Yeovil Town have tied up a deal for another of their out of contract players. They have reached agreement with Bevis Mugabi who has penned a two year contract that will keep him at the club until June 2019. Last season saw Bevis make 39 appearances for the club, scoring two goals along the way, following his release from Southampton.
So far this summer, midfielder Kevin Dawson has left the club, joining Cheltenham Town whilst Alex Lacey has signed for League One side Gillingham. However, defender Nathan Smith, striker Francois Zoko and wide man Otis Khan have all been tied up to new deals at the club.
The players who have yet to give a response on their contract offers are goalkeeper Jonny Maddison, defender Tom James and midfielder Matty Dolan.
Yeovil Town have arranged a fifth pre-season friendly in the run-up to the 2017-18 season. They will travel to play Frome Town on Saturday 22nd July with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at their Badgers Hill ground (currently dubbed the Special Effect Stadium.
The match will be used as a Charity event to benefit local semi-professional footballer Jamie Mines, who suffered serious injuries following an electrical shock at work in December 2016 that saw him have to undergo leg and hands amputations.
Admission prices for the friendly will be as follows:
Yeovil Town Ladies intermediate player Terri Trowbridge has been selected to be part of the flag bearing party at the UEFA Champions League Final at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday 3rd June. The match will see Real Madrid take on Juventus in a 7.45p.m. kick-off in South Wales, and as with such prestige finals will be accompanied by various ceremonies before and after the game, which includes flag-bearers.
Terri is a Yeovil Town local and has been part of the club for many years, having played for all teams since the age of seven. However, since joining the Army almost five years ago as a Human Resources Specialist, she has found it hard to commit and therefore has played one season for the intermediate team.
The versatile player, who can play centre midfield or full back was part of the intermediate team's recent successes in gaining another promotion and being crowned South West Women's Football League cup champions. The twenty-four-year old also plays for the British Army football team and the Combined Services football team. The selection for the fantastic opportunity of being a flag bearer at the Champions League Final came through the Army FA and Trowbridge was lucky enough to be offered the honour. On being selected, Terri said:
"To be asked to be part of the flag bearing party is a huge honour. Not only do I feel I'm representing my country, my sport and the British Army, but I also feel I'm representing the football club I've been a part of since I was 7 years old. I'm very proud to be a part of the event and grateful for this opportunity."
The final will be on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45hrs) in Wales for the first time, at Cardiff City Stadium. It will take place just two days after the Women's decider of Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain. Tickets for the Women's final are still available and can be purchased here.
Premier League side AFC Bournemouth have signed up former Yeovil Town loanee Asmir Begovic. The Cherries have taken him on a permanent deal from Champions Chelsea in what is described as a 'long term deal' although without the length of contract being revealed. They also do not disclose the transfer fee - the national press seem split over what that is, quoting values between £10 million and £15 million, with the Daily Mail hedging their bets by running two articles with the lower and then the upper fee being claimed.
This is actually Begovic's second spell with Bournemouth. Times have changed a touch for the Cherries since then - at that point he was on the books of Portsmouth, signing a loan deal for a Bournemouth side who were in League One at the start of the 2007-08 season, with Pompey playing top flight football. He then had his two loan spells under Russell Slade at Huish Park, eventually going on to make his Portsmouth debut in May 2009.
When Portsmouth collapsed financially, Begovic moved to Stoke City where he had a five year stay, before joining Chelsea where he made 33 appearances across a two year period, and becoming a Premier League title winner this season, albeit via only two League appearances across that campaign.
Now aged 29 years old, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international will officially sign for Bournemouth on July 1st, and will be reunited with boss Eddie Howe who at the time of Begovic's last stay at Dean Court had only just retired as a player and was their Reserve Team Manager. Begovic says he's making the move to get more regular first team football:
"AFC Bournemouth is an exciting, ambitious club which has everything in place for a very bright future. Being part of a title-winning team at Chelsea was amazing but I felt now was the right time to move on because I want to be playing regular football. I am coming into an important part of my career and I want to show people what I am capable of. When I spoke to Eddie Howe I knew AFC Bournemouth was the right club for me and I want to bring my experience to the squad, both on and off the pitch. I’m really excited to be part of the journey here and hope I can help take the club to another level."
Yeovil Town have agreed terms with Otis Khan for next season. The former Barnsley wide man has signed a new two year contract that will keep him at the club until June 2019, having been one of the star performers of the first half of the campaign until injury took him out of action for a three month period.
Having signed for the club last summer, Otis made 38 appearances, scoring eight goals, and won the club's Young Player of the Season under the Bobby Hamilton Award for 2016-17.
Otis joins Francois Zoko and Nathan Smith in agreeing new deals for next season. The club have lost Kevin Dawson to Cheltenham Town, whilst Alex Lacey has signed for League One side Gillingham.
With the 2017-18 League Two line-ups now known, a few of the nation's bookmakers have started producing odds for next season. It should be carefully noted that only a few of them have got round to publishing them, and that there is currently a wide divergence between the prices offered by each bookie. We've used Bet365's figures on the basis that they're currently offering the widest odds (and therefore the best price) on Yeovil Town issues. If you're betting on someone else, you might want to shop around.
Given the club's 20th place finish at the end of the 2016-17 season, it's not too surprising to find that Yeovil Town are not highly fancied by the bookies. In fact there are only three clubs below the Glovers in the promotion odds list, with Crawley Town, Newport County and Morecambe listed below them. At the other end of the field, Mansfield Town, who have already made ten summer signings and appear to be pushing the boat out, are rated as favourites, with Coventry City ranked just behind them. The bookies believe that Lincoln City will be shooting straight through for a double promotion, given they're rated as third favourites alongside Luton Town.
The odds on Promotion and Relegation (which is inevitably a near reverse of the promotion odds) from Bet365 are as follows):
2017-18 League Two Promotion Odds: Mansfield Town 6/5; Coventry City 2/1; Lincoln City, Luton Town, Swindon Town 5/2; Carlisle United, Notts County 7/2; Cambridge United, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Port Vale 4/1; Colchester United 9/2; Forest Green Rovers, Wycombe Wanderers, Accrington Stanley 51; Stevenage 6/1; Cheltenham Town 9/1; Barnet, Crewe Alexandra, Grimsby Town 10/1; Yeovil Town 14/1; Crawley Town, Newport County 16/1; Morecambe 33/1.
2017-18 League Two Relegation Odds: Morecambe 2/1; Newport County 7/2; Crawley Town 4/1; Yeovil Town 6/1; Barnet, Cheltenham Town, Crewe Alexandra 7/1; Grimsby Town 8/1; Stevenage 11/1; Accrington Stanley, Forest Green Rovers 12/1; Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield 14/1; Colchester United, Port Vale, Exeter City, Lincoln City 16/1; Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Notts County, Swindon Town 20/1; Coventry City 33/1; Luton Town 40/1; Mansfield Town 50/1.
In terms of how the bookies did last year, their 2015-16 odds had one particularly alarming error, but in the main they got it right. They had Portsmouth as favourites, with Doncaster Rovers and Plymouth Argyle as third and fourth favourites - all of whom achieved automatic promotion - even second favourites Luton Town came close by getting into the play-offs. Actual play-off winners Blackpool had been ranked as 10th favourites, so the bookies slightly under-estimated them.
At the foot of the table, they had Hartlepool United as one of the clubs with the widest odds, along with Newport County, Yeovil Town and Morecambe who all finished in lowly positions. Their one big clanger was to not forecast the demise of Leyton Orient - the East Londoners, as one of the bigger spenders in the division, had been forecasted to compete at the top end of the table, but of course few people foresaw their owners pulling the plug on their financing midway through the season.
Goalkeeper Beth Howard has returned to Yeovil Town Ladies after spending four years at Rider University, New Jersey. Beth graduated two weeks ago with a major in History and a minor in French and was eager to return to training with the Lady Glovers soon after landing back in England.
The twenty-two-year old played for Yeovil in the 2012-13 season when they came third in the FA Women's Southern Premier League which was before the inauguration of the FA Women's Super League. Howard returned to Somerset as short term cover last summer before heading back to the USA for her final year at Ryder University. Prior to that, she studied at Bridgwater and Taunton College, who are currently the Club's Educational Partners and in that time got selected for the 2013 England Colleges National team.
She earned many honours whilst her time in the USA which include their 2016 goalkeeper of the year, 2016 Riders Athletic Woman of the year, two defensive player of the year awards, and all-time leader for wins (34) and clean sheets (20) at her University. On returning Howard said:
"I'm incredibly excited to be back playing for Yeovil as it's my home town club who I have supported my whole life. To have the opportunity to play for them in the top division of Women's Super League 1 is amazing. I'm really excited to see what I can bring to the club and to get going!"
Manager Jamie Sherwood, who worked with Beth during her short term stay last summer, said of her return:
"It's excellent to have Beth return to the club on a full-time basis. Her development and progression since leaving has been superb. She has come back into the squad for the final games and we will be looking for her to be pushing for the number 1 spot next season."
Beth Howard - back in England following her University degree
Earlier today, Yeovil Town disclosed another small portion of their home kit design for the 2017-18 season. At present this has been an extreme slow-burner with the first part, detailing part of a revised club badge being disclosed 26 days ago. However, the inference from the club is that fans are likely to see an actual design on June 1st 2017, given that date is put against the latest picture.
The current one shows the lower part of the shirt's collar section, where the shirt button can be used to open the shirt up. Comparing the two photos, the second shot shows a much lighter shade of green, closer to traditional Yeovil Town kits - the first shot had implied a much darker shade, but that appears to be a trick of the light. The other key part to note is that whilst the first snippet showed predominantly green, this part of the shirt shows far more white, meaning that it's hard to envisage the overall design of the shirt.
The club have previously stated that there will bre a home and an an away shirt for the 2017-18 season, with the objective to have them on sale "from the start of July" in the club shop. Sondico will remain the manufacturers.
A second portion of Yeovil Town's 2017-18 home shirt
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Chris Weale has agreed terms with Southern League Premier Division side Dorchester Town. The 35 year old has signed up for the 2017-18 season, having been on the books of Derby County last year, albeit without making a first team appearance for them. As well as his time there, Wealey represented Leicester City and Bristol City during his professional career - his move to a part time non-league side is the first time he's dropped out of the top four flights since he was part of the Yeovil Town side that were promoted to the Football League 14 years ago.
Weale's last matches at a first team professional level came for Yeovil Town during the 2015-16 season, when he had also taken up the role of the club's goalkeeping coach. He was released by the club in the summer of 2016. His one main competitive appearance for Derby came during their Under-23s side's entry into the EFL Trophy competition, playing against Mansfield Town in November 2016.
Yeovil Town Ladies suffered defeat in their final home match of the 2017 FAWSL1 Spring Series, as Sunderland Ladies secured a 2-1 victory this afternoon. The match at Fairfax Park, home of Bridgwater Town FC, saw the Glovers trail from early on, with a freak third minute goal from Lucy Staniforth seeing her curl a corner kick direct into the back of the net - something that she freely admitted after the match was a 'fluke' on her behalf.
Republic of Ireland international Stephanie Roche twice threatened to extend that lead, but on both occasions, Yeovil's former Notts County keeper Megan Walsh was on hand to block the attempts. Those saves allowed the Glovers to gain confidence, and they finished the half strongly with Lucy Quinn twice going close. Then in the second half, Nia Jones headed just over the bar from a Helen Bleazard free kick.
Yeovil got their equalising goal with just 14 minutes remaining when Lucy Quinn was tripped inside the penalty box by Sunderland captain Stephanie Bannon. Although Quinn's own spot kick was saved by Hilde Gunn Olsen, the first player to react was Angharad James who scored her first goal for the club since arriving from Notts County.
That should have been the chance for Yeovil to get something out of the game, but with Sunderland's next attack they re-took the lead. The culprit for the spot kick Stephanie Bannon got herself off the hook by scoring the Black Cats' second goal of the game, and although Sarah Wiltshire almost provided an injury time equaliser, her shot was saved by Olsen to leave the Glovers still searching for their first FAWSL1 points. Their final Spring Series fixture takes place in midweek with a journey to Solihull Moors where they will face Birmingham City Ladies.
Full Time: Yeovil Town Ladies 1 Sunderland Ladies 2.
This afternoon's League Two Play-Off Final win for Blackpool now means that the 2017-18 Season Line-Up for fourth tier football is now complete. The Tangerines beat Exeter City by a 2-1 scoreline, with Brad Potts and Mark Cullen hugely influential in their victory, with them taking an early third minute lead, as Cullen's lay-off allowed Potts to fire into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Just before the break the sides drew level, as a long ball over the top found David Wheeler whose first touch to control the ball and second touch to lift the ball over the Blackpool keeper provided a really classy equaliser for Exeter. But 64 minutes into the match, Potts and Cullen combined again for what would be the match winner - Potts put a ball across the box that Cullen nudged in from close range for the 2-1 victory. The final was watched by only 23,380 spectators - in sharp contrast to the 57,956 that had contested last year's AFC Wimbledon vs Plymouth Argyle final, mainly due to Blackpool fans boycotting the match as part of an ongoing protest against their owners.
The end result is a benefit for Yeovil Town fans in that we lose a lengthy trip to Blackpool, but keep a local derby against Exeter City. In terms of travelling for next season, we lose Plymouth Argyle (90), Portsmouth (96), Leyton Orient (147), Doncaster Rovers (244), Blackpool (269) and Hartlepool United (336). In their place will come Lincoln City, Forest Green Rovers, Chesterfield, Port Vale, Swindon Town and Coventry City.
What that means is that if you want to do all 23 away games during the 2017-18 season, you'll be packing in a round trip of 8,256 assuming you start from Huish Park each time. For what was a 8,602 distance during the 2016-17 season, this represents a small drop in costs although only of around 350 miles. For those who like visiting new grounds, the trip to play Forest Green Rovers will represent your most likely opportunity - we've never met them in a competitive fixture since they moved to the New Lawn, although some fans may have got there for a pre-season friendly in July 2013. The one-way mileage for each club next season, in order of distance, is as follows:
2017-18 League Two Line-Up: Yeovil Town, Exeter City (47), Swindon Town (83), Newport County (86), Forest Green Rovers (96), Cheltenham Town (106), Wycombe Wanderers (122), Barnet (130), Luton Town (148), Crawley Town (148), Stevenage (153), Coventry City (169), Cambridge United (183), Port Vale (193), Crewe Alexandra (200), Notts County (202), Colchester United (207), Mansfield Town (215), Chesterfield (225), Lincoln City (243), Accrington Stanley (261), Morecambe (279), Grimsby Town (294), Carlisle United (338).
The end of the 2016-17 season saw Yeovil Town record their lowest average attendance at Huish Park since joining the Football League. Having now completed 14 seasons in the country's top four divisions, the club finished with an average of 3,567 having been recorded as the attendance in League Two home fixtures. That was 9.4 percent down on last season, which in turn was also 9.4 percent down on the previous season.
To find a lower average attendance across a season, you have to go back to the club's 2001-02 season when an average of 2,873 came through the turnstiles. At that time, Gary Johnson had only just arrived at the club, and during the early part of that season were trying to rebuild their side after they lost several key players in the wake of the unsuccessful title challenge against Rushden and Diamonds.
Since then, the lowest average attendance recorded by the club was 3,936, which was last year's 2015-16 season, meaning that the club have been struggling to pull the crowds in for two seasons now. The magnitude of this can be measured by the number of Football League crowds the club has had that have dropped below 3,000. Up until two years ago, only one match had recorded such a gate - a November 2012 match against Stevenage on a Tuesday night, just after the club had gone out of the FA Cup at the First Round stage. It probably wasn't helped by just 79 Stevenage supporters turning up either.
Up until the start of the 2015-16 season, that 3,000 barrier hadn't been breached again. However, during the early part of that year, under Paul Sturrock's tenure, they dropped below that figure on two more occasions. Once again, both matches were Tuesday night games - against Mansfield Town (2,954) and Wycombe Wanderers (2,963) - the club's poor form during the first half of that season also didn't help the situation.
Having recorded one sub-3,000 crowd during the 2012-13 season, and two during the 2015-16 season, with all on Tuesday nights, the 2016-17 season has broken some unexpected barriers. On seven separate occasions, the club announced sub-3,000 crowds, and on five of these occasions they were bulk standard Saturday afternoon 3.00p.m. kick-offs, with no obvious distractions. The low point came on Saturday 10th September 2016 when just 2,749 turned up to watch a 1-2 home defeat against Hartlepool United. That previous 2012-13 season Stevenage crowd ended up getting beaten on four separate occasions, whilst seven out of the club's lowest Football League attendances came from 2016-17 League Two fixtures:
10.09.2016 : 2,749 : L2 vs Hartlepool United
28.02.2017 : 2,766 : L2 vs Mansfield Town
03.12.2016 : 2,817 : L2 vs Crawley Town
14.02.2017 : 2,847 : L2 vs Cambridge United 06.11.2012 : 2,900 : L1 vs Stevenage
20.08.2016 : 2,937 : L2 vs Morecambe 20.10.2015 : 2,954 : L2 vs Mansfield Town
24.11.2015 : 2,963 : L2 vs Wycombe Wanderers
19.11.2016 : 2,985 : L2 vs Colchester United
18.03.2017 : 2,991 : L2 vs Accrington Stanley
A fair chunk of these represented a gradual erosion on the previous season's attendance. For example, that Hartlepool low point of 2,749 was a small slice off the previous season's 3,078 crowd. Mansfield Town attracted 2,954 during 2015-16 but that dropped down to 2,766 the following year. It's probably no surprise to find that Morecambe's 3,024 last season became 2,937 this season. Meanwhile Colchester United's 3,002 attendance for 2015-16 produced 2,985 a year later.
There are a few crowds that swung the other way - for example, the club got a large benefit through having attractive home fixtures against Exeter City (6,086) and Portsmouth (6,306) this season, that saw those those individual matches get a boost. However, the Glovers will lose Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle for next season, with probably only Coventry City (538 away fans for their 2014-15 League One visit) and Swindon Town (1,545 away fans for their 2014-15 League One visit) likely to provide some compensation in that area in terms of the sides coming down. Whilst Forest Green Rovers might geographically be stretched into people describing it as a 'local derby' it's not likely to be much of a crowd-puller.
Exeter City, who could still win the League Two play-offs, represented the other major crowdpuller once Portsmouth and Plymouth are taken out of the equation. If the club were to lose the Grecians, then they would go into the 2017-18 season almost entirely reliant upon supporters in the home end of the ground across the 23 matches - something that this season's evidence suggests is in a steady decline, if the 'lesser' games during the season are anything to go by.
Former Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has signed a new contract with League Two side Cheltenham Town. The 61 year old has penned a two year deal at Whaddon Road that keeps him in the job until the summer of 2019. Under the title of 'Back Fit and Ready To Go', Cheltenham have also implictly used the announcement to signify Johnson's return to the first team manager's job on a full time basis, following an absence of just over two months from the game.
What was initially thought to be a heavy cold in early March turned into a triple heart bypass operation, with his comeback delayed by a problem with his nervous system that affected his legs. As such although he was doing plenty of work for Cheltenham from his home with the use of his laptop and his television, he wasn't in the dugout, with his assistant manager Russell Milton taking charge for those final fixtures.
He's now firmly back as their manager, and with his health no longer an issue he has said that he is happy to sign a new deal:
"I'm delighted, it's been a difficult few months but the future looks good. I'm feeling good, I've been impressed with what the club's been doing and it's made me even more enthusiastic to keep going."
The new contract takes Johnson firmly into his third year with the club, having joined them in March 2015, just over a month after his exit from Huish Park. Cheltenham finished in 21st place at the end of the 2016-17 season, level on points with the Glovers - their first season back in the Football League.
Former Yeovil Town winger Iffy Allen has found himself a new club, shortly after his release by Wrexham. The 23 year old has signed for Kent side Bromley - his fifth club at National League level, and his fourth since leaving Yeovil Town in February 2016. He had signed for Torquay United as part of the arrangements that saw him leave Huish Park, but also took in Aldershot Town and Wrexham, with all three becoming half-season spells.
He's now headed to Hayes Lane, signing for a club that finished 10th in the National League during the season just gone. Bromley don't explicitly state his contract length, although the fact that they describe him as signed up 'for the 2017-18 season' would suggest it is a one year deal. Boss Neil Smith is predicting plenty of goals and assists from his new signing:
"I'm delighted to have secured the signing of Iffy. He impressed me greatly when we came up against Wrexham last season. He’s quick, direct and has great feet, I think he'll excite fans and contribute with goals along with plenty of assists."
