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Thurs 30th August 2001
Colin Pluck and Roy O'Brien Health Updates

Yeovil Town centre-back Colin Pluck underwent a brain scan earlier this week in an attempt to discover the severity of the head injury which has forced him to miss the past two games writes Steve Cotton in today's Western Gazette. The scan was clear, but manager Gary Johnson says further tests will be required to find out the extent of the 22-year-old's injury.

Colin Pluck

Colin Pluck
Photograph : Ciderspace
Johnson is quoted as saying: Colin is not too well. We are going to need to take further tests. The scan came back O.K. but he is still ill. We are taking every precaution to find out what it is and we have got some experts looking after him. We have not left anything to chance. He has had a routine brain scan to see whether we could physically see anything but the scan has come back clear. We have just got to keep crossing things off and narrowing it down to find out exactly what it is - more tests are needed. His x-rays and scans have been O.K. but there is something there because he is poorly at the moment - with head injuries you have to be ultra-professional and check everything thoroughly.

Colin was involved in a clash of heads with another player in a training-ground incident on Monday the 20th. Despite feeling ill en route to last Tuesdayís game at Telford United, Pluck felt he was fit to play. But he felt ill again the next morning. He will be out of action for the foreseeable future, but Johnson says he cannot put a time limit on his new signingís absence: I would say he will be out for a while but we do not know how serious it is. We have to take it easy with him and make sure he is all right. He went to hospital last night [Tuesday] of his own free will, because he had a poor night, so we must make sure we do the right thing by him.

In the meantime Pluck had again travelled away, to Doncaster for Saturdayís Nationwide Conference clash, but was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary on the morning of the game because he was still suffering from drowsiness and mild concussion. His withdrawal from the squad meant there was a place on the bench for Roy OíBrien, who is on the road to recovery after having an operation on a cheek injury almost three weeks ago. Johnson says that Roy is close to a return: He was on the bench at Doncaster because Plucky went down before the game. We took Roy as a precaution but he is not a million miles away. He is certainly desperate to get going again.

Our best wishes to Colin for a speedy recovery.

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Wed 29th August 2001
YTISA Travel To Nuneaton

Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association will be running a minibus to Nuneaton on Saturday and they have two spare seats for the trip.

Mark Kelly presents the fixture board to club Press Officer Shaun Small

Mark Kelly presents the fixture board to club Press Officer Shaun Small
Photographer : Tim Lancaster
They will depart Yeovil Bus Station at 8.00am prompt (so please arrive slightly before then) for the mid-day kick-off which is live on Sky.

Cost for the trip will be 10 pounds for members. To book your place, contact Chairman Mark Kelly on 01935-412236 or email him at

The YTISA were also involved in a recent donation of a fixtures noticeboard to Yeovil Town Football Club. The board is placed at the top of the central staircase at Huish Park, between the two bars, and advertises forthcoming fixtures at the club. It represents a 340 pound donation by YTISA to the Football Club.

Chairman Mark Kelly officially presented the board to Press Officer Shaun Small during the Pre-Season Friendlies.

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Fri 24th August 2001
Cup Run Anybody?

Well of course this will be the year that the Non-League club with the greatest F.A. Cup traditions repeats one of its embarrassing early exits to the likes of Bridgewater Town (1971), Frome Town (1977) or Walton & Hersham (1994). But a good run will bring more than just glory this season as a major injection of cash from the Football Association has more than doubled the prize money available at the earlier stages. In the 2001-02 campaign the rates for wins will be as follows:

Preliminary Qualifying Round: £ 1,000
First Qualifying Round: £ 7,500
Second Qualifying Round: £ 7,500
Third Qualifying Round: £ 10,000
Fourth Qualifying Round: £ 20,000
First Round: £ 20,000
Second Round: £ 30,000
Third Round: £ 50,000
Fourth Round: £ 75,000
Fifth Round: £ 150,000
Sixth Round: £ 400,000
Runner-up: £ 1,000,000
F.A. Cup Winners: £ 2,000,000

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Thurs 23rd August 2001
Yeovil Old Boys - Live On BBC1

You can forget your Ars*nals, your Man Uniteds, your Liverpools and Spurs... The BBC's first live football action of the season will feature, wait for it, Street v Frome Town.

According to the Western Gazette, BBC cameras will be at the Tannery Ground this Saturday (25th August) to record the extra-preliminary round FA Cup fixture between Street and Frome, featuring the 12.30pm kick off live on the Grandstand programme, with incidents from the game being shown on the show within minutes of them happening.

