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Torquay - Gulls and Glory

Started on 28 January 2020 by Aaron
Latest Reply on 1 March 2020 by Justice
  • POSTS84
  • VIEWS10046

Monthly Review - December

Well I'm in absolute shock. The team came into the Christmas period having not lost in 3 games, despite being pitted firmly in the relegation zone after an abysmal 5 losses in a row. We knew what was ahead of us and who we had to beat, the challenge was set and we went about setting the record straight.

Jamie Reid was back into goalscoring ways after he fell off the pace a little, this was obviously the most important thing about this fantastic run. Goals win you games and we got plenty of them during December.

Brilliant in defence too, we somehow went a huge SEVEN games unbeaten and without a goal being conceded in that time. We had a lot of fitness issues in the midfield and defence but even with some of the more fringe players we were able to unlock rivals with what seemed like minimal ease at the time.

Despite all this, shots on our own goal weren't non existent. The defence were fantastic but our goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald was absolutely fantastic all month. He really was the difference in a lot of these games, earning points for the club almost single handedly sometimes.

Spennymoore were no match for us as a lower league outfit in the FA Trophy 1st round. The 2nd round draw pits us against Kings Lynn, a team I really like the look of in this years edition. Hopefully we can get the better of them.

Ending the year, with a bang we won 3 in a row scoring 7 and conceding 1. Harrogate were the unlucky team to lose their last game of the year 2019.

Thanks to this amazing unbeaten run we now find ourselves a whopping ten point clear of the drop zone. I could never have imagined this being how things looked come this point when only 8 games ago we were level on points with 21st place Solihull Moors.

The season is well and truly underway now and we're looking like staying up provided nothing awful occurs in the next 4/5 months.

So far I've been really impressed with not only the performances but the development of Omolabi. He's very quickly becoming a key player, pivotal to our success with our 4-3-3 direct tactic. My Assistant manager tells me he's already a leading player in the team and I'll be looking to this guy to fill the same role next year, hopefully being much improved.

I've also made a lot of contract extensions, unfortunately I have gone over budget with the wages but this is the reality of the game. If your players play well you have to give them more money if you want to keep them around. So if I want any chance of competing next year, we need them.

Fortunately by setting certain players for release, I have made roughly 4.8K free come summer time window, with more players still to leave + 5 loanee's.

Fingers crossed this means we'll have something to play with in terms of money for quality.
8 games unbeaten and no goals conceded in 7 games

Dare to drame, incredible work bud, keep that up and you will be promotion contenders
A fantastic run of form that has you sitting in a much more comfortable position than you were just a month prior.
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron
3 yearsEdited

Monthly Review - January

In recent weeks our form has picked up brilliantly and we've seen a great rise in the table due to the fact. Starting the new year, there was no change. More wins and I was delighted to continue this great form into 2020, setting the example for what I want to see from the team through the year as a whole.

Ebbsfleet were pushed aside 3-0 with 2 more goals from Jamie Reid who I must say does not look like slowing down on the goals tally. He's catching right up with the current two top goalscorers having dropped down the pecking order himself.

Due to fitness problems Jake Andrews has seen a lot more games in the starting 11 at the left wing in place of Whitfield. He's as good as if not better than our star man and proved that to be true with a couple of goals in January.

Another good result in the FA Trophy means we will now play Harrogate in the next round. Kings Lynn play in the league below and there was no surprise why as we comfortably won 2-0 without any issues at all really.

Unfortunately though all things must come to an end and we did in fact get beaten by a strong Barrow team who are indeed looking at getting into the play offs. It wasn't at all a bad performance but the final touches just weren't there in the end and despite this loss, I remain very pleased with the team.

In other news I want to bring up the development of our right back Ben Wynter who has been ever present in the team this year putting in solid performances virtually all season round. He's been instrumental in our 12 game run, and at such a young age he looks like he could get much much better.

Another fantastic month which as you can see against all odds has put us in some kind of contention for a play off spot? There are currently games in hand so we'll see how things develop in the coming days but another month like the last two and we could well find ourselves a Vanarama National play off team.

Dare I say League Two Team?

