Gary Johnson plans four signings for Torquay United

Goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald has agreed a new deal with Torquay United Photo: Sean Hernon/PPAUK

Goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald has agreed a new deal with Torquay United Photo: Sean Hernon/PPAUK - Credit: Sean Hernon/PPAUK

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson plans to sign at least four new players, including two strikers, after seeing leading scorer Jamie Reid and French winger Kalvin Lumbombo Kalala turn down new deals at Plainmoor.

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson plans to sign at least four new players, including two strikers, after seeing leading scorer Jamie Reid and French winger Kalvin Lumbombo Kalala turn down new deals at Plainmoor.

Torquay-born former Exeter City striker Reid, 25, has set his heart on returning to the EFL after scoring 43 goals in the Gulls' last two seasons.

Another South Devon-born striker, ex-Buckland Athletic, Truro City and Tiverton Town centre-forward Jared Lewington, has been released.

So teenage prospect Olaf Koszela is the only specialist forward currently on the books.

Eight players have agreed new contracts and another five had them in place for next season.

Johnson, who has confirmed that United will be in line for compensation for Kalala, 22, said: 'We are probably going to bring in another four or five new players on contract.

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'We'll be looking to take three or four on loan, at the same time as developing our own younger lads.'

Johnson himself is also under contract until next summer (2021), and he stressed: 'That was important in all the talks we've been having, because our lads know that I'm going to be here.'

The players who have agreed new deals are goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald, defenders Ben Wynter, Kyle Cameron and Liam Davis and midfielders Asa Hall, the club captain, Ben Whitfield, Aaron Nemane and Matt Buse.

Under contract were Brazilian goalie Lucas Covolan, midfielders Armani Little and Jake Andrews, young defender Louie Slough and Koszela.

Released were veteran defender Ryan Dickson, whose departure had already been agreed, Lewington and young non-contract defender Josh Baxter.

The decision to part with Lewington, who turned full-time last autumn, was not an easy one.

Johnson commented: 'Jared was unlucky, because he had to spend a little time getting his fitness up, then he was out for a while with a concussion protocol and then we had a good little run when he was fit.

'I would have kept him if I thought he could be a 25-goal man to win us promotion, and like a shot if he was 18 or 19, but he's 25.

'You don't like doing it when the player is a really nice person who gives everything like Jared does, but he has real attributes and I am sure he will do very well wherever he goes.'

Of former Exeter City starlet Reid, who has scored 63 goals in three spells at Plainmoor, Johnson said: 'We were talking to Reidy right up to the last minute, and we did everything we could to keep him.

'But he was adamant that, although it was a wrench to leave, he and his representative say that there are League (EFL) clubs interested in him.

'It is precarious out there at the moment, and I hope he finds what he is looking for.

'With Kalvin (Kalala) we felt that, given another season with us and maybe a promotion, he could be something special and near to the potential we can all see.

'But he also feels that he can get a good move, although we will get compensation depending on where he goes.'

Johnson added: 'I am really pleased with the group that we've got - they get on well but compete with each other at the same time - and we will make sure that the players we sign will fit in.

'We have built a spirit around the club where everybody wants everybody else to do well, and that's a great thing when you want to have a real go at promotion like we do next season.'