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30 June 2014 : Sokolik Signs For Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town have confirmed the signing of former Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik. The club have seen off the concerted efforts of League Two side Southend United to snap up a player that they had on loan at the tail end of last season. Instead he has put pen to paper for the Glovers this afternoon, signing a two year contract. He becomes the club's sixth signing of the summer so far.

In addition to Jakub's arrival, so far this summer left-back Nathan Smith, centre-back Aaron Martin and striker AJ Leitch-Smith have agreed two year contracts with the club. Then earlier today, former Exeter City keeper Artur Krysiak and Glovers legend Chris Weale agreed a similar length deals at the club.

For a profile of Jakub's career so far, see the earlier article linked below.

Link: Jakub Sokolik : Player Profile.


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30 June 2014 : The Return Of Wealey!
Yeovil Town have completed the signing of club legend Chris Weale. The player, who originates from nearby East Coker, is returning for his third spell with the club, having left Shrewsbury Town at the end of last season. Now aged 32 years old, he has gained experience with Bristol City and Leicester City over the eight years since he was last a Yeovil Town player, although of course did return during the 2008-09 season for a legendary loan spell that saw him score against Hereford United in a League One match.

A Glovers supporter at heart, Wealey already has 214 appearances to his name - and of course that one goal. He has signed a two year contract at the club to add to that total. He will compete with Artur Krysiak, who signed for the club from Exeter City earlier today.

Link: Chris Weale : Yeovil Town Statistics.




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30 June 2014 : Glovers Sign Up Former Exeter And Birmingham Keeper
Yeovil Town have confirmed the signing of former Exeter City goalkeeper Artur Krysiak. The 24 year old was out of contract and left St James Park at the end of last season. Although he was on the Grecians' released list, the implication was that the player himself had decided to leave rather than his club pushing him out the door.

Born in Lodz, Poland, on August 11th 1989, he is a 6'4" keeper who started his career with UKS SMS Lodz before Birmingham City took him into their club's academy system during 2006, putting him under the wing of former England goalkeeper Nigel Spink. There he failed to make a first team appearance for the Blues, but did get some minimal experience out on loan for five different clubs - Gretna, York City, Swansea City (as a Championship club), Motherwell, and more significantly with Burton Albion who he played 40 times for during 2009-10.

When Birmingham released him, he moved to the South-West, signing for Exeter in the summer of 2010. There he made 142 appearances across four years. When he left the club in May, the Exeter Express and Echo reported that they were expecting him to move to a higher league or bigger club for the following season. Grecians boss Paul Tisdale was full of praise for the Pole's time under him:

"Artur has been absolutely impeccable in his professionalism throughout his time with the club and he has had nothing but commitment to improving himself and the team. Of all the goalkeepers that we have had at St James's Park during my time with the club, he has the technical and physical attributes to potentially go furthest in the game, and I believe that had can go on to play at a very high level. He is still only 24 years old and has already played the best part of 200 Football League games – most of which with us – and we are grateful for his significant input during these past four seasons."

The Glovers plan to sign two goalkeepers, with Marek Stech and Chris Dunn having both left the club over the summer. Today Krysiak has signed a two year deal with the Glovers - but it seems likely that a second keeper will be brought in, in due course.

Update: Article updated - signing now confirmed.



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30 June 2014 : Ticketing For Plymouth Argyle vs Yeovil Town
Ticketing information for Yeovil Town's pre-season friendly against Plymouth Argyle is now available. The match takes place on Wednesday 30th July at Home Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. Advance admission prices are as follows:

Adults: £9.00; Over-65s and Students: £7.00; Under-18s: £4.00.

You should note that all prices increase by £2.00 if purchased on the day of the game.

At present, we're not sure if any tickets will be sent to Huish Park for away supporters to purchase - we'll try to confirm this one way or another. Argyle's Ticket Office can be reached on 0845 872 3335 or at tickets@pafc.co.uk if you have any further enquiries.

For other pre-season friendly ticketing, follow the links below, or head here for the 2014-15 fixture list.

Update: The Huish Park Ticket Office has advance tickets for this match available for Yeovil Town fans to purchase, if you want to avoid the matchday price increase.

Link: Ticketing For Frome Town vs Yeovil Town.

Link: Ticketing For Basingstoke vs Yeovil Town.

Link: Ticketing For Reading And Bristol Rovers Friendlies.

Link: Ticketing For Yeovil Town vs Cardiff City.


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29 June 2014 : Yeovil Town Summer Comings And Goings
Yeovil Town could have as many as ten trialists in the training ground when pre-season commences next week. The new-look Glovers first team squad for the 2014-15 season will be added to by the familiar sight of a number of out of contract players hoping to impress manager Gary Johnson in their efforts to earn a deal. The majority of players are expected to report for duty on Tuesday 1st July, with three new signings guaranteed for that first training session.

