NEW GULL PROFILE
Matty Hayward – @MattyHayward96
Matty discusses new signings Dillon and Chin
We’ve signed two players, and it seems that both of them are non-idiots. Which is good news. Dillon De Silva joins on loan from QPR. The Sri Lankan international is a winger, and has started brightly in a yellow shirt, with two substitute appearances in which he has looked far from our worst player.
Chinwike Okoli (who is called ‘Chin’ by all his teammates, and, obviously, I’m jumping on this as a nickname) has started every game for which he’s been available since joining on loan from Millwall. He is, there’s no other way to say this, massive, and was by far and away our best player in our defeat at York. Perhaps not a diamond in the rough, as such, but a competent footballer in a sea of mediocrity.
Both London-based loanees are making their first forays into professional football with Torquay, so the task of writing a career summary is about as easy as writing a dissertation on Kwasi Kwarteng’s career as chancellor. Okoli comes from Millwall, that’s literally all there is to say.
De Silva, though, has a bit of a back story. Born in Camden, Dillon came through Spurs’ academy, before being picked up from Barking by QPR in 2017, but it’s away from London that he’s played his most interesting football. The winger has played twelve times for Sri Lanka. His games have come in the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship, and in qualification for the Asian Cup and World Cup. His side have taken just one point from those games – a no-doubt thrilling goalless draw with local rivals and footballing giants India – though the Galle-Gazza did score for his country in a 3-2 defeat to Nepal this time last year. Defeats to Bangladesh, Maldives, Uzbekistan and Thailand will no doubt prepare him for the inevitable grizzly maulings by Dorking and Maidenhead yet to come.
TALKING ABOUT THE PLAYERS
GARY JOHNSON – “Everybody is looking for a 6ft 4in quick centre-back and Chinwike or ‘Chin’ to his friends, fits the bill to add to our group of centre-halves competing for a place”
GARY JOHNSON – “He’s a Sri Lankan international who’s quick and direct, and we’re pleased to welcome him into our dressing room”
MOST/LEAST LIKELY TO
Chin Okoli – Most Likely to
– Dwarf everyone else on the pitch: he makes Omar look like Jermaine McGlashan.
– Have very lame “take it on the chin” jokes made.
Least likely to
– If he’s got any sense, stay any longer than the month-long loan
– Play international football any time soon
Dillon De Silva – Most Likely to
– Add a bit of much-needed pace and directness to our otherwise sluggish, toothless attacking outfit.
– Be referred to as the Colombo Cristiano, the Kandy Kaka, the Murali-Loving Messi, etc.
Least Likely to
– Make any real, long-term impact. He’s a young, very inexperienced, tricky winger in a team utterly devoid of confidence and, often, ability. He follows in a long line of Torquay United players who have an uphill battle to impress.
– Turn down international duty in favour of staying and slugging it out at Plainmoor.
Dillon has compiled his own highlights package from Nepal (a). Here it is, in two parts, in which we learn that his only international goal came from the spot. They all count.
Highlights of centre back performances are a rarity. Highlights of a centre back who has never played a game of football? Are ye joking?
I’m writing this during the FA Cup replay. We equalised about a minute ago. Now Dillon De Silva has got himself sent off for diving. He’s so so so fortunate that I started his profile before that happened or he would’ve had far far less indulgence in his international career.
I think these two are both half-decent signings, though it’s hard to know at this stage. It’s pretty bleak to be giving professional debuts to children when you’re bottom of the league, but that’s where we are, and these lads probably can’t make the situation any worse (though getting sent off in a crucial FA Cup match appears to be quite a good effort).