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Thurs 29th July 1999
Sowden Speaks Out!

Today's edition of the Yeovil Express has finally reached us here at Ciderspace and it too makes fascinating reading. E2000 Committee chairman and Express sports editor Steve Sowden sets out in full his version of the events below, adding detail not printed by the Gazette in his letter to them. In an article headlined: 'The Erection 2000 Appeal WILL be a success - with or without the G&WSC', he praises E2000 Committee vice-chairman and YTISA chairman Mark Kelly for his enthusiasm and hard work for the cause, whilst admitting that Mark's diplomatic skills are "at times non-existent" and goes on to congratulate individuals in the G&WSC for their input at the club and to the Appeal fund.

However, Sowden goes on to say that he wrote to George Coggen, the chairman of the G&WSC, to officially invite him to a meeting of the E2000 Appeal Committee so that Coggen could learn more about the E2000 Appeal and the committee's activities. Sowden says: "But Mr Coggen failed to have the decency to reply to my invitation and then I was absolutely amazed when I heard through Ms Franklin (E2000 Committee member and G&WSC secretary) that he thought my offer was a 'joke' and that I was 'stirring up trouble'. How are groups within the club supposed to work together towards the Appeal when the chairman of the official G&WSC fails to show any interest in it whatsoever?" Sowden goes on to say that in his position as E2000 Committee chairman he has tried to involve the G&WSC as much as possible but that not all of their members are committed to the E2000 Appeal.

He reiterates his determination to get the roof on the home terrace built, "with or without the support of everybody connected with the club" and says that John Fry and the directors of Yeovil Town FC are fully behind the Appeal and its aims. Apparently the board has stated that once the first target figure of 10,000 has been reached then their support of the venture will be increased.

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Erection 2000 News

A reminder that teams wishing to take part in the forthcoming Statto of Huish Park Football Knowledge Quiz in aid of the E2000 fund have one more week to enter. The deadline for entries is Friday 6th August and the cost is 10 per team of four. Entry forms are available from the Yeovil Express, 46 Princes Street, Yeovil. The quiz is to be held at Huish Park on August 11th.

E2000 Committee chairman Steve Sowden and Huish Park barman Shaun Small are shaving their heads in aid of the E2000 Appeal fund (not much point in Mark Kelly offering!-Ed) and are looking for sponsors to ease the pain - forms are available from the Yeovil Express office in Princes Street and from the social club bar at Huish Park.

Finally, the E2000 Committee are looking for people to take part in it's Fantasy Football League competition, open to absolutely anyone. The competition - similar to countless other fantasy leagues - allows you to pick a team comprising stars from Premiership clubs and Yeovil Town. Lack of time prevents us from publishing the details in full, but forms are available from the Yeovil Express office in Princes Street. The closing date for entries is the 6th of August and the cost per entry is 5.

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Saints Sign Up Coles

Southampton have signed up ex-Yeovil goalkeeper David Coles. The experienced keeper, who also saw time with teams such as Fulham, Basingstoke, Farnborough, Aldershot and Gloucester has been signed up as a specialist goalkeeping coach.

Coles will work with Paul Jones (who will have known Coles from his Kidderminster days), Neil Moss and Scott Bevan as Saints manager has decided that a specialist coach was necessary for the Premiership club, as opposed to the multitude of ex-pro players that the club have used in the past.

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Fry Announces Plan To End "Mud-Slinging"

More analysis of the supporters club "wars" are portrayed in this week's Western Gazette as last weeks outbreak shows little sign of dying down. Although the back page lead focusses on this Saturday's Alec Stock testimonial, the inside pages feature more commentary on the alleged comments made by both G&WSC and YTISA members at the recent game against East Coker.

