Director reveals pressure on search for Torquay manager

Bill Phillips
Phillips says there have already been several applications for the post

Torquay United director Bill Phillips has said the pressure is on to fill the vacant managerial post at Plainmoor.

Paul Buckle stepped down as Torquay boss on Monday to join Bristol Rovers after four years in which he guided the Gulls back into the Football League.

Phillips told BBC Devon: "We have a number of applicants already in and we'll be sifting through those.

"We have a short close season as the players will be back on 1 July, so we need to do something fairly quickly."

Having taken Torquay back into the Football League following their relegation in 2007, Buckle oversaw further improvement at Plainmoor, the culmination of which was a place in this season's League Two play-off final against Stevenage at Old Trafford.

Despite Torquay's eventual 1-0 defeat by the Hertfordshire club, Buckle is fondly remembered by his former employers.

"Paul has left a big gap and it's one that we've got fill," Phillips continued.

"We've lost Shaun North as well, who's joining Paul at Bristol Rovers so we've got two key positions which we've got to fill.

"It's very important for Torquay United that we get the right to people in situ, but we have to make sure we have the continuity that Paul has set up which we don't want to completely distrupt."

Amongst the bookmakers' early favourites to take over the managerial role at Plainmoor are former Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope and ex-Torquay captain Chris Hargreaves.

Former England striker Kevin Phillips is also being linked with the role, having been released by Birmingham City following their relegation from the Premiership.