Yeovil Town Ladies saw their six match unbeaten run ended this afternoon, as they lost out to promotion-chasing side Doncaster Rovers Belles. Their visitors won the match by a 0-3 scoreline, to bookend a run that had stretched over two months, with the Ladies last tasting defeat to the same side in March.
Doncaster took the lead just beyond the half hour mark when a cross from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk was headed home by Leandra Little for a half time lead. Yeovil's best chances during the first period same via Annie Heatherson, whose shot was pushed for a corner by Doncaster's Nicola Hobbs, whilst Corinne Yorston headed a Helen Bleazard corner wide of the target. Natasha Knapman also shot wide after she latched onto a long through ball, but the Glovers went in at the break a goal down.
The key goal in the match came ten minutes into the second half, when Courtney Sweetman-Kirk converted a Rhiannon Roberts free kick by firing home at the far post for a 2-0 lead. They then extended their lead after Sue Smith was brought down inside the box by Glovers keeper Charlotte Haynes. The same player took the spot kick and duly converted.
Yeovil couldn't get a goal back and so go into the mid-season break - scheduled for the Women's World Cup to take place - on the back of a defeat that now leaves them six points behind the top two clubs of Doncaster and Reading Women, who have now opened up a six point gap between themselves and the Glovers who stay in third place. The big plus point of the day was the 509 spectators who turned up to the Jones Stadium - a stadium record for the Ladies, and the third consecutive match that they have broken that record. Having played just three home games, and six away matches during the 2015 season so far, they will be hoping those crowds keep up to make home advantage count when matters resume on July 12th with a home match against Everton Ladies.
Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 3.
Scorers: Leandra Little (0-1, 32 mins), Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (0-2, 55 mins), Sue Smith (0-3, 67 mins, pen).
Yeovil Town Ladies: Charlotte Hayes, Ellie Isaac, Corinne Yorston, Paige Stewart, Nicola Cousins, Natalie Haigh (c), Steph Williams, Annie Heatherson, Ellie Curson, Natasha Knapman, Helen Bleazard.
Substitutes: Alys Hinchcliffe (58 mins for Paige Stewart), Nicola Lipscombe, Shauna Cossens, Stacey Pearson (72 mins for Natasha Knapman), Amy Wathan, Ebony Dover
Sunday afternoon sees Yeovil Town Ladies play the final match of their FA Women's Super League season before they commence their mid-season break. The match sees them take on Doncaster Rovers Belles at the Jones Stadium (aka Raleigh Grove, home of Sherborne Town FC), with a 2.00p.m. kick-off. The two sides meet lying just three points apart, with the Yorkshire visitors having the current advantage, meaning that Yeovil could draw level with a win - something that would both cement their top three position as well as giving them a chance of getting involved in a promotion challenge during the second half of the season.
Yeovil's current form is certainly impressive. Having lost their first two fixture of the season, they go into the match with a record of WWWDWW - five wins and one draw, with eighteen goals netted during those six games. In fact their last defeat came at the hands of Doncaster - all the way back on March 28th, when it took an 85th minute strike to divide the two sides in what had been a competitive and balanced match. Thus Sunday's match is also a chance for the Glovers to redress that early result when the new team were perhaps still finding their feet.
Admission to the match is just £4.00 for adults, with concessions available for £2.50. You can pre-book online, or just turn up on the day and hand over your cash on the turnstile. Gates open at 12.30p.m. with facilities at Raleigh Grove including a hog roast, costing £3.50 if you want to get some hot food in before or during the game. Other refreshments are also available.
Yeovil Town Ladies vs Doncaster Rovers Belles - come and support the Ladies on Sunday afternoon
This afternoon sees the FA Cup Final take place at Wembley Stadium, and unlikely as it sounds, Yeovil Town will have a presence there. As part of the BBC Songs of Praise FA Cup Fans choir, Glovers fan Jamie Lock has arrived at the stadium, and can be seen below rehearsing for the moment that he and 64 other fans will sing the hymn 'Abide With Me' just before the 5.30p.m. kick-off between Arsenal and Aston Villa.
There were 1,300 people that applied to the BBC to be part of the fans choir, with the idea being that they could have representatives from one of each of the clubs that form part of the cup competition, and Jamie was selected following auditions. The fans will be able to wear their football shirts to represent the teams that they support, and on Friday night they took part in rehearsals inside Wembley Stadium and out on the pitch to ensure they were geared up for pre-match song.
Look out for Jamie just before kick-off - as you can see from the photo below, the green'n'white colours make him stand out easily in the group. They are also expected to feature in Sunday's BBC Songs Of Praise programme, the day after the FA Cup final.
Yeovil Town are predicted to finish in upper mid-table for the 2015-16 season, if the early bookies odds are anything to go by. With the League Two line-ups now complete, most bookmakers have produced odds for the key scenarios, and their gambit is to place the Glovers either halfway or just above halfway in their lists of fancied clubs. The majority are tipping Portsmouth, Oxford United, Leyton Orient, Bristol Rovers and Luton Town as their key five to watch, with Dagenham and Redbridge, Morecambe and Accrington Stanley labelled as outsiders.
The bookies analysis of the division appears to lean sharply towards clubs with higher media profiles. Portsmouth (16th) and Accrington Stanley (17th) finished one point apart in the 2014-15 League Two table, yet are positioned at opposite ends in the betting lists. Meanwhile Oxford United (13th) and Luton Town (8th) are more highly fancied than beaten play-off trio Wycombe Wanderers, Stevenage and Plymouth Argyle. Of the other two fancied clubs, Leyton Orient were relegated from League One, whilst Bristol Rovers finished behind Barnet in the Conference National table, but went up via the play-offs.
As with all of these things, you need to shop around as betting prices change from day to day and from bookie to bookie. However, for each major betting option, this is what is currently on show:
League Two Champions: (odds via BetFred) Portsmouth 9/2; Leyton Orient 9/1; Oxford United 10/1; Luton Town 12/1; Bristol Rovers, Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Stevenage 14/1; Notts County, Wycombe Wanderers 16/1; Carlisle United, Crawley Town, Barnet, Yeovil Town 20/1; Newport County, Exeter City 25/1; Cambridge United, York City, AFC Wimbledon, Hartlepool United 33/1; Mansfield 40/1; Morecambe 50/1; Dagenham and Redbridge, Accrington Stanley 66/1.
Best odds for Yeovil Town for being League Two Champions come in at 20/1 with ToteSport, BetFred and Coral.
League Two Promotion: (odds via BetFred) Portsmouth Evens; Leyton Orient, Oxford United 15/8; Luton Town, Bristol Rovers 3/1; Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Stevenage 4/1; Notts County, Wycombe Wanderers 9/2; Carlisle United, Yeovil Town 11/2; Crawley Town, Barnet 6/1; AFC Wimbledon 13/2; Newport County, Cambridge United, York City, Hartlepool United 7/1; Exeter City, Mansfield 9/1; Morecambe, Dagenham and Redbridge 20/1; Accrington Stanley 25/1.
Best odds for Yeovil Town for League Two promotion come in at 11/2 with ToteSport and BetFred.
Top Seven Finish: (odds via BetVictor) Portsmouth 4/7; Oxford United 6/5; Luton Town 5/4; Bristol Rovers, Leyton Orient, Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle 6/4; Carlisle United, Notts County 7/4; Stevenage, Yeovil Town 2/1; Crawley Town, Wycombe Wanderers 9/4; Hartlepool United, York City, Newport County, Cambridge United 11/4; Barnet, Exeter City, AFC Wimbledon, Mansfield 3/1; Dagenham and Redbridge 6/1; Accrington Stanley 8/1.
Best odds for Yeovil Town come in at 2/1 with BetVictor. There are only two bookmakers listed as offering odds for a top seven finish at present.
Leyton Orient have appointed a new manager as a successor to Fabio Liverani, who left earlier this month. They have taken on former player Ian Hendon as their new boss, and he will take the title of Head Coach from July 1st. He has spent the last four years working at West Ham United as a first team coach, and thus becomes the second member of the Hammers coaching team to become a League Two manager with Teddy Sheringham having joined Stevenagelast week.
Hendon is 43 years old and played for Orient between 1993 and 1997, making 153 appearances towards the start of his playing career. He ended his time playing at Barnet, where he became their first team manager in 2008, and was in charge there for 74 games. An ultra-brief 18 day stay at Dover Athletic in 2010 saw him jump ship for an assistant manager's job at Gillingham that was then followed by him moving to West Ham in the summer of 2011, initially as their Development Coach, but later upgraded to include first team duties.
He becomes Orient's fifth manager in under a year - during the 2014-15 campaign they were relegated to League Two, having got their way through Russell Slade (12 games), Kevin Nugent (7 games), Mauro Milanese (8 games) and Fabio Liverani (27 matches), with the latter being the man at the helm when they dropped down to the fourth tier, along with Yeovil Town.
League Two side Plymouth Argyle have today parted company with their first team manager. John Sheridan, who had been at Home Park for two-and-a-half years, leaves with a year left on his contract, with the Pilgrims statement suggesting that his departure was a genuine case of 'mutual consent'. They state that Sheridan had indicated a desire to relocate back to the North of England for family reasons.
Sheridan originally hails from Stretford, Manchester and was a former Manchester City trainee, who had almost exclusively carved out a career in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with his previous two management contracts being with Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. However, for the last 126 matches he's been down in Devon, taking Argyle from one point outside the League Two relegation zone in January 2013, to the League Two play-offs in May 2015.
Despite that, there have been whispers that he might be on his way out. Plymouth's statement though steers well clear of any suggestion that they did the pushing, with owner and Chairman James Brent paying tribute to Sheridan's time at Home Park:
"John has made a significant contribution to the Pilgrimsí cause, for which we will always be very grateful. Under his management, Argyle were brought back from the brink of relegation out of the Football League and were subsequently transformed into League 2 promotion contenders. Reaching the play-offs last season, two years after surviving the drop into non-league on the final day of the 2012-13 campaign, is an achievement of which John, his management team, and the players should rightly be proud. Everyone at Home Park wishes John every success in his future career."
The Football League have indicated that they will be looking for new sponsors of two of its competitions. Whilst the main Football League competition will remain under the title of Sky Bet for the 2015-16 season, this is the last season of the bookmaker's current three year deal, and so the main sponsorship will be up for grabs in the summer of 2016.
The League have indicated that they have been given a new offer from Sky Bet for a two year extension to that deal, but have decided to open up opportunities to other interested parties, suggesting that they think they can do better than the current offer that is on the table. The League indicate that they have accepted terms that would allow Sky Bet to remain as the League's betting partner for a two year period, even if the League choose to go with a separate main sponsor, although presumably that depends upon any prospective sponsor not being connected with a rival in the betting industry.
One sponsorship deal that will definitely be ending after the 2015-16 season is Capital One's four year deal relating to the Football League Cup. The credit card company have decided that they will not be extending their current deal, meaning that will also be up for grabs in the summer of 2016. Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has confirmed that the League will now be using the next twelve months to find new sponsors for these competitions as they enter their final year in their current guise:
"We would like to thank both Sky Bet and Capital One for their ongoing support and for the frank and positive discussions we have had with them in recent months. We will now begin discussions with potential new partners for our League competition and the League Cup. We do so from a position of strength, with both competitions and our clubs in excellent shape and with a proven track record for delivering outstanding value to our partners."
Yeovil Town have arranged their third pre-season friendly for the 2015-16 season. In addition to two matches that will be played in Cornwall against Truro City (July 17th) and Callington Town (July 19th) as part of a short pre-season tour, the Glovers will also play host to Bristol City at Huish Park on Thursday 30th July, kick-off 7.45p.m.
City were promoted from League One as Champions during the season just gone, and hence will visit the club as a Championship side. They had been regular pre-season opponents until the two clubs began to cross swords as league competitors, meeting in four consecutive seasons between 2008 and 2011, before the pair of League One matches during the 2014-15 season.
