Call for Gulls fans to 'pump up volume'

Supporters applaud the players at the final whistle during the National League match between Torquay

Supporters applaud the players at the final whistle after the match between Torquay United and Barnet at Plainmoor on Saturday, May 22 - Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK

Torquay United's biggest supporter group is calling on fans to 'Pump Up The Volume' when the Gulls continue their promotion bid in Saturday's National League play-off semi-final against Notts County.

Manager Gary Johnson has already said that the Plainmoor crowd is not just a '12th Man' but 'part of the team'.

No away fans are allowed at this year's play-offs and Johnson - read his own column inside - believes, after wins for Notts and Hartlepool United in the Elimination Round, that home teams have a potentially important advantage.

Torquay United Supporters' Trust (TUST) are urging fans to crank up the atmosphere, and it has asked the club not to police a 'masks-on' policy too strictly.

"We have all seen how many fans at games elsewhere have chosen not to wear masks, which enables them to offer the all-important vocal support," said a TUST spokesperson.

"Our understanding is that there is no statutory requirement to do so at outdoor sporting events, as set out in the Government's guidance for the return to spectators to 'elite' sport, and confirmed by the National Safety Advisory Group office.

"With the low incidence of Covid in Torbay, temperature testing on entry to the stadium and social distancing within, we would ask the club to consider the relaxation of the requirement for masks."

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United have been one of the most successful clubs in the UK in anti-Covid measures - while many other teams have lost players to the virus or via self-isolation, not one Torquay player has tested positive since pandemic restrictions started 15 months ago.

United, who finished runners-up to NL champions Sutton United on a 13-match unbeaten run, are 6/5 favourites for Saturday's match, with County at 23/10.

But it is Stockport County, who finished third and meet Hartlepool in the other Semi at Edgeley Park on Sunday, who are 7/4 favourites to win the Play-Offs, with Torquay at 5/2.

The final is set for Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium in ten days' time - on Sunday, June 20 at 2pm.