Cheltenham Town defender Alex Davey became Torquay United’s eighth loan player this week, his arrival forced by a knee injury to centre-back and captain Josh Gowling, but it’s meant that head coach Gary Owers has had to take extra care in team selection.
Davey’s signing was completed at 4.00 pm on Tuesday, and he was thrown straight into the starting line-up less than four hours later against Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.
Head coach Gary Owers was satisfied that former Chelsea starlet Davey was up to the job. He had played against Torquay in a reserve friendly at Cheltenham a week before, and Owers explained: “I knew he’d got games under his belt, so there were no issues there, and I thought he was excellent.”
But Owers admitted that having eight loanees means he has to keep his thinking cap on when he picks each match-day squad.
He initially selected an XI and subs’ bench at Sutton which would have broken the maximum five-loanee rule, and he revealed: “We spotted it thankfully before the team sheet went in.”
Neither Jordan Lee nor Callum Evans ended up in the squad, although George Dowling was injured.
“I was really mindful of the number of loanees when I first came in, writing down the team sheet. I still have to run through it now, just to be sure,” said Owers.
“Hopefully we can tidy that situ- ation up in January.”
United’s eight loanees are Lee (AFC Bournemouth), Dowling (Bristol City), Michee Efete (Norwich City), Callum Evans and Rhys Murphy (both Forest Green Rovers), Josh McQuoid (Luton Town), Jazzi Barnum Bobb (Newport County) and Davey.
All their current deals run out either at Christmas or in the New Year.