Rachel Malloch – @RachelVillavox
Rachel blogs about Friday night’s game at Buckland
The English Riviera, Torbaydos is currently hitting the heady fahrenheits of 75 degrees and Friday evening at Homers Heath 1,211 were basking in the summer sun and the beaming cordiality of Buckland Athletic football club. A beautiful evening where the respective supporters matching yellow shirts, smiles, queues for the bars, the burgers, autographs, the ability to wander around the parameters of the pitch with a pint and friendly chat amongst all in attendance, families, young and old, how football should always be.
The game itself was a hearty contest with plenty effort, but only a solitary goal scored in the 40th minute by the longest serving player for either of the teams – centre forward Olaf Koszela. Whether this will be Olaf’s breakthrough season time will tell, but it was a very well taken goal drilled into the far corner after losing his marker. There were the ubiquitous guess the triallists amongst the Torquay fans and new faces for the Buckland faithful to ponder and peruse.
Stand-out performances included new lad Dylan Crowe who had plenty of the ball and made good use of his pace, linking up well with Olaf on several occasions. Brett McGavin looked strong in the midfield, Cardiff loanee Kieron Evans taking over the set pieces and whipped in a couple of dangerous ones, neither McGavin or club captain Asa Hall could quite steer their headers accurately. Olaf too looked lively, finding pockets of space and showing great awareness whilst offering a couple of searching crosses that just eluded a finish.
There was also an eye-catching performance from trialist C, revealed to be former Bristol city academy player Marcus Day, always busy, eager to surge forward and trialist A who alongside Ali Omar marshalled the defence competently. Meanwhile there was an opportunity for former Maidenhead custodian Rhys Lovett who whilst rarely troubled in the 45 minutes on the pitch, did look assured and comfortable, barking instructions and being very vocal.
One worrying note from the evening’s work out was an injury picked up by full back Dan Martin early in the 1st half. He limped off and was seen later with an ice pack on the ankle. We can hope that it’s a light sprain but from one of last season’s most improved players, his fitness is imperative.
Word on the wire and eagle eyed gulls saw former Wimbledon and Aldershot marksman Corrie Andrews as trialist D (or was that B?) but we didn’t get to see him this time.
Full time whistle, players, coaches and officials all smiles, supporters in good spirits, stewards and staff continuing to assist and serve the big crowd admirably. Huge credit to Buckland Athletic for what is a lovely ground and impressively run club and we hope that the new season brings plenty highs ahead. Check out their offer for Gulls supporters below!
Difficult to gauge Torquay United’s fortunes for the season 22/23, whether this team of young players can find cohesion and form and hit the ground running in contrast to last season’s contrary beginnings. Plenty of positives to take from this game though and with the further addition of players to bolster the squad in areas that still look vulnerable, the pint glass of Proper Job or Bryn Ale could just runneth over!
Come on you yellows! Rachel