Left-back Nathan Smith has returned to Huish Park after three years at Chesterfield, with centre-back Aaron Martin joining from Birmingham City. Most recently striker AJ Leitch-Smith has agreed a two year contract following his release from Crewe. Given the number of players who have left the club since the end of last season though, plenty more arrivals are expected, with Johnson suggesting that his main priorities are to bring in two goalkeepers, another centre-back, a midfielder and a wide man. Although he has remained tight-lipped over whether any of those targets are completely in the bag at this stage, he has implied in a club interview that he feels in a good position at the moment:

"I'm pretty confident that we've done what we had to do - we've done our business. We might have to do a little bit more - maybe one or two more. If the season started tomorrow with what I think we're bringing in, then I'm comfortable."

Amongst the trialists arriving at Huish Park will be amateur duo Billy Texeira and Mykel Beckley although in the case of Texeira, at least, his arrival will be delayed as he turns out in a six-a-side competition in Brazil. A further face could be former Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik, who has been linked with the Glovers, although it's not yet 100 percent certain that they have won a duel with Southend United for the 20 year old.

Johnson has hinted that there will be less reliance upon the loan system for the 2014-15 campaign, with such players being primarily used to cover for injuries rather than to bulk up the first team squad. He admits that is a change from his original thinking earlier in the summer:

"Originally I did (think we'd have to use the loan system) because I thought that would be a way of beating the fair play situation, because you get players who are on a higher wage for less money if their (parent) club needs them to have games. But since I've made my signings, they're going to be our players, and I'm really pleased with them. So I won't need to go out and loan just yet. I'll only need the loans at the moment if we get an injury. That's because we're not going to have a massive squad - it's going to be a small squad."

An unanswered question is whether right-back Luke Ayling will report for pre-season training, given that he is out of contract and has rejected terms with the club. As a 22 year old, the club are entitled to a compensation fee for his four years service from any interested club. Despite plenty of media speculation, Johnson said a week ago that there were no formal offers on the table for the former Arsenal player, meaning that as things stand he is in limbo. There has also not been any word concerning out of contract defender Seth Nana Twumasi and whether he plans to stay at Huish Park.

Yeovil Town Summer Departures And Arrivals So Far:

Departures (Loanees): Shane Duffy, Joe Ralls, Tom Lawrence

Departures (Contracted): Marek Stech, Chris Dunn, Byron Webster, Jamie McAllister, Ruben Palazuelos, Joe Jones, Reuben Reid

Out Of Contract: Luke Ayling.

Under Contract: Joe Edwards, Kevin Dawson, Sam Foley, Gareth Stewart, Kieffer Moore, Sam Hoskins, Matteo Lanzoni, Joel Grant, Liam Davis, Adam Morgan, James Hayter

Contract Offered: Seth Nana Twumasi

Invited to Pre-Season Training: Nathan Ralph

Arrivals: Nathan Smith (left-back), Aaron Martin (centre-back), AJ Leitch-Smith (striker).


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28 June 2014 : Sunderland Give Ladies A Long Trip Home
Abby Holmes and Keira Ramshaw fired Sunderland Ladies to a 2-0 victory against Yeovil Town Ladies this afternoon as they maintained their 100 per cent start to the FA Women's Super League season. After a 320 mile trip up north, Yeovil went into the game with confidence, knowing that they have competed well against the top sides in the WSL so far this season.

The deadlock was broken just seven minutes in by Abby Holmes, with the Sunderland player charging forward from right-back to cut inside and unleash a powerful left-footed strike into the bottom corner. Beth Mead went close to doubling the advantage on the half-hour after exchanging passes with Rachel Furness, but Rachel Simkin was out quickly to save for the Glovers.

On the forty minute mark, Katie Cook raced onto Jade Lorton-Radburn’s lobbed pass but Holmes put enough pressure on to ensure her shot was saved. The last minute before the interval saw Yeovil’s best chance to convert, when Tewkesbury found herself inside the penalty area after a good run, but her connection was not quite enough to bring the scores level.

The Lady Black Cats pressed hard for a second from the restart, with Kelly McDougall shooting just wide from distance on 47 minutes. Rebekah Bass went even closer on the hour with Simkin making a terrific save, tipping her rising 18-yard effort onto the underside of the bar, only for it to drop down onto the line where she gathered the ball into her hands.

The Glovers continued to work hard and created numerous chances, but shots from Pearson, Stewart and Lorton-Radburn in succession, all failed to hit the target. On 75 minutes though, Keira Ramshaw turned in from close range, from a corner to make it two nil.

Yeovil substitute Emma Brazell was then sent off for a second bookable offense on 86 minutes, although she will think that she was unfortunate to be dismissed. The Glovers showed their unity, as they continued to push for a goal and Katie Cook’s downward header from a Bleazard cross was met by the well placed Laws in the Sunderland goal.

Yeovil Town Ladies manager Sarah Lawler, was positive after the game and is already looking forward to the next fixture, when they take on Oxford Ladies in the Continental Cup next Sunday. After the game she commented by saying:

"Despite the scoreline, our keeper and back four played well today and two nil was a bit of a harsh reflection. Sunderland are a well established and well respected footballing team and today you could see why, with their killer instinct that punished us. We can take lots of positives from our performance, given that we lost the game when we had our own opportunities and for spells we were on top of the game, but we must convert these chances into goals."

