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Fan Zone 10/05/2024

FAN ZONE



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



BRYN  ADDS  BITE  TO  THE  CONSORTIUM  HOPING  TO  TAKE  OVER  TORQUAY


GAVIN  &  STACEY  RETURN  WHILE  BROMLEY  ENTER  THE  PROMISED  LAND


TORQUAY  WOMEN  LOSE  NINE  GOAL  THRILLER  AND  LEAGUE  STATUS




What’s in a name? Suddenly Bryn is the one making the headlines for four different reasons. In the week when the hit BBC TV series ‘Gavin & Stacey’ announced the last ever episode will be shown in a Christmas special at the end of the year, it thrust Bryn further into the limelight.


First there was Bryn the Alsatian, more of which later, the Bryn Consortium looking to be confirmed as the new custodians of Torquay United, Bryn, the uncle of Stacey, who has a gym in his bedroom and Byron Webster, captain of Bromley scoring the winning penalty in the National Play-Off Final at Wembley on Sunday.


Who would have thought that such an innocuous name could conjure up such interest? Bryn in ‘Gavin & Stacey’ aka Rob Brydon driving a mint coloured Citroen Xsara Picasso; Bryn Webster sending Bromley into the Football League for the first time after 132 years in non-league football.


*****


TUST sends its congratulations to Bromley manager Andy Woodman, who I had a good chat with after they’d played the last time at Plainmoor, following Bromley’s 4-3 penalty shoot-out win against Solihull Moors.


Woodman has done his apprenticeship being a goalkeeper coach at West Ham, Charlton, Newcastle and Crystal Palace after a playing career involving 11 league and non-league clubs.


After working at Arsenal, in 2017 he became manager of Whitehawk in the Isthmian League before moving on to Bromley.


Woodman, who was England’s Gareth Southgate’s best man at his wedding, says, “Our budget is the 16th or 17th highest in the National League.” He continued, “You have to bring in hungry players and set a team up not to play textbook football but to win.”

Like Sutton United when they moved into the EFL, Bromley will have to dig up their 3G pitch and put grass down to comply with league regulations.


*****


Cast your mind back to May 9 1987. To stay in the football league Torquay couldn’t afford to lose in the last home game of the season. Crewe were the visitors to Plainmoor on a hot, sunny afternoon in front of 3,655. With Crewe 2-0 ahead, their second scored by a certain David Platt, it looked desperate but a Jim McNichol free kick gave some hope but little did he know that he was to play a pivotal role in the later events.


With the crowd looking as if there could be trouble the police sent in the dogs to maintain order but close to the finish police dog Bryn got overexcited and bit McNichol. The delay led to four minutes added time in which Paul Dobson equalised and saved United from going out of the league.


Police dog handler John Harris explained later, “It was just an unfortunate accident, he (Bryn) was just doing his job.”


And who was the reporter who wrote up the story in the Herald Express? None other than the lead investor in the Bryn Consortium Michael Westcott.


*****


From National South Braintree Town are back in the National League after a five year absence following a 4-3 extra time win over Worthing on Bank Holiday Monday.

In other play-off finals also played on Monday Salisbury and fan owned Enfield Town will be playing in National South next season.


Salisbury beat Scott Rendell’s AFC Totton 4-3 on penalties in the Southern League Premier South while Enfield Town were comfortable 3-0 winners over Chatham Town in the Isthmian Premier.


Play-Off Matches Crowd Watch: Bromley v Solihull Moors at Wembley 23,374, Worthing v Braintree 3,250, Macclesfield v Worksop 3,098, Chatham Town v Enfield 3,000.

Hats off to Farnham Town in the Cherry Red Combined Counties Premier South who finished their season with this record: played 38 won 35 drawn 3 lost 0 for 130 against 19 pts 108.


*****


It was disappointment for the Torquay United Women whose last match at home to Swindon gave them a glimmer of hope of staying up but it all went horribly wrong inside the first half as United found themselves trailing 1-5 at half-time.


However, in a fantastic attempt to salvage some pride the Gulls got back to 4-5 only to lose the game and their position in tier 4 of women’s football.

Plans, though, are already in place for a swift return.


*****


With Wrexham promoted again, now on their way to League 1, their captain Luke Young has been released. Once a popular figure at Plainmoor, Young made 259 appearances for the Welsh side, scoring 22 goals. He won back-to-back Player of the Season awards 2019/20 and 2020/21. Last season he made 25 League 2 appearances.


*****


So, United fans await further news about the new preferred bidders, the Bryn Consortium. All these things take time as due diligence has to be thorough.


Scunthorpe United, like Torquay, desperate to return to better times, find themselves in a second season in National North and like Torquay, the Iron went through a difficult spell, at one point looking as if they were going out of business and having to re-locate.


Then a new buyer came in but, having released their manager last week, the new owner Michelle Harness said, “We are re-structuring to bring expenditure in line with the level and what the football club can afford.” Another club cutting its cloth to stay afloat.


What changes would you like to see at Torquay?


Reader Adrian Chappell agrees a reserve side would be a great idea.


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