The Football Association has announced that they are to scrap replays at the FA Cup Quarter-Final stage. The FA Board have approved changes to the competition that will mean that all four ties in the last eight stage will be played to a conclusion across a single weekend from the 2016-17 onwards. Currently the Quarter-Final stage of the competition is the last level of the FA Cup that allows replays to take place.
The FA had already scrapped semi-final replays in 1999, having removed second replays at that stage during the summer of 1991. FA Cup Final replays were stopped in 1993. Matches at those stages of the competition now go to extra time and penalties, and from the 2016-17 season onwards that will now be joined by Quarter-Finals suffering the same fate.
This is very much a long slow curve to the bigger Premier League clubs wanting FA Cup replays to be scrapped altogether. Back in February, reports materialised that such a proposal was on the table among the FA and Premier League clubs, with the claim that English football was suffering from fixture list congestion - something that the Football League have also claimed as part of their restructuring proposals that would introduce a fifth division to the professional game.
The proposals to scrap FA Cup replays across all rounds suffered a backlash from lower league clubs, with sides such as Exeter City and Cambridge United having gained huge revenue through Replay matches against Premier League opposition, having managed to stretch their 'jackpot tie' over two matches - ironically in part due to the complacency shown by those clubs fielding over-weakened sides. It would appear this is off the table for now, with the exception of the Quarter-Final stage where it is rare for a League One or League Two side to reach that stage, but is inevitably concerning that the often lucrative Fifth Round stage is now the next in line for any further cutbacks.
The FA's statement implies that more changes to the competition will be considered, adding: "Other new initiatives will be explored to ensure The FA Cup retains its status and appeal. These plans also form part of The FA's commitment to help ease English football’s congested fixture schedule."
Yeovil Town have extended their sponsorship agreement with local firm Screwfix for another season. The sponsorship of the East Stand at Huish Park will now go into a sixth season, having first agreed a deal with the club in October 2011.
When Huish Park was first built, construction company Bartlett were given a sponsorship agreement that seemed to be almost permanent until Cowlin took over the naming rights to the stand in July 2006. That agreement stayed in place for five years, until a brief lull saw the stand merely referred to as the East Stand.
Screwfix then took over the reins and have kept the naming rights on a rolling basis ever since. The club's wording would suggest the new deal takes them to the end of the 2016-17 season.
The League Managers' Association have reported that the 2015-16 season set a new record for dismissals and movements, as the average tenure of a First Team Manager continues to shrink. In total there were 70 manager movements during the season just gone, of which 56 were dismissals and 14 were resignations. That has broken the previous record of 53 dismissals, which came during the 2001-02 season that saw clubs have to heavily restructure themselves in the wake of the ITV Digital collapse that caused financial chaos throughout the professional divisions.
In addition to the management changes, the LMA record that over 100 coaches were also dismissed, mainly as a by-product of those management changes. The average tenure of a manager is now just 1.31 years, which is the second lowest since 1992. The previous low point came during the 2014-15 season that saw managers last an average of 1.23 years. Overall the number of dismissals, baselined as of May 24th 2016, breaks down into 11 Premier League, 18 Championship, 14 League One and 13 League Two managers losing their jobs.
With the exception of the 2001-02 season, the level of 56 dismissals is quite startling when compared to other recent years, which saw 47, 37, 43, 33, 38, 36, 33 and 31 dismissals across the previous eight seasons, going backwards in time. The Championship has always been a hot-bed of high turnover, but in the last two seasons, League One and League Two have spiked up, rising through 7, 10 and 13 in League Two and 8, 12 and 14 in League One. Both divisions have equalled previous record highs across the ten year period.
Yeovil Town were very much a part of those recent year statistics. Having generally had the reputation of being one of the more stable Football League sides for management teams, during the calendar year of 2015, they used four different managers, with Gary Johnson (6 games), Terry Skiverton (13 games), Paul Sturrock (30 games) and Darren Way (6 games) all acting as the main people in the dugouts during that year. For the LMA's reporting period of the 2015-16 season, the last pair of managers would be included in their statistics, with Sturrock replaced on December 1st 2015.
Yeovil Town Ladies have arranged a couple of friendlies to keep up their fitness levels during the FAWSL mid-season break. Currently all FAWSL clubs are on a one month hiatus with matches not resuming until the weekend of June 25th/26th, meaning that all clubs have the concern of making sure that their players do not become too rusty during that time.
Welsh Premier Women's League side Swansea City are currently commencing their own pre-season preparations, and they will play two friendlies against Yeovil Town Ladies. The first will take place in Landore, which is a couple of miles north of Swansea City Centre, on Sunday 29th May, with a 2.00p.m. kick-off. The second will take place in Yeovil on Sunday 12th June, with a 2.00p.m. kick-off.
Note that both fixtures are 'behind closed doors' - no spectators will be admitted to these fixtures. However, hopefully we'll get the results and scorers from the games.
The Ladies team are next in FAWSL action on Sunday 26th June when they make the long trip to New Ferens Park to play Durham Women with a midday kick-off.
Yeovil Town's solution to the issue of their goalkeeping coach for the 2016-17 season would appear to be to promote from within. Former Torquay United youth team player Sam Shulberg has been part of the club's Academy set-up performing coaching duties during the season just gone, but was named on the club's teamsheet as a coach for a number of matches during the latter part of the 2015-16 season, despite Chris Weale holding the goalkeeping coach role, along with his duties as the club's back-up to Artur Krysiak.
With Weale leaving the club earlier this month, that left a vacancy in the ranks, and whilst it hasn't been formally announced, it would seem that Shulberg will be taking on that role. Born in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, he was on the books of Rushden and Diamonds and Northampton Town before joining Torquay United's youth system. Given these three clubs are also Yeovil Town Academy Manager Geoff Harrop's three main coaching clubs it's not too hard to work out why Shulberg's career path took him in that direction.
