torquay united club crestMartin Ling, who steered Leyton Orient to promotion to League One in 2006, has been appointed as the new Torquay United manager.

The 44-year-old former Orient and Cambridge United boss - who began his playing career on the Exeter City wing - was confirmed as the new Gulls boss via United's official website at three o'clock this afternoon.

United chairman Simon Baker said: "As a Board, we are delighted to appoint a manager of Martin's experience and background.

"We were pleased by the calibre of applicants for the role and Martin was the number one choice from this impressive collection of candidates.

"It is the beginning of an exciting new era at Torquay United and we are proud to have Martin at the helm."

London-born Ling began his playing career in 1983 at Exeter, making well over 100 appearances in four years as a Grecian.

Ling then moved to Southend United, via a brief spell at Swindon Town. He would enjoy five successful years with the Shrimpers before returning to Swindon in a move that would herald the peak of his playing days.

As a cultured central midfielder in Glenn Hoddle's fluent side of the early 90's, Ling played a pivotal role in Swindon's promotion to the Premier League.

His playing career then followed a path back to his East London roots with Leyton Orient, who he later managed, before hanging up his boots at Brighton & Hove Albion in 2000.

Ling was appointed Orient boss in December 2003 after a spell as caretaker-manager at Brisbane Road. Within less than three years, he guided the O's to automatic promotion from League Two and then stabilised the club as an established League One outfit.

Tomorrow he is set to conduct his first press call as the new United boss, at Plainmoor, at noon.

Ling replaces successful former Gulls boss Paul Buckle - another former Exeter City (and Torquay United) midfielder - who has become new manager at Bristol Rovers.

Meanwhile Gulls players of the year and central defender Guy Branston, 32, has joined United's League Two rivlas Bradford City on a two-year deal.


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