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30 June 2003 : Replica Shirts On Sale Soon
Those much talked about green-and-white hooped shirts will be available for purchase very soon. According to a posting on the Fans Forum, the club are hoping to receive their first stock around Wednesday - just in time for those planning a short holiday in Belgium and Germany. As soon as stock is confirmed, we will of course provide details here.


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30 June 2003 : YTISA Travel To Rochdale
The Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association have announced plans for coaches to travel to the first ever Nationwide League match against Rochdale on Saturday 9th August.

The cost of the travel will be £14 for members and £16 for non-members. Departure times will be announced nearer the date. If you would like to book phone Chairman Mark Kelly on 01935-412236 or Treasurer Stew Bratherton on 01935-472717.


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27 June 2003 : Glovers Get Their Gloves (and Pads) On
A Yeovil Town XI takes on a North Perrott Cricket Club XI tonight (Friday) in the annual challenge cricket match between the two sides at North Perrott's Willis Lane ground. The home side play in the Somerset Division of the West of England Premier Cricket League and play is scheduled to start at 6.00pm tonight.


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26 June 2003 : All Bar None (For Now)
Yeovil Town have announced a series of changes that are being made around the club as they gear themselves up for their first season in the Nationwide League.

Although the club statement released today was not explicit in this respect, Ciderspace believes that the current Supporters Bar will be out of bounds to all supporters for the forthcoming 2003/04 season, and will instead become a private Players Bar. The move is likely to temporarily leave the 'ordinary' supporter without the means for an alcoholic drink at Huish Park when the new season opens.

The club statement itself tells that the current Executive Lounge will be now marketed as a "new Executive Restaurant", and it rumours suggest that a strict dress code will be enforced with replica shirts banned from that area, with shirt and tie compulsory. It seems likely that only Patrons and Vice-Presidents will be elligible to gain admittance to the Restaurant area.

To counteract the problem that leaves most supporters without a bar at Huish Park, the club claim that "plans are at an advanced stage for a marquee based supporters bar to be situated next to the astro-turf. Discussions with the Police, Fire Brigade and licensing authorities are at an advanced stage for this temporary Glovers Supporters Bar hopefully to be erected and operating during the early part of the new season."

Many of the other changes will go unnoticed by the average supporter but include modifications to the dugouts and the control room within the stadium, the extension of the matchday programme by 16 pages, and the recruitment of a large number of additional match day staff, including an incredible 30 additional bar staff and waiters/waitresses for the upstairs area alone. As a result, several new senior positions have been created, with Rob Newport taking over the management of the upstairs area, James Hillier taking the reins as stadium manager, whilst Eric Read will become the new Safety Officer.


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26 June 2003 : Chard Game All-Ticket
Yeovil Town's forthcoming friendly with Screwfix League side Chard Town has been made all-ticket. The game, which takes place on Wednesday July 16th, has prices set at 5.00 for adults and 3.00 for children. Anyone wanting further information should contact Chard Town FC on 01460-61402.

Chard are managed by Steve Ritchie who played for Yeovil Town in the early 1980s before going on to manage the Reserve Team in the late 1980s.

Speaking to the Yeovil Express, Ritchie said: "We are all really looking forward to it and I hope as many Yeovil supporters will come along. It should be a good evening. It is going to be a big game for us as Gary Johnson has told me that he is going to bring his first-team squad. But we won't be going out there expecting to be hammered. We want to put on a good show, try and get a result and give a decent account of ourselves. My players are well up for it. Although it is only a friendly, Chard is really buzzing at the moment about this match and it is going to be like a cup final for us. The preparations have been going on for a few weeks now. Hopefully it will be a good game for us and a good work out for Yeovil. We obviously want to give Yeovil a good game because hopefully they might want to come and play us again in a friendly. This game should attract a big crowd and obviously earn us some much-needed money."

The Express also reveals that Glovers manager Gary Johnson will be the guest speaker at a charity dinner at Westland Leisure Complex in Yeovil on July 25th from 7.30pm. The event is in aid of St Margaret's Somerset Hospice Yeovil Appeal and his talk will be entitled 'Goals that can be achieved by working as a team.' Tickets are priced 25 each and for more details contact Mark Porter at Lloyds TSB Bank, Yeovil, on 01935-700273.

The Express themselves had good news this week with Sports Editor Steve Sowden being commended at a national awards ceremony as part of the Newsquest's Sports Writer of the Year awards. Steve was shortlisted for the "sheer exuberance" he expressed as part of his writing in the run up to Yeovil Town's FA Trophy success in the 2001/02 season. The judges didn't comment on what they thought of his 'Keep The Faith Bruvver' catchphrase that followed that season though!

Finally the Western Gazette claims that the door is not totally shut on the possible signing of former Dagenham and Redbridge striker Junior McDougald. After ruling him out in the previous week's edition, the Gazette now quote Gary Johnson as saying "I am still keeping my options open with regards to him."


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26 June 2003 : Traffic problems are driving people crazy
South Somerset District Council are set to approve use of their own car-park at the council offices on Brympton Way by Yeovil supporters on match days in a bid to help reduce expected parking problems around Huish Park during the new season. Supporters could use the free parking at the 270 space car-park at the council offices and then either walk to the stadium or take advantage of a park-and-ride bus scheme specially set up for match days. The council are also approaching businesses at Houndstone Business Park to make more parking available to supporters - the club, the council and the police are determined to stop motorists parking selfishly on residential streets around the Abbey Manor area on match days during the coming season.