He was part of Torquay United's Under-18s set-up just before their Academy closed down and followed Harrop up to Somerset where he has been coaching some of the junior age groups. Way explained to the Western Gazette that Shulberg's name on the teamsheet towards the end of the 2015-16 season was because with Weale registered as a player, he wanted an outside influence to coach both goalkeepers, rather than keep Weale under a dual role. He has also implied that will be the only change to his backroom team over the summer, with retention of all other parties:
"Sam Shulberg has been the goalkeeping coach since I have been in charge because Chris wanted to play. It was not easy from his point-of-view to coach two goalkeepers who were so keen to play and his work goes under the radar a bit. So I want to thank him for that. The problem is - and we have spoken about this on my Pro Licence course - you see academies all the time with too many coaches. First teams with too many doctors, physios, sports scientists. Sometimes you have too many voices and it is not a good thing. Sam has been fantastic, Dan (Powell) the kit man has been fantastic, the physio (Mike Micciche) has been fantastic and Terry (Skiverton) has been fantastic."
Shulberg's promotion would also explain why Yeovil Town are looking to recruit an Academy Goalkeeping Coach for the 2016-17 season, with his involvement with the first team squad now creating a vacancy at that level.
Yeovil Town have arranged a second pre-season friendly for the 2016-17 season. They will make the familiar journey to Dorchester Town's stadium for a match against the Magpies that will take place on Tuesday 12th July 2016, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.
On the following Saturday, 16th July, the club have already arranged a friendly against Bristol City that will take place at Huish Park with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. The Devon press also reported a couple of weeks ago that we will be visiting Tiverton Town at some point during pre-season, although they said that match did not have a firm date.
Visits to the Avenue Stadium, Dorchester have been an almost annual arrangement during pre-seasons, with this being the club's tenth match against the Magpies since 2002, when we had a short-term groundshare with them at the start of the 2002-03 campaign. The teams staged there have been mixed, but the timing of the fixture would suggest that this may be one of the earlier chances for a new squad to get out and stretch their legs before a more robust challenge of a Championship club turns up on the Saturday.
Admission prices for the fixture will be £5.00 for adults and concessions, with Under-16s admitted for £1.00. Dorchester indicate that these prices are subject to agreement/confirmation with the visiting club.
Yeovil Town defender Omar Sowunmi has signed a new deal with the club. The 20 year old was recruited from Ipswich Town last summer by former boss Paul Sturrock as a central defender, with his 6'7" height providing the club with plenty of physical presence, as well as giving them an opportunity to turn a young prospect into a first team player.
A month into his Glovers career, Sturrock had the idea of converting Sowunmi into a centre-forward - something that seemed to be bearing fruit when he scored his debut goal for the club against Morecambe. Unfortunately for him, a week later he was the victim of a dreadful tackle against AFC Wimbledon and was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury. He returned again six weeks later but only lasted a week before problems with the ankle flared up again, requiring an operation. That was to leave him in the treatment room for five months, but he did make it onto the pitch for the final match of the 2015-16 season, allowing him to make his eighth appearance of the season.
He has signed a new two year contract with the club that will keep him at Huish Park until the summer of 2018.
Late last week, the Football League issued a press release and a discussion document outlining their plans to restructure the League for the start of the 2019-20 season. Whilst those plans will not be voted on until their 2017 AGM, they do open up rather a lot to debate in terms of the effect that it will have upon the League's current 72 member clubs. The latest Taff's Gloversblog looks at the proposals and identifies seven areas in which they might need a rethink. Read on via the link below and feel free to add your own views to the foot of the article.
Former Yeovil Town defender/midfielder Rob Cousins has been given the first team management position at Western Football League Premier Division side Shepton Mallet Town. The 45 year old has been their assistant manager over the past season, having been the manager of Yate Town before that, having ended his playing career at clubs such as Tiverton Town, Mangotsfield Town and Paulton Rovers.
Cousins takes over from Andrew Jones, who had stepped down after four seasons, deciding he wanted a break from football management. Shepton Mallet finished in 10th place in the Western League Premier Division at the end of the 2015-16 season, and with Cousins already part of that successful set-up, and with experience in first team management, his promotion was an obvious decision.
Rob's time at Huish Park saw him clock up 213 appearances, scoring three goals, after signing for the club under manager Graham Roberts in the summer of 1996 as part of the deal that also brought Jerry Gill to the club from Bath City. Rob was a near ever-present during his four seasons at the club, making an astonishing 61 appearances during the 1996-97 season, but was one of the victims of the club's decision to turn full time, with his day time job making it impractical for him to continue with the Glovers.
During the summer of 2000, he moved on to play for Forest Green Rovers, and ultimately played over 1,000 first team matches largely as a central defender, but occasionally as a defensive midfielder.
Yeovil Town's Under-18s side is preparing for the 2016-17 season with a number of new players being given scholarships. The relaunched Academy system is just coming to the end of its first year, meaning that the majority of the players at the most senior level of the scholarship system were in the first of a two year programme. One exception was attacking midfielder Ollie Bassett who had transferred across into Yeovil's Academy system midway through his scholarship and has since signed a professional contract with the Glovers that will now see him train full time with the first team during the 2016-17 season.
The club have added to the existing crop of players by taking on eight new scholars who will commence their own two year programme involving a mix of football training and enrolment in a local college, with the club recommending that scholars take a BTEC Level Three qualification at Yeovil College. The new incumbents include former Southampton pair Joe Tomlinson and Jack Hilton-Jones, who play as a left-back and midfielder respectively. Also joining them is big centre-back Jeremiah Gyebi who was recruited from the MASS Elite Academy in Battersea, London.