"I am now looking for a reaction from the players. We worked very hard today against good opposition. The team now need to show me that against Oxford we can use the ball better in the final third. It was good to see Ellie Curson making her debut for the club today and she has settled in very well."

Final Score: Sunderland Ladies 2 Yeovil Town Ladies 0.

Scorers: Abby Holmes (7 mins, 1-0), Keira Ramshaw (75 mins, 2-0).

Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Sharp, Wilson, Greenwell, Kelly (Briggs 78), McDougall, Furness, Bass, Mead (McHugh 83), Ramshaw.

Subs not used: Alderson, Beer. Bookings: none. Red cards: none

Yeovil Town: Simkin, Bleazard, Edwards, Haigh, Kirby, Stewart, Lorton-Raburn, Pearson (Bray 69), Curson, Tewkesbury (Brazell 69), Cook.

Subs not used: Whitton, Cossens.

Bookings: Brazell 78. Red cards: Brazell 86.

Attendance: 401

Yeovil’s next home game is on Saturday 12th July in the Continental Cup (5.00p.m. kick-off) against FA WSL1 side Notts County. Tickets are £4.00 for adults or £2.50 for concessions. You can book tickets by visiting the Yeovil Town Ladies Ticketing Page or by paying in cash on the day.


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28 June 2014 : Forthcoming Parking Restrictions In Huish Park Area
Yeovil Town supporters visiting Huish Park for the 2014-15 season may find a number of new parking restrictions put in place around the streets that surround the ground. The new restrictions are being put in by Somerset County Council, via a Traffic Regulation Order which will introduce a number of double yellow lines at key points. The Order states that the changes will be implemented:

"To avoid danger to persons or other traffic using the road or any other road or for preventing the likelihood of any such danger arising, or to preserve or improve amenities of the area through which the roads run."

When reading what follows, it is worth noting Clause 243 of the Highway Code, part of which states the following:

"Do not stop or park ... opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space."

The majority of the proposed changes will enforce this Highway Code clause by the use of yellow lines, generally with 10-15 metres of yellow lines on each relevant corner. The new parking restrictions, which will be marked as standard double yellow lines, can be split into the following geographical areas around the ground:

1. Boundary Road (south west of the stadium)
a) Corner/junction with Clayton Close (10 metres minor road, 15 metres Boundary Road)
b) Corner/junction with Buller Avenue (10 metres, 15 metres)
c) Corner/junction with New Road (15 metres, 10 metres)
d) Corner/junction with Murray-Smith Drive (10 metres, 15 metres)
e) Corner/junction with Roe Avenue (10 metres, 15 metres)
f) Corner/junction with Gunners Lane (10 metres, 15 metres)

2. Boundary Way / Lufton Way / Huish Park Main Entrance Junction
a) Boundary Way - 17 metres from the junction with Lufton Way
b) Lufton Way - 62 metres starting 22 metres north of Boundary Way and past the stadium entrance
c) Stadium Entrance (Gerry Lock Way) - 17 metres from the junction with Lufton Way

Boundary Way and Huish Park main entrance double yellow lines.
Boundary Way and Huish Park main entrance double yellow lines.

3. Stourton Way (east of the stadium in the Abbey Manor Estate)
a) Corner/junction with Shrewsbury Road (10 metres minor road, 15 metres Stourton Way)
b) Corner/junction with Biddlesden Road (10 metres minor road, 15 metres)
c) Corner/junction with Merevale Way (10 metres minor road, 15 metres)
d) Corner/junction with Poplar Drive (10 metres minor road, 15 metres)
e) Corner/junction with Forde Park (10 metres minor road, 15 metres)

4. Western Avenue / Stourton Way / Copse Road Junctions (immediately north-east of the stadium)
a) Stourton Way - 114 metres from the junction with Western Avenue (up to and including the above-mentioned Forde Park junction)
b) Western Avenue - 187 metres running from 54 metres north of Stourton Way then south of the junction with Copse Road
c) Copse Road - 62 metres running from the junction with Western Avenue

Stourton Way/Western Avenue and other Abbey Manor Estate double yellow lines.
Stourton Way/Western Avenue and other Abbey Manor Estate double yellow lines.

5. Westminster / Nearby Roads (immediately east of the stadium)
a) Corner/junction with Western Avenue (10 metres Westminster, 15 metres Western Avenue)
b) Corner/junction with Malmesbury Way (10 metres on all sides)
c) Corner/junction with Muchelney Way (10 metres from junction, then full length of east leg of road on south side of road including turning head)

6. Thorne Lane / Western Avenue Junction (north-east of the stadium)
a) Western Avenue - 34 metres running south from the junction with Thorne Lane
b) Thorne Lane - 40 metres running east from the junction with Western Avenue
c) Thorne Lane (north side) - 261 metres running west from the junction with Western Avenue as far as the Thorne Cross junction
d) Thorne Lane (south side) - 90 metres running west from the junction with Western Avenue
e) Thorne Cross junction - 15 metres running north from Thorne Lane

Thorne Cross and Thorne Lane double yellow lines.
Thorne Cross and Thorne Lane double yellow lines.