Whilst most statistical sites don't cover assists in an accurate way, Smith may be crossing his fingers a bit in terms of the goals - Allen netted once in 29 National League appearances last season during his Aldershot and Wrexham spells.
Former Yeovil Town striker Gozie Ugwu is back in the Football League. Having been on the books of Woking last season, where he scored 21 goals in 49 appearances, the 24 year old has signed a two year contract with Chesterfield, subject to a medical.
Gozie had two spells with Yeovil Town - once as a Reading loanee during the first half of the 2012-13 season, then as a permanent signing during the second half of the 2014-15 season, shortly after he left Dunfermline. After he was released by the Glovers in the summer of 2015, he spent a year with Wycombe Wanderers before dropping into the National League.
Chesterfield were relegated from League One at the end of the 2016-17 season, meaning that Gozie should come up against Yeovil Town during the 2017-18 campaign. Last year's spell with the Cards was his most prolific one - he put that down to playing regular football, and said a conversation with former Chesterfield winger Gboly Ariyibi had persuaded him to head to Derbyshire:
"I needed that opportunity to play regularly because I know I can score goals. I'm quick, I can play with my back to goal and I like to feed off crosses. I know I'm not the finished product and I’m eager to learn and improve. There was interest from other clubs as well but Chesterfield stood out for me. I spoke to the manager and I pretty much knew what my decision would be. I also spoke to Gboly Ariyibi and he had good things to say about the club."
Yeovil Town will travel to play Southern League Premier Division side Weymouth in pre-season. The match will take place at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Tuesday 11th July, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.
This will be the club's first visit to Weymouth since August 2008, when a Russell Slade led side won by a single goal from trialist Aidan Downes. The two clubs also met in a July 2013 pre-season friendly but that was a behind-closed-doors match at Huish Park - hat-tricks from Kieffer Moore and Michael Ngoo along with another from trialist Junior Konadu-Yiadom saw a 7-0 win.
For all other friendlies, see the 2017-18 fixture list below. As yet there are no ticketing details available.
The Football League have announced a new broadcasting deal for national radio coverage of its games. The new three year rights agreement will replace the one that runs out after this weekend's play-offs, and gives significantly increased broadcast coverage rights to TalkSport Radio, although retains the BBC's rights, mainly through their BBC Radio 5LiveBBC 5Live Sports Extra stations.
The major change is that the BBC will lose live commentaries at a National level for Football League matches - their coverage of this weekend's Championship and League Two Play-Off Finals will be their last fully live coverage of matches. Instead TalkSport are being given the rights to provide live commentary for up to 110 Football League fixtures, including up to a maximum of 92 Championship fixtures. Note that whilst this may imply that 18 matches would be from League One and League Two, it does not force TalkSport to do so - it merely provides an upper cap on what is permissible. TalkSport's rights include exclusive national coverage of the play-offs.
TalkSport have also been given exclusive national broadcast rights for all Football League Trophy matches. Both the BBC and Talksport will get the shared rights to provide live commentary of League Cup matches, which will be sponsored as the Carabao Cup next season. This includes rights to the final.
Both radio stations will be entitled to provide scoreflash updates across all Football League competitions. The Football League state that the new three year deal will provide "a significant increase on the combined rights fee in comparison to the existing arrangements" - which should provide revenue that would filter down to its member clubs, although they've not revealed whether that will be an even share throughout all 72 clubs, or more likely the lion's share being allocated to Championship clubs.
The existing BBC local radio coverage of the individual 72 member clubs is unaffected by this new deal.
Yeovil Town's trip to Portsmouth for their League Two fixture at Fratton Park in April ended in defeat. The 3-1 defeat even saw Pompey score all four goals - although Francois Zoko was initially credited with our second half goal, it was later revised as an Enda Stevens own goal by the Football League.
Man of the Match voting saw Francois Zoko pick up a few votes, although those would have been before he had the goal taken away from him. Wide man Otis Khan was making his return at last from an ankle injury, and although he was on as a substitute midway through the second half, this seems to have been enough to convince some of their vote. The poll winner though was goalkeeper Artur Krysiak, despite the three goals conceded on the day, which gave an indication that the defeat could have been rather worse. Full results are as shown below:
1. Artur Krysiak 32 (2)
2. Otis Khan 20 (2)
3. Francois Zoko 12 (0)
4. Matt Butcher 10 (1)
5. Alex Lacey 8 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 5.5
Performance : 5.5
Entertainment : 5.5
VOTES RECEIVED : 5
Some footballers don't actually want the season to end, it seems. Yeovil Town striker Omar Sowunmi hasn't played too many matches this season, having turned out just 14 times for the club, but he turned to his old Ipswich Town roots to get himself a match last night. The 21 year old used to be on the same books as AFC Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings who had put out a tweet earlier in the day saying "I wanna go kick some ball tonight".
A few hours later, it seems that Mings and Sowunmi met up somewhere in the Bournemouth area, where they took part in a eight-a-side match on a 4G artificial surface. It appears that the other players involved were just local football fans - presumably the two professional players were on opposite sides, or this may have been a little bit unfair!
There hasn't been any revelation of the scoreline, or if either of the pros found the net.
Omar Sowunmi and Tyrone Mings with several local football fans
Outgoing Yeovil Town centre-back Alex Lacey has issued a farewell message, after he agreed to sign for League One side Gillingham today. The 23 year old has penned a two year contract at Priestfield, two years after he joined the Glovers from Luton Town. At that time, he was recruited by former boss Paul Sturrock, but since December 2015 has been working under Darren Way and Terry Skiverton's management. He gave thanks to both upon his exit from the club:
"I would like to thank Darren Way, Terry Skiverton and everyone at Yeovil Town for the past two years. Appreciated all the hard work and commitment they have given to me and the football club. Really enjoyed my time there and would like to wish them all the best for the future."
Lacey has also briefly given his views on his decision to sign for Gillingham. The Kent side have just restructured their management team, with Peter Taylor returning to Priestfield as their Director of Football - his third spell with the club, but his first in an unstairs role, holding a responsibility for recruitment at the club. Former Forest Green Rovers boss Ady Pennock will be the main man in the dugout. Lacey said he had spoken to both, and said the chance to play League One football for the first time in his career was an attractive one:
"The prospect of playing in League One was very attractive. I met with Ady (Pennock) and Peter (Taylor) and it seems like a very good setup at the club; very professional and ambitious. A personal goal of mine would be to play in every single game next season. I want to be in a successful team and see how far we can go up in the league."
Largely of academic interest, given his decision to join Gillingham this afternoon - outgoing Yeovil Town centre-back Alex Lacey was one of the last players to be interviewed by the BBC at the tail end of the 2016-17 season. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Dan Albutt, Alex gave his thoughts on the end of the season, and where he stood in terms of contract talks leading into the final game. That interview is archived via the link below.
Yeovil Town defender Alex Lacey's departure from Huish Park is now confirmed with League One side Gillingham indicating that they have got his signature. Lacey has moved to Priestfield on a two year contract, keeping him there until the summer of 2019. As the former Luton Town academy player is about to go through his 24th birthday, he leaves the Glovers on a free transfer.
Alex is the second Yeovil Town player offered a new deal to leave the club, following the departure of midfielder Kevin Dawson who joined Cheltenham Town earlier this month. Striker Francois Zoko and defender Nathan Smith agreed to sign new deals with the Glovers.
Overall Alex made 72 appearances, scoring four goals across his two years with the club. The best of luck to him for the future.
League Two side Crawley Town have appointed a new management team, in the wake of the departure of Dermot Drummy at the tail end of the season just gone. They have turned to former Liverpool and Leeds United striker Harry Kewell, who was Watford's Under-23 manager until last month.
The 38 year old has been given the title of Head Coach at the Sussex club, and will be assisted by former Newport County manager Warren Feeney. This is his first front line management position, with him having held the Watford coaching role for just under two years.
Kewell has had some sight of League Two footballing standards many years ago as a Liverpool player. He was in their side that played in the FA Cup Third Round match against Yeovil Town at Huish Park in January 2004, and was the man who 'went down rather easily' under a challenge from Hugo Rodriguez during that match, which won his team a rather questionable penalty kick. Hopefully when coaching his new squad, he'll be fully aware of next season's Football Association rules on simulation.
Former Glovers striker Matt Harrold's caretaker management career therefore lasted one game, accruing one draw.
Earlier this month, Yeovil Town centre-back Alex Lacey was connected to a long list of clubs, with him about to drop out of contract at Huish Park. Various internet sources claimed thatCoventry City were after him, and that was quickly followed by Charlton Athletic, Oxford United and Bristol Rovers being named. One of those websites - HITC - has now thrown in a new name in League One side Gillingham, claiming that Lacey is about to sign for them. They've dropped all mention of the other clubs that they cited along the way.
Lacey is about to turn 24 years old and so is entitled to sign on a free transfer if he turns down the offer on the table for him at Yeovil Town. As is usual for these reports, there are no sources, and no quotes associated with their claims at this stage.
Former Yeovil Town loanee Liam Walsh has been nominated for a Player of the Season award. The 19 year old Everton Academy player is in a shortlist of eleven players that make up the Premier League 2 best XI for the 2016-17 season just gone. Walsh scored six times in 26 appearances at Under-23 level and was part of the Toffees side that won their league. He had also been called up for the England Under-20 side, although had to immediately withdraw due to a foot injury.
The set of eleven players has been based on nominations from opposing Premier League 2 managers. The League will use that list to then choose a final Player of the Season Award, which is expected to be announced later this week. Walsh has already been recognised at this level, having been nominated for the Player of the Month Award in November 2016, before winning the February 2017 award for the Premier League 2 format. The set of nominated players are as follows:
• Mason Mount (Chelsea)
• Liam Walsh (Everton) • Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United)
• Todd Cantwell (Norwich City)
• Josh Sims (Southampton)
• Joel Asoro (Sunderland)
• Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City)
• Domingos Quina (West Ham United)
• Marcus Browne (West Ham United)
• Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
• Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Sam Foley has avoided falling into League Two by signing a deal with Northampton Town. Having been on Port Vale's books over the last two years, he was part of their side that dropped into the fourth tier at the end of last season, but has now agreed a contract with the Cobblers, effective from July 1st, that will keep him at Sixfields for two years.
Sam played 83 times for Port Vale, and had been given an offer to stay with the Burslem club beyond the summer, but it would appear that the chance to link back up with his former boss at Newport County has been influential, with Justin Edinburgh currently their boss. He explained that they'd had to fend off a fair bit of competition to get him to sign up for the League One side:
"I worked with Sam at Newport and I know he will be a good addition to our squad. He has been one of the stand out players for Port Vale over the last two seasons and he has desire, commitment and the willingness to go through the pain barrier for the cause and they are fantastic qualities for a midfield player to have. With his attributes he is the sort of player who can be a fans favourite. We have worked hard to bring him in, and whilst we have had to be patient to fight off other interest, as well as a new contract offer at Port Vale, we feel we have sold the club to him well and are delighted he is joining us."
Yeovil Town have agreed new terms with another member of the 2016-17 season playing squad. Striker Francois Zoko has agreed a new two year contract with the club, taking him through to the summer of 2019. He made 40 appearances during the season just gone, scoring 13 goals, making him the club's top goalscorer. Overall he has 21 goals in 69 appearances.
Francois joins Nathan Smith for the 2017-18 season, after the defender agreed a new one year contract earlier today. Kevin Dawson is the one definite exit, with the midfielder having decided to join Cheltenham Town. Six other players are sat on offers from the club.
Two of Yeovil Town's former loanees have become free agents, following the publication of Swansea City's Released and Retained list for their development squad. Right-back Liam Shephard and wide man Owain Jones have been released at the end of their current deals at the Liberty Stadium, and so will be able to sign for new clubs on free transfers.
Shephard is the one of the pair that is more likely to interest Yeovil Town. The 22 year old had three loan spells at Huish Park, clocking up 72 appearances, and scoring a single goal against Barnet. He was a regular in Darren Way's side throughout the 2016-17 season, making 46 appearances.
Jones had a rather more frustrating spell at Huish Park. Signed up on a six month loan deal, that amounted to just two substitute appearances against Hartlepool United and Cambridge United. The Football League loan rules meant that with seven loanees on the club's books, he was only listed on the teamsheet on two other occasions, and thus it can probably be safely said that there won't be further interest in him, even if it will be interesting to see where his career takes him.
Another former loanee Josh Sheehan is being retained by Swansea on a month-to-month contract whilst he continues his recovery from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear, sustained during a loan spell with Newport County.
Swansea have also released senior players Gerhard Tremmel and Marvin Emnes. Meanwhile Josh Vickers, Tom Dyson and Tom Holland have also left, with Alex Samuel having already announced his intentions to sign for Stevenage.
Yeovil Town have arranged a third pre-season friendly for the 2017-18 season. In addition to the Bristol City and Bristol Rovers matches, they will make the very familiar trip to Tiverton Town on Saturday 29th July, with the game kicking off at 3.00p.m. at Ladysmead.
Once again this is a familiar match, even though we've not been to Ladysmead for nine years. There were nine pre-season friendlies against the Devon side between 2000 and 2009 with eight of them coming at Ladysmead. Oddly the last fixture between the two sides was at Huish Park - goals from Danny Schofield, Dean Bowditch and Andy Welsh gave us a 3-0 win in August 2009.
The match has in the past often been used as the final pre-season friendly of the summer - it's current scheduling would suggest that to be the case again.
As yet there is no ticketing information for this fixture.
Yeovil Town defender Nathan Smith has agreed a new contract with the club. He has signed a one year deal that keeps him at Huish Park until the summer of 2018, thus extending his current record as the club's most used player since they entered the Football League.
Smith has made 254 appearances at the club across two spells and has scored four goals. He was brought in as a left-back that could also play as a left-winger but over the past year or two has become more of a recognised central defender.
He is the first Glovers player to agree new terms for next season, with Kevin Dawson having left the club to join Cheltenham Town. Seven other players have yet to decide their future.
Yeovil Town are to once again host Bristol City in a pre-season friendly. They will play host to the Championship side on Saturday 15th July, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. The schedule means that they will play both Bristol clubs in July with a trip to Bristol Rovers already planned for July 25th 2017 at the Memorial Stadium.
This will be the third season running that Yeovil have hosted the Robins, who are currently managed by Lee Johnson. This will now be the seventh home friendly against the Ashton Gate club since the summer of 2008 - the last meeting saw them go down to a 1-2 defeat with Tom Eaves the scorer.
As yet there is no ticketing information for this fixture.
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Tony Pennock is back in football. Having recently left a first team coaching position at Hull City, where he had also been their Head of Youth, the 46 year old has become first team manager of Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town, taking him back to his South Wales roots, and geographically close to his former club Swansea City.
Tony left Hull in January 2017, after their appointment of Marco Silva as first team manager, with the Tigers boss bringing in his own backroom staff. He was offered a return to his Academy post, but hinted that having been part of their first team set-up that he wasn't prepared to go back to that sort of role again.
He actually joined Aberystwyth on April 7th 2017 as their assistant manager, due to their interim manager Wayne Jones having seen his UEFA A Coaching Licence expire - causing the club a problem in terms of the Welsh Premier League regulations, which require coaches to hold such licences to manage in their top division. Pennock holds a UEFA Pro Licence, and so was brought in to satisfy those regulations. However, himself and Jones have now swapped roles, with Pennock taking the permanent management position, whilst Jones has reregistered himself for his A Licence course.
Chairman Donald Kane confirmed the new arrangements, and paid tribute to the pair, who had worked together during the final month of the season to guarantee Aberystwyth's survival at Welsh Premier League level:
"After a season of transition it was important to us to have some continuity, to ensure that the spirit the side showed in late March and April is carried through to next season. Tony's vast experience within the game, and his relationship with Wayne and the Players, made him the standout candidate and we are delighted to confirm him in the role of First Team Manager. Wayne also made a huge contribution to the Team's improvement at the end of the season and it was only right that he should be reinstated as Assistant Manager."
Yeovil Town Ladies went down to defeat against last season's FAWSL1 Champions, as Manchester City proved too strong for them. The 5-1 scoreline did see the Glovers produce some good moments of their own, even if the game started badly for them, with Annie Heatherson turning a cross from Lucy Bronze into her own net for an 11th minute deficit that her side never recovered from.
Two minutes after the opener, Toni Duggan produced a lofted pass for Jill Scott who lifted the ball over Yeovil keeper Megan Walsh for a 2-0 lead. But then Yeovil pulled one back - Lucy Quinn's clever anticipation against Arsenal a couple of weeks ago saw her capitalise on a defensive error, and she created her own luck once again today. A poor pass from Jennifer Beattie across her own area saw Quinn incercept and then fire a low shot beyond Ellie Roebuck and into the corner of the net.
Manchester City restored their two goal advantage before the break, as Jane Ross converted Georgia Stanway's low right-wing cross. The same player bagged her second goal just past the hour mark, when Steph Houghton's header hit the post and the ball flew back out allowing Ross the chance to react. Six minutes later, Kosovare Asllani got the fifth and final goal of the game as she poked the ball home inside the box.
But Yeovil didn't give up during the final period of the game, and could have gone back down the motorway with a second goal, after an 84th minute penalty was awarded following a foul committed after a corner kick was floated in. Sarah Wiltshire unfortunately saw her spot kick saved by Ellie Roebuck. There was also a bit of 89th minute drama when Man City substitute Carli Lloyd was given a straight red for elbowing Annie Heatherson, but with only a minute to go, that wasn't going to affect the final result.
Captain Ellie Curson spoke after the game, and compared the performance with the club's 6-0 defeat against Chelsea earlier in the Spring Series. She felt the way that Yeovil competed against the League Champions was an improvement on the showing they put up at Staines Town's ground:
"Obviously the scoreline was 5-1 but as a team I do feel like we are getting somewhere. It feels a lot different to a few weeks ago when we went to Chelsea and lost 6-0. So we’re not happy – we can’t happily take a loss like that, otherwise there’s no point in us being in the league – we’re here to compete. But I do feel like we’re progressing. It’s disappointing but every single game we play we’re learning from, so I’m happy in some ways. One thing we do have as a squad is a bit of fight in us. Every single game we go out with that fight and we’re determined to give every team we play a game. There’s no point being in the league if we don’t have that ambition to win. We’re obviously not happy with any loss we do have, but we take each game as it comes and it’s all about the learning curve."
Final Score: Manchester City Ladies 5 Yeovil Town Ladies 1.
Scorers: Annie Heatherson (1-0, 11 mins, own goal), Jill Scott (2-0, 13 mins), Lucy Quinn (2-1, 20 mins), Jane Ross (3-1, 38 mins), Jane Ross (4-1, 62 mins), Kosovare Asllani (5-1, 68 mins)
Manchester City: (4-2-3-1): Ellie Roebuck; Lucy Bronze, Jennifer Beattie, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes; Keira Walsh, Jill Scott; Kosovare Asllani, Georgia Stanway, Toni Duggan; Jane Ross
Substitutes: Izzy Christiansen (62 mins for Jill Scott), Carli Lloyd (75 mins for Georgia Stanway), Megan Campbell (79 mins for Demi Stokes), Karen Bardsley, Melissa Lawley, Nikita Parris, Abbie McManus
Yeovil Town Supporters relinquished the Adam Stansfield Memorial Trophy today, as Exeter City Supporters triumphed down in Ottery St Mary. Having won the trophy 12-1 in the previous match, the Glovers thought they were on their way to another victory when they went 2-0 up in this lunchtime's match. But the Grecians fought back and ultimately won the match 4-3.
Yeovil Town's goals today came from Dan Coate, Sam Coate and Robbie Stowell. This fixture is usually held once or twice a season, and is used to benefit the Adam Stansfield Foundation - a charity set up to raise awareness of bowel cancer issues, as well as supporting local youth football organisations.
Following Wednesday night's 0-1 home defeat against Reading FC Women at the Viridor Stadium, Yeovil Town Ladies manager Jamie Sherwood spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Somerset presenter Charlie Taylor, Jamie reviews the game against the Royals, as well as looking forward to tomorrow's trip to current League Champions Manchester City. Read that interview via the link below.