Yesterday saw Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock agree his first formal contract with the club, following his arrival at Huish Park at the start of April. Agreeing a two year deal, directly after signing he spoke to BBC Somerset reporter James Hanson about his contract, the status of various other people at the club who are also discussing deals, and the latest on his summer recruitment plans. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town boss Paul Sturrock has indicated that he has - in principle - set up deals with six unnamed players for the 2015-16 season. With the Football League season having formally ended over the weekend, the club are now dealing with the task of sorting out a new squad for next season, and it seems that he at least has verbal agreement with players who should be turning up for pre-season training on July 1st.
With most players holding existing contracts until June 30th at their current clubs, deals cannot be easily struck until after that date, meaning that for now the names of those players will stay under wraps. However, Sturrock has told the club's website that he is confident those deals are now in the bag:
"We have been in conversation with at least six players and I am extremely confident that they will sign for the club, but we cannot release any names until July 1st when their outgoing contracts end. It is a frustrating time for most clubs right now with players and agents away on holiday which of course makes the whole process more difficult."
Negotiations with Kevin Dawson and Sam Foley continue, with both players having been offered unspecified deals to remain at the club. The two midfielders are known to have been on holiday since the end of the season.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock has finally completed the signing of his new contract. The former Plymouth Argyle and Southend United boss, who arrived at the club during April, has penned a two year contract at the club, thus tying him to Huish Park until the summer of 2017. The Western Gazette have confirmed that Sturrock and Chairman John Fry have penned signatures on the deal. Prior to that, the Cornwall-based boss had been working on a more informal basis, since arriving at the club on April 9th.
The Glovers have also arranged a second pre-season friendly against South West Peninsula League Premier Division Callington - a Cornish-based club who the Glovers will play on Sunday 19th July. This game comes two days after the already-arranged match against Truro City and unsurprisingly means that the club will be spending a long weekend down in Cornwall as part of a pre-season first team squad bonding exercise, with other friendlies kicking in later in July upon their return.
Next month, football fans will get the chance to talk to former Yeovil Town midfielder Ben Smith at an evening organised by the Capital Glovers in London. The event will see Ben - who played for Arsenal, Reading, Yeovil Town, Southend United, Hereford United, Shrewsbury Town, Weymouth and Crawley Town before finishing his career with AFC Sudbury and Thurrock - talk about his new book Journeyman, which is getting impressive reviews around various Football League clubs and football websites since its launch last month.
The event will be held in the Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, which is situated close to Angel tube station, and walking distance from King's Cross and St Pancras mainline stations in Central London. Fans of all of Ben's former clubs, or those interested in lower league football in general are welcome to come along. The Capital Glovers write:
The Capital Glovers presents 'An Evening with Ben Smith'
'Author of Journeyman : One Man's Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football'
Date/Venue: 7.00p.m. Wednesday June 17th, The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, London EC1V 4NJ
A chat about his new book followed by a question and answer session with the ex-Arsenal, Reading, Yeovil Town, Southend United, Hereford United, Shrewsbury, Weymouth and Crawley Town midfielder. It's free entry but we'll be holding a raffle and asking for donations for The Adam Stansfield Foundation a charity extremely close to the hearts of fans of Yeovil Town and Hereford, two of Ben's former clubs. June 17th is also the day the Football League fixtures are released so come along and plan your awaydays over a pint and hear what life's really like in the lower reaches of English football.
Yeovil Town Ladies stretched their unbeaten run to six matches as they firmly cemented their third place slot in the FA Women's Super League by victory over Watford Ladies yesterday. In a match played at Berkhamstead, the Glovers took charge right from the start of the match, leading from the fourth minute and thereafter always in control of the game.
The scoring was opened by Natasha Knapman, whose fourth minute looping header put Yeovil into the lead, as she converted Annie Heatherson's cross. Then with less than ten minutes on the clock, that lead was doubled, as the experienced Helen Bleazard converted a right wing cross into the back of the net. Watford's Stacie Donnelly brought her side back into the game briefly before half time, but that only lasted two minutes when Ellie Curson provided an accurate pass for Heatherson to convert for a 3-1 lead at the break.
A more even second period eventually saw Yeovil extend their lead further, as Annie Heatherson's 73rd minute free kick beat Watford's Shayla Burgess, who was unable to keep out the powerful shot. And although Watford pulled one back late on, via Jenna Dear's penalty kick, awarded for a foul by Nicola Cousins, it was Yeovil who gained all three points with confident ease.
Attention now turns to next Sunday - Yeovil's final match before they go into a month's break due to the Women's World Cup. That match couldn't be bigger, with Doncaster Rovers Belles travelling to the Jones Stadium, Sherborne, with Yeovil now just three points behind the top two sides, and Donny one of those clubs in their sights. Set a date in your diary for Sunday 31st May, with a 2.00p.m. kick-off as the Glovers seek to avenge the earlier 2-1 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium - their last defeat, from two months ago.
Final Score: Watford Ladies 2 Yeovil Town Ladies 4.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock is unconcerned by the club's current progress in recruiting new players for the 2015-16 season. Charged with the task of recruiting almost a brand new squad in his first summer in charge, it's likely that he will need to need to bring in around 15 new players at the very least to support a 20 man first team squad.
That has led to concerns from supporters as to how quickly a new squad can be recruited, although Sturrock is no stranger to such a task, having once signed up 17 players in a single day, shortly after his arrival at Southend United as manager in 2010, when the Essex club had just had a transfer embargo from the previous season lifted. With five-and-a-half weeks of the summer still to go before the players are due to arrive for pre-season, and two-and-a-half months before the new season starts, this is clearly different circumstances, and Sturrock has told the Western Gazette that he has no concerns about the current situation:
"As long as I've got 11 for the first game I'm not worried. I want a condensed squad this year and then hope everyone stays healthy. It's going to be hard. We're not going to be playing free-flowing football. We're going to start with a stammer because with 20 players all of a sudden coming together it is going to take a while to blend."
For those fans getting impatient or worried about how quickly signings might be made, it's worth nothing that last season almost all new arrivals were announced during the week or so around the start of pre-season training. With most professional contracts beginning on July 1st - the same day that pre-season training usually commences - that's no surprise, with that date concentrating the minds of players, agents, managers and boardrooms to get deals finalised. It's also during that week that players wanting to sign will arrive at the club, fresh from their summer holidays.
Last summer, only Nathan Smith - a former player returning to Somerset, and Hampshire-based Aaron Martin, chose to sign up early on, whilst five of the club's other signings were spread across the week leading to the start of pre-season training. Negotiations with Bristol City for Luke Ayling's services meant that Brendan Moloney's arrival came in slightly later, whilst Ben Nugent's arrival was only confirmed once he'd got over a slight training ground injury. In the end, with the exception of Simon Gillett, the whole first team squad was present for the first pre-season friendly (with Nugent as a spectator). The relevant dates each player signed up were:
21/05/2014 : Nathan Smith
04/06/2014 : Aaron Martin
27/06/2014 : AJ Leitch-Smith
30/06/2014 : Jakub Sokolik
30/06/2014 : Chris Weale
30/06/2014 : Artur Krysiak
03/07/2014 : James Berrett
08/07/2014 : Brendan Moloney
11/07/2014 : Ben Nugent (loan)
07/08/2014 : Simon Gillett
Sturrock has indicated via Facebook that he is close to agreeing the club's pre-season friendly schedule, whilst there may be some players revealed next week - although inevitably that will depend upon whether any relevant talks have been finalised.
As for other player contract news, Sturrock has indicated that he has still yet to hear back from any of James Berrett, Adam Morgan, AJ Leitch-Smith and Artur Krysiak, concerning the severance offers the quartet have been given. All four are on two year deals, but have been invited to leave the club in return for pay-offs, with each player told that they would not be given a 2015-16 squad number if they choose to reject the offer and stay on the Huish Park payroll.
The contractual situation concerning himself, Terry Skiverton and Darren Way has also yet to be confirmed, with all three working on a rolling basis at present, whilst their own deals are thrashed out. Skiverton and Way have been tasked with taking in a number of Premier League Under-21 matches as their season draws to a close - Swansea City supporters have indicated that Way was present at their recent match that saw the Welsh club pick up the Development League Two title. The Yeovil boss has hinted that the need to take in those sort of matches has taken priority ahead of their own contracts.
Yeovil Town's full list of 2015-16 League opponents is now known, after the conclusion of this afternoon's League Two play-off final. The match between Southend United and Wycombe Wanderers went the full distance, as it took 120 minutes and penalties to separate the two sides, with the Essex side the ultimate winners. A Joe Jacobson free kick that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar, via Southend's goalkeeper during extra time put Wycombe into the lead, but that was cancelled out by Joe Piggott's 120th minute equalising goal that halted Wycombe fans' premature celebrations.
In front of 38,252 spectators - minus a number of Southend fans who had already left Wembley Stadium prior to their equaliser (and thus missed what followed), spot kicks had to settle it. Southend's Ben Coker had his saved early on, giving Wycombe the advantage, but then they saw Matt Bloomfield's penalty saved to level it out at 3-3. With the next two penalties being scored, that took it into sudden death. There Southend United triumphed by a 7-6 scoreline, with Southend keeper Dan Bentley the hero, brilliantly saving Sam Wood's penalty to take the Essex side into League One.
The end result means that Yeovil Town will be travelling to Adams Park to play Wycombe Wanderers next season - our first trip there for three seasons. As for mileage for next season, there is a radical drop in the distance Yeovil Town fans will have to travel to get to away matches during the 2015-16 season. Last year, it took 9,150 miles to cover all 23 away matches, but in the midst of a heavily southern-based division, that will now drop to 7,746 miles as a round trip. There are 12 clubs accessible in under 150 miles, whereas last season there were only four clubs falling within that reach. As for clubs next season that are under 100 miles away, next season you get five of them, whilst last season only Bristol City and Swindon Town fitted into that 'local' category.
The full list of League Two clubs, along with the one-way distances from Huish Park to the relevant stadiums, are shown below:
2015-16 League Two Line-Up: Yeovil Town, Bristol Rovers (44), Exeter City (47), Newport County (86), Plymouth Argyle (90), Portsmouth (96), Oxford United (115), AFC Wimbledon (122), Wycombe Wanderers (122), Barnet (130), Leyton Orient (147), Luton Town (148), Crawley Town (148), Stevenage (153), Northampton Town (155), Dagenham and Redridge (169), Cambridge United (183), Notts County (202), Mansfield Town (215), Accrington Stanley (261), Morecambe (279), York City (287), Hartlepool United (336), Carlisle United (338).
The Football League have published their overall attendance statistics for the 2014-15 season. The headline figure is that aggregate attendances across all three divisons increased by more than 600,000 - up by four percent compared with the previous year. Precise figures are 16,319,112 spectators coming through the turnstiles, compared with 15,703,427 (2013-14 season) and 15,566,887 (2012-13 season).
The League note that it is the 12th consecutive season that they've recorded over 15 million spectator visits to their games, with crowds in the Football League having generally increased since the introduction of the play-off system, and thanks to the changing face of the game from one that had a hooligan reputation, into one that is more geared towards families. There had been a slight downward trend, probably due to global economic problems, but the introduction of the latest figures would imply that they are past that mini dip that saw crowds dip below the 16 million mark for two seasons. Historical figures are as follows:
2005-06 : 16.2 million
2006-07 : 16.4 million
2007-08 : 16.2 million
2008-09 : 16.3 million
2009-10 : 17.1 million
2010-11 : 16.1 million
2011-12 : 16.3 million
2012-13 : 15.6 million
2013-14 : 15.7 million
2014-15 : 16.3 million
Divisional figures see the Championship average gates of 17,847, whilst League One recorded an average of 7,038 with a total of 3.9 million individual spectator visits. In League Two, the average gate was 4,679 with 2.6 million spectator visits.
