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Fri 31st March 2000
Eaton Joins Dale At Newport

Ex-Yeovil Town striker Jason Eaton, released from his contract yesterday according to the YTFC Official Site is believed to have wasted no time in finding another club. It is strongly rumoured that Eaton has signed for Newport County until the end of the season. Ironically, Eaton will team up with another former Glover Carl Dale, who found himself in the same position, and frequently the same substitutes shirt as Jason Eaton. Dale found the lower division to his liking and is Newport's top scorer this season, so there is a good chance of Eaton being just as successful at that level.

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Turkeys Vote (Provisionally) For Xmas

According to an article in today's Daily Telegraph, Division 3 chairmen meeting in London yesterday (see news story below) have approved in principle 2-up/2-down between the Nationwide League and the Conference - though it's not clear as yet when such a change will be made.

The article reads as follows:

Football News: Two clubs could go down from League
By Christopher Davies

THE chairmen of the Third Division clubs agreed in principle yesterday to increased promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Nationwide Conference, which presently stands at one place.

A working party will be set up to look into the practical and financial issues of what is likely to become two-up, two-down, and their findings will be put to all 72 League clubs, possibly at the annual general meeting this summer. If the Conference are granted two promotion places the champions would go up automatically, with the second spot decided by play-offs.

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Thurs 30th March 2000
Toffees In For Sticky Time At Huish Park?

BBC Southwest ceefax is tonight reporting that Premiership outfit Everton have been provisonally pencilled in for a pre-season friendly game at Huish Park v Yeovil Town in the summer, as part of a tour of the West Country's major football teams by the Merseyside giants. Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle have also been invited to play The Toffees. According to ceefax the tour is conditional on Everton failing to qualify for the Inter-Toto Cup in the summer. No dates have as yet been agreed.

Nothing to do with Yeovil really but still of interest to Yeovil supporters, BBC ceefax is also reporting that Conference rivals Rushden & Diamonds today made a "six-figure bid" for Exeter's on-loan striker Gary Alexander. The offer was accepted by Alexander's club, West Ham United, but the player refused the move.

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Sowden Is Nearly Revolting (Local Press Review)

Today's edition of the Yeovil Express takes some of the themes already mentioned today below from the Gazette and Clarion, but takes them one step further: Fans worried about future is the main headline in the paper with sports editor Steve Sowden voicing many fans' fears for the long-term future of the club and asking whether full-time football is a positive step for the future or a possible throwback to the early 90's when Yeovil nearly went bankrupt. John Fry is quoted as saying that "David (Webb) wasn't prepared to come to Yeovil on a full-time basis if we didn't have a full-time squad," implying that the major reason for going full-time was to attract Webb. The Express also quotes Fry as saying there was "no point" in having a full-time manager but no full-time players - "an amazing statement" according to the paper when one considers the controversy surrounding Colin Lippiatt's departure from the club last autumn. Sowden says: "It seems as if Webb is already becoming a hugely powerful figure at Huish Park and fans have questioned whether his long-standing friendship with Norman Hayward is a healthy one for the club."

Wearing his other hat as chairman of the Erection 2000 Appeal, Steve Sowden also comments on the reports that the roof development mooted for the close season may not go ahead after all, saying,"I myself...would be furious if the roof did not come to fruition in the summer - as promised by the club a couple of months ago. It would be a disgrace if the roof was not built and a huge insult to the fans - the people who have supported the Appeal with their hard-earned cash ever since it was launched last April. But ever since the club announced that the building of the roof was planned for May, I have remained open-minded and told supporters to 'believe it when they see it.' I just hope my caution will not prove to be justified."

In other news the paper details the ins-and-outs over the past week at Huish park - all outs and no ins to be accurate - and reports that David Webb is not planning to bring anyone in until the end of the season and will be giving the young players at the club their chance to impress. Steve Sowden suggests that two players Webb may have his eye on in the close-season is Taunton's prolific striker Anthony Lynch - 54 goals so far this season - and former Thommo target Gary Patterson of Kingstonian.

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Stotty Links Up With Lippiatt?

The mystery of the disappearing Stott appears to be close to being solved this afternoon: Following yesterday's news story that Stevenage were trying to persuade him to sign, and further from a report on teletext last night that he had signed for Oxford City; messages left today on the Woking Fanzine web forum from reliable sources are indicating that former Yeovil club captain Steve Stott has signed for Woking until the end of the season, thus linking up with former head coach Colin Lippiatt and former fellow-Glovers Matt Hayfield and Kevan Brown.

Rumours that The Cards are to play in green-and-white shirts next season have yet to be denied. Woking play Yeovil at Huish Park in the penultimate game of the season on May 1st - at this rate the home crowd should have no difficulty in recognising both teams!

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Fat Harry's All Wet (Local Press Review)

Shocking news in this week's edition of The Clarion as Yeovil players are accused of a vicious attack on the esteemed editor of the said organ. Fat Harry (for it was he) was allegedly lured into the showers [oh yes? -ed] at Huish Park by two first-team players said to bear a resemblance to Warren Patmore and Chris Sparks, not that we at Ciderspace are suggesting it was them, oh no. Eye-witnesses reported that after his ducking the aforementioned Fat One was "soaked to the skin" and "doing an excellent imitation of someone who had jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed," and was evidently "gasping like a fish." Rumours that Gazette sports editor Richard Briggs has hired a minder have been firmly denied.

More seriously, today's Western Gazette leads on the fight for 2-up/2-down beween the Conference and Division 3 and the plan of forfeiting sponsorship money by Conference clubs (see below) in order to encourage Division 3 clubs to accept the change. Yeovil chairman John Fry has supported the proposal, says the Gazette, but the paper points out that the smaller Conference clubs with no realistic hope or desire for promotion are extremely unlikely to forego any money, probably making the scheme a non-starter.

