Torquay United make three new signings as Gulls squad grows

Torquay United celebrated the start of this new Gulls era at the Princess Theatre on Friday night with three further players being announced - including Dean Moxey, who will be a player-coach at the National League South club this season.

Defenders Moxey and Jordan Dyer, and midfielder Dan Hayfield, were on stage with the rest of the new squad and manager Paul Wotton at a special edition of football advisor Neil Warnock's 'Are You With Me?' show, with special guests Charlie Baker and Helen Chamberlain also bringing their passion for the club to the evening.

The additions of Moxey, and Dyer and Hayfield, who were both Bath City players in the National South last season, brings the number of players in Wotton's squad for next season to 15.

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There are a few gaps that still need filling, with only one goalkeeper on the books at the moment, but things are taking shape nicely after the Gulls started pre-season training at South Devon College on Thursday night.

Wotton said in a video on the club's website: "It was really lovely to see all the boys. It has been a long summer in the office, on the phone, all stuff that I don't particularly enjoy - so to get back out on the grass was perfect. It's important for the new players to get to know each other, it's important for me to get to know them, and them to get to know me, and my staff.

"Pre-season is important for getting fit and getting your views across, and what you want to achieve this season - hopefully. We have signed so many new players it is key for them to gel, to bond, to get to know each other."

Squad so far - Goalkeeper: James Hamon; Defenders: Dean Moxey, Austen Booth, Finlay Craske, Ed Palmer, Jay Foulston, Sam Dreyer, Matt Carson, Jordan Dyer; Midfield: Oscar Threlkeld, Dan Hayfield, Lirak Hasani; Strikers: Brad Ash, Ben Seymour, Jaydn Crosbie.

James Hamon (goalkeeper) 28
Hamon comes to Torquay from Truro where he has been the No 1 for Wotton over recent seasons. Guernsey born, Hamon was picked up by exeter-city-fc>Exeter City in 2013 and played 27 games for the Grecians, while also going out on loan to Hayes & Yeading United and Gloucester City - before joining Truro in 2019. With Truro not playing because of Covid 19, he joined Torquay on loan in 2021 during an injury crisis and came on as a substitute in a 2-1 win at Solihull Moors.
Contract: One Year

Dean Moxey (defender) 38
Left back and central defender Dean Moxey has been given a new one-year contract and will be a coach at Torquay after three seasons with the Gulls. A fit 38-year-old, Moxey came up through the ranks at Exeter City before playing for Derby County in the Championship and Crystal Palace in the Championship and the Premier League. Three seasons at Bolton Wanderers was followed up by a second, three-season spell, at Exeter. Gary Johnson signed Moxey for Torquay when he was released by Exeter in 2020.
Contract: One Year

Austen Booth (defender) 26
Booth signed for the Gulls in February and played an important part in the run-in, with his goal in the last game against Havant & Waterlooville a blockbuster that won him the club's Goal of the Season award. The son of former Gulls defender Jon Gittens, Booth came to his hometown from Taunton Town after spells with Barnstaple Town and Buckland Athletic on loan from Truro City, and stints at Tiverton Town and Plymouth Parkway.
Contract: One Year Remaining

Finley Craske (defender) 21
Craske is a defender who was at Torquay last season but his time was hit by injury problems and he missed the end of the campaign. Craske, who is from Wadebridge, played under Wotton at Truro, where he was on loan from Plymouth. Wotton says he has known Craske since he was a nine or 10 year old and likes him a lot. He signed as a professional at Plymouth in 2020 and had loan spells at Tiverton, Plymouth Parkway, Yeovil Town and Truro. Gary Johnson brought him to Plainmoor for the start of last season.
Contract: One Year

Ed Palmer (defender) 32
Experience defender Ed Palmer comes to Torquay from Truro City where he was a massive player in Paul Wotton's side. Palmer was a Torquay trainee before leaving in 2011 and making his name as a non-nonsense defender at, among others, Tiverton Town, Taunton Town and Weymouth. Could be a key player at the back this season.
Contract: One Year

Jay Foulston (defender) 23
Centre back Foulston was Paul Wotton's first signing, joining the club after helping Yeovil Town win the National League South title last season while on loan from Taunton Town. Foulston is a Welshman who started out at Newport County and had loan spells at Merthyr Town and Chippenham Town before joining Taunton in 2020. He played another game on loan at Chippenham before joining Yeovil and playing 20 games for the Glovers.
Contract: Two Years