League Two side Stevenage have appointed a new manager today, thus bringing an end to Graham Westley's third management spell at Broadhall Way. They have brought in former England striker Teddy Sheringham, who has been working at West Ham United as their attacking coach during the past season.
At the age of 49, this is Sheringham's first front line management position - prior to his spell at Upton Park, he had been playing world poker tournaments, having retired from his playing career at the end of the 2007-08 season. He has been given a three year contract.
Westley thus departs Stevenage in a rather low key fashion - his contract was due to expire at the end of May, after just over two years worth of his third spell. He had just taken his club to a play-off semi-final, losing out to Southend United as his final act. Boro Chairman Phil Wallace hinted just before his manager's departure was confirmed, that an exit was on the cards, and said that 'change' might not just stop in the dugouts, with low crowds and available funds also a concern:
"His team couldn't have done more from a results viewpoint this season, but Graham's been Stevenage manager for eight of the past 12 years and that's a long time at this level of football. Despite the utmost respect and appreciation I have for everything he's done for Stevenage FC, sometimes you have to accept that a business needs to change to refresh itself and evolve. Sometimes that means management, sometimes it means owners and sometimes it means both. Change inevitably brings risk and that can't be avoided, but at some stage change in a football club has to occur if it's been shown that attendances do not provide sufficient funds for a successful team."
With the 2014-15 season now drawing to a close this weekend, via the Football League Play-Off Finals, a set of key dates for the 2015-16 season are now available. The Football League had previously published an early indication of what to expect for next season, but have now filled this out with all the cup competition round dates. The season will kick off on Saturday 8th August 2015 and will conclude on Saturday 7th May 2016, with play-off dates set to follow later in that month.
The key dates, which are subject to change and refinement, are as follows:
16/06/2015 : League Cup First Round Draw (at 10.00a.m.)
17/06/2015 : Football League 2015-16 Fixtures released (at 9.00a.m.)
01/07/2015 : Yeovil Town's first team squad report to Huish Park
03/07/2015 : Yeovil Town's first day of pre-season training
17/07/2015 : Truro City vs Yeovil Town (Treyew Road, first pre-season friendly, 7.45p.m.)
08/08/2015 : Football League 2015-16 Season first day fixtures
10/08/2015 : League Cup First Round (week commencing)
24/08/2015 : League Cup Second Round (week commencing)
31/08/2015 : Football League Trophy First Round (week commencing)
21/09/2015 : League Cup Third Round (week commencing)
05/10/2015 : Football League Trophy Second Round (week commencing)
24/10/2015 : FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (last round before Yeovil Town involved)
26/10/2015 : League Cup Fourth Round (week commencing)
07/11/2015 : FA Cup First Round
09/11/2015 : Football League Trophy Area Quarter-Finals (week commencing)
30/11/2015 : League Cup Fifth Round (week commencing)
05/12/2015 : FA Cup Second Round
07/12/2015 : Football League Trophy Area Semi-Finals (week commencing)
26/12/2015 : Designated Christmas Holiday fixture date
28/12/2015 : Designated Christmas Holiday fixture date
02/01/2016 : Designated Christmas Holiday fixture date
04/01/2016 : League Cup Semi-Final First Leg (week commencing)
09/01/2016 : FA Cup Third Round
10/01/2016 : Football League Trophy Area Finals First Leg (week commencing)
25/01/2016 : League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg (week commencing)
25/01/2016 : Football League Trophy Area Finals Second Leg (week commencing)
30/01/2016 : FA Cup Fourth Round
20/02/2016 : FA Cup Fifth Round
28/02/2016 : League Cup Final (Wembley Stadium)
12/03/2016 : FA Cup Sixth Round
03/04/2016 : Football League Trophy Final (Wembley Stadium)
23/04/2016 : FA Cup Semi-Final Tie 1
24/04/2016 : FA Cup Semi-Final Tie 2
07/05/2016 : Final weekend of 2015-16 season proper
12/05/2016 : Football League Play-Off Semi-Finals Start
20/05/2016 : Football League Play-Off Semi-Finals End
21/05/2016 : FA Cup Final
28/05/2016 : Championship Play-Off Final
29/05/2016 : League One Play-Off Final
30/05/2016 : League Two Play-Off Final
This article will be pinned to the front page of Ciderspace under the 'Forthcoming Fixtures' section for future reference.
Outgoing Yeovil Town winger Joel Grant has been selected for further international honours. He has been included in Jamaica's 30 man preliminary squad that will travel to Chile to play in the Copa America next month. The tournament takes place between June 11th and July 4th, and the selected numbers will be cut down to a final squad of 23 players that will come up against Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina during the group stages.
Those players who do not survive the cull will not be able to take the whole summer off. Coming up straight after that event, the Concacaf Gold Cup takes place between July 7th and July 26th, meaning that whichever club chooses to take Grant on for the 2015-16 season risks not seeing him until just before the Football League matches kick off on August 8th 2015.
Grant's contract with Yeovil Town runs until June 30th, but he was one of 12 players released at the end of their contracts at the club, and so will be moving on to pastures new once he returns from his international duties.
Jamaica Copa America Preliminary Squad:
Goalkeepers: Ryan Thompson (Pittsburgh Riverhounds), Duwayne Kerr (Sarpsborg 08), Dwayne Miller (Syrianska), Damion Hyatt (Arnett Gardens).
Defenders: Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo), Michael Hector (Reading), Daniel Gordon (Karlsruher), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace), Hughan Gray (Waterhouse FC), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), Richard Dixon (Charlotte Eagles), Kemar Lawrence (NY Red Bulls).
Forwards: Allan Ottey (Mobay United), Michael Seaton (Orebro SK), Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver), Simon Dawkins (Derby County), Deshorn Brown (Valarenga), Romeo Parkes (Isidro Metapan), Andre Clennon (Arnett Gardens), Dino Williams (Mobay United).
Fellow relegated side Crawley Town have appointed their new manager for the 2015-16 season onwards. They have selected former Cheltenham Town boss Mark Yates, who replaces interim manager Dean Saunders, who has taken up a position with League One side Chesterfield. Crawley's need to go for new management was also prompted by John Gregory's decision not to return to his post following his sabbatical relating to heart surgery, which prompted Saunders' arrival.
Yates has been given a two year contract at the Broadfield Stadium, taking him through to the summer of 2017. He's previously managed Kidderminster Harriers, who he took to the FA Trophy Final during a four year spell. He then moved on to Cheltenham, where he twice took the Robins to the League Two play-offs, across a five year period. He was dismissed by Cheltenham in November 2014 - an action they may have later regretted, given that he was ultimately the first of four managers Cheltenham took on, with the end result being relegation from the Football League.
The 45 year old therefore returns to League Two management, where he will be hoping to regain the third tier position that Crawley lost at the end of last season.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock has confirmed that he has now commenced talks with a number of unknown players as he seeks to rebuild his squad for the 2015-16 season. The Glovers boss cut his squad right down to the bare bones earlier this month, with only around three players currently available for the start of next season, whilst two more have been given contract offers.
With twelve players shown the door, and four more told they would not form part of Sturrock's plans for next season, there is likely to be some heavy recruitment needed over the next six weeks. With many clubs still issuing released lists, and various players and agents disappearing on holidays, this is not likely to be a situation that develops between now and July 1st, when pre-season training is due to commence. Sturrock told the club's website that he was in talks and was hopeful of bringing some 'good news' soon concerning players coming in from the outside:
"I am currently in talks with several players and I am hopeful of giving the supporters some good news in the coming days. Make no mistake the supporters will be the first to hear the news when we have anything to announce. I am still waiting to hear from the players (Kevin Dawson and Sam Foley) we have made offers to, with one being abroad on holiday. I do not expect anything more from them until next week at the earliest."
No names, or positions, are hinted at - but given the volume of players needed to form the club's new first team squad, it's probably safe to assume that targets will be brought in from all over the park!
Exactly two years ago, Yeovil Town took on Brentford in the League One Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium. Goals from Paddy Madden and Dan Burn took the Glovers into the Championship as part of a magical day on May 19th 2013, giving the club the highest level of football in its history during the following season.
Tonight on the Sky Sports 1 channel, they have an hour's worth of highlights from the game. Tune in from 11.30p.m. for the FL72: Play-Off Final Highlights programme for a look back in time. If you can't wait that long, use the YouTube video linked below, which gives you seven-and-a-half minutes worth of bliss.
Having got off to a slightly slow start to their 2015 FA Women's Super League season, Yeovil Town Ladies have now firmly hit the groove, with Saturday's 1-0 win against Everton Ladies giving them their fourth win in five matches. Recently manager Jamie Sherwood spoke to the BBC about the club's growing run of form - with questions from BBC Somerset reporter Richard Hoskin, the boss gives an insight as to how he's managed some of the changes at the club, and some of the key personnel.
Read that interview via the link below - note it was conducted prior to the matches against Millwall Lionesses and Everton and so doesn't take into account those results.
Yeovil Town now know all bar one of their 2015-16 League Two opponents. With the Football League Play-Off Semi-Finals having seen Stevenage and Plymouth Argyle falling by the wayside, the Glovers will play the losers of the final between Wycombe Wanderers and Southend United, which takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 23rd May, with the winning team heading up into League One. The familiar name of Bristol Rovers can also be added to that list of League Two sides for next season, after they won their Conference Play-Off Final match against Grimsby Town, via a penalty shoot-out this afternoon at Wembley.
That means that bar the question whether Wycombe or Southend win next weekend's League Two Play-Off Final, we now know who we ill be playing next season. Those teams are as follows:
League Two: (from last season's clubs): Luton Town, Newport County, Exeter City, Morecambe, Northampton Town, Oxford United, Dagenham and Redbridge, AFC Wimbledon, Portsmouth, Accrington Stanley, York City, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United, Stevenage, Plymouth Argyle
Promoted From Conference: Barnet.
Conference Play-Offs: Bristol Rovers.
League Two Play-Offs: (one of the following) Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United.
League One Relegation Slots: Notts County, Crawley Town, Leyton Orient.
That gives a very Southern-heavy set of teams for the 2015-16 season. Splitting out the clubs on a rough geographic basis we get:
South-West/Wales: Yeovil Town, Newport County, Exeter City, Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers
South-East/Home Counties: Luton Town, Dagenham and Redbridge, AFC Wimbledon, Stevenage, Barnet, Wycombe Wanderers/Southend United, Crawley Town, Leyton Orient
Southern: Northampton Town, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Cambridge United.
Midlands: Mansfield Town, Notts County.
North-West: Morecambe, Accrington Stanley, Carlisle United.
Yeovil Town have reported their season ticket sales as of the cut-off point of this year's Early Bird Deadline. Supporters had until midnight last night to make their purchases at the lower tariff - they remain on sale but against a higher set of prices. As of midnight last night, the club had sold "close to 2,000 season tickets".
There wasn't a cut-off point figure published last year, but the final figures at the start of the season were 2,500 for the 2014-15 campaign in League One, whilst the 2013-14 season in the Championship saw them sell 2,700 season tickets. The 2012-13 season had recorded 1,900 season ticket sales. The club's record was the 3,600 tickets sold for the 2005-06 season - their first at League One level.
Usually in previous summers the Early Bird deadline figure has grown by a couple of hundred by the time the season starts, with some fans deciding that keeping their money in the bank until the first week in August is preferable to purchasing at a lower price in May. The loose figure quoted suggests that sales are slightly down against recent benchmarks, but given the circumstances of the club's relegation into League Two, nothing too eye-opening.
Season Ticket Sales In Recent Years: 2011-12 Season : 2,000 season tickets
2012-13 Season : 1,900 season tickets
2013-14 Season : 2,700 season tickets
2014-15 Season : 2,500 season tickets
2015-16 Season : 'close to 2,000 season tickets' (as of Early Bird Deadline).