Yeovil interest in the game comes from the former Glovers present in both teams: Street are managed by Gerry Pearson, and include the likes of Peter Copeland, Will Flint, Jon Hayter, Russell Hayter and James Smith, all of whom have played for Yeovil teams in the past. Frome feature former Glovers Tony Pounder, Paul Thorpe, Neil Smith, Jon Miller and Matt Fricker.

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Thurs 23rd August 2001
Glovers Hit Back To Make A Point

The Glovers gained their first point of the season with a real Jekyll and Hyde performance at the Buck's Head on Tuesday night, drawing 2-2 with hosts Telford United.

The first half performance wasn't fit for family viewing with Yeovil showing a lack of cohesion, effort, pace and skill - in other words, taking up more or less where they left off for much of the season's opener against Northwich. Telford were 1-0 up at half time, but it could and perhaps should have been much worse for Gary Johnson's team at the break.

This time however Yeovil didn't leave it until the final 20 minutes before deciding to play football. Inspired by half time substitutes Carl Alford and the evergreen Steve Thompson, The Glovers dominated proceedings after the break, Scott Ramsay equalising with his first goal for the club and Nick Crittenden putting the visitors in front. A lapse in concentration following a free-kick let Telford in for the equaliser to leave the final score 2-2, but the second half performance certainly left the 250-odd travelling fans far more optimistic for the team's prospects over the next eight months. The official website's match report is here.

A mixed Reserves/fringe players side was in action at Huish Park yesterday (Wednesday) in a behind-closed-doors friendly v Plymouth Argyle Reserves. The game was arranged partially to enable manager Gary Johnson to watch New Zealand international triallist Rafaelle De Gregorio in a competitive match. In the event a Glovers side featuring the likes of Andy Lindegaard, Steve Thompson, James Bent, Chris Weale, Glenn Poole and Chris Giles demolished Argyle, winning 6-2. De Gregorio did his cause no harm with a second-half goal, and James Bent and Glenn Poole weighed in with a goal apiece; but Chris Giles evidently impressed those watching the most with a hat-trick to add to the goal he scored as a late substitute against Northwich last Saturday.

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Sun 19th August 2001
Vics Make It A Tricky Start For The Glovers

The new season started with whimper rather than a bang yesterday at Huish Park, 3,290 watching a below-par performance from the Glovers as they lost 2-3 to Northwich Victoria.

Yeovil started well enough, Michael McIndoe continuing his excellent pre-season form to put the Glovers 1-0 up after 11 minutes, but then seemed to take their foot off the gas, allowing the visitors back into the game. Andrew Brownrigg equalised for the visitors and then Gary Burke put the Trickies 2-1 up by half-time.

The Glovers pushed forward in the second half but found Paul Gibson in fine form in the Northwich goal. Northwich went 3-1 up in the closing minutes when Greg Blundell caught the Glovers on the break, the striker then being sent off by referee Mr Williamson for taking his shirt off in celebration - sadly typical of the referee's pedancy and over-officiousness yesterday.

Substitute Chris Giles pulled a goal back for Yeovil in injury time, the goal sparking off a fracas in the Northwich goal which most of the players seemed to get involved in, but which the inconsistent referee appeared happy to ignore. The Ciderspace match report page can be found here.

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Fri 17th August 2001
League Blows Hole In Play-Off Plans

This one could run and run.... Barely days after the Conference announced that they would be going ahead with the controversial plan to introduce play-offs at the end of the season to determine which club would be promoted to the Division 3 at the end of the season despite the FA refusing to sanction the plans (see 13th August news story); the Football League has in turn poured cold water over the idea, saying that they would only be prepared to accept the team that finished top of the league at the end of the regular season.

League spokesman John Nagle said: "Under League rules only the champions of the Conference can be promoted into the Football League. It is the view of the board that the definition of `champions' should be applied to the winners of the Conference's league competition rather than its play-off competition."

Sentiments that Ciderspace entirely agrees with, though doubtless some of the Conference chairmen will as we speak be reaching for their solicitor's phone numbers in preparation for a legal challenge.

Nagle went on to say: "It was also agreed at the board meeting that we should meet with the Football Conference as early as possible to discuss mutual areas such as the issue of increasing promotion and relegation and the possible incorporation into the Football League of the Football Conference."

In other words, no changes expected anytime soon. Expect the next headline in this on-going dreary farce to read 'Conference Chiefs Sue FA/FL Over Play-Offs', or something similar. You heard it here first!