Chairman John Fry has publically stepped into the argument claiming that he will produce a five stage plan of action to unite the disparate groups into a single unit. The groups he has identified include the Green and White Supporters Club (G&WSC), the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association (YTISA), hockey clubs, womens clubs and disabled groups. John Fry's plans are to

    1. Discuss the needs and greviances of the groups with the chairmen of the various organisations
    2. Re-establish the Official Yeovil Town Supporters Association
    3. Strengthen communication links between Yeovil Town and affiliated clubs
    4. Support and expand the supporters roles and meet the customers needs
    5. Develop the resources and facilities to meet the needs of the groups that use them at Huish Park

It isn't entirely clear to us at Ciderspace what the distinction is between items (4) and (5), nor why the Official Yeovil Town Supporters Association needs re-establishing when we were under the impression that the G&WSC already fulfilled that role (unless the intention is to change the constitution of that organisation).

Three letters are published in response to the last weeks press, although the Gazette admit that there were many more letters that were not published. Gayle Franklin, secretary of the G&WSC is given a chance to respond where she hits back at the Gazette claiming that they branded her as "vindictive" and claims that she made many of her comments off the record. Zoe Caswell reminds us that it is 30 years ago, more or less to the day, that the old supporters club were thrown out of Yeovil Town and says that the "civil war" must stop.

Finally Steve Sowden, chairman of the Erection 2000 committee, expresses his regret that the Gazette did not contact him for a comment on the incident, and says that the Gazette had made specific instructions to their photographers not to take any pictures of himself or Mark Kelly. Sowden's day time job is as Sports Editor of the Yeovil Express and his letter, heavily cut in the Gazette, appears unedited in the Yeovil Express. Gazette Editor Richard Briggs hits back claiming that he stopped the photography after Erection 2000 Vice Chairman Mark Kelly allegedly posted critical comments about Briggs on the Internet. He claims he wrote to the committee asking for an apology and has yet to receive one. Strange, though, that a journalist who has the power to criticise others in a public medium that reaches far more people than the internet, should take umbrage when criticism is made of himself (even if the criticism was that low key that we at Ciderspace are unable to recall what criticism is alleged to have been made!).

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Meanwhile Back At The Football ......

Further to our news article (from Sun 25th July) about the first team being taken to Chippenham next Monday, Colin Lippiatt has revealed in the Western Gazette that if David Norton and Steve Thompson fail to pass fitness tests for Saturday's Fulham game then he will take a full strength side to Chippenham to enable him to see his full squad playing together for the first time.

The Gazette also concentrates on the Fulham game detailing what Alec Stock did for Yeovil Town as both play and manager, and they predict that Stan Collymore, Chris Coleman, Maik Taylor, Steve Hughes, Geoff Horsfield, Barry Hayles and Kevin Betsey will all be lined up for the testimonial game.

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Mon 26th July 1999
Worthing Not Worthy...

The friendly against Worthing has been cancelled today.

The first team now travel to Salisbury on Sat 7th August, thus replacing the cancelled fixture.

In other news it seems that former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Malcolm Rigby may be playing for Stafford Rangers this season. Rigby is in talks with the Dr Martens Midland and West Division side according to the local press up there.

SportingBet have released their early odds for the coming Conference season:

Rushden And Diamonds 3/1
Kettering 7/1
Scarborough 8/1
Doncaster 9/1
Yeovil, Woking, Stevenage 10/1
Kingstonian, Hayes 14/1
Hereford 16/1
Kidderminster 20/1
Northwich, Hednesford, Dover 25/1
Nuneaton 28/1
Forest Green, Altrincham 33/1
Sutton Utd, Morecambe 40/1
Telford, Southport 50/1
Welling 66/1

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Sun 25th July 1999
First Team Heading For Chippenham

The Chippenham friendly, scheduled for Monday 2nd August and initially labelled as a reserve team friendly, will now be attended by both the first team and reserve team squads.

The switch has been made to benefit Chippenham Town as part of the deal that brought Paul Steele to Huish Park. Steele, who was signed from Chippenham midway through last season, is now being formally recognised as part of Colin Lippiatt's first team squad, and will doubtless play a big part in the game against his former club.

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More Erection 2000 Bidding

Two more exclusive items have been announced as available for bidding by the Erection 2000 Appeal Committee. As before, bids can be made for all three items via e-mail. Bidding will continue up until a forthcoming second Erection 2000 Race Night. The Race Night will be held following a Saturday home game, and the date for this event will be confirmed shortly.

