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Fan Zone 02/12/2022



TUST CHAIRMAN MICHEL THOMAS STEPS DOWN WHAT’S ON GARY’S CHRISTMAS LIST?

AND THE WORLD CUP HOTS UP


At TUST we held our AGM last Thursday at Torquay Athletic’s rugby HQ and the members heard about another busy year for the Torquay United Supporters Trust.

Chairman for the past five years Michel Thomas stepped down from his role having led the trust to its highest profile in its history.

I was honoured to have been chosen to take over but not before presenting Michel with a special glass trophy and some wine in recognition of his years in charge.

Amongst the guests was Torbay MP Kevin Foster who, following a question from the audience, spoke about the current situation regarding the Government’s Fan-Led Review which readers of this column are aware of TUST’s involvement.

Foster confirmed the review is still in play but no further action is likely until into next year. He also added about the meeting, “It was good to reflect on not only the current position of the club but also the wider issues affecting the game.”

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Members heard that the trust has been involved in a partnership with the club to provide VIP treats for local children with autism and other learning difficulties and the first group of youngsters were at Saturday’s match.

They had a pre-match tour of Plainmoor familiarising themselves with their new surroundings, making good use of the special gift voucher before settling down to watch the game.

Mention was also made of the trust supporting United’s Women’s team and the Torquay United Community Sports Trust.

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In atrocious conditions - and full credit to the ground staff for getting the pitch in good shape - Saturday’s opponents Gateshead sitting, like Torquay, at the wrong end of the table, clearly came not to lose the game.

Although he was the same for both sides, the replacement referee, deputising for the original ref who went off injured, was an embarrassment and clearly not at ease with his role, turning a blind eye to a number of controversial incidents.

His inefficiency added to the frustrations running through the home crowd who, whilst acknowledging the effort, were, once again, dismayed by the lack of quality and decision making.

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He’s struggled to show us his potential for the season so far but on Saturday Brett McGavin’s display was rewarded with a place in the Non-League Paper’s Team of the Day.

And Aaron Jarvis made the Vanarama Team of the Week.

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These are testing times to be a Torquay United supporter and with World Cup matches on TV plus miserable weather, a crowd of 1,809 was a good turn-out.

And credit to the 27 who made the arduous trip from the north-east.

What is to be done?

It’s clear that the club are sticking with the manager and putting their faith in his ability to turn this around but Gary Johnson’s hopes of being out of the bottom four by Christmas are fading after every match.

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Before the next home fixture there are tough trips to Dagenham & Redbridge this Saturday (12.30pm kick-off) and Oldham the following Sunday on BT Sport.

One piece of good news coming out of Plainmoor is Mark Ellis agreeing to another month of his loan from Barrow although Scott Smith has returned to Wigan and Elliot Ness to Charlton.

For many United supporters it’s hard to remain positive about the side’s chances of avoiding relegation; to stay up Johnson’s squad have got to have a huge transformation as only three wins all season so far tells its own story.

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This is proving to be one of the most divisive World Cups in the history of the competition with the off-field controversies having as much media time as the actual competition.

Reader Terry Whitehead sent his thoughts to fanszone.tu@gmail.com summing up his feelings, “I have been losing interest in the money dominated Premier League and the prima donna players in the England team for some time,” adding, “ I’m happier now watching ‘real’ football, win or lose, as part of the Yellow Army.”

Was it a coincidence that England’s lacklustre display against the USA was on Black Friday, a day which is hyped up full of dubious bargains? That the Three Lions got a draw was a piece of good fortune with the result setting up, as the Daily Mail eloquently put it, the ‘Battle of Britain’ on Tuesday which turned out to be the Marcus Rashford show.

The World Cup is hotting up with Belgium and Germany gone.

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It was a disappointing weekend for United’s two other teams. First, the Under-18s went down to a 1-0 league defeat, their first of the season, to Somerset rivals Yeovil Town while, despite goals from Becky McMullen and Ellie Bishop, the Women’s side exited the 2nd Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup to hosts Bournemouth Sports as Steve Elswood’s side went out 3-2.

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In midweek it was a Southern League Division 1 South battle between two ex-Gulls - managers Tim Sills of Wimborne Town and Exmouth Town’s Kevin Hill.

Another non-league manager to keep an eye on is much travelled Steve King turning fortunes around at Gloucester City

A tight fought game saw Sills’ side come out 2-1 victors allowing Wimborne to leapfrog their opponents in the league table moving up to third.

Two up and coming managers learning their trade.

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Two recently re-formed former Football League clubs continue to make noticeable progress through the leagues. Both are now in National North and getting good gates. On Saturday 1,905 at Scarborough Athletic and 1,778 at Hereford FC.

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With over a week gone in the World Cup who’s your tip for the two sides to reach the final? Send your names to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com or Twitter: @FanszoneT United are on the road for the next two fixtures, first to London followed by Oldham a week later in front of the TV cameras.

The last time a United player scored away from home was Ali Omar at Wealdstone in September - time for a change of fortune.

COYY








 


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