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Fan Zone 01/02/2024



FANS’  LOYALTY  IS  BEING  STRETCHED  TO  BREAKING  POINT


CAN  THIS  BE  CORRECT?  WORTHING  7  TORQUAY  2


FANS  WANT  TO  KNOW  THE  CLUB’S  DIRECTION  SO  WHERE  IS  THE  STEERING  GROUP?



Where to begin? Throughout football, no matter at what level, fans’ opinions of their club are by and large guided by results on the pitch. These, then are trying times to be a Torquay United supporter.

After a miserable return over Christmas and the New Year, manager Gary Johnson was optimistic that returning senior players would coincide with ‘a run’. He felt, thanks to a Brett McGavin special, the win over bottom club Dover was the start. Then a 1-1 midweek draw at lowly Chippenham, struggling for a win at home from a series of fixtures, slowed that run down to a trot.

Loyal fans especially those who have followed the club’s fortunes for long periods of time are, whether the club likes it or not, finding it hard to put a positive spin on the current situation. For many loyalty is being stretched to breaking point.

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The team’s home form, not quite fortress Plainmoor, is pretty decent but results on the road would put Torquay 17th and the reaction from the travelling Yellow Army has audibly increased as defeats have followed one another.

The manager, and in some cases the directors, have been subjected to derision and boos at Weston, Hampton, Dartford and now Worthing. When teams are winning most are happy but when it’s the opposite it can be tough.

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Towards the end of last year, following TUST’s fans’ forum and a ‘protest’ the club, to their credit became proactive with the announcement of an online fans’ forum, the creation of a steering group, similar to the Fans Advisory Boards which many Premier League clubs have introduced, and an offer to re-start meetings with TUST.

The ‘Ask the Board’ forum took place in December with owner Clarke Osborne answering the majority of the questions and fans were assured that not only would there be a face-to-face fans’ forum but also news would be forthcoming about a new stadium.Stadium news emerged last week but with very little detail so we await to see how matters develop.

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Whether any of us like it or not social media is the way in which people voice their views and it is a fact that the number of negative comments about the state of the club, on and off the pitch, are increasing at an alarming rate. Issuing details of the promised steering group is imperative and urgent. What’s the delay?

That brings us to the latest disappointment, a 4-2 loss at Worthing who completed a league double and cemented their second place behind Yeovil. Inexplicably, Worthing’s aggregate score in those two matches was 7-2 something that not that long ago would have been unthinkable.

United are now clinging on to the last play-off place, who would have thought that a full-time professional outfit in a predominantly part-time regional league would have found life so difficult?

Saturday’s visitors St Albans sit on the same number of points but are outside the top seven only on goal difference.

Worthing’s win puts them eight points clear of United and although the Gulls have two games in hand, these are not the same as points in the table.

Then we’re into February, a month crammed with matches, many of which are away and we know Torquay’s dismal record here don’t we!

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Lucas Covolan the hero - who else - and Man of the Match as he helped save Maidstone’s FA Cup journey with a match winning performance at Ipswich on Saturday and to think they put Torquay out on their money spinning journey - £460,000 and counting.

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Non-League Crowd Watch: Chesterfield 8,745, Oldham 6,643, Hartlepool 5,481, St Albans 2,485 helped by Yeovil’s away support and Worthing’s first 2,000+ attendance this season, 2,267, helped by the Yellow Army. Special mention to Isthmian Premier Chatham Town who had 1,634 for a 5-1 home win.

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As a reminder Saturday is another special Community Day, this time for pupils from Years 7, 8, 9 at schools in the TQ postal area. For a bargain £2 they and a parent/guardian can cheer Torquay to a home win.

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National South News: Leaders Yeovil were held to a 1-1 draw at St Albans whose manager David Noble left on Friday to take over at Wealdstone who in turn had lost their manager to Notts County. Welling United despite winning at Hemel Hempstead sacked their manager Danny Bloor after the game and National League Ebbsfleet sacked their manager on Monday.

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With Torquay away I spent the afternoon watching Taunton Town and before the match caught up with the newly formed Peacocks Trust chairman. As a result of serious financial difficulties fans have set up a supporters’ trust holding a sell-out Fans’ Forum last Wednesday. You can help donate towards the trust by going to: https://gofund.me/c4d8fc28. As for the match against play-off side Aveley, it was goalless for 70 minutes but then burst into life with four goals, two apiece, in the next nine minutes. Taunton will be no pushovers when United visit next month especially on a pitch which cuts up very quickly and their number 12 Rabby Tabu Minzamba will be one to watch.

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Managerless Women’s team went down 3-1 on Sunday at Keynsham Town Ladies.

What’s your best Brett McGavin goal? Send to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com


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