The Gazette reports that John Fry has also hit out at what he terms "scare-stories" in the local press regarding claims that the home terrace development may not go ahead after all in the summer. However, the Gazette quotes him as saying "there is an 80% chance of the development going ahead. All we have said to fans is,'Would you prefer we spent money on the team or on the stadium?'... There is not enough money to do everything. All we have said is that if anything has to be sacrificed in our bid to go full-time it will not be the team." The Gazete goes on to say that David Webb has asked for better training facilities, and Fry is also quoted as saying, "Other financial demands brought on by our change to full-time football could include a full-time physio, and obviously the extra wage demands brought on by full-time contracts. All this will be dealt with in a business plan we are drawing up."
Ciderspace Comment : Pardon us for being skeptical, but shouldn't all of these issues have already been discussed and worked out, and shouldn't a business plan already be in place? Fairly or unfairly the board gives the impression that they are stumbling from one problem to another with very little thought being given to long-term planning. One hopes that they are in reality more in control of events than on the face of it they appear to be; without proper costings and planning the move to full-time football could be financially disasterous for this club.

Both papers report that Glen Poole has become the first player to sign a full-time contract this week, the first of many perhaps. The Gazette quotes manager David Webb as saying "Some of the players have begun to look for flats and houses in Yeovil, and some are talking about sharing houses with each other - that is very positive."

Assistant coach Steve Thompson's future has again been questioned - this time in the Gazette. The paper quotes Thommo as saying, "We are going to take a look at the way things are going at the end of the season and decide, depending on what Dave Webb wants and what Steve Thompson wants."

Finally, some disturbing news. In Fat Harry's Face To Face series in the Clarion, Jamie Pitman admits that his local pub in his home town of Warminster is - wait for it - the Weymouth Arms. Oi, Jamie, nooooo! You may well be one of YTFC's most versatile players, equally adept in midfield or at wing-back and quite possibly the lynch-pin of the side over the next few years, but drinking in a pub with that name could lead to all kinds of potentially avoidable situations, such as a tendency to wear claret-and-blue and other unspeakable horrors! Isn't there a King's Arms there or something?!

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League Chairmen Discuss 2-Up/2-Down

Football League Chairmen from Division Three will meet today to discuss proposals for a Two Up / Two Down system between the Conference and the Football League. The meeting, chaired by Barry Hearn, takes place in London.

The existing system of One Up / One Down - in place since 1986 - is claimed by many Conference clubs to be a bottle neck, and their claims are supported by the success of previous Champions Wycombe, Macclesfield, Halifax and Cheltenham in the Football League. Six of the previous Conference Champions have gained promotion to Division Two shortly after leaving the non-league structure, and Cheltenham have an excellent chance of promotion via the play-offs this season.

Moves to open the door wider for more Conference clubs to gain entry to the Football League have proven unsuccessful, and one reason cited by Football League clubs is that the financial strain of converting between a full time league and a predominantly part time league that does not receive a significant amount of TV or Sponsorship money is causing clubs problems, particularly where they have to honour lengthy full time contracts pegged at Third Division wage levels.

One possible proposal being put to the Third Division Chairmen's meeting in London today is a compensation package that could be offered to the unlucky Third Division side. Scarborough Football Club are believed to have proposed a scheme by which Conference member clubs forfeit their Nationwide sponsorship money - believed to be £5,000 a year - and pass it into a pool for the extra relegated side to use. This would net around £100,000 a year to compensate the extra club dropping out of the Football League.

A scheme like this is already in place for the single relegated Football League club in the One Up / One Down system. The Conference Champions receive only 50% of the Sky TV Sponsorship money during their first year in Division Three. The other 50% is paid to the side relegated to the Conference on the justification that it is getting a "repeat viewing fee" due to Sky's means of reshowing archive footage from previous seasons.

Football League spokesman John Nagle told the Western Daily Press, "We are always willing to consider changes if they are to the benefit of the game. But it is unlikely that extra promotion places will become available until the commencement of the next television deal, which runs out at the end of next year."

Nagle added, "There is no doubt that a number of clubs from the Conference would be able to survive in the third division. What we have to guard against is that it is a major change in terms of the actual business of the club, changing from a semi-professional structure to a professional one. And if we are talking about a number of clubs changing each year then it is asking a lot for those clubs. You could be asking semi-professional players to turn professional and then perhaps go back to being semi-pros again. That has to be taken into the equation."

Unsurprisingly, Conference chief executive John Moules takes a different view, saying "We feel that, as a competition, we have progressed significantly over the last 10 years, both in terms of administration, playing standards and stadia to earn, as of right, additional promotion places to the Football League. From next season, we will have eight full-time teams (Yeovil plan to be one of them) and the only thing stopping all 22 clubs being full-time is the single promotion place."

Attendances in the Conference have risen nearly every single year, and are currently on a three year rise and an all-time high, with average attendances of around 1,700 - a far cry from 1986 when it was rare for much more than half a dozen clubs to claim averages of over 1,000. But the current One-Up / One-Down system stops interest in the season for around two-thirds of the Conference clubs, with this season being a classic case in point. Clubs between 3rd and 16th in the table have more or less nothing to play for and the sudden drop in crowds at places like Broadhall Way, Stevenage are a stark reminder of that.

Extra promotion places and end of season play-offs would keep the interest going in the league for the majority of clubs and Moules says, "If by Christmas you are in 14th position, you still have an opportunity to progress, giving clubs the chance to extend their season. What we want is a fair and equitable system throughout the Football League of promotion and relegation. If that means the Premier League maintains three-up, three-down then we would like that as well."

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Wed 29th March 2000
Diamonds Bid For Wazza Again?

According to several sources, Rushden & Diamonds are believed to have made a third attempt to sign Yeovil Town striker Warren Patmore in time for tomorrow's transfer deadline at 5:00pm. Diamonds were strongly rumoured to have bid for Wazza in May last year, and were believed to have followed that up with a second attempt a fortnight ago, hoping to tempt new manager David Webb to part with Yeovil's prize asset.