Former Yeovil Town loan striker Jordy Hiwula said that his spell at Huish Park during the 2014-15 season did help his career, even if it didn't quite take off during his time at the club. The Manchester City player made nine appearances for the club but failed to score a League One goal, with his only success coming in the FA Cup during a November home tie against Crawley Town.
That led to his deal being curtailed two months into his time at Huish Park, as a series of missed chances saw him eventually return to his parent club. But he has told his club's website that for him personally it was a good experience because it was his first time outside Manchester, and his first experience of competitive first team football:
"I enjoyed my first spell with Yeovil and even though I donít think I did that well, I learned a lot because it was the first time Iíd been away from home and also played senior football, all of which made the second spell that much better. As a striker you get judged on goals and I didnít find the net in any of the (Football League) games I played for Yeovil. Itís more of a personal disappointment because I just wanted to contribute more to the team."
Whilst Hiwula's Yeovil career saw him freeze somewhat inside the penalty box, a later loan spell with fellow League One side Walsall got off to a flier. Joining them in February 2015, after two months on the Manchester City training ground, he scored on his debut and went on to record nine goals in 19 appearances for the Saddlers. Hiwula felt the big difference was getting his first goal within minutes of entering the field as a substitute:
"At Walsall, things went much better and I scored on my debut within four minutes of coming off the bench and then scored on my home debut which was the perfect start. I feel I finished the season well and I hope to score goals for the (Manchester City) Under-21s in the games that remain. Iíd be willing to go out on loan again and continue my development but Iíll do whatever the Club want me to do, work hard and see where it takes me."
Yeovil Town supporters wishing to purchase a Season Ticket for the 2015-16 season have until the end of today to buy them at the 'early bird' price. This is also the cut-off point for fans to keep their currently reserved seat before they are released into the general pool. Season Tickets will still remain on sale after today, but priced at a higher tariff, hence Friday is your last chance to get them at the lower level.
Supporters making a late decision can do so via a variety of methods. If you've received an application form by post, then you can fill that in and take it up to the club. Alternatively there's a completely blank form available, via the link below, which you can print out. You can also apply for a season ticket using the ticket office online facility. Alternatively, you can give them a call on 01935-847888.
In all cases it will help if you have your Customer Number to hand, which is printed on your current Season Ticket card, or on the postal address card for any tickets purchased if you're a non-season ticket holder. However, if you can't find that, then they should be able to find your details fairly easily using your name and postcode. Brand new applications are also welcomed.
For full details, follow the links below - the Ticket Office closes at 4.00p.m. today, but the online facility will remain open beyond that time, right up until midnight.
Former Yeovil Town loanee Josh Sheehan feels that his spell at Huish Park has allowed him to return to Swansea City as a better player. The 20 year old made 13 appearances for the Glovers, having been brought in during mid-February as the club attempted to save itself from relegation from League One. Playing in a variety of midfield positions, as the club switched formations throughout Terry Skiverton and Paul Sturrock's management spells, he was often the player whose role changed from game to game, meaning that he was set plenty of challenges along the way.
Sheehan told his club's website that he thought he returned to the Liberty Stadium having improved his game, and he was able to demonstrate that in front of over 2,000 Swansea supporters in an Under-21 match that gave his parent club the Development League Two title, whilst he wore the captain's armband. Speaking after that game, he paid tribute to his spell in South Somerset:
"It was a great experience getting out on loan. I learned a lot from my time at Yeovil, I think I have come back a better player and I hope that showed out on the pitch. The experience has helped me with my game and you need that as a young footballer; to get out and play games. As soon as you do, you notice the difference in your game and you improve as a player."
Sheehan's only taste of first team football for the Premier League side came in a League Cup match against Rotherham United at the start of the 2014-15 season, but having got a rather extended run in the Yeovil Town side, he said his next target was to grab a first team chance with Swansea - but if not then he would settle for another loan spell next season:
"A chance in the first team is all you want as a young player - I watched the Swans growing up and all I have ever wanted to do is play for them so hopefully I will get another chance soon. If not then I am prepared to get out on loan again and continue to work for it."
A number of changes have been made to Football League management positions over the last week or so, following the end of the 2014-15 season. Not too surprisingly, a couple of them affect clubs that have been relegated from League One along with Yeovil Town, and so are searching for new management teams for the 2015-16 season when they commence their League Two season.
Yesterday saw Leyton Orient part company with their manager Fabio Liverani, who has left the club by mutual consent, along with his assistants Maurizio Cantarelli and Marcello Donatelli - a situation that will see the East London side searching for their fifth manager in under a season. Their 2014-15 campaign saw them get through Russell Slade (12 games), Kevin Nugent (7 games) and Mauro Milanese (8 games), with Liverani taking over the final 27 matches of the season, but only clocking up eight wins during that time.
There's also been a little bit of a manager merry-go-round going on affecting Crawley Town. They lost Dean Saunders at the end of the season - he had been in charge on an interim basis since the tail end of December after permanent boss John Gregory had to step down due to the need for heart surgery. Gregory has informed Crawley that he will not be returning to the club following his recuperation, whilst Saunders has made the move to League One side Chesterfield on a two year contract, after they lost their boss Paul Cook to League Two side Portsmouth - a slightly surprising career move for Cook given that he had only just taken the Spireites into the League One play-offs.
Meanwhile League Two side Newport County have appointed former England defender Terry Butcher as their manager, after caretaker boss Jimmy Dack decided not to accept an offer to become their permanent manager, and has instead left the club. Newport had already lost their boss Justin Edinburgh in February, after he moved to League One side Gillingham, with his former assistant Dack taking over the reins for the remainder of the campaign. The expectation is that Butcher will be bringing in Russell Osman as his assistant, giving the Welsh club a very high profile management team for the 2015-16 season.
Local press reports suggest that Yeovil Town want to sign former Bradford City and Queens Park Rangers winger/striker Mo Shariff for next season. The 22 year old is already known to have been at Saturday's trialist day, after he was one of a set of players listed on the dressing room wall prior to the first match at Huish Park. Shariff is listed as having played as a right-winger on the day, taking the No.7 shirt in the 'away shirts' for the 12.30p.m. kick-off.
Born in Burundi on March 8th 1993, in South-East Africa, he started his career at Slough Town as a youth player before being given a senior contract at the club. He was picked up by Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2010, after one full season in Berkshire playing for their first team, but was to only make one League Cup appearance for the Loftus Road club. Instead he was loaned out to four home counties clubs, with St Albans City (3 appearances), Staines Town, Woking (four appearances) and Dagenham and Redbridge (four appearances) all taking him on.
Bradford City took him on for the 2014-15 season, but he only made two appearances for them. On Christmas Eve he was allowed to leave on loan where he joined Hemel Hempstead Town - his last spot of first team football before being released by the Bantams.
The Western Gazette report that he is one of the three players reported earlier today as having impressed in the club trials. There are no sources or quotes provided, although certainly he was one of the more visible players in that team's line-up.
Yeovil Town's trialist day last Saturday appears to have attracted more than just the club's supporters to the ground. With the two games being open to the general public on Saturday, fans were able to enter the ground free of charge, and that also attracted Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves and his assistant Lee Hodges to the ground, where they took in both games.
The pair did have an obvious reason for watching one of the players on display that afternoon - midfielder Ben Harding was the most experienced player to take to the field during the first match, and he has been on Torquay's books for the past two seasons, making 36 appearances.
However, he is out of contract at this moment in time, and with Torquay currently in the middle of ownership talks concerning a takeover, their current priorities are to stabilise their club off the field by the end of this month to satisfy Conference financial and ownership regulations. As such Hargreaves and Hodges were almost certainly window-shopping, with their own club's playing budgets unlikely to be known until their current takeover talks are concluded.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock has decided to hold further discussions with three of the players who took part in Saturday's trial matches. Having viewed two matches on Saturday afternoon, the Glovers boss got the opportunity to see in the region of 45-50 players, as four separate teams and occasional substitutes took to the field on the Huish Park main pitch, watched by several hundred Yeovil Town supporters who had been invited to attend the games free of charge.
The Western Gazette reports that Sturrock is now holding discussions with agents representing three of those who took part in the weekend trials - it's not clear at this stage whether that's with a view to an immediate contract, or whether that is to invite them back to South Somerset for further trials or pre-season training. However, it would indicate that at least a small number of those present at the matches caught his eye. No player names, positions or clues are offered as to who might have got the nod, except that he hints that the first of the two matches, which ended in a 2-2 draw, saw the better all-round team display:
"I thought the first game was excellent and there was a really high standard. The second one was shaded a little bit but there were still some decent individual performances. Having two teams and some subs spare shows a pretty good turn out."
The names of the majority of the players who featured in the first match can be read via the link below, whilst the manager's thoughts on the wider recruitment campaign, in an interview that was conducted by the BBC last Friday, are also available below.
Last Friday, Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock issued his released and retained list, detailing his plans for each player beyond the end of this season. It was certainly a rather hefty list, and after it was published, Paul spoke to BBC Somerset reporter Tim Shires to explain that list and to talk about the two weekend trial matches (the interview took place before these) and his summer recruitment plans. The interview is quite a long one, and is in two parts - find it via the link below.
Outgoing full-back Liam Shephard has described his time at Yeovil Town as a great experience, despite admitting that being part of a relegated side was a big low point for him. Brought in as a right-back during mid-January 2015, the 20 year old also took on right wing and right-wing-back roles, as well as a single match playing in a left-back slot, giving him a wide experience across the 20 League One starts he made for the club.
Shephard also picked up the club's Bobby Hamilton Award at the end of the season, given to the club's Young Player Of The Year, as reward for his performances and he told Swansea's club website that getting his first taste of professional first team football was a big thing for him:
"It was a great experience for me. I was learning every day, and Iím very grateful to Yeovil for taking me on loan. Thereís nothing better than hearing fans cheering and supporting you. It gives you a hunger to want to experience that more. It was a really positive move for me. I played week-in, week-out, and I was named young player of the year. Being involved in that type of environment Ė at the bottom of the table Ė and scrapping for points was a big learning curve for me. There were different challenges in every game, and that gives you a wider knowledge and experience of the game."
During his time in South Somerset, Shephard also got his first ever Wales Under-21 call-up - albeit as an unused substitute against Bulgaria Under-21s. As such it was a near-perfect loan spell for him, although with the obvious down side that he experienced the club getting relegated into League Two at the end of the campaign:
"The only negative was being relegated. It was a tough time for the club, the players, the staff and supporters. But everyone at Yeovil were really good to me. The club gave me the chance to play senior football while off the pitch everyone was really helpful and friendly. Iíll certainly be looking out for Yeovilís results next season. I think they can bounce straight back to League One."
The Football League have published their list of clubs who will carry their Family Excellence Award for the 2015-16 season. The award is a 'kitemark' that allows clubs to demonstrate that they have met a certain standard with respect to providing facilities, support and entertainment for families visiting football grounds, with the Football League sending out 'mystery shoppers' as typical family groups to rate their experience of everything buying tickets and food, to whether the club provides designated family areas, baby changing facilities, child-related entertainment, and then compile that into a scorecard.
Generally the number of clubs receiving the award has grown each year, with 47 clubs being nominated during the last two seasons. This season has seen that number drop slightly - down to 42 clubs - meaning that there have been a number of casualties, of which Yeovil Town was one. The Football League note that they applied "a significant increase in the benchmark standard" in an attempt to raise the bar that clubs must clear in order to remain on their lists. This was the first time across seven consecutive seasons that the Glovers had not been included.
The League indicate that they have seen a 31 percent increase in the number of Junior supporters (generally recognised as Under-16s) at football grounds over the last six seasons, coupled with a six percent increase in overall attendance over that period. Thus whilst clubs are clearly attracting such new fans to their grounds, the League wants to use the kitemark as a means to encourage clubs to retain the next generation as well.
