Reasons for Gulls fans to be cheerful
THERE isn't a Torquay United fan who wouldn't have wanted Martin Ling's side to smack three or four past Cheltenham Town on Thursday night, but going out at this stage doesn't mean its all doom and gloom at Plainmoor.
So for all those fans nursing hangovers today – or just putting up with that sickening feeling that their team deserved much more – here are a few reasons to keep your chin up.
:: WEMBLEY'S NOT THE MONEY-SPINNER IT ONCE WAS
Torquay United didn't make money from last year's play-off final, so there's no guarantee they would have made any by playing under the giant steel arch on May 27.
A showdown with Crewe Alexandra might have been a good footballing spectacle – as both sides play some attractive football – but it would probably not have made the club any better off (especially if they failed to win).
:: PROMOTION WASN'T EVEN THE AIM THIS SEASON
United's incredible run into the automatic promotion places made the season a vintage one for Gulls fans even though they'll still be in League Two next season. And Martin Ling would not have been expected to take them up while simultaneously rebuilding the squad. Even he was surprised by the run his side went on. So just think what they could do next season.
:: IT WAS MARTIN LING'S FIRST SEASON
The former Leyton Orient and Cambridge man seems to have been a perfect fit at Plainmoor, and has quietly gone about the business of building a potential championship-winning squad with authority and assurance. The signings he has made have, on the whole, made a terrific impact and fans should look forward to more of the same this summer and beyond. His Herald Express column is not bad either.
:: THE NEW STAND GOES UP NEXT SEASON
What better welcome for Bristow's Bench than derby clashes against Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City and Bristol Rovers next season? And with a squad capable of beating all of them. Even better, the extra revenue from bums on seats could contribute a bit more to the squad kitty.
:: WE'RE NOT IN ARGYLE'S POSITION
There might be a lot of talk from James Brent about making Plymouth Argyle into a side capable of competing in the Championship or beyond, but for now, it's the Gulls who are on top. Two derby victories this season and a side which, if it can be kept together, should make a storming start next year.