The Yeovil Express reports that the district council, Brympton Parish Council, Highways Authority, Yeovil Town FC and Somerset and Avon Police met last month to look at the situation further and agreed a number of key initiatives at the meeting, including:

Use of parking within the industrial area on the Lufton Trading Estate near to Huish Park.

The application of Traffic Regulation Orders at critical points around the ground to keep traffic flowing.

Coaches of away supporters to be convoyed from the A303 to a designated coach park.

Production of leaflets for residents to stick on cars which are badly parked.

Establishing a comprehensive travel/transport plan.

Consideration of different parking and access arrangements for the ground as part of any future developments at the ground.

A council report said: "It has generally been agreed that, with some extra parking at Lufton, the club ground has sufficient parking provision. The problem is getting traffic to and from that parking. It has also been agreed that match days should as far as possible be self-contained within the ground - without the need for example for some supporters to go across Abbey Manor Park to the Arrow pub. This might be addressed as part of any future development plans." A new social club at the ground then? Don't hold your breath!

Rumours of a possible ground move away from Huish Park to an as yet unspecified site with a brand new stadium somewhere around the Cartgate area have again resurfaced with Asda and Screwfix Direct both being reported as once again being interested in moving to the Huish Park site. Again, these are only rumours and should be treated with as many pinches of salt as required.

In more concrete news Glovers boss Gary Johnson has again confirmed that Bath City's Jamie Gosling and Burscough defender Joe Taylor will be joining the club for the short tour of Belgium and Germany next month. "I am going to have five or six triallists at our two sessions next week," Johnson told the Western Gazette, "and I am going to take two or three of the ones that I think are right to Belgium. I do not really want to mention any other names at present."

The gaffer reiterated however that he was in no rush to add to his squad before the start of the season, saying: "As long as I have 19 players to go into the start of the season with - which I have - then I will be happy. The players who have got this club into the Football League deserve their chance. I back my own judgement when I say that we already have 19 players who will do the club proud at the start of the season."




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26 June 2003 : Sky announces live matches schedule
Sky Sports have announced their initial choice of Football League matches to be shown on live TV. Only one Third Division match is so far in the schedule, last season's Conference play-off winners Doncaster Rovers home game v Hull City on September 8th. Two ties involving Third Division clubs in the Carling Cup will also be shown, Macclesfield v Sheffield United on Tuesday, August 12 and Mansfield v Sunderland on Wed Aug 13th.

The initial line up of live games is:

Sat 9 Preston North End v West Ham United (k/o 12.30pm)
Sat 9 Nottingham Forest v Sunderland (k/o 5.35pm)
Sat 16 West Brom v Burnley (k/o 5.35pm)
Mon 18 Brighton & Hove Albion v Queens Park Rangers (k/o 8pm)
Sat 23 Preston North End v Sunderland (k/o 5.35pm)
Mon 25 Reading v Rotherham United (k/o 12.30pm)
Mon 25 Cardiff City v Derby County (k/o 5.35pm)

September:
Mon 1 Wycombe Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday (k/o 8pm)
Sat 6 AFC Bournemouth v Bristol City (k/o 12.05pm)
Mon 8 Doncaster Rovers v Hull City (k/o 8pm)
Sat 13 Watford v Millwall (k/o 12.30pm)
Sat13 Rotherham United v Crewe Alexandra (k/o 5.35pm)
Sat 20 Stoke City v Norwich City (k/o 5.35pm)
Sat 27 Bradford City v Sheffield United (k/o 12.30pm)
Sat 27 Sunderland v Reading (k/o 5.35pm)
Mon 29 Walsall v Gillingham (k/o 8pm)

October:
Sat 4 Derby County v West Ham United (k/o 5.35pm)


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25 June 2003 : Glovers away to Hatters in Carling Cup draw
Yeovil Town have been drawn away to 2nd Division Luton Town in the First Round of the Carling Cup, the match to be played at Kenilworth Road the week commencing August 11th.

"We will be quietly confident," Glovers boss Gary Johnson told Sky Sports. "Luton are obviously going to be favourites and we are going to be the underdogs but we will fancy our chances. It's a day out and we'll look forward to it."

The full draw is as follows:

Huddersfield v Derby
Rotherham v York
Crewe v Wrexham
Doncaster v Grimsby
Chesterfield v Burnley
Sheff Wed v Hartlepool
Macclesfield v Sheff Utd
Stoke v Rochdale
Tranmere v Bury
Scunthorpe v Oldham
Walsall v Carlisle
Bradford v Darlington
Port Vale v Nottm Forest
Barnsley v Blackpool
Preston v Notts County
Wigan v Hull
Lincoln v Stockport
Mansfield v Sunderland
Coventry v Peterborough
Wycombe v Wimbledon
Colchester v Plymouth
Ipswich v Kidderminster
Millwall v Oxford Utd
Cambridge Utd v Gillingham
Bristol City v Swansea
Watford v Bournemouth
Southend v Swindon
Boston Utd v Reading
Luton v Yeovil
Bristol Rovers v Brighton
West Brom v Brentford
Cheltenham v QPR
Cardiff v Leyton Orient
West Ham v Rushden
Northampton v Norwich
Torquay v Crystal Palace

NOTE: The two club Official Sites are currently contradicting each other with respect to the date the game will be played. Yeovil Town's opts for Wednesday 13th August, whilst it's Luton Town counterpart claims Tuesday 12th August. Hence don't book that afternoon off work just yet ...