Sadly, top spot looks well...I guess you could say Chesterfield are going up.
League table needs to be added.. :P but things are certainly looking rather rosy at the moment.
Scott: I'm always mixing them up ffs, thanks for pointing that out, all changed

Monthly Review - February

Another brilliant month. As I said in the last update this was exactly what we'd need if we were to have any hope of play off contention. Thanks to an another unbeaten run in the league we now find ourselves sitting in 7th place, the last play off spot available.

Despite sitting only a point clear I'm feeling positive about our chances now. The team has found some fantastic form lately and not just against the lower sides but the sides that have nearly already confirmed their spots in the playoffs.

One of the most important matches of the month was against Chorley. I was really hoping after the 5-1 pasting they gave us that we could get our own back at home but it unfortunately wasn't written in the stars for us this year. I'm quite happy that these guys will not be playing in this league next year. Bye bye suckers!

It was quite disappointing to lose to Harrogate in the cup, we'd beaten them a month earlier at home and I was confident of another win here to send us to the Quarter finals against Wrexham, unfortunately despite a flurry of chances we couldn't score which forced the replay in which they hammered us 3-1, knocking us out.

Moving away from the negativity of the month, thanks to our win against Maidenhead I believe that now means we (Although I'm sure we already knew) are now officially safe and unless anything spectacular happens, will be playing in the same league again next season.

Considering that rocky start to the season I'm astounded I'm even saying that with 9 games left we are in the play off spots and looking out of the teams slightly below like favourites to make it there too.

The main thing is though we are now safe from the drop officially and that was the main aim for the season.

With only March and April left to play games in minus the play offs, we'll be starting to evaluate certain players and see what kind of quality we can bring in to build on this season!
powering along mate and if the form keeps up you'll be right in the promotion race.

Monthly Review - March

There's been large amounts of fixture congestion throughout the season as is customary in a league that requires teams to play 46 games each. Luckily in March we were given a couple of nice little breaks having to only play 4 league games compared to the 16 we played between the beginning of November and end of December.

With 9 games left to play, a break here and there was more than welcome considering it was all to fight for in the play off spots. We'd need our full team rested and ready for these games if we're to reach those heights.

It was by no means a great month starting it off with a battering against Fylde who I must say seem to have a fantastic team, certainly the best two strikers in the league on paper so it was no wonder they were able to put so many past us.

Responding perfectly against Sutton we were looking to continue into a small run of wins in the game that followed against Bromley however we were no match for a team who have all but qualified for the play offs with only 5 games left to play.

The two losses this month were hard to take but we ploughed on and mustered a point against 10th placed Wrexham which leaves us in the last play off spot level on points. a win would've been absolutely brilliant here, but we'll have to wait and see if we can put ourselves in a commanding position come April.

With 5 games left this is not a bad position to find ourselves in considering we were tipped to drop at the beginning of the season. It feels great to know we'll definitely be here next year but anything else would be a massive bonus for us in our search for Glory!

Monthly Review - April

To the surprise of many we have finally reached the end of the season and with our job intact! It must've just been something in the water in Salisbury...Props to anyone who gets that joke.

It was by no means a fantastic end to the season. 2 draws, 2 losses and a win in between both. It wasn't awful but I feel like better performances would not have gone a miss either in our bid for play off football. The Woking result really didn't come as a surprise as we were expected to win either way.

It was a tidy response to two draws against Dover and Eastleigh and I really can't help but feel like a win in either of these games was more than possible considering their respective positions in comparison to ourselves. Dover just like Chorley seemingly wanting nothing more than to become a thorn in my side all season. Another team we find unable to beat at the second time of asking despite being the travelling team.

I'd expected to lose against Aldershot and that we did, I can't argue with the result. We came up against a fantastic side in great form near the top of the table and their win against us leaves going into the final game of the season praying that a win for us would be enough to gain 7th place on goal difference.

Alas, it just wasn't to be this year. Hartlepool absolutely battered us to the disappointment of myself and Torquay fans all over. A really disappointing way to end the season.

We went into the final day in 7th place, we end the final day in 9th. It's a bitter pill to swallow but I take only positives from this year. The aim as you know was to survive, in doing that we found ourselves vying for a very unlikely promotion but we will be in the Vanarama National next year.

