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29 May 2015 : 2015-16 League Two Early Bookies Odds
Yeovil Town are predicted to finish in upper mid-table for the 2015-16 season, if the early bookies odds are anything to go by. With the League Two line-ups now complete, most bookmakers have produced odds for the key scenarios, and their gambit is to place the Glovers either halfway or just above halfway in their lists of fancied clubs. The majority are tipping Portsmouth, Oxford United, Leyton Orient, Bristol Rovers and Luton Town as their key five to watch, with Dagenham and Redbridge, Morecambe and Accrington Stanley labelled as outsiders.

The bookies analysis of the division appears to lean sharply towards clubs with higher media profiles. Portsmouth (16th) and Accrington Stanley (17th) finished one point apart in the 2014-15 League Two table, yet are positioned at opposite ends in the betting lists. Meanwhile Oxford United (13th) and Luton Town (8th) are more highly fancied than beaten play-off trio Wycombe Wanderers, Stevenage and Plymouth Argyle. Of the other two fancied clubs, Leyton Orient were relegated from League One, whilst Bristol Rovers finished behind Barnet in the Conference National table, but went up via the play-offs.

As with all of these things, you need to shop around as betting prices change from day to day and from bookie to bookie. However, for each major betting option, this is what is currently on show:

League Two Champions: (odds via BetFred) Portsmouth 9/2; Leyton Orient 9/1; Oxford United 10/1; Luton Town 12/1; Bristol Rovers, Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Stevenage 14/1; Notts County, Wycombe Wanderers 16/1; Carlisle United, Crawley Town, Barnet, Yeovil Town 20/1; Newport County, Exeter City 25/1; Cambridge United, York City, AFC Wimbledon, Hartlepool United 33/1; Mansfield 40/1; Morecambe 50/1; Dagenham and Redbridge, Accrington Stanley 66/1.

Best odds for Yeovil Town for being League Two Champions come in at 20/1 with ToteSport, BetFred and Coral.

League Two Promotion: (odds via BetFred) Portsmouth Evens; Leyton Orient, Oxford United 15/8; Luton Town, Bristol Rovers 3/1; Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Stevenage 4/1; Notts County, Wycombe Wanderers 9/2; Carlisle United, Yeovil Town 11/2; Crawley Town, Barnet 6/1; AFC Wimbledon 13/2; Newport County, Cambridge United, York City, Hartlepool United 7/1; Exeter City, Mansfield 9/1; Morecambe, Dagenham and Redbridge 20/1; Accrington Stanley 25/1.

Best odds for Yeovil Town for League Two promotion come in at 11/2 with ToteSport and BetFred.

Top Seven Finish: (odds via BetVictor) Portsmouth 4/7; Oxford United 6/5; Luton Town 5/4; Bristol Rovers, Leyton Orient, Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle 6/4; Carlisle United, Notts County 7/4; Stevenage, Yeovil Town 2/1; Crawley Town, Wycombe Wanderers 9/4; Hartlepool United, York City, Newport County, Cambridge United 11/4; Barnet, Exeter City, AFC Wimbledon, Mansfield 3/1; Dagenham and Redbridge 6/1; Accrington Stanley 8/1.

Best odds for Yeovil Town come in at 2/1 with BetVictor. There are only two bookmakers listed as offering odds for a top seven finish at present.

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29 May 2015 : Orient Bring In Hendon As New Boss
Leyton Orient have appointed a new manager as a successor to Fabio Liverani, who left earlier this month. They have taken on former player Ian Hendon as their new boss, and he will take the title of Head Coach from July 1st. He has spent the last four years working at West Ham United as a first team coach, and thus becomes the second member of the Hammers coaching team to become a League Two manager with Teddy Sheringham having joined Stevenage last week.

Hendon is 43 years old and played for Orient between 1993 and 1997, making 153 appearances towards the start of his playing career. He ended his time playing at Barnet, where he became their first team manager in 2008, and was in charge there for 74 games. An ultra-brief 18 day stay at Dover Athletic in 2010 saw him jump ship for an assistant manager's job at Gillingham that was then followed by him moving to West Ham in the summer of 2011, initially as their Development Coach, but later upgraded to include first team duties.

He becomes Orient's fifth manager in under a year - during the 2014-15 campaign they were relegated to League Two, having got their way through Russell Slade (12 games), Kevin Nugent (7 games), Mauro Milanese (8 games) and Fabio Liverani (27 matches), with the latter being the man at the helm when they dropped down to the fourth tier, along with Yeovil Town.