The three bid items are as follows :

    A football signed by the whole Yeovil squad who played in the Yeovil vs Wimbledon match played on July 21st 1999.
    A football signed by the whole Wimbledon squad who played in the Yeovil vs Wimbledon match played on July 21st 1999.

It is hoped that further similar bid items will be available from the Fulham and Manchester United U19 squads due to visit Huish Park in the forthcoming fortnight. We will confirm these items as available following the relevant matches.

To place a bid, mail us at specifying your name, the amount you wish to bid, and a contact telephone number should you be successful in your final bid.

Running highest bid values will be maintained on the Erection 2000 pages, and a date for the bidding deadline (and hence for the second Race Night) will be announced shortly.

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Fri 23rd July 1999
Reserves Back In Action, Pickard Returns With Magpies.

Yeovil Reserves clocked up a 2-0 away win in a convincing display at Bitton last night. Included in the side were a mixture of four new signings and/or triallists, and the reserves got their win through a first half goal from ex-Swindon player Bradley Peters, whilst Damien Franklin added a second after half time.

On Sunday night there is another chance to put your general knowledge to the test in aid of Erection 2000. The second quiz night to be held starts on Sunday at 7.30pm. The cost will be 5 per team of four people.

Rushden & Diamonds have completed the £30,000 signing of tall striker Mark Sale from Colchester. The Yeovil interest here is that Sale had a short spell at Huish Park during the 1990/91 season, playing under both Clive Whitehead and Steve Rutter. Having failed to score in around six appearances scattered across the season, he moved back to Stoke, whom Yeovil had him on extended loan from.

According to the Dorset edition of the Western Gazette Yeovil can expect no less than 4 players lining up for Dorchester in tomorrow's friendly who played for Yeovil this time last season. Owen Pickard, Sufyan Ghazghazi, Geoff McClean and James Dungey should all appear, with the latter two on trial at Dorchester and Ghazghazi back at the club after his proposed transfer to Tunisian side Club Africaen de Tunis collapsed this week. They will of course be joined by Dorchester captain and former Yeovil hero Neil Coates.

Meanwhile, fitness tests on Steve Thompson, Murray Fishlock and Terry Skiverton will decide whether any of the three players play a part in tomorrow's game against Dorchester. Thompson has yet to play a part in the current season but could be in contention, whilst Fishlock and Skiverton will wait to see if they have recovered sufficiently to play after knocks in games earlier this week. None of the three injuries are believed to be too serious.

Definitely still unavailable is new signing David Norton, and he is unlikely to be seen in a Yeovil shirt until possibly the Worthing game. Norton is currently sidelined with a calf injury.

Finally, ticket prices for tomorrow's game with Dorchester have been confirmed. Prices are £5 for the Main Stand, with £3 for concessions. On the home terrace prices are £4 to stand and £2 for concessions. The Bartlett Stand and the Away Terrace will not be open on the day.

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Thurs 22nd July 1999
Local Press Review

Last week this column complained that the Western Gazette had made no mention of the newly formed Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association in it's pages. We can make no such comment this week. The Gazette's sports editor obviously took our criticism on board as the YTISA features in no less than 3 (count 'em!) major articles this week.

"No truce in fans' war of words" screams the back-page headline. The article alleges that a war of words between the secretary of the officially sanctioned Green & White Supporters Club and the chairman of the decidedly unofficial YTISA erupted at last Saturday's E2000 fund-raising game between Yeovil and East Coker. The main thrust of the argument appears to be the input - or alleged lack of it - of members of the G&WSC Committee in the Erection 2000 fund-raising drive. For instance it is claimed that the chairman of the G&WSC was not present at Saturday's event because he was at Huish Park providing catering for the cheerleaders auditions being held there, whilst the G&WSC's public relations officer preferred to watch Dorchester play...

In the second of it's articles the Gazette reports that the Association could have been in trouble for unauthorised use of the club crest on a lapel enamel badge produced by the YTISA, but that the club had decided not to take any further action and to allow use of the crest on the badge. One wonders if the unauthorised use of the club crest on these pages and certain other internet web sites has similarly been noticed!

