Welcome to the opening post of season 4 the EFL League One. We are about to embark on our 4th season after two back to back promotions. This summer will see us have the least amount of activity in terms of bringing players in to the club with the media prediction of us finishing 24th.
Torquay United Transfer News
From the very outset of this save we have recruited players on free transfers and using the loan system which has served us very well. This summer will be no different however we will be keeping the vast majority of players from last season together which I have no doubt will give us continuity.
The first thing I did after last season was to offer new contracts to the majority of players in the squad leaving me with the following squad of 16 players to work around using our 442 system and the 6 in bold who we have brought in to strengthen the squad:
Goalkeeper : Shaun MacDonald – Myles Roberts
Right Back : Ben Wynter – Mamadou Kone
Left Back : Todaji Bola – Joe Anderson
Central Defenders : Kyle Cameron – Mungo Bridge – Tyler Magloire – Joe Lewis
Central Midfield : Ethan Galbraith – Armani Little – Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Gary Gardner
Left Wing : Jake Andrews – Eddie Carrington
Right Wing : Kalvin Kalala – Jeremy Ngakia
Forwards : Yassine En-Nayeh – Virgil Gomis – Olaf Koszela – Louie Barry
You can see from the above squad the areas that required strengthening starting from back to front I managed to extend the loan of Goalkeeper Myles Roberts from Watford until the end of the season which incidentally his Watford contract expires so I will be watching out that pens out because Roberts is a fine keeper and has done very well with his time on loan with us making 67 appearances for us over the last 2 seasons.
Next on the agenda was to bring in a back up Left Back and after searching through our scouting reports I decided to bring in loan listed Joe Anderson from Blackburn Rovers on a season long loan.
We needed to strengthen in the Central Defender strata and brought in two familiar faces to the club after becoming available on free transfers after being released by their clubs. Firstly Tyler Magloire who is no stranger to the club after spending the last 2 seasons on loan with us making 102 appearances during that spell.
Central Defender number two to join us on a free transfer was Joe Lewis who was on loan with us in season one and last season making 59 appearances during his time at the club.
Turning to the centre of the park I decided to sign out of contract Central Midfielder Gary Gardner who will bring some valuable experience and know how to the squad at 30 years of age Gardner is a player who could still play at an higher level.
Last and by no means least we signed a Forward on a season long loan who offers us options and depth in the final third. Louie Barry comes in from Aston Villa on a season long loan.
I am very pleased with the additions to the squad and it only means we have 3 players who were not at the club last season.
The Board Room
The board offered me a new 3 year contract which of course I accepted with the expectation this season to fight bravely against relegation and then in the following years to remain in League One which is fine however I have higher expectations and will be aiming to get the club in to the Championship.
Financially the club are now debt free with a bank balance of £630,730 of which we have a transfer budget of £14,405 and a wage budget of £40,000 per week.
We are still operating without any youth recruitment / junior coaching ect but it is not something that the club needs to invest in at this present time.
EFL LeaGUE One 2022/2023
We certainly hit the ground running going unbeaten in our first 10 games before having a slight dip in form losing 4 of our next 6 games. The addition of Louie Barry on loan from Aston Villa is paying dividends with the 19 year old hitting 15 goals in the first half of the season which is the catalyst of us sitting in 2nd place in the table on goal difference after 24 games.
We are still using our 442 system to good effect and although we have lost 5 games we are playing way above expectation. I think keeping the squad together is having a big effect on the pitch.
Yassine En-Nayeh and Louie Barry have forged a good partnership up front with the pair scoring 27 goals between them so far with Jake Andrews on the left wing stepping up to this level providing most of the assists.
If we can match the 1st half of the season I am pretty confident we will be in the mix when we get towards the end of the season.
EFL LEague ONE tABLE
Since taking on the Torquay save I am absolutely converted to lower league management simply because I think in general Football Manager is a simple game to achieve success on especially like myself in the past starting in the top tier of any nation. For me it’s not a challenge anymore however with Lower League management you have the extra layers to managing a club and the joy of rising through the pyramid with little or no money to spend on players and in the main no youth recruitment / development and facilities in place so you are starting from scratch. There is more to this game than you realise when managing down the division’s. This current save started in the National League Premier Division but my next adventure will see me going lower in the pyramid to test myself that little bit more to see what I can achieve in the lower echelons. Torquay United are proving to be such an enjoyable club to manage and whilst this is part one of season 4 I am at the end of season 5 in the save.
Our season end update will be live later this week so until then stay safe.