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FAN ZONE 17/06/2022



It might be the close season but the Torquay United Supporters’ Trust (TUST) have been busy working hard, as is its remit, to be involved in projects with the local community.

On Saturday, TUST along with the Torquay United Community Sports’ Trust (TUCST) organised the first ever Junior Disability League held at the Paignton Community & Sports Academy.

There are around 50 boys and girls, aged from 5 years old, already signed up with the support of their enthusiastic parents and carers who will benefit from this new initiative.

It has come about thanks to the amazing fund raising of long-term Gulls’ supporter Sam Balsdon who ran 122 laps of Plainmoor on a sponsored marathon back in 2019, at that time raising money to build a cover over the wheelchair away end of Bristow’s Bench.

In the end the club completed this work during the Covid lockdowns so with around £1,500 in the kitty, helped by contributions from TUST members, it was decided to support TUCST’s Junior Inspirations Group.

The sums raised have helped to pay for not only facility hire but also purchase of all the kit, including the distinctive yellow and blue footballs.

TUCST manager Matt Anthony said, “This is an opportunity for participants to take part in competitive and friendly matches.”

And his colleague Jake Topping added, “We had an exciting and fun morning, helping the kids to enjoy playing football.”

The plan is, over the summer, to hold more sessions and TUCST welcomes any other children to come along and try it out - keep a look-out in the local press and schools for further information.

Topping explained, “The idea is to help the juniors by providing a positive and safe environment to prepare them for competitive football, leading to the adult inspirations teams.”

TUST chairman Michel Thomas said, “I would like to sincerely thank our TUST membership for their continuing support in reaching out to our local community with wonderful causes relating to our football club, such as this.”

Let the last word go to the fund raiser, Sam Balsdon who was present at the inaugural opening, “It was personally a very moving moment to see this initiative coming to fulfilment. A lovely idea.”


Tonight Friday, June 17, TUST are also sponsoring another great idea, this time it’s the ‘Legends of the Leroy Era’ being run by the TalkingTorquay Pod.

This event, a reunion of those key players who played under Leroy Rosenior’s promotion winning squad of season 2003-04, will be streamed live on YouTube from 7pm. You can see and hear not only Rosenior himself but also Martin Gritton, Kevin Hill, Alex Russell and Jo Kuffour. Tickets are still available at £10, register on Eventbrite, with all proceeds going to charity.

Last year a similar session, the ‘Legends of the Buckle Era’, raised £1,800. This year’s money is going to The Trussell Trust which supports a nationwide network of food banks providing emergency food and support to people in poverty in the UK.

If you can’t watch live, you’ll be able to access a recording.


With the Government due to release a White Paper soon on Tracey Crouch’s Fan-Led Review, the FA and the Premier League separately, last week, held discussions, which seem to have gone under the radar, to pre-empt any likely sanctions imposed on them.

At the Premier League’s clubs’ panel meeting one of the ideas put forward is a Fan Engagement standard. The proposal would lead to the introduction of Fan Advisory Boards within every Premier League club, with a nominated Board level official taking responsibility for the club’s fan engagement.

The Premier League said, “These new standards will ensure long-term meaningful engagement with supporters.” The PL will consult with clubs and the Football Supporters’ Association to finalise the framework, with the aim to see its introduction next season.

“Fans are the lifeblood of the game and are essential to their clubs” the spokesman added.

Meanwhile the FA are looking into setting up a new board to act as an independent regulator, the key element of the Fan-Led Review, consisting of representatives from football, in particular grass-roots.

This could prove popular with football’s two main governing bodies by setting up their own regulator rather than having one imposed.


So, how did the pundits do with their pre-season predictions for promotion back in 2021? Steve Harris: Chesterfield, Wrexham, Stockport Adam Virgo, BT Sport: Chesterfield, Stockport, Dagenham & Redbridge Fans’ Zone: Stockport, Chesterfield, Wrexham All three included champions Stockport County, not bad!


Gary Johnson told the Yellow Army to enjoy their summer holidays leaving him and his staff to worry about recruiting his new side. But in this age of social media there is forever speculation about potential targets and various names have been banded about.

With the club releasing the latest photos of the work done on the pitch renovations, it’s looking top class, let’s hope the new intake will be looking forward to playing on it. It’s a green carpet.

What we do know is the current make-up of those left: Keeper Mark Halstead; Defenders Dan Martin, Dean Moxey and Ali Omar; Midfielders Asa Hall, Tom Lapslie, Alex Moyse, Keelan O’Connell and Gabby Rogers; one Striker in Olaf Koszela.

In the past week Danny Wright has moved on to National South Havant & Waterlooville, Armani Little has followed Notts County manager, Ian Burchnall, out of the National League and on to League 1 Forest Green Rovers and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans is moving his young family north to join newly promoted Stockport County. United’s third choice keeper, Marcin Brzozowski, has joined Southern League South Hendon. We await the destinations of Ben Wynter and probably Joe Lewis.


Last week’s Jubilee Three Word Fun produced some gems: Glorious Jubilee Weekend, Loads of Overtime, Prince Louis Shone, Bringing Everyone Together and Marmalade Returns, Hooray!

The new National League season’s fixtures are out on Wednesday July 6.

Kick-ins instead of throw-ins are to be trialled. What’s your view? Send yours to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT





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