League Two side Barnet have finally made a decision on the future of their first team management position. Their position has been vacant since exit of Kevin Nugent on April 15th, after his ultra-brief eleven game spell as their boss. Either side of Nugent's unsuccessful reign, they'd been using their former Under-16 and Under-18 manager Rossi Eames as an 'interim manager' and then a 'caretaker manager'. They've now decided to give him the job on a full time basis, although haven't specified what sort of a contract he's been given.
Eames is just 32 years old, and has had a rather unconventional upbringing in terms of his footballing career. He was an artistic gymnast, who won medals at the British Championship, before retiring at the age of 21. He then moved into football and managed Chesham United's Reserve Team, as well as playing for them, before heading off to University where he ggained a degree in Sports Science from Leeds Metropolitan University, allowing him to join the local Elland Road club as an Academy coach.
He has roots in Buckinghamshire though, and in 2009, headed back closer to home, joining Barnet where he managed their youth teams, before being made the club's Development Team Coach in 2015. When Martin Allen left for Eastleigh in December 2016, he became joint Caretaker Manager, for a couple of months before Nugent's appointment, and then took over again, meaning that he managed them for 16 matches during the 2016-17 season, with the Bees eventually finishing in 15th place - a position probably not helped by their four management phases across the nine months.
Barnet have said that they plan to bring in a more experienced man to support Eames in his first permanent front line management role, saying that they have "the process of headhunting an experienced assistant to work alongside Rossi, the team and the Academy staff."
Due to their management vacancy, Barnet have yet to announce their Released and Retained List, which would include determining the future of former Glovers loanee Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro - it's never been disclosed what contract he is on at the Hive Stadium.
Changes to the play-off system in the National League are being proposed that could significantly alter the number of clubs challenging for promotion at that level in the future. Whilst the number of available promotion places in the English 'fifth tier' are not being altered, there is a proposal on the table to allow six clubs to compete in the play-offs from the 2017-18 season onwards.
Currently the National League (formerly the Football Conference) promotion places are allocated to the Champions of the division, and the winners of a four team play-off system competed between the clubs that finish between second and fifth place. Semi-Finals are conducted on a two-leg basis, with the final taking place at Wembley Stadium - recently Forest Green Rovers beat Tranmere Rovers to join Champions Lincoln City in League Two for the 2017-18 season.
The National League have now put forward a proposal that could see six teams compete in the play-offs. This would entail matches between the fourth vs seventh and fifth vs sixth as initial play-offs, whilst the clubs finishing in second and third place put their feet up. The winners of those single-leg play-off games would then travel to the second or third place clubs for another single-leg play-off. On each occasion, the highest placed club would get home advantage. The Wembley Stadium play-off final would remain in place for the winners.
The proposals will be debated at the National League AGM on June 10th. They will also apply to the National League's North and South divisions that feed into the original National League division, if accepted.
Today, if you pass Wembley Stadium in North-West London, you may find the name of Yeovil Town up in lights. No, the Football Association are not celebrating the fourth anniversary of our League One Play-Off Final win over Brentford (although they should be!) - this is an initiative to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Wembley Stadium itself.
Whilst there were a number of test events following the stadium's handover in March 2007, the official opening of the new Wembley Stadium was for the FA Cup Final on Saturday 19th May 2007. Eight days after that, Yeovil Town made the first of their two Wembley visits, when they played Blackpool in the 2006-07 League One Play-Off Final.
The FA have stated that there have been 166 domestic, European and international men's and women's football teams that have played at Wembley Stadium during those ten years. Each club or country has been lit up at Wembley Stadium in a cycle of displays around the stadium perimeter today, with Yeovil Town recognised for those 2007 and 2013 appearances. In addition, the Wembley arch has been changing colour in accordance with the team's colours. The Yeovil version is shown below.
That also gives a good excuse for you to watch match highlights of that 2013 victory over Brentford, with goals from Paddy Madden and Dan Burn, that took the club to the Championship for the first time in the club's history - precisely four years ago today on May 19th 2013.
Wembley Stadium lit up in Yeovil Town colours and logos
The Football Association are to introduce new disciplinary measures for the 2017-18 season. The offence is entitled 'Successful Deception of a Match Official' and is designed to removing diving and feigning of injury in the game - i.e. an act of simulation. Or to call a spade a spade: CHEATING.
The FA intend to introduce the offence under three separate circumstances. These are as follows:
1. Where the alleged act leads to a penalty being awarded
2. Where the alleged act leads to a straight red card being given out against an opponent
3. Where the alleged act leads to a yellow card against an opponent, and that opponent is subsequently dismissed (either at that time or later in the game)
By the nature of the offence, the players concerned would not know they had been sanctioned at that time. Instead the FA would react retrospectively. They will use a Video Panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player who will view the video footage independently of each other and then inform the FA if they believe the incident involved an act of deception. If all three agree this to be the case, then the FA can retrospectively sanction the player.
In the case of proven deception, the guilty player will be given a two match suspension by the FA. In addition, the FA's Independent Regulatory Commission would have the right to rescind any caution or dismissal given to the opposition player. In the latter instance, it would appear that this is not guaranteed - for example in the case where a player swings a punch at another player, but fails to connect, the player that falls to the floor clutching his face could be sanctioned for feigning injury, but with violent conduct offences also including intent, the player that attempted the punch may still find himself serving the suspension.
The FA haven't made it clear how such cases will be initiated, given that they will not have been spotted by the match officials during the game. It would therefore seem likely that the incident will need to be sufficiently highlighted within the media, or for a specific complaint to be made by one club, for the FA to spot the incident.
Last night saw a perfect example of where the FA could act. In the League Two Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg between Luton Town and Blackpool, a fairly obvious dive by Hatters striker Danny Hylton resulted in his side being awarded a penalty kick. Although Hylton scored from the spot kick, next season's rules would entitle the FA to charge Hylton and issue a retrospective ban. It will be interesting to see how many players decide not to fall over in the penalty box, or go down clutching their faces given the obvious threat of the two match ban if they get caught out.
Curiously, the offence will only apply to incidents not seen by the match officials. Where the player dives for a penalty or feigns injury, and this is correctly spotted by officials during the match, the most the player will receive is a yellow card. In addition, for cases where the referee is unsure of whether the player has dived or been fouled, and so chooses to allow play to continue, there will be no punishment. It will apply only to cases where the referee has been duped into awarding a penalty or issuing a yellow/red card.
Yeovil Town Ladies went down by a single goal last night, as they suffered a 0-1 defeat against Reading Women. The winning goal came just seven minutes into the match, with Netherlands captain Mandy van den Berg converting from close range after Rachel Furness had won a header from a corner. In the club's final match at the Viridor Stadium, Taunton before they move on to Bridgwater in their next home fixture, the Glovers made a double change at the break, which included a formation switch, but they couldn't get themselves the goal they needed to pull the game back.
Their latest recruit is midfielder Angharad James - their second signing of the Spring Series from Notts County Ladies, and she made her debut on the night, playing a full 90 minutes. She admitted that her new teammates hadn't quite hit the mark during the first half, but was much more impressed by the second half showing:
"We were frustrated with the first half, especially the goal. But the second half we showed we can compete at this level and we had a few chances. I think it was a completely different game second half. The formation was different and we stopped them playing and created chances. If we can start games like that we can definitely compete. You can see that the step from WSL2 to WSL1 is huge. They've got a number of internationals in their side. I think Reading came here thinking they would win by a few and it would be a comfortable game and we really showed them that it's not. It's a very tight league and you can pick points up everywhere. It's just a matter of us identifying ourselves now and getting points on the board."
Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 0 Reading FC Women 1.
Substitutes: Natalie Haigh (46 mins for Bow Jackson), Sarah Wiltshire (46 mins for Nia Jones), Ella Pusey (76 mins for Lucy Quinn), Steph Williams, Jessie Jones, Kelly Snook, Molly Clark
Reading: (3-5-2): Mary Earps; Kirsty McGee, Jo Potter, Mandy van den Berg; Rebecca Jane, Remi Allen, Jade Moore, Rachel Furness, Anna Green; Kirsty Linnett, Charlie Estcourt
Substitutes: Melissa Fletcher (60 mins for Anna Green), Harriet Scott (65 mins for Mandy Van Den Berg), Anissa Lahmari (74 mins for Kirsty Linnett), Kayleigh Hines, Molly Bartrip, Grace Moore, Sophie O'Rourke
Yesterday and today marked the moment where Yeovil Town said farewell to a number of players. The departure of Kevin Dawson to Cheltenham Town was quickly followed up by today's Released and Retained List. The latest Taff's Gloversblog looks at those who have headed out the door, and the challenges the club faces over the summer. Read on via the link below, and feel free to add your own views.
Yeovil Town have announced their Released and Retained lists for the end of the 2016-17 season. The Glovers went into the summer break with fifteen players out of contract and seven players heading back to their parent clubs after the completion of loan spells.
Just three players have deals going beyond the end of this season. The list of players can be subdivided into the following groups - with stats showing how they performed during the season just gone):
Out Of Contract But Given New Offers (of undisclosed length): Nathan Smith (42 appearances, 2 goals)
Matthew Dolan (47 appearances, 5 goals)
Bevis Mugabi (39 appearances, 2 goals)
Alex Lacey (47 appearances, 4 goals)
Otis Khan (38 appearances, 8 goals)
Jonny Maddison (10 appearances)
Francois Zoko (40 appearances, 13 goals)
Tom James (3 appearances)
Out Of Contract And Already Left The Club: Kevin Dawson (47 appearances, 3 goals - signed for Cheltenham Town)
Out Of Contract And Released By The Club: Tom Eaves (49 appearances, 7 goals)
Alex Lawless (39 appearances, 1 goal)
Brandon Goodship (9 appearances)
Joe Lea (2 appearances)
Ollie Bassett (0 appearances)
Darren Ward (18 appearances, 3 goals)
Under Contract Until June 2018: Artur Krysiak (46 appearances)
Ryan Dickson (40 appearances)
Omar Sowunmi (14 appearances, 2 goals)
Loan Players Returning To Their Parent Clubs: Liam Shephard (Swansea City, 46 appearances, 1 goal)
Matt Butcher (AFC Bournemouth, 42 appearances, 2 goals)
Owain Jones (Swansea City, 2 appearances)
Ben Whitfield (AFC Bournemouth, 42 appearances, 3 goals)
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (Barnet, 13 appearances, 2 goals)
Kabongo Tshimanga (Milton Keynes Dons, 0 appearances)
Shayon Harrison (Tottenham Hotspur, 15 appearances, 1 goal)
At present there is no information concerning what offers are on the table for those players who the club are seeking to retain. In addition, the club have not indicated what deadline is being set for players to reply to those contract offers, although Football League rules indicate that the offer should be on the table for 28 days in order to stand as a recognisable offer - an important factor when it comes to obtaining compensation for players aged Under-24.
How does time fly? Ten years ago, Yeovil Town played in one of most drama-fuelled games that you'd ever imagine. Their League One Play-Off Semi-Final victory over Nottingham Forest at the end of the 2006-07 season took place at the City Ground on May 18th 2007 and saw Russell Slade's side stun Forest on their own patch, in a game that is probably the most talked about within the club apart from the legendary 1949 FA Cup win over Sunderland. Oddly, it's more talked about than the two League One Play-Off Finals the club ultimately competed in, but that is because of the drama that was behind it.
Forest already had the game in the bag. They'd won the first leg by a 2-0 scoreline at Huish Park thanks to two dubious penalty decisions awarded by referee Nigel Miller, and so sauntered back to the City Ground already planning for Wembley. Unofficial sales of scarves and t-shirts outside the ground in Nottingham were daubed in 'Forest at Wembley' style messages, the Forest ticket office had already been sent a supply of tickets for the final, ready to put on sale the following day, and the idea that former European Champions could be turned over by a side that were only out of non-league football four years previously was unthinkable.
Except that it didn't quite work out like that. The home support of 27,819 (including 1,095 travelling fans) may have had some brief heart flutters when Arron Davies put his side ahead, but when Scott Dobie equalised in the 47th minute at 1-1, Forest still held the two-goal first leg advantage. Right up until the 82nd minute, Forest fans chanted "We're going to Wembley, you're not! You're not!" at those lodged in the corner of the City Ground right up to the point at which a Jean-Paul Kalala shot came off the goal post and a disoriented Alan Wright put the rebound back into his own net.
Then came the Forest nerves. And the moment that will live in Yeovil Town memories from both those at the ground and those watching on television. Andy Lindegaard's perfect cross was met by Marcus Stewart's head, and "They've ... they've only gone and done it" has become probably the best known bit of Yeovil Town commentary in the club's history. The scenes of the celebrating fans in the away end following that goal (including a few specific individuals!) were just as memorable.
If you were a supporter watching that match in May 2007, would you have thought that the man responsible for the horrendous Forest gaffe, as the game went into extra time, would be picking up the Premier League Trophy as captain of the title winners for Leicester City nine years later? Wes Morgan's most famous career moment may well be his 2015-16 achievement of helping the Foxes do something incredible, but his 2006-07 'assist' to help Lee Morris put Yeovil ahead in the tie in the second minute of extra time probably comes a narrow second - an awful back header was a mile short of reaching the Forest keeper, and a former Derby County player rubbed salt into the wound.
There was still one last twist. Gary Holt pulled the aggregate scoreline back to 4-4 despite Forest having had David Prutton sent off for two yellow cards. But this was the finest night in Arron Davies' career. Lee Morris passed the ball through to Davies, and a bit of quick feet allowed the Welshman to get his second of the night. This time there was no Forest comeback, and for the first time in the club's history Yeovil Town were on their way to Wembley Stadium.
Our travelling group returned after the game to the Vat and Fiddle pub, where we'd met some Notts County fans before the match. We'd only intended to pop in for one pint, but the roar of approval we got from the Magpies fans when we entered the pub meant that we only left Nottingham just before midnight. When finally home at around 3.00a.m. the first task was to check that the Sky Sports recording had coped with the issue of 'Extra Time' coverage - it had but the only way to find out was to watch it again, meaning that the idea of sleep wasn't contemplated until dawn started to creep over the horizon.
At around 7.00a.m. the phone rang - BBC Somerset asked if we'd been to the game and if they could put anyone on air. Not realising how hoarse a voice can be after 120 minutes worth of screaming, the BBC were given the most croaky on-air interview they'd ever broadcast. Just before it finished, I apologised for how bad my throat was. The presenter said I'd captured the mood by sounding like I'd just come back from the greatest party on Planet Earth. I think he was right.
Outgoing Yeovil Town midfielder Kevin Dawson has given his first reaction to his decision to leave the club and sign for League Two rivals Cheltenham Town. The 26 year old ended a four-and-a-half year stay at Huish Park by teaming back up with his old bossGary Johnson, whose side finished one place below the Glovers at the end of the 2016-17 season, separated by only goal difference.
It's no surprise to find that the former Shelbourne player cites the chance to work with the manager that took him from the Irish League into the Football League, as one of his primary thoughts on moving to Whaddon Road. He told Cheltenham's club site that he had good memories of their time together:
"I'm over the moon to get it all done this quickly. I've had interest from a few clubs but after a few chats with Gary I knew this was the place to come. I have really good memories of working with him. He gave me my chance in England and we were very successful together. First the promotion season in League One before a year in the Championship which was a great experience."
Whilst it's been stated that Dawson had been given some sort of an offer to stay at Huish Park, it hasn't been disclosed what was one the table. However, the midfielder also draws attention to the length of the contract he has been given with the Robins - a deal that will tie him down until June 2019. He said that was a length that would give him a chance to move properly into the Gloucestershire area:
"The two year deal gives me some security which is great, me and my girlfriend Kerri will be moving to Cheltenham which we're really looking forward to. We're going on a short break now and then when we get back it'll be time to hit the gym and get ready for next season. I don't know any of the lads personally but i'm really looking forward to meeting them and hopefully the existing players and the new ones can all hit the ground running together and we can have a successful season."
League Two side Cheltenham Town have made their first signing of the 2017 summer. They have taken Yeovil Town midfielder Kevin Dawson, who was one of fifteen players out of contract at the end of the 2016-17 season. The 26 year old was brought to England by Robins boss Gary Johnson in January 2013, on the recommendation of fellow striker Paddy Madden, and became part of the club's 2012-13 season play-off winning side.
His most notable moment for the club came when he scored the opening goal in the Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg against Sheffield United at Huish Park - a crucial strike that put the tie level, and set the game up for the Glovers to beat the Blades. After a season in the Championship, Kevin's 2014-15 season turned into a bit of a personal disaster as a series of pelvis and groin problems put him out of action for almost the whole of the 2015 calendar year. However, by early 2016 he had recovered well and was a regular in the Glovers 2016-17 side, making 47 appearances, and scoring three goals.
Overall, he made 141 appearances, scoring nine goals across his four and a half years. He becomes the last member of the club's 2012-13 League One playing squad to leave the building.
Kevin will join Cheltenham Town on July 1st when his contract expires. Cheltenham have indicated that he was given an offer by Yeovil Town but turned it down, and will be given a two year deal by the Robins. Boss Gary Johnson explained:
"I'm really pleased to be signing Kevin Dawson as our first new summer addition. He epitomises everything I want in a player and I know he will become a fans' favourite with his commitment and enthusiasm for the game, along with a work rate that is second to none. We had success together at Yeovil and he had offers from a few different teams so I'm glad that I've convinced him to join us. He gives us options as he can play in a few different positions."
The very best of luck to Kevin at his new club - his popularity at the club and his part in the club's promotion from League One won't be forgotten in a hurry.
Yeovil Town Ladies resume their FAWSL1 Spring Series schedule tonight, when they face Reading Women in a home match. The game is being played at Taunton Town's Viridor Stadium (aka Wordsworth Drive) whilst the Huish Park pitch is being relaid, giving the Ladies side a chance to take their set-up on the road around Somerset.
The Ladies have had a rather difficult start to the one-off 2017 Spring Series mini-season, with them having faced three out of the top four sides in Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool during their first four games. With those three sides and Manchester City expected to have a stronghold on the top four positions, it's been difficult to judge the level that Yeovil Town need to reach to stabilise themselves at FAWSL1 level.
Tonight's match against Reading should act as a more realistic yardstick. Two years ago, Reading played at FAWSL2 level, ultimately going up as Champions, and so are one season ahead of the Glovers in terms of their own development as a club. Having seen the Royals get promotion and then stabilise themselves as a top flight club, Yeovil Town striker Lucy Quinn says that tonight's opponents are a good one to compare themselves against:
"It's only natural that we are going to be comparing ourselves to a team like Reading. They've come up and they've stayed up and they've done well and they've grown. We know how they'll play and we know how professional they are, and they are just as good as any other team in this league. It's going to be a good test for us and it's going to be a tough fixture for us."
Tonight's match at Taunton is the fifth of eight scheduled Spring Series matches, with the final game against Notts County having been cancelled due to their withdrawal from the league. As such, this is now the second half of the mini-season, and Quinn is seeing it as a learning experience:
"The games are coming thick and fast and we knew it was going to be like that, but – at the same time – it feels to us that we have gone so long without that many games. We are all learning and we are all enjoying it, so the fact they are coming thick and fast is good for us. As a team, we are seeing differences in ourselves and we are talking things from each game but at the end of the day, some of the teams we are playing against are some of the best in the world."
The match at Taunton kicks off at 7.00p.m. Online admission prices are cheaper and can be purchased here but they'll obviously be taken off sale a few hours before kick-off. If the option to purchase Reading tickets disappears, then you can still turn up and pay on the gate.
Former Yeovil Town striker Ryan Bird has been released by League Two side Newport County. The Exiles had already provided a Released List, that included former Glovers winger Jack Compton as one of eight players they were letting go at the end of a 2016-17 season that saw them secure their League Two status in the 89th minute of the final match of the season.
They've now added to that list by releasing Bird along with Craig Reid and Mitch Rose following talks with new manager Mike Flynn. The implication is that there may have been circumstances in which the trio could have been retained, but that the talks did not progress to the point at which a contract landed on the table. Bird made 19 appearances, scoring six goals.
Newport have also announced that former Yeovil Town midfielder Ben Tozer has been given a one year extension on his contract, along with Jazzi Barnum-Bobb. Tozer ended the 2016-17 season with a knee injury, but had not been selected since January 7th, after former manager Graham Westley decided to exclude him from his first team plans. The decision to extend his contract would suggest Flynn has other views.