Each restriction will apply on a 24x7x365 basis, and so will not be restricted to football matches. They will be marked by double yellow lines when implemented. In terms of the enforcement on junctions, the Highway Code means that you should be respecting the '10 metre rule' irrespective of whether the lines exist or not. Thus the main effect for more sensible drivers lies with the Western Avenue and Thorne Lane changes. In the past some of these areas have been marked off by traffic cones on matchdays, but this will make those restrictions permanent.


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27 June 2014 : Bristol City Sign Up Two Former Glovers Loanees
League One side Bristol City have splashed the cash in the past few days by recruiting two former Yeovil Town loan players on permanent deals. Today has seen them take Oldham Athletic's club captain Korey Smith for an undisclosed fee, with midfielder Liam Kelly, who played with Lee Johnson at Kilmarnock going the other way.

Korey was a big hit at Boundary Park, scoring twice in 52 appearances as part of a loan spell which was followed by the Latics signing him up permanently upon his release from Norwich City. He still had a year to run on his Oldham deal, and was being linked with a number of other clubs before City stepped in for the 23 year old.

Another arrival at Ashton Gate has been former Arsenal academy player Luke Freeman. The 22 year old winger/striker was on the books of Stevenage, but with them dropping into League Two, they've cashed in on a player who had a year left on his contract. City have again given him a three year deal - the transfer fee is undisclosed, but Stevenage have indicated that it is a six figure fee. City have also signed Wade Elliott following his release from Birmingham City - his name had been linked with the Glovers by the local media, albeit with manager Gary Johnson denying he had any interest and (correctly) predicting that Elliott would end up in Bristol.

Earlier this week, former Yeovil Town defender Lee Peltier signed up for a second spell with Championship side Huddersfield Town. The 27 year old had his Leeds United contract torn up and headed back to the club where he made 103 appearances between 2009 and 2011. Peltier's Leeds career had fizzled out badly, despite being their captain at one stage, and in the end seemed to be getting a bit of online stick from Leeds fans. Not so with Terriers supporters, who welcomed him back, with a three year contract being signed.

Elsewhere Matt Harrold has left non-leaguers Bristol Rovers and signed for League One side Crawley Town. The Sussex club's line-up has a definite Glovers feel about it, with Ryan Dickson and Gavin Tomlin also having been drafted in by manager John Gregory over the summer.

Finally congratulations are due to former Yeovil Town left-back and assistant manager Nathan Jones. Now at Brighton and Hove Albion, he is the proud holder of a UEFA Pro Licence today, having completed what is usually a year long course. Nathan first started taking his coaching badges during his latter days as a Glovers player - he now has the top qualification a football coach can hold in Europe, which entitles him to manage in top flight football in the future.


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27 June 2014 : Leitch-Smith Glovers Deal Is Confirmed
Yeovil Town have now finalised the signing of former Crewe Alexandra striker AJ Leitch-Smith. The 24 year old has put pen to paper on a two year contract at the club, following six years as a professional at Gresty Road. He had been linked by various press to a move to Cheltenham Town, but has now committed himself to the Glovers, and will be on our books until the summer of 2016.

For a full profile on Leitch-Smith's career so far, see Thursday's news item.

Link: AJ Leitch-Smith : Player Profile.


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27 June 2014 : Shrimpers Not Throwing Towel In On Sokolik
League Two side Southend United are still doing their best bring centre-back Jakub Sokolik back to Roots Hall. Despite manager Phil Brown admitting at the start of this week that he'd probably lost him to Yeovil Town, the Shrimpers boss appears to not have entirely thrown in the towel on their chances of signing him.

Brown has spoken to the Southend Echo and appears to be trying to put into the mind of Sokolik that he might be a bit-part player at Huish Park, suggesting that there will be other players ahead of him in the pecking order:

"We’ve been told by [his agent that [he] will be joining [a] club from a higher level but the door is still very much open for [him] here if he wants to come back. [Sokolik] still haven’t actually signed for anyone yet. We expected Jakub to join Yeovil but they signed another centre-back and still have two from last season so he would be vying with all three of those for a place in the team. He would be a fourth option which might not bode very well for him. We’ve been back in touch because of that and made it clear our offer is still very much on the table."

We're scratching our heads on Brown's claims made to the paper. Whilst the Glovers have snapped up former Birmingham City centre-back Aaron Martin, the suggestion that they still have two centre-backs on their books from last season is stretching things somewhat. The club have seen Shane Duffy return to his parent club Everton after his loan expired, whilst Byron Webster has signed for Millwall.