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24 June 2003 : New sponsors for League Cup announced
The League Cup is to be sponsored by Carling and will be known as the Carling Cup for the next three seasons, the Football League have announced today. The draw for the First Round, which Yeovil enters for the first time this season, takes place tomorrow, at 10am.

Welcoming the news, Football League chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney said: "This new agreement is terrific news for the League. The healthy increase in revenue it delivers will provide a timely boost to our clubs as they begin their preparations for the new season and is a massive vote of confidence in League football." Details of exactly how much money is involved have yet to be released.

In other news, former Glovers striker Howard Forinton has signed for Conference outfit Stevenage Borough. Forinton made a total of 18 appearances for the Glovers last season, scoring four times before an ankle injury led to him missing the latter half of the season. "Howard has a lot to prove to people," Boro boss Graham Westley admitted. "Many are looking at his record in recent years and doubting his fitness and his goalscoring. I've reached an agreement with him that is good for our club; we have everything to gain and little to lose. At 27 years of age, he should have some of his best football in front of him. If we can get him fit and firing then everybody knows what an asset he can be. Every year, somebody shocks football with his performance. Don't be surprised if Howard comes good. I certainly won't be." The best of luck to Howie from everyone at Ciderspace, he deserves some good fortune at last.

Meanwhile, another former Glovers striker has also moved clubs - Graziano Grazioli has returned to the Conference as part of the deal that takes possible Yeovil target Junior Agogo from Barnet to Bristol Rovers, with Grazioli moving to Underhill to try to resurrect his career. According to the Bristol Evening Post the Gas are also paying a 'near six-figure fee' to Barnet for Agogo's services.


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19 June 2003 : The great adventure begins at..... Spotland!
The Football League have released their full fixture list for the upcoming season and Yeovil Town will play their first ever fixture in Division Three on Saturday 9th August at Spotland, the home of Rochdale. That game is followed by a League Cup fixture (yet to be drawn) on Wednesday 13th August, and for their first League match at home the Glovers welcome Carlisle United to Huish Park on Saturday 16th August. The full list is online here.

In other news the club have confirmed that former Dagenham & Redbridge striker Junior McDougald will not be joining Yeovil Town after the 28-year-old frontman could not agree terms on a 2-year deal at the club.

Speaking to the Western Gazette Glovers assistant boss Steve Thompson said: "The deal with Junior has fallen through. It is a shame because we have liked Junior for the last two years and there is room for possibly one more striker in the squad. Lots of other clubs are interested in him."

"McDougald fitted the bill most for what we wanted because we felt he could play the Kevin Gall role or the Kirk Jackson role. Therefore we thought we were going to get the complete forward who could make a place his own or come in if we got any injuries."

Meanwhile Thommo denied rumours that Barnet striker Junior Agogo is interesting the club following the collapse of the McDougald deal. "We have been linked with Agogo but that is out of the question because Barnet want 75,000 for him and we are not in it for that sort of price," he said to the Gazette. "We are happy with the forwards we have got but if the right player - who is going to cost very little money or no money - comes up we would be interested."

One player the Glovers are interested in is Burscough centre-half Joe Taylor. The 23-year-old impressed Glovers boss Gary Johnson in the Linnets 2-0 win at Huish Park in the quarter-final of the FA Trophy last season, and again when Burscough beat Tamworth 2-1 in the final of the competition in May. Taylor has now been added to the Glovers touring party to Belgium and Germany in July.

However another player trialling for the Glovers on that tour is attracting attention elsewhere: It's been confirmed that Bath City midfielder Jamie Gosling will go on trial at 3rd Division rivals Swansea City when he returns from the continent with Yeovil. Bath play Swansea in a friendly at Twerton Park on July 21st, and Gosling is expected to play.

Meanwhile Hereford boss Graham Turner has denied reports that the Glovers have enquired about the availability of winger Paul Parry. Speaking to the non-league minnows official website, Turner said: "We're looking to build and put the finishing touches to our squad here and not to lose our better players. In the past we've had to sell but that isn't the case now and to be honest we've had no approach for Paul anyway. I've no doubt that he can play at a higher level than the Conference but I'm sure he'd like to make the step up with Hereford United. You can understand why league clubs might have a look at him as he plays in a position where there aren't a huge amount of players coming through, but I'm looking to strengthen, not weaken our squad."

Finally, there is still no clarification from the club concerning the position regarding the application to join the new Pontins Football Combination League, Wales & West Division. According to last week's edition of the Western Gazette Glovers boss Gary Johnson had said that the club had applied to join the reserves league (see 12th June news item), but there has been no confirmation of acceptance from either the club or the Football League since. However, today's Gazette adds the news that the club's Youth Team have been accepted in the Youth Alliance League next season, a league composed of Football League club's under-18 sides.



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13 June 2003 : Supporters Warned To Police Themselves
Avon and Somerset Constabulary have issued a warning to Yeovil Town supporters that with the club now taking it's place in Nationwide League Division Three, new rules and regulations come into play, and the police are anxious for supporters to be aware of the situation to avoid any supporters unwittingly falling foul of the law.

As a Division Three club, fans can now be arrested for various acts which include:

Encroachment on the playing area or track surrounding

Throwing missiles onto the pitch or into other areas of the ground

Attempting to enter the ground when drunk

Trying to take alcohol into the ground.

People committing offences in relation to matches at the ground next season, as well as being dealt with by the court, may also have a banning order imposed on them preventing them from attending any football matches throughout the country. Action may also be taken by football authorities against the club itself.

