Good luck to Sutton - and we hope to see you there in National League

Torbay Weekly

The first thing to say this week is 'well done' to our rivals Sutton United on winning the National League.

It's felt like it was 'us or them' for so long, but last weekend settled the title and congratulations to them.

They have been very, very consistent over the whole season, and they've been able to be consistent because they have steered clear of any short-term or long-term injuries, as a group.

They might have had one or two individual injuries every now and again, but generally they've kept the same players, the same shape and the same organisation.

We took four points off them, but they are a tough team to break down. And every little setback they've had, they've recovered from them very quickly.

Their record speaks for itself. If they win at Barnet on Saturday, they'll finish with 87 points from 42 games - that's a tally to be proud of in any season.

My message to Sutton as a club and to Matt Gray and his team is 'Good Luck in the Football League next season... and I hope we see you there!'

While we're in 'congratulations' mode, there's someone who absolutely deserves a big round of it - Roy Hodgson, who has stepped down as manager of Crystal Palace.

I knew him well when we both worked in Sweden many years ago, and to put as much enthusiasm as he has into managership all the way up to 73 years old is nothing short of miraculous.

Most people know when their time is up at whatever job they do.

Whether it's a policeman, fireman or football manager, there comes a time when you think - 'You know what, I've had enough'.

After the career he's had, Roy is ready to say exactly that.

As you get older, it gets more important to have really good staff around you - people who are willing to put their voice out there and put on the good sessions on the days when you're not doing it for one reason or another.

There aren't many of us managers at the older end of the age range around these days. Sam Allardyce, who's just left West Bromwich Albion, is another one.

It's very easy, when you know how to get teams out of trouble and have done it a few times over the years, to become what's known as a 'firefighter', and no more than that.

People call Sam a 'firefighter', and I know he doesn't like that reputation, but with the average job lifespan of a manager being something like a year nowadays, what can he do?

Maybe owners think they need to go for younger managers with all the social media skills, but I still think there's no substitute for experience.

After all, you don't stay in jobs for 20 or 30 years if you're not half decent at it.

Finally, the Euro finals will be on us before we know it - we play our play-off semi-final on June 12, the day after it all starts.

Every time these tournaments come around, there always seems to be one or two countries that are slightly better than us on a given day.

But I think England has got a real chance this time.

It will be great for the country if we can win, and Gareth Southgate has got some very exciting young players, including Ollie Watkins from these parts, who are all producing it in the Premiership.

The Premiership is international football, that's exactly what it is.

So if those lads can do it at that level, then they can affect matches at the Euros - definitely they can.

At Plainmoor, we're picking ourselves up from last weekend's disappointment, because there's still everything to play for. We still believe we're going to follow Sutton up.

Stay safe, everyone. And keep believing too…