Northamptonshire press reported the second failed bid at £70,000 - around half what they were believed to have bid during the previous summer, and the belief is that with Ex-West Bromwich Albion manager Brian Talbot still anxious to recruit in a top striker before the deadline, that he has gone back with a third bid.

However, at the time of writing (Wednesday 19:00hrs) reliable sources told us that no talks had been held between Wazza and Rushden suggesting that the third bid had again been refused or that no formal deal had been tabled. And as of Wednesday 17:15hrs, manager David Webb confirmed that the only outgoing of the day had been midfielder Phil Simpson.

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Steve Stott To Join Stevenage?

Steve Stott
Steve Stott
Ex-Yeovil midfield maestro and former club captain Steve Stott has been linked with Conference rivals Stevenage Borough, according to the Hertfordshire club's official website today. New Boro manager Steve Wignall is chasing Steve along with several other players as he attempts to rebuild the Stevenage side. The move would be logical - Ex-Boro boss Richard Hill attempted to sign Stott earlier in the season without success, but now it would appear that Stevenage are on the verge of finally getting their man.

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Mon 27th March 2000
Ben Smith Is March POTM

Ben Smith
Ben Smith - voted as internet player of the month for March
Ben Smith is the Internet Player of the Month for March. The voting is done purely by Yeovil Town fans who use the internet and vote in Paul Chesterman's poll after each game.

Results for March are as follows:

Ben Smith 361 points
David Piper 222 points
Tony Pennock 217 points
Matt Hayfield 203 points
Kevan Brown 193 points

The points are calculated by dividing the points gained in each match by the total number of voters for that match, these are totalled each month and divided by the number of appearances, plus a factor for each appearance.

Man Of The Match voting compiler Paul Chesterman writes:

"We say goodbye to two players who feature in the March 'Internet player of the month' top four. Kevin and Matty have linked up again with Colin Lippiat, now in charge at Woking. Good luck lads, you served us well and always featured in the Man of the Match votes, Matty twice and Kevin four times in ten games between the end of December and the end of February."

To participate in future votes, look out for the voting form attached to this site's match reports, or e-mail Paul Chesterman at ytfc.motm@dtn.ntl.com for further information.

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Free Football!

We have received the following press release from YTFC :

Yeovil Town Reserves, currently in fourth spot in the Screwfix Direct League Premier Division, have arranged a friendly with Bath University for this coming Wednesday 29th March.

The game, which will kick off at 7:45pm, will be played at Huish Park. There will be no charge on the gate.

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Sun 26th March 2000
Sunday Paper Claims Roof Shocker!

Today's Sunday Independent makes strong claims that this summer's plans to build a roof over the home end this summer may be put on hold. In an article, written by John Lukins, the paper claims that the change of heart by the club is based on their recent decision to turn full time.

The article, with thanks to Blue Stew's typing fingers, reads as follows:

Headline: Yeovil to go full time?

Report: John Lukins

Yeovil Town's directors will sit down in a week's time and discuss the implications of going full time professional. They could be far reaching.

Chairman John Fry said this week they had to look at the whole picture, not just the playing side.

That could mean delaying or re-thinking some aspects of stadium development, possibly the covering of the terracing at the 'home' end.

'We have to look at everything' said Fry. 'For example, if you have full time players and full time training, you need a full time physio. And we don't have a full time physio so that means you are adding about £20,000 to your costs.

And full time training means training pitches. It is a huge step and we have to make sure we get it right.

But the chairman insists that the wage bill for players will not soar.

We have set a budget for 18-22 players and it is the same as now. Our manager (Dave Webb) has a free hand to get who he wants within that structure and our pay will compare favourably with other clubs in the same position.

Yeovil realise that there will be short term difficulties.

Players on contracts who don't go full-time, may leave by negotiation or confrontation and some might stay.

Fry says: 'We will probably start next season with a 50-50 situation, half full-timers and the rest part-timers. By the start of the 2001-2002 season we would hope to be 100 per cent full time or if not, at least 90 per cent.

Among the early departures has been Tony Pounder, who has been playing on a non-contract basis. He is completing a second spell at Huish Park.

His first, as a teenager, led to a league career with Bristol Rovers and Hereford United.

Ciderspace Editorial Comment: The initial reaction to this news by Yeovil Town fans reading this article was wide-scale dismay that we might lose the promise of a new roof in the summer. However, on closer inspection, it is clear that Mr Lukins is indulging in idle speculation - at no point does John Fry suggest that the roof plans may or will be put on hold.

However, with just six weeks before the developments are scheduled to start, and no contractor publically named, some sort of a public reponse is becoming necessary, both in terms of the Sunday Independent speculation, and in terms of what sort of schedule the development plans will take. We wait with baited breath......

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Fri 24th March 2000
Brown(ed) Off

According to the Official Woking FC Web Site, ex-Yeovil Head Coach Colin Lippiatt expects to complete the re-signing of Yeovil captain Kevan Brown this afternoon. Brown was still under contract at Yeovil Town, but it is not clear whether the transfer will command a fee.

It was not possible to confirm this story, nor recent reports on Ciderspace relating to Tony Pounder and Jason Eaton (see below), via official Yeovil Town Football Club channels this afternoon, despite several attempts to do so, both today and over the last few days. The official website is patently failing in its aim to be "first with the news" at present, one can only hope that club begins to take it more seriously in the very near future.

Kevan Brown signed for Yeovil Town on March 8th 1998 and made his debut at Kettering two days later. The deal was instigated by the then Head Coach Colin Lippiatt, who snapped up Brown for £7,500 as part of the same move that brought Steve Thompson to Yeovil.

Brown became a key part of the Lippiatt-era Yeovil defence, and was cited by several of his defensive team-mates as being even in part responsible for their own personal form.