Officers from throughout the force area have undergone specialist training at Huish Park to ensure they are able to deal with the challenge of bigger attendances and the new rules and regulations commencing at the ground. Inspector Steve Molloy, from the constabulary's training school, and officers from the Yeovil District have been working closely with The Glovers.

Inspector Molloy said: "Going from the Football Conference to the Football League means that the new regulations kick in. The legislation only previously applied to certain games at the ground but will now apply to all games at the stadium. We are working very closely with the club to ensure that next season the transition into the Third Division goes as smoothly as possible. The fans can play an important part in Yeovil Town's first season in the Football League and we are all looking forward to a successful season."


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13 June 2003 : Glovers take the plaudits in Conference awards
As reported below (see 10th June news item) Yeovil Town players and management have been recognised at the Conference AGM for their achievements during the past season. The full list of those awarded has now been published by the Yeovil Express as follows:

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: GARY JOHNSON (YEOVIL TOWN).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MICHAEL MCINDOE (YEOVIL TOWN).

GOALSCORER OF THE YEAR: Paul Barnes (Doncaster Rovers).

TEAM OF THE YEAR: CHRIS WEALE (YEOVIL TOWN); Tarkan Mustafa (Dagenham and Redbridge); TERRY SKIVERTON (YEOVIL TOWN); Scott Guyett (Chester City); Michael Rose (Hereford United); Stewart Drummond (Morecambe); MICHAEL MCINDOE (YEOVIL TOWN); DARREN WAY (YEOVIL TOWN); Daryl Clare (Chester City); Paul Barnes (Doncaster Rovers); Junior Agogo (Barnet).

PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR: Dagenham and Redbridge.

FAIR PLAY TEAM OF THE YEAR: Hereford United.

Full Manager of the Month Awards were as follows: August - Dave Penney (Doncaster Rovers); September - GARY JOHNSON (Yeovil Town); October - Dave Penney (Doncaster Rovers); November - Mark Wright (Chester City); December - Graham Turner (Hereford United); January - Chris Wilder (Halifax Town); February - Colin Addison (Forest Green Rovers); March - GARY JOHNSON (Yeovil Town); April - Jim Harvey (Morecambe) and GARY JOHNSON (Yeovil Town).

Full Goalscorer of the Month awards were as follows: August - Wayne Curtis (Morecambe), Gregg Blundell (Northwich Victoria), Jamie Pitman (Hereford United), Mark Quayle (Nuneaton Borough), Christian Moore (Burton Albion), Noureddine Maamria (Leigh RMI); September - Ryan Sugden (Chester City); October - Christian Moore (Burton Albion), Ryan Mallon (Halifax Town), ABDOULAI DEMBA (Yeovil Town); November - Daryl Clare (Chester City); December - Daryl Clare (Chester City), Stephen West (Dagenham and Redbridge), Paul Barnes (Doncaster Rovers), Robert Gill (Doncaster Rovers); January - Daryl Clare (Chester City); February - Paul Barnes (Doncaster Rovers); March - KIRK JACKSON (Yeovil Town); April - KEVIN GALL (Yeovil Town).

The Nationwide Conference Performance of the Month awards were confirmed last weekend as being the following: August - Telford United; September - Gravesend and Northfleet; October - Nuneaton Borough; November - Morecambe; December - Scarborough; January - Telford United; February - Telford United; March - Stevenage Borough; April - Woking.

Speaking to the Yeovil Express, Glovers boss Gary Johnson commented: "It was great to have been awarded these honours. A lot of nice things were said to us about Yeovil Town during the weekend. It made us realise that we are leaving a lot of friends behind and that we were a credit to the Nationwide Conference. Everybody seemed to mention about the way we played during the last few weeks of the season."





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13 June 2003 : Recruitment Day At Huish Park
Yeovil Town's Official Site is advertising an 'open day' for any people wanting to get involved in working at Huish Park.

Principally aimed at recruiting Matchday staff, the Open Day will be held on Thursday 3rd July between 4.00pm and 8.00pm.

The club are looking for Stadium Stewards, Car Park Attendants, Assistant Cooks, Turnstile/Ticket Office Operators, Executive Boxes/Restaurant Hostesses and Waitresses, Security Stewards, Bar Staff and Kitchen Assistants.

The advertisement says that "training is provided for suitable applicants" and that there are "excellent rates of pay on offer".

People interested in further information on the positions, prior to the Open Day, should contact Fleet Personnel at 23a High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UW. Telephone 01305-251636 or Fax 01305-251030.


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12 June 2003 : In out in out, shake it all about
Just as we thought they were definitely out it seems that they may be back in after all, or are they? Confused? So are we!

We're talking about the status of the Glovers application to join the Football Combination reserve team league, in case you were wondering. The Football League yesterday released the names of the teams playing in the new Wales & West Division on their website and Yeovil Town were not amongst the competing clubs. However, Glovers boss Gary Johnson speaking in today's Western Gazette has said that the club has applied to join the new league:

"We told the Football Combination that we would be interested in joining a Western Division if one was formed and they were supposed to get back to us but they have not as yet," Johnson said. "If that does go ahead then we would play in the Combination against clubs like Plymouth Argyle, Torquay United, Bristol Rovers and Bristol City. It would not ony give all the players in the squad more competitive football but it would also allow us to play our local teams."

The teams due to compete in the new league, due to be sponsored by Pontins after previous sponsors Avon dropped out, are, according to the Football League, as follows: Bournemouth, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, Cheltenham, Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle, Reading, Swansea City and Swindon Town.

