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Danny Burnell – @danny_burnell92

Sigh! The wait continues for any incomings at Plainmoor. In the meantime though, I take a look at the last 5 seasons of TUFC summer transfer activity, and how effective the business had been, as well as our starting line ups for the opening games of the season.

Summer 2017

Manager: Kevin Nicholson

Notable Incomings: Ryan Clarke, Vincent Dorel, Jamie Reid (Permanent), Ryan Higgins, Liam Davis, Josh Gowling, Jake Gosling, J-P Pittman,

Notable Outgoings: Brendan Moore, Dan Sparkes, Aman Verma, Courtney Richards, Brett Williams, 

Nicho’s great escape of 2016/17 will go down as one of the most remarkable ends to a TUFC season. It was to be quite a re-build over the summer however, as a number of key players to that side departed through the TQ1 gates. American stopper Brendan Moore got his rewards for a solid season with a move into the EFL with Rochdale. Sparkes departed for Dagenham, whilst others made moves across the National League and below. 

Verdict: E – Ultimately, it was a season of complete turmoil. Nicho’s resources were at an all time low, and the summer signings didn’t quite have the desired affect. Right-back Higgins looked the part but suffered a heart condition which would effectively end his footballing career. Davis went on to become one of the best left-backs seen at Plainmoor for some time, Reid eventually found his feet the following season, but Nicholson lasted just 4 games into the new campaign, before Owers took over in September. A dreadful season which will go down in history as one of the worst. 

Opening day starting line-up – Tranmere (H) 0-0: Clarke, Higgins, Gowling, McGinty, Chaney, Gosling, Lathrope, Klukowski, Young, Keating, Pittman

Subs: GrayLee, Osborn, Reid, Anderson

Summer 2018

Manager: Gary Owers

Notable Incomings: Asa Hall, Ryan Dickson, Jason Banton, Bobson Bawling, Shaun MacDonald, Ben Wynter, Kyle Cameron, Jake Andrews (loan)

Notable Outgoings: Brett Williams. Josh Gowling, Vincent Dorel, Luke Young

It was a chalk and cheese summer of transfer activity under Gary Owers. Incoming wise, the likes of Wynter, Hall & MacDonald went on to become integral parts of the title winning and play-off agony sides of 18/19 & 20/21 respectively. But not every transfer worked out well. The likes of Jason Banton, Bobson Bawling, Andre Wright, Samir Nabi all arrived, to ill-effect. Young moved to North Wales in what was the biggest lose of the window. Owers lasted until September, where United sat mid-table in the NLS, before GJ took the reigns, and steered TUFC in a very different direction!

Verdict: C+ – Some quality through the door that summer that just needed that confidence and guidance from an experienced manager. Many went onto become (and still are) regarded as modern day TUFC legends. But it was a 50/50 split. I remember going up to the Gloucester away game in late August. The quality on show that day was woeful. TUFC’s lowest ebb.

Opening day starting line-up – Chelmsford (A) 0-0: MacDonald, Wynter, Cameron, Niate, Davis, Essuman, Hall, Dickson, Regis, Williams, Reid

Subs: Burton, Keating, Bawling, Sokolik, A.Wright

Summer 2019

Manager: Gary Johnson

Notable Incomings: Lucas Covolan, Jake Andrews (Permanent), CLE (loan), Armani Little, Joe Lewis (loan), Matt Buse

Notable Outgoings: George Essuman, Jamie Sendells-White

It was a summer of keeping hold together the title winners from the previous campaign. And it proved successful. Fringe players departed, 3 of the Bristol City loan quartet returned. It was a season which was cut short in March due to the pandemic, but the signings brought in would go on to make great strides in a yellow shirt.

Verdict: B – Looking at that list, it’s riddled with real quality. Cov eventually took over as #1 and scored that memorable goal. Lewis, Little & CLE, although since departed, proved very astute signings from GJ. 

Opening day starting line-up – Boreham Wood (H) 2-1: MacDonald, Wynter, Cameron, Niate, Vincent, Andrews, Little, Hall, Kalala, Reid, Duku

Subs:  Lemonheigh-Evans, Edwards, Keating, Covolan, Lewis

Summer 2020

Manager: Gary Johnson

Notable Incomings: Sam Sherring (loan), Adam Randell (loan), Danny Wright, Josh Umerah, CLE (Permanent), Dean Moxey

Notable Outgoings: Jamie Reid, Ryan Dickson, Kalvin Kalala

The strangest start to a season that will ever be, as the Gulls took to an empty Plainmoor to defeat Stockport in October. Summer activity proved on point, with the loan additions of Adam Randell and Sam Sherring who were integral to the squad. Jamie Reid found a move to the EFL with Mansfield, but Wright plugged the gap well. Captain Hall took leadership to a new level and took his goal tally to double figures, whilst Moxey’s experience was invaluable. 

Verdict: A+ – The season we had can be traced to the business we don over that extended COVID summer break. The lose of Reid was sure to be felt, but GJ found real quality once more, and it was oh-so-near for the Gulls.

Opening day starting line-up – Stockport (H) 1-0: Covolan, Wynter, Cameron, Sherring, Andrews, Whitfield, CLE, Buse, Nemane, Wright, Umerah

Subs:  MacDonald, Hall, Koszela, Randell, Britton

Summer 2021

Manager: Gary Johnson

Notable Incomings: Mark Halstead, Ali Omar, Dan Martin, Tom Lapslie, Klaidi Lolos

Notable Outgoings: Kyle Cameron, Aaron Nemane, Billy Waters, Ben Whitfield

A summer of activity that will go down as one of the least memorable. A play-off defeat in Late June meant pre-season was a matter of a few weeks, and recruitment was rushed. ‘Manic Monday’ saw no fewer than 7 new signings, with key men such as Cameron and Whitfield moving to NL opposition. 

Verdict: F – Rushed recruitment, and so it proved. The lads never really jelled, and it wasn’t before December we were starting to see some improvement on the pitch.

Opening day starting line-up – Altrincham (H) 1-3: Halstead, Wynter, Lewis, Omar, Moxey, O’Connell, Little, Lapslie, Rogers, Wright, Holman

Subs:  Johnson, Hall, Lolos, Martin, Brzozowski

COYY – Danny









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