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Fan Zone 28/06/2024


TUST's Chair, Nick Brodrick's column in this week's Herald Express - updated for the latest news.




‘Through the good times and the bad’ - the latest Torquay video from CutLeaf - and what a trip down memory lane reliving the highs and lows. These films are certainly whetting fans’ anticipation of what lies ahead.

And over 1,100 supporters can’t be wrong as season ticket sales have literally been flying out the door with club staff on hand over the weekend to deal with the demand. Sales are being clocked up on a daily basis and it won’t be long before last season’s total, rumoured to be around 1,300, will be overtaken.

What a transformation for a football club which, not that long ago, was seen as a ‘basket case’ with an ownership that appeared not to want anyone to turn up. Now fans are welcomed with open arms and our support for our football club, in return, receives open communication.

We are being told the length of contracts given to the manager and players, the running total of season ticket sales and messages from co-chairman Michael Westcott.


At the last look, over 1,000 tickets have been sold for Friday’s Neil ‘Are You With Me?’ Warnock’s show at the Princess Theatre an evening, we are told, is full of surprises including maybe a few new signings.

The atmosphere around the club is electric and contagious with Paul Wotton putting together a group of players who he knows and trusts. They might not be marquee signings but they appear to be fit-for-purpose players for National South football and who knows, by the end of the campaign, a number of them will have become fans’ heroes.


On July 5 season ticket holders can meet the manager and some of his players for Q&A session - more examples of the fresh approach to fan engagement. In return dedicated groups of volunteers have been busy working inside and outside Plainmoor to get the ground ready for the new season. Painting parties have worked weekends on No 10 restaurant and the hospitality suites while others have been scraping and cleaning the 32 sets of steps inside the stadium ready for painting.

TUST is extremely grateful to everyone who has given up their time to support our club.

At some point in the future, when things have settled down, we will be able to look back on recent events as they become part of the history of Torquay United. It was certainly a set of circumstances that you wouldn’t wish to happen to any other club.


Southend, of course, thought their troubles were behind them when a consortium did a deal with then owner Ron Martin but it hasn’t gone according to plan. There is yet another winding up petition in the High Court this week and the takeover has still not been completed due to a row over a property deal. Then on Monday evening the National League have issued the club with an ultimatum to provide a bond of £1m to participate in the league. In situations like this one has to feel sorry for the fans who are the innocents in all this.


Which teams are likely to be challenging at the top of National South? Well, this is difficult to predict. We could guess which sides are likely to have the bigger budgets but this doesn’t guarantee success as we know from last season.

Boreham Wood and Maidstone are likely to be contenders and often there is a completely outside team which surprises everyone. Could Hemel Hempstead, under manager Bobby Wilkinson, who has a strong reputation in non-league, be one of these sides?

At the start of a new campaign every team feels they have a chance of promotion and most managers have been, what they hope is, strengthening their squads.

Could Chelmsford City be in the mix again or might newly promoted Hornchurch, with experienced Daryl McMahon in charge, be up there? As the countdown gathers pace expectations will begin to rise. Bring it on!


In the meantime we have the Euros to occupy our thoughts. With Scotland already out and gone home it’s left to England. Can they fulfil the pre-tournament predictions. Well, if the matches against Serbia and Denmark are a guide then winning the trophy is a forlorn hope. After the Denmark match Alan Shearer gave Gareth Southgate and the players both barrels, not holding back from his criticism.

It is a mystery when so many individual players in the squad play a certain attacking way for their clubs but somehow cannot replicate that form in an England shirt. Is it the manager? is it the tactics?

One of the features of the Euros has been the number of goals scored from distance, 13 at least including Denmark’s equaliser against England. The total has already passed 2008 and 2012 for goals outside the box. These goals are usually spectacular. How much did we enjoy Brett McGavin’s thunderbolts not to mention goal of the season from Austen Booth?


On Friday at the Princess Theatre you can meet the TUST board with our pop-up stand and information about the forthcoming Community Share Issue, it promises to be a great night. Please come up and chat.

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