporter. Six goals from centre back is a very useful contribution too. Arguably the most important to keep as the type of player that is hard to find.”

RH: “Ben Wynter. Played every minute of all our league games. Never fails to give his all. Superb servant.”

YPOTS - 21.22


Goal of The Season: Joe Lewis v Wealdstone.

AC: “Joe Lewis thunderbastard against Wealdstone. No one expected him shoot from there…”

RH: “Joe Lewis for that thunderbastard of a goal against Wealdstone. He’s a defender after all. Goal of the decade let alone season”

DR: “Joe Lewis V Wealdstone- It had to be Joe, striding forward and banging in a worldie.”

MH: “The correct answers are: Lewis against Wealdstone; any of the Notts goals. My answer is: Tom Lapslie’s bum at Chesterfield. Pure burglary.”

CH: “Holman at Yeovil. Mainly for the limbs and its massive surprise value!”

GOTS 21.22


Game of The Season: Notts County (H)

MA: “Beating Notts County at home.”

BC: “Torquay 5-1 Notts. At 2-1 I thought we were in for a nervy last 20 minutes, instead we stepped it up a gear and battered them. Played it through them and looked a level above. And I really hate Notts County.”

MR: “Notts County (h): We had them on the ropes from the very beginning and never let up. It was like watching us from last season, a ruthless performance which at the time kept our play-off hopes alive.”

CH: “Wrexham (h). Tactically superb. Fought hard. Lovely for a Tinpot club to get one over on the big spenders.”

RM: “Notts County. 90 minutes of sheer shiny happy dominance.”

SS: “Torquay 5-1 Notts.County. It was the perfect day, I will remember it forever. All 5 goals were special.”

Best Game


Away Game of The Season: Yeovil (A)

JU: “Yeovil (a) – two words: Dan Goalman”

DR: “Weymouth – A terrific noise from the Yellow Army and a turning point in the season.”

CW: “Yeovil away. Awful weather, selection issues and went behind to a stunning goal. But fought back and scored a late winner. Absolute scenes.”

LH: “Yeovil for me. That last minute winner feeling is just unbeatable. Plus, what a ridiculously good away following that was”

BC: “Notts (a) First away game after all covid restrictions had been lifted. First away for 18 months. It was great to sit in a beer garden with the Yellow Army and have a singsong, felt like life was back to normal. Really good rearguard point at Meadow Lane too after an early sending off.”

Awayday


Unsung Hero: Dean Moxey

BC: “Kenny Griffiths. I don’t know whether Shaun has benefitted from a change of coaching but his all round goalkeeping has improved throughout the season, especially his handling and eradicating the ‘rush of blood’ moments.”

MA: “Dean Moxey. To be putting in the kind of performances week in week out that he is at the grand old age of 48 or whatever is nothing short of remarkable.”

JU: “Dan Martin – after a terrible start to the season it would have been easy for Dan to go the same way that O’Connell & Lolos have with appearances limited to the odd occasion of the bench. But Dan knuckled down and looks a far better player for it, a more than adequate National League left wing back.”

SS: “Dean Moxey. I’m not too sure if he counts as unsung, but at 36, he has been superb. Its easy to forget how good he is, with his fantastic career. Since his move to CB, him and Lewis have been a great pairing.”

RH: “Tom Lapslie, does the donkey work to allow the likes or CLE and Little to shine. Plus he tucks his shirt in!”

RM: “Ali Omar. patiently sits on the bench, lives every minute, celebrates every goal like it’s champions league and has taken his chance to impress in recent weeks. Ali Omar is Yellow.”

“Groundsman. Pitch is splendid now.”

Unsung-hero


Best Moments 21/22:

MH: “Getting a smooch off the Duke after Armani had put a pearler into Nottingham’s top bin.”

RM: “Joe Lewis late equaliser v Maidenhead as my family were in attendance including my 5 and 9 year old nephews and watching them go bonkers in celebration made it extra special.”

AC: “Celebrating in the last 10 minutes of the Notts County game.”

CH: “Getting out of the rain at Havant…”

BC: “Holman’s winner vs Yeovil. That photo of the lads piling on infront of a ‘limbsy’ away end is epic.”

RH: “TUFC 5 – Nottingham county 1”

MR: “Not one moment but our humbling of the big teams who come to Plainmoor confident of a win. We beat Stockport, Wrexham, Notts County and Chesterfield at home and made most of it look easy.”

JU: Dan Goalman’s late winner in the pouring rain at Yeovil (a) great way to do the double over them!”


Other Mentions:

MH: “Atmosphere at Plainmoor this season has been, largely, excellent. Tailed off at times, and the Dover fiasco aside, the powerful return of Popside bouncing has made the season fly by. More of this, please.”

RH: “The away support has been superb again this season well done Yellow Army. Oh yeah thanks to Shaun McDonald for saving our season.”

DR: “Gary Johnson and Aaron Downes for their tireless work with this small squad, two passionate and brilliant guys.”

AC: “Nice to have a 1970s footballer in our squad. What Tom Lapslie would look like with his shirt untucked, no one will ever know.”

CW: “Ben Wynter really consistent again. The way some players have improved, I suspect thanks to Aaron Downes and the work on the training pitch. Thinking of Martin and Omar particularly. Everyone at Torquay Talk that gets articles, analysis and videos out each week. It’s all done for free and for the love of the club.”


COYY – Luke


GJ MUG

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