United heading into the future

Torbay Weekly

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson says that the club is quickly adapting to the new 'heading' restrictions in training which have been introduced to reduce the chances of future dementia problems for players.

Players are supposed to make only ten 'full-on' headers per training session and Johnson, speaking before the Gulls' third pre-season friendly against Plymouth Argyle at Plainmoor on Saturday (3pm), said: "We understand what's being done, and it does affect some of the sessions that you do.

"We're not going to boot the ball up the field and expect our centre-halves to keep heading it all day, but at the same time, if a cross goes in during a 5-a-side or a training game, you're not going to pull out of the header because you've already done nine that day.

"In matches, centre-halves will probably reach that quota, but they are guidelines for training and we will definitely be following them as best we can."

After wins over Southern League Poole Town (2-0) and Truro City (3-0), United take on League One Argyle in front of what promises to be a decent home crowd, swelled as always by Pilgrim supporters.

"We've only had two games and they've had four or five, so they're miles ahead of us in terms of being ready," said Johnson.

"If we get anywhere near them, I'll be pleased.

"These pre-season games against Plymouth always pull in a big crowd and a great atmosphere, and we're all really looking forward to it."

Johnson still wants to strengthen his squad before the start of the National League season, and he hasn't yet completed any loan deals to go with the seven permanent signings he has made so far.

Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe has just made winger Ryan Broom, on loan from Peterborough United, his eighth incoming transfer of the summer.