FM20 : TORQUAY UTD (1) 19-20


Torquay United Football Club are the football club who I have picked to have a go at lower league management. I know a lot of folk go a lot lower but I wanted a club at level 5 or 6 that I could manage without downloading a custom database.

Together Anything Is Possible 

Why Torquay United? Myself and family have had some really good family holidays in and around Devon and I have always had some kind of draw to Torquay United  over all the other clubs in and around that area. The club was formed in 1899 with the club playing their home games at their current ground Plainmoor since 1921. The clubs nickname is The Gulls.

Throughout Torquay United’s history, the club has lurched from one crisis to another – relegation battles, financial disasters, protesting fans, boardroom farces. These dramas were interspersed with great moments – cup upsets, visits to Wembley, and the odd promotion here and there.

Since being elected into the Football League in 1927, Torquay United have yet to progress any further than the third tier of English football. United’s highest ever League finish was when they were runners-up to Alf Ramsey’s Ipswich Town in the Third Division South in 1957.

The clubs record transfer fee paid is £75,000 for Leon Constantine from Peterborough United in 2004.

The Clubs record transfer fee received is £600,000 for Rodney Jack who joined Crewe Alexander in 1998.

I have to say that I am totally converted to lower league management and can understand how the seasoned lower league managers get satisfaction. I have mostly picked a team in the top division or 2nd tier and 9 times out of 10 it goes pretty much the same way with it becoming very easy to make it to the top.  We all play the game whatever way we want and thats fine but I am ready for a different challenge and I think the next FM release will see me attempt this challenge

Board Room 

Club Culture : Strive to make progress on and off the pitch. 

After the club winning promotion last season from the National South the board are wanting us to avoid relegation this season and then to make the Playoffs next season and continuing to challenge for a Playoff place in the subsequent seasons thereafter whilst working within the wage budget.


The Clubs Finances : 

The club hava a bank balance of £134,000 with a transfer budget of £0 and a wage budget of £14,500 per week of which we are spending.



All the outgoing transfers were made prior to my appointment, likewise the following incoming transfers had been made prior to me joining the club :

  • Winger Jack Andrews joined the club on a free transfer from Bristol City
  • Winger Aaron Nemane joined the club on a free transfer from Manchester City
  • Attacking Midfielder Ben Whitfield joined the club on a free transfer from Port Vale
  • Left Back Jackson Longridge joined the club on loan from Bradford City

I myself also brought in three players to bolster the depth of the squad :

  • The first player that I added to the squad was the season long loan deal for Forward Virgil Gomis from Nottingham Forest
  • The second player that I signed, again on a season long loan was Winger Malachi Napa from Oxford United
  • The third player is the signing of Right Back Mamadou Kone on a free transfer

The Squad 2019-2020

This is the squad that we will start the season with, its a fairly young squad but I think its far better than the media prediction suggests.


The bookmakers have got us to finish 14th in the league but I think with the squad above I am pretty confident that we could push for the playoffs.


Just look at the National League its littered with former league clubs who have hit on hard times with last seasons relegated clubs favourites for the top two both Notts County and Yeovil Town will be looking to bounce back but with only the top side promoted the playoffs will be interesting with a whole host of teams looking to make the grade. Barnet are 3rd favourites and a club with a very good set up and expectations looking for a return to the Football League. Looking around the League Chesterfield will be expecting to be competitive after their slip down the league and a set up that should be playing in the Football League. A club who have struggled to get back in to the Football League is Wrexham who are an example of how hard it can be to get out of this League added to the ambitions of clubs like Barrow and Fylde and not forgetting Harrogate Town, Hartlepool, Aldershot, Stockport and Dagenham and Redbridge. It will be pretty interesting to see how the League turns out and if we are to be competitive it will be important for a good start.  So with just one automatic promotion spot the National League is notoriously difficult to get out so I am looking forward to seeing how things work at this level. Can we turn Plainmoor in to a fortress whilst getting the goals at the other end. Predicted to finish 14th I am going to give this my best shot and aim for the playoffs. Whilst Pre Season is not really a good measure to were we are at we will work on a 442 system that if we can get it to work will give us a good balance to our game play.

I am going to leave things here and follow this post up with a season review of our National League season.

Thanks for reading……

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