Torquay United set to welcome fans back to Plainmoor

How things were - fans at Plainmoor in October 2019. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

How things were - fans at Plainmoor in October 2019. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

National League leaders Torquay United are already tackling the job of trying to welcome potential crowds of 3,000 back to Plainmoor after the Government’s easing of Covid-lockdown restrictions.

The Gulls will discover today whether, as they hope, South Devon is given ‘Tier One’ status, which allows a maximum of 4,000 fans, or 50% of capacity, at ‘Elite’ level.

Plainmoor’s capacity is 6,300, and United are working with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and Torbay Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to confirm all the measures they had previously taken before fans were banned.

They included safety protocols at entrances and exits, as well as in the stands.

Manager Gary Johnson said: “We wanted to be top of the league when our fans came back, and now there’s a good chance that can happen.

“It certainly looks promising, and we are very excited that our Yellow Army, or as many of them as possible, will be back joining us.

“But, as always, the devil will be in the detail with how it will all work, and we have to wait for that first.

Most Read

“It’s a step in the right direction, for sure, especially as, after our next game (Wealdstone A on Tuesday night), four of our next five are at home.“

United, whose seventh win in nine games came at FC Halifax Town (2-1) last weekend, are scheduled to play eight matches in December, seven in the league and one in the FA Trophy.

If they are drawn at home in the FAT, five of them will be at Plainmoor.

The list reads: Dec 1 - Wealdstone (A), Dec 5 – Wrexham (H), Dec 8 – Maidenhead United (H), Dec 12 – King’s Lynn Town (A), Dec 15 – Dagenham & Redbridge (H), Dec 19 – FA Trophy R3 (TBA), Dec 26 – Yeovil Town (H), Dec 28 – Weymouth (A).

Meanwhile, their postponed NL match against Solihull Moors (H) has been rearranged for Tuesday, January 12 (7pm).

Some other local sports, not just football, may resume next week too, with the same safety restrictions that were in place before the latest lockdown.