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31 May 2012 : Football League Seeks To Kick Out Gamesmanship
Following our earlier news item, some of the core detail has been coming out of the Football League's Annual General Meeting in Portugal. Represented by their 72 member clubs, the League have voted unanimously to call for a clampdown on 'gamesmanship' within football matches - the sort of borderline issues that are left to matchday referees to sort out.

The proposal was initiated by Exeter City Chairman Edward Chorlton and outlines the three following principles that they want to establish for the 2012-13 season:

"1. Gamesmanship has no place in our game. Football League matches should be played within a culture of sportsmanship not gamesmanship.

2. Clubs will undertake to instruct managers, coaches and players accordingly - in particular to discourage actions which bring the game's reputation into disrepute, such as:

a) showing disrespect to match officials; and/or
b) those actions that undermine a sporting culture including diving/simulation, time wasting and feigning injury.

3. In the first year of this initiative, The League will request that referees support this initiative by taking more robust action, particularly in the following situations:

a) obstructing the quick taking of free-kicks
b) stealing ground at throw-ins.
"

The proof of the pudding will of course be in the eating, but Football League Chairman Greg Clarke has welcomed the move in a statement issued by the league today:

"As a collective of clubs we have a responsibility to protect the image and long term health of the game of football. In supporting these proposals, League clubs have shown a determination to give a lead in this important area. We will now use them as a platform from which to engage with those parties that can help us change our game for the better."


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31 May 2012 : Turf Wars At The Football League AGM
The Football League are today hosting their Annual General Meeting, where all 72 Chairmen are invited to discuss current and forthcoming issues affecting each of the member clubs. The meeting is being held in Portugal, across a two day period, and in addition to formally welcoming Fleetwood Town and York City to their membership, will also discuss a number of potential rule changes.

The most lengthy and contentious debate is likely to come from the topic of Artificial Pitches. This came up back in February 2012, and a consultation on the subject with all interested parties ended on April 30th 2012, with the idea of putting it to a vote during the summer AGM.

The move has been initated from clubs like Accrington Stanley, who believe that they can bring in additional revenues by having an all-weather pitch in place. Back in March 2012, Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry indicated that he would be supporting such a move, whilst Oldham Athletic - who used a plastic pitch back in the 1980s - have stated that they would not oppose the move, although have stopped short of saying whether they would reintroduce a synthetic surface at Boundary Park.

In the case of the Glovers, they in theory have an agreement for Blue Sky International to provide them with a free playing surface, following last October's announcement, although with the claimed pre-season tour of the USA not yet having materialised, the situation on this is unclear.

According to the BBC Sport website though, they expect that the proposals will not be carried across all three Football League divisions, because the regulations would need to be passed by more than 50 percent of Championship clubs, and it is in this division where the BBC believe the opposition to plastic pitches lies.

One option is to limit the rule to clubs at League One and League Two level, but of course that then presents the issue of what happens when a club is promoted to the Championship or relegated to the Conference - clubs such as Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United that have spent recent seasons in the Championship might think twice about installing such pitches, whilst sides like Sheffield United might feel aggrieved at having to play on them, given their hopes are of making their stay in League One too brief an experience to warrant them investing in such a surface.

Any team implementing such a surface would be sending out a huge message to their supporters saying "we have no ambitions towards Championship level football", given that any flipping between grass and artificial turfs is likely to mean a six figure sum. The same would apply if a club dropped out of the Football League, which of course is not an impossibility for a club of Accrington's size.

The second major item on the agenda is that of the number of substitutes allowed in Football League matches (and associated cup competitions). This issue has flip-flopped between five and seven substitutes over the past few seasons. Sponsored by Birmingham City and Derby County, this one is expected to be voted through, with seven substitutes restored for next season. The views of Gary Johnson are not known here, however his predecessor and assistant manager Terry Skiverton heavily criticised the decision to reduce the numbers down to five last summer.

The third topic will doubtless involve HMRC and the wider issue of the implementation of new 'Financial Fair Play' rules. Currently Portsmouth and Coventry City are due to enter League One whilst under a transfer embargo, with the former still in administration. Pompey have been told they can definitely start the 2012-13 season whilst still in administration. However, with new rules coming in, and HMRC having recently lost a High Court case, the League will want to put great emphasis upon the need for clubs to stay out of trouble - with a transfer embargo planned for all clubs that fall more than one month behind their payments to the tax man.


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30 May 2012 : Foley Has Heart Set On League One Challenge
Yeovil Town's new signing Sam Foley has said that the challenge of playing at League One level was impossible to turn down. The former Newport County midfielder/striker has agreed a one year contract with the club for the 2012-13 season, which he will sign on July 1st, giving him a second chance of making it in the Football League after spending time on Cheltenham Town's books as their Youth Team captain.

Foley has been with Newport since February 2009, scoring 38 goals from 96 starts, in almost 150 appearances for the South Wales side, and last season was their top scorer with 12 goals to his name. He has told the South Wales Argus that having turned 25 years old now, he wanted to give League football a second shot:

"Iím very excited by the move. It wasnít an easy decision but I think it was a good one for me. Newport County will always be close to my heart and if there was one club where I could have played the whole of my career it would be Newport. I was very happy and the club offered me a new contract but I had my heart set on progressing and the opportunity to play in League One is just amazing. I know I can play at that level and itís a short career. The time has gone so fast since I joined and Iím 25 now so itís the right time to move on."

The former Irish Under-18 international has been likened to Gavin Williams in his style of play by his new boss Gary Johnson. Foley said that another reason for him choosing the Glovers was that he could see the size of the first team squad as being an advantage in forming good relationships with his new team-mates:

"We had a great team spirit (at Newport) and that is one of the reasons Iíve chosen Yeovil because Gary Johnson has a small squad with great camaraderie there, it reminds me of Newport. Hopefully they (Newport) can join me in the League before too long."

Foley's old boss Justin Edinburgh, who managed Rushden and Diamonds when they played Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, admitted that he was sorry to lose his player, but found it hard to knock his decision, feeling that he had played a part in progressing the player's career:

"Weíre disappointed to see Sam leave but it is a great opportunity for him to play in League One. With the form he showed since I came to the club he will be missed but he was out of contract and wanted to better himself. We wish him all the best. He wasnít a regular when I arrived so I take some satisfaction from the move. I think I developed him as a player so there is a bit of pride there and for his team-mates who helped him as well."


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30 May 2012 : 2012-13 Pre-Season Friendly Schedule Published
Yeovil Town have published the main bulk of their 2012-13 Pre-Season Friendly schedule. In addition to the previously publicised home friendly against Stoke City, the Glovers have formalised arrangements for five more matches. In addition to previously mentioned trips to Dorchester Town and Poole Town, the Glovers will also play home games against Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers and Exeter City.

The full list is as follows:

Tuesday 17th July : Poole Town (away) : Kick-off 7.45p.m.
Saturday 21st July : Plymouth Argyle (home) : Kick-off 3.00p.m.
Tuesday 24th July : Dorchester Town (away) : Kick-off 7.45p.m.
Saturday 28th July : Bristol Rovers (home) : Kick-off 12.00 noon
Tuesday 7th August : Stoke City (home) : Kick-Off 7.45p.m.
Saturday 11th August : Exeter City (home) : Kick-off 3.00p.m.

Conspicuous by it's absence, there is no mention of the club's planned tour of the USA, that was announced last October, as part of a deal with American Artificial Turf manufacturer Blue Sky International.

The season proper begins on or around Tuesday 14th August, with a Carling Cup tie before the Football League season commences on the following Saturday. For a full list of key dates refer to this earlier article.

All of these dates will appear shortly in the Forthcoming Events column on the Ciderspace Home Page if you need to refer to them in the future.


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30 May 2012 : Gary Johnson Talks About The Three Signings
Yesterday, Yeovil Town signed up two new players, with Sam Foley coming in from Newport County, whilst Keanu Marsh-Brown signed after recently being released by Oldham Athletic. On top of that Richard Hinds agreed a new deal, giving manager Gary Johnson a boost just before he goes on holiday.

Following the three bits of contract news, Johnson spoke to BBC Bristol Sports Editor Geoff Twentyman in an interview that was broadcast on BBC Somerset's Drive programme yesterday. That interview with the BBC can be read via the link below.

Link: Gary Johnson Speaks To The BBC After Three Players Signed Up.


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29 May 2012 : Johnson Hoping That 'Late Developer' Comes Good
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson believes new signing Sam Foley can make a late breakthrough into professional football, despite once being released by League Two side Cheltenham Town. The 25 year old has agreed a one year deal at the club for the 2012-13 season, having spent most of his career in non-league football, playing for Bath City, Kidderminster Harriers, Redditch United and most recently Newport County.

Foley was Newport's top scorer during the 2011-12 season, with 12 goals to his name, and speaking to BBC Somerset, Gary Johnson felt that the midfielder/striker's early career probably did him a disservice, with the player having even played rugby during his teens before making the switch across to football. Johnson felt his late introduction into the game meant that he was only now catching up, and compares him to attacking midfielder Gavin Williams in terms of what to expect from him as a player:

"Sam Foley is one that is probably a bit of a late developer in football. But the fans will see on the YouTube site the sorts of goals that he scores. He can play in midfield and he can play up front, and he can play in the hole. He's a very good footballer, not only in scoring goals, but in creating goals. He's similar to like Gavin (Williams) plays really. He's young enough, he's keen, and he's looking forward to it very much. He just showed me that he wanted to prove himself at this level, and I think and he thinks that he is ready for that."

The goals clips that Gary refers to can be accessed via the link below. A full profile on Sam can also be read, via our earlier news item.

Link: Sam Foley : Youtube Goals Collection.

Link: Foley Signed Up By Glovers From Newport.


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29 May 2012 : Hinds Returns To Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town central defender Richard Hinds has agreed a new contract for next season. The 31 year old had technically left Huish Park at the end of April, when his contract ran out, and was not included in the list of players who had been offered new deals, but earlier this month manager Gary Johnson stated that he was still looking to complete a deal with the Sheffield-born player.

Hinds, who joined the club in February 2012, has so far made 16 appearances for the club, scoring one goal. He has agreed a one year contract with the club for the 2012-13 season.

Link: Richard Hinds : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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29 May 2012 : Marsh-Brown Agrees Yeovil Town Contract
Yeovil Town have signed up former Oldham Athletic and Fulham winger Keanu Marsh-Brown on a contract for next season. The 19 year old has joined as a free agent after being released by the Latics at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Born in Hammersmith on August 10th 1992, he is a former Arsenal and Fulham Academy player, who spent two years at Craven Cottage as a professional, albeit without making a first team appearance.

During recent years, Fulham have been putting him out on loan, with him making 19 appearances for Milton Keynes Dons and scoring two goals at the tail end of the 2010-11 season. Then came a rather truncated loan spell with Dundee United at the start of the 2011-12 season that was intended to last half a season, but instead saw him return early after just one substitute appearance.

Fulham released him from his contract a few months later, in November 2011, and he joined League One side Oldham Athletic at the tail end of the January 2012 transfer window. Marsh-Brown went on to make five starts and seven substitute appearances for the Latics - he was not included in their squad for the March 2012 game against the Glovers, as he was suspended following a sending off that led to a five match suspension, and to our knowledge has not made an appearance against Yeovil Town.

Marsh-Brown has agreed a one year contract for the 2012-13 season, commencing July 1st.


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29 May 2012 : Foley Signed Up By Glovers From Newport
Yeovil Town have agreed a deal to sign up Newport County player Sam Foley for the start of next season. The 25 year old will pen a one year contract with the Glovers for the 2012-13 season. He is generally listed as a midfielder, although was Newport's top scorer last season, with some sites listing him as a striker.

The Irishman is a former Cheltenham Town trainee, who played for their Reserve Team up until the end of the 2007-08 season, as well as going out on loan to play for Bath City. He then signed for Kidderminster Harriers, and was on their books for the 2008-09 season, spending some time out on loan with Redditch United. He signed for Newport County, initially on loan, in February 2009, where he scored four goals, going on to make that move permanent for the 2009-10 season, playing for them in both midfield and front line positions.

During his first full season with the Exiles, at Conference South level, he netted 17 goals in 36 matches as Newport won promotion up to National level. At the higher level, he netted five times in 44 games during 2010-11, following that up with 12 goals in 49 appearances last season, taking his overall goal tally to 38 across the four seasons, having made just under 150 appearances. He also has represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-18 level.

Sam becomes Yeovil Town's first signing of the summer - his last appearance for Newport came in their FA Trophy Final match against York City earlier this month.


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28 May 2012 : BBC Radio Legendary Football Commentaries
Yeovil Town will be featured on a special two hour programme to be broadcast on BBC Bristol and BBC Somerset tonight. The BBC Radio Football Commentary Collection is to be broadcast on 95.5FM in Somerset as well as on alternative frequencies in the Bristol area, and will showcase some of the most memorable radio commentary from the radio archives. Coverage is due to start at 8.00p.m.

The show is part of a project launched by the BBC and the National Football Museum which is setting up an archive in preparation for it opening on July 6th in its new home of Manchester.

Whilst tonight's show will now doubt feature clips from Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, you can expect clips from Yeovil Town's FA Trophy win at Villa Park, just over ten years ago, when they beat Stevenage Borough in the final, as well as the legendary win over Nottingham Forest in the League One Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg in May 2007.

If you're tuning in online, we'd recommend that you try both the BBC Bristol and BBC Somerset live links as they sometimes carry the Medium Wave content on one of the online frequencies. Otherwise pick 95.5FM if you're in the local area.


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28 May 2012 : Early Betting Odds For 2012-13 Season
With the full line-up for the 2012-13 season in League One now known, a number of bookmakers are making available their odds for the new campaign. It will surprise few Yeovil Town supporters to find out that the Glovers are rank outsiders to win the division next season, with three out of five bookies giving them the widest odds, whilst two others only pitch one other club with wider odds.

First up, Bet365 list Oldham Athletic, Bury, Leyton Orient and Yeovil Town at 66/1, whilst BetFred opt for the same list but add in Walsall at the same price. Meanwhile Coral have the Glovers and Walsall as their two least likely teams to win the division, also at 66/1.

It's only Ladbrokes and William Hill that buck the trend slightly, putting Walsall out on their own as the side least likely to succeed this season. But even then, both bookies opt for a similar collective of teams, by putting Yeovil in a group of clubs with slightly narrower odds.

No surprises that Sheffield United are outright favourites according to all five bookies. They also expect Swindon Town - League Two Champions - to shoot straight through League One by placing them as either second or third favourites to go up. Predictably the three clubs relegated from the Championship are given decent odds, despite both Portsmouth and Coventry City both being under a transfer embargo at present.

Sample odds from William Hill (needless to say, shop around for odds) to win the division outright, are as follows:

Sheffield United (6/1); Milton Keynes Dons (7/1); Swindon Town (8/1); Notts County, Portsmouth (9/1); Doncaster Rovers (10/1); Coventry City (12/1); Brentford (14/1); AFC Bournemouth, Preston North End (16/1); Stevenage, Crawley Town, Carlisle United (20/1); Tranmere Rovers, Shrewsbury Town (25/1); Colchester United, Scunthorpe United, Crewe Alexandra (33/1); Oldham Athletic, Hartlepool United (66/1); Leyton Orient, Bury, Yeovil Town (80/1); Walsall (100/1).


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27 May 2012 : Railwaymen Back On The Right Track Again
Crewe Alexandra confirmed their return to League One football this afternoon, as they regained the status they lost back in 2008-09. The Railwaymen's three year stay in League Two ended with a 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town at a sweltering Wembley Stadium, giving manager Steve Davis promotion just six months after taking over from Dario Gradi as manager.

The Cheshire side got off to a flyer just 15 minutes into the match as 18 year old Nick Powell's brilliant turn and left-footed drive into the top corner gave them the lead. Cheltenham nearly levelled straight away through Jeff Goulding's strike that hammered off the crossbar, whilst the same player had the ball in the back of the net only to have an offside flag go up. In first half injury time Steve Elliott and Kaid Mohamed had shots cleared off the line as the Robins tried to find an equaliser.

That moment never came, and instead it was Bryon Moore's 82 minute low shot across the face of goal that confirmed Crewe's promotion, in front of 24,029 spectators in North-West London, playing out the six minutes injury time with relative ease.

The match completes the line-up for the League One 2012-13 season and means the division will be made up of the following teams:

Relegated From Championship: Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth, Coventry City.

Staying In League One: Sheffield United, Milton Keynes Dons, Stevenage, Notts County, Carlisle United, Brentford, Colchester United, AFC Bournemouth, Tranmere Rovers, Hartlepool United, Bury, Preston North End, Oldham Athletic, Yeovil Town, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Leyton Orient

Promotion From League Two: Swindon Town (Champions), Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town, Crewe Alexandra (play-offs).

This means that Yeovil Town will play at four new stadiums next season, with Portsmouth and Coventry City playing the Glovers at Football League level for the first time, whilst the same is true of Crawley Town who have reached the third tier for the first time in the club's history. Meanwhile although we've played Shrewsbury Town in the League, they've moved stadiums since we last played them, meaning that this will be a new ground for all Glovers fans.

In terms of mileage to away matches, we lose Charlton Athletic (165 miles), Sheffield Wednesday (246) and Huddersfield Town (267) who are going up, whilst Wycombe Wanderers (123), Chesterfield (228), Exeter City (50) and Rochdale (251) are on their way down into League Two.

These teams are replaced by Doncaster Rovers (247), Portsmouth (93), Coventry City (158) coming down, plus Swindon Town (83), Shrewsbury Town (193), Crawley Town (145) and Crewe Alexandra (204).

All in all that means that based on a standard round trip from Yeovil to the above away grounds, that Glovers fans will face a reduction in travelling of 414 miles compared with the 2011-12 season, despite the loss of one of the club's two local derbies, with Exeter City having dropped down a level this summer.

Link: 2011-12 Final League One Table.


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26 May 2012 : Terriers Triumph In Extended Shoot Out
Huddersfield Town finally returned to second tier football this afternoon, after an eleven year absence. Relegated at the end of the 2000-01 season, they have been League One's nearly men on many occasions in recent years, but this afternoon they secured promotion via a penalty shoot-out after their game against Sheffield United ended up goalless after extra time.

In front of 52,100 spectators, there were very few good chances across the 120 minutes. The Terriers has the better of them, with Jamie Ward hitting the crossbar two minutes into the second half, whilst Blades players Michael Doyle and Nick Montgomery cleared off the line following Huddersfield attacks.

At the end, it came down to spot kicks, with all 22 players being involved in a shoot-out that threatened to turn into farce, as six of the first eight penalties failed to find the net. Then came thirteen increasingly impressive penalties, with the goalkeepers eventually having to face each other as the final kickers. Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies powered his home, but then Blades stopper Steve Simonsen skied his, to leave Danny Wilson's side stuck in League One for another season.