Meanwhile Johnson has confirmed yesterday's news that he's interested in bringing former Dagenham forward Junior McDougald to Huish Park, and has added another well-known Conference player to the list of players he's tracking. Speaking to the Western Gazette, Johnson said: "I'm always following up good players and people like Junior McDougald and [Hereford winger] Paul Parry, along with several others, fall into that. I am meeting three players when we go on our pre-season tour - two Belgian lads and a German boy - so I am always looking. One is a defender, one is a midfielder and one is a forward. I am hoping that they will be able to play in some of the friendlies when we are over in Belgium."

Johnson told the Gazette that additionally he intends to take 20 players on the short European tour so that all will play at least two full games. "The reason I do these tours and organise these games against big teams is to ensure the boys look after themselves over the summer," Johnson explained. "They know that when they come back on 1 July they will have to be fit because we will be up against three big teams who all play in Belgium's top division and one German Bundesliga 2nd Division team. All four games are great fixtures against teams who are above our standard in league status but that is what we want to do. I want the players to believe in themselves quickly. It is a good chance to pit our game and our team against very strong opposition. Lockeren's team has 11 internationals so it is going to be a good test."

The full set of tour matches is as follows:

Fri 4th July: Sporting Lokeren v Yeovil Town. Lebbeke Stadium, Belgium, 7.30pm
Sun 6th July: Oberhausen Kick v Yeovil Town, Venue to be confirmed, Germany, 3.00pm
Mon 7th July: Royal Antwerp v Yeovil Town, Wuzwzell Stadium, Belgium, 7.00pm
Wed 9th July: Geminal Beerschot v Yeovil Town, Wijnegem Stadium, Belgium, 6.00pm


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11 June 2003 : Glovers Take Gosling On Trial
Yeovil Town are likely to take Bath City midfielder Jamie Gosling on trial on their pre-season tour of Belgium and Germany next month. Although the midfielder is also being tracked by Swansea City, Gary Johnson has invited Gosling to travel on the overseas tour, where he will be able to assess Gosling's on the field capabilities as well as his ability to mix with his prospective team-mates.

Johnson told the Western Daily Press: "I'm intending to take him to Belgium so we can have a longer look at him. We've had good reports about him and Steve Thompson has seen a fair bit of him and liked what he's seen. He's a good age and we'd like to see if he's of the right mentality to fit into our group of players. He's one of three or four extra players I'd like to take to Belgium."

Gosling also spent a week on trial during April at Cheltenham Town but the recently relegated Gloucestershire side have not made contact since the trial period, and Bath manager Alan Pridham has said he would not stand in Gosling's way if the Glovers took their interest further.

Speaking to the Bath Chronicle, Pridham said: "Jamie's name cropped up while I was talking to Yeovil manager Gary Johnson recently and Swansea have spoken to Tim Harris about taking a look at him. Gary is well known for his development of young lads with potential and the way Yeovil play football is conducive to the way Jamie plays. Nothing is cast in stone but it looks like Jamie will be going on Yeovil's tour to Belgium. They definitely want him to go along but something could happen with another club in the meantime. Cheltenham is on the backburner at the moment because they are sorting a few things out internally and are keeping their options open."

Pridham is taking a flexible approach to any potential transfer arrangement and explained: "We aren't like other clubs and if Jamie has the chance to move to a pro club then I won't stand in his way. I'm sure the club would consider giving him a free transfer, subject to a payment after so many appearances and a sell-on clause. As long as the club is ultimately rewarded for the time and money put in then he could go. To stifle someone's chances, by placing an idiotic amount of money on their head, would be amateurish. There's no doubt in my mind that Jamie can play pro football and I also believe that whenever he moves from Bath he will also have another move in him as well. With the right type of professional training he can go far."

The Western Daily Press also speculates that Dagenham and Redbridge striker Junior McDougald could be on his way to Huish Park. McDougald's name was a frequent one on the rumourmill last autumn, when Johnson was looking to strengthen his squad. Now the 28 year old is out of contract and is believed to have walked as a free agent.

The Daily Press links McDougald with apparent interest from both the Glovers and from Swindon Town, but manager Gary Johnson refused to confirm or deny any interest in the player saying: "I'm always interested in
good players.
"

In other news, the Football League website confirms that the Glovers will not be part of next season's Football Combination Reserve League. The site has released the names of the clubs who will compete in the competition, and contrary to claims made in the Plymouth Evening Herald, Yeovil Town's name does not feature.


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10 June 2003 : Wage Capping Pilot Staggers Down the Runway
Sadly, despite a deafening silence on it over the last few days, the wage capping scheme was on the agenda at the League AGM after all. Now reports indicate the First Division clubs declined to take part, and have been asked to present at some later date the Football League management board with an indication of how they intend to control costs. Second Division clubs declined to take part, but have indicated they will work on their own scheme, to be presented at some later date. Meanwhile, for some reason the Third Division saw fit to accept being a "pilot scheme" for this coming season. It is claimed all the clubs agreed.

Details are sketchy to say the least. Cynics would say because few details have in all probability been worked out yet. It seems that players wages will have to fall within 60% of relevant income. This will include "virtually all income, including transfer fees". In order to qualify for a "grant" - not really clear exactly what is being referred to here - all Third Division clubs will have to complete and submit to the League a standard form on salary cost management.

Southend deputy chairman Geoffrey King said:
Clubs like Torquay and Macclesfield will find it very difficult, not having the corporate attractions we have. The idea this year is to run a test and iron out any difficulties that may arise for the following year.

