Torquay United will begin the new season with a home match against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday August 5, according to the Vanarama National League fixtures which have been officially released this afternoon. United then travel to Aldershot on Tuesday August 8 and Gateshead on Saturday August 12 before welcoming Boreham Wood for the second home fixture on Saturday August 26.
It's a tough start for the Gulls, as Tranmere were beaten play-off finalists at the end of last season, losing at Wembley to Forest Green Rovers. Then there are two tricky away trips before United entertain their home fans again. You can read Torquay United reporter David Thomas' thoughts on the fixtures in our blog below.
The festive fixtures see Eastleigh taking the place of promoted FGR in the traditional home and away double-header. Torquay United travel to Eastleigh on Boxing Day and then go to Boreham Wood on Saturday December 30 before welcoming Eastleigh back to Plainmoor on New Year's Day.
The Gulls will finish their season with a home match against newly-promoted Ebbsfleet United on Saturday April 28. Relegated Hartlepool visit Plainmoor on Saturday October 28, while Leyton Orient visit on Saturday November 25. The FA Cup begins for Torquay on Saturday October 14 with the Fourth Qualifying Round, while the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy takes place on Saturday December 16.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson says that an opening-day visit from Tranmere Rovers gives Torquay United a 'focal point' for their pre-season campaign.
Nicholson said: "It gives us a focal point, and it will be a good test. Our job is to make sure that we are ready for it, which is good."
An experimental Gulls team, mostly made up of trialists, won 3-2 in the club's opening friendly at Newton Abbot Spurs last night, with goals by former Middlesbrough, Darlington, Accrington and Wrexham striker James Gray, ex-Macclesfield forward Vinny Mukendi and Mike Fondop, who was with NL South club Oxford City last season.
"It was a good exercise, and I'm glad that Newton Spurs did well out of it," said Nicholson. "Some of the players I would like to see again, so there will be some back against Stoke Gabriel (away 2pm) on Saturday as well as some different trialists. Preseason is going according to plan. The players are working hard and preparing well."
These are the full Torquay United fixtures for the coming season:
Sat Aug 5 Tranmere Rovers H
Tue Aug 8 Aldershot Town A
Sat Aug 12 Gateshead A
Tue Aug 15 Boreham Wood H
Sat Aug 19 Guiseley A
Sat Aug 26 Solihull Moors H
Mon Aug 28 Woking A
Sat Sep 2 Chester H
Sat Sep 9 Wrexham H
Tue Sep 12 Bromley A
Sat Sep 16 Barrow A
Sat Sep 23 Macclesfield Town H
Sat Sep 30 Dagenham and Redbridge A
Tue Oct 3 Maidenhead United H
Sat Oct 7 Dover Athletic H
Sat Oct 14 Emirates FA Cup 4Q
Sat Oct 21 FC Halifax Town A
Tue Oct 24 Ebbsfleet United A
Sat Oct 28 Hartlepool United H
Sat Nov 4 Emirates FA Cup 1
Sat Nov 11 Maidstone United H
Sat Nov 18 AFC Fylde A
Tue Nov 21 Sutton United A
Sat Nov 25 Leyton Orient H
Sat Dec 2 Aldershot Town H Emirates FA Cup 2
Sat Dec 9 Tranmere Rovers A
Sat Dec 16 Buildbase FA Trophy 1
Sat Dec 23 Gateshead H
Tue Dec 26 Eastleigh A
Sat Dec 30 Boreham Wood A
Mon Jan 1 Eastleigh H
Sat Jan 6 Wrexham A Emirates FA Cup 3
Sat Jan 13 Buildbase FA Trophy 2
Sat Jan 20 Bromley H
Sat Jan 27 Macclesfield Town A
Sat Feb 3 Barrow H Buildbase FA Trophy 3
Sat Feb 10 Maidenhead United A
Sat Feb 17 Dagenham and Redbridge H
Tue Feb 20 Sutton United H
Sat Feb 24 Leyton Orient A Buildbase FA Trophy 4
Sat Mar 3 AFC Fylde H
Sat Mar 10 Maidstone United A
Sat Mar 17 Solihull Moors A Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final 1
Sat Mar 24 Guiseley H Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final 2
Fri Mar 30 Chester A
Mon Apr 2 Woking H
Sat Apr 7 Dover Athletic A
Sat Apr 14 FC Halifax Town H
Sat Apr 21 Hartlepool United A
Sat Apr 28 Ebbsfleet United H
Wed May 2 Play-Off Qualifying Round
Sun May 6 Play-Off Semi-Final
Sat May 12 Play-Off Final
Sun May 20 Buildbase FA Trophy Final