Youngster Joe Jones was released after failing to make a first team appearance. Italian Matteo Lanzoni can play as a centre-back, although spent most of his time for Oldham playing in the right-back slot - something that would be favoured assuming that last season's first choice right-back Luke Ayling does not do a u-turn on his plans to leave the club. Hence at present, the club have an obvious vacancy for a centre-back to be recruited in - Martin is currently the only contracted player who would consider that position his first choice slot.

Meanwhile Sky Sports are now also linking Yeovil Town with a move for former Crewe Alexandra striker AJ Leitch-Smith. There's no new information to add to yesterday's news item but adds strength to the current reports linking him to the Glovers.


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26 June 2014 : New Director Appointed To Ladies Board
Yeovil Town Ladies are delighted to confirm that Mark Porter has joined the Club's Board of Directors. Mark Porter is Managing Director of the Jones Building Group who are massive supporters and key backers of both Yeovil Town Ladies FC and Yeovil Town FC.

Porter also has a very high profile in the local community, and is well known for his fundraising activities for good causes - something he recently received recognition for when he won the Charity Champion category at the Western Gazette Pride Awards. Commenting on the appointment, Club Chairman David Mills said:

"I am absolutely delighted Mark has joined us. Jones Building Group have been massive supporters of us over the last year and their work at Sherborne Town FC has been instrumental in bringing the ground up to FA WSL standard. Mark has hit the ground running and is already making a very positive impact on how the club runs, but this does not surprise me as he has a well deserved reputation for getting things done."

Yeovil Town Ladies Chairman David Mills (left) meets new Director Mark Porter.
Yeovil Town Ladies Chairman David Mills (left) meets new Director Mark Porter.

Commenting on his appointment Mark Porter said:

"Being asked to join the board to help the commercial development of our ladies team was a pleasant surprise, and I am keen to see how we can develop the ladies game within our area. Our commercial success off the field will allow even greater investment in the team as we strive to improve our position in WSL 2. I have been impressed by the dedication and commitment I have seen from the existing directors and all the junior teams and I look forward to working alongside them to improve the standards of ladies football across Somerset."

Porter’s addition bring the Board of Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club Ltd up to five, with the other four Directors being Stephen Allinson, Chris White, Sarah Lawler and David Mills.


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26 June 2014 : Sherwood Arrival Will Give Ladies Boost
Yeovil Town Ladies Club Chairman David Mills believes they have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers outside the FA Women's Super League, as they look to build on a strong start to their debut season at their new level. Yesterday saw them bring in Cardiff City Ladies manager Jamie Sherwood, who has joined the Glovers as an assistant coach, working under manager Sarah Lawler.

That move comes just before the female Glovers restart their season, having had a four week mid-season international break, and they have had a busy week - recruiting in former Cardiff City Ladies defender Nicola Cousins and ex-Bristol Academy striker Ellie Curson. Mills believes that bringing Sherwood in is just as vital to their set-up:

"To have Jamie joining us is a huge boost. At Cardiff he was one of the most highly regarded Managers in the FA WPL so to welcome him to our Management team is a huge plus point for the Club. With his progressive outlook I have no doubt at all he will be a perfect match for us as we look to continue driving our club forward."

New Yeovil Town Ladies assistant coach Jamie Sherwood.
New Yeovil Town Ladies assistant coach Jamie Sherwood.

Sherwood, who has also coached in America during his time in the game, believes that the chance to work under the Glovers management team was an offer he couldn't turn down:

"I am very excited to be joining Yeovil Town Ladies as they have already shown in the first part of the FA WSL2 that they can be a force to be reckoned with. Sarah has assembled a talented, ambitious and hungry squad and the opportunity to join Sarah and the club was too good an offer to refuse."

Having held positions at Cardiff that also previously included time as one of their Development Coaches, Sherwood has had a successful time in South Wales, and he had fond words for the Bluebirds after his decision to leave:

"I hope that I can add to the club both on and off the pitch. I would like to say a massive thank you to my previous club Cardiff City Ladies FC, who provided me with support and backing within my time at the club and I am sad to leave. However, it is now time to focus on what can be achieved with Yeovil, and that starts this weekend away to Sunderland."

Sherwood's first task is to prepare the squad for Saturday's trip to Sunderland, which takes place in the North-East on 28th June. He will then see a game on home soil on Saturday 12th July against FA WSL1 side Notts County. The 5.00p.m. kick-off at the Jones Stadium, Sherborne Town FC will see the two sides meet in a Continental Cup match. Tickets cost £4.00 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. You can pay on the day or purchase online by visiting the Ladies Ticketing Page.

New Yeovil Town Ladies assistant coach Jamie Sherwood.
New Yeovil Town Ladies assistant coach Jamie Sherwood.