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28 May 2015 : Argyle Part Company With Sheridan After Play-Off Defeat
League Two side Plymouth Argyle have today parted company with their first team manager. John Sheridan, who had been at Home Park for two-and-a-half years, leaves with a year left on his contract, with the Pilgrims statement suggesting that his departure was a genuine case of 'mutual consent'. They state that Sheridan had indicated a desire to relocate back to the North of England for family reasons.

Sheridan originally hails from Stretford, Manchester and was a former Manchester City trainee, who had almost exclusively carved out a career in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with his previous two management contracts being with Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. However, for the last 126 matches he's been down in Devon, taking Argyle from one point outside the League Two relegation zone in January 2013, to the League Two play-offs in May 2015.

Despite that, there have been whispers that he might be on his way out. Plymouth's statement though steers well clear of any suggestion that they did the pushing, with owner and Chairman James Brent paying tribute to Sheridan's time at Home Park:

"John has made a significant contribution to the Pilgrimsí cause, for which we will always be very grateful. Under his management, Argyle were brought back from the brink of relegation out of the Football League and were subsequently transformed into League 2 promotion contenders. Reaching the play-offs last season, two years after surviving the drop into non-league on the final day of the 2012-13 campaign, is an achievement of which John, his management team, and the players should rightly be proud. Everyone at Home Park wishes John every success in his future career."

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28 May 2015 : Football League Looking For New Sponsors For Two Competitions
The Football League have indicated that they will be looking for new sponsors of two of its competitions. Whilst the main Football League competition will remain under the title of Sky Bet for the 2015-16 season, this is the last season of the bookmaker's current three year deal, and so the main sponsorship will be up for grabs in the summer of 2016.

The League have indicated that they have been given a new offer from Sky Bet for a two year extension to that deal, but have decided to open up opportunities to other interested parties, suggesting that they think they can do better than the current offer that is on the table. The League indicate that they have accepted terms that would allow Sky Bet to remain as the League's betting partner for a two year period, even if the League choose to go with a separate main sponsor, although presumably that depends upon any prospective sponsor not being connected with a rival in the betting industry.

One sponsorship deal that will definitely be ending after the 2015-16 season is Capital One's four year deal relating to the Football League Cup. The credit card company have decided that they will not be extending their current deal, meaning that will also be up for grabs in the summer of 2016. Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has confirmed that the League will now be using the next twelve months to find new sponsors for these competitions as they enter their final year in their current guise:

"We would like to thank both Sky Bet and Capital One for their ongoing support and for the frank and positive discussions we have had with them in recent months. We will now begin discussions with potential new partners for our League competition and the League Cup. We do so from a position of strength, with both competitions and our clubs in excellent shape and with a proven track record for delivering outstanding value to our partners."

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27 May 2015 : Bristol City To Visit In Third Pre-Season Friendly
Yeovil Town have arranged their third pre-season friendly for the 2015-16 season. In addition to two matches that will be played in Cornwall against Truro City (July 17th) and Callington Town (July 19th) as part of a short pre-season tour, the Glovers will also play host to Bristol City at Huish Park on Thursday 30th July, kick-off 7.45p.m.

City were promoted from League One as Champions during the season just gone, and hence will visit the club as a Championship side. They had been regular pre-season opponents until the two clubs began to cross swords as league competitors, meeting in four consecutive seasons between 2008 and 2011, before the pair of League One matches during the 2014-15 season.

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27 May 2015 : Paul Sturrock Talks About His New Management Contract
Yesterday saw Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock agree his first formal contract with the club, following his arrival at Huish Park at the start of April. Agreeing a two year deal, directly after signing he spoke to BBC Somerset reporter James Hanson about his contract, the status of various other people at the club who are also discussing deals, and the latest on his summer recruitment plans. Read that interview via the link below.

Link: Paul Sturrock Speaks To The BBC After He Signed A New Management Contract.

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26 May 2015 : Six Yeovil Deals Lined Up For Pre-Season Start
Yeovil Town boss Paul Sturrock has indicated that he has - in principle - set up deals with six unnamed players for the 2015-16 season. With the Football League season having formally ended over the weekend, the club are now dealing with the task of sorting out a new squad for next season, and it seems that he at least has verbal agreement with players who should be turning up for pre-season training on July 1st.