The full list of clubs carrying the award for the coming season are as follows:
Family Excellence Award 2015: AFC Bournemouth, AFC Wimbledon, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol City, Burton Albion, Cardiff City, Carlisle United, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Crewe Alexandra, Dagenham and Redbridge, Derby County, Doncaster Rovers, Fleetwood Town, Fulham, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough, Millwall, MK Dons, Morecambe, Northampton Town, Notts County, Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, Preston North End, Reading, Rochdale, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield Wednesday, Shrewsbury Town, Southend United, Stevenage, Tranmere Rovers, Watford, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers, York City
Of the above, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers remain as the six clubs who have managed to keep the award in all eight seasons. The above list sees York City, who were in the Conference between 2004 and 2012, but have since returned to the Football League, gain the award for the first time.
Outgoing Yeovil Town midfielder Joe Edwards is being linked with a move back to his former club Bristol City. In a rather speculative article carried in this morning's Western Daily Press, they suggest that City manager Steve Cotterill is 'considering a move' and 'could offer' a deal for the 24 year old, who is out of contract at Huish Park, and chose to reject a contract offer with the Glovers at the end of this season.
Edwards left Bristol City in January 2013, following two loan spells at Huish Park. The man to let him go was Sean O'Driscoll, who had only just been appointed at Ashton Gate and had not seen him play, with their managerial change causing a delay in what had been a verbal agreement between O'Driscoll's predecessor Derek McInnes and Yeovil's manager Gary Johnson. Eventually O'Driscoll allowed the deal to go through, but the paper reports that City have been scouting Edwards since that time - now under the management of Steve Cotterill and will now play the 2015-16 season in the Championship.
The Gloucester-born player came through City's academy system, but only made four appearances for them. At that time, they regarded him as a right-back, but shortly after his arrival at Huish Park, Johnson converted him into a central midfielder, where he became an ever present for the club during the Glovers' 2013-14 Championship season. An ankle injury this season broke a run of 98 consecutive games that he had played in, running from the day he signed permanently for the Glovers through to February 2015. That injury was to spell the end of his time with the club, contributing only four more appearances after a gamble to bring him back quickly saw him break down a second time.
There are no sources or quotes to back up the paper's report. Edwards is free to sign for any club on a free transfer, having passed his 24th birthday last October.
Inevitably, given the open-door nature of Yeovil Town's trialist matches yesterday, a number of the names of the players who participated in both games have become clear. The Glovers staged two matches at Huish Park, with fans able to attend the games, and with media outlets such as Sky Sports invited to attend and interview players. As a result, the identity of a some of the players who participated are now clear, with Sky showing the line-ups for the first match in full. These include the following:
First Match : Home Kit
Joel Dixon : Goalkeeper. Sunderland Under-21s player who has experience of loan spells with Workington Reds, Hartlepool United, Gateshead and Boston United.
Elliott Wheeler : Right-Back. Stoke City Under-21s player who has also been on the books of Portsmouth. Loan spells with Bashley, Sutton United and Nuneaton.
Michael Chambers : Centre-Back. Crystal Palace 20 year old who was brought in from Dulwich Hamlet, where he played against Yeovil Town Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup. Has had loan experience with Welling United.
Nathan Kelly : Centre-Back. 19 year old Birmingham City player who has had loan experience with Kidderminster Harriers.
Gedeon Okito : Left-Back. MK Dons player who has had loan experience with Truro City, as well as being on the books of Peterborough United during his younger years.
Darren McQueen : Right Wing. 20 year old listed as a striker. Ipswich Town player with one first team appearance for the Tractor Boys, who used to be on the books of Tottenham Hotspur, moving to Portman Road in the summer of 2014.
Ben Harding : Centre Midfield. 30 year old Torquay United player who has had extensive football league experience. A former Wimbledon player, who became part of the franchised MK Dons set-up before playing for Forest Green Rovers, Aldershot Town, Grays Athletic, a four year spell with Alershot Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town.
George Barker : Centre Midfield. 23 year old Swindon Town player, listed as a striker. Originally a Brighton and Hove Albion youth player who has had a small scattering of Seagulls appearances, along with loan spells for Lewes, Barnet and Newport County before moving to the County Ground, where he also had a loan spell with Tranmere Rovers.
Glenn Matthews : Left-Wing. Bolton Wanderers player, listed as a right-back, although played on loan for AFC Telford as a left-sided defender.
Richel Marzolf : Striker. Cameroon 23 year old who can also play left-wing. Has largely been on the books of low key Switzerland clubs, such as Biel Jugend, Biel Bienne, Serrieres, Bellinzona and Biaschesi but was most recently in Turkey with Osmaniyespor.
Jack Nardiello : Striker. 20 year old formerly on the books of Stoke City, who has been most recently playing for Nuneaton Town.
First Match : Away Kit
Grant Adam : Goalkeeper. 24 year old Greenock Morton player who is a former Scotland U16, U17, U19 and U21 player. Has played all of his football in Scotland, starting with Rangers, and passing through Forfar Athletic, Airdrie United, St Mirren, Cowdenbeath, Airdrieonians and Dundee.
Jacob Daffern : Right-back. Listed as a midfielder on the books of MK Dons, who has also had loan experience with Banbury United, and has just completed his second year scholarship.
Scott Tancock : Central defender. Swansea City defender, who is 21 years old and has had loan experience with Newport Country and Wrexham. He has also played six times for Wales Under-21s.
Omar Sowunmi : Central defender. Ipswich Town defender, who is 19 years old and has had loan experience with Lowestoft Town and Braintree Town.
Anthony Bell : Left-back. Cardiff City player, who is listed as a left-sided midfielder. He has had loan experience with Darlington and is a second year professional with the Bluebirds, aged 19 years old.
Mo Shariff : Right Wing. 22 year old Bradford City player, who started his career with Slough Town before being picked up by Queens Park Rangers. A lengthy list of loan spells followed with St Albans City, Staines Town, Woking and Dagenham and Redbridge all taking him on short term deals. Finished the season on loan at Hemel Hempstead Town. Sometimes listed as a striker on profiles.
Darren Miller : Midfielder. 22 year old from Queen's Park in Scotland. Signed for Hearts as a youth player, but then went back into junior football before bring picked up by Knightswood, followed by Albion Rovers before Queen's Park picked him up in the summer of 2014.
Taylor Miles : Midfielder. 19 year old Concord Rangers player who used to be on the books of West Ham United. Has scored plenty of goals for the Conference South side.
Lawrence Vaughan : Left-Wing. MK Dons scholar - appears to have just completed his second year.
Shaun Jeffers : Striker. 23 year old Newport County player who started his career with Coventry City. Had loan spells with Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United and Tamworth before moving to Peterborough United, and then joined Newport in January 2014. Had a short loan spell with Brackley Town during this period. A former England Under-19s international, whilst with the Sky Blues.
Daniel Uchechi : Striker. 25 year old former Charlton Athletic youth player who was signed up by West Ham United. Has had a minimal amount of first team experience playing for Nigerian side FC Dender before loan spells with Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday. Aberdeen then took him on, before he headed to Sweden, playing for AFC United and Dalkurd FF.
Second Match Players:
Rhys Lovett : A goalkeeper who played in the second match for the side in the green'n'white team. He is a former Rochdale youth keeper who was released by Dale at the end of last month. He has been coached by Steve Collis during the last season, giving the club an obvious reference point.
Joe Partington : Defender. 25 year old former Portsmouth youth player who signed professionally for Bournemouth. Has had loan experience with Eastbourne Borough, Aldershot Town and Eastleigh, as well as playing for Wales Under 17s, Under 19s and Under 21s.
Yeovil Town Ladies earned a point away at The New Den but left disappointed not to get all three after creating a number of good second half chances. Naomi Cole's second-half penalty earned Millwall Lionesses a 2-2 draw on their home patch, and ensured they kept their unbeaten record intact in FAWSL2. The Lionesses twice came from behind, with Cole cancelling out Corinne Yorston's spot kick after Rosella Ayane also levelled in the first half.
Yeovil began the brighter side and after Nicola Cousins almost opened the scoring, Natasha Knapman headed into an empty net on 21 minutes after Annie Heatherson had headed a corner back into the danger area. Millwall's Ayane was looking dangerous from the left, and the Chelsea loanee grabbed an equaliser on 35 minutes firing home from just inside the box.
The Lionesses thought they had edged in front on the stroke of half-time, as Yeovil keeper Charlotte Haynes did well to use the post and held the ball against it keeping it from going over the line following a corner. Millwall appealed that the ball looked to have crossed the line, but they were penalised for a handball in the build-up and the half ended level.
The visitors regained some of their early momentum at the start of the second half, before Yorston was bundled over in the box by Grace Fisk five minutes after the restart. The same Glovers player converted to restore Yeovil's lead, but the Lionesses again equalised on 67 minutes through a penalty of their own - Cole making no mistake from the spot.
Yeovil pushed for a winner, and despite the lively Heatherson hitting the bar in the closing stages, the Lionesses held on. Millwall remain unbeaten in the FA Women's Super League with BT Sport, but have now drawn five of their six games. Yeovil remain in third place and face Everton next weekend, before they travel to Watford the week after.
Final Score: Millwall Lionesses 2 Yeovil Town Ladies 2.
Yeovil Town played out two trialist matches today at Huish Park, as manager Paul Sturrock cast his eye over a range of players hoping to impress him for next season. Both matches saw players take to the field without official names attached to them, meaning that fans were only able to identify them by shirt numbers and by the green'n'white kit that was used for one team, whilst the other took the club's away kit.
The end result was two draws, with the 12.30p.m. kick-off seeing a lively 2-2 draw that was kick-started by a penalty to each side, followed by two more in open play, with the team in the home strip taking the lead twice. The second match kicked off somewhat earlier than the planned 3.00p.m. time, and ended in a 0-0 draw with those watching seeing it as the lesser of the two games, both from a spectacle and in terms of some of the quality.
Speaking to BBC Somerset before the two matches, manager Paul Sturrock said that he planned a wide range of players to take part in the two matches, and even said that he may be holding more trial games around the start of July as pre-season training kicked in:
"There are a lot of 20 or 21 year old players who have had their first two year contracts with teams in England. There are some foreign players coming across, and there are some hardened pros who want to play to impress. So we've got a real mix and I'm expecting to have another two games at the start of next pre-season and I expect most of the friendlies will be sprinkled with trialists as well. Then the loans kick on a certain date. So I'd think it will be the last week I'd imagine before we can say that we've got a solid base of 18, 19 or 20 boys, and we can start working on our shape then."
A number of the players on the day were identified by fans - we'll see what we can verify in due course. As yet no names have been formally released.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock has said that the performances of some of his players during the final two matches of the 2014-15 season sealed the fate of a number of the outgoing first team squad. Whilst the Glovers showed some early promise under the new management, with wins over Swindon Town and Sheffield United, they ended the season with a whimper, as a 5-1 thrashing against Milton Keynes Dons was followed up by defeat against Taunton Town in the Somerset Premier Cup Final.
Sturrock told BBC Somerset that he had an open mind on a few of the players leading into the final two matches of the season, but after watching the way those involved tackled both games, he felt that those he had been wavering on, firmly put themselves into the 'out' list that saw just two out of contract offerred new deals at the club:
"At the end of the day you can only go by what you see, training-wise, and in games. The last two games have made my mind up totally. There were maybe a couple that I was swaying on who burned their boats in the last couple of games. We need winners in the football club. We need a freshness and we need to show the fans that we're not going to tolerate what has been dished up this season."