They have still reaffirmed that midfielder Mark Randall is on the transfer-list. He had asked to leave Newport and wants to find a club within commutable distance of Milton Keynes, due to his partner giving birth to their second child. Liam Angel, Marcus Beauchamp, Paul Bignot, Jack Compton, Darren Jones, Tom Meechan, Kieran Parselle and Finlay Wood were released at the end of their contracts last week.
As well as midfielder Joe Lea's inclusion in the LFE Assessment Trials, earlier this month, five of Yeovil Town's Academy players were also at Woking, looking to impress the scouts. All of the players were Second Year Scholars, and so were at the age where the club would need to make a decision on whether to offer them a professional contract at Huish Park. Their presence at Kingfield would show that - like Joe Lea - they have been shown the door.
The LFE have uploaded five videos for each of the players, with the following players featured:
1. Former Barking Academy striker Dion Macfoy-Johnston (White Team, No.11)
2. Wiltshire-based right-winger Luis Nyman (Green Team, No.9)
3. London-based defender Prince Iwyeh (Red Team, No.5)
4. Weymouth-based and former Torquay United centre-back Jayden Corbridge (Red Team, No.6)
5. Kent-based and former Dartford striker Paul Akinuli (Black Team, No.9)
The LFE also listed former Bristol City Academy player Samyan Ismail as having registered for the LFE Assessment Trials but as yet have not uploaded a video for him. Samyan has missed part of the 2016-17 season through injury, and so may not have been able to attend.
As far as we can tell, the only Second Year Scholar on Yeovil Town's books who is not listed at all is central midfielder Arthur Warren. He had been absent from the last couple of Yeovil Town Under-18s matches at the tail end of last season. However, for the others, it would seem that those six will not form part of Yeovil's plans going forward, and so will be looking for new clubs for next season. The best of luck to them all for the future.
Yeovil Town midfielder Joe Lea would appear to have left the club. Although the Glovers have yet to announce their Released and Retained lists, the former Southampton academy player featured in an LFE Assessment Trial at Woking's Kingfield ground on May 2nd 2017.
The LFE exit trials are a series of regional matches set up to allow players who are either Academy Scholars or first year professionals who have been released by their clubs, in an effort to allow scouts a chance to make recommendations to their clubs for the following season. Joe featured in the Southern exit trial, shortly after his final match for Gosport Borough and can be identified in the LFE's video clips as wearing the No.8 shirt for the team in red.
Joe's first team appearances for Yeovil Town during the 2016-17 season came only in cup competitions, coming on as a late substitute in the Carling Cup match against Everton, followed by another substitute appearance a week later in the EFL Trophy against Portsmouth. But he didn't make another appearance beyond the end of August, and spent the majority of the season featuring in loan spells for Dorchester Town and Gosport Borough. His appearance in the LFE trials would suggest he's not been given an offer by the club.
The FAWSL have announced how they plan to deal with the shortfall created in the FAWSL1 division, following the withdrawal of Notts County Ladies from Women's Football. The female branch of the Meadow Lane club folded just before the FAWSL Spring Series began, meaning that it has been running with just a nine club division in the top flight. Given the rules for the Spring Series are for there to not be any promotion or relegation across the two divisions, that created a headache for the 2017-18 Winter Season, which will be the first full length campaign following the change to the traditional footballing calendar.
The FAWSL have now decided the top division will have its spare place filled on an invite basis, rather than by the result of the FAWSL2 Spring Series, which commenced earlier than FAWSL1 and so is approaching a conclusion. The goal is to co-opt the additional club in time for the 2017-18 winter season, with both divisions operating with ten clubs by that time.
Interested clubs operating at FAWSL2 level have been asked to show how they can meet the additional licence criteria and financial demands at the higher level. Clubs will be assessed on their business management, youth development and marketing, as well as the quality of their facilities and their performances on the pitch in the past 12 months. The FAWSL committee will then choose a successful bidder in June. All interested clubs have until May 30th to file their submission.
In terms of their on-the-pitch performance, Everton can win the FAWSL2 title on Saturday. However, there will be no promotion and relegation between the top two tiers at the end of the Spring Series, meaning that if the Toffees want promotion, they'll need to use the above route instead.
There will be one new club in FAWSL2 for the 2017-18 season. Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur have a promotion play-off match scheduled to take place at the end of this month, with the winners heading into FAWSL2 for next season.
The Glovers Trust - the Independent Supporters Trust set up to represent Yeovil Town supporters - have written to Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry for a second occasion. Their letter follows up on letter they sent to the club on April 4th concerning the Football Club's decision to place a Legal Charge on land at Huish Park, that added to one already in place via Yeovil Town Holdings Limited - the parent company that owns Yeovil Town Football Club.
By April 25th, John Fry replied to the Trust, responding to some of the issues that they had raised, but with a number of other issues left unanswered. The Glovers Trust have now penned a second letter, detailing the questions that they felt did not get a reply, and highlighting why they think those answers should be in the public domain.
The Trust's letter reads (in unedited form) as follows, and is addressed to John Fry:
"The Trust Board have had the opportunity to consider your response to questions raised by the Glovers Trust in the open letter dated Tuesday 4th April 2017.
We feel that whilst the information provided has addressed some of the questions posed in the letter, there are a number that remain unanswered. The Trust Board feel that fully addressing the initial questions would not only alleviate any concerns that the supporter base may have over the structure of the organisations, but would also act as a significant step forward in developing positive relationships between the Football Club and its fans.
The questions that require further information and/or clarification are as follows:
Q1: Please can you advise us how the assets owned by Yeovil Town Holdings Ltd and Yeovil Football and Athletic Club Ltd are split, so it is clear which company owns which asset?
• This question does not appear to have been answered. We feel that it is important to understand how any assets are divided as they could be impacted if either company is bought or sold, or if either has an insolvency event, or an event that would trigger clauses in the Legal Charge(s).
Q2: Were all the Directors of Yeovil Town Football Club present on the occasion when a decision was made to accept a Land Charge made out in the name of Mr Norman Hayward, and how many Directors were in agreement with this action?
• This question does not appear to have been answered. It is still not clear how many Directors were party to this decision, and whether they all voted for this action. The response does state that there has not been any 'disagreement' or 'dissent' but it would be less ambiguous if it was clear that all Board members knew the Legal Charge had been undertaken, and that all of them voted for it.
Q3: Why have the seven directors of this limited company allowed one director (Norman Hayward) so much control?
• This question has been partially answered. You have indicated that the proposed loan “has not been required" but 8 months have now elapsed since the registration of the Land Charge, therefore the answer does not explain why the Directors authorised the creation of that Charge for an event that has never materialised. Is there a reason why the Board did not decide to wait until it becomes actually necessary?
Q4: What are the consequences to the Football Club should the Club default on the terms of the Land Charge?
• This question has not been answered. We appreciate that you could point out that as the loan has not been required then there is no risk of default. However if the intent is for the Land Charge to act as a mechanism for Norman Hayward to lend money to the club in a manner that is automatically secured, it should still be possible to disclose what would happen if the club defaulted on that, given the legal document has already been signed.
Q5:Will Mr Norman Hayward have the equivalent of a covenant against the Club?
• This question does not appear to have been answered.
Q6: What provisions are in place in the event of Norman Hayward’s bereavement or incapacity to act as the legal charge holder?
• This question has not been answered. The small print in the Land Charge indicates that in the event of Mr Hayward's death (or his incapacity to act for his own affairs), any value associated with that Charge and the control of its clauses, would be handled by his Estate. The Directors of Yeovil Town Football Club cannot control 'succession' in this instance - it would come down to whoever Mr Hayward has named in his Will, which he can change at any time, without consultation with any YTFC Directors, and does not have to disclose it to them.
Q7: What costs are involved in removing this charge as you have stated no money is owed?
• This question has not been fully answered. What may be regarded as 'minimal cost' is fairly subjective. We presume that such costs would include Solicitors fees, Land Registry fees and Company House fees that may be incurred to discharge the Land Charge. We also presume that similar expenditure would have been incurred to create the Land Charge in the first instance. As referenced in the feedback to question 3; is there a reason why the Board did not decide to wait until it becomes actually necessary?
Q8: Given the clear conflict of interest between Norman Hayward, the Yeovil Town Football Club director and Norman Hayward, the Legal charge/Land covenant holder, when the Board took the decision to grant him the legal charge were all the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 complied within terms of declarations of interest and voting as it would appear to be the case that Norman Hayward would not be able to vote on this matter?
• We acknowledge the response issued regarding compliance with Companies House provisions. Could you therefore please confirm that Mr Hayward did withdraw from voting when the remaining Directors of Yeovil Town Football Club approved the creation of the Land Charge?
As stated at the beginning of this letter, the Trust Board feel that fully answering these questions can only increase the awareness amongst fans as to why such decisions are made and thus develop positive relationships between the Football Club and its supporters."
Former Notts County Ladies midfielder Angharad James has joined Yeovil Town Ladies ahead of their four remaining Spring Series fixtures. The Welsh International is available to play in tomorrow's clash against Reading FC Women, where she will meet former Notts County team mates Jade Moore, Jo Potter and Kirsty Linnett.
The twenty-two year old has represented Wales at U16’s, U17’s and U19’s level, whilst she has accumulated over 50 caps for the senior side. James has a considerable amount of Women’s Super League 1 experience, having competed in the league for many years; former clubs include Arsenal and Bristol Academy. The midfielder has played with a number of the Lady Glovers squad during international duty and from previous clubs. On signing, James said:
"After the disappointment of what happened at Notts County, I am delighted to join Yeovil Ladies and can't wait to get started. I'm looking forward to working with Jamie, who I can't thank enough and the talented group of players we have here. The ambition is to get maximum points from the next 4 games, putting us in a strong position leading up to the Winter season."
Jamie Sherwood believes that James will be a beneficial asset to his squad, ahead of Wednesday night's home match at the Viridor Stadium, Taunton:
"It is great to see AJ as part of the squad in the short term. She is a player I've admired for a long time and I am sure that she will soon show the YTLFC fans what I have seen in her for years. She will bring good experience of this level of football to our squad, even at her young age she has competed at this level for a few years. She brings a calming influence in possession and defensive edge out of possession. I am looking forward to working with AJ and watching her settle into the club and I hope we will see her in her new home for a lot longer than just the spring series."
During early April, Yeovil Town played a League Two fixture against Carlisle United at Huish Park. This wasn't an impressive performance for the Glovers at all - their opponents came down on a poor run of form but a goal in each half from John O'Sullivan and Reggie Lambe resulted in a 0-2 home defeat on the day.
Man Of The Match voting saw midfielder Kevin Dawson - playing on the right side of midfield in a 4-3-3 before later switching to a central role in a 4-4-2 - impress those watching, whilst centre-back Bevis Mugabi was recognised for his performance as a centre-back. The poll winner, by a comfortable margin, was striker Francois Zoko, who had been our most dangerous striker on the day.
Full results, with outright MOTM votes in brackets, are as shown below:
1. Francois Zoko 126 (11)
2. Bevis Mugabi 56 (3)
3. Kevin Dawson 38 (1)
4. Tom Eaves 22 (1)
5. Alex Lacey 20 (2)
6. Artur Krysiak 18 (0)
7. Tom James 16 (1)
8. Ryan Dickson 14 (1)
9. Ben Whitfield 14 (0)
10. Brandon Goodship 8 (0)
11. Liam Shephard 2 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 3.48
Performance : 3.24
Entertainment : 3.71
VOTES RECEIVED : 21
With the 2016-17 season now over, with the exception of the play-off matches, the majority of League Two clubs have now issued full released and retained lists. The exception to those are the four clubs that are still participating in those play-off matches, and also a number of clubs such as Barnet, Crawley Town, Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient who are under caretaker management, and Morecambe who are attempting to resolve ownership issues.
The only clubs that do not fit this pattern are Champions Portsmouth, who have so far just idenitified the departure of one player, rather than a full released and retained list, and Yeovil Town, who have yet to provide any information on their end of season status.
The full list - as of Monday 15th May (we'll update as new information comes in) - is as follows:
ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Released by club: Steven Hewitt, Arron Davies, Elliot Parish, Paddy Lacey, Luke Wall and Nathan Webb.
Contract Extensions: Jordan Clark, Janoi Donacien, Brayden Shaw, Omar Beckles, Mark Hughes and Rommy Boco.
Still Under Contract: Shay McCartan, Matty Pearson, Scott Brown, Aaron Chapman, Seamus Conneely, Billy Kee, Sean McConville, Terry Gornell and Ross Sykes.
New Signing: Liam Nolan (Southport)
BARNET: Under Caretaker Management - No Released/Retained List Yet
BLACKPOOL: In League Two Play-Offs - No Released/Retained List Yet
CAMBRIDGE UNITED: Released by club: David Gregory, James Dunne, Ben Williamson, Joe Pigott, Conor Newton, Dylan Williams
Transfer Listed: Mark Roberts.
No Decision Yet: Barry Corr (regaining his full fitness).
Loanees Returned: Max Clark, Scott Wharton and Gerry McDonagh.
CARLISLE UNITED: In League Two Play-Offs - No Released/Retained List Yet
CHELTENHAM UNITED: Released by club: James Dayton, Liam Davis, Asa Hall, James Jennings, Amari Morgan-Smith, Daniel Parslow, Jack Munns, Calum Kitscha, Jack Barthram, James Rowe and Jordan Lymn
Still Under Contract: Harry Pell, Dan Holman, Will Boyle, Carl Winchester and Matt Bower
Contract Offers: TBA - In principle remainder of squad.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Released by club: Matt Briggs and Lloyd Doyley. Dexter Peter, Femi Akinwande, Ben Wyatt, Brendan Ocran and Rhys Williams (final five Under-23 players)
Contract Offers: TBA - In principle remainder of squad.
CRAWLEY TOWN: Under Caretaker Management - No Released/Retained List Yet
CREWE ALEXANDRA: Released by club: Ben Nugent, Billy Bingham, Danny Hollands, Harry Davis, Callum Saunders, Marcus Poscha, Andy Dawber
Contract Offers: George Ray, Jon Guthrie, Oliver Turton, Perry Ng, Oliver Finney, Dave Richards
Still Under Contract: Ben Garratt, Zoumana Bakayogo, James Jones, Tommy Lowery, Ryan Wintle, Callum Ainley, Charlie Kirk, George Cooper, Dan Udoh, Chris Dagnall, Harry Pickering, Owen Dale, Lewis Reilly, Ross Woodcock, Josh Lundstram
Loanees Returned: Alex Kiwomya, Callum Cooke, Jordan Bowery
DONCASTER ROVERS: Released by club: Paul Keegan, Gary McSheffrey, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Joe Pugh and Joey McCormick
Scholars Released: Lloyd Henderson, Josh Barker and Matthew Gains
Transfer Listed: Ross Etheridge, Cedric Evina, Mitchell Lund, Harry Middleton and Andy Williams
Loanee Returned: Conor Grant (Everton)
EXETER CITY: In League Two Play-Offs - No Released/Retained List Yet
GRIMSBY TOWN: Released by club: Craig Disley, Josh Gowling, Dan Jones, Ashley Chambers and Gavin Gunning
Contract Offers/Negotiations: Danny Andrew, Danny Collins, Shaun Pearson, Ben Davies
Invited to Pre-Season Training: Max Wright, Josh Venney
Still Under Contract: James McKeown, Andrew Boyce, Zak Mills, James Berrett, Chris Clements, Harry Clifton, Sam Jones, Sean McAllister, Jamey Osborne, Luke Summerfield, Tom Bolarinwa, Rhys Browne, Akwasi Asante, Adi Yussuf, Scott Vernon
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Under Caretaker Management - No Released/Retained List Yet
LEYTON ORIENT: Under Caretaker Management - No Released/Retained List Yet
LUTON TOWN: In League Two Play-Offs - No Released/Retained List Yet
MANSFIELD TOWN: New Signing: Zander Diamond (Northampton Town, defender)
Released by club: Yoann Arquin, James Baxendale, Lee Collins, Matt Green, Ashley Hemmings, Kevan Hurst, Pat Hoban, Brian Jensen, Jamie McGuire, Scott Shearer, Corbin Shires
Still Under Contract: Rhys Bennett, Mal Benning, Joel Byrom, CJ Hamilton, Alex MacDonald, Krystian Pearce, Alfie Potter, Danny Rose, George Taft, Jack Thomas
MORECAMBE: Ownership issues delaying proceedings - No Released/Retained List Yet
NEWPORT COUNTY: Released by club: Liam Angel, Marcus Beauchamp, Paul Bignot, Jack Compton, Darren Jones, Tom Meechan, Kieran Parselle, Finlay Wood
Loanees Returned: Jaanai Gordon, Alex Samuel, Sid Nelson, David Pipe, Florent Bojaj, Josh Sheehan
Contract Offers: TBA
NOTTS COUNTY: Released by club: Thierry Audel, Adam Campbell, Mark Yeates, Scott Loach, Jack McMillan, Luther Wildin
Still Under Contract: Michael O’Connor, Adam Collin, Carl Dickinson, Matt Tootle, Jonathan Forte, Kevin Nolan
Contract Offers: Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi, Richard Duffy, Curtis Thompson, Elliott Hewitt, Haydn Hollis, Rob Milsom, Alan Smith (Player/Coach), Mike Edwards (Player/Coach)
Invited to Pre-Season Training: Wes Atkinson, Jordan Richards, Montel Gibson
Loanees Returned: Marc Bola, Tahvon Campbell, Josh Clackstone, Jorge Grant
Scholars Offered Contracts: Dominic Brown-Hill, Peter Dearle, Jordon Richards, Joe Searson-Smithard
Scholars Released: Tamar Clayton-Naute, Nathan Cobain, George Collett-McCartney, Harry Gibbons, Yohan Rutty-Smith
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE: Released by club: Ryan Brunt, Nauris Bulvitis, Jack Calver, Ryan Donaldson, Vincent Dorel, David Ijaha, Ryan Lane, Billy Palfrey, Louis Rooney, Jordan Slew, Connor Smith, Jimmy Spencer, Ben Steer
Contract Extensions: Sonny Bradley, David Fox, Jake Jervis, Gary Miller, Jakub Sokolik, Yann Songo’o, Oscar Threlkeld
Still Under Contract: Nathan Blissett, Luke McCormick, Antoni Sarcevic, Ryan Taylor.
Contract Offers: Graham Carey, Mark McCallum, Gary Sawyer.
Scholars offered professional contracts: Jordan Bentley, Alex Fletcher, Callum Rose.
Scholars offered professional development contracts: Alex Battle, Dan Rooney, Aaron Taylor.
Scholars released: Connor McAuley, Josh Richards.
Loanees Returned: Arnie Garita, Matt Kennedy, Craig Tanner.
PORTSMOUTH: Left Club: Michael Doyle (Coventry City).
Released by club: TBA.
STEVENAGE: Released by club: Charlie Lee, Dean Wells, Michael Tonge, Andrew Fox, Jake Hyde and Nathan Kerr.
New Signing: James Ferry (Brentford), Alex Samuel (Swansea City).
Transfer-Listed: Tom Pett.
WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Released by club: Garry Thompson and Sam Wood.
Contract Extensions: Adebayo Akinfenwa, Matt Bloomfield, Anthony Stewart, Nick Freeman
Contract Offers: Aaron Pierre
Contract Negotiations: Marcus Bean
Loanees Returned: Jamal Blackman and Alex Jakubiak
Former Yeovil Town attacking midfielder Arron Davies is one of six players released by Accrington Stanley as part of their end-of-season clear-out. The Lancashire side were a club that steadily improved over the course of the second half of the 2016-17 season, finishing in 13th place in the League Two table.
They have opted to release Davies after a year at the Crown Ground. He was signed last summer from Exeter City but only made ten appearances, scoring one goal, and has not made an appearance since an FA Cup match in January. His cause wasn't helped by suffering a foot injury, relating to an accident at home. He departs, along with Steven Hewitt, Elliot Parish, Paddy Lacey, Luke Wall and Nathan Webb.
Accrington's squad for next season already looks fairly stable. They have announced that they were able to take out contract extension options against Jordan Clark, Janoi Donacien, Brayden Shaw, Omar Beckles, Mark Hughes and Rommy Boco at the end of the 2016-17 season. Meanwhile Shay McCartan, Matty Pearson, Scott Brown, Aaron Chapman, Seamus Conneely, Billy Kee, Sean McConville, Terry Gornell and Ross Sykes were already tied up on deals that went beyond the summer.