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26 June 2014 : Yeovil Town Linked With Former Crewe Striker
Yeovil Town are being linked with a move for out of contract striker AJ Leitch-Smith. The 24 year old is a product of Crewe Alexandra's academy system, and had been on their books throughout his childhood, turning professional in 2008. Crewe released him at the end of last season, and so he is available as a free agent. Media reports over the summer have connected him with a move to Cheltenham Town

Reports from BBC Somerset are connecting him with a move to Huish Park. Born in Crewe on March 6th 1990, he is a 5'11" striker who made 122 appearances for his home town club, scoring 22 goals. He also had loan experience with Halifax Town Newcastle Town, Curzon Ashton and Icelandic side Iþrottabandalag Vestmannaeyja all whilst he was a teenager.

Although his formal name is Jay, he is generally referred to as 'AJ' in the game. Last season saw him play 24 times for Crewe, scoring two goals. The BBC don't offer up any quotes or sources to go with their reports at this stage. When he was released by Crewe in the middle of last month, they said of their player:

"The former Academy Graduate AJ Leitch-Smith first joined the club as a seven-year-old and would progress all the way through to the first-team and become a double Wembley winner. The clever forward actually made his debut under former boss Gudjon Thordarson in what proved to be the Icelander final game in charge against Bury in September 2009.

It wasn’t until the season after that the Crewe-born forward really began to make his mark at first-team level. He scored his first goal in only his third ever appearance in an emphatic 7-0 win over Barnet in August 2010 and he followed that up with a late equaliser against Macclesfield in his next outing.

Leitch-Smith ended his debut season with 5 goals in 18 appearances and he continued to keep his place in the side when Steve Davis replaced Dario Gradi as manager in November 2011. He became a key member of our promotion winning side, scoring nine goals in 44 appearances. The most important of those goals saw him opening the scoring in the second leg of our play-off win over Southend United.

At Wembley Stadium, Leitch-Smith operated as the lone striker with Nick Powell supporting him and he was involved in Byron Moore’s second goal that sealed victory against Cheltenham. Leitch-Smith started the following season in League One in the same rich vein of form. He scored a goal of the season contender in a 5-0 win over Hartlepool United in the Capital One Cup and scored in the first minute away at Scunthorpe in a 2-1 win.

The local lad would end the season with 6 goals in 35 appearances as Crewe finished comfortably in League One. He was introduced as a late substitute at Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final and he was unlucky not to make it 3-0 when his shot hit the underside of the crossbar.

His last campaign did not go as well in terms of goals and appearances. He ended his final campaign with just 2 goals in 24 appearances as Steve Davis chose to operate more with Chuks Aneke and the on-loan Tom Hitchcock and Uche Ikpeazu as his front two. Leitch-Smith, 24, is a fine finisher and his Crewe stats saw him end with 22 goals in 88 appearances. His total appearances stand at 122.

As one of our kids and having such a long association with Crewe Alexandra, it will certainly seem a stranger place without the bubbly Leitch-Smith around the place
."


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25 June 2014 : Bristol City Right-Back Signing Points Against Ayling Interest
Any interest that League One side Bristol City may have had in Yeovil Town right-back Luke Ayling would appear to be off, given they have made a new signing this afternoon. The Robins had been connected with a move to Ashton Gate by the Western Daily Press two weeks ago, albeit without any sources or quotes being attached to City's interest.

Since then, Glovers boss Gary Johnson has said that he has yet to receive a formal approach for the 22 year old, who turned down the offer of a new contract at the end of last season. Today, Bristol City have announced that they have snapped up Peterborough United right-back Mark Little on a three year deal, which would tend to suggest that City's vacancy has now been filled in that position.

In a Glovers-related twist, Peterborough's loss has made them do a u-turn on former Yeovil Town right-back Craig Alcock, who had been competing with Little for a place in the Posh side last season. Little's dominance in that position meant that Alcock tended to be shuffled out onto the opposite flank, and the 26 year old was released at the end of last season, despite making 39 appearances during 2013-14. Now with Little going to Bristol City, Posh have said that they've now put a new deal on the table for Alcock.

As yet, no opposition club has publicly thrown their hat into the ring for Ayling's services. Aside from Bristol City, the Western Gazette did link Ipswich Town and Brentford with the former Arsenal trainee, but the view from the Bees local media is that they aren't interested, whilst the Suffolk-based East Anglia Daily Times have opted to ignore the speculation. With any interested club needing to cough up a compensation fee for his services, so far no-one appears to be biting.


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25 June 2014 : Ladies Lose Keeper To West Country Rivals
Whilst Yeovil Town Ladies have largely been bringing on board new personnel to help boost their set-up, today has seen one of their first team regulars depart the club. Goalkeeper Alice Evans has left to join FA WSL1 side Bristol Academy for the second half of the 2014 season, meaning that the Glovers will have to readjust in that position.

Evans played a prominent part in Yeovil's shock 0-0 draw in the Continental Cup earlier this season, pulling off a string of saves, and that will doubtless have been influential in Bristol's manager Dave Edmondson's thinking when he chose to track her progress with the Glovers:

"I saw Alice play for Yeovil a couple of times and each time she was excellent. She has also showed a real desire to develop herself and is willing to work hard at her game. With Alice and Mary Earps we have two very good young Goalkeepers at the club and they will provide each other the competition required to continue their development."

