THE New Year’s Day clash with Wimbledon at Plainmoor will bring a first professional start for United’s young forward Ashley Yeoman.
A string of injuries for the Gulls has left manager Martin Ling without Ryan Jarvis and Billy Bodin for the role in behind main forward Rene Howe, but the training ground performances of Yeoman have been extremely encouraging.
Elsewhere, captain Lee Mansell is fit for the visit of Wimbledon tomorrow after recovering from a badly gashed knee in the Boxing Day draw at Plymouth.
“Manse trained this morning and he is fine, which is a big plus,” said Martin. “He will be fit for the game but Billy Bodin is no good, and everyone else is ok, apart from the longest suspension in the world for Brian Saah.
“We’ve worked on the position behind Rene and Ashley has looked really good, so he will get the nod for tomorrow. He has never let us down when he’s come on as sub but this is obviously his first start. It is a different scenario but I’m very confident he will do a good job for us.
“He is a quiet lad who just gets on with his job and he is the type that doesn’t need a great deal of instruction. He has played the position in the reserves for years and it is a role that suits him.
“It’s important not to overload a player with instructions for their first game. Ash needs to go out there, enjoy it and play his natural game. His job is to get close to Rene and get himself in the box.”