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Fan Zone 29/02/2024

FAN ZONE


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


‘STAND  UP  IF  YOU  LOVE  TORQUAY’  SANG  THE  POPSIDE


BIG  PLAINMOOR  CROWD  SHOWS  THE  LOVE  FOR  TORQUAY  UNITED


AARON  DOWNES  STEPS  UP  AND  PASSES  THE  TEST


Yes, three points from a much needed win on Saturday would have been very welcome but after the events of last Thursday it was more important to see the strength of support for Torquay United. And fans came out in their thousands - fans who had decided to boycott matches, fans who had fallen out of love with the club, fans who felt the feel good welcome to Plainmoor had gone.


The owner, Clarke Osborne, may have decided enough was enough but Saturday’s attendance - 3,642, 33 of whom were away supporters, showed the depth of feeling there is for the club. With an owner who is a football person and a return to a family-friendly atmosphere, this would go a long way to restoring trust in the club.


The bars were packed, plenty went into the club shop to buy merchandise and the programmes sold out. The lucky winner of the 50-50 half time draw walked away with £1002.


*****


After recent weeks of protests what a change to hear the ground rocking with “Come On You Yellows’ and ‘Stand Up If You Love Torquay’ - it was like a huge dark cloud had been lifted.


So, surely, the time has come for a clean break, out with the old and in with the new owner(s), new ideas installed. Clearly this is the intention of the administrators to achieve before the club goes into actual administration with the inevitable loss of 10 points. There are, by all accounts, a few interested parties hovering in the wings but how serious are they?


Since it was announced that the owner had filed for administration there has been an amazing outpouring of good will not just from the Torbay public but from Gulls fans round the world with many ‘ghost’ tickets being bought. And TUST’s membership has had a huge increase from a week ago it has risen from 497 to 726; a big thanks to all those who have joined.


The strength of love for the club doesn’t end there for other clubs, ex-players and supporters’ trusts have been posting wonderful messages of support, many offering tangible help, some even offering financial contributions.


In this regard step forward Weymouth who host United on Saturday. For every ticket sold to Torquay fans £5 will be donated to TUST.


It is no secret that TUST has been involved in discussions with the administrators and solicitors handling the hopeful sale of the club. Contrary to wild rumours we have had no dealings with Clarke Osborne.


It is at times like this that one sees two sides of social media, one being positive and showing a real desire for Torquay United, the other made-up stories factually baseless.


*****


Aveley came to Plainmoor sitting just outside the play-offs and on a decent run. When they went 2-0 down the momentum was with United but the penalty in first half stoppage time was a game changer and probably altered both manager’s team talks.


Regulars have seen in recent weeks St Albans, Slough and Aveley not intimidated by playing on the lush, green surface in what is a football stadium well up to Football League standards - well, maybe the floodlights could do with an upgrade.


A wonder strike in the second half gave the visitors their point while Aaron Downes’ side tried hard for a winner.


With Gary Johnson departed Downes stepped up with Asa Hall acting as his assistant and all fans were particularly impressed with Downes’ after match interview. TUST has sent him and the players a good luck message.


*****


There are 36 points still to play for and a seven point gap to close if United are to figure in the end of season play-offs so administration, resulting in a ten point deduction, has to be avoided at all costs.


Known as the ‘business end of the season’, this is the time when directors start to worry about the possibility of relegation so on Monday struggling York City sacked Neal Ardley as they sit just outside the bottom four in the National League, with one of those sides being, surprisingly Woking.


*****


Non-League Crowd Watch: Oldham’s biggest attendance since 2008 was 11,881, Chesterfield 8,301, Southend 6,631, Scunthorpe 3,419.


In the Southern League Premier South it was Hanwell Town at home to Swindon Supermarine. For Swindon a Jake Andrews penalty gave the visitors a 2-0 lead and for the home side a late consolation with Elliot Benyon on the score sheet.


*****


United’s Women suffered a league defeat last Thursday at leaders Exeter with the home fixture, due to be played at Brixham’s Wall Park, switched to Exeter’s Cliff Hill training ground. The Women went down 4-2 on Sunday at Moneyfields but in their defence they have had a lot of injuries to deal with and have had to play without any subs.


*****


Saturday’s away travel club coach was filled up by Monday and it looks like a great Yellow Army following at the Bob Lucas stadium.


The club might well be looking for new ownership but there’s a beating heart with much love for Torquay United.

COYY







 


SUPPORT TUST - SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY


 





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