They are joined by several players who were nominally part of the Academy's Under-16 set-up last season but had also been used for Under-18s games last year. They are midfielders Mitch McCann, Brad Cherrett and Jack Rice, centre-back Charlie Fripp who used to be on AFC Bournemouth's books and left-winger Callum Morton. They join the other players who were already part of the Under-18s scholarship system meaning that the 2016-17 squad should look roughly as follows at present:
Goalkeeper: Kingsley Latham
Centre-backs: Jayden Corbridge, Prince-iwyeh Nwabudike, Charlie Fripp, Jeremiah Gyebi
Left-Back: Thiago Sa, Joe Tomlinson
Right Wing: Luis Nyman
Centre Midfield: Arthur Warren, Jack Rice, Brad Cherrett, Jack Hilton-Jones, Mitch McCann
Left-Wing: Callum Morton
Strikers: Paul Akinull, Dion MacFoy-Johnston
Meanwhile Academy Manager Geoff Harrop, who described newspaper claims of his own departure from the club to Torquay United as 'laughable', has confirmed that his No.2 in command David Byrne has left the club, implying to the Western Gazette that he has somewhere else to go to:
"David Byrne is leaving the club for pastures new and we would like to thank Dave for everything he has done in helping the development of the academy. We are now advertising for a professional lead coach to bridge the gap between the academy and the first team."
NOTE: We sometimes struggle with Youth Team players in terms of getting the right information. Hence if any players or relatives or friends are aware of errors, omissions, incorrect positions or anything else, either drop a tweet to the @ytfcciderspace account, or email email@example.com with any additional information and we'll add it into the article and any future articles. In addition, if anyone can provide any help in giving the Academy and Under-18s side a higher profile for next season in any way, drop a message via the same means.
Yeovil Town are advertising three positions within their Academy structure this summer, including a Professional Development Phase Lead Coach. This vacancy would imply that this is a replacement for David Byrne's position, given that it covers the role of the Academy's Under-18s manager, which was carried by him during the 2015-16 season. Byrne arrived at the club during Paul Sturrock's reign at Huish Park, having worked with him at Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town, and had a year in that position. Although the club's vacancy list doesn't state who has left the club it would appear that Byrne is one of those.
The three vacancies the club are carrying are as follows:
1. Professional Development Phase Lead Coach: Reporting to the Academy Manager: "To oversee the development and recruitment of players from the ages 16-18. The role is to oversee the transition of players from the Youth development Phase into the Professional Development Phase. The role holder should then prepare players to enter the Senior Development Phase."
2. Academy Coach: Reporting to the Phase Lead Coach: "To develop a specific age group in the philosophy, playing style and value of Yeovil Town Academy. The role holder should implement coaching techniques and tactics shown in the Academy Coaching programme in training sessions and matches."
3. Academy Goalkeeper Coach: Reporting to Head of Coaching: "To develop the goalkeepers in the philosophy, playing style and values of Yeovil Town Academy. The post holder should implement coaching techniques and tactics shown in the Academy Coaching Programme in training sessions and matches."
For further information, applicants need to email firstname.lastname@example.org and for a formal application you need to provide your CV and a covering letter.
With the Football League's lower division clubs issuing concerns over revenue losses regarding the Football League's restructuring plans that were issued last week, it's no surprise to find Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry being just as reserved about those proposals. The Football League's proposals to expand their league to four divisions, giving five overall in the professional game, made up of 100 clubs, have been given a luke warm reception, particularly from lower league clubs, with only a scattering of Championship clubs appearing to back the plans.
One of the most notable projections was made by Oxford United, who have recently been promoted into League One, and their view was that the plans would create a £185,000 black hole in their revenue, mainly as a result of the loss of four home league fixtures from the 2019-20 season onwards. With much of Mr Fry's past interviews and statements showing him to have the mindset of an accountant when it comes to managing a football club, the mention of 'revenue loss' would be guaranteed to cause him concern.
He has given a fairly cautious initial response to the plans when commenting on them to the Western Gazette, but his expectations are that they will unduly affect clubs in the lower divisions, which is roughly in line with the feedback from other Chairmen so far. Mr Fry explains:
"I expect lower league clubs will be the ones that suffer. But until my directors have studied the Football League consultation document, it is far too early to make a measured comment on how these proposals would affect Yeovil Town FC. However, the proposals I have seen so far have potentially fundamental financial and football implications for our club, and as such, the YTFC board will respond after extensive consultation with our stakeholders and supporters."
The topic will be under (heated) discussion at the Football League's 2016 AGM, with any final proposals - if it gets that far - being formally tabled for a vote at the 2017 AGM. The League's constitution will require 90 percent of clubs to vote in favour of the plans, thus requiring 65 of the 72 clubs to support it.
Former Yeovil Town loanee Josh Wakefield has been released by his parent club AFC Bournemouth. The 22 year old's release doesn't come as any surprise given that when he had a 2016 spell with League One side Walsall, their local media described his trial - which was later followed by a loan agreement - was an opportunity "to find himself a new club". Quotes from Wakefield himself implied that he already knew his fate and that this was an agreement from his parent club that he could try to find himself a new club before his contract ran out.
Wakefield is one of six Cherries players who were shown the door, with Sylvain Distin, Stephane Zubar, Josh Carmichael, Mason Walsh and Jon Muleba all now free agents. It's not that likely that the Saddlers will come in for him on a permanent basis - despite taking him on trial on January 19th and turning that into a loan deal on February 25th, he didn't make a single first team appearance, with the exception of some Reserve Team matches.
The Frimley-born player, who has had nine loan spells with various clubs, including Bristol Rovers and Torquay United, during his time at Dean Court, made six appearances for Yeovil Town during August and September 2015.
On Sunday afternoon, Yeovil Town went top of the FAWSL2 division with victory over Aston Villa Ladies at Huish Park. Coming from behind at 0-2 down at half time, a Sarah Wiltshire hat-trick and a Nicola Cousins goal gave them the three points they needed to put them two points clear as the Super League goes into a one month mini-break. Watch all the goals via the clip below ... well almost all of them - either the cameraman or the video editor didn't quite hit the mark on the final goal of the day!
Last Thursday, Yeovil Town Ladies gained all three points against their local rivals Bristol City Women in an FAWSL2 match at Huish Park. Below you can watch highlights from the 2-0 victory, with goals from Sarah Wiltshire and Ellie Curson that saw off the opposition, lifting them into second place in the table.
