Torquay Sell Skipper to Barnsley

Vanarama National League club Torquay United have sold captain Angus MacDonald to Championship side Barnsley for an undisclosed fee.

MacDonald started his career at Reading and joined a string of clubs on loan to gain playing time.

The third in line of those particular clubs was Torquay, and he quickly returned to the club on loan for another spell after impressing under the tenure of manager Martin Ling.

Salisbury City was the next port of call for the young centre-back but that spell was to be a brief one. He returned to Torquay in July 2014 signing for manager Chris Hargreaves.

It was with this return to Plainmoor that MacDonald started to fulfil the great promise he showed in his previous loan spells.

On his appointment, one of the first matters player-manager Kevin Nicholson addressed was the role of captain and he placed his faith in MacDonald and he repaid it handsomely, getting better and better throughout the season, and showing a more mature mentality on the pitch.

MacDonald played an integral part in the `Great Escape’ last season and pushed eventual player of the season winner Nathan Smith all the way in the voting.

Nicholson acted quickly to offer MacDonald a new contract this summer with the aim of building his defence around his captain this season.

That honour will now fall to someone else as MacDonald moves to Barnsley with the full support of the manager, the staff, and the Yellow Army.

“I though Gus was excellent for us” said Nicholson. “I made him captain as soon as I came to the club as manager because I saw a lot of potential in him.

“He knew, and we knew that he needed to mature. Although I think he still has some way to go I think he took that responsibility brilliantly.

“His performances towards the end of last season, when he was walking a tightrope on bookings, were magnificent.

“He bought in entirely with what I ask of the players. He stayed down here in the summer and work incredibly hard in the gym with me, Simon Jeffery, and Will Hancox. He’s getting his rewards now.

“It’s a shame for us as a club that he is going because he is our captain and a very good player. Now it releases a space for someone else to come into our programme and we make the next Gus. It is something we have to do. We have to pride ourselves on developing players and getting the best out of them. Someone else has to take that mantle but we also have Ben Gerring and Sean McGinty who have been improving every day in training.

“It’s great for Gus. I’m really, really happy for him. I told him soon after I came in as manager, that I thought we would sell him to a Championship club. He trusted me because he signed a new contract based on that. It probably happened six months to a year sooner than what I expected but we did what we promised him.

“I think that if he doesn’t settle, and doesn’t think that he’s ‘made it’, then he has every chance of kicking on again and going higher”.

Where next?

Plenty of Ins & Outs at Weston There has been substantial movement in the squad at Vanarama National League South club Weston-super-Mare this week.