It's always been about developing the whole club

Torbay Weekly

They say time flies when you're having fun and, although football always has plenty of downs to go with the ups, I can honestly say that I've enjoyed the last three years at Plainmoor as much as any of the many jobs I've had in the game.

I'm glad someone reminded me about the 'anniversary' because I definitely wouldn't have remembered it.

But thinking about it now, I definitely do recall how warm the welcome was in those first few days in 2018 and taking the team on that first away game to Hungerford in the 'Conference' South, and then a run of FA Cup ties to places like Lymington and Brightlingsea.

Luckily, we managed to win most of those early games, which put a smile back on our fans' faces, and there's hardly been a quiet moment since then.

It was the golfer Gary Player who said: "The harder I work, the luckier I get." And I've always tried to follow that saying.

It's served me well, because I've been 'lucky' enough to have very few short stays at clubs and mostly longer ones.

There's no point going somewhere and thinking short-term, because you won't be able to do what you really want there, on and off the field.

All my projects as a manager have been pretty long-term, unless someone else has changed it for me, of course!

Only a couple of times it was me who left, because I didn't feel we were going to get the club to where I hoped it would.

That's never been the case at Plainmoor, where it's always been about developing the whole club.

Having said that, you don't stay long at too many clubs, especially nowadays, unless you get a bit of success.

You can be the nicest bloke in the world - and give pizzas to fans as we did at Maidenhead the other week - but when supporters come to support you, they come to see you win, they come to get value for money and they come to be entertained.

Nobody reminds the players more than I do about that responsibility to our supporters.

But even when you lose, as we've obviously done a few times recently, no one can say that our lads haven't tried.

I think the majority of our fans recognise that, and I wouldn't allow it any other way.

If I start thinking that this might be my last year, or the next, it's probably time to pack up anyway.

At my age, I think my 'Real Madrid' move is probably out of the picture, but I'm very happy here, I've got a good relationship with the board, and I still want to do all I can to get Torquay United back into the Football League.

That's always been the number one aim, along with developing the whole club, and it still is.

I can assure everyone that I am definitely not looking to get something else on the strength of any success I might have here.

Right now, we're having to rebuild a bit after losing several players that we had developed over the last couple of seasons, but I'm confident that we will get stronger as this season goes on and a getting to the play-offs again is still very much the target, at least.

Here's to a few more years yet..!

Finally, I'd like to give a mention to our under-18 team, which has started their season well in the South West Counties Youth League.

Chris Todd's lads have won their first two matches, with a 3-1 win at Swindon Supermarine last Saturday taking their goal-tally to 10 so far. Brandon Quinn (2) and Theo Cadby scored the goals.

They've got what should be one of their hardest games this Saturday, against Mangotsfield United, who are the 'champions' from 2019 and are always strong in that league.

It's at the South Devon College Centre with a 10.30am kick-off.