Yeovil Town will be playing Gloucestershire side Forest Green Rovers once again, after they were promoted to the Football League for the first time in their club's history today. They beat Tranmere Rovers at Wembley Stadium in this afternoon's National League Play-Off Final by a 3-1 scoreline, in front of 18,801, of which only around 3,000 appeared to have come from the Nailsworth area.
All of the goals were scored in the first half, with the first three fairly spectacular. Forest Green had the upper hand for most of the match, and opened the scoring when Kaiyne Woolery fired a low 25 yard drive into the bottom corner of the net. Tranmere, who had finished in second place in 95 points at the end of the normal season, equalised through Connor Jennings, but Forest Green restored their lead when Christian Doidge was given far too much space on the edge of the box. They then grabbed another two minutes later when Kaiyne Woolery's clever feet saw him poke the ball past the Tranmere keeper for the two goal margin they kept for the remainder of the match.
Despite Nailsworth having a population of just 6,000 people, they are heavily bankrolled by owner Dale Vince. That money has posted the sort of financial accounts that would make a Rushden and Diamonds fan's eyes water, with losses of £2.5 million, £2.9 million and £2.5 million on their last three annual filings. Vince can continue to bankroll them in the Football League, if he chooses, but will have to ensure any further money is input as either a new share issue, sponsorship or no-strings-attached donations. They will have to abide by the Football League's Salary Cost Management Protocol from the 2017-18 season onwards.
Since Yeovil Town last played Forest Green during the 2002-03 season, they have moved very slightly along the road to The New Lawn - a 5,140 capacity ground with 2,000 seats which has been their home since 2006. They're even looking at moving again, with a new stadium development near an M5 Junction 13 being earmarked for around 2020. The New Lawn isn't one for meat eaters - all food on sale at the ground is vegan-friendly - a decision made by their club owner. Their squad includes former Glovers winger Keanu Marsh-Brown, who played for the club during the 2012-13 season before moving onto Barnet during second half of that campaign. He's been at Forest Green for the last two years, although is out of contract this summer.
Whilst the Football League don't do the strict pre-picking of adjacent local derbies over Christmas and New Year practiced by the Conference/National League, more recent Christmas Holiday fixtures have pointed to regionalised matches being picked out. There must therefore be a fairly high chance of a return to the days between 1999 and 2003, when Yeovil Town made four consecutive trips to Gloucestershire on Boxing Day as part of their Conference fixture lists.
Yeovil Town's final game in March was a League Two match against Exeter City at St James Park. The match was goalless on the hour mark, giving little clue as to what was going to happen. Goals from Francois Zoko, Shayon Harrison and Alex Lacey appeared to have handed all three points to the Glovers, until a Grecians comeback started in the 88th minute, leading to an improbable and very frustrating 3-3 draw.
Man of the Match voting saw midfielder Matt Dolan, who provided two of the assists on the day, recognised for his performance. Meawhile the opening goalscorer Francois Zoko picked up plenty of votes. The poll winner though was AFC Bournemouth loanee Ben Whitfield - for the fifth match running he topped the votes, with him having provided the assist for Yeovil's middle goal.
Full results, with outright MOTM Votes shown in brackets - are as follows:
1. Ben Whitfield 86 (8)
2. Francois Zoko 58 (1)
3. Matthew Dolan 40 (4)
4. Bevis Mugabi 26 (0)
5. Artur Krysiak 18 (1)
6. Alex Lacey 8 (0)
6. Shayon Harrison 8 (0)
6. Kevin Dawson 8 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 7.29
Performance : 6.57
Entertainment : 8
VOTES RECEIVED : 14
Promoted League Two side Doncaster Rovers have published their released and retained lists at the end of the 2016-17 season. Donny gained automatic promotion into League One in third place and so have made their decisions with that in mind.
Doncaster's list includes a number of players who have been transfer-listed, which includes former Yeovil Town striker Andy Williams. He scored 12 goals for Donny during this season, along with 16 goals in League One, which gave him 28 goals in 93 appearances - just under one strike in every three matches.
As such, the decision to transfer-list Williams is probably one of the more contentious ones in Donny's list. Boss Darren Ferguson has said it was a footballing decision, and admitted that it was a hard one for him to make:
"It was the most difficult one because his goalscoring record is good. I had a good chat with Andy and he understands the reasons for it. I just feel we need a bit of improvement, certainly in that area. That was a tough decision and we’ll see how that one goes. I’ve got to balance the books which comes into it slightly but this was definitely a footballing decision."
Before any Yeovil Town supporters start hoping for a Williams return, Ferguson states that he is on a 'big salary' at the Keepmoat Stadium. Williams joined Donny as a League One player, and so his current deal would have been negotiated with third tier football in mind. Ferguson says that there has already been interest in him, and says he is open minded as to whether there would be a transfer fee involved, or whether the need to get a high earner off their books prevails:
"It depends. We’ll try to get what we can. With Andy, he’s on a big salary so it might be just about letting him go. Then there’s his age as well. We’re certainly not going to be standing in people’s way and demanding the world for them. A couple of clubs have shown an interest in Andy, which I would fully expect. It’s important that I balance the books accordingly. I can’t expect to bring players in and not get others out. He might still be here because he will be going into the last year of his contract. Just because we’ve made him available doesn’t mean he will leave. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world."
Doncaster have released Paul Keegan, Gary McSheffrey, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Joe Pugh and Joey McCormick at the end of their contracts. They have also shown second year scholars Lloyd Henderson, Josh Barker and Matthew Gains the door. Conor Grant has returned to his parent club Everton with Doncaster stating that they do not plan to pursue a permanent move, despite earlier reports suggesting they would.
In addition to Williams, Ross Etheridge, Cedric Evina, Mitchell Lund and Harry Middleton have all been made available for transfer.
Yeovil Town have stated that they plan to launch new home and away kits for the 2017-18 season. Last summer, only the home kit was changed for the 2015-16 season, with the away strip being used across two seasons. However, this year they plan to change both of them.
As yet, the full design for both kits have not been disclosed - the club have indicated that this will be done at the start of June. They plan to have both kits in stock with the Club Shop for the start of July. They have so far disclosed a small section of the 2017-18 shirt, along with the club's crest.
Another significant factor is that the club describe the the badge on the design as a "new badge for the 2017-18 season" which would imply that they plan to use the revised design on other club merchandising. Last summer, the club changed Yeovil Town's established crest to become a Coat of Arms mounted on a Shield. This summer, the changes include three stars above the Club Crest.
As yet, the club have not explained why they have added the stars - they are generally a European convention used by clubs that have won major European competitions or multiple top flight titles. The likes of Nottingham Forest, Aberdeen, Celtic and Ipswich Town have adopted them in the UK for their European exploits, whilst Huddersfield Town, Bury and Notts County also included theirs for old First Division titles and FA Cup victories in their clubs history. However, it has not been possible to explain exactly why Yeovil Town have decided to design this into the club's badge, given that they have not won any trophies of that sort of level. However, the description of it as a "new badge" would suggest that their plans go far beyond a one-off shirt design.
Yeovil Town supporters looking at a blank Saturday tomorrow may fancy a day trip to Tiverton. One reason for turning up is that you may spot the new manager of Elmore - Mr Warren Patmore - in the stadium, but the other more relevant reason is that there is a charity match taking place to benefit the Adam Stansfield Foundation.
The match will take place at Horsden Park, Tiverton - home of Elmore FC - on Saturday 13th May at 2.00p.m. The game will see a Elmore and Cullompton players drafted together that will represent the teammates that Adam Stansfield played alongside at both clubs before he was signed by Yeovil Town from Elmore in November 2001.
Former Elmore striker Steve Rowland, who has management and coaching experience with both clubs, has been organising the match and says that the goal is to get as many players from Adam's non-league days involved in the fixture, at a ground that has his name and image on the side of their Main Stand. Rowland explained:
"We've got a number of old faces coming back to play for both teams. The idea is we try and get as many players who played with Adam to come back and play, so there will be a good mix of people here. I think the players will be very excited to play. They may be a bit worried about all the aches and pains but I think they'll be chuffed to bits to come out and play in his name. Adam is an inspiration for players coming up through of what you can achieve if you keep playing hard. Adam turned pro in his 20s so it can happen to players and it's been an inspiration for kids growing up."
The Adam Stansfield Stand at Horsden Park, Elmore.
Adam's manager at the time he was signed for Yeovil Town - Peter Buckingham - recalled the Western League fixture that saw the striker come to the attention of Glovers boss Gary Johnson. On October 3rd 2001, Johnson went to watch his Reserve Team play a match down in Devon and although a Glovers side featuring a number of first team players won the match by a 4-3 scoreline, one player stood out for the home team. Buckingham explained how he had got hold of Stansfield in the first place, and how he realised he might lose him:
"I pinched him off at Cullompton after two seasons. At that time, they were in a lower league and he wanted to better himself. He had ambitions to play at a higher level. He came and played a pre-season friendly for us at Dawlish, scored four and I thought to myself, bloody hell, he's not bad. We played Yeovil reserves here on a Wednesday night and they played a number of first team players, and Adam tore them to pieces. He played exceptionally well. I can remember when they came in after and saw me and asked if our number 11 was on a contract. I told them yes, and I said it wouldn't stop him going, and as a club, if he had an opportunity to go we wanted him to go."
Stansfield trained with the club and played in further Reserve Team matches against Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City before Johnson decided to take the plunge and sign him up, ultimately giving him his first team debut in early November. Buckingham explained that as soon as Johnson substituted Stansfield at half time in one particular friendly, he knew the striker's withdrawal was because the Yeovil boss had already made his mind up to sign him, and didn't want his opponents to know anything more about him:
"When he had the opportunity to go, Elmore did not get greedy, did not stand in his way, did not demand an extortionate fee for him. We were more hopeful that he would make the grade, so we were a stepping stone. We went to Yeovil in the week and before we knew it, we were watching him at a trial in Plymouth playing for Yeovil and Gary Johnson took him off at half time. From then we knew he was going to leave Elmore. His first game was at Southport on the following Friday night. He was one of these people who kept his feet on the floor, he was level headed, not arrogant, he was just a nice guy."
Supporters wishing to attend tomorrow's match can do so for £3.00, whilst there are concessions available at £1.00 with Under-16s able to get in free of charge. Expect a few fundraising events to take place in and around the stadium, so bring plenty of loose change!
The Football League have announced that they will be continuing with the general principles behind the 2016-17 revamp of the EFL Trophy. The competition was relaunched to include 64 clubs, comprising of the original 48 League One and League Two clubs, but also 16 invited clubs, comprising of Premier League and Championship EPPP Category One clubs, generally referred to as B Teams or Under-21 teams within the competition.
The League stated that the competition would be run as a one year pilot, but have today announced that the 48 League One and League Two clubs have voted for a continuation of this format for a further two years, despite widespread opposition from fans groups around the two divisions. Yeovil Town were one of the clubs that voted in favour of the continuation of the format - the League state that 66.6% of the voting clubs voted the same.
The competition has seen a number of rule tweaks made for next season. These are as follows:
1. EFL team selection criteria amended to allow increased flexibility for League One and League Two clubs
2. An increase in the total competition fund to £3 million
3. Each group will continue to contain one invited Under-21 team with the remainder made up of EFL clubs from either League One or League Two. Groups will be formed to minimise overall travel time for EFL clubs and fans
4. Invited Under-21 teams will play their Group games away from home
5. Regionalisation until the Quarter-Final stage (improved from Round Two in 2016/17) to minimise overall travel time for clubs and fans
6. Flexibility of fixture dates to allow teams to schedule games outside of international weeks
7. As part of the proposals, the selection criteria for invited Under-21 teams will remain as six players from the starting 11 must be under the age of 21 as at 30 June 2017.
Although the Football League are not explicit in stating what the new rule will state, the first point indicates that there will be a relaxation of the rules concerning the teams that Football League sides field. During the 2016-17 season several clubs were fined for fielding too many young players, which produced the farce of Luton Town being punished for fielding their Under-21 side against West Bromwich Albion Under-21s - and being good enough to beat them. Despite the Hatters side clearly not being so 'under strength' that they could not beat their Premier League opponents, the League fined Luton for fielding an understrength side, producing the contradiction that it was okay for Premier League clubs to develop their own young talent yet not okay for the League's own members to do the same.
Luton Town manager Nathan Jones was outspoken about the situation, stating the League had punished his club for developing their own young players. Although it's not been disclosed as to what the new rule is, he implies that he is happier about the new situation:
"From a footballing perspective, the Checkatrade Trophy was a huge benefit to us as it gave senior players from the lower divisions the chance to play against a younger group from higher levels of the English game, but it also allowed us to pit our talented youngsters against Category One academies. We are pleased that our feedback has been taken on board, with the relaxation of the selection rules allowing us to play the players we choose to. We strongly feel our young players deserve the same opportunity as those from Category One academies."
The Oxford Mail believe the team selection rule change relates to League One and League Two clubs only having to select four 'recognised' outfield first team players in the line-up of eleven players starting the match. The goalkeeper wil not be assessed as part of the 'recognised' first team players. The current rule defines that clubs may select those 'recognised' first team players either from their starting eleven for their previous Football League match, or from the list of eleven players that have made the most starts during the current season. This will be preserved, but with the numbers assessed dropping to four outfield players, instead of five players throughout the whole line-up.
In addition to the Football League's statement, media reports with respect to the second rule change indicate that the rise in the competition fund to £3 million is because every club competing in the tournament will receive a £20,000 participation fee, regardless of what results they achieve in the competition. This equates to £1,280,000 if it is based on all 64 clubs, and £960,000 if it is relevant only to the 48 League One and League Two clubs.
Fifteen years ago today, Yeovil Town picked up their first piece of significant national silverware. The club took a trip up to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa for the FA Trophy Final - we'd won Southern League titles and Isthmian League titles before, whilst we'd even won the Bob Lord Trophy (!) but we'd never won a competition that sat on the national stage as one of the key trophies that clubs at our level strive for. The final took place on May 12th 2002, against Stevenage Borough and was to prove a platform for the club over the years that followed.
Three major incidents in the game ensured which way the game went. In the opening couple of minutes of the game, Chris Weale produced a wonderful tip-over save from Boro striker Kirk Jackson - who went on to have his own role in Yeovil's history a year later.
The team that day will easily roll off the tongue of any Glovers fan of that era - we had Chris Weale in goal, a back four of Adam Lockwood, Terry Skiverton, Colin Miles and Anthony Tonkin and a midfield quartet of Nick Crittenden, Lee Johnson, Darren Way and Michael McIndoe. Such was the strength of that line-up that nearly all of them went on to have highly successful careers in the Football League, with a number of them playing in the Championship.
On the day, it was the two strikers who grabbed the headlines. Big striker Carl Alford might not have been the player you'd associate the phrase 'acrobatic bicycle kick' with, but that is what we got - 12 minutes into the match, and the Glovers were in front. However, this was a tight game, and one in which their Hertfordshire opponents were getting plenty of possession, albeit without testing Wealey in the same way that they had done so in the first minute of the game.
The destination of the trophy was sealed 66 minutes into the match, when a long Chris Weale goal kick was flicked on by Carl Alford and into the path of Adam Stansfield. Faced with a one-on-one against Stevenage keeper Paul Wilkerson, Stanno was the only cool person in the stadium as he passed the ball into the back of the net despite the advancing keeper's attempts to narrow the angle, then ran into the sea of Green and White at the Holte End of the ground.
There were three more cameo appearances that day, with Tom White, Chris Giles and Andy Lindegaard the three substitutes to take to the field. Then Skivo lifted the trophy, and Yeovil Town was on its way; to the Conference National league title a year later, then the League Two title two seasons after that. Then we had two League One play-off finals at the new Wembley Stadium, with the second proving to be successful. Winning the FA Trophy gave the club its springboard to success. The FA Trophy wasn't to be the biggest piece of silverware the club would win, but without it, would our league promotion have happened a year later?
The Football League have published their end of season attendance statistics, covering the 2016-17 season. Their headline statistic is that 18,107,332 spectators went through the turnstiles across their 72 member clubs - the highest accumulative attendances since the 1958-59 season (when comparing against the old Division 2, 3 and 4 equivalents). The late 1940s and 1950s were a boom time for football, meaning that the 2016-17 crowd levels are only recorded in 14th place in the League's post-War statistics, but the figures do mean the highest in nearly 60 years.
Last season saw 16,352,500 aggregate attendance recorded, meaning there has been an 11 percent increase in support around the country. Some of that is helped by high profile clubs such as Newcastle United entering the Championship, which will be balanced out next season by their return to the Premier League. However, the League state that for the 67 clubs that spent both this season and last season within the three divisions, attendances are still up by three percent.
We'll provide a bit of separate analysis on Yeovil Town's attendances for the 2016-17 season, but they went sharply against the Football League's overall experience, dropping by 9.4 percent to 3,567 across the season.
Yesterday saw Yeovil Town confirm their position on the EFL Trophy for next season, as one of the 48 clubs that have been asked by the Football League to provide a recommendation on the future of the competition. The latest Taff's Gloversblog considers the way the club voted, and how they have reached that conclusion, along with other relevant factors in this season's competition. Read on via the link below, and feel free to provide your own views on the situation.
Yeovil Town supporters waiting for the club's end of season Released and Retained Lists may have to wait a bit longer. Whilst many clubs in League One and League Two have already distributed the list of players that have been let go, along with those they have given contract offers to (or are on deals beyond the end of the season) the Glovers have not disclosed theirs at this stage.
The club have now indicated, via social media, that "our retained list will most likely be released next week". During the summer of 2016, the list of players was published on the following Monday - i.e. nine days after the club's final fixture. However, during the summer of 2015 there was a slightly quicker outcome, with former boss Paul Sturrock publishing his list five days after the end of the season on the Thursday.
The club are thought to have already commenced discussions with some of its out of contract players, with striker Francois Zoko and midfielder Matt Dolan having publicly stated that they have held talks with the club, whilst defender Alex Lacey indicated just before the final game of the season that he expected to hold a conversation around the start of this week. However, there's been no clues as yet - with the exception of the club's seven loan players - of any of the 2016-17 season squad being shown the door.
Yeovil Town have confirmed that they have voted for the current EFL Trophy format to be retained. Each of the Football League's Member Clubs were asked by the League's Board of Directors to respond to three possible options with submissions required by each Member Club by Tuesday 9th May 2017.
The three options available to clubs were as follows:
1. The 2016-17 season revised format (with a few tweaks to rules) - still including the sixteen B Teams
2. A return to the previous 48-team competition, featuring only League One and Two clubs
3. To scrap the competition entirely.
Yeovil Town have now confirmed that they wish for the 2016-17 competition format to be retained (i.e. Option One) that would include sixteen B Teams, based on clubs holding EPPP Category One status.
The club state that they held a meeting with their newly formed Achieve By Unity Supporters Consortium to canvass views and claim that those at the meeting held a 'majority view' that Option One should be voted for. This veers sharply from three supporters polls - two of which were specific to Yeovil Town supporters, which called for Option Two to be chosen, with Option One being the least favourable outcome. It's not clear when the Supporters Consortium meeting was held, as there was no announcement of the meeting being called, nor minutes produced.
The club state that they gained "an almost six-figure sum" of money from their participation in the 2016-17 season competition, despite low attendances, due to the increased competition pool given by sponsors Checkatrade. Our understanding is that the amount they are referring to is the £85,000 gained through competing in six different matches during the season - this is an amount paid out based on the number of wins or draws a team gains during the competition and is not a guaranteed amount.
League Two side Cheltenham Town have released two former Yeovil Town players at the end of their 2016-17 campaign. Gary Johnson's side endured a bit of a sticky first season back in the Football League, spending significant parts of the year in the relegation zone. A slightly improved second half of the season saw them climb out and finish in 21st place, level with Yeovil Town but with an inferior goal difference.
Johnson - who has been taking a back seat since a March 2017 triple heart bypass operation - has decided to make significant culls to his squad, releasing eleven players. That includes former Yeovil Town left-back Liam Davis who had joined the club on a short term deal in January from Swedish side GAIS, and former loanee winger James Dayton, who leaves after two years at Whaddon Road.
