Young Sinclair makes his debut - and what a start it was!

Joseph Bulmer

As debuts go, it was one of the best I can ever remember, and young Sinclair Armstrong can be very proud of his first game for Torquay United, which included a well-taken goal and a whole lot more in our 2-0 win against King's Lynn Town last weekend.

You had to keep reminding yourself that he's only 18, because he's not like a normal lad of that age.

Of course, we must all remember how young he is, and not expect too much of him all the time. But although he is still a boy, he's a man when he's on the pitch - powerful and quick as well.

My brother Pete, our head of recruitment, has been keeping an eye on him at Queen's Park Rangers for a while now, and he told me that he was 'ready'.

Of course, finding a young player who is 'ready' for National League football isn't easy these days.

Because of all the different competitions and cups now, the bigger clubs are keeping hold of their really good under-23 year olds, and you've got to be on the case and ready for when they do become available.

A lot of people are after them, and higher clubs can often send those lads out on loan to their 'friends', which is why we've worked hard to develop relationships with different clubs. QPR are one of them.

Sinclair gained the confidence of our other players straight away, not just because he showed his strength and pace in the first few minutes but because he did his fair share of pressuring defenders and chasing down 'lost causes'.

He doesn't smile too much - it's got to be a really good joke to make him laugh - and he's very serious about the game.

Getting 'man of the match' was great for him, and for QPR watching on.

Good luck to him and to our other young loan player, Harry Perritt from Accrington Stanley, as they both try to build on those very promising debuts.

I couldn't help smiling to myself the other day when I saw that one EFL club has added a 'substitution coach' to their backroom staff.

I know Liverpool have a 'throw-in coach', and they may not be the only ones. And I know there are also 'restart coaches'.

I've always tried to keep up with the latest developments in the game, and I don't think I'm a fuddy-duddy when it comes to new ideas. Anything that helps to gain an advantage over the opposition is fine by me.

But 'soccer' isn't like American football, where all the players have to remember about 100 'plays' and practise them down to the last split-second.

Our football isn't structured like that.

At Torquay, we ask our players to carry a lot of information, and we watch them closely to see if they're retaining it.

One example is areas of the penalty area for crosses and set-pieces.

We don't call them 'near post' or 'far post', for example. We call them other things - sorry, I'm not going to say what! - because if you shout, say, 'near post', the opposition obviously know where you're trying to put the ball.

But I can't imagine having a different coach for different parts of the game like that.

And, although you'd only do it if the club could afford it, the idea of setting off for an away game with half-a-dozen extra coaches on board…?

If you're not careful, the manager would end up managing the staff more than the players.

When you get down to it, I happen to think that, if you out-run, out-play and out-muscle the other side, you've usually got a pretty good chance of winning the game.

Finally this week, good luck to our under-18 team, who play Newport County away in the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup next Saturday, November 6.

On the day when we all wish we were playing at Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup, it would be great if Chris Todd's boys could keep their own run going.