Today marks a year to the day that Gary Johnson first took charge of Torquay United, with both the club’s status, and immediate ambitions, having changed remarkably during that time.
Following his appointment on 13th September 2018, Johnson wasted little time in getting to work, with the change in fortunes as immediate as it was dramatic. A 2-0 win at Hungerford was swiftly followed up by a 7-0 televised thumping of Lymington in the FA 2nd Qualifying Round, setting a new club record in the process. It would prove to be the first of many records to fall throughout the remainder of the 2018/19 season.
United didn’t taste defeat in the league under Johnson until January, by which time his side had marched to the top of the table, aided by two record-breaking runs – 16 consecutive matches unbeaten and 10 consecutive league wins.
That extraordinary run saw The Gulls soar to the top of the National League South, and after coming out on top of a near season-long fight for the title with Woking, a packed-out Plainmoor witnessed Johnson’s side secure a 2-0 win over Eastbourne to clinch the club’s first league title in over 90 years.
A summer of preparation has since followed, with Johnson now focussed on his side challenging towards the top of the National League.
What happens during the next year remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – Gary Johnson, ably assisted by his backroom staff, has got the Yellow Army dreaming once again.