Former Yeovil Town loanee Stephen Kingsley has been given his first ever call-up by the Scotland national side. The Swansea City player, who was part of the Glovers 2014-15 squad during the second half of the season, has gradually shown signs of breaking into the Premier League side's first team, making four league starts and one FA Cup substitute appearance for Swansea, after returning from a twelve game Crewe Alexandra loan spell earlier in the 2015-16 campaign.
Having played a full 90 minutes against Arsenal, West Ham United and Manchester City towards the end of the season, that seems to have persuaded Scotland manager Gordon Strachan to take a punt on him, by calling him into his squad for two summer friendlies. Scotland are not part of Euro 2016, but have arranged two high profile friendlies against Italy (in Malta, May 29th) and France (in Metz, June 24th) as part of both countries own preparations for the tournament.
Scotland will be basing themselves in Malta across the two fixtures and have selected the following squad, with a few players only available for the second fixture due to Football League play-off matches:
Goalkeepers: Scott Fox (Ross County), Jack Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Cardiff City)
Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian), Andrew Robertson (Hull City - France only), Lee Wallace (Rangers)
Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday - France only), Craig Bryson (Derby County), Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), Shaun Maloney (Hull City - France only), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), John McGinn (Hibernian), Barrie McKay (Rangers), Matt Phillips (Queens Park Rangers), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth), Robert Snodgrass (Hull City - France only)
Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland, on loan at Olympique Marseille), Chris Martin (Derby County), Ross McCormack (Fulham), Steven Naismith (Norwich City)
Former Yeovil Town loanee Jake Howells has signed for National League side Eastleigh for next season. The 25 year old has penned a two year contract with the Hampshire side, shortly after being released by League Two side Luton Town. Howells had been at Luton for nine years, and bowed out after 334 appearances for the Kenilworth Road club.
He will now join a side that finished in seventh position in the National League, five points outside the play-offs, and will be under contract with them until the summer of 2018. Howells said of his decision to sign for them:
“I am really pleased to be signing for such an ambitious club as Eastleigh and really looking forward to the challenge ahead."
Aside from Luton, Yeovil Town represent Howells' only other professional club, as part of a one month loan spell that took him to Huish Park in September 2015. He then broke back into Luton's first team upon his return following the departure of former boss John Still. However, that didn't stop current manager Nathan Jones from eventually releasing him at the end of the season just gone.
During last week, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way indicated that he was travelling to the South of France to watch a match involving England and Portugal teams in the city of Toulon, which is situated on the Mediterranean coast.
Reports at the time suggested that Way was viewing 'trialists', although his visit to the city concided with England's opening match in the Toulon Tournament - a summer competition featuring various national development sides, with England's headed up by Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate.
It's since been confirmed that it was the actual Toulon Tournament that Way was visiting, with the emphasis less on 'trialists' or possible recruits for the 2016-17 season, and more on Darren's interests in progressing his UEFA Pro Licence. Way is currently a UEFA A Licence holder, and the Pro licence is typically an 18 month programme that requires managers to visit other training environments as part of their own learning and development. The Pro licence is mandatory for any managers who may wish to one day manage at certain levels of the game, such as the Premier League.
Across the last few days, Darren has therefore taken in England vs Portugal, Mexico vs Czech Republic, Czech Republic vs Bulgaria and Mali vs Mexico. Whilst for the England game in particular, he will have collected a few useful phone numbers along the way of coaches and representatives he may wish to talk to in the future, his time out in France will predominantly have been to benefit his coaching career than to smuggle James Ward-Prowse into the back of his car on the way back!
Yeovil Town Ladies go into the mid-season break on top of the FAWSL2 division, after they came from behind to beat Aston Villa Ladies. They had to do it the hard way, standing at 0-2 down at the break, as Villa took the initiative. However, a second half Sarah Wiltshire hat-trick and another for Nicola Cousins turned the tables, and with Bristol City Women losing at Sheffield, whilst Everton Ladies were held at home to Millwall Lionesses, that puts the Glovers on top of the pile with a two point advantage, with the next set of matches not due to take place until June 26th.
On the back of Thursday night's 2-0 win against Bristol City, Jamie Sherwood selected the exact same starting eleven and substitutes for the visit of Villa to Huish Park. Early on, things seemed to be good as Helen Bleazard forced Jess Myers to push the ball around the post. Then Bleazard's cross into the box found Sarah Wiltshire, but one again Myers was equal to it. Yeovil's problem though was that they conceded a few too many free kicks, and just short of the half hour mark they conceded from one such situation. Bethan Merrick's set piece was headed home by Hannah George and Villa went a goal up.
Chances at the other end were still coming, and Yeovil responded well as Sarah Wiltshire produced a dipping shot that came off the woodwork and back out. Then a Nadia Lawrence shot clipped the top of the bar, with the ball falling behind. However, just before the break, Villa got a second and seemingly crucial goal that put them 2-0 up at half time. Mollie Rouse broke down the right hand side and her cutback across the area was converted from close range by Katie Wilkinson to temporarily silence the Huish Park home crowd.
Whatever manager Jamie Sherwood said at half time clearly worked. Under two minutes after the break, Yeovil had pulled a goal back. Sarah Wiltshire finished well by lobbing the goalkeeper and that was to act as the turning point as Villa were pushed onto the back foot. Annie Heatherson fired just over the crossbar, then Jess Myers had to save from Kayleigh Green, with another Heatherson effort also blocked.