As a footnote, the attendance today was over 7,000 spectators short of the crowd that saw Yeovil Town's League One play-off final match against Blackpool that took place five years ago.

There is just one more place to be decided for the 2012-13 League One line-up, with the League Two play-off final between Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra to be settled tomorrow afternoon.

LEAGUE ONE MOVEMENTS FOR NEXT SEASON:

Relegated From Championship: Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth, Coventry City.

Promotion From League One: Charlton Athletic (Champions), Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town (via play-offs).

Relegated From League One: Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Rochdale.

Automatic Promotion From League Two: Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town.

League Two Play-Offs: Cheltenham Town or Crewe Alexandra (playing tomorrow).

Link: 2011-12 Final League One Table.


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25 May 2012 : Football League Win Tax Case Legal Challenge
The Football League have today won a victory of sorts today in a High Court battle with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC aka the Taxman) that could have had wide-sweeping changes to the way insolvencies are dealt with. HMRC was in court during November and December 2011 to claim that the League's 'Football Creditors' rule was unlawful and should be abolished.

Today, the judge hearing the case Mr Justice David Richards dismissed HMRC's petition, and declared that the Football League were free to set up their own membership rules accordingly. A Football League Statement issued today says:

"The judgment confirms that The Football League's rules and insolvency policy do not breach the principles of existing insolvency law.

"We recognise that some regard the application of these rules as being imperfect. However, they remain an essential part of football's approach to handling insolvent clubs within the wider context of competitive league football.

"The judgment recognises that a league has the right to insist upon insolvent clubs meeting their financial obligations to the rest of the game as a condition of continued membership.

"Had this principle been ruled unlawful, the most likely consequence would be insolvent clubs being expelled from The Football League altogether, as clubs would be unwilling to compete against teams that have defaulted on debts to their fellow clubs. This would have devastating consequences for the clubs concerned, their supporters and people living in their local community.

"Although it is regrettable that HMRC sought to test this matter before the Courts, we remain committed to a constructive dialogue with the tax authorities, as we share the common aim of ensuring that clubs meet their liabilities as and when they fall due, including sums owed to HMRC. To this end, The Football League and HMRC have co-operated over the implementation of a monthly PAYE reporting mechanism that has significantly reduced the amount of tax owed by clubs.

"In an ideal world The Football League would never have to apply its insolvency policy at all. Therefore, our focus will remain on creating a sustainable business environment for all our member clubs. Most recently, this has seen all three divisions of The Football League agreeing to implement cost control measures as part of The League's Financial Fair Play framework."

What HMRC were challenging was the legality for the Football League to force clubs leaving administration to set up CVAs that would give other English Football clubs preference when paying creditors. The current Football League membership rule states that a 'new company' must honour 100 percent of the football-related debts when taking on the 'Golden Share' league membership that the 'old company' carried. However, because involvent clubs by definition can not pay all their debts, the CVAs agreed only pay out a much smaller proportion of the debt to other parties, including HMRC. For this reason, HMRC vote against all football CVAs on principle, and used this test case in an attempt to prove that the move was unlawful.

For the moment they have failed, although the Football League acknowledge that HMRC have been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, and so this issue may arise again in the future.

The relationship between the Football League and HMRC has not entirely broken down over this matter, with the League anxious to implement 'Sporting Sanctions' and legislation that will prevent such scenarios happening in the first place. The most recent of these rules include the introduction of the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP aka Salary Capping), whilst Chairman Greg Clarke has also indicated that clubs falling more than one month behind on their payments to HMRC will be issued with a transfer embargo. The more such rules are adopted and adhered to, the less impact that any challenge in the Court of Appeal will have. Or at least that's the theory.


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25 May 2012 : Andy Williams' Farewell Interview
With striker Andy Williams turning down a new contract with Yeovil Town earlier this month, last season's top scorer is able to walk away from the club as a free agent. Yesterday, BBC Somerset caught up with him to allow him to express his thinking behind the decision. With questions from reporter Ed Hadwin, Andy's farewell interview is captured via the link below.

Link: Andy Williams Speaks To The BBC After He Decided To Leave Yeovil Town.


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25 May 2012 : Super Gav Given Football League Accolade
Yeovil Town attacking midfielder Gavin Williams has been nominated in the League One Team Of The Season for the Football League. The Welshman, who has recently signed a one year contract, has been included in a side that is mainly occupied by players from Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.

The team has been put together by the BBC's Football League Show, with Manish Bhasin, Steve Claridge, Mark Clemmit and Leroy Rosenior choosing a side that will be published in the matchday programme for tomorrow's League One Play-Off Final between Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town.

The team also includes two players born in Taunton - goalkeeper Ben Hamer and left-back Scott Laird. The resulting team reads as follows:

Goalkeeper - Ben Hamer - Charlton Athletic
Right Back - Matt Lowton - Sheffield United
Left Back - Scott Laird - Stevenage
Centre Back - Harry Maguire - Sheffield United
Centre Back - Michael Morrison - Charlton Athletic
Right Wing - Gavin Williams - Yeovil Town
Left Wing - Gary Roberts - Huddersfield Town
Central Midfield - Johnnie Jackson - Charlton Athletic
Central Midfield - Stephen Gleeson - Milton Keynes Dons
Striker - Jordan Rhodes - Huddersfield Town
Striker - Gary Madine - Sheffield Wednesday


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24 May 2012 : Johnson Lays Down Squad Building Target
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that his target for the start of the 2012-13 season is to build a squad that has eighteen recognised first team players. Apart from the current management team that registered themselves as players last season, Johnson has just six senior players on his books for next season, with Gavin Williams, Luke Ayling, Ed Upson and Dominic Blizzard having agreed new deals this summer to join Bondz N'Gala and Curtis Haynes-Brown as players who will compete for positions next season.

Johnson has indicated that he wants a stronger base to his squad for next season, rather than the one he finished with last year where the majority of the starting positions picked themselves. He has therefore told BBC Somerset that he expects around ten to twelve players to be joining before the season opens in mid-August:

"We just want competition for places. We want the lads understanding that there's competition for places. That'll keep the standard up. We want to make sure that everybody is happy for each other, and if they're on the bench then they understand why they're on the bench. With that in mind, to get that group of players of around eighteen pros that are all first team players, we've got to work very hard because we've only got seven or eight players that are on contracts at the moment."

The Glovers boss has also told this week's Western Gazette that he does not expect too many players to contractually commit to the club before July 1st, and wants supporters to buy their season tickets as a leap of faith. He suggests that he does have verbal agreement for a couple of players, but is unwilling to reveal anyone for another five weeks:

"It will be a couple of months because some deals are already done but the club is still paying that players wages. Everybody is on contract until June 30th and all you can do is promise each other on a handshake that come July 1st that they will be your player. That is how everyone is doing it."

Johnson has also hinted to the Gazette that his side may not be fully finalised until the season actually starts - roughly in line with recent seasons where the shape of the squad has tended to morph during the pre-season friendlies.


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24 May 2012 : Potters Planning Huish Park Friendly
Yeovil Town will face Premier League side Stoke City in a pre-season friendly later this summer. The Potters are bringing a squad down for two matches in early August as part of a short stay in South-West England, that will include a visit to Torquay United's Plainmoor ground.

The match against Yeovil Town will take place on Tuesday August 7th at Huish Park. Kick-off time is not confirmed at this stage, but will almost certainly be 7.45p.m. Their match against the Gulls takes place 24 hours earlier, and so there will no doubt be a split within the Stoke squad in terms of who takes to the field on both evenings.

The Glovers are due to play away friendlies against Dorchester Town and Poole Town as part of their warm-up for the 2012-13 season, although dates for these have not been confirmed yet. The suggestion made in the South Wales press that Cardiff City were planning to visit Huish Park is apparently not on the cards.


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24 May 2012 : Bristol Soccerworld Nominate Yeovil Town Ladies For Award
Bristol Soccerworld have announced that they have included Yeovil Town Ladies in their on-site vote to nominate the WOMEN'S TEAM OF THE SEASON for the achievements of the team this season.

The female Glovers have had a glorious season that has seen them not only win the South West Combination and the Somerset FA Women's Senior Cup, but also the RESPECT Gold Award for the English ladies football pyramid.

To vote for Yeovil Town Ladies please visit the Bristol Soccerworld website, and go the bottom of the page.

Voting Closes on Friday 8 June 2012.

[Ali King - Yeovil Town Ladies.]


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23 May 2012 : Liddle Given Glovers Link
Yeovil Town are a number of clubs being linked with a move for former Hartlepool United midfielder Gary Liddle. After six years, 284 appearances and 21 goals, the 25 year old has turned down a deal at Victoria Park and so will leave as a free agent. He is a versatile player who in wearing the No.4 shirt for Pools has occupied either a defensive midfield position or one on the back four.

The Hartlepool Mail name Championship side Bristol City, plus League One clubs Coventry City, Notts County and Carlisle United as apparently interested in the player, along with the Glovers. The paper names the higher league side as front runners for his signature, presumably on the basis of their position in the pecking order, although they don't reveal where they've got the list of interested clubs.

Liddle is a former Middlesbrough trainee, who left in 2006, after rising through their Academy system. He won the 2003Ė04 FA Youth Cup whilst on their books, but never made it as far as their first team. Born in the town, he has lived in the area for his entire life. Speaking to the paper after his departure, he strongly hints that his next move may be away from the area, although also suggests that he wants to aim up a level from where he is currently playing:

"All Iíve known is living in Middlesbrough and playing for Hartlepool Ė I want to experience something different, as a footballer and a person. Iíve got a very good CV behind me and thatís thanks to Hartlepool. So Iíll have to see what happens these next few weeks but Iíd like to think that I could play at a higher level and test myself there. Iím at an age, 25, where I need to look at everything and I just think this is the right time to move on for the good of my career."

In truth, although the Hartlepool Mail suggest that the Glovers are interested, it would appear more likely that he'll be after a move that takes him into a side that is either in the Championship, or more likely to challenge for promotion out of League One.


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23 May 2012 : Williams Throws Out Swindon Hint
Former Yeovil Town striker Andy Williams has given out probably the strongest hint yet, that he knows who he is going to be playing for next season. The 25 year old has already turned down the offer of a new deal at Huish Park, and thus has departed the club as a free agent.

The main club on the rumourmill has been Swindon Town, with suggestions that they had offered him a package worth £5,000 per week for him to play for them. Other clubs such as Rotherham United have also been mentioned on the grapevine, although without any media being prepared to name him in connection with those clubs.

Born in Hereford, Andy is understood to still have family in the city. In a 'farewell' message given to the club's website, Williams states that his new club will be closer to home than Yeovil is:

"The opportunity to be at a club closer to my family certainly played a part in the decision making process."

Given the relative lack of Football League sides in the Hereford area, and doubtless him being unlikely to want to drop any lower than his current level, newly promoted Swindon Town would be the best fit by a mile. As yet, the Wiltshire press haven't made any suggestions at their end that the Robins are sat on the deal, but there are few other possibilities that would fit Willo's words.

Link: Andy Williams : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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23 May 2012 : Collis Freed By Silkmen
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Steve Collis has become a free agent, after being one of a huge number of players to be released by Macclesfield Town. The Cheshire club have just been relegated from the Football League, fifteen years after they won the Conference, and have chosen to release a total of 21 players as part of a revamp of their playing squad.

As well as Collis, the Silkmen have allowed the following players to leave: Michael Bakare, Jon Bateson, Lewis Chalmers, Jack Cudworth, Greg Daniels, Tom Fisher, Matt Hamshaw, Scott Kay,Jack Lane, Dwayne Mattis, Paul Morgan, Vinny Mukendi, Adam Roberts, Michael Thomas and Jose Veiga, plus youth players Jay Burgess, Ryan Meredith, George Robertson, Jordan Trinci-Lyne and Jake Vernon.

The 31 year old has had a bit of a nomadic existence since leaving Yeovil Town in 2006, struggling to break into clubs first teams. He's not been helped this year by a persistent shoulder injury that has restricted him to just one Football League Trophy appearance for Macclesfield, since joining them last September. He has had quite a few spells working under Gary Johnson at Bristol City, Peterborough United and Northampton Town, although in all cases he was used as a back-up keeper.

Meanwhile former Yeovil Town trialist Jim Paterson has extended his stay with League Two side Bristol Rovers. The full-back had joined the Gas on a short term deal in January, after joining them from League of Ireland champions Shamrock Rovers, who he had a six month spell with after his Glovers trial. Paterson has agreed a one year contract at the Memorial Stadium.

Link: Steve Collis : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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22 May 2012 : PNE Confirm Huntington Signing
League One side Preston North End have now confirmed at their end that central defender Paul Huntington has signed for them. They indicate that he will formally become their player on July 1st, once his contract at Yeovil Town expires. As mentioned in two earlier stories today (here and here), the Glovers club captain turned down the offer of a contract at Huish Park - the Lilywhites have stated that the one they offered to him was a two year deal.

Preston Chairman Peter Ridsdale has confirmed the deal on his club's website, and says that he believes that manager Graham Westley's side will be challenging for promotion next season:

"We are continuing to quietly work hard behind the scenes to put the pieces together of a team we hope will challenge at the top end of League One next season. Paul is a hungry young footballer and yet another player who has captained the team he is with this season, like (former Tranmere Rovers player) John Welsh (who has also signed). If we can have a team of 11 leaders on the field then we will definitely be competitive."

Link: Paul Huntington : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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22 May 2012 : Huntington Confirms Lilywhites Move
Former Yeovil Town central defender Paul Huntington has confirmed that he has signed a contract with League One rivals Preston North End. The 24 year old turned down an offer of a new contract at Huish Park earlier today, and as expected he is off to Deepdale.

Speaking via his Twitter account, Huntington confirmed that he was now a Preston player:

"I have now signed for Preston North End. Looking forward to a new challenge. Thank you for all the good luck messages. Thanks to all the Yeovil fans for the messages. It's been a pleasure to be captain and have enjoyed every minute! I really appreciate it."

Huntington's departure comes after he made 85 appearances, scoring six goals across two years with the Glovers. It means the club will need to appoint a new club captain, with Luke Ayling the most obvious contender as the club's vice-captain.

Link: Paul Huntington : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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22 May 2012 : Hinds Still In Johnson's Plans
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that he has still not entirely ruled out the possibility of central defender Richard Hinds returning to the club. The situation regarding the 31 year old has been a little less than black and white, with the Glovers boss having previously indicated that the issue would be whether the Sheffield-born player would be willing to uproot his family and take them down to Somerset.

As a result, Johnson has told BBC Somerset that - like departing captain Paul Huntington, he has a deal on the table, but with a different deadline to other players. He said that he was still in conversation with him, but would need to know soon, to allow him to look at some of the large numbers of players who are out of contract this summer:

"You don't always like to give deadlines, but when there's going to be 1,500 players out of work during the summer, then obviously you need to be aware of your targets and be able to go for them, knowing that you need a particular position. We're still talking to Richard Hinds. I don't want to put people under pressure and let people know what the deadline was, but we'll know pretty soon."

The BBC suggest that Johnson has a recruitment target for up to eleven players this summer, given that he only has six senior players and two management staff firmly in his plans for next season. Johnson explained that one of his problems was that of the profile of the club and the town, with many players needing to get out their road atlases to work out where the club was:

"Most lads like to keep their options open for as long as possible, and you can sort of understand that. With Yeovil, still around 75 percent of players don't even know where it is, so we've got that problem slightly. We try to convince them that it's lovely in the West Country, and that the two managers (Gary Johnson and Terry Skiverton) are Londoners and we've lived here for most of our football lives. But again, when they come here, it's for football reasons."

The club has tended to suffer a large turnover of players over the past few years, with many players spending around two years rebuilding their footballing careers at Huish Park, then moving on. Johnson admitted he didn't want the club to be seen that way, but that the ability for players to progress their careers at the club would be a good selling point:

"We are a good stepping stone. We don't want to become a stepping stone, but we are a good stepping stone for lads that want to learn a bit more about their football, get a little bit of a mental toughness, because that's what we think we're good at. Then unfortunately on occasions, they move on their way to higher and better things."

Link: Richard Hinds : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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22 May 2012 : Club Captain Leaves Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town's club captain Paul Huntington has become the latest player to turn down a contract offer at Huish Park this summer. The 24 year old was out of contract and so leaves on a free transfer, and doubtless has an alternative offer on the table - the rumourmill is claiming that Preston North End have an interest in him, which would fit in with his Cumbrian roots.

Paul made 85 appearances for the club, scoring six goals, and was the Western Gazette's 2011-12 Player Of The Season. He joins Jonathan Grounds, Jonathan Franks and Andy Williams in turning down new deals. Ed Upson, Luke Ayling, Gavin Williams and Dominic Blizzard have accepted their offers to stay at the club.

Link: Paul Huntington : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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21 May 2012 : Noble Released By Grecians
Former Yeovil Town loan midfielder David Noble is a free agent after he was released by Exeter City earlier today. The 30 year old was one of four players to get shown the door at St James Park. He has spent two and a half seasons in Devon after being released by Bristol City following a serious knee injury that meant that he missed the 2009-10 season entirely, spending nearly 18 months out of the game following his March 2009 loan spell at Huish Park.

The former Arsenal trainee appears to have fully recovered from that cruciate knee injury that was sustained back at Ashton Gate, shortly after having his time at Yeovil Town cut short. During the 2011-12 season, he captained the Exeter side, making 46 appearances across the year. Overall he managed 88 appearances across the two seasons he played in, with his first six months in Devon having been largely about getting his knee back in working order.

Other players to be released by the Grecians today were striker Richard Logan, goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley and midfielder Chris Shephard. Exeter have given offers to Troy Archibald-Henville, Richard Duffy, Billy Jones, James Dunne, Jimmy Keohane and John O'Flynn to stay at the club, with Scot Bennett, Alan Gow, Elliott Frear, Tom Nicholls and Aaron Dawson having already signed new deals as they prepare for life in League Two next season.

Noble is of course well known to manager Gary Johnson - he signed him from Boston United in January 2006 for a fee of £80,000, and was the manager who negotiated his loan spell with the Glovers. He played 95 times under Johnson at Ashton Gate, scoring nine times, including the two goals that sealed City's promotion from League One, back in May 2007, and a long-ranger against Crystal Palace in a Championship play-off semi-final a year later that put them in the driving seat in that two-legged tie.

Link: David Noble : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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20 May 2012 : Taff's Gloversblog : What Price A Striker?
With the rumourmill claiming that one of Yeovil Town's players had been offered five thousand pounds a week to join a club that was in League Two last season, the Glovers will have to work hard over the summer. In the latest Taff's Gloversblog, there's a look at how possible it is for a club at third tier level to pay out such wages, and what the future might hold.

Read on via the link below and feel free to add in your own views on the subject, at the foot of the article.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : What Price A Striker?