It was a great season all things considered and I can't wait to get all the deadwood out and rebuild the squad almost from scratch in a bid to go for a play off spot, or perhaps the title next year.

The board have already bumped the wages up from 16.5K to 23K, which will be huge. Especially when considered we'll be making around 5-6K back just in releasing players. The off season looks like it could hold huge potential to build a team capable of winning this league.

It wouldn't be the end of the season unless we got to take a good look at the team of the season so here it is in full.

Jamie Reid was of course our best player all season managing a large 23 goals in 46 league games, and 7 Man of the Match apps. His fitness this year was massive for us but we can't rely on him being healthy forever so I'll be looking for someone just as good to come in and offer us just the same.

Omolabi our signing of the season. A constant regular in the team this year and has developed fantastically to suit our way of playing football. His performances have been really pleasing this year and I can't wait to see him in the same spot next year as he has signed a new contract.

Next up we'll be headed to the 1st of July, where hopefully we'll have most of our new team built and our deadwood out of the club. I'm really looking forward to showing you all our new signings for our second Season at Torquay United.

Summer Transfers - Rebuilding

The team whilst not void of quality has look fairly barren in the depth department. Through the season I've pretty much had only one set of players able to play as the rest at the club were just not of any decent quality and I think that's where most of our problems lie.

In January I evaluated the squad behind closed doors and tried my best to offer out contracts to all the guys I thought worthy of staying on next season. Among these players are as follows.

Shaun MacDonald and Luka Nakov in the goalkeeping departments.

Ben Wynter and Kyle Cameron so far the only defenders that will be at the club next year due to most of the current ones being on loan like our best player Joe Lewis - I want to extend his loan.

In Midfield, Armani Little and Moroyin Omolabi earn extensions due to their performances.

Finally, Kevin Kalala, Ben Whitfield, Jamie Reid and Olaf Koszela extend their time at the club.

So there's going to be a lot of upheaval and we're going to be bringing in a lot of new players as we'll only have 10 players at the club by January 1st so lets delve straight in and see who joins the club.

Armando Broja joins on a free transfer after being released by Chelsea at the end of the season. I'm told Broja is already as good as our 23 goal a season striker and has the potential to be much better, I feel suitably prepared now in this area of the field and he'll fit right in on the bench filling in for Reid when required.

Broja's physical attributes were what attracted me to bringing him down from London. I can't stress how important I believe physical attributes to be this far down the leagues and I'm very happy with this acquisition.

That's right, not much to say on this one. Our player of the season had it not been for Jamie Reid's goal haul. Joe Lewis returns from Swansea on loan and will be the first defender on the team sheet once again. Welcome back Joe!

Our left back spot was filled in last season by 18 year old Daniel Ojo on loan and Liam Davis. Safe to say that this just wasn't good enough and had to be rectified. So Bailey Clements who looks like he could already be the best left back in the league joins us on loan from Ipswich.

He's got potential to be superb in every aspect of the game and I can't wait to see how he fits in with the rest of the top quality back for that I'm building.

Brahimi, yet another loan coming from Blackburn has joined too. Helping us fill out the centre of midfield Brahimi is a natural attacking midfielder but will slot in most of this season just behind next to Armani little to offer even more creativity just above the back 4. Another top top quality signing that will surely put us ahead of the rest.

Stanley is another player that comes in from a big Premier League club. Having came through the Birmingham youth system he managed to get a free move to Man United, unfortunately not making a single appearance he was released and so we capitalised.

Connor will add vital back up on the right wing for our current first team Regular Kevin Kalala. He'll add great competition too being such a fantastic winger.

More quality backup in Pascal here. Moroyin was our defensive midfielder last year and I plan on keeping faith in him to help us gain promotion next year. Estrada adds even more quality back up as and when needed, I assume there'll be a lot of rotation this year so expect these new back up signings to feature quite a lot.

James Yates is definitely (Sorry for this mate) the worst of my summer signings, it was more of a panic buy to try and get some back up for Wynter at right back. He's not bad but he hopefully won't feature much (Sorry again James)

This is probably the only position I'll be potentially looking to improve during the season depending on what situations unfold on our right flank.