Fellow central defender Chris Sparks said of Brown last November "he has to be the best centre-half I've ever played with. He's talking to you throughout his game. It's phenomenal, totally unreal, you're just not used to playing alongside someone as experienced or as good as him. People have always said to me that they rate Kevan Brown, and I played against him a few times when he was at Woking. But you don't realise how good he is until you actually play alongside someone like that."

Kevan also gained a reputation for goal-line clearances, and one of his best happened at Ninian Park against Cardiff, in January 1999. With the Yeovil defence rattled after conceding a late goal to The Bluebirds, Brown was the coolest player on the pitch as he somehow got back to hook a looping header off his own goal-line in a clearance that was to ultimately guarantee a bumper crowd at Huish Park for the replay.

At 34 years old, age may have been against Kevan Brown, but there was little sign that his form was deserting him. In a 2-1 win over Telford United on 22nd January 2000, Kevan saved Yeovil's skins with a hat-trick of goal-line clearances, keeping up his reputation of being in the right place at the right time.

During his time with Yeovil, Kevan accompanied team-mate Steve Stott during the Summer 1999 Middlesex Wanderers tour to India. When Stott was injured at the end of October 1999, Kevan took over the captaincy of Yeovil Town, a position that he had held so successfully at Woking. Kevan held the captaincy for Yeovil right up to his last full game for The Glovers a fortnight ago.

Kevan picked up countless Man of the Match and Player of the Month awards for Yeovil, with the last such presentation being at Yeovil's last home match against Doncaster Rovers where he picked up both the Yeovil Express Player of the Month for February 2000 and the Sponsors' Man of the Match award. Ironically both presentations were being made at what was to be his final game for Yeovil Town. The Yeovil Express award was his second of the season, having already collected a similar trophy for his performance during October 1999.

Like Steve Stott, Kevan's age, and his day-time professional employment were never likely to tempt him into full time football, and so he teams up with Colin Lippiatt for a third time in his career, along side ex-Glovers Rob Smith and Matt Hayfield, in an attempt to rescue Woking from relegation. If any player is capable of doing that single-handedly, it is Kevan Brown.

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Thurs 23rd March 2000
Eaton Plays For Cheltenham Reserves

Out-of-favour striker Jason Eaton has returned to his spiritual home of Cheltenham in a bid to find a new club. The following message is taken from the Cheltenham Fans Forum regarding a reserves match last night:

"Won 3-0 at Kiddy, goals from JASON EATON (seven minutes) Hugh McAuley (11 minutes) and Bob Bloomer (38 minutes). Eaton good finish from Hopkins pass. McAuley rammed home the second, another good finish after Hopkins' shot came back off the keeper. Bloomer stunning 25-yard volley after McAuley corner was headed out to him. Eaton booked (!) as was McAuley in tasty first half, second half died a bit as the game was over as a contest. Team: Higgs, Griffin, Burby, Jackson, Freeman, Walker, Eaton, Bloomer, Hopkins, McAuley, Richards."

In an earlier posting there is a message saying: "Former Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City striker Jason Eaton is set to play for the Robins' reserve side at Kidderminster tonight. Eaton, who scored Cheltenham's winner in their 1998 FA Trophy win at Wembley, has been told he is surplus to requirements at Yeovil by new manager David Webb, and Robins' boss Steve Cotterill is keen to do all he can to help Eaton get fixed up with a new club."

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Local Press Review

Today's Western Gazette leads on the mass clearout of Yeovil players, naming Paul Tisdale, Tony Pounder, Jason Eaton and Kevan Brown as all being told they can find new clubs, and quoting manager David Webb as saying that Oxford City are reportedly interested in signing Steve Stott. However, Webb is also quoted as saying, "Now is not the time to bring people in - it is time to open the door to let people go. I am still trying to find out what is in-house - looking at the youth team players is the next stage." The Gazette interprets this as meaning that no new faces will be added to the Glovers squad now before the end of the season. The paper adds that some part-time players will be retained for next season, naming David Piper - previously thought to be in jeopardy - Warren Patmore and Rob Cousins as players who Webb would like to retain, regardless of their status.

This week's Clarion also focuses on the uncertainty surrounding Yeovil's squad. Fat Harry takes a slightly different tack by naming those players who in his opinion will definitely be staying - with only Terry Skiverton, Adrian Foster, Warren Patmore and Ben Smith gaining the FH Seal Of Approval. The Clarion also reports on the news that Yeovil turned down a £70,000 bid from Rushden last week for Warren Patmore (see below), saying that sources at the club have said that any bid under £150,000 will be unsuccessful.

Finally it seems that Fat Harry is going to have to find himself a new mole with the news reported yesterday that Tony Pounder has been released by the club. Ironically Tony himself is the interviewee in Fat Harry's Face To Face series this week, and yes, he did want to stay at Yeovil next season, according to the article. Oops, bad timing Harry.

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Wed 22nd March 2000
Pounder Gets The Chop

Long-serving player Tony Pounder has become the latest casualty of David Webb's revolution at Huish Park, following hard on the heels of Matt Hayfield and Terry Cotton. We understand that Tony, a non-contract player, has been released from the club with immediate effect, though the club has yet to confirm the news officially.

Tony, who until the recent first-team debut of Andy Lindegaard was the only Yeovil-born first team player at the club, had 2 spells at Yeovil Town. Tony first played for his hometown team as a teenager before moving to Weymouth and then on to Bristol Rovers, where he made over 200 appearances. From there he joined Hereford making a further 80 Football League appearances before being brought back to Yeovil by Graham Roberts in July 1996.

Since then Tony has doubled up for a season as reserve-team player/coach, winning promotion for the reserves alongside fellow coach Maurice O'Donnell in the 1997-98 season, as well as playing his part as a versatile member of the first-team squad. It's not known at present what his immediate plans for the future are.