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20 May 2012 : Huddersfield Away Man Of The Match Result
The final match of the 2011-12 season, saw Yeovil Town come undone at the hands of League One play-off contenders Huddersfield Town. The 262 fans who travelled to the Galpharm Stadium saw Lee Novak and Daniel Ward give the home side a deserved 2-0 win and see the Glovers complete the season in 17th place.

As for Man of the Match voting, those present were impressed with loanees Jonathan Franks and Sam Walker. However, midfielder Ed Upson was making his comeback from a three match suspension, and he celebrated agreeing a new two year contract by also coming top of the polling on the day. Full results are shown below, with outright Man of the Match votes shown in brackets:

1 Ed Upson 74 (7)
2 Sam Walker 58 (4)
3 Jonathan Franks 40 (2)
4 Paul Huntington 28 (0)
5 Luke Ayling 24 (1)
6 Dominic Blizzard 6 (0)
6 Gavin Williams 6 (0)
6 Kieran Agard 6 (0)
9 Bondz N'Gala 4 (0)
10 Andy Williams 2 (0)
10 Jonathan Grounds 2 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 5.57

Performance: 5.29
Entertainment: 5.86

VOTES RECEIVED: 14


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19 May 2012 : BBC Agree New Football League Rights Deal
The Football League and BBC Sport have agreed a new three year contract that will allow the BBC to continue with its coverage of the various League-organised competitions. The deal, which will commence for the start of the 2012-13 season, will allow highlights packages to be broadcast for the Football League, the League Cup and the Football League Trophy.

The good news is that this means that the Football League Show will continue in its current format on Saturday night, despite fears that it would be canned at the end of this season. The BBC will also provide midweek highlights of League Cup matches, as well as dedicated programmes for the highlights for the League Cup and Football League Trophy finals. One slight change is that it appears that there are no scheduled live matches planned under this new deal, with the BBC having previously selected a handful of Championship matches for live broadcast.

In addition to television broadcasts, BBC 5 Live and BBC 5 Live Sports Extra will continue to have non-exclusive rights to all Football League, League Cup and Play-Off matches for radio commentaries. There will also be a round-up of Football League action scheduled for Monday nights with Mark Clemmit presenting a radio special.


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19 May 2012 : More Key Dates For The 2012-13 Season
As we reach the end of the 2011-12 season, and prepare to roll over into the 2012-13 campaign, one or two more dates for your diary are starting to filter through. One of the unprecedented features of the coming season is that Yeovil Town's first fixture is likely to be in a cup competition. Despite the season kicking off later than usual due to the London 2012 Olympics, the Carling Cup First Round will be more or less in the same spot as before, and so will be your first chance to see the team in competitive action. The Olympics will run from July 27th until August 12th with the Carling Cup commencing almost the day after the athletes depart the country.

Due to the 2012-13 season being squeezed both by the Olympics and by the League One and League Two play-off finals being brought forward a week to allow Wembley Stadium to host the Champions League Final in May 2013, there will be a couple of extra midweek fixtures inserted. What this means is that a team that progresses through the first couple of rounds of the Carling Cup and the Football League Trophy could end up playing as many as 17 matches during the opening 59 days of the season. There is only one entirely empty midweek period during the opening nine weeks of the season; scheduled for mid-September.

The Football League Trophy is scheduled to commence during the week commencing September 3rd. As the Glovers obtained a bye during the 2011-12 First Round draw, this means that they will definitely not receive a bye in this season's draw.

So far, we have the following dates for the 2012-13 season:

2012-13 Season Key Dates:
Monday 18th June 2012 : Fixture Lists for the 2012-13 Season are released

Monday 2nd July 2012 : Yeovil Town players commence pre-season training

July/August 2012 : Pre-Season Friendly schedule - expected to include Dorchester Town (away) and Poole Town (away) amongst others

Tuesday 14th August 2012 : Carling Cup First Round
Saturday 18th August 2012 : Football League Season Commences
Tuesday 4th September 2012 : Football League Trophy First Round

Saturday 3rd November 2012 : FA Cup First Round

Tuesday 5th February 2013 : Football League Trophy Area Final First Legs
Sunday 24th February 2013 : Carling Cup Final
Tuesday 26th February 2013 : Football League Trophy Area Final Second Legs

Sunday 7th April 2013 : Football League Trophy Final
Saturday 27th April 2013 : League One Season Final Matches

Saturday 4th May 2013 : League One Semi-Final First Leg
Tuesday 7th May 2013 : League One Semi-Final Second Leg
Saturday 18th May 2013 : League Two Play-Off Final
Sunday 19th May 2013 : League One Play-Off Final
Monday 27th May 2013 : Championship Division Play-Off Final

NOTE: Above dates, with the exception of the Cup and Play-Off Finals are largely provisional, and may vary slightly according to television/policing requirements.

NOTE: This article will be pinned to the 'Forthcoming Events' section of the Ciderspace Home Page to allow for easy future reference.


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19 May 2012 : Blizzard Glad To Get Contract Problems Sorted
Yeovil Town midfielder Dominic Blizzard has said that he had always had plans to sign his new contract at Huish Park, despite a couple of late twists and turns along the way this week. On Monday the club indicated that the 28 year old's contract offer had been withdrawn from the table, but by Thursday everything was back on, with Blizzard agreeing a one year deal.

With the former Bristol Rovers player now agreeing to move into his second season at the club, he has told BBC Somerset that he was glad to get his deal finally sorted, and that not too much had changed in his own thinking during those three days:

"Not a lot really, to be honest. I thought that I'd be signed up as well already. But what's most important is that I've signed. To be honest, I wasn't ever really not going to sign. So I'm just pleased that it's been done eventually now."

Blizzard said that he has spent this week talking to the Glovers backroom staff about the future and to help resolve the situation that had developed earlier in the week. He admitted that getting things worked through with first team manager Gary Johnson was vital for him:

"Obviously he's massively important. I've spoken to the gaffer and I've spoken to pretty much all of the members of staff. I get on really well with everyone at the club. I've enjoyed my time there and everyone is excellent to work with, and I'm just really happy with the whole environment. That's why I'm more than happy to sign again."

Blizzard had a rather lop-sided 2011-12 season, featuring in just three fixtures before October 22nd, as he struggled to find his fitness following an injury during pre-season. However, from mid-February onwards, he made 17 appearances thus clocking up over half of his 32 games inside two and a half months. He felt that he was finishing strongly as the season ended:

"It's nice to get the games under the belt, and I think that, just like any player, the more games (you play) the more you find your level. So I was feeling good and I still feel like I've got another couple of gears to go up. I'm hopeful that I will find that next season, obviously with a good pre-season, which I didn't have last season. So I'm really looking forward to it."

Apart from staying fit during pre-season, Blizzard added that he hoped to produce more attacking play from his midfield berth for the 2012-13 season, having had to play as a defensive blocker in front of the back four for much of the season just gone. Although he said he would be working on his overall midfield play:

"There's a bit of everything, really. This season I've been having to do a bit more of the defensive side for the team, which I don't mind doing, as long as it helps us win games and stuff. But I know that I can get forward and create goals and score and stuff like that. So there are things that I will be looking to add a little bit more to next season."

Link: Dominic Blizzard : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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18 May 2012 : Donny Ditch Locky And Gillett
Relegated Championship side Doncaster Rovers have begun a massive clear out of their squad, following their drop back into League One. Included in a list of twelve players are former Glovers duo Adam Lockwood and Simon Gillett, who both become free agents over the summer, with the Yorkshire side having allowed sixteen players overall to depart since the season ended.

The other players include James Hayter, Sam Hird, John Oster, Fabien Robert, James Baxendale, Rachid Bouhenna, James Chambers, Mustapha Dumbuya, Paul Keegan and Damien Plessis with the quartet of Giles Barnes, Oscar Radford, El-Hadji Diouf and Pascal Chimbonda having departed earlier.

Lockwood had been at the Keepmoat Stadium since he left Huish Park in the summer of 2006, after he decided to move back closer to his Wakefield roots. He made 180 appearances for Donny, scoring eight goals for them, but with injuries being a problem the 30 year old clocked up just 15 appearances in the season just gone.

Gillett had been on Doncaster's books since the summer of 2010, although had enjoyed a loan spell in Yorkshire during the previous season whilst on the books of Southampton. Across those two spells, the 26 year old midfielder made 81 appearances, scoring four goals. He was a regular in their side during the season just gone, making 48 appearances.

One player who does remain on Doncaster's books for next season is winger Martin Woods, who had a short loan spell with the Glovers during the 2007-08 season.

Link: Adam Lockwood : Yeovil Town Appearances.

Link: Simon Gillett : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Link: Martin Woods : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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18 May 2012 : Wealey Becomes A Free Agent
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Chris Weale has become a free agent after he was released today by Championship side Leicester City. Weale is one of six Foxes players who had contracts ending on June 30th, who have been told they will not be receiving offers. The other five are Elliott Chamberlain, Steve Howard, Matt Oakley, Aleksandar Tunchev and Darius Vassell.

Manager Gary Johnson said last week that he might consider a move for the 30 year old if he became available, although suspected that his wages might prove a sticking point. Overall, Weale - who has also played for Johnson at Bristol City - made 87 appearances for the Foxes, with his last game coming in September 2011.

His last competitive action came in February 2012, via a loan spell with Northampton Town, although that ended early, with a knee injury requiring surgery. At present there's been no clue as to when he will be fit and available to resume playing football.

Link: Chris Weale : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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18 May 2012 : Forbes Out At Orient
Former Yeovil Town defender Terrell Forbes is a free agent, after being released by League One side Leyton Orient. A mainstay of Russell Slade's sides at both Grimsby Town and Yeovil Town, the 30 year old's third spell with the ex-Glovers boss has been ended after two years, 91 appearances and two goals.

Strikers Jonathan Tehoue and Jamie Cureton have also been shown the door at Brisbane Road this afternoon.

Link: Terrell Forbes : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Former winger Darryl Knights is also a free agent, after leaving Newport County. The 24 year old has been shown the door after two years at Spytty Park. His final appearance for the Conference side was at Wembley Stadium in the FA Trophy Final.

Perhaps surprisingly, Knights has told the South Wales Argus that he agrees with manager Justin Edinburgh's decision, and feels that he under-performed during his second season in Wales:

"I donít think I did enough to deserve a new deal, I have not performed as well as I think I can this season. To be fair the gaffer has given me some opportunities to impress him and make myself a starter in the team and I didnít take those opportunities. I know I have been below the standards I am capable of and I feel like I let myself down."

Knights has continued to live in the Midlands, rather than move to South Wales, and he adds that he will be hoping to sign for a club closer to home, rather than continue with the amount of commuting he has been doing of late:

"I have done a lot of travelling over the last two years so Iíd prefer to stay closer to home but thatís not the be all and end all. I have sat down with my agent and had some talks and now I will wait and see. Iíd love to get back into the Football League but I just want to sign somewhere where I will be happy and get games."

Link: Darryl Knights : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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18 May 2012 : Yeovil Town Ladies Youth Coaching Opportunities
Yeovil Town Ladies are looking for two coaches to join their established and successful youth set up. The club have just finished a highly successful season at youth level, and intend to expand the set-up in readiness for the coming season, as they look to continue feeding young players into the senior set up.

This exciting opportunity has come about due to the club setting up new teams at both under-ten and under-eleven levels, and would suit highly motivated and ambitious candidates who are qualified to at least the FA Level One coaching badge.

Interested parties should contact club secretary Ali King at alastairking@talktalk.net to discuss the matter further.

[Ali King - Yeovil Town Ladies.]


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18 May 2012 : Franks Explains Pools Choice
Former Yeovil Town right-winger Jonathan Franks has explained why he has chosen to sign for League One rivals Hartlepool United. Today's Hartlepool Mail suggests that Franks had offers to join any of Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe United, AFC Bournemouth or of course Yeovil Town, but yesterday chose to stay close to home and sign a deal at Victoria Park.

The 22 year old claimed that Pools were more impressive in selling themselves to him than the other clubs that had offered him deals and has told the paper that this is what made him put pen to paper yesterday:

"I felt wanted here and that is the main reason why I signed. There were a few clubs in for me but the manager here made me feel so welcome and so did all of the staff really Ė they sold the club to me. I want to play regularly because I havenít done that since I was playing under Gordon Strachan. So Iím hungry and canít wait to get started."

The former Middlesbrough player added that he spoke to boss Neale Cooper whilst he was coming towards the end of his 14 game loan spell at Huish Park, but that he wanted to get that out of the way before committing to any one club:

"I first spoke to the manager a few weeks ago but I wanted to get the season out of the way and then have a week with my parents and talk about what I wanted to do. It was a decision in the end which was quite easy because I felt most wanted here. That gives you so much confidence and you feel better within yourself."


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18 May 2012 : Food Store Application Delay Confirmed
Yeovil Town's plans to build a Food Store at the north end of Huish Park have now had an agreed delay in the planning process. The target date for the decision was due to be May 1st, but in the past month or so all has gone quiet on the application, with that date now having passed.

With a number of issues still outstanding, with respect to the application, the club's planning representatives MWA have written to South Somerset District Council confirming that they give consent for the delay. In a letter dated May 4th 2012, MWA state: "I can confirm that the Applicant agrees to an extension of time for a determination of the planning application." There's no indication of a revised target date.

The likely factors behind this can be seen in detail in our March 27th news item. The club had been advised by SSDC that in order to comply with local and national planning policies, that they would need to provide information both on their future 'stadium' plans, as well as provision for replacement training pitches and community facilities.

Without those being included in the application, or as separate but linked applications, it was likely that the Food Store application would be rejected. Thus it seems likely that the club have agreed to that delay in an attempt to avoid the application being thrown out. As yet there's no sign of the linked applications being submitted to SSDC.


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17 May 2012 : Chesterfield Home Man Of The Match Result
The penultimate match of the 2011-12 season saw Yeovil Town finish off their home fixtures with a 3-2 win over Chesterfield. In doing so, they relegated their opponents, as goals from Dominic Blizzard, Kieran Agard and Andy Williams sunk the Spireites.

Man of the Match voting saw midfielder Dominic Blizzard run close with right-back Luke Ayling for the third and second placed spots. However, the winner was a player who didn't even start the game - Kieran Agard was a sixth minute substitute for Jonathan Obika, grabbed himself a goal, and was your most impressive player on the day.

Full results are as follows, with outright Man of the Match votes in brackets:

1 Kieran Agard 312 (25)
2 Luke Ayling 158 (8)
3 Dominic Blizzard 128 (8)
4 Jonathan Franks 86 (3)
5 Andy Williams 86 (1)
6 Lawson D'Ath 48 (3)
7 Paul Huntington 42 (3)
8 Richard Hinds 28 (1)
9 Bondz N'Gala 24 (0)
10 Jonathan Grounds 20 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING 7.67

Performance: 64.33
Entertainment: 73.00

VOTES RECEIVED 53


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17 May 2012 : Yeovil Town Ladies Annual General Meeting
Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club would like to give notice that the club Annual General Meeting will take place at Huish Park on Monday 18th June 2012. The meeting commences at 7.00p.m., with all supporters invited to attend.

The club committee members will be standing for re-election. Any other persons wishing to stand for election to the committee should submit their names to the club secretary Ali King at alastairking@talktalk.net no later than Monday 10th June 2012.

Due to work commitments Tony Elbourn has unfortunately decided to stand down as Fundraising Officer. This position on the committee is therefore presently vacant.

[Ali King - Yeovil Town Ladies Club Secretary.]


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17 May 2012 : Blizzard Signs Up In Contract U-Turn
Yeovil Town midfielder Dominic Blizzard has agreed a new contract with the Glovers - just three days after having his contract withdrawn from the table. Manager Gary Johnson has stated that the player has signed a one year deal this afternoon that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2013.

The 28 year old had been thought to have left Huish Park on Monday, when Johnson indicated that he had failed to hear from the player - with his agent also indicating that he had not made contact with him either. However, all of that appears to be resolved this afternoon, with the player now committing his future to the club.

Link: Dominic Blizzard : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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17 May 2012 : Franks Heads Off To Pools
Former Yeovil Town winger/striker Jonathan Franks has chosen to stay in the North-East by penning a deal with one of the club's League One rivals. Hartlepool United have today announced that the 22 year old has signed a deal at Victoria Park, having turned down an offer from the Glovers.

Franks netted three goals in 14 appearances during a highly successful loan spell at Huish Park. However, born in Stockton-on-Tees, and having spent his whole career so far with Championship side Middlesbrough, it would appear that staying 'local' was a big plus for him.

As yet, no contract length has been revealed.

Link: Jonathan Franks : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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17 May 2012 : Football League Crowds On The Rise Again
The Football League have today published their 2011-12 end of season statistics, indicating that overall crowds have risen by more than 200,000 against the previous campaign. A total of 16.3m spectators entered Football League grounds during the season - an increase of 1.5 percent and the eighth consecutive season that crowds have broken the sixteen million barrier. The news is a boost to the League, which had seen a drop last season, following the 2009-10 season's fifty year high.

As usual, with promotion and relegation moving both big and small clubs around, there is a bit of flux between the divisions. The average crowd in the Championship was 18,568, which was an increase of two percent. For clubs in League One, the average was 7,359, whilst in League Two the figure works out as 4,406 per game coming through the turnstiles. Overall, crowds are claimed to have doubled since the introduction of the play-off system for the 1986/87 season.

In League One, the 7,359 average is a slight fall from last season's 7,527, and is the only one of the three divisions to suffer a fall, and is doubtless partly due to the migration of clubs like Southampton up the divisions. Football League Chairman Greg Clarke has said that he is pleased that despite the overall UK economy continuing to paint gloomy news, that the 72 member clubs had still managed to draw spectators to their grounds:

"It is hugely encouraging to see Football League crowds rising given the increasingly tough economic conditions being faced by many supporters. On behalf of all our clubs, I would like to offer my gratitude to everyone that has gone to a match this season.

"As a league, we are strongly focused on making our clubs financially sustainable and this includes getting as many new fans to our matches as possible. We are also working to improve the matchday experience for existing supporters, as it is their loyalty and commitment that underpins these figures."

As for Yeovil Town, their crowds dropped another 7.2 percent, down to 3,984 - the first time the club has had under four thousand spectators inside the ground since the 2001-02 season. They are down to just 61 percent of the levels that were sustained during their peak around the 2005-06 season, and the 3,121 that saw the autumn 2011 match against Leyton Orient was their lowest since entering the Football League.

Link: May 2011 : Football League Crowds Record Six Percent Drop.

Link: May 2010 : Football League Crowds Hit 50 Year High.

Link: Yeovil Town Average Attendances Since 1979.