Finally, the Gazette features an interview with YTFC chairman John Fry, in which he praises the G&WSC for the work they do behind the scenes at the club and appeals for supporters to join them, "pull together and if neccesary to force change to meet their needs - instead of sniping from the touchlines. That would be more constructive than setting up an independent association."

In marked contrast to the Gazette's reporting, the Yeovil Express is far more positive in it's attitude to the YTISA. "Association is a hit" is its headline and its story reports that the YTISA signed up 50 supporters at last Saturday's event alone. The article goes on to say that money raised by the YTISA will be donated to the Erection 2000 Appeal and towards specific items the club might require.

The Express also has some football news - it seems that Yeovil will not be offering goalkeeper Malcolm Rigby a contract. Head Coach Colin Lippiatt was evidently keen to take Rigby back after his succesful spell at the club at the end of last season, but after discussions with the board it was decided that the first-team squad was large enough at present.

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Tues 20th July 1999
East Coker Match Rakes In the Money

Saturday's match between East Coker and Yeovil Town raised £648 pounds for the Erection 2000 Appeal and £405 for the newly formed Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association. The latter ran out of membership forms on the day, but more will be available in the following weeks. To join just ask the people manning the door to the supporters club bar at Huish Park and they will be able to help.

Fund raising was made up of sales of entry donations, a programme produced by Ciderspace which sold out all of its 300 copies, car stickers, cigarette lighters and brand new T-shirts which come in two designs, one aimed at the Erection 2000 Appeal and the other aimed at YTISA members.

On the football front, a Match Report is still available on Ciderspace here.

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Replica Shirts Now On Sale

Replica home and away shirts went on sale at last nights Gillingham game at 33 pounds each. The club shop appears to have a large number in stock, with the snag that all shirts are sized as XL.

As with previous seasons, the term "XL" appears to roughly compare with a typical Medium to Large size in most clothes shops. Those of a large build will have to wait until the Fulham game to get their hands on the "XXL" model as this size is unlikely to arrive for another week.

Don't know what the new kit looks like ? Where have you been ?!! Head straight for the kit launch page this instant!

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Vice Presidents AGM Notification

The Vice Presidents Association Annual General Meeting has been announced and will be held at Huish Park on Tuesday 3rd August 1999 at 8:00pm. John Prior, Secretary of The Vice Presidents Association, writes :
"The Annual General Meeting of your Committee has been set for 8:00pm on Tuesday 3rd August 1999 at the Football Club. Your current Committee wish to express their thanks for all the support given to the match day raffles held in the VP lounge and, as you will have seen from the VP's Notice Board and various match day programmes, money raised from these raffles and other fund raising acitivities has gone towards continued improvement to VP facilities within the Club.

We urgently request that all VPs attend the Annual General Meeting held for the purpose of electing your Committee Members, and to ascertain what functions you wish to hold and what actions you require your Committee to take on your behalf during the forthcoming year.

Please support your Committee by attending. We look forward to seeing you."

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Mon 19th July 1999
Pickard Snubs Slough To Return To Magpies

Westcountry TV teletext reports that former Yeovil striker Owen Pickard has returned to Dorchester Town on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling. The news will come as a shock to Slough Town, for whom Pickard had widely been expected to sign. Pickard spent three seasons at Dorchester before signing for Yeovil for 15,000, finishing as leading goalscorer in all three seasons. He continued in the same vein in his first season at Yeovil, but suffered from various injuries last term which restricted his first-team appearances. We here at Ciderspace wish Owen the best of luck in his future career.

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Fri 16th July 1999
Erection 2000 Team News

The moment has almost arrived! Colin Lippiatt takes what is expected to be a 17 man squad to Bradford Abbas tomorrow afternoon as Yeovil Town take on East Coker in their first pre-season friendly in aid of the Erection 2000 Appeal. A full first team is expected, with one possible exception as Steve Thompson may be rested due to a niggle he was experiencing in training. All four new signings are expected to make their debut for the club.

Lippiatt plans to take the team on a light pre-match training session at Huish Park, before the squad head over the border into Dorset.