Those were the only two players on Cheltenham's books with Yeovil Town connections. They are also joined on the released list by Asa Hall, James Jennings, Amari Morgan-Smith, Daniel Parslow, Jack Munns, Calum Kitscha, Jack Barthram, James Rowe and Jordan Lymn. Cheltenham have indicated that they are in contract negotiations with a number of their other players. Harry Pell, Dan Holman, Will Boyle, Carl Winchester and Matt Bower were already on deals that went beyond the summer, implying that it's the remainder of their squad that will be getting offers.
Former Yeovil Town loanee Liam Walsh was given an international call-up this week, but had to decline it due to injury. The 19 year old was one of six Everton players selected for England Under-20s as part of a World Cup tournament taking place this summer in South Korea, but could not accept the invite after needing a minor end-of-season operation.
Walsh has broken a bone in his foot and so had an operation on Monday to correct a problem, meaning that he will be spending the next month or so with his feet up, rather than joining his teammates in Asia. Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman and Callum Connolly were called up to play in a tournament that former loanee Jonathan Obika played in during the 2009-10 season whilst on Yeovil Town's books.
The midfielder has been called up for England at Under-16 (one cap) and Under-18 (two caps) level before, but this would have been the first time he'd been included at the Under-20 level. He has had a rather successful season this year, having been a regular part of Everton's Premier League 2 title winning team, in their Under-23s set-up, as well as winning a Player Of The Month award for the competition. His manager David Unsworth remained confident that Walsh would be available for Everton's 2017-18 pre-season, but revealed that meant withdrawing from the World Cup squad:
"He's done his fifth metatarsal, which is a real shame. He had an operation today to tighten that up which is a real shame because he was in the squad for the World Cup. We’re all a bit gutted about that but he will be fine for pre-season. It’s a clean fracture of his little toe, these things happen."
The Football League have said that they will look into what rule changes they could implement that would allow them to intervene with respect to incompetent club ownership. Whilst clubs in crisis have been nothing new over the years, the situation has been magnified this season with the case of Leyton Orient, where their relegation out of the Football League at the end of the current campaign appeared to be accompanied by their club owner more-or-less abandoning the East Londoners partway through the season.
The end result was a winding up order was issued by HMRC for the failure to pay taxes, whilst Orient staff members temporarily went unpaid during a critical stage of the season. Meanwhile although their tax debt has been settled, the East Londoners still have to settle the High Court action, with their external stewarding company having taken on the winding up order, in a case that will be heard on June 12th. As with the HMRC case, there is little communication from Orient's owners to state how they plan to respond to that.
More recently, the Football League's board have highlighted that they currently lack the powers to intervene in the running of a football club, even where it is obvious that it is being damaged by its Board or Owner's actions. Their current powers only extend as far as their Owners' and Directors' Test, which is applied at the point that the club bought by the owners, and in the rare instance of an Owner/Director being convicted of a criminal offence relating to financial affairs.
The consequence is that the League have been put into an uncomfortable position recently. As they are constituted as a Members Club, rule changes have to be voted for by Chairmen, who may be precisely the people who don't want to be later embarrassed by their own bad management. However, Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has told the Evening Standard that he does believe that they need to hold a debate over the League's reputation when clubs like Leyton Orient, Blackpool, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City frequently grab the headlines
"I am certain over the coming months we will be looking at the relationship between the EFL and the club owners to see if there is anything the clubs think we will be doing to protect the reputation of our clubs and the league itself. It is something I am sure the board will want to look at. I think I would be very interested in having a debate as to what is possible for us to achieve. How far that goes will never be far enough for some. We have got to find the right level for doing that. We want to see good owners of football clubs running stable clubs where fans are able to enjoy the football."
Harvey added that it was unreasonable to expect all 72 clubs to be financially successful and for those clubs fans to be happy at all times. However, he said that it was important to deal with the 'extremes' where the reputation of that club or the league was at stake:
"We are never going to achieve that across 72 clubs at the same time. What we have got to is get the majority to that position. I would never want to see another Orient. I do not think anyone is comfortable with the breakdown in relations at Coventry. You look at other clubs where the relationship could not be better. We have such a wide breadth of clubs and club owners. One size fits all will never work. What we have got to do is work on the extremes. We are not a regulator. Each member club, good or badly run, foreign or British owner, are governed by the same set of rules."
At present the Football League's current rules over the governance of clubs relate to preventing clubs from spending more than a certain percentage of their income on players wages. They also have the ability to impose transfer embargoes if players wages are not paid, or if tax debts are not settled. However, given that the transfer window now only opens twice a year, the imposing of embargoes generally doesn't have an effect upon a club until the following January/August period. The Football League also cannot intervene in cases of payments to non-playing staff or suppliers. If they are to change the rules, they will need the backing of at least 50.1 percent of their member clubs. Sometimes turkeys don't vote for Christmas.
Further to yesterday's local media reports claiming to link defender Alex Lacey with a summer move to Coventry City, there are a few other clubs being added to that, by other quarters. Commercial website Here Is The City (HITC) has jumped on this story, claiming that League One sides Charlton Athletic, Oxford United and Bristol Rovers are also interested in signing up the 23 year old centre-back for next season.
Rather like yesterday's Coventry Telegraph report, they don't offer up any quotes to back up their claims, or named sources - they suggest that they have got their information "from sources close to the club", although describe Bristol Rovers as a League Two side! Generally when reports are circulated naming multiple clubs as being interested, the source is usually suspected to be the player's agent, attempting to get his name circulated around and given a profile within the media.
As Alex Lacey turns 24 years old on May 31st 2017, he will be entitled to walk on a free transfer at the end of his contract, which expires on June 30th 2017. With the former Luton Town academy player having won three End of Season awards, it would appear that has either given him a profile for scouts to notice him, or that his agent is attempting to capitalise on that success. We'll wait and see what happens.
This may be the easiest first team management appointment in a club's history. League Two side Newport County have appointed Michael Flynn as their new first team manager, becoming the permanent replacement for Graham Westley. Flynn has been their Caretaker Manager since March 9th when he took over an Exiles side that were eleven points short of safety at the foot of League Two, and who had just been thrashed 0-4 by Leyton Orient on their home turf.
At that stage, Newport were dead and buried. If they'd been involved in a Boxing contest, the referee would have stopped the fight. With just twelve games remaining, their fans should have been planning for trips to Boreham Wood and Bromley. Instead, Flynn managed to mastermind an incredible escape - seven wins, one draw and four defeats gave them 22 points that saw them survive on 48 points with an 89th minute goal during their final match proving to the crucial.
Flynn will now be given the job permanently - his contract length is not specified. He wil have former Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City manager Lennie Lawrence acting as a First Team Management Consultant (which appears to be roughly the same role in practice that he had at Bristol Rovers) along with former Forest Green Rovers and Oxford United defender Wayne Hatswell as his assistant. Flynn
"I'm delighted to have been named manager of the club. Nothing makes me prouder than to take charge of my hometown Club. I made no secret that I wanted this job. When I took over as Caretaker Manager in March, I said I felt ready for the challenge and that’s still true now because I know this is a challenge. What we’ve achieved with this group of lads in the last few weeks has been unbelievable but I never want this club to be in that situation again. The challenge now is to get away I’m ready to push on now and take this team forward with the help of Wayne Hatswell and Lennie Lawrence as well as the board."
Later this month, Yeovil Town Supporters Team will be contesting the Adam Stansfield Trophy against an Exeter City supporters team. The match will be played on Sunday 21st May at Ottery St Mary FC, with a midday kick-off. Their ground is situated on the north side of Ottery, just off the B3177 which leads from Ottery to Alfington. If you're coming in via the A30 and Honiton, Butts Road is a left-hand turn off the B3177 - the first turning as you reach the edge of the town. You can see the ground from the main road.
The trophy is usually competed for at least once a season. On the last occasion in April 2016, Yeovil Town triumphed by a 12-1 scoreline, although that was on home turf. On this occasion they'll be in deepest, darkest Devon and so Exeter will be hoping to gain an advantage there.
As usual, all supporters are welcome to attend. There's no admission charge; however bring plenty of loose change, as there will be fundraising for the Adam Stansfield Foundation on the day.
Yeovil Town Supporters Team - Current holders of the Adam Stansfield Memorial Trophy
Former Yeovil Town right-back Josh Ezewele's stay at Kidderminster Harriers has come to an end. The 20 year old had signed up with the National League North side for the remainder of the 2016-17 season, having cut short his stay at Huish Park in an effort to find regular football. The former West Bromwich Albion academy product eventually played 13 times for Harriers, including his four game loan spell in January 2017, but was one of eight players shown the door as part of their released and retained lists.
Ezewele appeared to be a fairly regular starter for Kidderminster's side during his time with the club, but picked up an injury during the mid-April match against Boston United and ended up missing their final five matches. Harriers described it as a 'minor' injury at the time, but it seems he wasn't able to recover in time for their National League North play-off matches, which ended in defeat against Chorley. He now becomes a free agent.
Three of Yeovil Town's loan players have said farewell at the end of their spells with the club. Swansea City right-back and AFC Bournemouth midfield duo Ben Whitfield and Matt Butcher have been regulars in the first team throughout the 2016-17 campaign, but as borrowed players will now return to their parent clubs to find out what awaits them over the summer and into next season.
All three have put farewell messages on their Twitter accounts, announcing their departures from Huish Park. Right-back Liam Shephard, who was in his third loan spell with the club has said:
"The season has come to an end. I would like to thank Yeovil Town players, staff, fans and especially the Gaffa for giving me the opportunity to play all these games this season. It's been ups and downs right throughout, but I've learnt a lot about myself and experienced a lot to help me in the future. It's been a pleasure."
Midfielder Matt Butcher has played a variety of roles this season, including a couple of matches as a centre-back and a full-back. He gave his thoughts as follows:
"Would like to thank everyone involved at Yeovil for a great year on loan and giving me the opportunity to play a lot of games for the club this season. Thoroughly enjoyed my time there and feel like the club has helped me improve on and off the pitch. Thanks to all of the staff, players and fans for making this possible."
Fellow Cherries loanee Ben Whitfield's time at Huish Park was a bit of a slow-burner. He started off as a bench warmer but gradually developed into a regular first team player, lining up generally on the right side of midfield, although also occupying both of the wide positions in a 4-3-3 formation at times. He had this to say:
"Another good year. Would like to thank everyone involved at Yeovil Town for everything they have done this season. I'll always be grateful to the gaffer for showing faith in me and allowing me to develop in the Football League. From the staff to the players and all the supporters, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yeovil."
Good luck to all three for next season and beyond.
We have our first rumour of the 2017 summer. The Coventry Telegraph are linking Yeovil Town defender Alex Lacey with a move to the Ricoh Arena today, albeit without providing any quotes or sources to back up their claims. They state that "the (Coventry) Telegraph understands that Sky Blues boss Mark Robins has been monitoring the 23-year-old’s progress at Huish Park" - that's as much detail as is on the table at this present point in time.
Lacey is one of fifteen players out of contract at Huish Park this summer, and so is entitled to sign for another club once he reaches the end of his current deal on June 30th. Lacey turns 24 years old on May 31st 2017, meaning that although he's currently under the Bosman cut-off age, he'll be above that benchmark by the time his contract runs out, and so he would be entitled to walk on a free transfer.
At present, there's nothing concrete to confirm whether the Telegraph's claims are true or not. The tendency of local newspapers in recent years has been for them to opt for speculation ahead of certainty, and so this may not carry weight. However, Coventry will be one of the few clubs in Yeovil's division next season that would be able to offer wages well above Yeovil's going rate.
Lacey was Yeovil Town's principle End Of Season Awards winner, picking up three outright trophies. Coventry's press speculate that their release of Nathan Clarke, coupled with Jordan Turnbull having a relegation 'escape' clause could make the Sky Blues turn to external recruitment to boost their squad for next season.
Just before Saturday afternoon's League Two match against Colchester United kicked off at the Community Stadium, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's explains the absence of Francois Zoko and the selection of Academy left-back Joe Tomlinson on the bench, and his general hopes for the development of young players. Read that interview via the link below.
Whilst most of the focus at the end of the 2016-17 season is upon the players that are out of contract, Yeovil Town have one other person whose future at the club needs to be resolved. Assistant manager Terry Skiverton's current deal expires in June, meaning that his is another contract that is up for grabs.
Skiverton has been a part of the club since the summer of 1999 when he was brought in as a central defender by Colin Lippiatt from Welling United. In February 2009 he made his move into front line management and has had two separate spells in that role. His current contract with the club was agreed with Paul Sturrock shortly after his arrival as first team manager, with Skiverton taking up the role of assistant manager on a two year deal in the summer of 2015.
When Sturrock was fired, current manager Darren Way leapfrogged from first team coach into Sturrock's position, meaning that although Way's contract was renegotiated to fit his new title, Skiverton's arrangements remained intact from his time under Sturrock. He therefore needs his own situation sorted. Way told BBC Somerset that he hoped discussions would happen soon, but that he expected their own management partnership to continue as it had worked over the past 18 months:
"Hopefully soon, unless we get told anything different. I feel that with the experience that he's got, it certainly helps. He's been through what I've been through. It's my job to make sure that we come back really strong next year. We've had discussions with the Board, and as far as I'm concerned, whilst I'm at the football club and with the service that he's given, we were talking the other day that this club has given us an unbelievable development path, and we've tried to give everything back."
With the 2016-17 season now over, the biggest issue for Yeovil Town is what will happen to their playing squad over the summer. With seven loan players returning to parent clubs, and fifteen players out of contract, it's going to be a busy affair. Guest blogger Old Green Eyes has assumed control of Taff's Gloversblog again, and considers which players he'd offer deals to - and also considers what he thinks Darren Way will be doing, where that differs from his own views. Read on via the link below, and feel free to chip in your own 'retained and released' opinions.
Yeovil Town Ladies continued their difficult start to life at FAWSL1 level this afternoon, as Arsenal Ladies took away a 5-1 victory from the Viridor Stadium. The second match in five days at Taunton Town's stadium saw the Glovers get off to the start that they definitely didn't want, as they conceded twice in the first nine minutes of the match, to set the tone of the day.
Arsenal were awarded a seventh minute penalty when referee Scott Jackson spotted a handball in a crowd of Yeovil Town players, and Jodie Taylor stepped up to convert the spot kick. Then like Wednesday night they had a stroke of bad luck as midfielder Molly Clark turned the ball into her own net, just two minutes later to give the Gunners the 2-0 early lead.
The Londoners extended their lead further midway through the first half after Danielle Carter found Jodie Taylor, who made room to turn and fire the ball home for Arsenal's third. Then with just half an hour gone, they were 4-0 up, as Carter headed home a cross from Anna Patten.
At this stage there was obviously a concern that a cricket score might develop, but eventually the home side rallied, as Lucy Quinn reduced the arrears four minutes before the break. She latched onto a Nia Jones through ball and got the better of the Arsenal defence before slotting the ball home. for a 1-4 scoreline. Arsenal did manage a fifth goal after the break, with USA international Heather O'Reilly scoring the second penalty of the afternoon, after Alex Scott was fouled by Helen Bleazard.
But Arsenal were unable to extend their lead, and Yeovil were left frustrated that they didn't have a second goal to their name during the second period. A header from Hannah Short was thought to have crossed the line but was not given, keeping the scoreline at 1-5 on the day. For the goalscorer that did get counted Lucy Quinn gave her view on her goal as well as her early thoughts on the FAWSL1 Spring Series, that have seen them play all of the top three sides in the opening four games - a definite baptism of fire for the newly promoted side:
"Every game that we play is going to be a tough game, we are so lucky that we’ve got this opportunity to play in this series to learn in what is the best possible environment for us. Every game is a learning opportunity for us and we will keep learning. For the goal, I saw the ball over the top and I had faith in Nia Jones to win the ball. Then I remember seeing Alex Scott and I was gambling on the fact that she was going to play the ball back to keeper and I thought 'If I have the pace to get in there' and I did and I found the back of the net. I've never been anywhere near Women's Super League One myself, so it's a learning experience for me personally."
Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 1 Arsenal Ladies 5.
Scorers: Jodie Taylor (0-1, 7 mins, pen), Molly Clark (0-2, 9 mins, own goal), Jodie Taylor (0-3, 24 mins), Danielle Carter (0-4, 31 mins), Lucy Quinn (1-4, 41 mins), Heather O'Reilly (1-5, 53 mins, pen)
Yeovil Town Ladies: (4-5-1): Megan Walsh; Bow Jackson, Hannah Short, Helen Bleazard, Nicola Cousins; Lucy Quinn, Ellie Curson, Molly Clark, Annie Heatherson, Nadia Lawrence; Nia Jones
Substitutes: Ella Pusey (57 mins for Nia Jones), Jessie Jones (63 mins for Ellie Curson), Steph Williams (79 mins for Annie Heatherson), Natalie Haigh, Leah Burridge, Steph Williams, Sarah Wiltshire, Kelly Snook,
Arsenal Ladies: (4-3-3): Sari Van Veendendaal; Alex Scott, Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Dominique Janssen; Jordan Nobbs, Leah Williamson, Danielle Van De Donk; Heather O'Reilly, Jodie Taylor, Danielle Carter
Substitutes: Carla Huphrey (62 mins for Lotte Wubben-Moy), Katie McCabe (62 mins for Dominique Janssen), Chloe Kelly (70 mins for Danielle Carter), Anna Moorhouse, Fara Williams, Beth Mead, Louise Quinn.
The final day of the 2016-17 League Two season brought plenty of late drama that was compulsive watching - unless you were the main anchorman in the Sky Sports studio having to deliver the final scorelines. Veteran broadcaster Jeff Stelling is the main man for their coverage, and he became the centrepiece of highs and lows that saw his side Hartlepool United tumble out of the Football League. Hartlepools United (with an extra 's' to their name to represent two towns of West Hartlepool and old Hartlepool that existed back then) had been members of the Football League since it expanded to four divisions for the 1921-22 season, and so had been members of the League for 96 years.
Stelling's lot were up against Doncaster Rovers in a live televised fixture in which they had to win to stand any chance of staying up. And they probably didn't fancy their chances of doing that when Mickey Demetriou scored a penalty at Rodney Parade during Newport County's home match against Notts County. By that time Pools were a goal down thanks to ex-Glover Andy Williams.
However, matters got rather interesting when Notts County equalised 61 minutes into the match in South Wales through Jorge Grant. Then at Victoria Park, the home side were in delerium as Devante Rodney scored 74th and 83 minute goals to put them 2-1 up against Doncaster, leaving them seven minutes away from Football League safety. By this point, Stelling and his Sky Sports colleagues had given up trying to show any kind of balance in their coverage.
But there's always one last twist. At Rodney Parade, in front of 7,500 spectators, 24 year old defender Mark O'Brien was about to score his first ever Football League goal. When the ball dropped to him in a packed penalty area in the 89th minute, he controlled it and volleyed the ball home into the bottom right hand corner for one of those 'Jimmy Glass moments' in club history. Newport survived, and suddenly you could hear a pin drop in the Sky Sports studio, and at Victoria Park.
Newport's great escape can be put down to the decision that the Exiles board made on March 9th 2017. They sacked Graham Westley as first team manager. At that time Newport were eleven points adrift of safety and were dead and buried. Senior player Mike Flynn was in theory back at Rodney Parade for his fourth spell as a midfielder, but instead became their Caretaker Manager, with a seemingly impossible task. However, his 12 games in charge reaped seven wins, one draw and four defeats to give them 22 points in the final two months of the campaign - almost doubling their points total in the process.
At the other end of the division, Yeovil Town supporters witnessed what was happening in terms of the play-off positions. When Tarique Fosu-Henry scored his first goal for Colchester United, their Essex opponents were in seventh position in the live table, and heading for the play-offs. However, even though Fosu-Henry bagged a second in the 2-0 result matters were out of Colchester's hands by then.
North West duo Blackpool and Carlisle United went into the final day holding the final two play-off slots, and they came out still holding onto them. Blackpool's 3-1 win over relegated Leyton Orient was never in doubt - the major surprise on the day was that the full 90 minutes passed off without any significant interruptions. Orient and Blackpool fans kept the protests against their owners to off the pitch, with Judgement Day 3 being used as a fans solidarity event to highlight corruption and incompetence in football ownership; an event attended by fans of multiple clubs on the day.
That just left the question of Carlisle United's final play-off slot. The Cumbrians have done a good job in throwing away an automatic promotion position in recent months, but against Exeter City - already assured of their play-off position - Keith Curle's side showed a bit of character in coming from behind to win 2-3 at St James Park. When Jamie Proctor scored the winner in the 75th minute, the impact of that goal could be measured by the sudden silence over 200 miles away at the Community Stadium in Essex.