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Thurs 16th August 2001
48 Hours To Go

Only another 48 hours before the new season kicks off at Huish Park on Saturday with the visit of Northwich Victoria, and Gary Johnson has his team more-or-less finalised with only a couple of positions still in some doubt, according to the local press this week.

First choice goalkeeper Jon Sheffield is rated at "60/40" for the game following his recovery from a broken toe, if he is not fit then either Chris Weale or Steve Collis will deputise, Johnson telling the Western Gazette: "Those two lads have been fantastic in pre-season and neither of them has let me down. They train like Trojans and the thought that Shef might not be fit has maybe given them that extra little bit of a boost. It is great that I have two young keepers with such confidence."

Despite much speculation amongst fans about exactly where his best position is it now seems certain that Nick Crittenden will start against The Vics in the right-sided defensive spot where he has played for most of the pre-season, and according to an article in the Western Daily Press he's confident that he can cope and still pose a threat offensively, saying, "The gaffer has said that he doesnít want to stop me going forward and has let me keep the number ten shirt because he doesnít want me to think like a full-back. I enjoy getting forward and getting crosses in and I can still do that, as long I donít get carried away."

In the central defence, Terry Skiverton will definitely start with either new boy Colin Pluck or the reliable Tom White partnering the club captain. The unlucky Roy O'Brien will be out for a further 3-4 weeks following the fractured cheekbone he suffered in the pre-season. The midfield more-or-less picks itself with Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Michael McIndoe and Andy Turner all fit and expected to play.

The possibilities up front are intriguing, with Carl Alford, Barrington Belgrave, the impressive new loan signing Scott Ramsay and James Bent all hoping to feature in Saturday's side, and with Chris Giles now training again after recovering from ankle ligament damage, such competition can only be good for the team. It will be fascinating to see who the manager eventually picks to start on Saturday and how those who he leaves out reacts!

In other news the papers report that New Zealand international midfielder Rafealle De Gregorio has now returned from Italy having successfully sorted out his international clearance papers. According to the Yeovil Express the club has arranged a friendly reserve team fixture v Plymouth Argyle for next Wednesday to give the player a proper trial. The match will be played behind closed doors.

Finally, Gary Johnson has urged fans to get behind the team right from the start on Saturday, telling the Gazette: "The main thing is for the supporters to be happy and to support us and enjoy the game. It is very important to get the new lads into that Team Yeovil spirit straight away so they know, if they did not already, what a big club Yeovil is. I am sure the supporters will get behind the team and I am hoping to give them something to sing and shout about. If we get that kind of noise and atmosphere I know the Yeovil fans are capable of we will give everyone a good Saturday afternoon."

And after that, there's only one thing left to say: COME ON !!!!

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Tues 14th August 2001
Bashley, erm, Bashed

Yeovil Town played their last pre-season friendly at Dr Martens Eastern Division outfit Bashley last night, coming away with a creditable 5-1 win against a side which contained former Glovers triallists Gary Funnel, who played for the Seaside Slime Weymouth last season, and striker Stuart Hussey, who was released by Yeovil earlier this month.

Inevitably it was Hussey who scored Bashley's goal, his first-half strike equalizing for the home side after a John Williams own goal put the Glovers ahead on 20 minutes. Yeovil were dominating the play however, and four second-half strikes from Colin Pluck, Lee Johnson, Scott Ramsay and Glenn Poole gave the scoreline a much more realistic look. Goalkeeper Steve Collis also got in on the action, saving a late Bashley penalty. The official site's match report can be found here.

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Mon 13th August 2001
Play-Off Farce Plumbs New Depths

More play-off nonsense: It now seems that the Conference are insisting that the play-offs proposed for the end of the season will go ahead, despite the FA refusing to sanction them.

The Conference appear to have released the following statement (we say 'appear to' because as far as we can see the statement has only appeared in one place - the official Morecambe FC website) :

Having sought professional advice, the Directors of the Nationwide Conference confirmed that under Conference Rule 11, play-offs would remain the method by which the Champion Club would be determined.

The decision of the FA League Sanctions & Registrations Committee of 23rd July 2001 cannot be ratified or otherwise by the FA Council until 20th September 2001. The Conference have already submitted, via legal advisors, notice to the FA that should they ratify the decision on the 20th September, the competition will seek to challenge the decision by way of arbitration in accordance with FA Regulation K.

The Directors have acted in accordance to club wishes in respect of play-offs and will keep all member clubs informed of progress in the matter as issues occur.

