Dom Roman – @DomRoman
The Ed discusses how the Gulls squad is shaping up
Goalkeepers – Mark Halstead
When Mark Halstead signed last summer, his years of bench sitting did raise concerns and as we all know the lad had a nightmare as 21-22 got under way – out of position for shots, incapable of orchestrating the defence and generally in a muddle of panic that filtered towards the rest of the XI. But credit to the keeper, he came back at the end of the season and put in some strong displays. Was that enough to instil confidence back into Gary Johnson of his capabilities? Almost definitely the answer is no. I expect GJ to unveil a new number 1 in the coming weeks, someone who can stamp his authority on the side like Mac did last season. Teams rarely get anywhere with a shaky goalkeeper in toe, so this signing will be crucial (again).
Still Required: A new number 1
Defence – Dylan Crowe, Dan Martin, Dean Moxey, Ali Omar
The Gulls defence added one more addition on Thursday, as Dylan Crowe arrived to take the mantle of Barnet bound Ben Wynter. With the energetic Dan Martin on one side and Crowe on the other, we should look forward to plenty of purposeful marauding from the full backs! Centre Back is still sparse with only Dean Moxey and Ali Omar currently on the books. Is replacing Joe Lewis Gary Johnson’s biggest challenge this summer? I’d say so. Finding a strong and quick guy like Lewis who can shackle the best strikers is very difficult, especially with our budget. Ideally we need two more CBs, one confident first teamer who can settle straight into the line-up and another as back up. Ex-Argyle youngster Ollie Tomlinson has been mentioned, someone of his ilk could fit the bill as the latter.
Still Required: Two Centre Backs and a back-up Right Back
Midfielders– Kieron Evans, Asa Hall, Ryan Hanson, Tom Lapslie, Brett McGavin, Alex Moyse, Keelan O’Connell, Gabby Rogers, Jack Winsor
The centre of midfield looks complete after Frenetic Thursday. Ryan Hanson is a defensive-minded midfielder who has been brought in to lighten the load for Asa Hall and Tom Lapslie, whilst Brett McGavin will be charged with pushing forward and getting in amongst the goals and assists. Both of those players know the National League well after seasons at King’s Lynn and Dover, which bodes well for us heading into 22-23. Apart from that we have youthful promise in Kieron Evans, Alex Moyse and Jack Winsor, and two players in O’Connell and Rogers who have an awful lot to prove. Overall an interesting mix of players. I can imagine Gary Johnson will still want to add one or two more options in the coming months (most likely loans), especially if Winsor, O’Connell, Moyse and Rogers themselves are loaned out.
Still Required: Winger/Attacking Midfielder
Strikers: Olaf Koszela, Aaron Jarvis, Lewis Brooks
Our strikers number increased last week as Aaron Jarvis moved down South to try and banish memories of a horrible season at Scunthorpe. It’s a big chance for the big man to make a mark, and the pressure will be on from the Yellow Army to deliver. Alongside him we have Olaf Koszela, who I’m sure will get a chance to stake his claim in friendlies and will be keen to avoid another loan at Dorchester (Or Truro or Taunton) and youngster Lewis Brooks. Two more strikers required for Gary Johnson I’d say, one immediately on a permanent deal and another one on loan as the season gets under way. Players who preferably give us pace and aggression upfront, and can swing games in our favour in a way the likes of Klaidi Lolos and Dan Holman struggled to do. Over to you GJ!