The Yeovil boss suggested that a number of the squad that he inherited lacked commitment and had the wrong mentality to succeed, and so needed to leave the club. He admitted that he had listened in to a few fans conversations at Wordsworth Drive to affirm his own views on what he was watching. He said he wanted to get rid of the negative culture that existed at the club:
"We have to clear the decks as I think there is a negativity and lack of commitment and a losing mentality amongst the squad of players. I cannot tolerate lack of commitment and a losing mentality. I deliberately wandered around the ground at Taunton to listen to the fans thoughts and comments and I know that you canít con a football fan. They know what they have been seeing. Losing becomes a habit and Iíve put myself under a bit of pressure with these decisions but I would rather go with fresh new blood than attempt to remould these existing players at the club."
Outgoing Yeovil Town club captain Joe Edwards has delivered a farewell message to fans, following his decision to leave the club. The 24 year old was the biggest name to exit Huish Park, heading out the door three-and-a-half years after he first arrived as a loan player, from Bristol City. Having joined the club permanently a year later, he became captain of the side for the 2014-15 season, following the departure of Jamie McAllister, and of course was a regular in the 2012-13 side that gained promotion to the Championship.
Edwards was offered a new contract at the club, but choose to turn it down and move on, strongly implying that he already has a League One (or above) club lined up for next season that he is willing to agree terms with. He now becomes a free agent after making 132 appearances for the club, scoring four goals along the way. He told followers of his Twitter account that he had been proud to be captain of Yeovil Town and of his time with the Glovers:
"What an incredible journey I've been on since signing for Yeovil I'm proud to of been captain of such a fantastic club. I can't thank the fans enough for the support you've shown me over this period with memories that I will last forever. I would also like to thank all the staff and players who have helped me massively throughout this very enjoyable part of my career. It's time to start a new chapter in my career but I will always to thankful to Yeovil Town."
Joe is one of twelve players who have definitely left the club today, with more departures expected over the summer, given a further quartet have been given offers to terminate their current deals. For the full list of squad players, see the earlier article linked below.
Yeovil Town have published their Released and Retained lists at the end of the 2014-15 season. The list sees only two out of contract players offered new deals, Sam Foley and Kevin Dawson, with the vast majority of those on the clubs books being shown the door. The full list of players and where they all stand right now are as follows:
Offered new deals:
Sam Foley : 45 appearances last season with 105 in total.
Kevin Dawson : 20 appearances last season with 82 in total. Currently recovering from a hip injury.
Released at the end of their contracts:
Joe Edwards : 39 appearances last season with 132 in total. Was offered a new contract but rejected terms and leaves.
Fergus Bell : 2 appearances last season.
James Hayter : 41 appearances last season with 135 in total.
Sam Hoskins : 14 appearances last season with 35 in total.
Seth Nana Twumasi : 30 appearances last season with 33 in total.
Nathan Ralph : 24 appearances last season with 41 in total.
Liam Davis : 9 appearances last season with 39 in total.
Craig Eastmond : 1 appearance last season
Alex Smith : 6 appearances last season
Kieffer Moore : 34 appearances last season with 58 in total.
Joel Grant : 21 appearances last season with 59 in total.
Gozie Ugwu : 22 appearances last season
Remaining under contract until June 2016:
Chris Weale : 9 appearances last season, with 223 in total. Has been given an unspecified offer - possibly goalkeeper-coach.
Nathan Smith : 46 appearances last season, with 164 in total.
Jakub Sokolik : 12 appearances last season. Currently recovering from a cruciate knee injury.
Simon Gillett : 22 appearances last season. Out injured until Christmas with a knee injury.
Under contract until June 2016 but given offers to leave the club:
AJ Leitch-Smith : 38 appearances last season.
Adam Morgan : 6 appearances last season.
James Berrett : 33 appearances last season.
Artur Krysiak : 16 appearances last season.
If the four players given offers to terminate their contracts do not accept them, they will remain on the payroll, but will not be considered for selection next season and will not be allocated squad numbers.
Returning to their parent clubs at the end of their loan spells:
Ben Nugent back to Cardiff City : 29 appearances last season.
Stephen Arthurworrey back to Fulham : 33 appearances last season.
Byron Webster back to Millwall : 27 appearances last season.
Josh Sheehan back to Swansea City : 13 appearances last season.
Liam Shephard back to Swansea City : 20 appearances last season.
Stephen Kingsley back to Swansea City : 12 appearances last season.
Yeovil Town's final match of the 2014-15 season saw them travel to Milton Keynes Dons where they were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat. The 5-1 scoreline showed the gap between a team heading for promotion and a club already relegated. Even Yeovil's goal was scored by their hosts, with Jordan Spence putting into his own net.
Man of the Match voting saw Swansea City loanees Josh Sheehan and Liam Shephard pick up praise, whilst Fulham defender Stephen Arthurworrey also showed the value of that loan system. However, the winner of the poll by a tiny margin was club captain Joe Edwards, who had returned to the side for the match, playing in a five man midfield during the first half, that was switched to a 4-3-3 during the second half.
Full result are as follows, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:
1. Joe Edwards 22 (1)
2. Stephen Arthurworrey 20 (2)
3. Liam Shephard 16 (1)
4. Josh Sheehan 12 (1)
5. Kieffer Moore 8 (0)
6. James Berrett 8 (0)
7. Gozie Ugwu 2 (0)
8. James Hayter 2 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 4.2
Performance : 3.6
Entertainment : 4.8
VOTES RECEIVED : 5
Yeovil Town Reserves went down to defeat tonight in the final of the Somerset Premier Cup. In a game that was taken through the full 120 minutes, the Peacocks deserved their eventual victory, having had the better of the game during the main 90 minutes of the match. Rodney Marsh had a shot pushed onto the post during extra time, and on 107 minutes a corner from Jamie Short was headed into the back of the net by Jamie Price for what was to prove to be the winning goal.
On an odd note, the Glovers fielded a line-up containing only eleven players and zero subs, with none of their loan players selected for the match, and with a number of fringe players also absent from the game. As a result they were unable to make any substitutions during the 120 minutes. Taunton's collection of the Somerset Premier Cup means they've now won the competition two years running.
Final Score: Taunton Town 1 Yeovil Town Reserves 0.
Scorer: Jamie Price (1-0, 107 mins).
Yeovil Town Reserves: 1. Chris Weale
4. Joe Edwards 2. Seth Nana Twumasi 5. Kieffer Moore 3. Nathan Smith
8. Joel Grant 7. James Berrett 10. AJ Leitch-Smith 13. Adam Morgan
9. Gozie Ugwu 11. James Hayter
Taunton Town: 1. Lloyd Irish 2. Graham Mercieca 3. Lewis Waldy 4. Jamie Price 5. Steve Kingdon 6. Brett Trowbridge 7. Max Dyer 8. Ben Carter 9. Aaron Ward-Baptiste 10. Jamie Short 11. Josh Wadham
Substitutes: 12. Craig Herrod 14. Tom Hopkins 15. Steve Murray (for Max Dyer) 16. Rodney Marsh (for Aaron Ward-Baptiste).
Referee: Adam Penwell (Weston-super-Mare). Assistants: Adam Fricker (Bath) and Brian Lee (Taunton). Fourth Official: Scott Jackson (Taunton).
Yeovil Town have named their line-up for tonight's Somerset Premier Cup Final match. The tie against holders Taunton Town sees the Glovers select the following set of players:
Yeovil Town Reserves: (with a wild guess at a formation)
1. Chris Weale
4. Joe Edwards 2. Seth Nana Twumasi 5. Kieffer Moore 3. Nathan Smith
8. Joel Grant 7. James Berrett 10. AJ Leitch-Smith 13. Adam Morgan
9. Gozie Ugwu 11. James Hayter
Local media reports are linking Yeovil Town with a move for former Southend United and Colchester United defender Sean Clohessy. The right-back is currently a free agent, having been put onto Colchester's released list earlier this week, following their successful fight against relegation. The Western Gazette suggest that he will be one of thirty trialists who will feature in one, or possibly two, matches being staged at Huish Park this coming Saturday.
Clohessy is already well known to manager Paul Sturrock, who brought him to Roots Hall at the start of his reign at Southend United, initially bringing him in as a trialist whilst the Essex club were under a transfer embargo, and then giving him a contract on the eve of the 2010-11 season. Sturrock was impressed enough to give him a new two year contract at the end of his first year. He reached his peak at the club when he won Southend United's Supporters' Player of the Year and the Shrimpers Trust Player of the Year, along with inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year for League Two. Overall he made 166 appearances for Southend, scoring five goals.
Born in Croydon on December 12th 1986, he is a former Arsenal trainee whose first professional club was Gillingham (46 appearances, one goal) and has had time in the West Country where he played for Salisbury City (2008-09 and 2009-10) and Bath City (2010-11) before Sturrock took him back into League football. Since leaving Southend, he's played for Kilmarnock (26 appearances, 2 goals) and Colchester United (37 appearances).
His time with Colchester came to a rather abrupt end on February 28th when he was substituted by manager Tony Humes, and walked off, refusing to shake the manager's hand. As a consequence of that incident he was sidelined and did not play during the final two months of their season, and was released one year into his two year contract. As such he is now a free agent and able to sign for any club on a free transfer.
There are no quotes or sources to back up the Gazette's reports. However, given his time under Sturrock represents the peak of his career so far, and given he is already familiar with this part of the world through his time at Salisbury and Bath, it would seem a good fit.
Yeovil Town's final home match of the 2014-15 season saw them face a Port Vale side that still needed a win to mathematically ensure their own League One survival. The match was a slightly flat end-of-season affair, with the Valiants getting the result that they needed as Yeovil Town lost by a 1-2 scoreline. Our goal came from a James Berrett free kick that saw Gozie Ugwu net from inside the box.
It says a fair bit about the quality of Yeovil's squad this season that the top three players in the Man of the Match voting were borrowed from other clubs. Swansea City duo Stephen Kingsley and Liam Shephard put in decent performances on opposite flanks, playing as standard full-backs in the first half, then as wing-backs in the second period. The winner of the poll though was Fulham centre-back Stephen Arthurworrey, who finished comfortably out in front.
Full results are as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:
1. Stephen Arthurworrey 138 (11)
2. Liam Shephard 56 (4)
3. Stephen Kingsley 46 (2)
4. Gozie Ugwu 38 (2)
5. Chris Weale 22 (1)
6. Sam Foley 16 (1)
7. James Berrett 14 (0)
8. Kieffer Moore 12 (1)
9. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi 10 (0)
10. Josh Sheehan 10 (0)
10. Joe Edwards 10 (0)
12. Nathan Smith 2 (0)
13. Fergus Bell 2 (0)
14. Byron Webster 2 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 4.95
Performance : 5
Entertainment : 4.91
VOTES RECEIVED : 22
Friday morning will see a select number invited to form a new team, and a different set of disappointed people leaving the building looking gloomy and facing some time in the wilderness. No, we're not talking the General Election, but the time at which 'Doctor' Paul Sturrock will be opening up his surgery doors, and inviting each player in for a fifteen minute health check. At some point after, we will get to find which players are on his list for the 2015-16 season, and which ones need to make a hurried call to their agents. The latest Taff's Gloversblog runs through each player that finished the season on our books, and where they're likely to stand. Read on via the link below, and feel free to post your agreements and disagreements at the foot of the article.
Yeovil Town have indicated that they are around three or four weeks away from submitting fresh development plans to South Somerset District Council. The plans are the club's latest attempt at developing land to the north end of Huish Park, replacing those originally announced back in March 2011, but with a much-changed January 2012 planning application eventually abandoned by the club in June 2014.
Since then, nothing has been on the table, although in January 2015 the club held a public consultation that saw a range of sketch plans and output produced over the month with the aim of collecting feedback and then turning that into a new formal planning application. The Western Gazette has indicated that this new application is now imminent, suggesting it will be submitted by the end of this month.