For those who want to view match highlights of yesterday's 2-0 defeat against Colchester United at the Community Stadium, these are now available online. The two minutes worth of footage includes both goals by Tarique Fosu-Henry which ended Yeovil's season with a loss. Watch the YouTube video below.
Following Saturday afternoon's 2-0 defeat against Colchester United at the Community Stadium, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's thoughts on why his side lost, as well as his recruitment plans for the summer, can be read via the link below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way admitted that his side's quality in the final third was the difference between his team and Colchester United, when reflecting upon the 2-0 defeat at the Community Stadium today. Two Tarique Fosu-Henry goals gave the Essex club what turned out to be a relatively comfortable win, with the Glovers rarely causing home goalkeeper Sam Walker too much stress throughout the 90 minutes.
Scoring goals has been a problem throughout the whole of the 2016-17 season, with just 49 scored in 46 fixtures, with Yeovil Town tending to be competing within games in terms of possession, but looking somewhat inert when they reached the final third. That was true of today's match, with Colchester creating the better chances, although Way told BBC Somerset that he had set his side out to attack the opposition:
"I think that was the overall pattern of the game. When I look at the first goal and that went in, I felt we had more possession at that time. We were getting in the final third with free kicks on the edge of the box. I keep saying that there is a fine line between winning and losing. It's so small and I think that to score goals you need that little bit more quality in the final third. Just every now and again this season we have lacked that. I didn't feel that we were under any threat at times. We had three up top for the majority of that game, and in the end I had four up top. So it wasn't like we came back and sat behind the ball. In the second half we got in the final third more than they did."
During the second half of the campaign, Way brought in five strikers as part of the January transfer window, recruiting Brandon Goodship on a permanent deal, whilst four loan arrivals in Shayon Harrison, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Owain Jones and Kabongo Tshimanga being brought in to improve the side's fire power. Yet collectively the new arrivals didn't change the overall pattern, with just three goals scored across the five arrivals. Way admitted that trying to find prolific strikers had been a difficult task:
"I think that's the hardest thing to get when you look at all of the clubs that have ended up finishing where we've finished. It would be that problem. That's not just been this year; that's been a number of years. We've gone through the list of goalscorers that we've had, and to get that prolific goalscorer unfortunately they cost money. We've tried to speak to two or three individuals, certainly in January, but unfortunately it didn't work out. Having said that, if I had to reflect overall, I think it was a disappointment in January, because we carried so much momentum in the build-up to the start of the season."
If you watched Saturday afternoon's 2-0 defeat against Colchester United at the Community Stadium, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.
Yeovil Town's 2016-17 season ended in disappointment as they lost 2-0 against a Colchester United side that couldn't secure a play-off place on the final day, despite their victory. The difference on the day was Tarique Fosu-Henry, who produced a 25 yard low strike during the first half to separate the sides, and then took advantage of defensive miscommunication towards the end of the second half when a corner wasn't cleared allowing him to finish inside the box. The defeat meant the Glovers finish the season in 20th place in the table - down one place from last season.
The match saw Yeovil make one change to their starting line-up for the final match. Francois Zoko had jarred his back in the previous weekend's match against Stevenage and so didn't make the squad, with Darren Ward, Artur Krysiak and Kevin Dawson's seasons having also ended due to injury. That meant that Zoko made way for Shayon Harrison, with a change to the formation as a 4-3-3 was restored. On the bench, there was a surprise as Under-18s left-back Joe Tomlinson was given a No.14 shirt ahead of Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea, in what was the eighteen's only inclusion on the day. In the Colchester line-up, former Glovers loanee Sam Walker started in goal.
The Glovers had two early chances, as a Matt Dolan free kick deflected off the top of a defensive wall and out for a corner. Then a Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro move set away Ben Whitfield, whose cross into the box found Otis Khan, only for the ball to go over the bar. Despite needing the win to threaten the play-offs, Colchester started slowly and it took them around 20 minutes to get themselves out of second gear.
When they did, the home team began to look the better side. Drey Wright fired well wide for the first. Then two Richaed Brindley set pieces saw Matthew Briggs get headers as he evaded his marker. The first went wide, whilst the second was well directed but fortunately straight into the arms of Maddison. Briggs wasn't being tracked at all down his left flank and he broke clear for another chance on goal as he fired a long range shot just wide.
Colchester took the lead ten minutes before the break. Tarique Fosu-Henry got a bit too much room to control the ball in the final third after he was set up by Chris Porter. He fired a low skidding 25 yard strike into the bottom left hand corner, giving Jonny Maddison not too much hope of getting to it. 1-0 down. That lifted the home crowd significantly and their side were nearly two up as Briggs pulled a shot across the face of goal. Colchester weren't brilliant, but they were better than their opponents and deserved their half time lead.
Apart from an early Chris Porter header and a Drey Wright curler that went wide, the start to the second half was rather inert. Wright managed to get in behind Nathan Smith and Ryan Dickson for one further chance, but put it over the bar. At the other end Yeovil were doing nothing to suggest they were going to get back into the match, and so it wasn't too surprising that Darren Way decided to make a change, swapping Tom Eaves for Shayon Harrison.
The arrival of Eaves at least gave Colchester something new to think about. A Matt Dolan corner produced their first effort on goal of the second period when Nathan Smith headed directly at Sam Walker. Then Eaves was involved when he cut back the ball for Ben Whitfield but the shot fired over the bar. Perhaps that allowed Colchester to wake up and remind themselves that 1-0 might not be enough for them. With 13 minutes remaining they grabbed their second crucial goal as a corner kick was recycled by Tom Eastman. Alex Lacey and Alex Lawless seemed to get in each others way, and Tarique Fosu-Henry was on hand to get the loose ball and fire it from inside the box and into the bottom right hand corner.
Results elsewhere for Colchester weren't going the way they wanted though. Defeat for Exeter against Carlisle United meant themselves and Blackpool were still holding onto their play-off spots, and with Yeovil not really showing much firepower on the day, really all the home side could do was to control the game out for the 2-0 win that they needed, which they did without too much trouble. That wasn't enough to give them a play-off position, whilst for Yeovil their possession was okay, but as with much of the 2016-17 season when it came to the final third, they struggled to create too much. Hopefully the final position of 20th, and three wins in 27 matches will be scrutinised over the summer carefully - the Glovers cannot afford to go into next season with that sort of form in place.
Colchester United: 1 Sam Walker
18 Tom Eastman 14 Alex Wynter 15 George Elokobi
2 Richard Brindley 4 Tom Lapslie 23 Sean Murray 3 Matthew Briggs
31 Tarique Fosu-Henry
7 Drey Wright 9 Chris Porter
Substitutes: 8 Doug Loft (82 mins for Tom Lapslie) 19 Macauley Bonne (86 mins for Chris Porter) 27 Rekeil Pyke 29 Dean Brill 32 Tommy O'Sullivan (88 mins for Drey Wright) 33 Lewis Kinsella 35 Cameron James
Yeovil Town: 12. Johnny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
28. Ben Whitfield 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan
39. Shayon Harrison 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 10. Otis Khan
Substitutes: 5. Bevis Mugabi 9. Tom Eaves (68 mins for Shayon Harrison) 14. Joe Tomlinson 16. Matt Butcher (81 mins for Alex Lawless) 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Brandon Goodship (84 mins for Ben Whitfield) 32. Tom James
Colchester United Bookings: Tom Lapslie (foul, 27 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Alex Lawless (foul, 24 mins)
Colchester United Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 14; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 8.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 5; Fouls: 10.
Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside). Assistants: Joe Simpson (Manchester) and Marvyn Amphlett (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Nigel Lugg (Surrey).
Attendance: 6,565 (with 231 Yeovil Town supporters).
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has suggested that he wants to see more 'young products' drafted into the first team set-up for the 2017-18 season. Today has seen the club name first year Academy scholar Joe Tomlinson on the teamsheet for the final League Two match against Colchester United. The former Southampton Academy left-back, who arrived at the club last summer has been handed the No.14 shirt and named on the bench for today's game.
Way has said that Tomlinson has been training with the first team squad for the last three or four weeks and told BBC Somerset that now the team were mathematically safe that now was the opportunity to draft him in:
"I think that when I first took over it was important, because I've brought so many young players to the football club, that I'm trying to get the Academy a little closer together. Today with it being the last game and us being mathematically safe, it was unbelievable opportunity to be able to involve him. He's been training with us over the last three or four weeks now and he's defended very well in the wide areas. He's a product that we're looking forward to seeing how he develops. The academy are obviously growing minute-by-minute, month-by-month and it's an important part of the football club."
Tomlinson has been promoted into the first team ahead of two other former Southampton Academy players in Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea, who do not make today's squad. Bassett has not played a minute of first team football this season for Yeovil after being given his first team debut last season, whilst Lea has just spent half a season on loan with Gosport Borough.
With another youngster Josh Ezewele having departed for Kidderminster Harriers in January, having managed just one substitute appearance, it has been hard for the club's younger players to break through. Way suggests that it is part of his plan to have three or four players of that pedigree training with his first team next season:
"I think that where I've had three or four players like Joe Lea, Josh Ezewele, ideally I want to have those four players from within training with the first team on a regular basis. I think it just allows me to strengthen in more important areas. I've got to use the squad very wisely because this year we only had a squad of 22 or 23 players. So it's important that I start introducing our young products."
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this afternoon's League Two match against Colchester United at the Community Stadium. The match sees the Glovers name one change to their starting line-up compared to the team that played against Stevenage last Saturday. Tottenham Hotspur loanee Shayon Harrison comes in for the injured Francois Zoko - a back injury means he doesn't feature at all.
On the bench there is a new face, with Youth Team player Joe Tomlinson being co-opted into the matchday squad. He will wear No.14 today. He is a 16 year old full-back who is currently playing for the Under-18s.
Football League rules mean the club has to leave out two of its loan players. Once again Swansea City attacker Owain Jones and Milton Keynes Dons winger Kabongo Tshimanga are the pair to miss out. In the case of Tshimanga he takes an unusual but dubious honour - an entire half-season loan during which he failed to be named on a single teamsheet during his stay at Huish Park. Jones didn't fare much better, having only got onto the pitch twice during his half-season.
Other absentees due to injuries include Darren Ward (swollen knee), goalkeeper Artur Krysiak (twisted ankle) and midfielder Kevin Dawson (gashed ankle). Midfielders Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea don't make the teamsheet.
The team is as follows:
Yeovil Town: 12. Johnny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
28. Ben Whitfield 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan 10. Otis Khan
39. Shayon Harrison 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
Substitutes: 5. Bevis Mugabi 9. Tom Eaves 14. Joe Tomlinson 16. Matt Butcher 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Brandon Goodship 32. Tom James
Colchester United: 1 Sam Walker
18 Tom Eastman 14 Alex Wynter 15 George Elokobi
2 Richard Brindley 4 Tom Lapslie 23 Sean Murray 3 Matthew Briggs
31 Tarique Fosu-Henry
7 Drey Wright 9 Chris Porter
Substitutes: 8 Doug Loft 19 Macauley Bonne 27 Rekeil Pyke 29 Dean Brill 32 Tommy O'Sullivan 33 Lewis Kinsella 35 Cameron James
If ever there was a demonstration of how a football season is a marathon and not a sprint, it comes with Yeovil Town's two matches against Colchester United during 2016-17. When the Glovers played today's Essex opponents on November 19th 2016, it looked as though both clubs were heading for very different paths than those they occupy now.
Yeovil Town won the match by a 2-1 scoreline although had to use the final five minutes of the match to achieve that result, with Kurtis Guthrie heading the away side into the lead early in the second half. Late goals from Francois Zoko and Tahvon Campbell ensured that Colchester went home without a point.
Even the final five minutes showed the microcosm of a League Two season. When Yeovil Town were losing the match, they were heading for 14th place in the League Two table, but the win put them into 8th place and outside the play-offs on goal difference. Similarly Colchester had been heading for 16th place in the table when they were 1-0 up, yet ended up stuck in the relegation zone at 5.00p.m.
At the time, goalscorer Guthrie had harsh words for his teammates and even got into a row with his club's supporters, later having to apologise for some of the words he had used regarding the Essex club's fans after the match. Guthrie warned that there needed to be a wake-up call to stop Colchester slipping towards relegation:
"It's a shambles. It's nothing to do with the management. They do their best to prepare us. We're looking like kids out there, we're getting battered, we're throwing games away, we can't see games out. It's not good enough. If you're lying to yourself, then you're going to get worse. We'll get relegated if this carries on."
There was additional speculation that boss John McGreal might lose his job over Colchester's poor run. Meanwhile Yeovil Town's position was to talk of a 'play-off push' with their 8th position at the end of that day being the highest they'd been that season.
The way the two clubs seasons went after that match was rather different. Colchester go into the final game of the season in 10th place and just one point off the play-offs. Meanwhile Yeovil Town have spent the tail end of the 2016-17 season having to keep an eye on the clubs below them, thankfully ensuring their survival in League Two last weekend, occupying 19th place at present.
During the 28 games that have passed since that match, Colchester have gained 14 victories and 49 points - a feat that would put them in 4th place if the League Table was baselined from that game onwards. Meanwhile Yeovil Town have gained 4 victories and 26 points; a tally that would put them in 22nd place with only Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient beneath them. Based on the overall table, the two clubs now meet with Colchester having climbed from 23rd to 10th, whilst Yeovil slipped from 8th to 19th - Colchester have a 16 point advantage.
Colchester boss John McGreal believes that the Huish Park defeat was actually a turning point for his club, stating that it forced his side to look at themselves with a dose of realism, rather than trying to soft-soap their situation. As such, he felt he could look back at the November game in a positive light:
"When you are low, you look at yourself and that was probably the turning point. So while it was a low, it was also a major high as that’s where the season changed. The one against Yeovil was where there was a lot of realism that kicked in. It hit us in the face, but it was a moment when things kicked in that we had to change for the better."
Yeovil Town Ladies are midway through a pair of home matches as part of their FAWSL1 Spring Series schedule. On Wednesday night, they played Bristol City Women at Taunton Town's Viridor Stadium, whilst tomorrow sees them at home to Arsenal Ladies at the same venue with a 2.00p.m. kick-off. After Wednesday night's match manager Jamie Sherwood spoke to BBC Somerset reporter Jack Murley about the game, and also looked forward to Sunday's fixture. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town supporters travelling to Colchester United for Saturday's League Two match should note that there is a significant motorway closure that will affect the standard journey. the M3 Motorway is closed all weekend between Junction 3 (Bagshot) and Junction 2 (M25) meaning that you will not be able to join the M25 from the M3 that would normally take you clockwise around greater London.
The motorway work is to allow new beams for the Woodlands Bridge to be lifted into position - the bridge was dismantled in November 2016. By a curious twist, the demolition meant that the M3 was also closed for the corresponding fixture against Colchester earlier this season!
The official diversion route for drivers travelling northbound on the M3, and heading for the clockwise M25 (towards Heathrow Airport ) is to take the the A322, A329M and M4 and to join the M25 close to Heathrow Airport.
However, the A322 at Bagshot is highly likely to be congested around that point, as it represents the junction where the motorway is closed. We'd tend to recommend leaving the M3 at Junction 6 and taking the A33 from Basingstoke towards Reading. That then links up with the M4 at Junction 11. Then take the M4 Eastbound until you reach the M25.
Relegated League One side Swindon Town have parted company with their Head Coach this afternoon. The Wiltshire side state that Luke Williams has left the building by 'mutual consent' at the completion of their 2016-17 season that will see them playing League Two football next season. With the Robins having no planned fixtures at present, they have not named a Caretaker at this time.
The decision could be an expensive one. In March 2016, they awarded Williams a FIVE year contract after he had produced some positive results during a caretaker period, having been a coach at the County Ground across a four year period. However, this season has been a poor one for Swindon, with them relegated in 22nd place, and six points off safety. Overall williams left the club with 20 wins in 75 matches - six of those victories came whilst he was still acting in a Caretaker role.
Williams didn't appear to be helped by the questionable decision by the Swindon Town board to bring in former Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood as a Director of Football in November 2016. Whilst most such roles are intended to be an office position, Sherwood's job description included "transfers, the way we play, the formations and the picking of the team" meaning that Williams was expected to manage a side using tactics and personnel that were not of his choosing.
Sherwood's apparent decision to take a subtle step back as the season went on didn't change results though, with Swindon failing to win in their final four fixtures, leaving them back in League Two. There is no word on Sherwood's position, so presumably Williams' successor will have to work under the existing framework.
As part of the build-up to the League Two match against Colchester United at the Community Stadium, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Dan Albutt, Darren talks about being able to plan for next season, the current state of play with respect to contracts, and on tomorrow's opponents. Read that interview via the link below.
Further to yesterday's news concerning Crawley Town's change of first team management, the Sussex club have named a surprise man to take charge in the dugout for their final match of the 2016-17 season. Former Yeovil Town striker Matt Harrold, who played for the club during the 2005-06 season, has been named as their Caretaker Manager, following yesterday's departure of Head Coach Dermot Drummy and assistant Matt Gray.
Harrold - now aged 32 years old - has been on Crawley's books since the summer of 2014, and so stands as one of their longer serving players. Whilst he's been a relatively regular selection during his first couple of years with the club, he's endured an injury-ravaged 2016-17 season, with an Achilles injury meaning that he's only made four substitute appearances since the end of November 2016. He is in theory fit and able to select himself for their season finale against Mansfield Town. He says the opportunity gives his side nothing to lose and is still hopeful they can improve their League Table position by the end of the season:
"I was asked to take the team by (director) Selim Gaygusuz and I'm looking forward to it. We've got nothing to lose. I will tell the players to go out and enjoy themselves, play with pride and passion and let's see if we can end the season with a positive result with the fans right behind us. We could finish as high as 17th with three points so that's a massive incentive for us."
Crawley currently sit in 21st place in the League Two table - behind Yeovil Town on goal difference, with both clubs having recorded 50 points each.
Officials for the League Two match between Colchester United and Yeovil Town have been published by the Football League. The match takes place at the Community Stadium on Saturday 6th May 2017, with a 5.30p.m. kick-off. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Robert Jones (Merseyside).
He is a first year official, who was promoted in the summer of 2016. We've had him twice with the earliest being for the August 2016 EFL Cup First Round tie against Walsall in what was his second match in refereeing at that level. Overall, he managed to stay below the radar across the 120 minutes played, although he did clock up six bookings. One of those was cautioning Matt Dolan for excessive celebration following his 70 yard goal in that game. If you're going to get booked for excessive celebration, make sure it's an excessive goal!
His second match was for the January 2017 match against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park. The major incident during that match involved Wycombe keeper Jamal Blackman and Glovers defender Nathan Smith, with the keeper objecting to a challenge on a set piece, reacting by appearing to put a hand in Smith's face. Whilst Smith was on the deck, Paris Cowan-Hall was seen clearly dragging Omar Sowunmi across the penalty area by his neck. When you're as tall as Omar is, that takes some doing. Somehow Cowan-Hall got off scot free, with Blackman only getting a yellow - something that Smith also got although given he spent the incident on the deck it was hard to see why. It felt like a cop-out by the referee; book the two main protagonists but don't take any real action. That was his general way of looking after the game, which given Wycombe's overall rough house tactics appeared to be a bit weak.
Overall he's taken charge of 40 matches this season, producing four red cards and a total of 120 yellow cards - precisely three cautions a game. He's only managed to get through one match without cautioning someone.
Mr Jones will be assisted by Joe Simpson (Manchester) and Marvyn Amphlett (Worcestershire). The Fourth Official will be Nigel Lugg (Surrey).
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has given his latest views on the club's end of season contract negotiations. The club has fifteen players out of contract at the end of June, with only three remaining on deals beyond the end of the current campaign. With seven loan players returning to their parent clubs after Saturday's match against Colchester United, there are few players that will not be wondering where their future lies for the 2017-18 season.
Way has yet to reveal which players he intends to offer deals with, but stated after the Easter Monday win over Crewe Alexandra that the board had given him the green light to commence negotiations. He told BBC Somerset that the need to speak to players agents was a critical factor, and that looking forward it was the need for goalscorers that would be his main aim for the 2017-18 season:
"I think we're getting closer (to agreeing deals). Do I want to announce it officially? Yes. But every day you're speaking to agents and you're speaking to players. What we've got to be very careful of, is that if we had won six more games, we would have been in an unbelievable position as far as the play-offs. We're disappointed that we drew too many games. Why did we? I just think as far as our problem has been over the last three years, to win games you've got to score goals. To score goals, you've got to get goalscorers, and goalscorers unfortunately cost the most money."
