Torquay United appoint Truro's Wotton as new boss

Paul Wotton on the touchline
Paul Wotton had been in charge of Truro City since the summer of 2019 [Rex Features]

Torquay United's incoming owners have appointed Paul Wotton as their new manager.

The 46-year-old leaves the Gulls' fellow National League South side Truro City after almost five years to take over the reins at Plainmoor.

The two clubs have agreed a compensation fee for the former Plymouth Argyle captain, who signed a new long-term deal at the Cornish club in November.

Wotton, who has agreed a three-year contract, will work under highly-experienced former top-flight boss Neil Warnock as the Gulls' new owners begin to make their mark on the side.

The Bryn Consortium - a group of local businessmen - have agreed a deal to buy the club after it went into administration earlier this year.

They have replaced former owner Clarke Osborne, who said in February he could no longer fund the club.

“Following a meticulous search, the Consortium Board agreed that Paul’s credentials and vision were most closely aligned with our own and he will arrive at Plainmoor as part of a restructuring of the football set-up at the blub,” said Mark Bowes-Cavanagh, incoming co-chairman.

Wotton led Truro to promotion from the Southern Premier League last year and then guided them to a 16th-placed finish in their first season back in the sixth tier.

They ended the season two points above the Gulls, who had a total of 11 points deducted, with Wotton masterminding a 1-0 win over Torquay at Plainmoor on Boxing Day.

The former Plymouth assistant manager has drawn praise for managing a side that has been homeless for much of his time in charge - Truro are due to move to a new home ground this summer.

They spent the past season playing home matches at Plymouth Parkway and Gloucester City - and were forced to play 13 games in the final four weeks of the season due to a raft of postponements.

"Everyone connected with Truro City thanks Paul for his time spent in charge of the football club and we wish him well in his future endeavours," a statement from the Cornish club read.

"The process of replacing Paul is now well under way.

"Prospective candidates are invited to apply for the role of first team manager in this, an exciting chapter in the club’s history as it returns to Cornwall, in a new stadium within the Langarth village development."

Downes' time at Torquay comes to an end

Aaron Downes talks to Paul Wotton
Aaron Downes (left) led Torquay United to a 2-1 win over Wotton's Truro City last month [Rex Features]

The news of Wotton's appointment comes as Torquay confirmed that Aaron Downes will leave the club, having guided the Gulls to safety as interim boss.

Downes, who had been Gary Johnson's assistant for the past six seasons, also spent three campaigns as a player at Plainmoor between 2012 and 2015.

“Aaron Downes has been a loyal servant to Torquay United AFC, in trying and difficult circumstances," the club said in a statement.

“We thank him immensely for what he has done with the squad, and for securing our survival in National League South.

“He leaves with our blessing, and we wish him every success in his future endeavours.

“It goes without saying that he will always be very welcome back here at Plainmoor.”


Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Paul Wotton's appointment - and Torquay's payment of a substantial release fee to free the 46-year-old from his contract at Truro City - is another statement of intent from Torquay's prospective new owners.

The Bryn Consortium have already been more visible and communicative in the past few weeks than the previous regime and, as Torquay fans, have the club's success at heart.

But with the high-profile appointments of Warnock and Wotton - along with an assertion that the club will have one of the biggest playing budgets in National League South - comes pressure.

In 2019 the club cruised to promotion from this level as a fully professional side, but struggled in the season that has just ended even before their points deductions for financial issues.

The club will again be among the favourites to go up in 12 months' time, and the crucial work to get a squad together capable of the task begins now.

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