In joining Bristol Academy, who finished runners up in the FA WSL1 division last season, Evans said that the opportunity to join one of England's leading ladies clubs was too good to turn down:

"At Bristol there is a better opportunity to progress, and play at the highest standard with top quality players. I'd heard how good the training was here at Bristol, and there is a lot more Goalkeeper specific sessions which I need to develop my game further. I'm really excited to have signed and I'm just looking forward to getting started properly with Bristol."


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25 June 2014 : Trialist Texeira Ready For Brazil Trip
Yeovil Town trialist Billy Texeira is hoping to succeed where the England national team dismally failed when he travels out to Brazil next week. The 27 year old will feature in an international six-a-side tournament in Rio de Janiero on Sunday 6th July, as one of eight amateur players who will face other amateur sides including Brazil, Argentina and Colombia as part of the tournament.

Prior to that, he will be invited to watch a World Cup Quarter-Final at the Maracana Stadium on Friday 4th July. Texeira has told the Brentwood Gazette that to acclimatise to the humidity he will experience in Brazil, he has been training in a local school's gym with all of the windows closed and the heating turned up! He told the paper that with him flying out next Wednesday that things are starting to hot up in other ways:

"I'm feeling excited now. It still hasn't sunk in and I don't think it will fully until I get to the airport next Wednesday. Watching the World Cup on the TV has got me excited and hopefully we can do a bit better than England (main national team) have done. Our team is good. We've all come through lots of trials and made the final at Wembley. We fancy our chances."

When Texeira returns from his six-a-side tournament, he will head down to Huish Park for a trial with the Glovers - he is likely to team up for the club's second week of pre-season training. He confirmed that whilst he hadn't heard too much from the Glovers, his plans to play in Somerset were still on:

"I haven't heard anything more about it but I've been in contact with Budweiser (who sponsored the Open Trials) and it's still on. They've told me that some other Football League clubs are interested if it doesn't come off and I know there are a few non-league teams that are interested. I'm not going to hold back in Brazil. This is a once in a lifetime thing and I've got to go out there and give it 100 per cent. Before the trial at St George's Park and the final at Wembley, I would think 'what if I get injured'? But you've got to give it your all."


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24 June 2014 : Ladies Boost Coaching Staff With Sherwood Signing
Yeovil Town Ladies have boosted their FA Women's Super League set-up further today, with Cardiff City Ladies once again the source for their latest arrival. Jamie Sherwood - who was the Bluebirds' first team manager - has joined the Glovers as an Assistant Coach, working under first team manager Sarah Lawler, and alongside the other coaching staff, which include Assistant Manager Chris White, Head Coach Pete Amos and Goalkeeper Coach Tony Rich.

As well as his role as Cardiff's main man, he also managed Taffs Wells FC (Welsh League Division 1) and was Murfreesboro Soccer Club's Development Manager in the USA as well as formerly Cardiff City's Development Manager for their U8s - U12s age groups.

Cardiff Chair Michele Adams said that they were disappointed to lose their manager to a higher league club, but had been aware of Yeovil's interest in their man, and so were bracing themselves for his possible exit:

"We are obviously disappointed at losing Jamie but quite understand that he is a young guy with a young family and the financial opportunity that Yeovil could offer would be difficult for him to turn down, and that's football. Yeovil contacted us early last week and after meeting with Jamie we immediately put our plan into action to replace him should he decide to take Yeovil up on their offer."

Sherwood's first role will be to help prepare the team for their mammoth trip to Sunderland this coming weekend, as they restart their FA WSL2 campaign with a game that will take place on Saturday 28th June at the Hetton Centre.


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24 June 2014 : Ticketing For Frome Town vs Yeovil Town
Ticketing information for Yeovil Town's pre-season friendly against Frome Town is now available. The match against the Southern League Premier Division side takes place on Wednesday 9th July 2014, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off at their Badgers Hill ground. Admission prices are as follows:

Adults: £7.00; Concessions: £5.00; Under-16s: FREE; Armed Forces: FREE.

Concessions apply to those aged 16-18 and those aged over 65 years old.

For other pre-season friendly ticketing, follow the links below, or head here for the 2014-15 fixture list.

Link: Ticketing For Basingstoke vs Yeovil Town.

Link: Ticketing For Reading And Bristol Rovers Friendlies.

Link: Ticketing For Yeovil Town vs Cardiff City.


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24 June 2014 : Ticketing For Basingstoke vs Yeovil Town
Ticketing information for Yeovil Town's pre-season friendly against Basingstoke Town is now available. The match against the Conference South side takes place on Saturday 12th July 2014, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at their Camrose ground. Admission prices are as follows:

Adults: £6.00; Concessions: £3.00; Under-16′s: £1.00.

Basingstoke's policy for concessionary admission includes Over-60s, students (with valid student card), registered disabled, unemployed, acting servicemen and all emergency services showing a current valid ID.