Lucas Defise is also like Brahimi a natural attacking midfielder but he too comes in as back up for our star man next to Armani Little. He's a good player, with great determination and potential so lets see how much he can improve in the future!

As soon as I saw Max's stats, I knew he was the one to sure up our back line with Joe Lewis. I don't know what they're smoking at Salford to come the conclusion that he should come on loan to us but the important thing is he does come in.

That makes it 4 loans for the year which we'll obviously rely on heavily, we've room for on more and I'm looking around a lot to try and make sure I get the best out of the opportunity to bring someone in to push us forward.

Morgan Boyes is another fantastic full back. I initially brought this guy in from Liverpool before Clements showed up on the loan market and the plan was to start him next to Broughton on the left in support of Whitfield behind but unfortunately for him I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to bring in a player like Bailey Clements.

The difference in this deal though, is that Clements is out of our price range for a permanent deal and Boyes has the chance to stay at the club for next season provided on performances this year.

The last signing was Tom Grivosti. We have a lot of defenders in on loan and it's always nice to have a back up plan in case something happens and a player is recalled or something along those lines happens. So Tom provides solid back up from the bench and is currently considered better than Kyle Cameron who was a regular at the back last season.

Overall I'm so so happy with the work we've put in this summer, a complete rebuild of the squad has occurred and I can't wait to begin pre season and see how everyone gel's together - The main thing for now is this is how our dynamics look already despite 11 new players joining.

Some good signings to bolster the squad here, maybe a push for promotion is realistic this season. Good luck :)

Star Signing

Well...I bet you weren't expecting that. I wasn't either. Callum Gribbin joins on loan from Sheffield United in a deal that feels honestly just a little bit like cheating. When I got a sniff that he was available for loan and that he might be interested I was absolutely all over it.

Formely of Man United, Callum Gribbin boasts the kind of ability that I wouldn't mind subbing on in a Premier League game. This guy will surely be the best player in the league this season and with stats like that it really is no wonder why.

I felt aside from the other transfers that this one in particular deserved a post of it's own to really drill home just how important I believe this signing to be. The Arrival of Callum see's a whole new change in style purely to accommodate his ability.

You can see this here below.

I will also be utilising the same 4-3-3 formation from last season...

It's clear for all to see the impact Callum can have on the club. I believe him to be the player that will be instrumental in a sharp rise up the leagues and into League 2. This will almost certainly be the final signing of the summer window as we've now all but hit our wage budget maximum.

Looking onto the season ahead the media have predicted their final table and Dream Team.

A very ambitious call from the board placing us in second place at the end of the season with 3 players in team of the year. You won't find me complaining though as that is exactly where I intend to be at the end of the season, though a finish one place higher would do this squad justice.

Speaking of the squad here it is in full now we've complete our 2020/21 team.

More than pleased with the depth we've got going into this year, a promotion push is absolutely the top priority. Especially the way finances are looking, but we'll come to that another day.

I've also finally taken it upon my self to call in a new assistant manager, and revamp the first team backroom staff. Due to financial issues I felt that 1 scout and analyst had done us well up to this point in the save and there wasn't much point in filling that side of things out until we're in a higher league. Hopefully the scouting team will see an improvement in a years time.

Looks to me like we're fully ready for the task ahead.
If Gribben dont get golden boot im out... this is exitingI hope to see Football League come the end of the season

Pre Season Review

Just a quick update to water the mouths of Torquay fans and all those enjoying the thread so far. This will be kept short and sweet.

We've had a decent Pre-Season. Not playing anyone of any worthy note bar the likes of Wycombe we've managed to run into the competitive games completely unbeaten. Our new style of football seems to be sinking in to the minds of our new players very well and you can see a strong togetherness and will from the boys.

We managed to beat Wycombe right at the end of the match, 98th minute Kalala managed to seal the deal. These guys do play in the league above so right before our first game against Hartlepool I was pleased to see a great performance.

That gives me a lot of hope for a possible FA Cup run to the 2nd/3rd rnd if the draw is kind to us!

Hartlepool, then title favourites Morecambe to begin the season and I cannot wait!

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