Don't forget to dig deep tomorrow for the fund raising. There will be a minimum donation of one pound as admittance, in addition there will be a 16 page match day programme available, a series of raffles, plus, provided they turn up by tomorrow a selection of new T-shirts. In addition you will get your first chance to join the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association. Most importantly, there will be a bar open before and after the game!

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Thurs 15th July 1999
Local Press Review

Both the Yeovil Express and the Western Gazette today confirm the imminent completion of the long drawn-out transfer of Al-James Hannigan to Slough Town, but neither paper has concrete news on whether or not ex-Yeovil striker Owen Pickard will join him there.

The Express leads the way by featuring an interview with Glovers goalkeeper Tony Pennock and printing the new season's fixture list in full alongside an in-depth article on the upcoming season. The paper also previews this weekend's first friendly of the new season - the Erection 2000 fundraiser v East Coker - along with the news (reported here last week) of the formation of the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association. Curiously the Gazette doesn't mention the YTISA at all - one would have thought that the creation of a new supporters organisation would have been worthy of some sort of attention.

The Gazette also prints the new fixture list and mentions this weekend's friendly - albeit briefly - but it is with some regret that I have to report that the series of articles featuring star reporter David Coates - a well-known YTFC fan - has apparently come to an end. In the series David has variously tried his hand at all sorts of different sports, from cycling to sailing by way of archery, and seemingly excelled at them all. I was looking forward to seeing how he would get on at running a marathon, but it looks like we're going to be denied that pleasure. A shame! New Gazette columnist Cathy Pickford, of the G&WSC, has a lot to live up to after Action Man Coates' exploits.....

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Wed 14th July 1999
Hannigan Signing Confirmed At Yeovil End

Further to our reports two days ago that Al-James Hannigan was believed to have now signed for Slough, we can confirm that Yeovil have received two cheques that total to the amount agreed between Yeovil and Slough. Yeovil have therefore confirmed that all that remains to be done on the Hannigan front is the necessary paperwork to transfer his player registration. With that being a formality, this lengthy drawn out process finally comes to an end. Officially the fee is not being disclosed publically, although strong rumours have existed for a long time that have put the agreed sum at £7,500.

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Mon 12th July 1999
Hannigan & Pickard Train With Slough

A reliable Slough source reports that Al-James Hannigan and Owen Pickard trained with Slough Town tonight, and believes that they have now signed for the Berkshire club. Slough Town Clubcall also claims that both players are signed up.

This appears to leave the one main question mark outstanding as to whether Yeovil Town are satisfied that payment has been received in full for Hannigan. If so then we will be able to confirm them both as Slough players shortly.

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Fri 9th July 1999
Slough Caught In Cash-Flow Crisis ?

With the Hannigan and Pickard transfers from Yeovil to Slough still stalling (along with Sutton's Steve Watson) some interesting developments have taken place according to the Slough and Langley Observer.

The Observer reports that the clubs main sponsors, Atlantic Tiger Corporation have pulled out of a deal worth £50,000 following a row with consortium member Martin Deaner.

Mike Schulze, managing director at Atlantic Tiger Corporation, claims that the row stems from Slough's failure to pay back a loan saying "We are talking thousands of pounds here."

Schulze makes it clear that his problems with Slough have nothing to do with ex-Yeovil manager Graham Roberts. Roberts is planning to sign up five new players next week when he returns from holiday, but as Slough attempt to find a new sponsor, it should be interesting to see if he still has the same playing budget to come back home to.

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Pickard In More Talks With Dorchester

The Dorset Edition of the Western Gazette claim that Owen Pickard has been back for secondary talks with Dorchester this week. Chairman Colin Clark gave Pickard a "very generous offer", which presumably is an improvement on their previous failed offer, but he still believes that Slough have the upper edge in enticing Pickard to sign.

The Pickard saga seems to be reaching farcical proportions with Slough Town, Minehead Town, Gloucester City, Tiverton Town and Dorchester all believed to be in the running for his signature, and with training and pre-season friendlies starting up for most clubs next week, it is a major surprise that a player of his quality is still without a club.

