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  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 09/12/2022




With shops and radio stations blasting out ‘It’s Christmassss’ and other festive tunes, we know it’s December and the season of goodwill. But for Torquay United’s long-suffering fans it’s the season of Goodwin.

A good win in every sense as a lone strike from the Gulls’ loan striker Will Goodwin saw United grab all three points in a tense victory over usually reliable at home Dagenham & Redbridge.

Manager Gary Johnson is on record saying he wants to be out of the bottom four by Christmas and with one fixture remaining, a visit on Sunday to Oldham, another win could see his wish come true.

Oldham, though, had a match at Boreham Wood on Tuesday and their loss cemented their place in 23rd.

Sunday’s game is on BT Sport and from United’s other televised appearances this season they clearly enjoy being in the limelight; their three TV appearances have been entertaining affairs with a total of 17 goals to savour including two late, late Gary Time equalisers.


And talking of TV, the National League has, at last, given details of the forthcoming live streaming between Boxing Day, when it begins in full, and the end of the season.

For a day pass of £9.50, supporters will be able to access National League TV, to take your pick of which game - and you’ll be able to switch between matches - as opposed to buying a pass for an individual match of a specific club.

No matches will be screened on Saturdays between 2.45pm and 5.15pm as stated in UEFA Article 48. Matches screened live on BT Sport won’t be included on the platform.

There is no cost to clubs as games will be filmed by outside cameras while commentary will come from local radio or club feeds.

Whilst the distribution of revenue might favour the better attended sides, especially those with big away followings, it is a step in the right direction which will surely appeal to clubs’ exiles whether in the UK or abroad.

Overseas viewers will have monthly or season ticket options and they are not affected by the Article 48 blackout.


Last weekend was a good one to admit being part of the Yellow Army as United’s Women claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory at Poole Town Ladies with Esme Kilburn Thompson (2) and regular scorer Ellie Bishop on target.

The win came on the day league leaders Forest Green fell to defeat at home to Bristol Rovers; Steve Elswood’s side take on Forest Green on Sunday at Coach Road, six points behind them but the Gulls have three games in hand.


National League Crowd Watch: York City, with a new manager David Webb (no, not that one) snatched a late draw against Wrexham in front of 7,145; Southend had 5,593 while strugglers Scunthorpe had their gate boosted to 4,196 thanks to visitors Notts County bringing plenty. In National North 2,268 were at Chester.


With fancied Belgium and Germany both out, England’s 3-0 win over Senegal on Sunday sets up a fascinating Quarter-Final clash with a French side, tres formidable. This tie should certainly pull in a massive TV audience on both sides of the Channel.

Who knew that this year’s World Cup ball, made by Adidas, is called ‘Al Rihla’, in English translated as ‘the journey’? In a previous World Cup the ball, ‘Jabulani’, used in 2010, caused problems to goalkeepers because of its swerve in flight. This time around players are finding it difficult to cross and more importantly to take free kicks, although Marcus Rashford disproved this.

Adidas design director Franziska Loffelmann had this to say, “The new design allows the ball to maintain a significantly higher speed as it journeys through the air.”

Amazingly, the Al Rihla has a motion sensor in it to help with VAR decisions, using artificial intelligence to track the ball for offside decisions using FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology.

For those of us brought up on lace-up balls which weighed a ton when wet, all this is mind boggling; while those of us at Plainmoor just want to see it in the opposition net more times than in ours!


Great news at the weekend about ex-Gull, Bath City striker Alex Fletcher who came out of hospital following his serious head injury. He messaged the following, “Whilst I know it may take some time to get back out on the pitch, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all once again for your incredible care, love and support.”


With United moving off the bottom of the table they were replaced by Scunthorpe United, last season in League 2, and up to the end of last week, no staff at Scunthorpe had been paid for November and the sale of the club had fallen through.

Then, within days two local business men, Simon Elliott and Ian Sharp, agreed to take over but they still have no permanent manager.


Following on from the start of the VIP Treats for children, the club announced Christmas Tours for 100 kids and within days this was sold out. In addition the club has joined with Torbay Council to promote Guide Dogs for the Blind - a very worthy cause. Full credit to the club for its #OneClub #One Community projects during the year.


There’s breaking news that the National League are in ‘constructive talks’ with the EFL about three-up, three-down between League 2 and the National League. More details in next week’s column.

Who’s your tip to win the World Cup? Send your prediction to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT.

Next week look forward to Part One of the Christmas Quiz.

Safe travels to those going to Oldham on Sunday while others sit in front of a TV - in the warm.





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