Alan Knill adds Chapell to his squad as Gulls prepare for absence of Bodin
Buoyed by a hard-won point at Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday, Torquay United manager Alan Knill moved quickly yesterday to add a second loan signing to the Gulls' squad in the shape of Sheffield United winger Jordan Chapell.
The fact that forward Billy Bodin will be claimed by Wales Under-21 duty for the Gulls' two home games against Chesterfield and York City and that on-loan striker Elliot Benyon cannot play against his parent club, Southend United, this weekend added urgency to Knill's quest.
He added 21-year-old Chapell to the deal which brought Notts County midfielder Joss Labadie to Plainmoor last week, and there is a chance he may push through a third signing before Torquay take on Paul Sturrock's Shrimpers.
Chapell graduated through the Bramall Lane Academy and has made one Football League and three cup appearances for the Blades, as well as doing well in a curtailed loan spell at Torquay's npower League Two rivals Burton Albion before Christmas.
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"Jordan is quick, direct and technically very good," said Sheffield-based Knill, who first spotted Chapell when he was a key player in the Blades' youth team. "We lose Billy Bodin for two games next week, so we needed somebody in.
"Jordan can play either wing, or behind the striker. It gives us another forward option, it freshens training and makes it more intense.
"The group we have here is good, and we just want to add to that. I'm always hopeful of another new face at the top end of the pitch before Saturday, but we're waiting."
Knill described the midweek 2-2 draw at Dagenham, where Torquay twice came from behind after having defender Aaron Downes sent off after only three minutes, as "the best performance since I've been in charge".
The Daggers scored from the penalty spot after Downes' dismissal. He explained: "We went to 4-4-1, tried to keep our shape and stay in the game until half-time. We did it really well, and at half-time we believed we could win it."
Labadie rewarded growing pressure by equalising with his first Torquay goal in the 71st minute, before Dagenham regained the lead, against the run of play, through Josh Scott in the 85th minute.
But the Gulls hit back a second time through Rene Howe's 88th-minute penalty, awarded when Lloyd Macklin was pushed over.
"We worked so hard to get back into it," said Knill, "and at 1-1 we were looking like the ones who would win it. If we had come away with nothing, it would have been a travesty."