Chris talks about the 4 Gulls contract renewals
This is one that I had hoped for rather than expected. His journey at Torquay has been an interesting one to say the least. Signed in the summer of 2021 as what looked like a really good addition, he experienced a nightmare start to life as a Yellow, with several costly mistakes early in his time at the club. Gary Johnson then jumped at the chance to re-sign Shaun MacDonald in September and that was it for the season. He had lacked confidence and decisiveness when used and we all thought that would be it.
Fast forward 12 months and he was a different player. Entrusted with the number one jersey after MacDonald moved on, Halstead had the polar opposite start, with outstanding displays in early wins at Halifax and Southend. He was thereafter consistent throughout the season and was rightfully mentioned in the player of the season conversation.
I was hopeful and no more that we could tempt him to stay, given that he seemed to have settled well in the area. A successful team is always built from the back, so nailing down the services of a solid and dependable goalkeeper early is key.
TUFC STATS – DEBUT 21/08/21, APPEARANCES 56, GOALS CONCEDED 99, CLEAN SHEETS 8
This signature was a surprise in truth. Another player signed in the ‘Manic’ summer of 2021, the expiry of his two year deal looked to be the end of his time at the club, with Aldershot rumoured to be a possible destination.
Tom has always given 100% in the yellow shirt and is a player that leaves everything on the pitch. Signed from Colchester, where there were some clearly frustrated fans when he departed, his all action style and commitment has always endeared him to the Yellow Army. He has also chipped in with some vital goals too. But there has always been a question mark over his fitness, with regular periods of absence through never anything more than niggling injuries. Sore ankles and hamstrings restricted his appearances, and he was always striving to stay fit in periods of intense numbers of fixtures.
But there is no doubt that Tom remaining at Torquay is a positive. An ageing midfield will needs some managing, and other players will need to step up next season.
TUFC STATS – DEBUT 21/08/21, APPEARANCES 72, ASSISTS 8, GOALS 7
Joining Tom in an experienced midfield in 23/24 will be Kevin Dawson. In what appeared an uninspiring signing in early March, Dawson went onto play an important role in the run to almost survival. An all action box to box midfielder, he flew into challenges and buzzed around the pitch game after game trying to win, protect and distribute the ball. His ability to keep going was a testimony to his fitness, which had been iffy prior to his arrival at Plainmoor this season. His reading of the game also helped those around him and was an important shield to the defence.
It must be noted that he is another sign of at times Gary Johnson’s narrow recruitment ideas, given that this is the third time he has been signed by the manager after doing so at Yeovil and Cheltenham also. But acquiring people that you can trust is key in recruitment, and he should be a dependable addition to the squad.
TUFC STATS – DEBUT 04/03/23, APPEARANCES 13, ASSISTS 2, GOALS 0
This is a curious one. Signed to a one year deal from neighbours Plymouth Argyle last summer, Tomlinson struggled for time on the pitch last season, initially spending time on the bench and then being overlooked regularly in favour of Ali Omar and Ross Marshall. I remember him coming on for 15 minutes at Dagenham in December and making a couple of very timely blocks and interceptions. But he faded away in the new year, and spent time on loan at Taunton Town and Chippenham Town in the second half of the season.
Ollie being retained makes sense in some ways however. He has experience at this level now, and will be a good squad player and relatively cheap you would think. I just hope that he is given opportunities this time, as he undoubtedly has something about him and was very well thought of by the boys in green before arriving at Plainmoor.
One thought on “THE CONTRACT RENEWALS by Chris Wade”
Laps s only 27 and should be at his peak.