On the hour mark, Yeovil drew level, and once again Sarah Wiltshire got the goal. Helen Bleazard was the provider as her cross into the box found Wiltshire at the back post who buried the ball into the corner of the net. With fifteen minutes remaining, a two goal deficit became a one goal advantage, as Bleazard's free kick was saved by Myers and Nicola Cousins was on hand to fire home for a 3-2 lead. Villa tried to force the equaliser, but they came unstuck again in the 90th minute as Sarah Wiltshire took advantage of some of the space opening up in the Villa third, as she lobbed the goalkeeper again for her hat-trick, and a guarantee of all three points, as half time defeat was turned into a clear full time victory. Wiltshire gave her views on her hat-trick after the game:
"Obviously it's always good to score a hat-trick, I'm just pleased that after we were 2-0 down we were able to score four goals in the second half. I think that it shows a lot about the squad that we could comeback like we did. We didn’t give up, we fought back and everyone loves a comeback. For my third goal, I think it was Ellie (Curson) who put the ball through and I just went after it and luckily I got there and it went in. We are just going to take each game as it comes, we didn’t start off very well – I think that we were still tired from Thursday (against Bristol City), but we put it right in the second half."
Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 4 Aston Villa Ladies 2.
Scorers: Hannah George (28 mins, 0-1), Katie Wilkinson (45 mins, 0-2), Sarah Wiltshire (47 mins, 1-2), Sara Wiltshire (60 mins, 2-2), Nicola Cousins (75 mins, 3-2), Sarah Wiltshire (89 mins, 4-2)
Yeovil Town Ladies: 1. Charlotte Haynes; 6. Kayleigh Green, 26. Hannah Short, 5. Nicola Cousins; 23. Helen Bleazard, 8. Steph Williams, 4. Ellie Curson (Capt), 11. Nadia Lawrence, 15. Kelly Snook; 9. Annie Heatherson, 7. Sarah Wiltshire
Substitutes: Natasha Knapman, Emily Donovan (86 mins for Nadia Lawrence), Ellis Hillman (79 mins for Kelly Snook), Lauren Townsend, Charlotte Johnson, Sammi Quayle, Jessie Jones (29 mins for Steph Williams)
Aston Villa Ladies: 21. Jess Myers 3. Hannah George 4. Chloe Jones 8. Maddy Cusack 9. Katie Wilkinson 10. Kerri Welsh 14. Katy Moran (Capt) 16. Elisha N'Dow 18. Bethan Merrick 20. Amy Wesh 25. Mollie Rouse.
Substitutes: 13. Chloe Beattie 2. Hayley Crackle (74 mins for Amy West) 7. Sarah Mayling (59 mins for Kerri Walsh) 17. Destiney Toussaint 19. Natasha Baptiste 27. Leanne Bryant 26. Chloe Harper.
Referee: Joanna Stimpson. Assistants: Paul Davies and Alistair Francis.
At the tail end of last month, the Glovers Trust announced that they had registered Huish Park and its surrounding land as an Asset of Community Value. To explain the process and what that means for the ground and surrounding land, interim Chairman Brendon Owen and South Somerset District Council representative David Crisfield were interviewed by BBC Somerset presenter Matt Faulkner to give their views. Read that interview via the link below.
Following Thursday night's 2-0 victory over Bristol City Women at Huish Park, Yeovil Town Ladies manager Jamie Sherwood spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Somerset presenter/reporter Jack Murley, Jamie's full interview can be read via the link below.
Note that the Ladies are back in action tomorrow afternoon at Huish Park, with Aston Villa Ladies their opponents. Kick-off is at 2.00p.m. with full Main Stand facilities open at the ground in the lead-up to the game.
With the exception of three clubs that have been involved in the League Two play-offs, each League Two side has now published their Released and Retained lists. Below is a list of all of the 2015-16 season League Two clubs, with the exception of those who gained automatic promotion to League One. In addition the four clubs that were relegated from League One into our division for 2016-17 are included. Needless to say, this is a constant moving target as news is released by clubs during this month, and contract talks continue, but hopefully gives an accurate picture of what each club is up to.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Were in League Two Play-Offs - No Announcement Yet
BARNET: Released: Mark Randall, Joe Gater, Ryan Gondoh, Charlie Kennedy
Made Available For Free Transfers: Tom Champion, Ben Tomlinson, Shaun Batt and Mauro Vilhete.
New Contract: Curtis Weston, Sam Togwell
Talks Ongoing: Bondz N’Gala, Michael Nelson, Graham Stack
Outgoing Transfer: Andy Yiadom (to Barnsley)
BLACKPOOL: Released: Emmerson Boyce, Charles Dunne, David Ferguson, Connor Oliver, Martin Paterson, Jarrett Rivers
Contract Extension: Tom Aldred
Contract Offer: David Norris
CAMBRIDGE UNITED: Released: Ryan Donaldson, Chris Dunn, Sam Beasant, Robbie Simpson
Contract Offers: Josh Coulson, James Dunne, Jimmy Spencer, Dylan Williams (academy graduate)
CARLISLE UNITED: Released: Derek Asamoah, Troy Archibald-Henville, Angelo Balanta, Arron Bradbury, Dan Hanford, Bastien Hery, Louis Pedro, Steven Rigg, Antony Sweeney, Joe Thompson
Contract Offers: Alexander McQueen, Tom Miller
COLCHESTER UNITED: Released: Joe Edwards (as expected to join another League One club), Tosin Olufemi, Darren Ambrose, Nicky Shorey, Elliott Parish, Marvin Sordell, Marley Andrews, Kieran Bailey, Tyler Brampton
Contract Offers: Drey Wright, Alex Gilbey, Femi Akinwande, Tom Eastman, Dillon Barnes, Jack Curtis, Jamie Harney
CRAWLEY TOWN: Released: Roarie Deacon, Lee Barnard, Andy Bond, Lyle Della-Verde, Callum Preston, Shamir Fenelon, Gavin Tomlin
No Decision Made Yet: Seven other players.
