FANS' ZONE 07/01/2021
CONNOR - ‘HOTTEST TALENT OUTSIDE FOOTBALL LEAGUE'
Not the result we hoped for nor the start to 2021 we wanted but as the manager rightly said after that Yeovil defeat, “We won’t let it ruin our season.” It was a jaded, below par performance from most of the squad with the exception of Aaron Nemane for the Yellow Army to watch, not helped by the streaming camera playing its own ‘Spot the Ball’ competition.
Now into Lockdown 3 and without a league game until next Tuesday, the break may well have come at a good moment to allow, hopefully, more recovery time for Wright, Little and Wynter as well as a rest for those who have been ever present all season.
And don’t bet against the Johnson brothers using this break to reassess the squad to look to see if there are any signings to strengthen the promotion push, for those running the club are determined to be in the Football League next season.
Strong rumours around that Crystal Palace striker, 19 year old Rob Street, is Torquay bound and Adam Randell’s loan is to be extended to the end of the season. We await official confirmation.
Keeping the current squad together is going to be vital so not helped with the weekend’s Non-League Paper claiming Connor Lemonheigh-Evans is seen by many ‘as the hottest talent outside of the Football League.’
Quiz of the Year Part 2 July - December
11. Which team did Armani Little support as a kid?
12. In July what did the club shop start selling for the first time ever?
13. Gary Johnson’s last match in charge of Latvia was a 1-1 draw against which country?
14. In July Ben Whitfield was named the Player of the Season for 2019-20 but who was runner-up?
15. In August Fraser Kerr signed from which other National League club?
16. Josh Umerah joined the Gulls from which club?
17. In September which loan player returned to Bristol City?
18. In October JJ Evans went on loan to which club?
19. After that FA Cup 5-6 defeat who did Crawley draw in Round 2?
20. Which same player scored United’s first goal of 2020 in January, a 2-1 FA Trophy defeat to FC Halifax and United’s last goal in December 2020 in a 4-3 League win at Weymouth?
Answers next week but you can send yours to: email@example.com or Twitter:@fanszone.tu
Answers to last week’s Part 1 January to June: 1. United were knocked out of the St. Luke’s Cup by Tavistock. 2. Nemane played for Godhead Eagles. 3. Bradford City loan was Jackson Longridge. 4. Hall of Fame was Justin Fashanu. 5. Player of the Month Asa Hall. 6. Azeez scored on both debuts. 7. Cameron played for York City. 8. Nemane was born in Amiens, France. 9. Covolan’s first club was Whitehawk. 10. Koszela supports Chelsea.
National League news: BT Sport has renewed its exclusive rights to broadcast the Vanarama National League for a further three years until the end of season 2023-24. This new deal includes matches to be shown live in a regular Saturday slot.
Meanwhile the funding row has escalated. This column has been following the developments since the Government/Lottery grant of £10m was first distributed in October last year. The method of payments was challenged by numerous National League clubs forcing the NL board to set up an independent review committee.
Subsequently the chairman of this group, David Bernstein, former FA chairman, issued an open letter revealing that the NL board were not only refusing to release their report but were also asking for more clarification.
With the threat of legal action looming and a new set of funding, albeit loans rather than grants, of £11m for Steps 1 & 2 about to be distributed, the National League needs to urgently clarify what’s going on.
United manager Gary Johnson told us back in the summer how important it might be for the Gulls to accumulate as many points as quickly as possible should the season be brought to a premature end, like last season.
If the National League has a formula for such an event they’ve kept it under wraps but surely they need to declare what will happen especially as the country is now under Lockdown 3 for what could be at least the next two months.
There’s been talk that the Premier League is to give their clubs two options should the season be curtailed with their choices being either 66 per cent or 75 per cent of fixtures having to be played to validate the season - that’s either 25 or 29 matches.
After Saturday United completed their 17th match so if the NL followed the above scenario they would be required to have played either 30 or 33 fixtures.
The biggest headache for administrators must be the growing number of Covid postponements - 53 so far - and the catching up that will be required. Maidenhead manager Alan Devonshire is already thinking there will games involving Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. With the NL league fixtures due to finish by the end of May, extending the season seems the only answer.
Sad loss of one of United’s unsung heroes, Clint Boulton, who died last Friday. He was a no-nonsense, versatile member of the Gulls from 1971 to 1979, Player of the Season in 1977, making 286 appearances, scoring 36 goals.
To all the Yellow Army stay safe.