Welcome to Part One of my season 6 update managing Torquay United in the EFL League One which will be our third year at this level. Can we gather ourselves and make a push for promotion or will we come up short like our two previous attempts.
Mamadou Koné and Jeremy Ngakia were both released at the end of their contracts, both players had failed to find a way in to the starting XI but done a reasonable job when called upon but I felt it was time to let them both go and try and find football elsewhere.
Goalkeeper Myles Roberts who we have had on loan at the club for the last 4 seasons was out of contract with his parent club Watford so I offered him a contract which he accepted so Roberts is now an official player of the club.
I signed Moses Odubajo on a free transfer to replace the outgoing Koné to come in as cover for Ben Wynter at right back. I also brought in a left back Joe Anderson on a free transfer. Anderson is no stranger to the club after spending time on loan here.
That concluded our business in the transfer window with the squad all set for season 5.
EFL LEAGUE 2024/2025
We kicked the season off with a capacity crowd at Plainmoor who probably left the game frustrated like myself after we had failed to turn our dominance in to goals against Bristol Rovers who held us to a 0-0 draw. We did have a little more luck on Matchday 2 beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 thanks to a double strike from Olaf Koszela to give us our first win of the season.
We then fell to defeat when Mansfield Town visited the English Rivera losing 1-0 which was the first in 3 back to back defeats after losing on penalties to Cambridge United in the EFL Cup followed by a our 2nd league defeat at the hands of Oxford United losing 2-1.
Two goals from Virgil Gomis set us on our way to a 4-0 win at Burton Albion, both Tolaji Bola and Chancel Mutombo also found the back of the net.
On loan forward Chancel Mutombo was on target again in our 1-1 draw in the final game of the month against Charlton Athletic.
We had a midfield triple to thank for a 3-1 win against West Ham United U23’s in the EFL Trophy when Joe Grayson, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Isaac Hutchison were all on target in the opening game of the month.
A rested Virgil Gomis and Chancel Mutombo were both on target in the second half against Rotherham United to give us a 2-1 win in the New York Stadium. We then needed an own goal back at Plainmoor to give us a 1-0 win against a resilient Rochdale side who we struggled to break down.
We battled to the end for a 2-2 at Sunderland were we looked like heading for defeat until Yassine En-Nayeh scored a last gasp equaliser to earn us a well earned point. Virgil Gomis had given us an early lead against the 1st placed team.
We ended up on the wrong end of a 7 goal encounter at Plainmoor when we entertained Peterborough. Joe Grayson got two of our goals with Virgil Gomis getting the other but to no avail.
Virgil Gomis was on target again when we took all three points after a 2-1 win against Crewe with winger Kalvin Kalala netting the winner in the second half.
Virgil Gomis is on fire at the moment and it was Portsmouth this time who were on the receiving end of another double from the frontman that gave us a 2-1 win and all 3 points to round the month off on a positive note.
The month of October was kind to us and we started off with a 3-0 win against MK Dons, Jake Andrews, Virgil Gomis and Kalvin Kasala were all on target. Next up we won a penalty shootout in our group game in the EFL Trophy after a 1-1 draw against Coventry that saw Virgil Gomis carry on his scoring streak this season.
A Kalvin Kalala goal was enough to get a 1-0 win at Oldham, the right winger is looking unplayable at the moment and it was Kalala who got our opener in a 2-1 win against Blackpool with Chancel Mutombo getting the winner in the 59th minute of an intriguing game.
We completed a great month for us with a 3-0 victory against high flying Hull City with Virgil Gomis getting a brace and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans also on target meaning we have won all 5 games this month and extending our winning run to 7 wins in 7 games.
Virgil Gomis netted his 13th goal of the season in the 95th minute of a 1-0 win against Walsall to make it 8 out of 8 wins.
FA Cup action next and a 3-0 win in the 1st round action Hartlepool thanks to our front two pairing in a game that saw Chancel Mutombo grab two goals either side of a Virgil Gomis penalty that takes us in to the 2nd round.
The first of a League and Cup double against Leyton Orient produced a 7 goal thriller in front of a capacity crowd at Plainmoor which we won 4-3 thanks to goals from Kalvin Kalala 2, Joe Lewis and Yassine En-Nayeh to give us all three points.
We followed up our League win with a comprehensive 3-0 win in the EFL Trophy against a dejected Leyton Orient side. Our goals come by the way Virgil Gomis, Moses Odubajo and Chancel Mutombo.
A disappointing at struggling Doncaster Rovers ended in a 0-0 draw despite us having a near full strength line up but these things happen.
To end the month we beat Aldershot Town in the FA Cup 2nd round 2-1 with two early goals coming from Ethan Galbraith and Virgil Gomis to put us through to the 3rd round.
A busy 7 game month got underway with a 3-1 win at struggling Shrewsbury with Joe Lewis, Jake Andrews and Kalvin Kalala all on target.
Our next game was against 3rd placed promotion chasers Wycombe Wanderers at Plainmoor which ended in a 3-0 victory after a top class team effort that saw Virgil Gomis grab a brace alongside a stunning 30 yard finish from loanee Chancel Mutombo who is looking to have the potential to be playing at a higher level.
After such a good performance against Wycombe it makes you wonder how we struggled and ultimately failed to break down a stubborn Scunthorpe United side who deserve the credit for a 1-0 win over us.
A poor turn out for our EFL Trophy 2nd round defeat to Peterborough at Plainmoor who witnessed the Posh inflict a 2-0 defeat upon us.
A much better performance from us came when we entertained Coventry City in front of a capacity crowd at Plainmoor. Chancel Mutombo got our goal in the second half of a good encounter that finished all square 1-1 at full time.
Chancel Mutombo was on target again in the 2-1 win at MK Dons. Mutombo scored our first followed by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans getting our 2nd to give us all 3 points that guarantees us claiming top spot at the end of the year.
We finished the month and year off with a 1-0 win against Oldham after Kalvin Kalala netted his 8th goal of the season which ultimately gives us a 6 point lead at the top of the table going in to the new year.
EFL League One Table
A good start to the season and top spot in the table at the turn of the year gives us hope of gaining promotion to the Championship which is my next goal despite the boards expectations. We are aiming high and seeing how far we can go with a low budget and squads made up of free transfers. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and although it would be nice it’s not the end of the World if we don’t make it this time. On the job front I declined offers to have an interview with a number of clubs from the Championship down to the National League. I have unfinished business with the Gulls and would not dream of leaving them until my goals are met with Torquay United. Like I said above promotion to the Championship would be nice and I would actually keep the faith in most of the squad to see and give them a chance to adapt to the rigours of the 2nd tier.