CREWE ALEXANDRA: Released: Marcus Haber, Lauri Dalla Valle, David Fox, Chris Atkinson, James Baillie, Liam O'Neill, Fraser Murdoch, Joe Kearns, Joe Howell, Toby Mullarkey, Andre Brown
Contract Offer: Zoumana Bakayogo
Contract Extensions: David Richards, Perry Ng
Under Discussion: Bradden Inman
DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE: Released: Jack Connors, Ashley Chambers, Clevid Dikamona, Ian Gayle, Ashley Hemmings, Zavon Hines, Justin Hoyte, Liam O’Brien, Josh Pashley, Matt Richards, Ade Yusuff
Outgoing Transfer: Jodi Jones (to Coventry City)
DONCASTER ROVERS: Released: Ben Askins, Matty Davies
Transfer-Listed: Dany N’Guessan, Curtis Main, Gary MacKenzie, Billy Whitehouse, Thorsten Stuckmann
Relegation Clauses Activated: Nathan Tyson, Richard Chaplow (verbally only, must be confirmed by June)
New Signing: Tommy Rowe (from Wolves), Gary McSheffrey (from Sheffield United, confirmed by player)
EXETER CITY: Released: Clinton Morrison, Emmanuel Oyeleke, Jason Pope, Will Hoskins
No Decision Made Yet: Craig Woodman, David Noble, Jamie McAllister, Christian Ribeiro, Arron Davies, Alex Nicholls
Contract Offers: Matt Jay, Joe Charles (six months)
Academy Graduates: Toby Down, Jordan Storey, Nick Grimes and Kyle Egan
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Released: Peter Denton, Scott Fenwick, Scott Harrison, Ebby Nelson-Addy, Kudus Oyenuga, Harry Worley
Contract Extensions: Matthew Bates, Jake Carroll, Kieran Green, Carl Magnay, Rhys Oates, Billy Paynter, Jordan Richards, Connor Smith, Brad Walker
New Contract: Matthew Bates
LUTON TOWN: Released: Elliot Justham, Matt Robinson, Jake Howells, Alex Lawless, Paul Benson, Isaac Galliford, Scott Griffiths, Ryan Hall, Mark Onyemah, Luke Trotman, Curtley William
Contract Offers: Zane Banton, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu
Contract Extension: Craig King
Transfer-Listed: Mark O'Brien, Magnus Okuonghae, Matthew Robinson
MANSFIELD TOWN: Released: Anthony Dwyer, Liam Marsden, Craig Westcarr
New Contracts: Lee Collins, Mal Benning, Krystian Pearce
MORECAMBE: Released: Charlie Bailey, Shaun Beeley, Chris Doyle, Adam Dugdale, Jack Kelleher, Andy Parrish, Nathan Bondswell, Alan Goodall
Contract Offers: Jamie Devitt, Ryan Edwards, Alex Kenyon, Shaun Miller
Contract Extension: Andrew Fleming
NEWPORT COUNTY: Released: Yan Klukowski, Matt Partridge, Seth Nana-Twumasi, Rhys Taylor, Joe Green, Nathan Ralph, Scott Barrow
Contract Offers: Mark Byrne, Andrew Hughes, Alex Rodman, Danny Holmes, Darren Jones, Scott Boden, John-Christophe Ayina, Medy Elito
Contract Extension: Tom Owen-Evans, Kieran Parselle
Academy Graduates: Lewis Bamford, Dafydd Jones, Ben Jones, Liam Angel
New Signing: Jamie Turley (Eastleigh, two years)
NOTTS COUNTY: Released: Roy Carroll, Liam Noble, Blair Adams, Jordan Aghatise, Jason Banton, Colby Bishop, Will Hayhurst, Taylor McKenzie and Lartey Sarpong
Released with Condition: Ronan Murray, Filip Valencic (invited to talk to new manager once appointed, if mutually agreed)
Contract Offers: Wes Atkinson, Haydn Hollis, Alan Smith (as player/coach)
Contract Extension: Jordan Richards
Academy Graduate Offers: Montel Gibson, Jack McMillan, Luther Wildin
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE: In League Two Play-Off Final
PORTSMOUTH: Released: Brian Murphy, Chad Field, Snorre Nilsen
Transfer-Listed: Adam McGurk, Kal Naismith, Matt Tubbs
Contract Talks: Ben Davies, Danny Hollands
Contract Extension: Ben Close, Adam May, Ben Tollitt
Academy Graduates: Alex Bass, Calvin Davies, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain.
STEVENAGE: Released: Charlie Adams, Adam Marriott, Rohdell Gordon, Jack Jebb, David McAllister, Jerome Okimo, Lee Cox, Aaron O'Connor
WIMBLEDON: In League Two Play-Off Final
WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Released: Alex Lynch, Gozie Ugwu, Ryan Sellers, Max Kretzschmar
New Contract: Matt Bloomfield, Paul Hayes,
Contract Offers: Marcus Bean, Aaron Pierre (already until 2017)
Contract Extension: Sam Wood
YORK CITY: Released: George Swan, Femi Ilesanmi, Taron Hare, Josh Carson, Kenny McEvoy, Michael Coulson, Emile Sinclair, Ben Hirst
Contract Offers: Michael Ingham, Dave Winfield, Luke Summerfield, Russell Penn
Transfer-Listed: Jake Hyde, Vadaine Oliver
Former Yeovil Town captain Joe Edwards is reported to have been arrested after an alleged incident outside a pub in Colchester. The 25 year old has been on the books of relegated League One side Colchester United, and their local paper the Colchester Gazette reports of two incidents that took place on Sunday 8th May, on the day that their 2015-16 season ended following a 2-1 defeat against Rochdale.
The paper states that Edwards was one of two people - both aged 25 years old - on suspicion of assault, criminal damage and affray, with another man being left unconscious and needing an ambulance that took him to Colchester General Hospital. Whilst the police do not name the two arrested, Edwards is named by the paper with the other party not named at this stage.
The incident appears to have stemmed from another situation that developed earlier in the evening, when a group of Colchester United players and friends were asked to leave the Kings Arms pub in Crouch Street. During that time, the landlord of the pub Siobhan Walters is alleged to have been struck in the face, before the group eventually left the pub. The paper does not believe at this stage that this incident directly involved any Colchester player, whilst the landlord was not believed to be significantly injured.
