The dawn of a new era...
It has been a long time since fans of Torquay United have been so optimistic about the start of a new season. They may no longer be a Football League side but after a number of dramatic changes over the close season there is a sense of quiet optimistism surrounding the club.
In a few short months the club is under new ownership (a consortium of local businessmen under the chairmanship of Alex Rowe); has a new Chief Executive (Colin Lee); a new manager (Paul Buckle); a new coach (Shaun North); a goalkeeping coach (Ken Veysey); a General Manager (Daryl Batten); a new groundsman (Mark Burd) and has re-introduced a Youth Team (under the guidance of Matt Williams).
It is not only behind the scenes where there have been changes. Since losing their place in the Football League the following players have all left Torquay United:
Lee Andrews, Craig Taylor, Matt Villis (Tiverton), Lee Thorpe (Brentford), Mark Robinson (York City), Stephen Cooke (Halesowen), Chris McPhee (Ebbsfleet trial), Martin Horsell, Stev Angus (Grimsby trial), Paul Smith, Dean Gordon, Martin Phillips.
In their place, the new manager - Paul Buckle - has brought in:
Martin Rice, Chris Todd, Steve Phillips and Raiff Gwinnett (all Exeter City), Kevin Nicholson (Forest Green Rovers), Chris Robertson (Sheffield United), Paul Hinshelwood (Brighton), Simon Rayner (Lincoln City), Chris Hargreaves (Oxford United), Tony Bedeau (Walsall), Tim Sills (Hereford United), Danny Wring and Elliot Benyon (Bristol City), Danny Stevens (Luton Town), Chris Zebrowski (Millwall).
Indeed a transfer fee was paid to Exeter City for Chris Todd and Steve Phillips.
All the members of the Gloucester Gulls wish everyone at Torquay United a successful season and hope that it will be the shortest possible stay in non-league football.