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  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 17/08/2023




These are exciting times for the Torquay United Women’s team: promoted as champions into the National League, tier 4 of women’s football for the first time and with the mouthwatering prospect of the new season only days away. They play their opening match on Sunday at Portishead Town.

Director of Football and Chairman Steve Elswood gave the FansZone his take on the forthcoming challenge which lies ahead. For there’s no disguising his appetite for the journey which has taken meticulous planning during the summer break.

In order to satisfy the demands of National League football the club has recently made changes to how the club operates with Elswood taking up his new roles allowing Alan Wyatt to take control of team affairs as manager.

Not only have decisions taken place off the pitch but the club has also been busy in signing new players, seven in total. Elswood explained, “I very much wanted an ethos to bring in young players, meaning they have a real sustainable future for the football club to grow their careers.”

Of those signed four are under 18 and all from Devon. The others who have joined are

experienced National League players with previous clubs including Birmingham City, Cardiff City and London Bees.

Elswood continued, “Guess we’re at that point now where we are looking at aims and

expectations for the season. It would be remiss of me to say that the first box on my list to tick is getting National League football secured for 2024-25.”

In order to get the squad up to speed they have had a tough pre-season bedding the new players in. They started with a difficult game with a strong Cardiff City side but since then they have won the next four friendlies, including a satisfying 2-1 win on Sunday against an Exeter City Under-23 side.

As we all know, pre-season is for getting minutes into legs ensuring every player is fit and able to take on the challenges of a higher standard league.

Elswood is confident he has a very talented squad and says, “I believe we can certainly fight for a top half finish and look to go as far as possible in a couple of cup competitions. We’re here on merit and we’re here to enjoy it.”


TUST is pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring four squad players this season:

defenders Jess Smith and Emma Hollingsworth, midfielder Tee Kaptein and striker Chloe Kind. Like all the Yellow Army TUST wishes the club a successful season and hope that some of their home fixtures will be played at Plainmoor; last season’s one game there was a great success.


Now, what is to be made of Saturday’s woeful display? Playing Worthing for the first time, a side very recently in the Isthmian League, no wonder many of the 2,733 left the ground early after the second goal went in.

Those who have been voicing their feelings on social media and the fans’ forums are those who are loyal Torquay supporters but Saturday’s abject performance was the final straw. It is bad enough to see the club playing in this league but to capitulate as easily as the team did against Worthing was unforgivable.

What has gone wrong? Well, to sum up supporters’ feelings, the defence is too inexperienced, it needs a central defender who knows this league, who is strong, tough and robust. The mid-field sorely misses Kevin Dawson, now not expected to return until at least October. Tom Lapslie misses too many matches through injury and Asa Hall’s legs ‘have gone’.

Whilst the side’s attacking players are capable, the cry is for Collins and Stobbs to be used as out and out attackers rather than wing backs.

Of course, it’s easy being an armchair critic and hiding behind a keyboard but there is no doubt there is a growing groundswell of opinion that is pretty negative about the current state of affairs.

United had a chance last night to right matters but faced a Chippenham side who have made a flying start with two wins including winning 4-2 on Saturday at Havant & Waterlooville. And Torquay’s record against Chippenham is not great; the last time they played South league matches Chippenham won both.

It took the visitors going down to ten men and a 94th minute winner from Aaron Jarvis to get United past Chippenham this time. Playing 4-4-2 this was an improved performance but still not great and there were further injuries with Asa Hall taken to hospital.

Non-League Crowd Watch: Oldham v Aldershot 7,593, Hartlepool v Gateshead 5,018, York City v Kidderminster 4,371, Bury FC v Chadderton 4,115, Scunthorpe v Peterborough Sports 3,390.

Next up it’s a trip to St Alban’s City on Saturday so safe travel to the Yellow Army.

What is the solution to the situation at Plainmoor?


or Twitter/X: @FanszoneT.





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