Sam Dreyer (defender) 20

Dreyer comes to Torquay after playing 16 games as a centre back at National League South level with Hampton & Richmond Borough last season. He was on loan from Peterborough United, the club he joined from Bedford Town following spells with a number of clubs after leaving Stevenage. Dreyer's dad John played five loan games for the Gulls in the 1985-86 season when he was at Oxford United. Dreyer senior went on to have a long career in the game and he is currently the assistant manager at Burton Albion.
Contract: Two Years

Matt Carson (defender) 20
Left-back Matt Carson, 20, was snapped up by Southampton from his hometown club Glentoran and helped the Saints' youth team win the Premier League South title. He played in a young Southampton side in their Football League Trophy tie at Forest Green Rovers in August 2022 and signed his first professional contract in March 2023. Carson impressed on loan at Braintree Town in the National League South last season.
Contract: One Year

Jordan Dyer (defender) 24
Jordan Dyer played 10 games for his hometown club Exeter City, while gaining some good experience at Bideford, Tiverton Town, Chippenham Town and Yeovil Town. Two loan spells at Bath City led to a permanent move there in 2022. His performances over the last two seasons at Bath - alongside Dan Hayfield - caught Paul Wotton's attention and the defender is now a Gull.
Contract: Two Years

Oscar Threlkeld (midfielder) 30
Wotton has brought Manchester-born Threlkeld to Torquay to be a midfielder, although he has also played in defence for various clubs since making his debut for Bolton Wanderers in 2014. A loan spell at Plymouth followed, and he signed permanently for the Pilgrims in 2016, when Wotton was the assistant manager there. He joined Belgium club Waasland-Beveren in 2018 before returning to Plymouth on loan. In 2019 he signed for Salford City and in 2021 Bradford City. He went on loan to Oldham Athletic last season before finishing off playing a couple of games for Morecambe.
Contract: One Year

Dan Hayfield (midfielder) 27
Dan Hayfield is another former Exeter City trainee who has carved out a decent career in non-league football - specifically at Tiverton Town and then Bath City - leading to him becoming a Gull. The 27-year-old signed for Torquay after turning down a new contract at Bath, where he has impressed in the National League South over the last two seasons. Having begun his career as a youngster at Exeter City, a spell in Canada followed, before a return to Devon in 2020 saw Hayfield sign for Tiverton.
Contract: One Year

Lirak Hasani (midfielder) 21
Young midfielder Hasani joined his local team Doncaster Rovers in 2019 and made his debut when he was just 16. In 2021 he spent spells on loan at Gateshead, Matlock Town and Bashford United, before signing for Gatehead properly in 2022. There were more loan spells at Boston United and South Shields. It's a long way to come so Wotton must think the miles will be worth it.
Contract: One Year

Roddy Collins (midfielder) 29
Irish midfielder Roddy Collins is a versatile Irishman who has arrived at Plainmoor with a wealth of experience in both the English and Irish leagues. The 29 year-old was part of the Chesham United side who won promotion to the National League South last season. Beginning his career at Monaghan United, Collins also played for Athlone Town, Derry City, Drogheda and Waterford before Roddy joined Hemel Hempstead Town. Spells at Hayes & Yeading United and Kings Langley followed before he joined Chesham.

Contract: One Year

Brad Ash (striker) 28
Striker Ash arrived at Plainmoor last May and was Torquay's leading goalscorer at the end of last season with 14 goals from 42 games. Ash came to Plainmoor after spells with Weymouth, Chippenham Town and Weston-Super-Mare, among other teams. The 28 year-old could be a key player for Paul Wotton this season.
Contract: One Year

Ben Seymour (striker) 25
Former Exeter City striker Ben Seymour comes from Hampton & Richmond Borough for whom he scored 15 goals in 40 games in the National League South. Having come through Exeter's academy, Seymour gained further first-team experience during loan stints at Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil Town and Bath City. But it was at Hampton last season that his career took off.

Contract: One Year

Jadyn Crosbie (striker) 20
Young striker Crosbie scored 37 goals in 48 games for Mangotsfield United in the Premier Division of the Hellenic League last season - 49% of his team's goals. He is a physically strong striker and Torquay had competition to sign him. It will be interesting to see how the six-foot-two goalscorer develops under Wotton.
Contract: Two years