Further on from this piece of official idiocy comes the news from the Non-League Paper that Doncaster chairman John Ryan is threatening to sue the FA collectively and League Sanctions Committee chairman David Henson individually for blocking the initial play-off plans at a meeting last month, should that decision be ratified by the FA Council meeting on 20th September as mentioned in the Conference's statement above.

"Idiots make these rulings yet it is clubs like mine who could lose a small fortune," said Ryan, claiming that the decision to stop the play-offs from going ahead could cost his club up to £200,000. According to the NLP he will be approaching his fellow Conference chairmen, including Yeovil's John Fry, to assist in any legal action.

At Ciderspace we are not against Conference clubs taking legal action, but lets take it over the right cause please! Legal action should be taken over the Football League's refusal to implement the extra promotion place natural justice demands - once that is in place then play-offs will be entirely uncontroversial and will follow as a matter of course. The key to this whole saga is that extra promotion place, anything else is a red herring and indeed could lead to there being no promotion places on offer instead of the one that currently exists.

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Thurs 9th August 2001
One Out, Two Back In, Another Gone For Good

There's mixed injury news for Glovers boss Gary Johnson following yesterday's friendly at Newport. It emerged after the game that Roy O'Brien is to see a specialist today to see if he needs surgery to repair the fractured cheekbone he sustained in the friendly v Southend last Sunday. Whatever the diagnosis, he's expected to be out for at least 3 weeks and will miss the start of the season.

There's better news about two injured players however - According to today's Western Gazette Goalkeeper Jon Sheffield is now expected to have recovered from a broken toe by the time The Glovers kick off v Northwich on the 18th of August, and striker Chris Giles is also expected to be fit by then after sustaining ankle ligament damage in training.

Today's edition of the Yeovil Express reports that Jamaican international defender Shavar Thomas has now left the club after spending the last fortnight at Huish Park on trial, manager Johnson evidently not being sufficiently impressed to offer the player a contract.

Kiwi international Rafaelle De Gregorio meanwhile has returned to Italy, according to the Gazette, in an effort to speed up his international clearance papers from the Italian FA. De Gregorio has been unable to play in any of Yeovil's friendly matches because of his lack of proper documentation. The Gazette claims that Gary Johnson has been impressed by the midfielder in training, but wants to see him in a competitive match before making any decision on his future. It also now appears that fellow Kiwi international Jonathon Perry will not be training at Huish Park in the near future at any rate - he is still under contract at his existing club for another month.

Finally, the club have announced that this season's replica shirts are now on sale at the club shop at Huish Park, open from 10am to 4pm weekdays. Only home shirts are available at present, cost £35 adult, £26 for children. Phone 01935 423662 for more details.

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Thurs 9th August 2001
Glovers Go Potty At Spytty

Yeovil Town re-discovered the scoring touch at Spytty Park last night, coming from behind to beat Dr Marten's Premier League outfit Newport County, 3-2.

Yeovil's goals came from Michael McIndoe with a brace, including one inswinging effort direct from a corner, and James Bent. New loan signing Scott Ramsay made his debut, playing the entire second half. The official website's match report is here.

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Tues 7th August 2001
Did You Miss Us?

Did you even notice we'd gone?! If you did, then apologies for Ciderspace's intermittent absences since the weekend, it appears that the company that hosts the website has been having problems - hopefully those problems are being resolved.

In the meantime, The Glovers have lost another friendly, this time against former boss Dave Webb's side Southend, the 3rd Division outfit winning by 3-0 at Huish Park on Sunday. Friendly results mean nothing, but nevertheless this was a disappointing performance by Yeovil following the equally poor display in the 5-0 loss v Bristol City. The Ciderspace match report page can be found here.

Keeper Jon Sheffield missed the match - it emerged after the game that he has a broken toe and will be out for 3 weeks, missing the start of the season. Roy O'Brien could also be out for a while, suffering a suspected fractured cheekbone during the Southend match.

Manager Gary Johnson has moved to provide competition for the strikers on the club's books, signing Brighton forward Scott Ramsay on a 3-month loan deal. 21-year-old Ramsay has played a total of 32 games for Brighton, most of them from the sub's bench, scoring twice.

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Sat 4th August 2001
Winchester Hold Glovers Second String

A mixed Yeovil side composed of some players with first team experience, reservists and youth team players, drew 0-0 with Hampshire Premier League outfit Winchester City this afternoon. A brief match report will appear on the official website later today.

