The 2017/18 season has been over for 6 weeks and now its time to look ahead at who The Beachboys are set to face in the new campaign which as always will bring new challenges and more importantly, new teams. This is the third of a 6 part series that we will be releasing over the next month to get you all in the excited spirit for new season under Sammy Moore.

This week for ‘Campaign 2018-19 – The New Opponents’, we look at Torquay United.

Who Are They?

Torquay are based in Devon and were formed in 1889 and they suffered relegation last season from the National League.

The original Torquay United was formed in 1899 by a group of school-leavers under the guidance of Sergeant-Major Edward Tomney. The new club played its inaugural match against an Upton Cricket Club XI on one of local farmer, John Wright’s fields, situated at the top of Penny’s Hill, on Teignmouth Road.

The club capitalised on a successful few seasons in the local leagues to apply and get finally accepted to join the Football League Third Division at the expense of Aberdare Athletic who dissolved a year later. From 1927 onwards, the club played most of their football in the Football League’s bottom tier whilst they’ve also spent a few seasons in the 3rd tier.

Since the turn of the century in 2000, the club managed one season back at Step 3/ League 1 in 2004/05 before suffering relegation 2 years later to the Conference Premier after having spent 2 years in League 2. The club managed to get promoted at the 2nd time of asking from Non-League’s Top Flight before suffering relegation back to Step 5 in 2014. The Gulls spent much of their time in Step 5 finishing poorly with their 4 seasons in the division ending in 13th, 18th, 17th and 22nd.

The Ground

The Gulls play their home games at Plainmoor and they’ve been there since 1921.

In May 1985, the ground caught fire just 6 days after the Valley Parade Stadium fire tragedy in Bradford. There was speculation if the fire was done as a copycat arson of the Bradford City fire but it was concluded that Plainmoor fire was caused by an electrical fault. Nobody was injured in this as it happened in the morning.

The stadium has a capacity of 6500 with 2950 seated. The ground will continue to be segregated for our visit this season.

Last Season:

They finished the 2017/18 National League season in 22nd place, with 42 points and scored only 45 goals which ultimately relegated them to Step 2 for the first time following 4 years back in the non-league’s top tier. The club’s run in the FA Cup saw them unable to get past the first hurdle as they lost 1-0 at Aldershot Town in the 4th Qualifying Round whilst their FA Trophy run was halted at the First Round stage where they lost 4-0 at home to fellow league side Maidstone United.

The Manager:

Torquay are now managed by Gary Owers. The Newcastle-born man has been in the game since 1986 where he made his debut for Sunderland before spending 8 years there until 1994. He made 320 appearances with 25 goals scored during his time with the Black Cats before making moves to Bristol City, Notts County, Forest Green Rovers and Bath City.

Owers made his move into management whilst in his playing for Bath City where he managed 67 appearances with 6 goals scored in 2 years between 2003 and 2005 before managing Forest Green Rovers in 2005-2006 and then Weston Super Mare in 2007. Between 2009 and 2015, Owers took up Assistant Manager roles at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle before making a move back to the North East for Gateshead for a spell in 2015 lasting from June to November of that year.

He moved back down south to manage Bath City from February 2016 before leaving in September 2017 to take on the job at Torquay United where he was unable to stop the club from being relegated this season.

The Last Time:

This season will see us play our friends from Devon for the first time as both Plainmoor and The Aspect Arena will both hold host to us playing each other. We expect it to be two great games for all to watch this season.