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16 May 2012 : Leyton Orient Away Man Of The Match Result
The third from last game of the 2011-12 season, saw Yeovil Town travel to play Leyton Orient in what had been a vital match for both sides. The 2-2 final score gave the Glovers the point they needed to ensure League One status, but probably didn't tell the full story, as ultra-late goals from Andy Williams and Jonathan Obika ensured an unexpected comeback.

As for the Man of the Match voting, centre-back Richard Hinds finished runner-up in a tight pack of evenly ranked team-mates. The winner of the poll though - and for the third match running, was Jonathan Franks - this time having moved out to a right-wing position.

Full results are as follows:

1 Jonathan Franks 98 (9)
2 Richard Hinds 36 (1)
3 Paul Huntington 32 (1)
4 Jonathan Grounds 30 (2)
5 Luke Ayling 22 (1)
6 Andy Williams 20 (0)
7 Kieran Agard 16 (1)
8 Bondz N'Gala 12 (0)
9 Dominic Blizzard 6 (0)
10 Jonathan Obika 2 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 5.13

Performance: 4.88
Entertainment: 5.38

VOTES RECEIVED: 16


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16 May 2012 : Clifford And Fallon Given Country Call-Ups
Former Yeovil Town loan midfielder Conor Clifford has been given another international call-up. The 20 year old has been included in the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for a friendly against Denmark that takes place on May 28th. That is then followed a week later by a European Championship qualifier against Italy on June 4th.

Conor already has 12 caps at Under-21 level, some of which were gained during his loan spell with the Glovers. Another former Yeovil loanee Rob Kiernan has not been included in the squad due to treatment on an injury, but may team up with the squad later on, given that he is currently the recognised Under-21 captain.

Meanwhile former striker Rory Fallon has been recalled to the New Zealand full international squad, after being dropped earlier this year. Fallen has been impressing for Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen this season, and has been included in a 23 man squad that will participate in the Oceania Nations Cup next month. The All Whites are also scheduled to play friendlies against Honduras and El Salvador this month as a warm-up to that tournament, and Fallon will be involved in those matches as he looked to add to his eleven caps and three goals.


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15 May 2012 : Taff's Gloversblog : Doc Simmonds - An Appreciation
Not too many people have an association with a football club stretching back around 35 years. When Dr Tony Simmonds sadly passed away last week though, many supporters could be forgiven for not knowing too much about a man who largely provided his input into the club behind the scenes. One man who did get to know Tony well though was Don Gibson, who in a guest entry for Taff's Gloversblog hopefully gives fans an idea of the contributions Doc Simmonds made to the club.

We're also aware that many Yeovil Town supporters knew Tony outside the world of football, in his role as a practicing GP in his local Yeovil surgery over the years. Hence feel free to add your own thoughts and messages at the foot of the article below.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : Doc Simmonds - An Appreciation.


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15 May 2012 : Williams Linked With Robins Switch
Former Yeovil Town striker Andy Williams is being linked with one of next season's League One rivals, following his departure from Huish Park. Having turned down a contract offer with the Glovers, Sky Sports is claiming that Swindon Town are "leading the race" to sign him as a free agent.

Their article is accompanied by the infamous phrase "Sky Sports understands" that litters many of the articles, and there's no quotes to firm this one up. However, rumours have been circulating around Huish Park for a while now that the 25 year old had been given a significant offer to head to the County Ground, and so it would be no surprise if this one turns out to be true. However, it's significant as it's the first case of the media being willing to give credence to the rumour.

There have separately been rumours that League Two side Rotherham United were also chasing Williams' signature. However, with Colchester United's Kayode Odejayi and Exeter City's Daniel Nardiello being snapped up by the Millers this week, that would seem less likely as an outcome.

Swindon will be playing in League One for the start of the 2012-13 season and so if Williams signs for them, he'll come up against the Glovers during next season.

Link: Andy Williams : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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15 May 2012 : Pitman Out At Edgar Street
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Jamie Pitman has been dismissed from his role at League Two side Hereford United, in the wake of their relegation back to non-league football. The 36 year old had become first team coach in March 2012, after his 17 month reign as first team manager had been brought to an end.

Replacement manager Richard O'Kelly was unable to prevent the Bulls from dropping into the Conference, and he quit as manager last Friday, after just 12 games in charge. Chairman David Keyte said that O'Kelly's decision to leave caused him to also look at Pitman's position. With his contract still having over a year to run, Keyte explained that he had paid Pitman off:

"I spoke with Jamie Pitman on Friday when I told him his contract would be terminated with immediate effect. The financial settlement will be in line with the termination clause in Jamie's contract, which had one further year to run. To date, we have received some 20 applications for the vacant position of manager and we'll be working hard to complete the process over the next two weeks."

Pitman has had three spells at Edgar Street now. Either side of his time at Huish Park, he had two as a player, making 182 league appearances for the Bulls, but then rejoined them in August 2008 as their club physio. He had become manager in October 2010, initially on a caretaker basis.

Hereford's return to the Conference completes a full circle for them, having also dropped out of the Football League in 1997. On that occasion it took them nine years to regain their Football League status.

Link: Jamie Pitman : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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15 May 2012 : Taff's Gloversblog : A Four-Gone Conclusion
Whilst last week was a good week for Yeovil Town, yesterday was not so good, with four players leaving the club. In the latest Taff's Gloversblog, there's some thoughts on this from Cruncher, who considers the good and bad of the situation. Head via the link below, and add your own reaction to the events at the foot of the article.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : A Four-Gone Conclusion.


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14 May 2012 : Dolphins Trip Points To More Of The Same
We now know a third opponent for Yeovil Town's 2012-13 pre-season schedule. Southern League Division One South and West side Poole Town have said that they will be hosting the Glovers in a friendly match, stating that they also have lined up home fixtures against Eastleigh, AFC Bournemouth and Basingstoke Town as part of the same programme.

Once again, there is no firm date for this match. Poole just missed out on promotion during 2011-12, losing to Gosport Borough in their play-off final in a record crowd for their Tatnam Farm ground of 1,716. There's a fair chance that the coming season will be their last one at their current location, as their plans for a new stadium at Bearwood are underway.

Rather oddly all three of the opponents for July/August were also on the 2011-12 pre-season friendly list, and none have firm dates yet. Last season saw the Glovers win 3-1 with two goals from trialist Diarra Tiemoko and a third from Steve MacLean ensuring victory.

The bare bones of what we have for the 2012-13 pre-season schedule are currently:

Pre-Season Matches:
Dorchester Town (away, date TBA)
Cardiff City (home, date TBA)
Poole Town (away, date TBA)

There is no indication that the Blue Sky International funded pre-season tour is on the cards at present - all continues to be quiet since last October's announcement.

Update: The club have said that there is no pre-season friendly against Cardiff City planned. This had been reported in the South Wales local media, but appears to not be on the cards.


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14 May 2012 : Funeral Arrangements For Doc Simmonds
The funeral arrangements for Yeovil Town Club Doctor Tony Simmonds have been formalised. The service will take place at St John's Church, Yeovil on Monday 21st May, at 2.00p.m. and is open to the public. That will then be followed by a private cremation ceremony, with Dr Simmonds' family expected to head to Huish Park around 4.00p.m.

Dr Simmonds passed away last week, following a long battle against cancer. His association with the club had stretched back around 35 years.

Link: Doc Simmonds R.I.P.


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14 May 2012 : Four Players Fail To Take Up Yeovil Town Contract Offers
Yeovil Town have confirmed that four of last season's squad have left the club after failing to accept contract offers at Huish Park. Striker Andy Williams and midfielder Dominic Blizzard have failed to agree terms at the club, whilst Middlesbrough loan duo Jonathan Grounds and Jonathan Franks have also turned down a chance to join the club permanently.

Williams and Grounds have specifically turned down offers, with Yeovil's top scorer having an alternative offer on the table. Grounds is wanting to stay in the north, due to the birth of his first child, and so will no doubt aim to fix himself up with a club in that area.

In the case of Blizzard and Franks, both players failed to make direct contact with manager Gary Johnson to give a definitive answer by the deadline the Glovers boss requested. As a result, the offers are now off the table and both players will need to find new clubs.

As for captain Paul Huntington, he has suffered a recent family bereavement and so has been granted an extension to consider his future plans. There is still no word from the club on the status of Alistair Slowe or Steve MacLean at this stage.


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14 May 2012 : Bluebirds Plan Huish Park Visit
Yeovil Town will include the visit of Championship side Cardiff City in their pre-season schedule for the 2012-13 season. For the second season running, the Bluebirds will head to Huish Park, on a date that has yet to be published. Cardiff have indicated this morning that they will be visiting fellow West Country sides Forest Green Rovers and Cheltenham Town, as well as undergoing a tour of Switzerland, and will include the Glovers in that list.

Since meeting Cardiff in two FA Cup matches in 1999, the two clubs have met in three pre-season friendlies, having visited Huish Park in 2004 and 2007. Last season's game saw Max Ehmer score Yeovil's goal in a 1-1 draw.

Like the recently publicised trip to Dorchester Town, once we get a firm date, we'll provide an update.


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13 May 2012 : Morris Makes A Big Bench Move
Last weekend, recent Yeovil Town loan midfielder Josh Morris was coming on as a substitute for the Glovers in their final League One match of the 2011-12 season. Earlier today he was doing the same - except that he was at Stamford Bridge in a Premier League match against Chelsea.

Morris made his return to Blackburn Rovers during the week and was on their bench; coming on as a half time substitution for Mauro Formica in Rovers' 2-1 defeat that ended their stay in top flight football. Whilst that means that the 20 year old will be playing for a club operating at Championship level next season, it does mean that this year he's managed to book-end his five Glovers appearances with a trip to Old Trafford and a trip to Stamford Bridge!

Link: Josh Morris : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Whilst on the subject of the Premier League, Stephen Caulker's progress as he rises through the leagues continues to be a success. The Tottenham Hotspur defender has just completed a year on loan with Swansea City, in which he made 25 top flight starts, despite missing three months of the season through injury.

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers is sufficiently impressed with the player to want to bring him back to the Liberty Stadium for another season saying after today's game:

"I will speak to Tottenham on Steven Caulker, he has been incredible for me this season at just 19 years of age."

Link: Steven Caulker : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Less good news for former Glovers player Terry Connor. His attempts to keep Wolverhampton Wanderers afloat were rather unsuccessful, with his 12 game period in charge seeing Wolves clock up just four draws and no wins in his three months in charge. Not too surprisingly that has meant that he will not be taking on the job full time.

However, he reverts back to his assistant manager position under new boss Stale Solbakken. Having been a mainstay at Molineux under numerous managers, including Dave Jones, Glenn Hoddle and Mick McCarthy, he said that he is willing to work with the new man:

"Iím a little bit disappointed, but I understand and accept as a manager you need to win games. So I knew I wouldnít get it Ė four draws from 12 games isnít good enough. Itís all about the club and taking it forward and it was the right decision. Iím contracted by the club and I will do my best for the club and if this is the best way then Iím happy to do it."

Link: Terry Connor : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Better news for the other former Glover who has been managing in the Premier League. Alan Pardew has been named as the Premier League manager of the season for 2011-12. The Geordies managed to grab a 5th place finish in the top flight, gaining Pardew the recognition - a welcome change of tact, given the usual practice of awarding it to whoever's club won the title. Despite Terry Connor stepping down from Wolves, Pardew won't be the only former Glover managing in the Premier League next season, with Brian McDermott taking Reading up from the Championship last month.

Link: Alan Pardew : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Some good news for former midfielder Chris Cohen who has missed the large majority of Nottingham Forest's 2011-12 season through injury. The 25 year old played nine matches in the Championship at the start of the campaign but suffered a cruciate ligament knee injury in mid-September, forcing him to have surgery.

Manager Steve Cotterill reveals that Cohen is now back in training, and could have sneaked into their squad late on in the season. However, with Forest's second tier status safe, he decided to defer any comeback until the start of next season:

"He has been back in training, which is great. He has been playing non-contact. But he has been doing that for three weeks. He has done well. He has been good. We did look to see whether he was ready to face Portsmouth, but it would have been senseless to take a risk. Whether he is ready now or not, after seven months, we know for definite that he will be ready after nine months. We do not need to do it right now. It would be stupid to have risked him. I would not have been tempted even if we had needed to get more points. He will be like a new signing next season."

Link: Chris Cohen : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Former loan striker Luke Freeman has picked up the Football League's Young Player of the Month award for April 2012, whilst trying to help Stevenage gain an unexpected double promotion via the play-offs. Glovers fans probably won't appreciate the fact that part of the reason for his nomination was his two goals and two assists that he got in last months's 6-0 victory at Huish Park.

He also scored a third goal that month at Brentford and that was good enough to get him the award. Freeman said that it was the first time in his career so far that he'd received such recognition:

"It is massive for me to win the award, it is the biggest achievement I've had so far in my career - it's my first one and I will never forget it."

Link: Luke Freeman : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Finally defender Aaron Brown's short stay at Preston North End is now over. The 28 year old was one of a large number to get shown the door in Graham Westley's big Deepdale clear-out. Aaron made just four appearances for the Lilywhites, including a Sky Sports game where he bafflingly was used as a striker, whilst fellow former Glover Max Ehmer played as a left winger.

Link: Aaron Brown : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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13 May 2012 : Taff's Gloversblog : The End Of Short-Termism?
Undeniably, last week was a positive one for Yeovil Town, with three key players signing deals to stay at the club beyond their current contracts. Right-back Luke Ayling plus midfielders Ed Upson and Gavin Williams all put pen to paper, with no-one as yet to give a firm refusal.

In the latest Taff's Gloversblog there's some thoughts on those developments, and why the club may be getting some more positive reactions than they've managed in the last couple of seasons. As ever, feel free to share your own views on the subject at the foot of the article.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : The End Of Short-Termism?


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13 May 2012 : Youga Departure Confirmed
Yeovil Town left-back Kelly Youga has left the club by mutual consent. The surprising bit is that the former Charlton Athletic player actually came off the club's books six weeks ago, according to documents published by the Football Association.

In a "List of Players under Written Contract Whose Registrations have been Cancelled by Mutual Consent", the FA indicate that the 26 year old left the club on March 31st 2012. Doubtless the club will have had to pay up the large majority of his outstanding contract, which ran until the end of the 2011-12 season.

His six month contract ultimately gave the Glovers just 45 minutes worth of football - as a half time substitute in the away match at Bury. An Achilles injury meant that was the one and only time we saw him play, with manager Gary Johnson hinting at the end of February that the problem was not likely to solve itself. It would appear that a month later, Youga quietly left the building.

Link: Kelly Youga : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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13 May 2012 : Grecians Triumph Over Glovers In Charity Match
Exeter City supporters finally got their hands on the Adam Stansfield Memorial Trophy yesterday, at the fourth attempt. With the Glovers having won outright in September 2010 and March 2011, the third encounter in November 2011 had to be decided on a penalty shoot out, which the Glovers won again.

At Topsham Town FC on Saturday morning, the two sides met in what was a rearranged match, after the January fixture was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. This time round, Exeter City ran out as winners, via a 3-0 scoreline, for their first victory in the now regular meeting between the two clubs.

Most importantly, the match raised the sum of £177 towards the Adam Stansfield Foundation - a great effort by both sets of supporters and those attending the game.

A reminder that there is an auction on eBay for two genuine players shirts in aid of the Foundation. Head via the link below for more information.

Link: Auction For Adam Stansfield Testimonial Shirts.


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13 May 2012 : Stevenage Home Man Of The Match Result
The least said about Yeovil Town's worst defeat in the Football League, the better. The 0-6 home defeat was also first time the club had conceded six goals on their own patch for over 50 years, so the Man of the Match voters deserve a lot of credit for providing input in decent volumes!

Whilst there was a fair spread of voting across 14 players, suggesting that no one player was to blame for what went on out there, two players did come out with some credit on the day. Both played in wide positions, with Reading loanee Lawson D'Ath finishing runner up as the left-winger on the day. However, he was beaten by right-back Luke Ayling, who was the one member of the back four to pick up any serious number of votes on the day.

Full results are as shown below, with outright MOTM votes in brackets:

1 Luke Ayling 178 (15)
2 Lawson D'Ath 158 (10)
3 Dominic Blizzard 50 (1)
4 Jonathan Franks 36 (2)
5 Curtis Haynes-Brown 34 (2)
6 Jonathan Obika 22 (1)
7 Jonathan Grounds 20 (1)
8 Gavin Williams 18 (1)
9 Sam Walker 16 (1)
10 Richard Hinds 16 (1)
11 Andy Williams 12 (0)
12 Michael Woods 6 (0)
13 Bondz N'Gala 2 (0)
14 Paul Huntington 2 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 3.18

Performance: 2.74
Entertainment: 3.63

VOTES RECEIVED: 35


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13 May 2012 : Notts County Away Man Of The Match Result
Our April trip to Notts County was something of a disappointment, although thankfully a little more competitive than the club's previous visit to Meadow Lane that saw us lose 4-0. There were still four goals scored on the Easter Monday, and we were briefly in the game when Jonathan Franks scored for the second time over the Easter weekend. However, a Lloyd Sam hat-trick saw us go home with no points to show from the game, and a 3-1 defeat.

Man of the Match voting was extremely tight amongst the supporters who travelled to the game. Luke Ayling polled well in his right-back position, but it was to come down to the Glovers front pairing for who came top. Andy Williams was just edged out by a tiny margin, with Jonathan Franks grabbing his second poll win of the weekend. Full results, with outright MOTM votes in brackets, are shown below:

1 Jonathan Franks 38 (3)
2 Andy Williams 32 (3)
3 Luke Ayling 26 (2)
4 Paul Huntington 18 (1)
5 Sam Walker 14 (0)
7 Dominic Blizzard 12 (0)
7 Lawson D'Ath 12 (0)
8 Richard Hinds 8 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 5.90

Performance: 5.80
Entertainment: 6.00

VOTES RECEIVED: 9


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12 May 2012 : Rochdale Home Man Of The Match Result
With the 2011-12 season now over, there's a number of Man of the Match results that have yet to be published for the month of April. First up was the home match against Rochdale that saw Yeovil Town pick up three points at the hands of a side that were ultimately destined for relegation.

In the end this was probably one of the most comfortable wins of the season - a 3-1 win, with Jonathan Franks, Richard Hinds and Michael Woods all netting, and even Dale's late consolation coming from a Glovers player as Jonathan Grounds saw the ball ricochet into his own net.

As far as Man of the Match voting was concerned two of those goalscorers went head-to-head in the final analysis. Defender Richard Hinds got his first goal for the club, but he was edged out by Jonathan Franks who had moved from his usual right-wing slot to play up front, and scored the opening goal of the game. Full results as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:

1 Jonathan Franks 244 (19)
2 Richard Hinds 240 (16)
3 Luke Ayling 154 (8)
4 Dominic Blizzard 40 (3)
5 Paul Huntington 40 (0)
6 Sam Walker 38 (1)
7 Ed Upson 32 (0)
8 Lawson D'Ath 26 (1)
9 Jonathan Grounds 22 (0)
10 Josh Morris 10 (0)
11 Andy Williams 6 (0)
12 Michael Woods 4 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 7.31

Performance: 7.38
Entertainment: 7.25

VOTES RECEIVED: 48

Apologies for the lateness of publishing these - the remaining games will follow as soon as possible.