With most players holding existing contracts until June 30th at their current clubs, deals cannot be easily struck until after that date, meaning that for now the names of those players will stay under wraps. However, Sturrock has told the club's website that he is confident those deals are now in the bag:

"We have been in conversation with at least six players and I am extremely confident that they will sign for the club, but we cannot release any names until July 1st when their outgoing contracts end. It is a frustrating time for most clubs right now with players and agents away on holiday which of course makes the whole process more difficult."

Negotiations with Kevin Dawson and Sam Foley continue, with both players having been offered unspecified deals to remain at the club. The two midfielders are known to have been on holiday since the end of the season.

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26 May 2015 : Sturrock Pens Management Contract
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock has finally completed the signing of his new contract. The former Plymouth Argyle and Southend United boss, who arrived at the club during April, has penned a two year contract at the club, thus tying him to Huish Park until the summer of 2017. The Western Gazette have confirmed that Sturrock and Chairman John Fry have penned signatures on the deal. Prior to that, the Cornwall-based boss had been working on a more informal basis, since arriving at the club on April 9th.

The Glovers have also arranged a second pre-season friendly against South West Peninsula League Premier Division Callington - a Cornish-based club who the Glovers will play on Sunday 19th July. This game comes two days after the already-arranged match against Truro City and unsurprisingly means that the club will be spending a long weekend down in Cornwall as part of a pre-season first team squad bonding exercise, with other friendlies kicking in later in July upon their return.

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26 May 2015 : An Evening With Ben Smith
Next month, football fans will get the chance to talk to former Yeovil Town midfielder Ben Smith at an evening organised by the Capital Glovers in London. The event will see Ben - who played for Arsenal, Reading, Yeovil Town, Southend United, Hereford United, Shrewsbury Town, Weymouth and Crawley Town before finishing his career with AFC Sudbury and Thurrock - talk about his new book Journeyman, which is getting impressive reviews around various Football League clubs and football websites since its launch last month.

The event will be held in the Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, which is situated close to Angel tube station, and walking distance from King's Cross and St Pancras mainline stations in Central London. Fans of all of Ben's former clubs, or those interested in lower league football in general are welcome to come along. The Capital Glovers write:

The Capital Glovers presents 'An Evening with Ben Smith'
'Author of Journeyman : One Man's Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football'

Date/Venue: 7.00p.m. Wednesday June 17th, The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, London EC1V 4NJ

A chat about his new book followed by a question and answer session with the ex-Arsenal, Reading, Yeovil Town, Southend United, Hereford United, Shrewsbury, Weymouth and Crawley Town midfielder. It's free entry but we'll be holding a raffle and asking for donations for The Adam Stansfield Foundation a charity extremely close to the hearts of fans of Yeovil Town and Hereford, two of Ben's former clubs. June 17th is also the day the Football League fixtures are released so come along and plan your awaydays over a pint and hear what life's really like in the lower reaches of English football.

For more information :
Email :
Twitter : @capitalglovers

Link: Facebook Event - Add This To Your Calendar.

Link: Press Release : Former Glovers Midfielder Publishes Autobiography.

Link: Ciderspace Book Review : Ben Smith - Journeyman - One Man's Odyssey Through The Lower Leagues Of English Football.

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25 May 2015 : Watford Victory Stretches Ladies Unbeaten Run To Six
Yeovil Town Ladies stretched their unbeaten run to six matches as they firmly cemented their third place slot in the FA Women's Super League by victory over Watford Ladies yesterday. In a match played at Berkhamstead, the Glovers took charge right from the start of the match, leading from the fourth minute and thereafter always in control of the game.

The scoring was opened by Natasha Knapman, whose fourth minute looping header put Yeovil into the lead, as she converted Annie Heatherson's cross. Then with less than ten minutes on the clock, that lead was doubled, as the experienced Helen Bleazard converted a right wing cross into the back of the net. Watford's Stacie Donnelly brought her side back into the game briefly before half time, but that only lasted two minutes when Ellie Curson provided an accurate pass for Heatherson to convert for a 3-1 lead at the break.

A more even second period eventually saw Yeovil extend their lead further, as Annie Heatherson's 73rd minute free kick beat Watford's Shayla Burgess, who was unable to keep out the powerful shot. And although Watford pulled one back late on, via Jenna Dear's penalty kick, awarded for a foul by Nicola Cousins, it was Yeovil who gained all three points with confident ease.