Quite why clubs like Torquay and Macclesfield agreed to a scheme that is acknowledged will cause them serious difficulties is not explained.


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10 June 2003 : A Combination Of Confusion
Today's Western Daily Press has gone against the Plymouth-based Evening Herald newspaper, concerning claims that the Glovers had applied to join the Football Combination Reserve League.

Doubts as to the accuracy of the Herald's claims began to emerge when Torquay United - also listed in the same article - flatly denied having applied for the league.

The AGM for the Football Combination is being held today, but the Western Daily Press reports that "Football League newcomers Yeovil Town have not applied to join the league."


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10 June 2003 : Glovers Aid Grecians
Despite swapping places with them this summer, one of Yeovil Town's directors has been credited by Devon-based newspaper, the Exeter Express and Echo, as being one of the principle reasons for Exeter City still being in business today, with the paper claiming that he "saved the club from being wound up at the High Court" at a hearing late last week. The club have now been given a two month stay of execution.

Glovers director Stephen Allinson, who is also a qualified solicitor and an insolvency expert, is working with accountants Bishop Fleming to ensure a future for the Grecians who have dropped into the Nationwide Conference this summer. The club have been rocked by the arrest and subsequent resignation of their Chairman John Russell and Vice Chairman Mike Lewis after the Fraud Squad raided their homes. Exeter are now being run by a Supporters Trust but have had to pick up the pieces left by the previous regime.

Allinson explained the situation: "As a director of Yeovil, I've been involved in their difficulties and with other league clubs as well so I'm well used to these situations. The situation at Exeter is not out of the ordinary compared to the other situations that I've seen at this level. I am impressed with the new guys in charge at the club and I think they are taking the right advice and dealing with the right professionals."

"Having said that, he added. "It's also quite clear there are some important issues to address and it's got to be done systematically. It's no use trying to do it on a piecemeal level - you need to look at it overall and any proposal will have to deal with the all round debt, the seven figures that have been quoted. You need to have the time to put these things together and I am confident we can, although the plan has got to be a viable one. A CVA is an option and, if we do go down that route, then they wouldn't be able to proceed with it (the next High Court hearing) anyway. And during that two-month period, myself and the directors and Bishop Fleming will be seeking to put together proposals for the creditors and arrive at a business plan."

Allinson's support for the Grecians is not the only help they are receiving from their West Country rivals; Torquay United have agreed to donate all gate receipts from a forthcoming pre-season friendly back to their East Devon rivals in an attempt to aid their survival.


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10 June 2003 : Glovers Sweep More Awards
Yeovil Town swept the awards at the Nationwide Conference 2003 AGM in Blackpool last weekend according to the Official Site.

Predictably Gary Johnson was given the Manager of the Season award for winning the Conference by a record 17 points. Left winger Michael McIndoe was also awarded the Conference Player of the Season - the first time a Yeovil Town player has claimed such an award.

McIndoe was therefore unsurprisingly also named in the Conference team of the season, which included team-mates Chris Weale, Terry Skiverton and Darren Way.

We are told that there were more celebrations over the weekend as central defender Roy O'Brien tied the knot with his fiancee Sarah. Meanwhile former player Adrian Foster did the same with Yeovil Town Ladies footballer Becky Rossiter, daughter of former director Andy. Finally, love was also in the air at YTISA, as Chairman Mark Kelly married committee member Sara Brimble. Congratulations to all, and may you have long and happy futures.


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10 June 2003 : Glovers To Visit Belgium and Germany
Yeovil Town's 2003/04 pre-season campaign will now open up with four matches in Belgium and Germany according to the Official Site.

Three of the games chosen are in Belgium, whilst one match on a Sunday will be played in Germany.

The full set of matches is as follows:

Fri 4th July: Sporting Lokeren v Yeovil Town. Lebbeke Stadium, Belgium, 7.30pm

Sun 6th July: Oberhausen Kick v Yeovil Town, Venue to be confirmed, Germany, 3.00pm

Mon 7th July: Royal Antwerp v Yeovil Town, Wuzwzell Stadium, Belgium, 7.00pm

Wed 9th July: Geminal Beerschot v Yeovil Town, Wijnegem Stadium, Belgium, 6.00pm

Pick of the bunch is the opener against Sporting Lokeren who will be playing in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup competition later this year.


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6 June 2003 : Second Chance For Glovers Book Signing
Those who may have missed the chance for an autographed copy of Brendon Owen's book Yeovil Til I Die - currently attracting impressive reviews from Yeovil Town supporters - will get a second bite of the cherry tomorrow morning.

Players Lee Johnson, Colin Pluck and Darren Way will be in Ottakars in Yeovil between 10.00am and 10.30am on Saturday (tomorrow) morning to sign copies, along with Brendon himself. Please note that they will be departing promptly, so don't arrive late!

The book gives a fans eye view of the 2002/03 Championship winning season, and includes a multitude of high quality colour photographs from the camera of Nigel Andrews who regularly provides photos for the Yeovil Express. The price of the book is 7.99 and from those supporters on our Fans Forum who have passed judgement so far, it sounds worth every penny.


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6 June 2003 : Belgian Tour Back On The Table?
This week's Western Gazette is claiming that Yeovil Town could still get overseas in July as part of a mini pre-season tour. The Glovers made a highly successful tour of Latvia back in July 2002, and consideration had been made for a similar venture to either Belgium or Holland.