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12 May 2012 : Cherries Make Groves Role Permanent
League One side AFC Bournemouth have appointed a permanent replacement for former manager Lee Bradbury, who left Dean Court in March of this year. They've chosen to go with the caretaker duo they appointed on an interim basis with Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks getting the nod on a permanent basis. Both have been given two year contracts, with Groves as manager, and Brooks as his assistant.

Both are well known to the club, having been part of the Cherries youth set-up, whilst Brooks was Dorchester Town's manager under Chairman Eddie Mitchell. However, during their interim period in charge, they managed just two wins in eight matches - albeit with two defeats, with some Cherries fans a little non-plussed about an appointment, with the inference being that the pair are 'yes men' for the Chairman, although Groves unsurprisingly denies this to be the case.

With the pair having previously concentrated on the club's Centre of Excellence sides, Groves has said that he believes that gives them an advantage in taking the club forward:

"I feel that we are well placed, in terms of getting to know the first-team players, but also with the whole structure of the club. Between me and Shaun we know almost every player from the Under Eights to the Under 18s, from the development squad to the first team. We've got very ambitious owners and we are very ambitious too, so it bodes well for the future."

Whilst on the subject of the Cherries, they have announced plans for a new South Stand at Dean Court, to replace the current vacant end of the ground. Proposals include a 36 bedroom hotel. It would appear that matters are at an early stage, with nothing as yet submitted to their local council, and no word on what the capacity of the stand will be. The Cherries are holding a public exhibition later this month, with a view to submitting their plans at some point after that event.


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12 May 2012 : Seven To Five To Seven?
The Football League looks as though it will be bringing up the question of substitutes again at this summer's Annual General Meeting. This issue has been running on the agenda almost every year for the past few seasons. In the summer of 2008 competition organisers allowed seven substitutes to be selected for FA Cup and Carling Cup matches, then a year later it was introduced for Football League games.

Last season, Championship side Burnley tabled a motion for the rule to be reversed for League matches, citing the costs of maintaining large first team squads. Their proposal was voted through, and so we went back to five substitutes, although the two cup competitions stayed as they were.

Now, the Portsmouth local press state that Birmingham City and Derby County have put forward their own counter-proposals asking for the numbers to be returned back to seven substitutes for Football League matches, and that will be debated at the AGM, which is scheduled to take place over the weekend of May 31st and June 1st. The Portsmouth News believe Pompey will be backing it, despite their financial turmoil.

Whilst Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson may hold different views to his predecessor Terry Skiverton, certainly at the time last year's decision was made, Skivo told the Western Gazette that he thought it would harm the club's youth development:

"It is going to end up holding back good English kids coming through, there is no doubt about it. I do not want to harp on about it, but it has ended up costing us young players trying to break through at the club and that can only hamper our Centre of Excellence. If nobody is coming through, who is going to want to send their kids to Yeovil?"

Skiverton also suggested that there was a disconnect within individual clubs, claiming that club Chairmen had voted the change through without consulting their fellow managers and seeing what they would prefer:

"It was voted for by all of the Football League chairmen and maybe the managers should have been consulted a little bit along the line to air their grievances about how we move forward with the squads. This is me only speaking personally, but I think it is madness as there were plenty of times last year when we only put five on the bench and we did not feel any shame in doing it. But now it seems like we have taken the right away and now when I have got a strong squad I will be leaving out quite a number of players."

Whilst it was easy to see why clubs might be unwilling to increase the number of substitutes on the bench, once the summer 2009 decision was voted through, it seemed nonsensical to reverse it two years later. If any clubs disagree with the concept of fielding seven substitutes, then there is a simple solution - name five (or however many you prefer) in your matchday squad, and allow others to choose what they want.


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12 May 2012 : It Was Ten Years Ago Today
Ten years ago today, something a bit magical happened. Yeovil Town took a trip up to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa, in search of something they had never managed to achieve before; a major national trophy. The FA Trophy Final took place on May 12th 2002, against Stevenage Borough and was to prove a platform for the club over the years that followed.

The Holte End - filled with Yeovil Town supporters - and a bit of shameless self-promotion
The Holte End - filled with Yeovil Town supporters - and a bit of shameless self-promotion.
Photo © 2002 Ciderspace


Three major incidents in the game ensured which way the game went. In the opening couple of minutes of the game, Chris Weale produced a wonderful tip-over save from Boro striker Kirk Jackson - who went on to have his own role in Yeovil's history a year later.

The team that day will easily roll off the tongue of any Glovers fan of that era - we had Chris Weale in goal, a back four of Adam Lockwood, Terry Skiverton, Colin Miles and Anthony Tonkin and a midfield quartet of Nick Crittenden, Lee Johnson, Darren Way and Michael McIndoe. Such was the strength of that line-up that nearly all of them went on to have highly successful careers in the Football League, with a number of them playing in the Championship.

However, on the day, it was the strikers who grabbed the headlines. Big striker Carl Alford might not have been the player you'd associate the phrase 'acrobatic bicycle kick' with, but that is what we got - 12 minutes into the match, and the Glovers were in front. However, this was a tight game, and one in which their Hertfordshire opponents were getting plenty of possession, albeit without testing Wealey in the same way that they had done so in the first minute of the game.

The destination of the trophy was sealed 66 minutes into the match, when a long Chris Weale goal kick was flicked on by Carl Alford and into the path of Adam Stansfield. Faced with a one-on-one against Stevenage keeper Paul Wilkerson, Stanno was the only cool person in the stadium as he passed the ball into the back of the net despite the advancing keeper's attempts to narrow the angle, then ran into the sea of Green and White at the Holte End of the ground.

There were three more cameo appearances that day, with Tom White, Chris Giles and Andy Lindegaard the three substitutes to take to the field. Then Skivo lifted the trophy, and Yeovil Town was on its way; to the Conference National league title a year later, then the League Two title two seasons after that - and even the League One play-off final at the new Wembley Stadium. Winning the FA Trophy gave the club its springboard to success.

The moment that kicked off several years of success for Yeovil Town
The moment that kicked off several years of success for Yeovil Town.
Photo © 2002 Ciderspace


Terry Skiverton - then club captain - lifts the FA Trophy at Villa Park
Terry Skiverton - then club captain - lifts the FA Trophy at Villa Park.
Photo © 2002 Ciderspace



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11 May 2012 : Gary Johnson Talks About Contract Offers And Recruitment Plans
With Ed Upson, Luke Ayling and Gavin Williams having committed to stay at Yeovil Town for the 2012-13 season and beyond, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson's summer recruitment and retention plans appear to be on schedule. As part of BBC Somerset's 'Drive' programme this afternoon, presenter Ben McGrail caught up with Gary who was taking a short break in Scotland, and put him live on air.

The result of that conversation can be read via the link below, with Gary also giving his views on how likely striker Andy Williams is to remain at the club.

Link: Gary Johnson Speaks To The BBC About The Club's Contract Offers.


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11 May 2012 : Auction For Adam Stansfield Testimonial Shirts
Two framed football shirts have been put up for auction today in the hope of raising more funds for the Adam Stansfield Foundation. The eBay auction is for Exeter City and Yeovil Town shirts worn during the Adam Stansfield Testimonial Match held just over a year ago at St James Park.

Of the Yeovil Town shirt, the auction description says:

"The Adam Stansfield Foundation have been the Charity of the Year for Sainsbury's, Exeter Guildhall for the last 12 months. They are auctioning this framed match worn shirt and an Exeter City framed shirt to raise funds for the Foundation. The frame is approximately 24" x 18". The shirt was worn during Adam's Testimonial on 2nd May 2011."

Obviously with these being match-worn shirts, rather than replica shirts, this is a rather rare offer. You can learn more about these auctions and bid for them via the links below.

Link: Adam Stansfield Testimonial : Yeovil Town Shirt Auction.

Link: Adam Stansfield Testimonial : Exeter City Shirt Auction.

In addition, on what will be the 10th Anniversary of the day that Adam Stansfield wrote his way into Yeovil Town's history books, by scoring the second goal in the FA Trophy Final against Stevenage Borough at Villa Park, don't forget that there is a match between Exeter City fans and Yeovil Town fans taking place at Topsham FC tomorrow morning. For further details see the earlier news item.

Link: New Date For Adam Stansfield Memorial Trophy Match.


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11 May 2012 : Doc Simmonds R.I.P.
We're sorry to report that Yeovil Town's Club Doctor Tony Simmonds has passed away after a long illness. Dr Simmonds had battled against cancer for some time, and most recently had cancer of the oesophagus.

Tony was a popular person with everyone at the football club - only last month striker Andy Williams dedicated the club's 3-2 win over Chesterfield to him in his post-match interview.

Speaking via his Twitter account, former Yeovil Town physio Simon Baker said of the news:

"A very sad loss of a great man - Doc Simmonds. His appetite for life and to learn impacted on everyone lucky enough to meet him. A loyal servant to Yeovil Town with over 35 years of service, Tony Simmonds was an avid fan as well as a brilliant club doctor. My thoughts are with his family."

Current assistant manager Terry Skiverton, who has worked with Tony both as a player and as a manager has added on his Twitter account:

"So sad to hear the loss of Doc Simmonds. Wise, funny, caring, professional and a good friend to me when things ever got tough. The whole community will miss him."

Obviously we'd extend our condolences to Dr Simmonds' family, and will put up details of his funeral in due course.


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11 May 2012 : Ayling Signs New Yeovil Town Contract
Yeovil Town right-back Luke Ayling has agreed a new contract with the club. The former Arsenal academy player has today signed a new two year deal that will keep him at Huish Park until the summer of 2014.

Apart from the members of the coaching team, Ayling is the club's longest continuously serving player, having arrived on loan at the tail end of the 2009-10 season, turning that into a permanent deal later that summer.

Luke has made 92 appearances at the club, and was runner-up in many of the club's End of Season Awards for the 2011-12 season.

Link: Luke Ayling : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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11 May 2012 : League One And League Two Play-Off Schedule
Tonight sees the Football League play-offs commence for League One and League Two sides, with a full first leg schedule across the weekend for those who want to extend their season via the powers of the Sky Sports channel. It's been a slightly odd schedule this summer, given that the Championship first and second leg matches have already been played, with both finalists now known. The set of matches for third and fourth tier clubs can be found below. It will also be linked in from the Ciderspace home page, under the Forthcoming Events section:

11/05/2012 19:45hrs (Friday) : Stevenage vs Sheffield United : League One 1st Leg
12/05/2012 12:30hrs (Saturday) : MK Dons vs Huddersfield Town : League One 1st Leg

12/05/2012 17:30hrs (Saturday) : Crewe Alexandra vs Southend Utd : League Two 1st Leg
13/05/2012 12:00hrs (Sunday) : Cheltenham Town vs Torquay United : League Two 1st Leg

14/05/2012 19:45hrs (Monday) : Sheffield United vs Stevenage : League One 2nd Leg
15/05/2012 19:45hrs (Tuesday) : Huddersfield Town v MK Dons : League One 2nd Leg

16/05/2012 19:45hrs (Wednesday) : Southend Utd vs Crewe Alexandra : League Two 2nd Leg
17/05/2012 19:45hrs (Thursday) : Torquay United vs Cheltenham Town : League Two 2nd Leg

19/05/2012 15:00hrs (Saturday) : West Ham United vs Blackpool (Championship Play-Off Final) (Wembley Stadium)

26/05/2012 15:00hrs (Saturday) : League One Play-Off Final (Wembley Stadium)
27/05/2012 15:00hrs (Sunday) : League Two Play-Off Final (Wembley Stadium)


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10 May 2012 : Woods And Hinds In The Balance
Yeovil Town pair Michael Woods and Richard Hinds look as though their futures at Huish Park hang in the balance for the time being. Both players are currently free agents, with Woods having played on a non-contract basis since coming down to Somerset, whilst Hinds ran out of contract at the end of April, just short of the end of the season proper.

Neither player was named in the list of eight players who were named by manager Gary Johnson last Saturday, but on the other hand were not listed in the set of four players who were released in the lead-up to the final match of the 2011-12 season.

As hinted earlier in the week, it appears that both players may be offered deals later in the summer, but for the time being they will be free to pick'n'choose who they play for next season. Speaking in this week's Western Gazette, Johnson has explained that both have been deferred for different reasons.

In the case of Woods, the straight red card he received in the 0-6 home defeat against Stevenage appears to have knocked plans backwards, and he will now be invited back for pre-season training at the club, with the offer of a contract there if he can prove he has overcome the injuries that have dogged his career so far:

"What we said was that he has got to work hard throughout the summer, we will wait and see how he summers and the invitation is there for him to join us in pre-season training where hopefully he will take up that offer and show us how fit he is and how much he has been working during the summer."

As for Hinds, the dilemma appears to be what the club are prepared to offer a 31 year old player, versus the security he would want for uprooting his family and bringing them down from Yorkshire. Johnson said he had no issues with his footballing abilities, but explained that it may depend on personal matters:

"Richard Hinds is one where he did fantastic for us. I am sure he would like to stay. It is one where you have got to be able to put an offer to someone who is 31 to bring his family down, his little girl down and his family away from their home. We are still talking at the moment and he will probably be another one that a decision will not be made until the start of pre-season."

Reading into that, our guess would be that there is only a one year deal on the table for the defender at present, and thus he may want to size it up against what offers he can get closer to home. It may be that this one develops later in the summer, but for now Hinds is off the payroll, with his deal running out at the end of last month.

All of this means we can pretty much draw up the club's Released and Retained list, which reads as follows:

Under Contract For Next Season: Bondz N'Gala, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Ed Upson (new two year deal), Gavin Williams (new one year deal), Anthony Edgar (free to find another club).

Offered New Contracts: Luke Ayling, Paul Huntington, Dominic Blizzard and Andy Williams.

Offered Permanent Deals With Yeovil Town: Jonathan Grounds and Jonathan Franks (both released by Middlesbrough).

Decisions On Hold: Richard Hinds and Michael Woods (as explained above).

Definitely Released From Contracts: Billy Gibson, Rhys Baggridge, Lewis Clarke, Rob Clowes.

Presumed Released From Contracts: Kelly Youga, Alistair Slowe, Steve MacLean.

Returned To Parent Clubs After Loans Ended: Sam Walker, Jonathan Obika, Josh Morris, Lawson D'Ath.

Management Team Registered As Players: Nathan Jones and Gareth Stewart.

In the case of Steve MacLean, his release from the club may only be confirmed once Cheltenham Town's League Two play-off commitments are concluded. However Johnson said back in March that he was not part of his plans. Regarding Youga, he has never recovered an Achilles injury, and has slipped off the radar entirely, with Johnson sounding irritated the last time the subject came up. Finally, Slowe's name appears to have been erased from the club without explanation, but given that Gary Johnson's first decision as Northampton Town manager was to turf him out of Sixfields, it is unthinkable that his stay will be lengthened. All three can be pretty much assumed to have left the building.


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10 May 2012 : Johnson Willing To Consider Move For Weale
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that he wouldn't rule out a move to bring former goalkeeper Chris Weale back to Huish Park. The 30 year old is currently on the books of Leicester City, but a succession of injuries, managerial changes and in-game errors have combined to see him drop out of contention at the King Power Stadium.

Johnson of course knows Weale extremely well, having given him his first team debut at Huish Park, after he had risen through the Youth Team ranks at the club. The East Coker player also played under him at Bristol City for three years, albeit as a second choice keeper, and left Ashton Gate for the Foxes three years ago in search of first team football.

Initially that happened, with Wealey having made 87 appearances at Championship level, but this season has seen him drop out of favour and he has not made a Leicester first team appearance since September 2011. A loan spell with Northampton Town was ill-fated, as three games into his time at Sixfields, a serious knee injury in February put him out for the rest of the season.

Johnson has told BBC Somerset that he would be willing to consider talks with the player, but points out that such matters might fall down on the sort of wages he is likely to be on now:

"The finances that they are on when they get to that level is three or four times more than us, or even more. So unless you can get them on loan or they want to do you a favour - Wealey would be great of course - it would be lovely to see him. But I don't know what his situation is. Is he injured? He's been injured for a long long time. But certainly he's on the list. It would be a very expensive one if we were to bring him in, unless you can do a deal with him and he wants to come back home. You never know, do you?"

As Johnson suggests, another question would be that of his fitness - at the time of his injury, both Leicester and Northampton indicated that Weale would require surgery, but have not indicated how long they expect him to be out of action for. The fact that Johnson doesn't know the answer to this question perhaps gives a clue as to how far up his list Wealey lies at present.

Link: Chris Weale : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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9 May 2012 : Johnson Wanting Goalkeeping Stability
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that he wants to bring more stability to his squad in terms of goalkeepers for the 2012-13 season. The Glovers used five different people between the sticks during the campaign, bringing in Norwich City's Jed Steer, West Ham United keeper Marek Stech and Watford's Rene Gilmartin before settling upon Chelsea stopper Sam Walker, whilst goalkeeping coach Gareth Stewart also had to deputise at times when the club had no loan keeper available.

When Johnson came in as manager, he swapped Gilmartin for Walker, admitting that the possibility of the Hornets player being recalled back to Vicarage Road was on his mind, whilst his captain Paul Huntington said in an interview last month that the rotation of keepers during the season was 'not ideal' and that he would prefer more continuity.

Huntington's boss agrees, and whilst he said that he would not rule out the possibility of taking on another loan keeper, with Sam Walker one of his options, Johnson told BBC Somerset that he would be aiming for a half-season loan at minimum in order to reduce the chances of a repeat of the season just gone:

"We're going to need goalkeepers from window to window. We don't want to go a month and then have them called back. So window to window is the least that we want really. If it is an experienced goalkeeper that comes up that wants to come to us long term, and Sam (Walker) ends up not being let out of Chelsea next year, or they want him to go to the Championship or something, then obviously we've got to look at it. But we've got a few ideas, to be honest with you, and Sam is still an option."

Certainly in the past, Johnson has favoured having multiple goalkeepers registered within his playing squad, so it would not be too surprising if he brings in more than one for the start of next season.


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9 May 2012 : Upson Confirms Contract Is Signed
Yeovil Town midfielder Ed Upson has confirmed that he has now signed his new contract at Huish Park. The 22 year old has put pen to paper on a two year deal that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2014. Ed is the second Glovers player to do so this summer, with Gavin Williams having signed a one year deal yesterday.

