Gary Johnson signs up to fourth campaign at Torquay United

Joseph Bulmer

On the eve of the club's National League play-off semi-final, Torquay United have announced that manager Gary Johnson is staying at the club for at least another season.

The Gulls' boss had already started the planning for 2021-2022, both in the transfer market and for pre-season friendlies, but now United have confirmed that he has signed a new contract.

It will take him into a fourth campaign at Plainmoor and, although the length of the deal has not been disclosed, it is believed to cover at least the option of another two years.

After completing preparations for Saturday's play-off semi against Notts County at Plainmoor at midday, Johnson - he will be 66 in September - said: "I need to speak to players from now on, and I want to be able to say to them 'I'm going to be here and, if you want to stay, it will be with me' - that's important.

"I have enjoyed being at this football club.  I have enjoyed the board participation, the supporter participation and the player participation.

"I feel there's a lot of genuine fans here and, I like to think, a genuine manager.

"I've been around a long time, and the other man's grass isn't always greener.

"When I came here, I wanted to get the club back into the (Football) League, and we are very, very close.

"This a club that wants to keep moving - if you're standing still, you're going backwards.

"Things are happening, where the club is getting more efficient and more professional, and it's going in the right direction.

"If it's not broke, don't try and fix it."

Johnson, who commutes to Plainmoor from his home near Bristol, will draw level with former Torquay boss Neil Warnock as the most successful manager in English senior football if he wins an eighth career promotion at Plainmoor.

He took the reins at Plainmoor, swiftly followed by his assistant Aaron Downes, in September 2018 with United 14th in the NL South.

Torquay won that championship eight months later and, after finishing second in the National League this season, the club now faces Notts for a place in the play-off final at his old club Bristol City next weekend (June 20).