Dean Moxey joins football's exclusive 600-game club

Torbay Weekly

Dean Moxey has just joined professional football's exclusive 600-game club, and the achievement has prompted Torquay United manager Gary Johnson to stress how much he values the 35-year-old defender.

Moxey's eventful career has included two spells at his hometown Exeter City (309apps) and one each at Derby County, Crystal Palace, where he played a season in the Premier League, Bolton Wanderers and Torquay, and four promotions.

His transfer fees have totalled almost £1 million.

He moved to the Gulls in the summer of 2020, will be 36 on January 14, and a series of recent polished performances are not those of a man with retirement on his mind.

Moxey may not be the most demonstrative of players on match days, but Johnson said: "He's a very big influential character, in training and in the dressing-room.

"Dean won't scream and shout at people in front of a crowd but he'll say what he thinks in training and he'll always pull somebody aside and have a quiet word with them."

Although he was once a left midfielder with an eye for goal - he scored 24 in his first spell at St James Park - Moxey became better known as a left-back, albeit an attacking one.

He has always been very capable at left centre-back, where he played towards the end of his second spell at Exeter, and since Johnson has moved him there this season, it has looked an ideal role for him.

He has a classy left foot, can tackle, head the ball, his tactical awareness often keeps him a step ahead of opposing forwards and, of course, he has a dangerous long throw.

"Dean will play anywhere you ask him to play," said Johnson.

"He certainly doesn't mind playing as a centre-back - he's decent in the air, he reads the game so well and he's got the pace of lads like Joe (Lewis), Ben (Wynter) and young Dan Martin around him.

"He is a very big player for us these days."

Moxey, who gave one of his best Torquay performances in the 3-0 home win over Yeovil Town on Boxing Day, sustained a cut in his right ankle during the first half of the 2-1 New Year's victory in the return at Huish Park.

It was typical of him that he stayed on the pitch until 20 minutes to go.