Speaking via his Twitter account this afternoon, Ed also said he was pleased with the large volume of messages he had received from supporters since he news that he had verbally agreed to sign, broke through on Saturday afternoon:

"Pen has officially been put to paper! Thank you for all the nice messages; I'm delighted to be staying at Yeovil Town."

Link: Ed Upson Speaks To The BBC After The 2-0 Defeat Against Huddersfield.

Link: Ed Upson : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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9 May 2012 : Ed Upson Talks About His New Contract
Following Saturday's 2-0 defeat against Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium, Yeovil Town midfielder Ed Upson spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Bristol reporter Alistair Durden, Ed's views on agreeing a new contract at the club and his hopes for the future are captured via the link below.

Link: Ed Upson Speaks To The BBC After The 2-0 Defeat Against Huddersfield.


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8 May 2012 : Johnson, Tonkin And Smith On The Move
With the 2011-12 season now drawing to a close, there are a number of clubs who are now issuing their retained and released lists around the country. Amongst them are obviously a number of former Yeovil Town players who will be making moves over the summer. At this end of the summer the majority of those on the move are free agents, with it being likely that we'll see them getting fixed up with new club in July.

Two of the players landing on the market are Oxford United pair Oli Johnson and Anthony Tonkin. The release of 24 year old Johnson appears to have raised a few eyebrows amongst Oxford fans - he had netted three times during his 17 appearances since signing for them as a free agent in January of this year, following his release by Norwich City.

Link: Oli Johnson : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Joining him is 32 year old Tonkin, who had spent two and a half years at the Kassam Stadium, having signed for them for an undisclosed fee in January 2010. The left-back only made 14 appearances for Oxford this season, suggesting his time was coming to an end, but overall made 77 appearances during his time with the League Two side, including being part of the 2009-10 Oxford United side that won the Conference National play-offs.

Link: Anthony Tonkin : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Another one of our former Conference stars, Ben Smith, will not get the chance to come up against Yeovil Town, after he was released by the Sussex side today. The 33 year old midfielder had been at the Broadfield Stadium for three years, after signing from Hereford United.

Overall, Ben's departure from Crawley comes as no surprise - he had made one 89th minute substitute appearance for the club, since last September, instead spending loan spells with Kettering Town, Woking and Aldershot Town in his efforts to find first team football. Overall he made 75 appearances for Crawley, scoring 14 goals and being part of their Conference National title winning side, as well as their League Two promotion winning squad, albeit in a fringe role.

Link: Ben Smith : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Late last week, former winger/striker Marvin Williams switched from Salisbury City to Eastleigh, keeping him at Conference South level, but giving him a two year contract with the Hampshire side. Boss Ian Baird has said of the 24 year old's arrival:

"Marvin is a player Iíve been tracking for a while and looked very dangerous when we played Salisbury in February. Heís quick, direct and will add good competition for places. Heís still a young lad with bags of potential and hopefully can fulfill that and progress with us."

Since leaving Yeovil Town in the summer of 2008, Williams has gone through a large number of clubs, including Brentford, Torquay United, Swedish side ÷stersunds FK, Stevenage Borough and Hemel Hempstead Town, before switching to Salisbury in November 2011.

Link: Marvin Williams : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Winger Alan O'Brien is on the look out for a new club, after he was released by Conference National side Gateshead at the end of the 2011-12 season. The 27 year old made 13 appearances, without finding the net, since joining them in February of this year.

Link: Alan O'Brien : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin is a free agent, after Championship side Watford released him last week. The 24 year old had a seven game loan spell with Crawley Town in League Two after his Glovers spell was ended in January, but did not add to his seven Hornets appearances upon his return.

Link: Rene Gilmartin : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Finally, two former Glovers hung up their boots at the end of the season just gone. Winger Scott Murray ended his two year spell with Bath City by retiring from the game, and then becoming Bristol City's first team kit manager. Scott was already working in City's Commercial department and so will be full time at Ashton Gate. He made 68 league appearances for Bath, scoring 14 goals, and gives up the game at the age of 37.

Link: Scott Murray : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Meanwhile French goalkeeper Romain Larrieu closed down his playing career at Plymouth Argyle with his 318th appearance for the Pilgrims on Saturday. The 35 year old was given the honour of being an 85th minute substitute to allow him to milk the Home Park applause in what was only his third appearance of 2012. Larrieu took over the assistant manager's role with the League Two side in September 2011, and so has chosen to concentrate on his managerial duties from now onwards.

Link: Romain Larrieu : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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8 May 2012 : Grounds And Franks Released By Boro
Newspaper reports from the North-East state that Yeovil Town loan pair Jonathan Grounds and Jonathan Franks have now been told to find new clubs. The duo, who completed the 2011-12 season at Huish Park are one of a number of Middlesbrough players who are out of contract at the Riverside Stadium and the Northern Echo reports this morning that four of them have been already told that they can find new clubs.

In addition to Grounds and Franks, the paper names Danny Coyne and Barry Robson as having left the Championship side, and suggests that there will probably be more departures later. But regardless of that, it does appear to confirm that the left-back and right-winger are now able to negotiate their way as free agents - particularly important given that Franks is under-24 and therefore falls under the Bosman cut-off for young players.

Speaking to BBC Somerset after Saturday's match at Huddersfield Town, certainly that was manager Gary Johnson's understanding, when he named the players he was offering contracts to. He said Grounds and Franks were free to look elsewhere:

"They've both been told that they can find new clubs. They are two of the ones that we've made offers to, along with Hunts, Ayling, Upson, Williams, Blizzard and Gavin Williams. They are the ones. Bondz is already under contract anyway, and Haynes-Brown is on a contract, so we need to build around them."

As revealed earlier today, Gavin Williams has since signed a one year contract, whilst Ed Upson has verbally agreed a two year deal.

In terms of Michael Woods and Richard Hinds, who have yet to be offered deals, Western Gazette scribe Chris Sweet has said via his Twitter account that Woods is expected to be invited back to train for pre-season, whilst any possibility of extending Hinds' stay at Huish Park won't be considered until later in the summer - we're not sure if that's at Johnson's request or the defender's own circumstances.

As yet, there is no word on what is happening with Alistair Slowe and Kelly Youga. We can guess the answer, but nothing has been stated either way.


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8 May 2012 : Super Gav Signs A New Yeovil Town Contract
Yeovil Town midfielder Gavin Williams has penned a new deal to extend his stay at Huish Park. The Welshman is in terms of his association with the Glovers, one of the club's mainstays, and is currently on his fourth spell at Huish Park.

Gavin has signed a new one year contract with Yeovil Town today, that will keep him in South Somerset until the summer of 2013. So far he has clocked up 160 appearances, scoring 31 goals across the four spells, since arriving from Hereford United in the summer of 2002. Last season saw him score four times across 30 appearances for the club.

Link: Gavin Williams : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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8 May 2012 : Taff's Gloversblog : Wurzel Going On A Summer Holiday ...
Ah, the beautiful English summer beckons. Just as Cruncher prepares to make his summer holiday plans, he has penned the latest Taff's Gloversblog entry, fresh from his trip to the Galpharm Stadium, and Saturday's game against Huddersfield Town.

With his thoughts on that, and the current on and off field situation as we head into the close season, click the link below, and add your own views as you see fit.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : Wurzel Going On A Summer Holiday ...


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8 May 2012 : Agard Leaves Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town have this morning confirmed that striker Kieran Agard has left the club. The 22 year old joined last summer after being released by Everton, having risen up through their Academy ranks. Signed on a one year deal, the Londoner made 34 appearances for the club, although only 13 of those were League One starts. From that he scored six goals, with his last coming in the 3-2 win over Chesterfield.

Largely, Kieran has been third choice striker behind Andy Williams and Jonathan Obika during the second half of the season, being played as an impact substitute, and so his release doesn't come as too much of a surprise. Good luck to him though with his next club.

Link: Kieran Agard : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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7 May 2012 : 2011-12 Final First Team Statistics
With the 2011-12 season now firmly done'n'dusted, the main First Team statistics pages have now also been finalised. Maintained throughout the season, the pages will be archived in the Statistics section of the site.

Overall, if you saw all of the matches this season, you'll have seen 66 goals scored and 89 conceded. Of those netted at the right end, the 17 goals from Andy Williams gave him the second best haul from a striker since the club entered the Football League, beaten only by the 29 goals scored by Phil Jevons in the club's League Two promotion season. Side from Jevons, only Arron Davies has scored more goals for the Glovers since entering the League, with Williams currently level pegging with Gavin Williams and Dean Bowditch on 25 goals.

Overall, the club used a total of 39 players during the 2011-12 season, which included 17 loan signings. That doesn't include the likes of Alistair Slowe, Rhys Baggridge, Lloyd Matthews and Mitch Brundle who sat on the bench but didn't get on the field of play, or Lewis Clarke and Rob Clowes who were signed on professional forms but did not make the matchday squads.

Right-back Luke Ayling was the club's most used player, making 48 appearances, out of a maximum of 51 fixtures. He also spent the most time on the pitch, with 4,320 minutes playing for the first team, with Ed Upson his nearest challenger, with 4,017 minutes playing time. At the other end of the scale, Flavien Belson and Kelly Youga were the club's least used players, managing just 45 minutes each on the field of play.

As far as club discipline was concerned, this was not one of the club's better seasons. Ed Upson picked up 15 bookings, whilst there were nine red cards issued. Add in two further occasions when the Football Association dished out further bans against two players for transgressions after players had been dismissed, plus a club fine for an incident involving multiple players at Chesterfield, and there's no doubt that this was by far the club's worst season for such matters since entering the league.

In terms of crowds, the club's average attendances at Huish Park dropped to below four thousand for the first time in ten years, with just 3,984 turning up for games. The 3,121 who turned up for the October 2011 midweeker against Leyton Orient was a new Football League low. At the other end of the scale, the club's best attendance of the season came a month later, when 5,635 turned up for the local derby against Exeter City.

As for the Gary Johnson effect, this partial League Table shows that the Glovers would have finished 8th in League One if only his 22 games in charge had been considered, with ten wins, three draws and nine defeats grabbed since the change in first team management.

Link: 2011-12 Final First Team Results And Match Reports.

Link: 2011-12 Final First Team Goalscorer Statistics.

Link: 2011-12 Final First Team Appearance Statistics.

Link: 2011-12 Final First Team Bookings.

Link: 2011-12 Final League One Table.

Link: 2011-12 League One Highest Crowds.

Link: 2011-12 League One Lowest Crowds.

Link: Yeovil Town Average Attendances Since 1979.


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7 May 2012 : Gary's Pre-Kick-Off Huddersfield Interview
Just before kick-off against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Bristol reporter Alistair Durden, Gary gave his pre-kick-off thoughts as well as more thoughts on the contract offers he had handed out to various players.

Link: Gary Johnson Speaks To The BBC Just Before Kick-Off Against Huddersfield.


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7 May 2012 : Belfast Blues Brand Striker Trial As 'Fairytale Rubbish'
So it would appear, we have our first rumour of the close season - albeit one that can be opened and closed in one easy go. Northern Ireland newspaper, the Sunday Life had claimed on the weekend that Linfield striker Mark McAllister was on his way to Yeovil Town for next season, shortly after scoring two goals to help his side lift the JJB Sports Irish Cup against Crusaders, winning Man of the Match in the process.

The Sunday paper claimed that the 23 year old former Dungannon Swifts player would be on his way to Huish Park on trial with a view to joining the Glovers. This has now caught the attention of the Belfast News Letter a day later, who contacted Linfield Chairman Jim Kerr for his views on a player who they paid £32,000 for, three and a half years ago. Kerr described it as 'fairytale rubbish', pointing out that they would expect a significant fee to be paid for their player:

"I donít know where this speculation has come from. It is fairytale rubbish. Nobody from Yeovil or any other club has contacted Linfield or Mark. I can confirm that he will not be going anywhere on trial. We do not send our players, especially an experienced one like Mark McAllister, on trial.

"We paid £32,000 for Mark in 2009, but he would demand a sizeable fee now. I would expect that any interested clubs would make contact with Linfield first and go through the proper channels. But we have heard from nobody so I donít understand where the story has come from."

For what it's worth, although the Glovers have employed scouts with contacts in Ireland frequently in the past - Stephen Maher being an obvious example - it seems unlikely that they would be bidding for a player that would command a significant transfer fee.


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6 May 2012 : Gary's Verdict On The Huddersfield Away Game
Following yesterday's 2-0 defeat against Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Bristol reporter Alistair Durden, Gary's post-match thoughts and his views on his summer recruitment plans can be read via the link below.

Link: Gary's Verdict On The Huddersfield Away Game.


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5 May 2012 : League One Ups'n'Downs
With the 2011-12 Football League season proper now over, and all fictures having been fulfilled, the final League One table gives us a better idea of what next season will look like for Glovers fans.

Today saw us wave goodbye to Sheffield Wednesday who join Charlton Athletic back in the Championship. The Owls celebrated automatic promotion with a 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers in front of the biggest crowd of the season as 38,082 crammed into Hillsborough.

That left neighbours Sheffield United having to settle for the play-offs, despite accumulating 90 points over the course of the season. With Huddersfield Town and Milton Keynes Dons already guaranteed play-off slots, the only other question was who would grab the final 6th place slot. That fell to Stevenage, who maintained their place on goal difference over Notts County after both sides won their final games today comfortably.

With all League One relegation slots and all Championship relegation slots already decided, matters were far more interesting at the top of League Two. With three clubs within a point of each other, it was hard to judge who would join Swindon Town and Shrewsbury Town in League One.

Torquay United were level on points with Crawley Town this morning, and with the easiest fixture of the day, but they proceeded to make a mess of things against Hereford United, who were on their way out of the Football League, despite beating the Gulls 3-2. That left Crawley to battle it out with Southend United and although the Essex side did hold the automatic slot for a fair chunk of the afternoon, as they went on to beat relegated Macclesfield Town 2-0, a 67th minute Scott Neilson allowed Crawley the chance to climb back up into third and give them their first ever season at League One level.

For those who like visiting new football grounds, Yeovil Town have the prospect of four new stadiums to visit during the 2012-13 season. Portsmouth's Fratton Park ground is over 100 years old but has never staged a Yeovil Town match, whilst Coventry City have their 32,609 capacity Ricoh Arena which opened in 2005. As for Crawley Town, we did play them in 1992 in an FA Cup match, but five years later they moved to the Broadfield Stadium, meaning this is a new one to visit. Meanwhile since we last played Shrewsbury Town, they have changed grounds, opening up the New Meadow in July 2007.

Ups'n'Downs Affecting League One:

Relegated From Championship: Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth, Coventry City.

Automatic Promotion From League One: Charlton Athletic (Champions), Sheffield Wednesday.

League One Play-Offs: Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, MK Dons, Stevenage.

Relegated From League One: Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Rochdale.

Automatic Promotion From League Two: Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town.

League Two Play-Offs: Southend United, Torquay United, Cheltenham Town, Crewe Alexandra.

Link: 2011-12 Final League One Table.


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5 May 2012 : Johnson Targets 'Four Or Five' Summer Recruits
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that his summer goal is to recruit in 'four or five' quality first team players that can take his side to the next level. Having taken the club out of the relegation zone to a relatively comfortable 17th placed finish at the end of the 2011-12 season, the Glovers boss now has his first true chance to shape his squad in the way that he wants to.

Having watched his team lose 2-0 at the hands of play-off participants Huddersfield Town this afternoon at the Galpharm Stadium, Johnson was able to match his team up against where he wants his team to be in the long run. Speaking after the game, he believes that not all of his players are capable of reaching that standard, and so wants to bring in new blood over the summer:

"If I can add four or five to the six or seven players who are better than they have shown (today against Huddersfield), we are not going to be far away. The club has had a great second half to the season and we can't be too downhearted at this result. There is more to come from some of our players but we need a bit a strength, quality and pace to help them.

I am looking forward to the summer and doing some business. We have quite a good list of players we think we can bring in. We have some good players but we need them to be consistent
."

Johnson admitted that Huddersfield had a few classy players amongst their ranks that were hard to compete with. He singled out strike pair Lee Novak, who cost the Terriers £150,000 from non-league Gateshead three years ago, and League One top scorer Jordan Rhodes who joined from Ipswich Town for a reported fee of £400,000, with further add-ons taking that figure closer to half a million.

He admitted that he would find it tough to match their sort of firepower and expenditure in the future, but said he was realistic about that situation when competing with the big boys:

"Huddersfield have done well over 46 games and have two goalscorers in Jordan Rhodes and Lee Novak. We haven't got their budget but we can't complain about that."


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5 May 2012 : Man of the Match Voting for Huddersfield vs Yeovil Town
If you watched this afternoon's 2-0 defeat against Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.

Link: Man of the Match Voting for Huddersfield Town vs Yeovil Town.


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5 May 2012 : Huddersfield 2 Yeovil 0 : Terriers Double Downs Glovers
Yeovil Town went down to a 2-0 defeat on the final game of the 2011-12 season, as League One play-off contenders Huddersfield Town justified their position in the table at the Galpharm Stadium. Lee Novak netted the opener just before the half time whistle, and although the Glovers improved during the second period, Daniel Ward sealed the points for the Terriers with a ball driven into the bottom corner, leaving Yeovil completing the season in 17th place, whilst their opponents will now extend their season into the play-off stages.

The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up. Defender Richard Hinds had rather oddly run out of contract at the club meaning that he was not part of the squad, with Bondz N'Gala shuffling across from right-back to fill his position. Luke Ayling in turn moved from midfield to right-back. That allowed Ed Upson to return after his midfield berth following a three match suspension. Up front, Jonathan Obika's hamstring strain meant that he dropped out of the squad, allowing Kieran Agard to get a start in the side. On the bench, Josh Morris and Gavin Williams were drafted in.

Whilst Huddersfield initially started the game well, Yeovil had the first significant chance went close from an Ed Upson free kick. Paul Huntington just failed to get on the end of a set piece awarded after Damien Johnson had cynically hacked down Jonathan Franks. However, as the game gradually formed a pattern, it was the home side who were largely on top, particularly exploiting Yeovil's left flank, with full-back Jack Hunt almost playing as a winger, in terms of how far up the field he was progressing.

Kallum Higginbotham shot straight at Sam Walker, then danger man Jack Hunt fed Scott Arfield who shot into the side netting, but the Terriers couldn't find the opening goal, and it seemed that the longer the half went on, the more restless the Terriers fans got - even if this match didn't really matter to them. Yeovil weren't really threatening at the other end - Kieran Agard had a few sniffs of goal, but his tendency to want to take two touches to control the ball was meaning that his opportunities were lost far too quickly.

The real battle on the pitch though was between Lawson D'Ath and Jack Hunt, and there was only one winner. Gary Johnson had shouted instructions to the Reading loanee on numerous occasions, but he couldn't get close enough to the full-back to bother him. In fairness to D'Ath, Hunt was chosen for the League One team of the season, and he showed why, then on the stroke of half time he put in a cross, and Lee Novak's flicked header put the Terriers a goal up, that their play probably deserved. Johnson responded by substituting D'Ath - a fairly humiliating experience for the player given that by the time Gavin Williams replaced him there was only 30 seconds before the break.

