Filming Truro City FC at Plainmoor, Torquay

 In General

We heard today that Truro City FC will continue to play at Plainmoor, until a decision is taken about returning to Treyew Road after the “ground-share derby” against Torquay United on January 1st 2019.

I may well be in the minority of Truro City FC fans who is actually enjoying Truro City’s enforced move to the English Riveria. That’s because there’s nothing quite like filming in a professional  (ex Football League) stadium. For a start you get an elevated and unobstructed view of all the action. The pitches are great and encourage attractive football; and you also have everything in place for a commentary team in the press seats nearby.

The very first football league ground I filmed in was the KCOM Stadium – the home of Hull City FC. I was part of the video crew and filmed pitch side. What a buzz I got when John Parkin (the “Beast”) headed in the winning goal against local rivals Leeds United and celebrated right in front of me. It was voted the best clip of the day.

 

John Parkin’s Goal

On the back of that I became the second camara man whenever Hull City played at St. Mary’s (Southampton FC) or against the Pilgrims’ at Home Park. More recently I filmed the Cornwall 18s FA County Youth Cup final at the Hive, Barnet. However, the biggest and best occasion was spending four amazing days around the successful 2007 FA Vase Final winners Truro City as they tore AFC Totton apart at the newly opened  Wembley Stadium. I was walking on the sacred turf. It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

Truro City FA Vase Final

Videography has given me an unusual way back into the beautiful game. Like many,  I represented my school and county (Wiltshire) and went on to play in the Southern League for Salisbury City and Andover Town.  My happiest days though were representing London University, with the likes of Eamon Dunphy, Barry Lloyd and Ian Evans as our coaches. Having played the game  has helped me to better film the game and talk the game with managers, coaches, players and supporters. I just love it. And working with commentators and summarisers at my side just makes the whole enterprise all the more enjoyable and professional (I hope).

So there’s a part of me that will be disappointed if and when we leave Plainmoor and return to Treyew Road in 2019. From a purely football perspective, up until about a month ago I was clamouring for a quick return to Cornwall – purely on the grounds of the poor “home” form and the scarcity of points. Now, unbeaten at Plainmoor in the last 3 games, I am seriously wondering whether we should stick where we are, rather than twist.

My long-standing, go-to commentator Dave Deacon kicked off the season with me against title favourites Billericay and we got stuffed 4:0. We filmed from the gantry for the one and only time so far this season. That’s because to get to it you have to go out of the ground and you just feel so isolated and out on a limb.

 

The First Match at Plainmoor

I was soon on the look out for a replacement commentator after a complete misunderstanding and misreading on my part of Dave’s thoughts on Truro City’s move to Torquay and his intended involvement. So, for some home games, I struggled to get a commentator (Chippenham and Dartford) and had to cut the edited action to music. This is always trickier than it seems. But I did eventually get the pleasure of working alongside the former BBC Spotlight Sports presenter, Dave Gibbins, for three games. Dave, incidentally, was up in the gods next to me at the FA Vase Final working for Auntie. I was in awe Dave’s professionalism, meticulous planning and skill when we experimented with the YouTube Live reports from Plainmoor, before and after the games.

 

A Dave Gibbon’s Post Match Special

I will always remember the excitement in his voice when we picked up our first home point against Welling United with a last minute equaliser from Jarod Lewington from a corner. Dave’s voice went up a register or two.

 

The First “Home” Point

The crowds for the most part have been poor, but what an atmosphere there was at the Hereford FA Cup replay. A 7-goal thriller under the lights. Plainmoor was buzzing. It was so precious having Dave back at the microphone (the misunderstanding sorted out on an eventful coach journey to Bedford with the county youth team), and the charismatic Steve Massey summarising. The three of us when we’re together is a bit like “The Last of the Summer Wine.”

 

FA Cup Replay v Hereford

With the aforementioned said, I can understand that not every Truro City fan wants to make the 4 hour round trip and shell out £30 plus for a game in Torquay. However, there are some plusses. For one, you certainly get to know your fellow Truro City FC supporters better along the way. I have enjoyed getting more acquainted with that fine man and former Club Secretary, Russell Keeble. The supporters’ mini bus is not a bad experience either! I have also found the Torquay United officials most welcoming and supportive; from the groundsman and health and safety officer to the stewards and Brett the stadium announcer. What a voice, playlist and sound system.

It’s somewhat ironic that as preparations are being made for a return to Treyew Road, we have managed to find some recent form at Plainmoor and picked up 7 out of the last 9 points. So, for me professionally and personally, I want Truro City to remain playing at this level next season and wouldn’t wish to do anything that would jeopardise that. If that chimes with some of the sentiments expressed by the Chairman, Peter Masters earlier today on Radio Cornwall (which I have not heard), that is purely coincidental.

Tomorrow, Truro City start their run in the FA Challenge Trophy against Greenwich Borough. I will be there, this time teaming up again with Falmouth University undergraduate Tom Harris. If it anything like the last time I filmed Greenwich Borough, we’re in for a cracker, with no quarter given.

My extended highlights of the match will be premiered on Piran Films YouTube Channel hopefully at 9 am Sunday morning. If you subscribe to my channel and tick the notification bell, you will get a couple of reminders.

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