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Fri 17th March 2000
Who's In And Who's Out At Huish Park

It's been an interesting 24 hours, with much rumour, speculation and sheer blind panic concerning exactly which players are going to be left at Huish Park once the the music stops... To the best of our knowledge, the following is how we at Ciderspace see the situation at present :

Definitely Out :

Matt Hayfield - has been released by the club after refusing to go full-time and will join Woking.

Kevan Brown - is in the squad for tomorrow's game at Doncaster but this will probably be his final game for the club.

Steve Stott, Jason Eaton and David Piper - have been told that they will be released at the end of the season and will be freed if they can find a club in the meantime.

Paul Tisdale - will be released at the end of the season.

Unknown/unsure :

Dean Chandler, Adrian Foster, Ben Smith, Chris Sparks, Rob Cousins - but the liklihood is that all 5 will stay at Huish Park, though it's not clear whether part-time or full-time. Rob Cousins has already said he will not go full-time, though he wants to stay with the club.

Murray Fishlock - will have to prove his fitness before he is offered a contract.

Tony Pennock - has been offered a full-time position at the club but will be released if he wants to stay part-time.

Definitely In :

Warren Patmore - Yeovil have turned down a £70,000 offer for Wazza this week from an undisclosed club. They would prefer him to stay in a full-time capacity but as we understand it are prepared to let him stay part-time if necessary.

Terry Skiverton - again the club would prefer him to be full-time but will allow him a part-time role if he chooses.

Matt Hale, Glenn Poole, Jamie Pitman - full-time roles at the club.

We are led to understand that manager David Webb has several new signings in mind, though it is not clear whether any will take place before the upcoming transfer deadlne at the end of the month. We are also led to understand that Webb has Yeovil scouts specifically looking at players in the reserve and youth sides of the big London clubs, in other words we are looking for players with the same kind of pedigree as ex-Spurs Youth Glen Poole and ex-Arsenal Youth Ben Smith.

So, bearing all that in mind above, and taking into account the club's press release regarding the squad for tomorrow's Doncaster game (see the official site news page) we at Ciderspace expect to see the following team and formation at Belle Vue :

Tony Pennock

Andy Lindegaard

Terry Skiverton

Chris Sparks

Glen Poole

Elis Wilmot

Rob Cousins

Ben Smith

Matt Hale

Warren Patmore

Adrian Foster

Subs: James Bent, Anthony Tonkin, Kevan Brown, Paul Steele, AN Other.

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Thurs 16th March 2000
Local Press Review

News of David Webb's new job came too late for last week's papers so today's publications are full of the first comments on the ex-Brentford man's appointment as Yeovil Town boss. The Western Gazette features an opinion article written by sports editor Richard Briggs, in which he describes the news as "one of the best decisions Yeovil Town have made for years." Briggs lists Webb's lengthy managerial experience contrasting his record with his relatively inexperienced predecessors, Colin Lippiatt and Steve Thompson, and says, "...with such a pedigree, Yeovil supporters will surely get right behind him."

Fat Harry in The Clarion isn't quite so effusive, but he too welcomes Webb's appointment whilst at the same time bemoaning the club's treatment of Steve Thompson, saying he should have been given more time to prove himself and once again describes the technical director saga as "a joke". He describes David Webb as "a typical Londoner, just like me!" - oh dear - before going on to say, "He's got a sense of humour (he'll need that in Yeovil!!), experience, and a will to win. He could be just the man to do it at Yeovil."

Meanwhile both papers provide the first hints that Thommo might not have been too disappointed at losing sole responsibility for first-team affairs. The Gazette quotes him as saying, "I would say to the supporters - get behind the team, get behind David and I and we will build a team capable of winnning the Nationwide Conference title....I am happy to work alongside David and I feel I have a lot to offer as a coach. I have spoken to David and I have no problems with working with him at all - I think that we will work together well." So far so positive, whilst in The Clarion Thommo is quoted as saying "My position now is not going to be such high pressure and I can now concentrate on the coaching which I enjoy."

The major loser so far in this whole affair however has been long-serving former assistant coach Terry Cotton, axed by Webb this week. A Yeovil man to the end, the Gazette quotes Terry as saying, "I am very disappointed that things happened so quickly but the club is bigger than any one person. I wish David the best of luck and I hope he can turn the club around."

Finally The Gazette reports that chairman John Fry has denied rumours that one unnamed director had threatened to withdraw his money from the club if David Webb had not been appointed, saying, "No-one disagreed. It was a decision made by the executive board of the football club - and no-one steps out of line with that."

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Wed 15th March 2000
Terry Cotton Gone?

Two reliable sources within Huish Park have indicated to us that assistant manager Terry Cotton has left the club. We are currently awaiting official confirmation of this news, but it seemed the writing was on the wall from the weekend when David Webb, in his first press conference for the club (details of which can be found on ytfc.net) said "I don't see the point at having an assistant to the assistant at this level".

David Webb suggested that the board might find Cotton alternative employment within Huish Park, but there is no indication as to whether this has been possible.

Terry Cotton first returned to Huish Park as Graham Roberts' assistant in 1995, and served under Roberts, Colin Lippiatt and Steve Thompson. He also had a brief spell as joint caretaker manager with Lippiatt shortly after Roberts' exit from Huish Park.

In addition to his first team managerial career at Yeovil Town, Cotton had a lengthy playing spell with Yeovil, scoring 83 goals in 415 appearances. He also had spells as commercial manager and youth team manager after his playing career finished.

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Fri 10th March 2000
David Webb Appointed As Manager

David Webb has been appointed as the new manager of Yeovil Town. Former Head coach Steve Thompson has been named as Webb's assistant, though it's not as yet clear where this leaves former assistant coach Terry Cotton. See the official site for the full details.

Webb was interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol this evening. In the interview he indicated that Yeovil would be going full-time and that he had been head-hunted by the board because of his "track-record" in managing clubs with low budgets. The full transcript, with thanks to Tom Brown, is as follows:

Q: Dave, what's made you come back to Yeovil after your first very short stay?