The second period saw an immediate improvement, with Gavin Williams and Jonathan Franks swapping wings, giving the more pacey Middlesbrough man a chance to shackle Jack Hunt and put him on the back foot. An early shot for Williams was followed up by his namesake Andy dancing his way through the Huddersfield midfield and forcing Terriers keeper Ian Bennett into his first proper save of the game, parrying the ball out as far as Kieran Agard, and then saving again on the rebound as the ball went out for a corner.

Huddersfield still threatened during the second period, although not with quite the same intensity. They went close when Sean Morrison's header was cleared off the line by Luke Ayling, who was holding one of the goalposts on a corner. Later a Morrison header went over the bar as the home side mainly threatened from set pieces.

The Terriers still had enough class though to seal the game. On 72 minutes, a crossfield ball from Damien Johnson caught out Luke Ayling, who lost his marker, allowing Daniel Ward to break free and hit a well struck shot into bottom right hand corner to make it 2-0 and pretty much wrap the game up. With Huddersfield choosing that moment to introduce League One's top scorer Jordan Rhodes onto the field, their first substitution wasn't likely to make the Glovers feel that they were about to get back into the game.

Yeovil did try one last switch - bringing on Josh Morris for Kieran Agard, allowing Jonathan Franks to go up front for the final ten minutes. But on the whole, the Glovers front line were well shackled by the Huddersfield back four for the majority of the afternoon, and clear-cut chances hard to come by. Danny Ward could have grabbed a third in second half injury time as Sam Walker produced a terrific save to take the ball out for a corner, and that was that - the 2011-12 season closing out on a slight low - even if the 11 point gap between Yeovil and the relegation spots show how much they've achieved during the second half of the season. The main question now is whether they can hang on to those players that got them into that 17th placed position. Upson looks set to stay, but will the others?

Link: 2011-12 Final League One Table.

Final Score: Huddersfield Town 2 Yeovil Town 0.

Scorers: Lee Novak (45 mins, 1-0), Daniel Ward (72 mins, 2-0)

Huddersfield Town:
13. Ian Bennett
32. Jack Hunt 15. Sean Morrison 5. Peter Clarke 2. Calum Woods
16. Scott Arfield 14. Damien Johnson 18. Tommy Miller 11. Daniel Ward
21. Lee Novak 27. Kallum Higginbotham

Substitutes:
1. Alex Smithies (GK) 7. Gary Roberts 12. Tom Clarke (80 mins for Jack Hunt) 17. Jordan Rhodes (73 mins for Lee Novak) 22. Anton Robinson (74 mins for Damien Johnson)

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 4. Bondz N'Gala 17. Jonathan Grounds
16. Jonathan Franks 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 14. Lawson D'Ath
18. Kieran Agard 7. Andy Williams

Substitutes:
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 10. Gavin Williams (45 mins for Lawson D'Ath) 15. Josh Morris (81 mins for Kieran Agard) 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown 36. Mitch Brundle

Yeovil Bookings: Bondz N'Gala (foul, 9 mins)

Huddersfield Bookings: Damien Johnson (foul, 3 mins)

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey). Assistants: Peter Bankes (Merseyside) and Robert Merchant (Staffordshire). Fourth Official: Jason Tyas (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 13,520 (with 262 Yeovil supporters).


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5 May 2012 : Eight Players Offered New Contracts
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has named eight players who he has offered new contracts to for the 2012-13 season. In addition to midfielder Ed Upson, who the Glovers boss confirmed earlier today would be signing a new deal on Tuesday, Gary has offered seven other players the chance to stay at Huish Park.

There are not too many surprises in that list, named by local journalist Chris Spittles after the match, with right-back Luke Ayling, centre-back Paul Huntington, midfielders Dominic Blizzard and Gavin Williams and striker Andy Williams all with deals on the table.

On top of that Middlesbrough loan duo Jonathan Franks and Jonathan Grounds have also been given offers, suggesting that they have already been told that they have no future at the Riverside Stadium.

All of the above players are believed to have two year contracts on offer - if true, then that's a substantial shift from the club's policy in recent seasons, where one year rollovers have tended to be the theme.

That means that there are six players who we have yet to be told their fate. Midfielder Michael Woods, centre-back Richard Hinds, left-back Kelly Youga, strikers Steve MacLean and Kieran Agard and supposed footballer Alistair Slowe are all out of contract in the summer. The fact that they're not in that list rather implies they'll be shown the door, although with one or two of them it may be that there are other factors afoot. Youga, Slowe and MacLean will surely be out the door.

Four players have already being shown the door, with Rob Clowes, Lewis Clarke, Rhys Baggridge and Billy Gibson having been released earlier this week.

Three players remain under contract for next season, with Curtis Haynes-Brown, Bondz N'Gala and Anthony Edgar all halfway through two year deals. However, Edgar has been told he is free to find another club.

Link: Upson Agrees New Yeovil Town Contract.

Link: Four Players Leave Yeovil Town.


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5 May 2012 : Team News For Huddersfield Town vs Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town have made two changes to their starting line-up for this afternoon's trip to Huddersfield Town. Centre-back Richard Hinds has run out of contract, and so is not part of today's squad, and his place positionally speaking is taken by Bondz N'Gala. That means that Luke Ayling has shuffled back into his favoured right-back slot.

Ayling's position in midfield is taken by Ed Upson who returns from his three match suspension, whilst the other player coming into the line-up is Kieran Agard, who replaces Jonathan Obika who has a hamstring strain.

On the bench, Gavin Williams is fit enough to grab a place, whilst Obika's absence means that Blackburn Rovers midfielder Josh Morris is able to join the squad for the first time in four matches. The line-up is therefore as follows:

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 4. Bondz N'Gala 17. Jonathan Grounds
16. Jonathan Franks 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 14. Lawson D'Ath
18. Kieran Agard 7. Andy Williams

Substitutes:
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 10. Gavin Williams 15. Josh Morris 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown 36. Mitch Brundle

Huddersfield Town:
13. Ian Bennett
32. Jack Hunt 15. Sean Morrison 5. Peter Clarke 2. Calum Woods
16. Scott Arfield 14. Damien Johnson 18. Tommy Miller 11. Daniel Ward
21. Lee Novak 27. Kallum Higginbotham

Substitutes:
1. Alex Smithies (GK) 7. Gary Roberts 12. Tom Clarke 17. Jordan Rhodes 22. Anton Robinson


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5 May 2012 : Upson Agrees New Yeovil Town Contract
Yeovil Town midfielder Ed Upson has verbally agreed a new contract at Yeovil Town. Speaking to BBC Somerset in his pre-match interview, manager Gary Johnson confirmed that the player had told him this morning that he would be signing a new deal next week that would keep him at Huish Park until the summer of 2014.

The 22 year old has made 67 appearances for the club since signing for the Glovers in the summer of 2010 from Ipswich Town and has become a key player in the first team squad this season, scoring a number of stunning long range goals. Speaking to the BBC, Gary broke the news:

"The good news is that one of them already this morning - Ed Upson - has told us that he will be signing, so he'll be certainly signing early on Tuesday. He's committed himself to us for the next two years, which is fantastic as I think he'll only get better, and since I've been here he's been a fantastic player, a great person and a real pro. So he's a good one to get the old domino effect started."

Johnson also stated that there were now "eight or nine" players who had contract offers on the table for next season - a slight increase on his position from last weekend.

Link: Ed Upson : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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5 May 2012 : Johnson: New Set-Up Will Still Provide Route For Young Players
Yeovil Town first team manager Gary Johnson believes that the club's planned changes to their Youth Development structure will not result in them abandoning their plans to bring new local talent into the professional side. This week has seen the news that the club plans to close its current Centre of Excellence set-up, in a move that will see eight Youth Teams disbanded, ranging from Under-9s to Under-16s.

In their place will come the concept of an Elite Development Centre, with competitive games restricted to school holidays, and without players being tied to junior contracts with the club. The parents of the players were invited to a series of meetings at Huish Park during this week to explain the new plans, which Johnson attended and addressed the audience. Speaking to BBC Somerset after that meeting, he said he hoped those present understood that there was still a potential route through to the first team:

"Hopefully most people left knowing that we're not abandoning the Youth Development programme, and we're certainly not abandoning the route to become a professional footballer at Yeovil. If you're eight years of age, or nine years of age, there is still a route, because we'll still be holding coaching sessions."

The usual format for Elite Development Centres is for clubs to run multi-week training courses on a subscription basis, with participants invited to attend after a trial. Johnson added that he would be aiming to involve his current first team coaching set-up in those sessions:

"We're hoping to improve those as well, enhancing them with myself, Terry (Skiverton), Darren (Way) and Nathan (Jones). We'll be doing a little bit more work now with age groups. We're just trying to make them feel that they're a massive part of the club. We want the parents to feel a part of the club, and we want them to feel that we are looking after their son."

The normal expectation with a Centre of Excellence set-up is that players do not play for other local sides, sticking entirely with their age group at Yeovil Town. With organised matches restricted to school holidays under the new set-up, Johnson explained that players would now be able to turn out for their local sides and felt that was the main difference:

"I personally don't think they lose out that much. The only difference is the games programme on the weekend; they might have to go and be the best player again (in their local side) on the Sunday. But we will have a games programme during the holidays."

Link: 01/05/2012 : Centre Of Excellence Under Threat.

Link: 02/05/2012 : Elite Development Centre Planned.

Link: 03/05/2012 : EPPP Part Three.


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5 May 2012 : So ... They're All Staying ... Right?
With many of Yeovil Town's out of contract players in negotiations with the club at present, it is currently difficult to predict how similar the current squad will look to the one the club are finishing the 2011-12 season with. Of the sixteen players in the permanent squad who are out of contract, four of them were shown the door this week, leaving twelve who have to have their fate decided. In addition, there are six loan players who may or may not return next year.

Manager Gary Johnson suggested last weekend that around six or seven of his players have been told they are being offered contracts for next season, but as yet we do not have a definitive list as to who those players are. The big question if they do have offers on the table, or in the case of loan players the opportunity to return for next season, what are the chances of them staying next season. There's been a number of recent interviews recently with most of the key players; here's some soundbites on what they said about their prospects of signing contracts or their plans for next season:

Ed Upson: (BBC Somerset, 03/05/2012)

"We've had a chat and there's some very positive things coming out now, and I'm really looking forward to the things that might be happening. I'm really enjoying myself on a personal level. Playing week-in, week-out has only helped me and improved me. It's my 45th game on Saturday, so I've played a few and hopefully I can play again next season."

Luke Ayling: (Western Gazette, 28/04/2012)

"It has been a good two years, I have played 90 games and I am still only 20. So there is no rush to go out there and make money right now or go and chase something that might not be on at the moment. I am just happy doing what I am doing. Obviously I am going to speak to the agent, but, hopefully, some of the other boys will stay and we can add to the team."

Gavin Williams: (BBC Somerset, 07/04/2012)

"I'm happy at Yeovil. I love playing for the club. I've always been happy playing football here, so I'd definitely like to stay."

Paul Huntington: (Western Gazette, 03/05/2012)

"It would send out a good, positive message if the full quota were to sign. It is still very early days. A couple of us have spoken to the manager and we literally have not known long about the offers. We spoke a week or two ago about offers and I think he spoke to the people he wanted to keep. We have got a lot of thinking to do. I have really enjoyed my time here. I would love to stay, it is just obviously that talks will take place and we will see what progresses."

Andy Williams: (Western Gazette, 03/05/2012)

"The club have made a new offer and I have got a bit of time to consider it. It is a tough decision to make. Obviously enjoyment is a massive thing, as is playing every week. But you have got to consider that your career only lasts until you are about 35 so you have got to do the best you can in those years. There are loads of things to consider and that is why I have got to sit down and have a think about it."

Richard Hinds: (Western Daily Press, 21/04/2012)

"I would like to be part of it, It is a club that is going places. I have absolutely loved it, the club has a great set of fans and a great management team. Even though I am 31 I am sure I can still learn off them and I think I am learning off them. I feel I would love to be here."

Sam Walker: (BBC Somerset, 03/05/2012)

"Definitely, yes. I think the gaffer is concentrating on tying down the contracted players, and we've had a few conversations, and we'll see what happens. But definitely I'd be open to it (coming back next season). It's been a really good season for me. I'm 20 years old now. I've had a full season, with half of it at Northampton and half of it at Yeovil and I've enjoyed every game. We've had our ups and downs but I've enjoyed getting Yeovil out of the trouble with the help of everybody else."

Jonathan Grounds: (Western Daily Press, 09/04/2012)

"I have not really sat down with my partner to see what the future is going to hold. It is just about getting these five games out of the way, try to play in all of those five games and see where the future takes me. I have really enjoyed it here and the staff and players have been really welcoming."

Jonathan Franks: (BBC Somerset, 21/04/2012)

"It's given me a new lease of life, really. It's just nice to be back playing, and obviously I'm thankful to Yeovil for giving me a chance, and I'm feeling that the more that I'm playing, the more positive I'm getting. We'll see, yes - you never know!"

If we base our hopes on the above quotes from players, then it would appear we've got nothing to worry about, right? However, with football agents no doubt giving out plenty of advice, and other clubs providing their own offers to those players, it may be a different picture in a month's time. We'll doubtless match up what they said, and what they did later in the summer.


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4 May 2012 : Gary Previews The Huddersfield Away Game
As part of the build-up to tomorrow afternoon's away trip to Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Dan Albutt, Gary's thoughts on that match, and his team's current form can be read via the link below.

Link: Gary Johnson Speaks To The BBC As Part Of The Build-Up To Huddersfield.


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4 May 2012 : Town Ladies Win The County Cup To Complete An Historic Double
Yeovil Town Ladies finished a highly memorable season on Thursday night by beating Larkhall Athletic Ladies 3-0 to lift the Somerset FA Senior Ladies Cup, so completing the league and county cup double for the first time it their history. The Larks gave Yeovil a tough game throughout, but the Glovers fully deserved their victory thanks to a plucky performance and well taken goals from Rosie Williams, Laura Bray and Jodi Cornwall.

"It feels really nice to have won tonight, completing the league and cup double," joint manager Sarah Lawler said after the game. "Nigel (Williams), myself and Chris (White) have now completed our first full season in charge, and the girls have not only finished the campaign unbeaten in the league, but also now in the County Cup. It feels fantastic, and well done to everyone."

Larkhall got off to a strong start, attacking the Yeovil defence from the off, with Kate German going close early on. Yeovilís reply was immediate, with Jodi Cornwall making a lovely run down the left to cross in for Laura Bray to bang the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately though, the assistant refereeís flag was held aloft, and the goal was disallowed for offside.

The Glovers were going through a good spell, with Cornwall, Bray, Stacey Pearson and Rosie Williams all seeing plenty of the ball. And it was this good possession that won them a free kick forty yards out on the right in the ninth minute. Emma Brazell lined it up, and sent in a wonderful ball to the edge of the box for Williams to head it inch perfect over the goalkeeperís head and into the back of the net.

"It was a great opening goal from Rosie," Lawler said, "We have been working on that, looking at our set pieces, headers from crosses, corners and free kicks, and that has obviously paid off for her tonight with a quality goal, and one that sent us on our way."

The game was still evenly paused, with both sides enjoying good possession, but when Yeovil had the ball they were using it well with some lovely one touch passing, and some great overlap play involving the likes of Pearson and Terri Trowbridge. Pearson was having a good game with some strong play, and after some neat interchange between Trowbridge and Laura Wensley in the 12th minute, she was sent clear and powered her way to the left side of the box to test Nicki OíConnell in the Larks goal.

Yeovil continued to attack, and in the 18th minute Williams sent a lovely ball to Bray, who twisted her way into the box, beat two defenders, but unfortunately could not get the better of the impressive OíConnell. The Glovers were not having it all their own way, with Larkhall still seeing plenty of the ball, and when given the opportunity they attacked at speed. Rachael Edwards was marshalling her troops well, and the defence were in good form, with a number of telling tackles in and around the box. And when the Larks did manage to get a sniff of goal, they came up against an in-form and confident Rachel Simkin between the Yeovil posts.

"All credit to Larkhall," Lawler said. "I thought that they came out tonight and gave us a tough game, just like they did against us in pre-season. They did not give us a moments rest, and they put us under a bit of pressure, particularly in the second half, where they had a few opportunities to score."

As the first half moved into its final fifteen minutes the Glovers started to flex their muscles and really came at the opposition. Williams went close from a Brazell free kick on 32 minutes, and a few minutes later Pearson dispossessed Char Rooney for a decent shot from ten yards that OíConnell just managed to hold. Cornwall was becoming a menace in the Larks defence, and twice went close, firstly on 41minutes with a powerful shot from 25 yards, and then a few a minute later from a lovely lob shot that was only inches from the net.

Williams found Cornwall with a superb pass on 44 minutes. The youngster in turn powered her way down the left to cross in for Bray to go close at the near post. The resulting corner saw a bit of head tennis in the box, but the ball eventually came to Wensley for a 12-yard shot that brought the best out of OíConnell.

"The match was still tight at half time," Lawler said. "At the break we told them some of the things that they needed to work on, and when they got out there they played the ball quicker, kept things simple and played the ball to feet rather than up in the air. And that is how the goal came off. It was well worked by Rosie Williams, and a good opportunist strike from Laura Bray."

Larkhall piled on the pressure early in the second period, but it was Yeovil who enjoyed the first opportunity on goal when Pearson crossed in for Williams to hit a ten-yard volley that was well saved by OíConnell on 47 minutes. Shortly after that Williams worked wonders on the right as she went past her marker and into the box to put in a short cross for Laura Bray to bang home from a few yards.

The Glovers could now see the winning daylight, and with the bit between their teeth they hit the Larks hard. A third goal seemed on the cards, and less than two minutes later Jodi Cornwall received the ball just inside the box, and as she turned she was sent tumbling to the ground. The referee did not hesitate, and Cornwall herself placed the ball on the spot and converted a text book penalty.

"Jodi took her penalty well," Lawler said. "We have practiced penalties in the week leading up to this match, and Jodi has taken some crackers. Obviously she was the one taken down in the box, so she wanted to put her foot on the ball for the penalty. She sent it exactly where she wanted it, and stuck it well in the net."

The game was now all but won, but credit to Larkhall, they continued to battle, and they continued in their search for goals. Tash Miller hit the ball into the side netting on 64 minutes, and German went close on 67 minutes with a shot from just outside the box which Simkin dealt with in spectacular fashion, one of a number of excellent saves she made as the Larks continued to attack during a good spell of attack.