However, problems appear to have escalated around closing time, around 10.55p.m. when a second disturbance occurred outside the pub with owners Greene King indicating that this incident related to the same group returning and being denied access to the pub. At this stage a fight broke out and an unnamed man was knocked unconscious in the street. Police arrived and made two arrests. The police report indicates that they were bailed until July:
"Police were called at 10.55pm on Sunday, May 8th to a report of a disturbance at the Kings Arms, Crouch Street, Colchester. Officers attended and arrested two men from Colchester on suspicion of assault, criminal damage and affray. The men, aged 25, were taken into custody for questioning. They were later released on police bail pending further enquiries until July."
Colchester United have yet to comment on the incident, and so have not confirmed that he is the man named by the Colchester Gazette. By coincidence they have named their Released and Retained list during late afternoon and name Edwards as a player they would like to retain, but believe that the Gloucester-born player will try to remain at League One level. Director of Football Tony Humes says of the player's situation:
"Joe signed a one year deal when he first joined us and understandably, he is keen to play at the highest level possible. He has had an excellent season and is taking his opportunity to see what else is out there, but we would be interested in signing him should the opportunity arise."
Colchester have named Edwards in their 'released' list for the end of the 2015-16 season, but presumably within the same context that he was named in the Glovers' 2014-15 Released List - that his unwillingness to discuss new contract terms with them at this stage means that they have allowed him to move on and talk to other clubs, presumably at League One level.
Football League proposals to introduce a fifth tier in the English professional league set-up have been met with a largely negative response from club Chairmen. The plans that were revealed yesterday involve the Football League being expanded to four divisions, underneath the Premier League, with each division supporting 20 clubs. However, some clubs have revealed that they had not been consulted, indicating that the first they knew of such plans were when they were published by the League's Board of Directors, leading to questions as to who has been driving the need for changes within the League structure.
League One side Bradford City's joint Chairman Mark Lawn is one of those who has immediately voiced concerns about the proposal, pointing out that decreasing the number of clubs in each division will in turn decrease the number of League home matches played from 23 games down to 19 games, thus reducing the amount of gate income that each club will receive. He suggests that this will be a significant concern for lower league clubs, and assumes it has been driven by larger Championship clubs where matchday revenue may not be so much of a concern:
"We've had this structure for years because it has suited the majority of clubs, so why change it? What they don't understand is that currently we have 23 home games. We need the crowds; we don't get the money Championship clubs get. Losing four home games means we lose four incomes. It's not so bad for us but for teams like Accrington and York, that's a lot of money. It's ridiculous. They certainly haven't come out and consulted with all the clubs, because this is the first I've heard about it. If we were voting now, I'd be voting against it. The only reason I can think of is that, yet again, the Championship clubs want it."
One of the league's smallest clubs, Accrington Stanley, have also raised similar concerns. Owner Andy Holt says that if he had it his own way, he would be playing more matches at the Crown Ground, to try to bring spectators to the town. He says that it will leave a financial black hole for his club if the number of matches drop in each division:
"I just don't recognise it as a sensible plan. We want more games, we would rather play 50 home games. We need revenue, we don't want to lose any games. For me, our players will play as many games as we want. We pay them an annual salary, we want them to play games. It is (manager) John Coleman's job to get them fit. It has got to hurt us if we lose any revenue. I am putting cash in to fill a black hole. If we have less revenue, I will have to put more in. If we are only going to play here 20 times a year, it is hardly worth having a stadium. I can't see any sense in the proposals, as far as it affects Accrington Stanley. Fans want to see football and our players want to play. I don't see how it can benefit fans to have less football to see."
Oxford United have just gained automatic promotion into League One at the end of the 2015-16 season, and so will be playing third tier football next year. Their Managing Director Greig Box Turnbull doesn't reject it outright, but has calculated that it will leave his club with revenue loss of £185,000 per season and wants to see how that is addressed:
"At first glance the proposal would see a major restructuring of the game and we need to assess all of the implications. Within the document we have received the Football League suggest the change would cost a League One club around £185,000 in lost revenue due to the reduction in games. Obviously this is a concern and we need to sit down as a Board and analyse the proposal in its entirety before agreeing the club’s position. As a club as we are always open to discussing how the game can be improved for the benefit of all involved, but it has to be balanced and economically viable."
In League One, Peterborough United Chairman Barry Fry gave a neutral view of the proposals, but like Bradford City he complained that his club had not been involved in the drawing up of these plans:
"I'm very surprised with all my contacts in the game that I didn't know about this already. Until I see the proposals and how it affects the clubs I can't really comment."
Up in the Championship, the reaction to the proposals was much more positive. Rotherham United Chairman Tony Stewart believed the actual plans would not affect his club too much, but said that the financial gap between the Premier League and the Championship, and then between the Championship and League One was too great, and said that was worrying him more than the plans themselves:
"It's a long time in football until 2018, the proposals don't worry me. I've built a stadium and invested a lot of money in order to enjoy the fruits of higher-tier football. If I had not had that ambition I wouldn't have spent over £30 million. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't bother me. What I will say is there is a big gulf between the Championship and the Premier League, a great divide, and the money that is shared out is disproportionate. The problem now is foreign investors coming in and taking a gamble. They're mortgaging a lot of money to try and get in the Premier League and it's turning into a bit of a casino. There is also a divide between the Championship and League One and Two and the gaps need filling in."
The other positive vibe came from Championship side Brentford, with Chief Executive Mark Devlin giving it the thumbs up. He said that the two main issues that he had with the proposals were whether the Premier League would be willing to provide any financial incentives for those clubs who would be affected adversely, and as a consequence whether Premier League 'B Teams' would be in or out of scope of the proposals, with a big question mark being left by the League having not stated how those additional eight spaces in their structure would be filled. However, overall he was happy with what was on the table:
"The Football League is to be absolutely applauded for coming up with an innovative and far-reaching approach and set of proposals. These proposals are a really good start for how we can tackle some of the problems Football League clubs are facing. I'm not saying all the proposals are workable and they're bound to divide opinion but I look at them very positively. Undoubtedly the Premier League may well be able to offer financial incentives to make that much more of an appealing proposition, but on a personal basis I would prefer to see National League teams. I think it would be much better if there are more teams serving their communities rather than B teams from Premier League sides."
Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey admitted yesterday that they had yet to consult with the National League (aka the Football Conference) which would be the division that would potentially receive the greatest impact if no 'B Teams' are introduced, with potentially up to eight teams taken out of their set-up. They have issued a statement saying that they plan to discuss the proposals with their own member clubs:
"The National League has received the discussion paper 'A Whole Game Solution' from The Football League. The proposals outlined therein appear to have potentially fundamental implications for our competition, and as such, The National League will consider these carefully in consultation with our clubs and discuss the matter with the game's governing bodies at the earliest opportunity."
Aside from the big question mark over whether these proposals involve Premier League B Teams being introduced by the back door, Harvey has also failed to rule out the prospect of Scottish giants Rangers and Celtic being co-opted into the solution, although admitted that he could see that facing heavy opposition.
If the Football League's proposals are to be passed, the League's constitutional rules require a 90 per cent approval rate. This would mean that 65 of the current 72 clubs would have to vote for the changes to go through. The League's 2016 AGM will only require a discussion about the proposals to take place, with any votes being non-binding. Any final vote on the proposals would take place during the 2017 Football League AGM.
Yeovil Town Ladies manager Jamie Sherwood believes that sacrifices made by his players are ultimately worth it when they produce results like last night's win over Bristol City Women. Their 2-0 win over their local rivals allowed them to leapfrog their opponents into second place in the FAWSL2 table and level on points with Everton Ladies. That was the first step in a busy weekend for the Glovers, with Aston Villa Ladies the visitors to Huish Park on Sunday, meaning that the players and coaching staff will not be getting any rest.
With the players and coaches having other work and family commitments to juggle during that period, that means that they probably won't get any significant time to rest until Sunday evening. Sherwood told BBC Somerset that if they came out with six points from both games, that the effort put in would be worth it, and encouraged fans to return to Huish Park on Sunday afternoon to provide their support for the players:
"It's more than worth it. It's more than every sacrifice that you make for the players and the staff. We make sacrifices and nights like this make those sacrifices more than worthwhile. So I urge everybody who lives in Somerset to get down to Huish Park on Sunday and to continue to make this a fortress for us."
The female Glovers have yet to lose a match at their new Huish Park home at FAWSL2 level, despite facing a number of difficult opponents during that time. Sherwood was pleased with the way his team were organised on the evening, and how clinical they had been in front of goal as strikes from Sarah Wiltshire and Ellie Curson gave them the Thursday night win:
"We just keep doing what we're doing. We go again. Tonight was all about the performance and making sure that we knew our roles and responsibilities and being clinical with our opportunities. There weren't many goal threats for either side but we were very clinical today, and it was really pleasing to see the goals go in. I think that we proved today from the first whistle to the last whistle that this is our home, and no-one comes to our home and takes anything off us. This is our home and our fortress."
Yeovil Town Ladies leapfrogged their local rivals on Thursday night as a 2-0 victory over Bristol City ended their opponents FAWSL2 unbeaten run. Until the match at Huish Park, Bristol hadn't lost a game in the league this year, and only one side had scored against them. That side was Yeovil Town, who had narrowly lost to them on the opening day of the season, and they avenged that 3-2 defeat thanks to goals from Sarah Wiltshire and captain Ellie Curson that lifted them into second place in the FAWSL2 table, with the top three sides all tied on thirteen points.
When the two sides met at the Stoke Gifford Stadium earlier in the season, a poor start by the Glovers was largely responsible for their demise. This time around the tables were most certainly turned as Yeovil scored in the first minute with their first attack of the game. A low cross by Helen Bleazard was met by Sarah Wiltshire and she was able to score her fifth goal of the season as she converted at the back post.
Inevitably Bristol tried to hit back, but striker Millie Farrow was denied by Glovers keeper Charlotte Haynes. Half an hour into the match, the Glovers doubled their lead, as Ellie Curson took advantage of Bristol goalkeeper Caitlin Leach being significantly off her line as she lobbed the goalkeeper with a deep ball into the box that went straight into the back of the net for a 2-0 half time lead.
During the second period, Yeovil had to do a lot more defending, but their three centre-backs in particular did a great job of shielding goalkeeper Charlotte Haynes, whose main job was that of dealing with crosses rather than direct attempts on goal. Captain Ellis Curson was full of praise for that defensive trio after the game, although she said the quickfire start was crucial in asserting their authority on the game:
"I'm still in shock at how quick we scored because it doesn't happen often. We have struggled to score here at Huish Park so to do it in the first few minutes was a great start. If we didn't manage to do that it may have gone the other way, but we got three points in bag and go to joint top of the league. In the second half we sat in and protected our goal, we said that we would come out in the second half and not concede, which we did. The back three were exceptional; Kayleigh Green was outstanding, Hannah (Short) and Nicola (Cousins) were outstanding as well. They didn't have many chances despite being on top in the second half, but every team will have spells so it's about how you manage it, I thought we managed it well."
The Ladies are back in action at Huish Park on Sunday in another FAWSL2 match, with Aston Villa Ladies their opponents - kick-off is at 2.00p.m. with all Main Stand facilities open to fans.
Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 2 Bristol City Ladies 0.
Yeovil Town Ladies: (3-5-2) Charlotte Haynes; Kayleigh Green, Hannah Short, Nicola Cousins; Helen Bleazard, Steph Williams, Ellie Curson, Nadia Lawrence, Kelly Snook; Annie Heatherson, Sarah Wiltshire
Substitutes: Natasha Knapman (76 mins for Annie Heatherson), Emily Donovan (57 mins for Steph Williams), Ellis Hillman, Lauren Townsend, Charlotte Johnson, Sammi Quayle, Jessie Jones (86 mins for Kelly Snook)