By Kevin Anderson
Already without a home ground, crisis club Truro City arrive at Priory Lane for this weekend’s National South fixture without a manager, after Lee Hodges and his assistant Chris Todd resigned in midweek.
The White Tigers, who have a tangled recent ownership history, had sold their Treyew Road ground some time ago to a supermarket chain, but were unexpectedly forced out last month and must now play their home games 100 miles away in Torquay. For Hodges and Todd, it seems to have been the last straw.
Truro actually reached last season’s National South play-offs, but their squad this season is young and their budget threadbare, and following last Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Billericay, Todd told his players of his departure just before City kicked off their match at Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday.
“We spoke to the Chairman and obviously it was difficult for him to accept on the night,” Todd told local media. “He wanted to speak to us the following day but we had already made our minds up, and we told the lads. It was obviously quite an emotional room as these were players we had brought to the club.
“They were gutted and shocked, obviously, but we wished them well and said these things happen in football. We had lost a few players in the off-season and had to rebuild, but we thought we could give it a go. But you know when something is or isn’t right, and we have to stick by our decision.
“It was a culmination of things over two seasons. We wish everyone well and we move on.”
Former Torquay manager Kevin Nicholson has been linked with the vacancy, but for the moment, experienced player Ben Harding takes interim charge for the trip to Borough.
Sports manager Jamie Howell has had no such traumas, after garnering four points from his team’s opening two games. A hard-earned draw at a hard-baked Oxford City last weekend was followed by Tuesday’s heart-stopping 1-0 victory over highly fancied Welling United.
“That was very satisfying and very heartening,” Jamie told the Herald. “It was well documented that the close season gave us some headaches, but we have a squad capable of competing with anyone. I was delighted for the supporters on Tuesday night, and so were the players. We could feel a real rapport coming back to the ground, and we have to build on that.
“Above all, it has been about team spirit and commitment to the cause. I have always been clear that I only want players who will give everything for the cause, and that’s exactly what we saw against Oxford and Welling. They are playing for each other, listening to each other and welding together.
“I want to keep the expectations sensible. We still have work to do and it won’t happen just in a couple of games. But this was a really encouraging start and we will look to continue it on Saturday.
“Truro City still have the core of their excellent squad from last year, and they will be really tough to beat. A manager’s departure can often have a reverse effect and give a team an extra dose of commitment. We’ll need to be on our mettle.”
Marvin Hamilton will have a late test on the strain picked up at Oxford, but otherwise Howell expects a full squad.