DW: Well it wasn't that I was ever away or wasn't involved , it was just a bit of a technical dilemma. Somebody wanted to put a pseudonym or something like that, I was just helping out, just having a look to see anyway I could help with the club. There was nothing I felt at that time that was available for me to do that was going to make the place or the team do any better or go anywhere further forward. I think the situation as it is now, is that the directors have said to me that they are looking at trying to get the club into a full time capacity and that's really my brief, that's what excites me a bit more, the thought that we're going to be looking at taking Yeovil town fc back, as I think they have tried before, into a full time professional football club which is what we hope is going to give it the best opportunity to get into the football league.

Q: How do you see yourself doing that? Money always has to come into it?

DW: Absolutely and that's another reason why they, I won't say headhunted me in particular, but in that guise, every club I've ever been with have been clubs at the rock bottom stage and one if the things I have on my CV is that I do have a reputation of working with players in low budget situations and that's where it's coming from, every club unless you're in the Premier league has to work on sensible budgets

Q: What do you see as the differences between a league club and a conference club?

DW: Well I think the main difference, is as far as finances go. At a league club, at the start of the year, you start off with a much bigger balance than if you were at a non-league club. The advantages of somewhere like Yeovil is that it's got a fantastic set up. It has all the hallmarks of a league club other than the fact that it's not there!

Q: How do you see yourself working with Steve Thompson......?

DW: Everyone has an assistant, it's going to take a transitional period .............at the moment you walk in and there's no-one here, there's people behind the scenes but no footballers and I find that very strange. That's going to be the biggest excersise of the lot , getting everyone to realise a full time football club is one that mainly involves the footballers and we've got to get to that on a day to day basis. The likes of ST, who's a very adept coach, ......... is going to be able to ply his trade a lot more when you've got people to work with on a day to day basis.

Q: You're definitely going to stay in this job longer than a week?

DW: I certainly hope so , unless you know different . Ha ha ha God bless ya!

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Thurs 9th March 2000
Local Press Review - The Express

Today's Yeovil Express continues the critical theme it began last week by reporting on the row between chairman John Fry and well-known supporter Tim Lancaster following last Saturday's "disgraceful embarrasment" as the paper describes the team's performance at Northwich. According to the paper Fry was unhappy with the contents of a letter written by Lancaster and published by the local press (see local press reviews last week) and in a stand-up row after the game allegedly told the supporter that "he was not entitled to an opinion until he had put £200,000 into the club." Unsurprisingly sports editor Steve Sowden takes the chairman to task and demonstrates that over the season Yeovil Town fans as a whole spend well over £1 million following their team, therefore entitling them, by any logic, to an opinion in their club's affairs. Sowden says: "Paying to watch football is no different to paying for a new TV set. If the TV doesn't work, or performs badly then you are entitled to complain, so it should be exactly the same for football if you have paid good money to attend a match and you are left unhappy with what you get in return."

In other news the paper reports on both of last week's Conference fixtures with particular venom used to describe last weekend's capitulation at Northwich, the performance being described as "a display that lacked pride, passion, competence and spirit. The words "gutless" and "incompetent" also feature... Fortunate then perhaps that Tuesday night's performance at Rushden & Diamonds was evidently much improved with the Express praising both head coach and players for raising their game after the nadir of Northwich. One senses though from reading all three local papers this week that the Fry/Thompson partnership honeymoon period in the press is definitely now over.

In a week which has seen Yeovil fans criticised by Rushden and ex-West Brom manager Brian Talbot for their alleged "lack of respect" towards him, we will leave the final word to Express sports editor Steve Sowden's impressions of Mr Talbot's football club: "It seems that the whole philosophy about Rushden is that it is a club manfactured by Max Griggs' millions. It is a club with no history or tradition which does not lend itself to the more passionate of fooball fan. The club has assembled a cracking squad of full-time players under the guidance of the demonstrative ex-West Bromwich Albion manager, but as Yeovil chairman John Fry often remarks, 'money doesn't always buy you success.'"

Here endeth today's lesson.

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Local Press Review - The Gazette

Today's Western Gazette reports that the four of Yeovil's first team squad who are out of contract in the summer are on the verge of signing new deals to keep them at Huish Park. The paper names the four as Murray Fishlock, Paul Tisdale, Steve Stott and Matt Hayfield, though none of these names are confirmed by the club. According to the Gazette, head coach Steve Thompson will also continue to attempt to sign Gary Patterson from Kingstonian - but not until the close-season now. In further transfer rumours the paper says that Yeovil's attempt to sign striker Steve Cowe from Swindon has run into trouble - the player is reluctant to drop down to the Conference from Division One.

In other news the Gazette reports that director Norman Hayward and former technical director David Webb have been out scouting on Yeovil's behalf - in particular watching Dorchester's former Plymouth midfielder Martin Sullivan, although the paper claims the player did little to impress when watched. The Gazette also adds its own speculation to the currently vacant technical director's post, claiming that former Bournemouth, Man Utd, West Ham and Norwich striker Ted MacDougall might be interested in the position.

In the 'Comment' section of the paper, sports editor Richard Briggs attempts to analyse what has gone wrong with The Glovers season to date. He identifies the main problem as being the team's lack of consistency and puts the blame on both head coach Steve Thompson and the players themselves. Briggs points out that Thompson was "a strange choice" as head coach to begin with given his total lack of management experience and says "it is up to him to get the best out of his players - and it is fair to say he has not done that often enough." Thompson is also accused of naivety after saying that it would take a miracle for Yeovil to win the championship following the defeat by Nuneaton on 19 February, as well as not taking minor competitions such as the Somerset Premier Cup seriously. Briggs also castigates the players, saying that too often "players have not been trying. And with Yeovil paying their players wages which chairman John Fry describes as close to league level, supporters can rightly be disgusted." Briggs ends the most critical piece I can remember reading in the Gazette not by Tim Lancaster by saying, "There is of course next season - but Thompson will need to get more out of his team and they must make more effort. Otherwise crowds will drop and the players, and the boss, could find themselves seeking new clubs."