To be fair, the Glovers always looked comfortable, and rarely in danger of conceding a goal. And with Justine Lorton now on the pitch inspiring some strong attacks they were buzzing and determined to add to their tally. With ten minutes to go Bray made a fantastic run down the flank to cross in for substitute Shannon Osman, but unfortunately OíConnell just managed to get her foot to the ball before the youngster could make contact, and then Bray turned recipient a few minutes later when she got on the end of a Pearson cross for a good shot, but the ball went just wide.

"Tonightís win will hopefully serve as a good stepping stone for us back in the Premier League next season," Lawler said. "It is a nice lift to finish on a high. The players can now go and enjoy the club presentation evening having lifted the double, celebrate and enjoy themselves. We will then be setting our expectations of them this summer as we build again for the Premier League."

"It has been another great night, and a brilliant end to the season," fellow manager Nigel Williams said. "We have not been managers that long. Obviously we have managed up through youth football, but have not been with the senior side that long, so we have been thrilled to have seen the team come out and win tonight without conceding a goal, which was important to us, and we have finished off the season well. I am delighted for the girls, and I am delighted for the club."

Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 3 Larkhall Athletic Ladies 0.

Yeovil Town Ladies: Simkin, Brazell, Edwards (c), Grogen, Trowbridge (Hatton - 81), Williams, Wensley, Pearson, Whitton (Osman - 69), Bray, Cornwall (Lorton - 63)

[Report by Ali King - Yeovil Town Ladies.]


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4 May 2012 : Ladies Double Joy - In Pictures
South West Combination Women's Football League winners. A national FA Respect Gold award. It's been a rather good season for Yeovil Town Ladies. Last night they added to those accolades, by winning the Somerset Women's Senior Cup Final against Larkhall Athletic Ladies. Pictured below are the jubilant team clutching the trophy, and also letting off a bit of steam. Their 2011-12 season now draws to an end, as they will prepare for life back in the FA Women's Premier League next season. Congratulations to them on an incredible season.

Yeovil Town Ladies team group with the Somerset Women's County Cup
Yeovil Town Ladies team group with the Somerset Women's County Cup.
Photo © 2012 Yeovil Town Ladies


The fizz of success as Yeovil Town Ladies celebrate the double
The fizz of success as Yeovil Town Ladies celebrate the double.
Photo © 2012 Yeovil Town Ladies



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3 May 2012 : EPPP Part Three
With Yeovil Town's Centre of Excellence set to be downgraded for next season, this week's Western Gazette has published some of the financial figures surrounding the club's decision-making. At the time that the Elite Player Performance Plan was voted through, it wasn't clear how Huish Park officials had voted on the issue - the article states that the club voted against it, as part of 22 Football League clubs who were opposed to the Premier League proposals.

Although we highlighted earlier this week that much of the controversy surrounding the EPPP was in the fixed tariff fees that clubs would pay for player transfers, the club have indicated that their major issue with the proposals related to the minimum standards required to reach the four EPPP Academy Categories.

In the club accounts published last month, the Centre of Excellence generated a turnover of £196,000 for the 2010-11 season. The latest figures given indicate that the club are receiving a grant from the Football League of around £180,000, with the club contributing only an additional £30,000 for the running of the centre. The new requirements for an EPPP Category Three Academy (the closest match to a Centre of Excellence) are for clubs to invest £105,000 per season. Category Three clubs receive a £210,000 grant on top of that, but the Glovers were not willing/able to do so.

The other factor that has materialised is that the club's Centre of Excellence facilities at Alvington were believed by the club to not meet the Category Three requirements, with a club statement saying that they fell short in such a way that this could not be rectified for next season, explaining that "the facilities that are available to the Club in the Yeovil area do not meet all the criteria required by the Premier League's EPPP template and there is no prospect of that situation changing in the immediate future."

The club are already required under their Food Store plans to find two alternative community training pitches, plus first team facilities to replace the existing Top Pitches behind the away end at Huish Park. If they are finding the procurement of facilities for a CoE set-up difficult, then it stands to reason that providing these may also prove tricky.

Link: Elite Development Centre Planned.

Link: Centre Of Excellence Under Threat.


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3 May 2012 : Ladies At The Double
Yeovil Town Ladies picked up their second trophy of the 2011-12 season tonight, winning the Somerset Women's Senior Cup Final. Their 3-0 victory over Larkhall Athletic Ladies adds to the South West Combination Women's Football League title they won last month, and completes their season on a high.

Getting off to a good early start after Rosie Williams put them a goal up with just ten minutes gone, they kept that slender lead up until the half time break, in front of a couple of hundred spectators at Wells City's ground, with the match only having passed a pitch inspection a few hours before kick-off.

The balance of the match swung emphatically in Yeovil's direction eight minutes into the second half, when goal machine Laura Bray doubled their lead. And barely a couple of minutes later, a foul inside the box saw Jodi Cornwall step up and fire home from the penalty spot for the third and final goal.

Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 3 Larkhall Athletic Ladies 0.


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3 May 2012 : Four Players Leave Yeovil Town
Four Yeovil Town players have been shown the door this afternoon, after failing to win contracts for next season. First year professionals Rob Clowes, Lewis Clarke and Rhys Baggridge have all left the club, whilst they are joined by right-winger Billy Gibson, who had spent two years at Huish Park without breaking into the side.

Billy Gibson's exit comes as no surprise, given that manager Gary Johnson had already said that the player was not in his plans for next season after the player went out on loan to Conference National side Braintree Town - he has just completed his temporary spell with the Essex side. Gibson is the only one of the quartet that made first team appearances - thirteen in all - although his last came under Terry Skiverton's management.

In the case of utility player Rob Clowes, he had a loan spell with Bridgwater Town during the second half of this season, but failed to show signs that he was likely to get near the Glovers first team squad. Equally, right-sided Lewis Clarke had loan spells with Poole Town and Weymouth but has not got beyond making County Cup appearances for the club. Neither of them got into the first team matchday squad at any time.

The release of defender Rhys Baggridge is perhaps one that might provoke a bit of debate. He had a highly successful spell at Poole Town and was at that time being talked up by both Terry Skiverton and Johnson as a potential first teamer. However, his second spell with Weymouth was a bit less notable, and he too has departed without making a first team appearance, although he was an unused substitute on a couple of occasions.

Perhaps more notable about the release of Clowes, Clarke and Baggridge is that it means that all of last year's graduates from the club's Centre of Excellence set-up have left without producing a first team appearance. Add that to the fact that all four of the club's second year scholars have been shown the door this summer, and there is a definite gap in terms of home grown talent coming into the first team squad at present. This week's plans to cut the Centre of Excellence set-up down to just an Under-18s side will not exactly help that.

In terms of others, striker Steve MacLean is expected to leave Yeovil Town at the end of the season. However, with Cheltenham Town expected to participate in the League Two play-offs, he has been given permission to play in those matches, and so any release from his contract will only happen after the Robins' fate is known. There may well be another raft of players leaving the club, but it can probably be assumed that all others within the club's ranks will be travelling with the first team squad to Huddersfield Town this weekend, and so their fate is expected to be determined after the weekend.


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3 May 2012 : Officials For Huddersfield Town vs Yeovil Town
Officials for Yeovil Town's trip to Huddersfield Town this coming weekend have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 5th May at the Galpharm Stadium and is the final match of the 2011-12 season (for Glovers fans, anyway). The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Carl Berry (Surrey).

We've only had Mr Berry once as a match referee, as he was promoted to the Football League lists over the summer of 2011, although he did cover a couple of League Two matches during the latter part of the 2010-11 season. We've had him a couple of times as an assistant referee, such as the August 2009 home game against Tranmere Rovers (2-0 win) and the September 2010 home match against Exeter City (1-3 defeat) although we don't recall either linesman as being particularly annoying - over and above the usual!

His one appearance as the man in the middle came back in October 2011, and was his first match as a referee at League One level. This was for the visit of Carlisle United at Huish Park, and marked the one and only time that we saw Flavien Belson play for the Glovers. Two yellow cards meant that our sight of the Frenchman was rather brief; playing out the second half with ten men.

Terry Skiverton, who was manager at the time, was particularly non-plussed with Mr Berry's performance on the day, complaining after the game about the volume of yellow cards raised (three against Yeovil, two against Carlisle) and also his lack of leniency concerning Belson's second yellow, feeling that the match official should have made more allowances for Belson's nationality.

For what it's worth, a fair chunk of the Glovers fans in the crowd could see Mr Berry's signalling, prior to the critical incident, that made it clear to them that a 'last warning' had been fairly given five minutes previously, and so you didn't need English to be your first language to know what was coming once the next foul was committed. As such, we didn't really agree with Skivo's views on events.

There was a bit more sympathy for a disallowed goal against Steve MacLean prior to that incident - one of those cases where a player's arm makes contact with a bouncing ball as he runs onto it, and so not really a deliberate act - but that one was given by the East Stand linesman rather than Mr Berry. Overall, he didn't have a great game, although in the case of Belson's red card there wasn't a lot he could have done.

Mr Berry will be assisted by Peter Bankes (Merseyside) and Robert Merchant (Staffordshire). The Fourth Official will be Jason Tyas (West Yorkshire).

Link: October 2011 : Yeovil Town 0 Carlisle United 3.


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2 May 2012 : Pedal Power In Pictures
This morning I had the privilege to watch people power, or perhaps more accurately pedal power, in action. Huish Park was awash with blue and white as some 300 Terriers got on their bikes to cycle home and raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Huddersfield Town Football Academy. With ages ranging from late teens to pensioner, ladies and gents of all shapes and sizes donned their lycra in the marquee before queuing for a sausage roll and banana brunch, a turn with the foot pump and a quick visit to the bike mechanic.

The idea of cycling home on the last game of the season started 2 years ago from Southend with 23 riders. Last year 168 cycled home from Brighton. This year chairman Dean Hoyle, director Sean Jarvis and club ambassador Andy Booth swapped their executive seats for razor saddles to help boost the fundraising towards its target of £1 million overall.

Huddersfield Town supporters who left on a cycle ride of close to 300 miles earlier today from Huish Park
Huddersfield Town supporters who left on a cycle ride of close to 300 miles earlier today from Huish Park.
Photo © 2012 Sophie Elbourn


The bikes were trucked from Huddersfield last night, most of the riders arriving by coaches that left at 5am this morning. Apart, that is, from three gentlemen who preferred to cycle from Huddersfield earlier this week and one enthusiast who cycled to Huish from Holland via Hull.

The riders committed to raise £1,000 each some months ago. They were split into about a dozen teams with an experienced cyclist as team leader. Since then they have been training and attending pre-event briefings. The yellow team leader estimated he had done 700 training miles. In return the riders will be given a complimentary season ticket next year, and boy are they hoping it will be in the Championship.

The support, admin and logistics for this event are awesome. Itís taken months of planning to bring it to fruition. Finding overnight accommodation for 300 people, and worse 300 bikes, some of which are worth well into four figures, must have been a nightmare. Accompanying the riders are five support vehicles carrying water, food, first aid, bike repair gear, luggage and a host of things you would never thing of unless you had done this before. At least two motor bikes are acting as escorts, and the seven or eight support staff will be working flat out each time the riders stop. One of them was heard to quip that he would make Ryanair a fortune with all the overweight bags he had loaded onto his van, and said he had been weight training for weeks to get ready for the event.

So, have a safe trip you barking mad Terriers. Youíre a shining example of ďAchieve by UnityĒ.

And finally, spare a thought for David Elliott who is running home to Huddersfield, doing a marathon a day for 10 days. That, my friends, is true dedication.

In addition to the photo pictured, the gallery linked below shows you the total scale of what Huddersfield Town have taken on for their charity event. Hopefully we'll see them all safe and sound at the other end on Saturday afternoon.

Link: Huddersfield Fans Cycle From Huish Park To The Galpharm Stadium.

[Article by Tony Elbourn. Photos by Sophie Elbourn.]


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2 May 2012 : Dorchester Friendly On The Cards
The month of May is the time when pre-season friendly fixtures for the following season start to be set. Dorchester Town are usually one of our regular opponents, having played them seven times in the last ten years, including four consecutive occasions under manager Gary Johnson's during his first spell in charge.

New Magpies boss Phil Simkin has told the Dorset Echo today that his club have agreed in principle to three pre-season friendlies so far, with Kettering Town, Brighton and Hove Albion and Yeovil Town their three opponents:

"As far as Iím aware the Kettering friendly has been confirmed (July 14th) and we should also be having Brightonís first team coming down as part of the deal for Ben Dickenson. Gus Poyet has promised to bring the first team down so hopefully we will get a decent gate out of it as well. We will also have a Yeovil side coming down and there are a couple of local sides I have promised we will visit."

As yet there's no date for the Yeovil and Brighton fixtures - last season it was the opening friendly and was used in the main to field trialists, although it's also been used in the past to act as the final dress rehearsal for the season. In theory we have the promise of matches in North America and the Caribbean that was announced by the club last October, although nothing has been heard of that or Blue Sky International since that date.

Whilst on the theme of the Magpies, they have signed up goalkeeper Jason Matthews for next season. Now aged 37 years old, he has joined from Bath City, having played during the summer of 1999 for the Glovers, under former boss David Webb. However, he failed to agree terms with the club and was gone by the time the 1999-00 season proper commenced.


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2 May 2012 : Elite Development Centre Planned
Further to yesterday's news concerning Yeovil Town's Centre of Excellence, a meeting held last night with parents of those enrolled on the scheme has confirmed that the CoE will not be running next season. The existing Under-18s side will be unaffected by this, and to our knowledge will continue as normal.

What this does mean is that the club will be operating using EPPP Category Four as far as the new youth academies are concerned, downsizing from what would have been a Category Three set-up. In place of the Centre of Excellence, comes an Elite Development Centre, which a number of smaller clubs such as Accrington Stanley, Morecambe, Oxford United and Farnborough Town have been using.

In the case of Accrington, they run theirs out of their Community Trust programme, and use them as a bridge between those attending one-off Soccer Schools and those formally enrolling into their Centre of Excellence programme. The Elite Development Centres are 'invite only' structured soccer schools where would-be attendees initially attend trials, resulting in the club concerned giving an offer to the best trialists to enrol in a fixed length programme.

In the case of Accrington, they run six or seven week programmes, which include matches against other Elite opposition, and where joiners pay a £25/£30 subscription for the length of the course. Players are not contracted, and thus are free to head elsewhere, although inevitably that then may mean that future invitations are handed over to other players instead. Further information on how Accrington structure such things can be found here.

As far as Yeovil Town are concerned, the expectation is that the Elite Development Centre will train once a week and that there will be competitive matches against other Elite set-ups during the school holidays, with up to ten per season. Some clubs such as Morecambe, run their Centres from multiple locations, although the impression from last night was that Yeovil's will run from the town itself - presumably in locations like Alvington.

The end goal will be the same; to provide players who can be co-opted into the Under-18s side at the age of sixteen. The obvious disadvantages to this route is that to our knowledge there is no grant provided for such centres, and so they have to be financed through central fund-raising and individual course enrolment fees. The other disadvantage is that if one player turns out to be particularly talented, and they've yet to reach 16 years old, there is little that can be done to prevent them from joining another club's Centre of Excellence.


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1 May 2012 : Ciderspace Guide To Huddersfield Town
And so we reach the end. The final match of the 2011-12 season takes place at the Galpharm Stadium, home of Huddersfield Town on Saturday. With that in mind, the Ciderspace guide has been updated with the latest ticketing and travel details, along with the usual directions, parking, pub guide and such like. Our next away day guide won't be for another three months!

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Huddersfield Town.


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1 May 2012 : Centre Of Excellence Under Threat?
Yeovil Town's Centre Of Excellence programme is believed to be facing cut-backs, according to another local club. The Glovers set up the scheme around the summer of 2008 with the aim of developing young footballers into first team players, but at present it's not entirely clear what direction the club are going in for next season.

An article in Saturday's Gloucestershire Echo may provide some clues, as their local side, Cheltenham Town have considered their own plans for next season. The article is uncredited, but appears to have been penned by one of the people within their CoE ranks - most likely Head of Youth Russell Milton or Centre of Excellence Manager Peter Beadle. They believe that both Swindon Town and Yeovil Town are considering downsizing their youth programmes to run with just an Under-18s side and told the paper:

"It is a difficult time for some clubs' youth set-ups and rumours are that Swindon Town and Yeovil Town are thinking of just running a youth team next season, rather than a Centre of Excellence. It would be a crying shame if we (Cheltenham Town) had to let ours go and, fingers crossed, everything is in place for it to continue next season and we are pretty much there."

The reason why football clubs are currently reconsidering their youth set-ups is the introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) that was reluctantly voted in by Football League clubs on October 20th 2011, and is expected to come into force for the start of the 2012-13 season. This was a highly controversial system proposed by the Premier League aimed at introducing a fixed tariff for top flight clubs to 'poach' other clubs players without independent tribunals agreeing fees on behalf of clubs.

The changes propose a four-tier academy system, with those clubs who adopt the higher tiers having to meet certain standards in terms of the number of full time staff and operational budget, but in turn able to recoup that investment by being able to charge higher fees if their players are sold. Fees for players would be based upon the number of years they had spent in the academy. With the category of academy also affecting the fixed fee, the new rules heavily favour those clubs with financial clout - particularly Premier League sides - meaning that it has come under fire from both employees and fans of smaller clubs.

Those clubs who attain a Category One academy status will also be able to bypass the "90 minute rule", that restricts young players being taken from clubs unless the players concerned live within 90 minutes of the club wanting to take them on. This means that if the likes of Chelsea happen to spot another Michael Woods (now with Yeovil Town) within a club's academy system at the age of 9 years old, they may get him for as little as £3,000, rather than the £5 million tribunal fee they were forced to pay Leeds United (along with Tom Taiwo) at the time that Woods was 16 years old.

Looking at the other Category levels, roughly speaking Category Two is equivalent to the current Academy status, whilst Category Three fits with the current Centre of Excellence status. Category Four clubs would only be able to develop players aged 16-18 years old, with the theory being that they would pick up players released from other clubs.

At present, that means that Yeovil Town's current set-up with fit in with the new Category Three academy, but if the Gloucestershire Echo report is accurate, they are considering dropping into Category Four. So why would clubs consider downsizing when it restricts the age of players they are allowed to recruit? Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry predicted at the time of the launch of EPPP that he could see this happening at a lot of smaller clubs, and explains why:

"What frightens me is that a lot of clubs will pull out of having a youth system altogether. Lower league clubs will look at how much it costs to run their academy or school of excellence and think that, if the Premier League can nick their best players for a low price, what is the point of investing in it?"

Posters on the Green Room forum say that parents of current Centre of Excellence players have been called to a meeting tonight to discuss the future of the scheme. Hopefully the Gloucestershire Echo's rumours are incorrect, but it's easy to see why clubs are currently rethinking their strategies at this level.


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