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FANS' ZONE 30/10/2021




COMMUNITY DAY, A DEBUT TO REMEMBER AND A RETURN TO WINNING WAYS BUT WILL THE EXTRA FANS COME BACK?


A debut to remember, new loan signing Sinclair Armstrong - Leg Strong and Muscle Strong too - named not only Man of the Match but also named in the Non-League Paper ‘Team of the Day’ tried too to sneak the match ball at the final whistle by stuffing it inside his shirt. He’ll have to score a hat-trick before he can claim the ball! Then he stayed out on the pitch by the Family Stand receiving his MOM award from the Mayor and Kevin Foster, Torbay’s MP before having numerous selfies with eager fans.

‘Community Day’ certainly pulled in extras into the ground and it was good to see the away end full of potential Gulls’ supporters. Let’s hope they saw enough to want to return and become regulars.

TUST would have willingly helped to run the previously popular Fan Zone with entertainment for youngsters before the game but this wasn’t an option; maybe the next time the club runs a similar day?

Interestingly, Plymouth Argyle offer family activities, pre-match entertainment, including live music and a Fan Zone from 11.00am on Saturdays.

Back to Saturday’s match and Armstrong’s pace and power was just what’s been missing upfront with his goal coming at a crucial time. His inclusion also seemed to bring the best out of Lolos; together they could be a formidable pair running at retreating defences.

The other loanee, Harry Perritt, settled in as the match wore on but Joe Lewis stood out as a commanding figure at the back, crowning his leadership with a goal as well as being selected for the Vanarama Team of the Week.

Although there was a full National League fixture list on Tuesday, United weren’t playing - should have been their game against Macclesfield - so they now have a slight advantage over next opponents Wrexham on Saturday with the game being played on their newly re-laid pitch in front of a media circus and a predicted record crowd and now without their star striker.


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National League Crowd Watch: Notts County v Stockport County pulled in 7,418, Grimsby v Yeovil was watched by 6,470 while Boreham Wood’s visit to Chesterfield had 5,477. Compare these with League Two leaders Forest Green whose crowd was 2,245.

Whilst it’s never likely to happen in the football world, rugby fans are being treated to a try fest as Premiership clubs are playing without fear as there’s no relegation this season. Compared with this stage last year there’s been 30+ more tries scored already. Supporters have more entertainment, more excitement with players playing to their potential.

Let’s acknowledge United’s neighbours with Exeter City riding high in the League Two play-off section and Argyle top of League One. They had almost 13,000 at Home Park last mid-week to see their 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.

Manager Ryan Lowe speaking recently appreciating many of his players are living away from home doesn’t issue fines for rule breaches. ‘I don’t need money from players.’ Instead, offenders have to take the squad to Nando’s. ‘I order a whole chicken, the works,’ said Lowe. ‘Even if I don’t want it! United’s disciplinary record this season isn’t great so a similar system could see plenty of business for a local restaurant!

Don’t mention penalty shoot-outs to the Yellow Army but spare a thought for the supporters of two West Midland teams - Old Wulfrunians from Wolverhampton and Bloxwich side Lane Head - who set a new English record for the number of penalties taken - 44! This beat the 34 set by a recent Southern League Cup game between Taunton Town and Truro City. In this latest game Old Wulfs won 19-18.

Another Torquay United team making progress in the cup, this time it’s the Women who have progressed into the Women’s FA Cup 1st Round following a 6-0 victory at Poole Town on Sunday picking up £600 in prize money. They now face a trip to AFC St Austell Ladies next month. **************************************************************************

Gary Johnson has seemingly been under pressure following a run of poor results, including the early FA Cup exit but a recent post on one of the fans’ forums has put the situation into perspective.

Tony (aka Skybluegull) posted an open letter on BTPIR, after United’s 4-2 cup replay defeat, to Johnson, “Yesterday was a dark day…Torquay losing to lower non-league opposition and my other team Coventry City losing. And then there was the phone call, the one from my consultant, the one confirming I have the Big C. They’ve caught it early, I have between 10 and 15 years with the appropriate treatment. Then there was telling my wife and two daughters. What do I want in the time remaining? To see my youngest daughter get married, to have some grandchildren to adore and spoil, to travel round the world with my wife, celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and to follow Torquay United back in the Football League.

And this Gary is where you can help…so pass this message on to all the players…let them know how lucky they are to have their health, have a job playing football.”

TUST sends Tony best wishes and support.


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On a personal note on my first visit to Plainmoor this year following heart surgery and other medical complications many thanks for the welcome back not only from those who sit with me in the Family Stand but also from United CEO George Edwards who took the time and trouble to seek me out; a kind much appreciated gesture.

Future of heading in football? This divides opinion with more information needed before fans make up their minds. This week United travel to Wrexham who are trying to buy their way out of the National League. What’s your view on this? Send your comments to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com or Twitter: @FanszoneT

For the Yellow Army travelling to Wales stay safe.

COYY.



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