And finally we haven't mentioned Cathy Pickford's Fan's Voice Columm for a while, mainly because she calls herself 'On The Ball' now and seems to concentrate more on local football in general rather that Yeovil Town in particular. Today however she does mention that she saw for herself the new YTFC official website last Sunday morning and thought that "it looks very good." However Cathy was evidently surprised that when she looked at the news page on the morning in question that it hadn't been updated since the Friday. Shocking, but true. A pity she evidently missed the in-depth match reports from both the first-team and reserve-team games up on the site within hours of each game ending on the Saturday. A pity also that there was no fresh news for the official site to report on that weekend for her to read until the Monday, when 4 new stories were uploaded. However we are not ones to hold a grudge. If Cathy would like to tell us next time she is going to log on and look at the news page on the site we will ensure that there is some fresh news for her to look at - and if by some mishap the club haven't provided us with any we can make some up, just for her. Never let it be said we are not listening to our critics....

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Tues 7th March 2000
Local Press Review - The Clarion

This is it! This is the one! This is the issue of The Clarion that we've all been waiting for. And there it is, all in print - Fat Harry's 'Head to Head' with Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry. You can even get the full account of what happened when they met by going here .

So what's in it that stands out ? Probably the first thing that springs to mind is The Clarion reporting that "at no time did the board ever sign players above the manager's head". It looks like Mr Fry and Mr Lippiatt will just have to agree to disagree over what exactly happened with some of Yeovil's later signings.

At the start of February, Fry was interviewed in the Gazette and the headline read "Glovers must go up this year". Fry later denied he had made such a comment on the club's Official Web Site claiming that he was merely talking about wanting the club to "achieve" things. The latest in this dumbing down of expectations comes in his interview with Fat Harry were he states that Thommo's first objective was to "avoid relegation"!

Elsewhere in the oily rag (whoops sorry, Fat Harry!) quality publication, Tony Pennock's team for his forthcoming testimonial is named as Southampton, whilst Chris Sparks is the latest Clarion player profile, declaring himself as a miserable old b*gger by saying there was "no chance" of him socialising with his team mates in the summer.

Finally in the regular Thommo Talks slot, the Yeovil Head Coach admits he is feeling the pressure and that he is glad of his family so he can get away from it all. He puts the current on the field problems down to "pace and leaders" - citing specifically the lengthy loss of Steve Stott - due to return to reserves action tomorrow - as a major missing factor when the going gets tough. Let's hope Thommo's right - we can't afford too many days like Northwich.

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Thurs 2nd March 2000
Local Press Review - The Express

Today's Yeovil Express continues the generally gloomy theme of all the local newspapers this week as they add their analysis of events at Huish Park over the last seven days. The paper leads on its front page with the headline Football yobs face life ban and an account of the trouble following the Kingstonian FA Trophy match at Huish Park last Saturday, with chairman John Fry repeating his promise to ban the offenders for life.

However, it's inside the back page where the main criticism comes. Head coach Steve Thompson is castigated in print for his reaction to the YTISA's offer of a £1,000 bonus to the squad if they were to win the Conference title this season, sports editor Steve Sowden describing Thompson's mood as "downbeat" and quoting the coach as saying that with 20 players in the first-team squad that would "only" work out at around £50 each, which wasn't much of an incentive. YTISA chairman Mark Kelly is quoted as saying: "I think Steve Thompson's attitude is very poor. I know that £1,000 isn't a lot, but it is a hell of a lot for the association to say they'll fork out. Despite what Steve Thompson has told you, we are still prepared to offer the money as the players I spoke to on Saturday about it were delighted." The head coach is also criticised in the paper for failing to speak to fans after matches - in marked contrast, according to the Express, to his predecessor Colin Lippiatt who evidently managed to rekindle his warm relationship with the supporters following the Kingstonian game last weekend. The paper ends its Thommo-bashing by reminding readers that one of the factors which led to Colin Lippiatt's resignation was his refusal to move nearer to Huish Park - and points out that Thompson himself has still to move house from Plymouth, asking, "perhaps Thompson does not feel that his long-term future at Yeovil is secure?"

Elswhere, sports editor Steve Sowden describes his disappointment at Yeovil being knocked out of the FA Trophy last weekend: "Club chairmen, managers, head coaches and players come and go, but the supporters remain forever and some are so passionate that results like the one experienced at Huish Park at the weekend can leave you almost in tears....The fans of Yeovil Town deserve success. They have served this club with great distinction over the years - through some very difficult and trying times - and so far have had very little to cheer about and have been on too many occasions the bridesmaid and never the bride."

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Local Press Review - The Gazette

Today's Western Gazette leads on the new Three Year Plan announced by club chairman John Fry in last week's Gazette - and from first glance it must be said that it appears to be a case of 'here's the new plan - same as the old plan', inasmuch that the objectives - that of achieving financial viability, securing league status and retaining league status - are unchanged from the previous Five Year Plan. In the paper Fry denies that the original 5-Year Plan has failed, pointing out that the position the club finds itself in now as compared to 5 years ago is very different. Then the club was over £1 million in debt and on the brink of closure - now it is financially stable and regarded as a top Conference side, even if, according to the Gazette, Fry now thinks that the team are not quite good enough as yet to fulfil the dream of league football. The Gazette also reports that the club's directors will meet tonight (Thursday) to discuss the club's budget and more specifically whether to make the still-vacant technical director role a paid position. The paper's last word on the subject is to tease us with the news that (yet) another ex-league star has expressed an interest in the post, although they don't go as far as naming him.