Attention now turns to next Sunday - Yeovil's final match before they go into a month's break due to the Women's World Cup. That match couldn't be bigger, with Doncaster Rovers Belles travelling to the Jones Stadium, Sherborne, with Yeovil now just three points behind the top two sides, and Donny one of those clubs in their sights. Set a date in your diary for Sunday 31st May, with a 2.00p.m. kick-off as the Glovers seek to avenge the earlier 2-1 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium - their last defeat, from two months ago.

Final Score: Watford Ladies 2 Yeovil Town Ladies 4.

Scorers: Natasha Knapman (0-1, 4 mins), Helen Bleazard (0-2, 9 mins), Stacie Donnelly (1-2, 39 mins), Annie Heatherson (1-3, 41 mins), Annie Heatherson (1-4, 72 mins), Jenna Dear (2-4, 85 mins, pen).

Yeovil Town Ladies: Charlotte Haynes; Ebony Dover, Natalie Haigh (Jordan Guard 79), Nicola Cousins; Ellie Issac, Ellie Curson, Paige Stewart (Alys Hinchcliffe 62), Stephanie Williams, Helen Bleazard; Annie Heatherson (Amy Wathan 74), Natasha Knapman.

Subs not used: Nicola Lipscombe, Stacey Pearson, Shauna Cossens

Yeovil Bookings: None.

Attendance: 465.

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24 May 2015 : Sturrock Not Worried About Recruitment Plans
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock is unconcerned by the club's current progress in recruiting new players for the 2015-16 season. Charged with the task of recruiting almost a brand new squad in his first summer in charge, it's likely that he will need to need to bring in around 15 new players at the very least to support a 20 man first team squad.

That has led to concerns from supporters as to how quickly a new squad can be recruited, although Sturrock is no stranger to such a task, having once signed up 17 players in a single day, shortly after his arrival at Southend United as manager in 2010, when the Essex club had just had a transfer embargo from the previous season lifted. With five-and-a-half weeks of the summer still to go before the players are due to arrive for pre-season, and two-and-a-half months before the new season starts, this is clearly different circumstances, and Sturrock has told the Western Gazette that he has no concerns about the current situation:

"As long as I've got 11 for the first game I'm not worried. I want a condensed squad this year and then hope everyone stays healthy. It's going to be hard. We're not going to be playing free-flowing football. We're going to start with a stammer because with 20 players all of a sudden coming together it is going to take a while to blend."

For those fans getting impatient or worried about how quickly signings might be made, it's worth nothing that last season almost all new arrivals were announced during the week or so around the start of pre-season training. With most professional contracts beginning on July 1st - the same day that pre-season training usually commences - that's no surprise, with that date concentrating the minds of players, agents, managers and boardrooms to get deals finalised. It's also during that week that players wanting to sign will arrive at the club, fresh from their summer holidays.

Last summer, only Nathan Smith - a former player returning to Somerset, and Hampshire-based Aaron Martin, chose to sign up early on, whilst five of the club's other signings were spread across the week leading to the start of pre-season training. Negotiations with Bristol City for Luke Ayling's services meant that Brendan Moloney's arrival came in slightly later, whilst Ben Nugent's arrival was only confirmed once he'd got over a slight training ground injury. In the end, with the exception of Simon Gillett, the whole first team squad was present for the first pre-season friendly (with Nugent as a spectator). The relevant dates each player signed up were:

21/05/2014 : Nathan Smith
04/06/2014 : Aaron Martin
27/06/2014 : AJ Leitch-Smith
30/06/2014 : Jakub Sokolik
30/06/2014 : Chris Weale
30/06/2014 : Artur Krysiak
03/07/2014 : James Berrett
08/07/2014 : Brendan Moloney
11/07/2014 : Ben Nugent (loan)
07/08/2014 : Simon Gillett

Sturrock has indicated via Facebook that he is close to agreeing the club's pre-season friendly schedule, whilst there may be some players revealed next week - although inevitably that will depend upon whether any relevant talks have been finalised.

As for other player contract news, Sturrock has indicated that he has still yet to hear back from any of James Berrett, Adam Morgan, AJ Leitch-Smith and Artur Krysiak, concerning the severance offers the quartet have been given. All four are on two year deals, but have been invited to leave the club in return for pay-offs, with each player told that they would not be given a 2015-16 squad number if they choose to reject the offer and stay on the Huish Park payroll.