Whilst a retail unit, hotel, convenience store, coffee shop and a sports rehabilitation clinic are all mentioned, the paper indicates that The Range - fronted by Chris Dawson - is no longer looking to open an outlet in Yeovil. This had been the club's main focus on the previous application - to use Dawson as a development partner - and in January the club confirmed he was still on the scene, but it seems that if he is still involved then it won't be his own store going in on the site.
They quote Chairman John Fry as saying that the club's plans relied upon them getting either sports-related grants or investment from outside parties in order to be fulfilled. This suggests that the club's barriers are not just one of gaining planning permission, but of getting enough interested parties to step forward and invest in those various outlets:
"This is for the long term future of the club. We can't secure funding 100 per cent before we have strong plans to show what we want to do. We want this application to get the attention of investors, who could be local organisations who would benefit from the new facilities in the club, and secure grants from bodies like Sports England."
The club are also continuing to talk about new stadium facilities in the vicinity of the Copse Road Terrace, which is currently an open terrace housing away supporters. The Gazette speak of a 'new complex behind the away end', which would include refreshment facilities for hot drinks and a sports hall. We'll wait to see the actual plans, but this would point to an adjacent or semi-detached building, rather than the 3,500 seater stand that was originally proposed back in March 2011.
Yeovil Town will be hosting one or two trialist matches this coming weekend. On Saturday 9th May, manager Paul Sturrock will invite groups of trialists to head to Huish Park where they will stage two matches on the main pitch at the club.
Unusually, the matches will be open to the general public, and free of charge. The first will take place at 12.30p.m. Provided there are enough trialists present on the day, there will be a second match staged at 3.00p.m. The club's upstairs bar - recently renamed as the Legends Lounge, although until recently known as the Alec Stock Lounge, will be open during the day.
At present we don't know any names of players who will be attending, or how many of them will be given publicised names on the day of the game.
The Football League have announced a new match highlights package for the 2015-16 season. As reported last December, the new rights package spells the end of the BBC's Football League Show, with a new set of goals and highlights going out via Channel 5. They have signed a three year agreement, with the big difference being that the show will go out at 9.00p.m. and lasting 90 minutes, thus preceding the BBC's Match of the Day programme, rather than the current situation which sees the Football League coverage being shown in a graveyard slot.
Channel 5 also take the rights to the League Cup and Football League Trophy and will use ITN Productions to produce digital clips and highlights content that will be licenced to Channel 5 and Sky Sports, as well as club websites via their existing subscription 'Player' services. To enable this they will be installing fibre-optic links to all 72 Football League clubs to enable content to be uploaded after games to an operations centre in Preston. Currently Championship clubs footage is wired through using this technology, but they plan to connect up League One and League Two clubs over the summer.
The thinking was that the Football League saw Channel 5's offer to screen the highlights before Match of the Day as a clear differential compared to the BBC's offer - it's not clear if this will get league clubs more or less money out of the deal as a consequence. Either way, Chief Executive Shaun Harvey admitted that having the prime time viewing slot was a big positive for the League:
"This is an exceptional opportunity for The Football League to work with a broadcaster that will schedule our matches in a prime-time slot. It will take our games to a wider, younger audience by giving us the chance to be first in front of fans on a Saturday night. The expansion of the fibre-optic network across our clubs represents a significant multi-million pound investment by The Football League into our future broadcasting content strategy. It will deliver new opportunities for supporters to view matches across a range of platforms."
Complete statistics for the 2014-15 season on this website are now available. With all first team fixtures now over for the summer, the usual annual summary will be archived in the Statistics section of this website, which currently has Yeovil Town first team results going back 85 years, as far as the 1930-31 season.
The final League One table of course makes for ugly reading - the club's second consecutive relegation, and the 40 points claimed are comfortably the worst the club had managed at League One level - the previous worst had been the 51 points gained during the 2008-09 season.
First team appearances saw the club get through a total of 40 players, matching the numbers used during the 2007-08 season when serious injuries to Lee Morris, Marc Bircham and Darren Way had a significant impact on squad rebuilding, with the loss of Arron Davies and Chris Cohen just after the League One play-off final also impacting upon the stability of the squad.
During this season, Nathan Smith was the player to feature in the most games, although Sam Foley had slightly more starts during the year. Perhaps the telling point was that 16 different players failed to hit double figures during the season, with Craig Eastmond and Gareth Stewart on the pitch for the least amount of time with one substitute appearance each. A total of 15 loan players were used, with Stephen Arthurworrey the one to spend the most time on the pitch with 33 appearances.
First team goals scored were comfortably the least scored during the club's stay in the Football League, and the fact that the two leading goalscorers - James Hayter and Gozie Ugwu - netted just five times each - tells its own story. The previous lowest total for a leading goalscorer in a Yeovil Town side in the Football League had been the nine netted by Gavin Tomlin during the 2008-09 season. Without checking every season, it can probably be safely assumed that this is also the lowest tally in the club's history.
The club's disciplinary record was not too bad throughout the season, with just four red cards dished out - two against Ben Nugent, whilst Seth Nana Twumasi and Ryan Inniss got one each. Stephen Arthurworrey picked up the most bookings, with nine to his name, but because most of these occurred beyond the cut-off period for five bookings, he avoided a suspension - in fact Ben Nugent was the only player to serve a suspension for an accumulation of bookings.
The club's first team results, scorers and attendances are summarised below. The worst sequence of results was the six game losing run that stretched across March and April 2015, and spelt the end of Terry Skiverton's managerial reign. The only time the club recorded back-to-back wins was under Paul Sturrock, just after the club had been relegated. The club only recorded a three match unbeaten run in the league at any time - once in August 2014, then in January 2015 just before Gary Johnson was removed from his position, and then at the end of the season during Paul Sturrock's first three games.
Finally attendance trends for the 2014-15 season and the 35 years before that can be viewed. Unsurprisingly, crowds have dropped heavily since last season's Championship stay, but despite some suggestions from the club's hierarchy that they were disappointed with the level of support at home games, the 4,346 that turned up for matches was the club's best at League One level since the 2009-10 season. However, as a word of warning, it's worth noting that five out of the club's final nine League One home fixtures were below the 4,000 mark, with the two biggest crowds during that period being against Bristol City and Chesterfield who were both pushing for promotion and so brought significant away followings.
The Football League have confirmed the dates and line-ups for the 2014-15 Play-Offs. All matches will be screened live on Sky Sports, meaning that as usual they are scattered across a number of dates and times - on a couple of occasions two matches will be taking place at the same time. In addition, the date for the Conference Play-Off Final has been set, that will decide which team joins Barnet in the Football League at the end of the season. The full list in date order are as follows:
Thu 07/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Chesterfield vs Preston North End (League One Semi-Final First Leg)
Thu 07/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Sheffield United vs Swindon Town (League One Semi-Final First Leg)
Fri 08/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Brentford vs Middlesbrough (Championship Semi-Final First Leg)
Sat 09/05/2015 : 12:15hrs : Ipswich Town vs Norwich City (Championship Semi-Final First Leg)
Sat 09/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Plymouth Argyle vs Wycombe Wanderers (League Two Semi-Final First Leg)
Sun 10/05/2015 : 12:15hrs : Preston North End vs Chesterfield (League One Semi-Final Second Leg)
Sun 10/05/2015 : 18:35hrs : Stevenage vs Southend United (League Two Semi-Final First Leg)
Mon 11/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Swindon Town vs Sheffield United (League One Semi-Final Second Leg)
Thu 14/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Wycombe Wanderers vs Plymouth Argyle (League Two Semi-Final Second Leg)
Thu 14/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Southend United vs Stevenage (League Two Semi-Final Second Leg)
Fri 15/05/2015 : 19:45hrs : Middlesbrough vs Brentford (Championship Semi-Final Second Leg)
Sat 16/05/2015 : 12:15hrs : Norwich City vs Ipswich Town (Championship Semi-Final Second Leg)
Sun 17/05/2015 : 14:00hrs : Conference Play-Off Final : Bristol Rovers vs Grimsby Town (Wembley Stadium)
Sat 23/05/2015 : 17:30hrs : League Two Play-Off Final (Wembley Stadium)
Sun 24/05/2015 : 17:30hrs : League One Play-Off Final (Wembley Stadium)
Mon 25/05/2015 : 15:00hrs : Championship Play-Off Final (Wembley Stadium)
Just before Sunday afternoon's League One match against Milton Keynes Dons kicked off at Stadium MK, Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock spoke to the BBC. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Paul talks about the number of players he had available for that game, his decision to recall Artur Krysiak to the side, and also thoughts on Kieffer Moore and James Hayter. Read that interview via the link below.
Following this afternoon's 5-1 defeat against Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium MK, Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Paul's thoughts on the match, and his plans to tell his players where they stand can be read via the link below, along with his thoughts on League Two next season.
If you watched Sunday afternoon's 1-5 defeat against Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium MK, 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.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock's office will resemble a doctor's surgery on Friday morning as he plans to line the players up for appointments that will decide their fate at the club. Following Thursday night's Somerset Premier Cup final against Taunton Town the players will be told to return to Huish Park the next morning, where their new boss will deliver verdicts on an individual basis, telling them whether they will be offered a new deal at the club, or whether they will be let go.
At the end of a 2014-15 season that has seen the club suffer their second consecutive relegation, Sturrock must decide which of the squad are worth the offer of football at League Two level, with him having seen 14 of those players capitulate against Milton Keynes Dons this afternoon, in a 5-1 defeat. He told BBC Somerset after the game that the aim would be to give each player fifteen minutes to be told their future and to allow them to ask any questions they might have:
"I've got appointments every fifteen minutes starting at ten o'clock on Friday morning. Everybody will know their fate and we'll probably have a press conference to make sure that the fans do know it as well. I'm a great believer that the fans have got to be kept informed, and I won't be hiding anything. We've got a lot of work to be done and a lot of restructuring and I've got to find a lot of players - a lot of Paul Sturrock type players. I don't want another 5-1. At the end of the day I want to hear that sort of noise and those celebrations in a Yeovil changing room come the end of next season."
Sturrock explained that he wouldn't just be delivering a simple 'yes' or a 'no' but would be offering each player a breakdown of where he saw their footballing career going. He said that it was important to be honest with each player to ensure that they got good feedback for their futures and that was why he wanted to do it face-to-face rather than just delivering a one page letter to fulfil that obligation:
"Honesty is the best course. You could quite easily send them on their way and send them a letter, but that's not me. You're talking about peoples livelihoods here, and at the end of the day you've got to tell them the reasons why, and tell them what the story is. Then obviously the rebuilding and the restructuring starts. It's a hard story for everyone involved in the club, but all I can say to the fans personally, is that every minute of every day, we'll be attempting to put a quality side out there onto Huish Park next season. That's all I'd like to say."
Yeovil Town completed their 2014-15 season by being well beaten against Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium MK. The home side, who gained promotion to the Championship by virtue of the win, were 4-0 up at half time, leading to a surreal atmosphere in the second half where Dons fans seemed more interested in their radios and phones to check the scoreline of the Colchester United vs Preston North End match. An early strike from Carl Baker outside the box was added to by Dean Lewington's free kick and a close range finish from Darren Potter, before Will Grigg's header made it four. A rather more balanced second period saw the Glovers get a goal back when Jordan Spence put into his own net, but Dean Lewington got his second of the game to put the match beyond any lingering doubt.
The Glovers put out a rather threadbare line-up for the match, with a number of injuries and unavailable players meaning that they could only name four substitutes. Notably injuries to Byron Webster, Stephen Kingsley and Sam Foley meant that they were not involved, meaning that Seth Nana Twumasi, Joel Grant and Joe Edwards had to come into the side, with the Glovers lining up in a slightly odd 3-5-2 formation that saw Grant playing as a right wing-back - certainly the first time he'd ever played that position in a Yeovil shirt.
Right from the very start, the home side were on top and they took the lead just seven minutes into the match when Samir Carruthers provided an inside pass through to Carl Baker, and although there were plenty of Yeovil players around him, none were close enough to close him down and stop him from firing home into the right-hand corner from outside the box to put his side 1-0 up.