In other news the paper reports that ex-Glovers Al-James Hannigan and Mickey Engwell have been put on the transfer list by current club Slough Town, but in the main concentrates on last Saturday's FA Trophy loss to Kingstonian, with reporter Steve Cotton attempting to analyse where it is the Glovers' season has gone wrong. He bemoans the fact that the same team that so convincingly beat Rushden & Diamonds could be humiliated at Scarborough, Dover, Kidderminster and Forest Green and calls for more consistency - throughout the club, from the boardroom to on the pitch - if Yeovil are ever to achieve the goal of league football.

Tim Lancaster has no doubts as to who and what is to blame. The former Gazette columnist has a letter published by the paper in which he castigates the board for the "incredible mistake of losing Colin Lippiatt" and then failing to appoint an experienced coach as a replacement. He lists the David Norton affair, the David Webb "farce" and the Taunton Town SPC "humiliation" as a "catalogue of errors - and all wrapped up by statements designed to appease the public. Yeovil talk about 5-year and 3-year plans - I would be interested to see how Cheltenham, Macclesfield and Wycombe planned it out. They probably did not contemplate forcing out Steve Cotterill, Sammy McIlroy or Martin O'Neill when challenging for the title for starters."

Finally, in its news pages the Gazette reports on the crowd trouble that flared after last Saturdays FA Trophy game, when the Kingstonian supporters coach came under attack from local yobs. The paper quotes extensively from a K's supporter's account of the incident left on the Ciderspace Web Forum amongst others, and quotes chairman John Fry as saying that the troublemakers have been identified and will be banned from Huish Park for life. A spokesman for Avon & Somerset Police said that they were not looking for anyone in connection with the incident as no formal complaint had been made to them, and added that there was nothing in the build-up to the game that had led them to believe that violence might flare. Had no-one informed the Police of the trouble at Kingstonian last season and the possibiity of revenge attacks, not to mention the provocative messages left on a certain "hooligan" internet forum by someone purporting to be a Kingstonian fan? If not, why not?

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Lippiatt Appointment On The Cards

It seems inevitable that later today Woking will appoint Colin Lippiatt has their new manager. The former Yeovil Town Head Coach is currently an assistant coach at Kingstonian, but seems likely to have a second go at front line management after he quit Yeovil Town in September 1999.

Woking gave former manager Brian McDermott his cards (pun intended!) on Tuesday following their FA Trophy exit at Southport and a league run that has seen the Surrey side hover around the relegation zone for much of the season.

Now Lippiatt, who was at the centre of strong rumours connecting him with Woking even before McDermott's removal, looks likely to be appointed at the Conference club today on a three month contract with a clear mission of keeping Woking in the Conference for next season. Lippiatt spoke on Southern Counties Radio on Wednesday evening admitting that he had been approached by Woking, and that he was interested in the position.

This will be Lippiatt's third spell with the Cardinals. Having had a brief stay in Surrey during 1981, he returned in 1987 for a ten year spell that was to produce one of the most successful partnerships in non-league football as Woking, headed by Lippiatt's boss Geoff Chapple, became Isthmian League Champions, FA Cup Giant Killers, and ultimately one of the most successful Conference sides of the 1990's, capped by Lippiatt and Chapples' involvement in three FA Trophy final wins.

Lippiatt joined Yeovil in November 1997 as an assistant to Graham Roberts. When Roberts left the club in February 1998, Lippiatt took over the reigns and in the 1998/99 season took the club to one of its most successful seasons with a 5th place Conference finish and an FA Cup run that took in the defeat of Northampton Town.

Earlier this season he took Yeovil Town to the top of the Conference for the first time in their history this season but was to ultimately leave the Somerset club to return to Surrey and Kingstonian in what was on the surface a dispute over Lippiatt's refusal to go full time at Yeovil, but later Lippiatt claimed was "interference" from the board.

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Wed 1st March 2000
Local Press Review - The Clarion

This week's Clarion carries a broad mix of bits and bobs from the previous week at Yeovil Town. To kick off, there is mention of Wonky Donkeys, 'Splatoon' and 'Challenge Ant'. However, rest assured that the first is not a description of the Yeovil defence, and the latter two are not related to the sort of challenges that Mr Patterson and Mr Pitcher of Kingston, Surrey seem to delight in.

Nope, this is Yeovilettes cheerleader talk as they continued their seemingly endless tour of TV stations and sporting arenas. This time they were waving their pom-poms on SMTV Live. For anyone over 14 years old, this appears to be the latest equivalent of Tiswas on ITV.

There's also more strange abbreviations to be found in the form of YDRFM, which has a web site at www.ydrfm.co.uk although we had trouble accessing it. If we knew the frequency of this new radio station, we'd be telling you to tune in on Tuesday afternoons. Apparently Mr F. Harry and Mr H.P. Mole will be doing their own sports show which will doubtless have a certain amount of YTFC bias. If we get more details on time and frequency, we will let you know of course!

In the last issue, we were dismayed to note that the Clarion Proof Reader had been sober all week. This week we are pleased to announce a return to form, and we have combed out one for the archives in the Kingstonian match report where apparently "Glen Poole had haired down the left". Well, he would do wouldn't he with his coiffure?

Elsewhere, there's blunt analysis of Saturday's referee Mr Castle - "this bloke was crap", whilst Thommo suggests he is not afraid to make changes to the team that were blunted by the K's saying that his squad were "playing for their futures at the club". The news of Murray Fishlock does not sound promising with Thommo not envisaging any recovery in the near future.

Strangely enough, the Huish Park Mole describes Youth Team manager Stuart Housley - now a peroxide blonde - as looking like Bill The Badger. We trust he does not refer to our own esteemed Badger, or Ciderspace will be consulting our lawyers! Meanwhile, Ben Smith is the latest player to go under the spotlight in Fat Harry's player profiles.

Finally, Chairman John Fry has accepted Fat Harry's throwing down of the gauntlet and the two will meet head-to-head later this week to discuss last week's editorial where he demanded answers to several questions. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that interview! Everyone, bar Fat Harry, will have to wait until next week for the answers.

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This Page Written By Martin Baker/Jon Morgan
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Last Updated 31st March 2000


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