FANS' ZONE 10/12/2020
COSMIC UNITED GO FIVE POINTS CLEAR AS FANS PRAISE CLUB’S ORGANISATION FOR RETURN TO PLAINMOOR
There might have been less than the 1250 fans allowed into Plainmoor on Saturday but those amongst the 975 Yellow Army who did would have been forgiven for unashamedly singing on their journey to the ground the 1969 top ten hit, ‘Bringing On Back The Good Times’ as they re-kindled their Love Affair with all things Torquay, although humming Peters & Lee’s ‘Welcome Home’ was a step too far!
Surely the 3-1 victory over visitors Wrexham to retain top spot and remain unbeaten since early October was the icing on the cake, for the real winner was the club’s organisation, led by the Covid -19 Officer, George Edwards, to ensure the fans’ return went without a hitch.
On the forums these are just a selection of comments from the Yellow Army: ‘It was far more enjoyable than I was expecting…’, ‘the club handled the game very well, the regulations put in were not over the top..’, ‘well organised and efficient..’, ‘it was great to be back watching football ‘live’ again, really enjoyed the experience and thought the club did well to organise the crowd..’, ‘stewards did a great job showing fans to their spots and assisting..' And probably the one comment that sums up the afternoon: ‘it felt a really safe environment.’
Of course those season ticket holders who chose not to attend will have done so for very personal reasons preferring to watch the live streaming. It would help the club if ST holders could let them know that their seat will be vacant.
For those who do attend don’t bring a flask as it will be confiscated but returned after the match.
Last week’s question asked, if allowed, how many would go to the match and the replies indicated by 2 to 1 that season ticket holders would stay away - ‘until there’s a vaccine’ was a typical reason.
The Yellow Army should be praised for following the code of conduct to the letter on Saturday which has meant capacity was raised to 1500 for Tuesday’s visit of Maidenhead but there were only 5 extra fans taking Tuesday’s attendance to 980.
The first half performance was relentless with possession in Maidenhead’s half easily as high as 85 per cent but just the one, terrific lob, Ben Whitfield goal. The manager’s cosmic assessment summed up that pulsating half.
National League news: Not all NL clubs were allowed fans on Saturday with Notts County and Hartlepool, both at home, playing behind closed doors as their grounds are in Tier 3, for those sides that did have crowds these were the attendance figures: Bromley had 1031, Eastleigh 995, Sutton 934, Aldershot 920, Weymouth 800.
Dover, meanwhile, had a case of coronavirus which resulted not only in their fixture at the weekend being called off but also their next three. At present they’ve only played nine games so their re-arranged games are going to pile up with their next scheduled match not until December 22.
Congratulations to Ben Whitfield for making the NL Team of the Day after the Wrexham win. November’s NL Manager of the Month was Wrexham’s Dean Keates with Player of the Month going to Luke Young.
Last week in Westminster Hall MPs, including members from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters, met to debate football governance, attended by sports minister Nigel Huddleston, calling for the Government to fire up its ‘fans led review’ of football. Whilst the sports minister promised the Government would not kick the review into the long grass he was unable to either announce a firm timetable or any terms of reference.
Ten games into the season is usually when managers like to assess their team’s start to a new campaign so it’s not surprising with a return of 25 points from a possible 30 that boss Gary Johnson gives his squad an A+ and, at this stage, should award himself an A** for his leadership.
Importantly he’s instilled into his players a phenomenal work rate as well as a reputation in the league for scoring late goals. And now after 12 games it’s 31 points from 36 - what a start!
Johnson must be pleased for his son Lee who has been appointed manager at Sunderland with the big task to take them back up the leagues; let’s hope he doesn’t come knocking for players as Kyle Cameron and Ben Whitfield, amongst others, put in regular eye-catching performances. This column praises him regularly for his man management skills, another example of which is Friday’s Wheel of Fortune when players have the opportunity to spin the wheel if they’ve been fined during the week with choices, depending on where the arrow lands, of nominating another player to pay it, or getting let off or worse having it doubled although the manager’s decision is final!
Thanks to those who contributed to last week’s question. This week send in your Christmas wish for the team to: email@example.com.
As always to the Yellow Army stay safe - and follow the Code of Conduct