However, with time marching on, it had seemed that such a possibility was dead in the water. This week though, the Gazette claim that a match against UEFA Cup qualifiers Sporting Lockeren could be on the cards if the finishing touches to a three-game tour can be agreed. Lockern finished third in the Belgian League First Division last season.

No dates are available, as yet, but would inevitably have to be sandwiched in between the team's call back to training on July 1st and their opening English fixture against Chippenham Town on Monday 14th July.


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6 June 2003 : Gulls Deny Football Combination Application
Third Division side Torquay United are today denying that they have applied for membership of the Football Combination Reserve League.

According to the Teamtalk website, Gulls Chairman Mike Bateson has rubbished the reports in the Plymouth Evening Herald saying: "I don't know where this has come from. Somewhere, someone along the way has got their wires mixed up because we haven't made any application to join the Combination and have no intention of doing so."

The news is of interest to Yeovil Town supporters, as the Evening Herald is the same paper that broke the apparent news of the Glovers application to join the same league (see our story yesterday). Hence if Torquay are claiming that the Herald have got it wrong with respect to their (non-)application, it would cast doubts over the claimed application from Huish Park. Watch this space!


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5 June 2003 : Radical, Revolutionary, Innovative.......
........ the first day of the Nationwide Football League Annual General Meeting at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium was none of these things.

For weeks the word coming out was that this was to be an explosive meeting of major changes, with the Football League meeting its financial problems head on. True most of the floated suggestions were stupid, but stupidity has never stopped football before. Listening to Sir Brian Mawhinney, new chairman of the Football League (bringing his dramatic success as Conservative Party chairman when taking the Tories to utter humiliation at the 1997 General Election to the post), this was to be the moment when "long-term significant decisions" of real consequence were made.

Ludicrous proposal No. 1 - wage capping. Earlier today there were indications that the much trumpeted wage cap, to be foisted on Division Three from the start of the coming season, and on other divisions the following year, had mysteriously vanished from the agenda.

Greedy proposal No. 2 - internal parachute payments. No news on this yet. Given who was expected to cough up the cash it is always possible that the three clubs now safely promoted to the Premiership turned round and laughed in their faces.

Dubious proposal No. 3 - extension of the play-off system. There was us thinking that only the Conference came up with ideas off the top of their heads that they hadn't bothered to run past other interested bodies. But no, the League is just as capable of looking foolish. Neither the Premiership nor the F.A. like the idea it seems. So referred back to the League board for further consideration......... not to be seen again we suspect.

Possibly intelligent proposal No. 4 - action to penalise clubs going into administration. However as the list of punishments escalated to public decapitation doubts amongst the sane grew that clubs were going to vote for those sorts of draconian sanctions against themselves. After opposition from First Division clubs today this has also been deferred, to an EGM in September.

So did they decide anything to justify a very large lunch?

The big news for those minnows left behind in Non-league, but of smaller consequence in the greater scheme of things, is the motion to change ground criteria that was accepted. For next season promotion will be available to Conference clubs with a 4,000 capacity stadium. There is a rider that promoted clubs must attain 5,000 capacity and 1,000 seats within 12 months or face automatic relegation.

A proposal for all new playing contracts to include clauses specifying changes in salary levels for players when clubs are promoted or relegated between the divisions was agreed.

Oh, and they found time to create a few more jobs for the suits: there will be a First Division managing director and a sales and marketing director to work alongside the current operations director. The Second and Third Divisions will be represented by a deputy operations director, and an independent non-executive director will be added to the League board to add a voice from outside the football world.

So there you have it. Hold tomorrow's back pages: "Deputy Operations Director to Represent Lower Divisions - Exclusive!" Should sell papers.





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5 June 2003 : Last Day Ever As A Non-League Club!
The Nationwide Football League AGM starts today in a meeting that will see the Glovers formally admitted into the Football League for the first time ever.

On the agenda, according to web site Ananova, are a string of possible measures to penalise clubs that go into administration during the season. The league wants to clamp down on last season's controversy that saw Leicester City write off 90 percent of their debts through an administration agreement, allowing them to free up their finances for a successful campaign that landed them in the Premiership.

Possible penalties include a six point deduction, a twelve point deduction, forced relegation, or denial of promotion. Clubs in administration could also be denied the right to vote on league matters whilst in administration.

Also on the agenda will be a move to expand the playoff zones in the three divisions to six clubs, meaning that a team could finish as low as 9th in Division Three yet still gain promotion through the playoff system.

More minor changes on the agenda include proposals to force players contracts to include any changes to their salary that may be due where their club is relegated or promoted. Parachute payment for relegated clubs from Division
One (£120,000) and Division Two (£50,000) are also under discussion, whilst a proposal to lower the ground grading standards required for Nationwide Conference clubs from 6,000 to 4,000 will also be considered. The latter would be ironic given the Conference's current attempts to get all clubs to conform to a 6,000 capacity standard within it's league.

Fortunately, the Ananova article makes no mention of the proposal of wage-capping. A BBC website article from April 24th claimed that Third Division clubs "will have their wages capped as a percentage of annual turnover from next season. Those regulations will be extended to Divisions One and Two in time for season 2004-05". That ruling was - according to the BBC - set to be rubber-stamped at the League AGM. Whether the Football League have come to their senses and ditched what could be an unworkable proposal, or whether Ananova have forgotten to mention one of the most dramatic and controversial schemes in the history of English Football, remains to be seen.


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5 June 2003 : Thommo Set To Sign New Deal
Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson is set to sign a new two year deal at the club, according to football website Teamtalk.