The contractual situation concerning himself, Terry Skiverton and Darren Way has also yet to be confirmed, with all three working on a rolling basis at present, whilst their own deals are thrashed out. Skiverton and Way have been tasked with taking in a number of Premier League Under-21 matches as their season draws to a close - Swansea City supporters have indicated that Way was present at their recent match that saw the Welsh club pick up the Development League Two title. The Yeovil boss has hinted that the need to take in those sort of matches has taken priority ahead of their own contracts.

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23 May 2015 : Away Day Journeys Drop For 2015-16 Season
Yeovil Town's full list of 2015-16 League opponents is now known, after the conclusion of this afternoon's League Two play-off final. The match between Southend United and Wycombe Wanderers went the full distance, as it took 120 minutes and penalties to separate the two sides, with the Essex side the ultimate winners. A Joe Jacobson free kick that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar, via Southend's goalkeeper during extra time put Wycombe into the lead, but that was cancelled out by Joe Piggott's 120th minute equalising goal that halted Wycombe fans' premature celebrations.

In front of 38,252 spectators - minus a number of Southend fans who had already left Wembley Stadium prior to their equaliser (and thus missed what followed), spot kicks had to settle it. Southend's Ben Coker had his saved early on, giving Wycombe the advantage, but then they saw Matt Bloomfield's penalty saved to level it out at 3-3. With the next two penalties being scored, that took it into sudden death. There Southend United triumphed by a 7-6 scoreline, with Southend keeper Dan Bentley the hero, brilliantly saving Sam Wood's penalty to take the Essex side into League One.

The end result means that Yeovil Town will be travelling to Adams Park to play Wycombe Wanderers next season - our first trip there for three seasons. As for mileage for next season, there is a radical drop in the distance Yeovil Town fans will have to travel to get to away matches during the 2015-16 season. Last year, it took 9,150 miles to cover all 23 away matches, but in the midst of a heavily southern-based division, that will now drop to 7,746 miles as a round trip. There are 12 clubs accessible in under 150 miles, whereas last season there were only four clubs falling within that reach. As for clubs next season that are under 100 miles away, next season you get five of them, whilst last season only Bristol City and Swindon Town fitted into that 'local' category.

The full list of League Two clubs, along with the one-way distances from Huish Park to the relevant stadiums, are shown below:

2015-16 League Two Line-Up: Yeovil Town, Bristol Rovers (44), Exeter City (47), Newport County (86), Plymouth Argyle (90), Portsmouth (96), Oxford United (115), AFC Wimbledon (122), Wycombe Wanderers (122), Barnet (130), Leyton Orient (147), Luton Town (148), Crawley Town (148), Stevenage (153), Northampton Town (155), Dagenham and Redridge (169), Cambridge United (183), Notts County (202), Mansfield Town (215), Accrington Stanley (261), Morecambe (279), York City (287), Hartlepool United (336), Carlisle United (338).

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22 May 2015 : Football League Crowds Back Above 16 Million Again
The Football League have published their overall attendance statistics for the 2014-15 season. The headline figure is that aggregate attendances across all three divisons increased by more than 600,000 - up by four percent compared with the previous year. Precise figures are 16,319,112 spectators coming through the turnstiles, compared with 15,703,427 (2013-14 season) and 15,566,887 (2012-13 season).

The League note that it is the 12th consecutive season that they've recorded over 15 million spectator visits to their games, with crowds in the Football League having generally increased since the introduction of the play-off system, and thanks to the changing face of the game from one that had a hooligan reputation, into one that is more geared towards families. There had been a slight downward trend, probably due to global economic problems, but the introduction of the latest figures would imply that they are past that mini dip that saw crowds dip below the 16 million mark for two seasons. Historical figures are as follows:

2005-06 : 16.2 million
2006-07 : 16.4 million
2007-08 : 16.2 million
2008-09 : 16.3 million
2009-10 : 17.1 million
2010-11 : 16.1 million
2011-12 : 16.3 million
2012-13 : 15.6 million
2013-14 : 15.7 million
2014-15 : 16.3 million

Divisional figures see the Championship average gates of 17,847, whilst League One recorded an average of 7,038 with a total of 3.9 million individual spectator visits. In League Two, the average gate was 4,679 with 2.6 million spectator visits.

Link: 2014-15 Highest League One Attendances.

Link: 2014-15 Lowest League One Attendances.

Link: Yeovil Town Attendance Statistics Since 1979.

Link: Football League 2005-06 Attendances.

Link: Football League 2009-10 Attendances.

Link: Football League 2010-11 Attendances.

Link: Football League 2011-12 Attendances.

Link: Football League 2013-14 Attendances.

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