The trio of Matty Dolan, Francois Zoko and Alex Lacey were specifically mentioned as the sort of players that Way might like to keep. Dolan and Zoko have already stated that they had held preliminary talks over future deals and that - in principle - they would like to stay. Meanwhile Lacey has indicated that he expects to hold his first conversations with Way over the next few days. Way implied that all three were part of the club's future as he saw it, but that he may need to do a bit of persuading to convince players that their careers would progress and that there would be overall a better squad in place for next year. However, he had no doubt about the trio's personal abilities and hoped the players' agents could 'help' the club in advising those players to stay:
"Overall, I think they've had very very good seasons. I just hope that as far as the agents are concerned, because the agents can help me and the football club right now. That's one thing, as they're the important part, as far as talking to the player. It's then can the player see progression and can they see their careers develop. We had Ryan Hedges for three months and within a short space of time he was gone for a big money move. I think what I've got to do, is I've got to give them a better squad and a better group of players to make sure that we are successful."
League Two side Crawley Town have decided to part company with their management team at the tail end of the 2016-17 season. With their safety in the fourth tier now confirmed, the Sussex side have said farewell to Head Coach Dermot Drummy and assistant Matt Gray, with the departure classified as 'by mutual consent'.
Drummy had been appointed in April 2016, and so had spent just over a year in the job. Crawley are currently level on points with Yeovil Town, but their current goal difference puts them in 21st place in the League Two table. In total he'd been in charge for 54 matches, winning 15 matches during that time.
As yet they've not indicated who will be in Caretaker charge for their final match of the season, but have said that club owner Ziya Eren will be holding a press conference tomorrow to address questions arising out of today's decision.
Former Yeovil Town striker Warren Patmore has been confirmed as the new manager of Devon and Exeter Football League Premier Division side Elmore. The man who netted 140 goals in 287 appearances for the Glovers had recently given up the job as Tiverton Town Reserve Team manager, having spent four years in the post at Ladysmead, but with the hint that he was looking at taking up something else.
That can now be confirmed, after Elmore revealed that Warren is to be their replacement for Stuart Anderson, who had been their boss for the previous three seasons. He's managed a variety of clubs in that neck of the woods, including Morchard Bishop, Wellington, Witheridge and Crediton United, but now makes the ultra-short journey from Ladysmead to Horsden Park. At the time he announced his plans to leave Tiverton, Warren gave an update on his time there:
"It has been a fantastic four years for me working for the club running the Reserve team, and progressing with a group of players through the years that have grown within the club. I believe that in my time as manager, I have fulfilled the remit given to me by the club, to come on board and take the team as high up the leagues as possible, and make this a strong and successful club. I believe we have achieved this. We managed to win between one or two trophies per season along the way, and also had two back to back title winning promotions during the last two seasons, along with a runners up position in the first season I was at the club. We have probably progressed the team through the leagues quicker than expected."
Warren described internal changes at Tiverton, along with the stable position of first team manager Martyn Rogers as meaning that he was unlikely to be able to move up the ranks at Ladysmead. He says this was behind his thinking to step down from his role:
"I have made my decision based on a couple of internal club reasons, and to not have the opportunity to progress upward as a manager within Tiverton Town, as Martyn is doing a great job with the first team this season, and they are doing well, my chances of being able to step up are limited. I would like to wish the club every success for the rest of the season and going forward in the future."
Elmore Football Club is one well known to Yeovil Town supporters as being associated with another former Glovers scoring legend Adam Stansfield. The club signed up Adam from Elmore during the 2001-02 season, after he played against Yeovil Town Reserves in a Western League fixture.
On Saturday Yeovil Town complete their 2016-17 season with a trip to the Community Stadium in Essex. For those travelling to the 5.30p.m. kick-off, the Ciderspace guide to Colchester United has been updated to reflect this year's fixture. The usual diet of directions, parking, ticketing and pub info can be found via the link below.
Yeovil Town Ladies went down to a late defeat on Wednesday night, as an own goal against Bristol City Women saw them lose 2-3 at the Viridor Stadium in Taunton. Having taken their FAWSL1 Spring Series fixtures on the road whilst the Huish Park pitch is refurbished, the Ladies staged the match at Taunton Town's ground for the first time, looking for their first victory at their new level.
The Glovers got off to a bad start when Bristol took the lead just five minutes into the match. Lucy Quinn brought down Claire Emslie inside the box, and the opposition player stepped up to take her own penalty for an early 0-1 lead. Yeovil had to defend in numbers throughout the early part of the match but got themselves a foothold into the match when Annie Heatherson provided a flicked header that looped over goalkeeper Caitlin Leach, after Quinn's deep cross had found her.
New signing Megan Walsh had a busy evening, particularly when she pushed an Emslie free kick onto the crossbar during the second half. That save appeared valuable when Yeovil took a 70th minute lead, as a counter-attack saw Sarah Wiltshire scorer her second goal of the season, as she fired home a looping shot from 25 yards into the back of the net.
That should have been the opportunity to go on and grab all three points, but the influential Emslie was at the heart of a quick Bristol equalising goal, as her right-wing cross found Chloe Arthur three minutes after Wiltshire's goal, and her shot found the bottom corner of the net. Then three minutes before the end, a catastrophic piece of bad luck saw defeat, as Arthur's shot at goal ricocheted off Nicola Cousins for an own goal, and the fifth and final time the ball had hit the back of the net on the night.
So far FAWSL1 has been a bumpy right for the Ladies, and Annie Heatherson - scorer of Yeovil's first on the night - admitted that there were things her side needed to improve on. However, she backed her teammates to improve as the Spring Series continues, with Arsenal Ladies due to visit Taunton this coming Sunday:
"We knew coming into FAWSL1 was going to be hard, it’s good that we can use this to focus on things that we need to improve on. I think today we learnt a lot about ourselves and there is a lot that we need to change going forward. We need to build, grow and develop as a team and in Spring Series we will do that. We have a lot of positives and we will take it from there."
Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 2 Bristol City Women 3.
Scorers: Claire Emslie (0-1, 5 mins, pen), Annie Heatherson (1-1, 25 mins), Sarah Wiltshire (2-1, 70 mins), Chloe Arthur (2-2, 73 mins), Nicola Cousins (2-3, 87 mins, own goal)
For those who can't get to the Viridor Stadium tonight, for the Yeovil Town Ladies vs Bristol City Women FAWSL1 match, there is live commentary of the game. The 7.00p.m. kick-off sees BBC Somerset providing radio coverage of the whole game once again, with Jack Murley providing the lead commentary. Tune in via the link below - they are already providing pre-match build-up of the game.
Tonight sees Yeovil Town Ladies make their first ever appearance at Taunton Town's Viridor Stadium (aka Wordsworth Drive) as part of their FAWSL1 Spring Series. The match against Bristol City Women is the first in a number of matches that sees the Ladies play at two other County venues, and ahead of the 7.00p.m. kick-off, BBC Somerset presenter Claire Carter spoke to first team manager Jamie Sherwood about the game and the change of venue. Read that interview via the link below.
Former Notts County Ladies goalkeeper Megan Walsh has joined Yeovil Town Ladies ahead of tonight's derby game against Bristol City Women. Walsh, who has previously progressed through both Aston Villa and Everton, will be in tonight's squad, for the visit of Bristol City Women to The Viridor Stadium (aka Wordsworth Drive), normally home of Taunton Town FC - kick-off tonight is at 7.00p.m.
Walsh's arrival is to act as cover for the injured Charlotte Haynes, who has been ruled out of the Spring Series games with a broken hand. Progressing through the England U17 and U19 squads, she has most recently been a member of the England U23 squad. The 22-year-old will be familiar with FA Women’s Super League One football, having been a contracted player with Notts County Ladies and a full time professional.
Still living in the Midlands, Walsh will be committing to the Lady Glovers side for the Spring Series, who also welcome Arsenal Ladies to Taunton on Sunday. On signing, Walsh said:
"I'm really excited about signing for Yeovil, the team had a great season last year and I'm looking forward to being part of this team and building on that success. I can't get wait to get started, and what better way to get stuck in with the derby against Bristol this evening."
New goalkeeper - Megan Walsh arrives from Notts County Ladies
Saturday's opponents Colchester United have entirely sold out of car parking spaces for their match against Yeovil Town. The final League Two fixture of the 2016-17 season takes place on Saturday 6th May 2017, with a 5.30p.m. kick-off at the Community Stadium. Due to Colchester currently lying in 10th place in the League Two table, but one point off the play-offs, this is a do-or-die game for them, and the Essex side are reporting over 5,000 tickets sold.
If you've not booked a parking space for this match yet, then you will not be able to park up at the ground. The nearest alternative parking facilities are the Colchester Park and Ride, which is around a five minute walk from the stadium (although now expect that to become busy) and at Colchester Railway Station (on the north side of the town and sometimes referred to as Colchester North - this is not the Colchester Town Railway Station). For Colchester (North) Railway Station option, you'll need to get on the nearby Shuttle Bus service to get to the game. See the Ciderspace Guide to Colchester (available here but undergoing some smaller edits) for more details on these facilities.
The 5.30p.m. kick-off also means that the standard published timetable for their shuttle bus services is entirely changed and specific to this game. Broadly speaking there are three choices:
1. From Town Centre pubs: A single shuttle service runs from the Ancient Briton (4.00p.m.), Drury Arms (4.05p.m.), Fat Cat (4.10p.m.) and the Victoria Inn (4.15p.m.) before the game. This bus will also do a pick-up at Bus Stop P in Head Street after the pub stops.
2. From Bruff Close: This is a regular shuttle service starting from just north of Colchester (North) Railway Station in Bruff Close, running on a circular route from there to the ground and back again from 3.30p.m. until the 5.30p.m. kick-off.
3. From Colchester (North) Railway Station: If you can't be bothered to walk to Bruff Close, there is a designated 4.15p.m. service to the ground. However note that this does a number of other pick-ups along the way, and so will be a slower service than the Bruff Close option. Expect 45-50 minute journey time.
After the game, the Town Centre pubs service will leave at 7.35p.m. as will the designated service for Colchester (North) Railway Station. The shuttle service for Bruff Close will run from 7.20p.m. as a circular route until 8.30p.m.
Return fares for all services will be £2.50 per passenger.
On Sunday, Staffordshire side Port Vale became the final League One club to confirm their relegation into fourth tier football for the 2017-18 season. They'd been in League One since the summer of 2013, when they achieved automatic promotion, and so had managed four years at that level.
This season has seen Vale stumble along via two management teams. They lost manager Rob Page at the end of the 2015-16 season to Northampton Town, and decided to bring in Portuguese former Sheffield United midfielder Bruno Ribeiro to the club for his first English management spell, having worked his way through seven clubs in five years up until that point. He lasted just 29 games, resigning on Boxing Day, with just seven wins to his name, a run of six matches without victory, and the club sliding down into 17th place. Ribiero's assistant manager Michael Brown was put in an extended caretaker position that has so far lasted 24 games, but produced just five wins, with relegation the end result.
Take a look around the 92 English (and Welsh) professional league sides, and when clubs fail, invariably Directors and Owners hide in their ivory towers and it ends up being the first team manager that gets fired for what may be an overall club failure, or even a bad appointment in the first place. Statements come out informing the unwashed masses that the departing manager had the 'best ever' budget and that the path to glory would surely have been paved in gold if only those millions pennies had been spent wisely.
Bucking that trend in a big way, Port Vale Chairman Norman Smurfwaite has chosen not to go in that direction. Despite being the man who took Port Vale out of administration in November 2012, he now says he regrets the way that former boss Micky Adams - who was at the helm during their 2012-13 promotion - left the club in September 2014. Smurfwaite says "I did not realise what a big asset Micky Adams was until he left us".
Smurfwaite has issued an end of year statement, mainly looking back to the decisions that he made last summer that resulted in Page's departure, and saw the appointment of Ribiero as the first outside boss of the Chairman's reign. He believes that decision-making was responsible for Vale's 2016-17 season and says he 'damaged the club' in doing so:
"I have clearly seriously damaged our Club, resulting in Sunday’s relegation which was never my intention as the Club is now a very big part of my life. I deeply regret the actions and appointments I made during the closed season and would like to apologise sincerely to all supporters, Port Vale staff and the wider Burslem community for the impact of my decisions last summer."
The Vale Chairman has tendered his own resignation and has put the club up for sale, stating that he will not be attending any further matches whilst the club is on the market:
"Under normal circumstances that’s how I would be thinking today wanting to roll my sleeves up, plan and fund our way back to League 1 next season. Sadly, due the environment of the last few months, I do not feel that is now possible. It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to stand down as Chairman with immediate effect and relinquish all remaining duties that I am involved in. I will not be making any further comment or statement until the football club is sold but will endeavour to ensure that the right party purchase the Club. I will also not be attending any games at Vale Park going forward."
Just before you start thinking that Port Vale's situation is a one-off, 23rd placed League Two side Hartlepool United have announced that their Chairman Gary Coxall has also resigned his position just prior to their final match of the season, which may be their final game in the Football League unless they can take all three points off Doncaster Rovers in their 5.30p.m. Sky Sports televised fixture at Victoria Park.
Coxall has been acting as a front man for Dubai-based owners JPNG, but feels his position is becoming divisive, and so has decided to step down. He has also announced plans to give Hartlepool's Supporters Trust a greater role in the running of their football club, although stops short of saying whether this is to give them full ownership or whether to just give them a supporting foothold:
"I have decided to resign from my position as Chairman of our Club. I am not oblivious to my surroundings and the feeling towards my tenure as Chairman and I feel that, should I continue, it would divide the Club at a time when it needs to come together as one. Therefore, if my Chairmanship is a factor in preventing that togetherness, then I will happily step aside for the good of the Club. I have agreed and passed a mandate to explore conversion to a fan ownership model for Hartlepool United. To this end, as of this evening, (CEO Pam Duxbury) has met with the Supporters' Trust to start discussions, and further announcements will be made in due course."
It's that time of year when football clubs are now starting to issue their released and retained lists, as their 2016-17 seasons end. The National League (aka the Football Conference) ended its season proper on Saturday and that has led to Wrexham parting company with three former Yeovil Town players.
Midfielder Anthony Barry, winger Iffy Allen and striker Izale McLeod have all been told they are not being retained by the North Wales club, and are among nine players who will now have to seek new clubs, with Wrexham indicating that three more players who are currently out on loan will also be hunting elsewhere once their deals with their temporary clubs expire.
Now 30 years old, Barry has been with Wrexham for the whole of the 2016-17 season and has played 31 times for them, scoring two goals, following his release last summer by Accrington Stanley. Iffy Allen is the newest arrival of the three, having signed a short term deal in March following his release by Aldershot at the turn of the year - he managed three starts and four sub appearances to his name, without scoring. Meanwhile Izale McLeod's January 2017 arrival at the Racecourse Ground, following a short term spell with Corby Town, gave him 15 appearances and just one goal.
Yeovil Town defender Nathan Smith has been included in the Team of the Week for the weekend just gone. The selection made by The League Paper sees the left-sided player, who has recently broken through the 250 appearance barrier, nominated for his role as a centre-back in Yeovil Town's 1-1 draw against Stevenage over the weekend.
The line-up reads as follows (and yes they did put Smithy in as a right-back!):
Scott Brown (Cheltenham Town)
Nathan Smith (Yeovil Town), Christian Burgess (Portsmouth), Richard Duffy (Notts County), Alan Sheehan (Luton Town)
Piero Mingoia (Cambridge United), Nicky Adams (Carlisle United), Curtis Weston (Barnet), David Wheeler (Exeter City)
Ryan Taylor (Plymouth Argyle), Jabo Ibehre (Carlisle United)
Yeovil Town Ladies have suffered a major injury blow during the early part of their FAWSL1 Spring Series campaign. Goalkeeper Charlotte Haynes broke her hand during Sunday's 6-0 defeat against Chelsea Ladies, in a match played at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines.
Although Haynes actually left the field in the 75th minute following a goalmouth scramble that saw a collision of players, it has transpired that her broken hand was sustained as early as the 15th minute. Haynes was involved in a 50:50 challenge with a Chelsea forward that saw her parry the ball out for a corner whilst the game was at 0-0. Although she sustained the injury, she continued for a further 60 minutes before it would seem the secondary incident and the magnitude of the scoreline saw her substituted.
Haynes has now had the hand x-rayed, and it's been confirmed that she has broken the base of the middle metacarpal, which will keep her out for around six-to-eight weeks, meaning that she will not be available for any further Spring Series matches. For the Sunday fixture, Helen Bleazard ended up going between the sticks for the remainder of the match, but clearly that is not going to be a permanent solution.
The Ladies are back in action tomorrow evening against Bristol City Women, in a match that will take place at the Viridor Stadium (aka Wordsworth Drive) home of Taunton Town FC. The Wednesday 3rd May fixture kicks off at 7.00p.m.
Yeovil Town Ladies have arranged coach transport to help take fans to next Sunday's FAWSL1 match against Arsenal Ladies. The match takes place on Sunday 7th May at the Viridor Stadium (aka Wordsworth Drive), home of Taunton Town FC, and is part of the club's Spring Series matches.
The match kicks off at 2.00p.m. and they will be sending a Berry's Coach Service from Huish Park to Taunton and back again after the game to help those who may be looking to attend the match. They will leave Huish Park at 12.30p.m. with the intention of arriving at the ground around 1.15p.m. After the game, they will leave Taunton at 4.30p.m. and aim to arrive back at Huish Park at 5.15p.m.
The cost of travel is £10.00 for adults and £7.50 for concessions. Note that this INCLUDES your matchday admission, which in effect means the travel cost is £5.00. You'll need to pay in cash upon boarding the coach. To book for the coach, you need to go to this page and fill in your details. If you're planning on making your own way to Taunton, then you can purchase online tickets (cheaper than on the gate) by heading here.
Yeovil Town midfielder Joe Lea played his final match on loan for Gosport Borough on Saturday. The 19 year old played the opening 80 minutes of a match against Whitehawk that had turned into a dead rubber, following Gosport's relegation from National League South last weekend. Gosport went down to a questionable final minute penalty, losing the match by a 2-3 scoreline in a match that saw them missing a number of first team players through injury.
That was the final match of Gosport's 2016-17 season, meaning that Joe will now return to Huish Park for his parent club's final week of their season. Overall he made 15 appearances for the Hampshire side, scoring two goals. He is one of fifteen players that will need his future decided within the next week or two, given that he signed a one year deal for the club last summer, upon his arrival from Southampton. He's made two substitute appearances for Yeovil Town's first team during the year gone.
Joe Lea's Games for Gosport Borough: 24/01/2017 : East Thurrock United (home) : 90 minutes
28/01/2017 : Maidenhead United (home) : 90 minutes
07/02/2017 : Hampton and Richmond (away) : 90 minutes
11/02/2017 : Dartford (home) : 90 minutes
14/02/2017 : AFC Stoneham (home) : Missed game, ineligible to play in cup competition.
18/02/2017 : Eastbourne Borough (away) : 80 minutes, started
21/02/2017 : Truro City (away) : 45 minutes, started
25/02/2017 : Hemel Hempstead (home) : 90 minutes.
04/03/2017 : Wealdstone (away) : Unused substitute.
07/03/2017 : Porchester (away) : Missed game, ineligible to play in cup competition.
11/03/2017 : Margate (away) : Missed game, illness.
18/03/2017 : St Albans City (home) : 90 minutes, one goal.
21/03/2017 : Bath City (home) : 90 minutes
25/03/2017 : Chelmsford City (away) : 90 minutes
01/04/2017 : Weston-super-Mare (home) : 90 minutes
08/04/2017 : Welling United (away) : 90 minutes
15/04/2017 : Bishops Stortford (away) : 90 minutes, one goal.
22/04/2017 : Concord Rangers (away) : 90 minutes
29/04/2017 : Whitehawk (home) : 80 minutes
Just before Saturday afternoon's match against Stevenage kicked off at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren explained why he went for an unchanged team, the status of midfielder Kevin Dawson's injury and his pre-match expectations on Stevenage's tactics. Read that interview via the link below.