Thompson has now been at the club for over five years, including a six month spell as first team manager, and has been linked with several local managerial vacancies. However, Teamtalk claims he is about to put pen to paper with Thommo quoted as saying: "Everything's been agreed it's just a case of getting it signed now in the next couple of days."


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5 June 2003 : Glovers Make Football Combination Application
Yeovil Town have applied to join the Football Combination Reserve League for the 2003/04 season, according to the Plymouth-based Evening Herald newspaper.

The paper claims that the Glovers and Torquay United are two new applicants for the competition. Their applications will be heard at the Football Combination AGM in London next Tuesday.

The competition, which is awaiting new sponsors after Avon Insurance pulled out at the end of the 2002/03 season, also includes Plymouth Argyle within it's ranks.

The structure of the competition is also up for grabs. Another item on the agenda includes the regionalisation of the competition. The paper reports that there are several options available to those attending the AGM, and a discussion will be held to determine the way forward.

The competition currently covers the whole of Southern England, and last season's competitors were, in order: Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Reading, Colchester United, Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Milwall, Cardiff City, Brentford, Southend United, Oxford United, Queen's Park Rangers, Swindon Town, Luton Town, Leyton Orient, Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, Peterborough United, Wycombe Wanderers, AFC Bournemouth, Bristol Rovers, Gillingham, Northampton Town and Barnet. Those competing played 25 games last season.

The same paper also reports the release of former Glovers midfielder Martin Barlow by Conference side Telford United. Barlow, who had a brief spell under Colin Addison, has been axed as the Bucks make a second attempt to return to a full time status. Barlow's age (32) and his residence (Plymouth) are cited by Telford boss Mick Jones as the main factors in Barlow's exit from the club, despite being rated as one of Telford's best players in the 2002/03 squad.


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4 June 2003 : YTISA Beach Towels On Sale
The Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association now has two new items of merchandise on sale.

Firstly, two different designs of beach towels are available and computer mock-ups of the towels can be seen on the YTISA Merchandise Page. Both designs are available now and are priced £15.00.

Secondly, the association has a new selection of baseball caps on sale, priced £5.00.

Photos of the two items will hopefully appear on Ciderspace soon. For further enquiries, phone YTISA Chairman Mark Kelly on 01935-412236 between 3.00pm and 9.00pm tonight, Thursday or Friday.


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2 June 2003 : Fulham Friendly Off
The friendly fixture, that was to open Yeovil's pre-season campaign, against Premiership club Fulham has been called off. A news item on Fulham Today, the club's Official Site states:

Fulham's pre-season friendly against Yeovil Town FC has been cancelled after the Club was informed by Yeovil that the surface at Huish Park will not be in playable condition in time for the match on Saturday 12th July.


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2 June 2003 : Gary Johnson Signs New Contract

Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has signed a new contract that will tie him to the club until the summer of 2006, according to the Official Site. The three year deal was revealed at a Press Conference being held at Huish Park today at 1.00pm.

Chairman John Fry kicked off proceedings with more than a wry nod to the way that Yeovil Town have spend many a summer by joking: "There have been several changes going in at the club of late and I'm pleased to announce that those changes do not involve the manager!"

Speaking at the Press Conference, Gary Johnson said of his signature: "You have to make sure with your family that it is the right decision. I've really enjoyed my time here at Yeovil. It's a three year contract from today and I have to aim now for the next target and that is second division football. I've said before I hope it won't take another 108 years to achieve that. The club and the players keep proving they are ambitious so we are all trying to achieve the right target. You have to keep your feet on the ground and be realistic as well though in knowing that to achieve those aims you will be faced with a lot of hard work as well. What we do know though is that it is going to be an absolutely fabulous season for this football club playing in the third division. Yes we are aiming to win it but there will be games we don't win and it will be down to us, how as a football club we cope with that."

Chairman John Fry said the main purpose of next season was to enjoy the experience and to provide entertainment: "The Directors and myself were more than overjoyed that Gary has agreed to sign a contract for more than two years and he is here now to see if he can push us up The Football League. I'd like to stress the point that we want everybody to enjoy themselves next season including the team and the manager. It's going to be a big job but if we can entertain people irrespective of our league position we'll get big crowds which will help the long term future of the club."

Meanwhile following Saturday's launch of Yeovil Til I Die - the fans eye book written by Brendon Owen - the club are bringing out their own book of the 2002/03 season. Simply entitled "Champions", the Official Site reports it as a 104 page full colour book on "170 gsm matt art paper". Over 200 photographs are included and the book will be available from Thursday 12th June. The club are launching the book from a mobile caravan in the Quedam Centre and Glovers manager Gary Johnson will be in attendance. Price is 9.99.

Finally, the Official Site also reports our news from Saturday regarding the visit of BBC Radio chief Greg Dyke to Huish Park this week. More significantly, the article adds that "BBC Radio Bristol and Somerset Sound will be broadcasting all away games live" which is certainly welcome news indeed for all supporters.

Now can we persuade the Powers That Be at Bristol to add some sort of Internet broadcast link for those who live outside the area? Go on, you know you want to ...


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1 June 2003 : Fulham Make Huish Park Visit
Premiership side Fulham have confirmed that they will be visiting Huish Park as part of their pre-season tour. The West London side will be the first of two Premiership sides to take on Yeovil Town when they head to Somerset on Saturday 12th July. Kick-off time has yet to be confirmed, but would probably be 3.00pm. The visit of Chris Coleman's side will mark the opening game of Yeovil's 2003/04 pre-season schedule, with eight other fixtures confirmed so far.


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