Amazing day of transfers at Torquay United
- Credit: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK
Torquay United have announced seven new signings in one of the club's busiest-ever days of transfer activity.
As expected, manager Gary Johnson unveiled his new men on the first day of pre-season training, and they include two goalkeepers, two defenders, an experienced midfield player, a winger and a striker - former Plymouth Argyle starlet Klaidi Lolos.
It brings his roster up to 17 senior pros, with more likely to join in the next few weeks.
In the wake of the departure of goalies Lucas Covolan and Shaun MacDonald, Johnson has brought in 6ft 3in tall 30-year-old former Blackpool, Southport and Morecambe keeper Mark Halstead, 30.
Halstead played 16 times as Morecambe won promotion to League One last season.
He takes on the No.1 shirt, with Polish-born Marcin Brzozowski also joining after having a brief spell on loan from Queen's Park Rangers last season.
Ali Omar, 22, is a tall centre-half who played for Stevenage and QPR before spending the last few seasons at Championship club Barnsley.
- 1 United 'Community Day' to unite Bay - and there are 1,000 free tickets
- 2 Aldi, KFC and Costa Coffee plan approved for 'Gateway to Torquay'
- 3 Turning our season around
- 4 Underdog mindset for the Gulls
- 5 Ticket price offer for Torquay United's FA Cup tie
- 6 £1million grants to give Bay new housing boost
- 7 Paignton pub The Isaac Merritt to go up for auction
- 8 Blooming marvellous Torbay winners
- 9 Norrms McNamara: The loneliness of dementia
- 10 We're in danger of some domestic competitions becoming obsolete
Dan Martin, 21, is a left-back or left-midfielder who has played for Fulham and Cardiff, including a loan spell at Weston-super-Mare last season.
In midfield, Johnson has snapped up 25-year-old former Colchester United stalwart Tom Lapslie.
Lapslie played 170 games for the Us after graduating through their Academy and was released at the end of last season.
Keelan O'Connell, 21, arrives from AFC Bournemouth as a talented and pacy winger, and Johnson has also heeded the advice of Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe over the potential of Athens-born striker Lolos, 20.
The 6ft 2in forward started his career with his hometown club Olympiakos, before playing for Crystal Palace and Plymouth in the UK.
He scored for the Pilgrims in a friendly at Plainmoor two years ago and went on to make 16 first-team appearances, most of them off the bench.
Lowe released him in May, but said that he had League Two potential and accepted that his decision could return to haunt him.
Halstead and Brzozowski will be working under a new goalkeeping coach, after Phil Osborn announced at the weekend that he is leaving the Gulls.
Ex-Plainmoor trainee Kenny Griffiths, who has played for and coached at several Westcountry clubs, has been linked with the role.
Johnson said: "I am so pleased with our close-season recruitment.
"We have definitely signed some quality, some youth, experience and athleticism.
"I look forward to the fans' reaction, once they have seen them play."
United open their pre-season friendly programme away to Poole Town this Saturday (3pm).