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Sat 4th August 2001
Busy Weekend Ahead For The Glovers

Yeovil Town Football Club play two fixtures this weekend, at Winchester's City Ground today, and against 3rd Division Southend United at Huish Park tomorrow.

The team to play Winchester today is likely to be made up of a mixture of reservists and youth team players plus possibly the 2 international triallists currently at the club, Jamaican international defender Shavar Thomas and the New Zealander Rafaelle De Gregorio. It's not thought that fellow Kiwi Jonathon Perry, reported earlier this week to have been offered a trial at Huish Park, has yet arrived at the club.

A more recognisable first team is expected to take the field against former boss Dave Webb's Southend side tomorrow (Sunday 5th August) at Huish Park, but the Shrimps will probably be without their ex-Yeovil midfielder Ben Smith, who only resumed training again yesterday following a foot injury sustained a fortnight ago. "Iíve effectively missed half of pre-season and itís very unlikely that Iíll be able to play," Smith told the Western Daily Press. "Itís disappointing because I would have loved to have played - it would have been interesting to see what sort of reception I got from the fans. But Iíve still got a lot of friends down at Yeovil and I will travel down to see some of them."

Webb's other summer signing from Yeovil, young midfielder Gareth Risbridger is expected to be in Southend's squad for the game, as is defender Leon Cort who played on loan for Forest Green Rovers against The Glovers in the Conference last season. The match kicks off at 3pm.

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Fri 3rd August 2001
Glovers Back Down To Earth With A Bump

All good things come to an end eventually, and The Glovers fine pre-season run of form came crashing to a halt against an impressive Bristol City side at Huish Park last night, the 2nd Division outfit romping away easy 5-0 winners.

No excuses after such a defeat, the fact is that Yeovil were comprehensively outplayed in most departments, the defence in particular having a bad night and gifting City at least 3 goals - not that they seemed to need such assistance! The Ciderspace match report page can be found here.

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Thurs 2nd August 2001
Two More Internationals On Trial At Huish Park

A further two international players are set to join Jamaican international Shavar Thomas on trial at Huish Park. The club has already announced on its official website that New Zealand international midfielder Rafaelle De Gregorio has linked up with The Glovers; and in addition to him today's Western Gazette claims that Kiwi compatriot and former Barnsley fullback/midfielder Jonathon Perry will also be arriving in Yeovil over the next few days.

Manager Gary Johnson said to the Gazette: "If someone offers you the chance to look at three current full international players you have to take that opportunity. They are no mugs - but then I have got no mugs in my squad at the moment."

"If I can add a few full internationals to my squad then it is great - but if they are no better than what I already have, that is a good confidence booster for my current players. I cannot lose."

In other news the paper claims that triallists Matthew Davis and Stuart Hussey have now been released by the club, and the official website says that youth team graduates Faisal Mali and Richard Parkinson have been given one-year contracts at Huish Park.

Finally it seems that one Hereford fan was so gutted at losing Michael McIndoe to Yeovil last season that he's going to do something about it: According to the Gazette, Bulls supporter Rob Watkins admires Macca so much that he sponsored the player when he was at Edgar Street and will be doing the same thing at Huish Park this season! Commercial manager Alan Skirton told the Gazette, "Rob rang me and asked if he could sponsor Michael in the programme. It is unusual to say the least, and God knows what the Hereford fans will say when they come down here, but I was only too pleased to accept his business." At Ciderspace we've always said that Hereford fans are nutters.....

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Wed 1st August 2001
Collis Signs Up

Former Nottingham Forest keeper Steve Collis has signed a one year contract at Huish Park according to today's edition of the Western Daily Press. The paper claims that 20-year-old Collis will compete with Chris Weale to become Jon Sheffield's understudy.

Manager Gary Johnson said, "Iím pleased weíve got everything sorted out with Stephen because I think you need three keepers to see you through a season."

Good news too for striker Chris Giles - his injury is not as serious as first thought yesterday and has been diagnosed as ankle ligament damage rather than the broken ankle feared. Giles is now expected to be out of action for around a fortnight.

The Reserves drew 0-0 at Portland last night in a friendly match. It's thought that triallist forward Stuart Hussey has now returned to Brockenhurst, though this has yet to be confirmed by the club.

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For current news direct from the club go to the official site news page.

To go to the Ciderspace News Archives, click here.

This Page Written By Jon Morgan/Hugh Gleave/Martin Baker
©Ciderspace 1999-2001
Last Updated 3rd August 2001

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