Milton Keynes weren't scared of shooting from distance, and Carruthers had another shot saved from distance by Artur Krysiak, with the keeper having to also deal with a deflected Dean Lewington attempt followed by a Carl Baker free kick that curled around a defensive wall. But midway through the half, another free kick conceded on the edge of the box was to prove costly. Joe Edwards committed the foul, and Dean Lewington provided the punishment as their captain fired home from 25 yards out, bending it slightly around the wall.
Ten minutes from the break and it was 3-0, and again a set piece was the problem. Carl Baker's corner was headed back across goal by Dean Lewington who was beyond the back stick, and Darren Potter was able to provide a first time volley from ten yards out to smash the ball home. The lack of marking for both Lewington's and Potter's involvement in the goal will doubtless be scrutinised on the post-match DVD sessions, but there wasn't a lot of it going on.
Just four minutes later and alarm bells were ringing loud and clear. Dean Lewington's cross into the box went to the far post, and Will Grigg headed home. Yeovil's play during the half had been largely anonymous - a James Hayter effort did land in the back of the net from a James Berrett pass, but the linesman's flag had gone up long before he 'scored'. Meanwhile Nathan Smith had a shot cleared off the line from a corner, and Joel Grant put one over the bar. But defensively speaking - and this applied to the way the midfield protected that defence as well - they were falling well below expectations.
No surprise then that half time saw a substitution being made, as Kieffer Moore was introduced for Gozie Ugwu, and a formation change saw Yeovil switch to a 4-3-3, roughly mirroring MK Dons' line-up man-for-man, as Seth Nana Twumasi played as a left-back, and the trio of Moore, Joel Grant and James Hayter went up front, with Hayter playing the more central role. With the home side's minds perhaps elsewhere, Yeovil did briefly get themselves a foothold back into the game, as a Josh Sheehan cross was put into his own net by Jordan Spence, under pressure from James Hayter, who walked away without trying to claim the goal.
Despite being comfortable winners, the home side were much more tense during this half, with their crowd celebrating a Colchester United penalty down in Essex, and then going quieter than a librarians' convention when they realised that the U's had fluffed the spot kick against Preston North End. Another free kick move gave them another goal though, as Ben Reeves put in a ball that Dean Lewington - unsurprisingly their man of the match - headed home. But it was only in the final ten minutes that they began to relax and celebrate as new came on of a Colchester goal - the loudest cheer of the afternoon apart from the final whistle.
Yeovil were more than happy for the match to end - their fate sealed many weeks ago, and with them no reason to be on the pitch come the final whistle. Outplayed during the first half, the second half became an irrelevant spectacle, and Paul Sturrock's Friday morning surgery will become far more important in the scale of things to their futures than today's match will have been. However, if he was looking for any last minute clues of who he might keep for the 2015-16 season out on the pitch today, he won't have found too many positives. Thankfully, bar a County Cup Final, this wretched season is now over.
Scorers: Carl Baker (1-0, 7 mins), Dean Lewington (2-0, 24 mins), Darren Potter (3-0, 35 mins), Will Grigg (4-0, 39 mins), Jordan Spence (4-1, 56 mins, own goal), Dean Lewington (5-1, 74 mins).
Milton Keynes Dons: 1. David Martin
12. Jordan Spence 5. Kyle McFadzean 6. Antony Kay 3. Dean Lewington
8. Darren Potter 22. Samir Carruthers 14. Dele Alli 38. Robert Hall
13. Carl Baker 11. Will Grigg
Substitutes: 2. Lee Hodson (75 mins for Kyle McFadzean) 9. Dean Bowditch (69 mins for Will Grigg) 10. Ben Reeves (73 mins for Samir Carruthers) 16. Ian McLoughlin 17. Daniel Powell 28. Devante Cole 34. Lewis Baker
Yeovil Town: 12. Artur Krysiak
15. Seth Nana Twumasi 26. Stephen Arthurworrey 3. Nathan Smith
17. Joel Grant 4. Joe Edwards 8. James Berrett 30. Josh Sheehan 32. Liam Shephard
25. Gozie Ugwu 9. James Hayter
Substitutes: 1. Chris Weale 5. Fergus Bell (84 mins for Joel Grant) 10. AJ Leitch-Smith (65 mins for James Hayter) 13. Kieffer Moore (46 mins for Gozie Ugwu)
Yeovil Bookings: Stephen Arthurworrey (foul, 33 mins)
Milton Keynes Dons Bookings: Darren Potter (foul, 45 mins)
Milton Keynes Dons Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 18; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 5; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 4; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 2; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland). Assistant Referees: Dean Treleaven (West Sussex) and Timothy Wood (Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).
Yeovil Town have made six changes to their starting line-up for this afternoon's League One match against Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium MK today. The goalkeepers are swapped again with Artur Krysiak taking over between the sticks. Stephen Kingsley has an injury, meaning that his place is taken by Nathan Smith. Joe Edwards comes in for Fergus Bell as a straight swap. Seth Nana Twumasi replaces Byron Webster, who has a knee injury, whilst Sam Foley's hamstring means that he is replaced by Joel Grant. Finally, Kieffer Moore is swapped for James Hayter who starts today.
Left-sided Alex Smith, striker Sam Hoskins, midfielder Craig Eastmond and left-sided Nathan Ralph are in the stands, whilst defender Ben Nugent sits the game out. Left-sided player Liam Davis (unspecified knock) and striker Adam Morgan (ankle) remain out through injury, as are long term injury victims Kevin Dawson (pelvis), Simon Gillett (knee) and Jakub Sokolik (knee).
The team reads as follows:
Yeovil Town: 12. Artur Krysiak
26. Stephen Arthurworrey 15. Seth Nana Twumasi 3. Nathan Smith
32. Liam Shephard 4. Joe Edwards 8. James Berrett 30. Josh Sheehan 17. Joel Grant
25. Gozie Ugwu 9. James Hayter
Substitutes: 1. Chris Weale 5. Fergus Bell 10. AJ Leitch-Smith 13. Kieffer Moore
The final matches of the main 2014-15 League Two season mean that Yeovil Town now know the majority of the clubs that they will be facing next year. With the Glovers having been relegated from League One, they will play in fourth tier football for the first time in ten years, and that will give them a range of less familiar names to face, with a number of them being new from the point of view of Football League fixtures.
Following this afternoon's matches, Bury have been promoted and will play in League One, alongside Burton Albion and Shrewsbury Town, meaning that we will pass them going in the other direction. We will also miss Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers, who were relegated into the Conference
National league last weekend. This leaves us with the following:
League Two: (Confirmed Clubs): Luton Town, Newport County, Exeter City, Morecambe, Northampton Town, Oxford United, Dagenham and Redbridge, AFC Wimbledon, Portsmouth, Accrington Stanley, York City, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United.
Promoted From Conference: Barnet.
Conference Play-Offs: (Yeovil will face one team from the following) Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town, Eastleigh.
League Two Play-Offs: (Yeovil will face the three losing sides from the following) Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United, Stevenage, Plymouth Argyle.
League One Relegation Slots: (Yeovil will face the three sides from the following) Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Notts County, Crawley Town, Colchester United, Leyton Orient.
Yeovil Town complete their 2014-15 season tomorrow when they travel to play Milton Keynes Dons in a League One fixture. As a result, the Ciderspace guide to stadium:mk has been updated to cover the latest ticketing and travel information for this fixture, along with directions, parking, a pub guide and other such associated stuff. Find it via the link below.
Yeovil Town manager Paul Sturrock has said that he will aim to recruit over the summer, some of the players who have worked under him before. The new boss, who is seeking to rebuild the first team following their relegation into League Two, most recently worked at Southend United (2010-13), but before that had spells with Plymouth Argyle (2007-09) and Swindon Town (2006-07) where he will have worked with players that may still be in the professional game at Football League level.
Sturrock told BBC Somerset that with the squad likely to change so significantly over the next few months that it would be useful to him to bring in a few players that can act as his messengers on the field of play, where they will already understand his footballing philosophies. Whilst not naming any names, he said that such players would help speed up the process of getting a good squad together:
"When you're rebuilding, you've got to try to have a squad of players that can very quickly latch onto what you're trying to put over. The added bonus is if you bring in one or two people that have played for me in the past that know exactly how I want the game to be played, and that makes it a slight touch easier to get a blend and to get our shape."
Sturrock is already aiming to hold an internal trialist match on May 9th to help him view various free agents that will be out there during the summer months. He said that he would prefer to have his squad ready for the start of pre-season, rather than be working with too many trialists during the month of July. He said he wanted to use the pre-season period to bed down his squad, rather than still be trying to recruit players that late on:
"My worry is that the pre-season comes along and we're bringing bodies in left, right and centre and looking at then looking at this boy, looking at that boy in trialist games and friendlies and they're all flashing in front of you. Basically you're trying to bed it down in time for the first game of the season. So if there are one or two there, although I'm not too sure at this minute that they would be available, then I'd like to think those one or two might make that transition a bit easier."
Admission prices for the Somerset Premier Cup Final are now available. The match will be played at Wordsworth Drive, home of Taunton Town on Thursday 7th May, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off, with the hosts having gained home advantage for the match via the toss of a coin. Supporters can enter the turnstiles for the following prices:
Further to yesterday's news, further information is available, concerning Yeovil Town's plans for a Charity Family Day at Huish Park. The event has been organised to coincide with the completion of the 'Pedal from Paris' marathon charity cycle ride that will see 103 people (hopefully!) complete the ride from Paris to Huish Park.
With the doors to Huish Park open by 11.00a.m. there is a timetable of matches running throughout the day that will complement other events going on around the ground. The match schedule runs as follows:
Huish Park Main Pitch: 11.00 - 11.30 Fudges Bakery v Silverline/Westbury Packaging
11.40 - 12.10 Octavia Direct v YTCST Staff
12.20 - 12.50 Wincanton Print v Yarlington Housing
13.00 - 13.20 YTCST U15 v YTCST U16
13.25 - 13.45 YTCST U13 v YTCST U14
14.00 Cyclists arrive at Huish Park
Huish Park Main Pitch: 14.20 - 14.40 U9 V U10 and U11 V U12 (half pitch games)
14.45 - 15.05 U8 V Montacute and U9/U9 V U10 (half pitch games)
Huish Park Main Pitch: 15.15 - 15.45 Team Edwards v Team Whitton (Yeovil Town Ladies exhibition match)
16.00 - 17.00 Tom White XI vs Terry Cotton XI
The 'beer festival' (Greene King and Thatchers) will be running from 14.00hrs until 18.00hrs during the day. For further information, see yesterday's news item, linked below.
Update: Friday 19:30hrs The club have decided to split out the fun day events across the Huish Park top pitch (situated behind the away end) and the new 3G artificial pitch (situated next to the Main Stand). This decision has been made due to bad weather being forecast across Saturday and Sunday. At present the Corporate and Community Trust matches will be played on those training pitches, with the final two matches still being staged on the main Huish Park pitch. The above represents the club's revised plans. The decision has also been partly made due to a trialist match arranged by first team manager Paul Sturrock that will be played on May 9th, to allow him to look at possible players for the 2015-16 season. At present we don't know which games will take place on the Astroturf and which will be on the top pitch, but hopefully all will become clear once the players start to head out onto the pitches!
Update: Saturday 09:30hrs The Community Sports Trust have reported that all events are now back on the Huish Park Main Pitch, thus reversing Friday night's decision.
On Sunday, Yeovil Town travel to Milton Keynes Dons for their final match of the 2014-15 season, and ahead of that game, manager Paul Sturrock spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Tim Shires, Paul talks about the prospect of facing an opponent that still has automatic promotion ambitions, and also his latest views on the club's summer squad reshaping and the performances so far. Read that interview via the link below.