Meanwhile Dorchester are planning on renegotiating terms with ex-Yeovil player Sufyan Ghazghazi. He is still contracted with Dorchester, but spent most of last season on loan to Tunisian side Club Africaen de Tunis and is looking to continue his football out there.

Thurs 8th July 1999
Glovers Handed Bye

Yeovil have been given a bye, as expected, in the first round of the Conference League Cup. They will play the winners of the First Round Hereford vs Sutton tie, which is due to be played on October 5th.

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Season Ticket Sales Going Well

Season Ticket sales are reported by the club to be marginally up against the figures sold at this stage last season. Sales by the June 30th discount deadline had reached over 1200, with a "guessed" figure of 1237 (including approximately 600 patron scheme tickets) being quoted. Further sales of tickets usually occur during the pre-season friendlies, which should break through the 1300 mark before the start of the season.

People waiting for their ticket books to be posted should not have cause to panic yet. The club are awaiting the correction of a few errors from the printers from the test copies of the books. The corrected test version of the books are expected to arrive back at the club this week.

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From The Local Press...

This week's issue of the Western Gazette reports that Yeovil have offered a pre-season trial to ex-Hereford (surprise!) midfielder Gary Cook. The 20-year-old was released by Hereford on a free transfer at the end of last season and he's expected to feature in the friendly matches against Wimbledon and Gillingham.

The Gazette reports that transfer-listed Ben Smith will be returning for pre-season training with the rest of the first-team squad on Tuesday, and Colin Lippiatt is quoted as saying that "the door is still open" for the undoubtedly talented player to make a first-team comeback next season. And in an unexpected development it seems that we might not have seen the last of goalkeeper Malcolm Rigby after all. The player left Huish Park after failing to agree terms on a contract at the end of last season, but has recently been in contact with the club - discussions regarding his future are ongoing.

Finally, well known supporter-about-town, drummer-extraordinaire and occasional Ciderspace photographer Tim Lancaster is appealing for more volunteers again. After the success of his last painting day at Huish Park, Tim has arranged 2 more dates for supporter volunteers to help spruce up the paintwork around the stadium. If you're available and would like to help from 10am onwards on Sunday 11th July and Sunday 18th July, then please contact Tim on 01935 817060 (before 8pm).

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Thurs 1st July 1999
From The Local Press...

Today's Western Gazette quotes Yeovil chairman John Fry as denying that he turned down a six-figure bid for Yeovil striker Warren Patmore from fellow Conference club Rushden & Diamonds. Fry admitted that Rushden had shown an interest in Wazza - along with many other clubs - but insisted that no actual bid had been received.

The Gazette also reports that newly promoted Screwfix Direct Premier League side Minehead have launched an audacious bid to sign former Yeovil striker Owen Pickard. Minehead were quite a force some years ago and have fallen on hard times since, but are known to be ambitious to get back amongst the top flight in non-league football. Pickard has been strongly linked with Slough Town in particular, with Dorchester and Gloucester City also known to be interested in signing him.

As for the Al-James Hannigan transfer saga, the Yeovil Express reports that a fee has finally been agreed with Slough Town and that once the cash has been delivered the transfer will be completed. According to the paper Yeovil will not release the player until the money is in the bank, as around £3,000 is still owed to the club from the transfer of Paul Turner to St Albans a few years ago - not a situation the club wishes to be repeated. On the same note it seems that Gloucester City are still keen on signing transfer-listed striker Darren Keeling, but Yeovil have told them, no fee - no deal.

Finally the Gazette and the Express report that former Yeovil manager Alec Stock - the man who guided the club to that win against Sunderland in 1949 - has been granted a testimonial game by the club. Fittingly, the home friendly against another of Stock's former clubs, Fulham, on Saturday 31st July, has been chosen for the occasion. According to the Express the likes of Rodney Marsh, Alan Mullery, George Best, Gerry Francis, ex-Yeovil manager Barry Lloyd and Stan Bowles have been invited to attend

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To go to the Ciderspace News Archives, click here.

This Page Written By Martin Baker/Jon Morgan
©Ciderspace 1999
Last Updated 29th July 1999

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