The pre-season friendly schedule is as follows:

09/07/2014 : Wed 19:45 : Frome Town (away)
12/07/2014 : Sat 15:00 : Basingstoke Town (away)
15/07/2014 : Tue 19:45 : Torquay United (away)
19/07/2014 : Sat 15:00 : Reading (home)
22/07/2014 : Tue 19:45 : Bristol Rovers (home)
27/07/2014 : Sun 15:00 : Cardiff City (home)
30/07/2014 : Wed 19:45 : Plymouth Argyle (away)
04/08/2014 : Mon 19:30 : Dorchester Town (away)

Link: Ticketing For Reading And Bristol Rovers Friendlies.

Link: Ticketing For Yeovil Town vs Cardiff City.


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24 June 2014 : Webster Completes Lions Move
Championship side Millwall have now formally completed the signing of former Yeovil Town centre-back Byron Webster. The 27 year old has signed a two year contract at the New Den, having been linked with them over the past few weeks. The former Northampton Town and York City player had been connected with a number of other clubs over the summer, although it was only the Lions who publicly threw their hat into the ring.

Byron joins midfielder Ed Upson at the New Den, and leaves Yeovil having clocked up 98 appearances, scoring nine goals. Having run out of contract at the end of last season, he will formally put pen to paper with Millwall on July 1st, and will be under contract with them until the summer of 2016.


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24 June 2014 : Ticketing For Yeovil Town vs Cardiff City
Ticketing information for Yeovil Town's home pre-season friendly against Cardiff City is now available. The match takes place on Sunday 27th July, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. Ticket prices are as follows:

Adults: £15.00; Seniors (Aged Over-65) and Young Persons (Aged 16-21): £10.00; Under-16s: £2.00.

Prices for the friendlies against Bristol Rovers and Reading are available via the link below.

A reminder that the pre-season friendly schedule is as follows:

09/07/2014 : Wed 19:45 : Frome Town (away)
12/07/2014 : Sat 15:00 : Basingstoke Town (away)
15/07/2014 : Tue 19:45 : Torquay United (away)
19/07/2014 : Sat 15:00 : Reading (home)
22/07/2014 : Tue 19:45 : Bristol Rovers (home)
27/07/2014 : Sun 15:00 : Cardiff City (home)
30/07/2014 : Wed 19:45 : Plymouth Argyle (away)
04/08/2014 : Mon 19:30 : Dorchester Town (away)

Link: Ticketing For Reading And Bristol Rovers Friendlies.


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23 June 2014 : Ladies Snap Up Cardiff's Cousins
Yeovil Town Ladies have signed Welsh International Nicola Cousins to strengthen their squad in preparation for second half of the FA WSL2 Season. Twenty-five year old Cousins, who joins the Glovers from FA Women's Premier League side Cardiff City Ladies, is a versatile defender that can play anywhere across the back four.

This is Cousins' first move away from the Bluebirds, having grown up playing for the club. Undoubtedly, this makes it a huge move for her as she explained: "I am thrilled to have signed for Yeovil for the second part of the WSL2 season. I have watched their progress after the last 12 months and they have a great structure in place with some quality players. I am excited for this new challenge and cannot wait to start playing."

First Team Manager Sarah Lawler said of this afternoon's deal:

"I am pleased to introduce into the squad a credible player who really wants to be challenged and join the great squad we have here. Nicola can play anywhere across the back line and will fit in well to the squad. After chatting with her this week, it is clear that she is willing to work really hard for the club and understands what the club is trying to achieve."

Cousins is the club’s second signing from Cardiff City Ladies for the 2014 season, after midfielder Paige Stewart joined earlier on in the year. Yeovil Town Ladies Chairman David Mills commented:

"It is fantastic to have Nicola at the club as she brings an extra dimension to our team and also is a highly regarded international standard player. I am confident she will fit right in to our set up and quickly become a very valuable team member."

Newcomer Nicola Cousins, excited to be part of FA WSL club Yeovil Town Ladies.
Newcomer Nicola Cousins, excited to be part of FA WSL club Yeovil Town Ladies.

Cousins is also currently competing in the World Cup Qualifiers with Wales, along with fellow Yeovil Town Ladies teammates Helen Bleazard and Alice Evans. As her transfer is from Cardiff City, who are controlled by the Welsh FA, today's deal is subject to International Clearance.

The Glovers season restarts on 28th June when the ladies take on a strong Sunderland side away from home. The first home game, back at the Jones Stadium, Sherborne Town FC, will be on Saturday 12th July against FA WSL1 side Notts County at 5.00p.m. in the Continental Cup. Tickets cost £4.00 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. You can pay on the day or purchase online by visiting the Yeovil Town Ladies Ticketing Page.

[Yeovil Town Ladies Press Release.]


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23 June 2014 : Webster Due For Lions Medical Tomorrow
Outgoing Yeovil Town defender Byron Webster is expected to finalise his move to Championship side Millwall tomorrow. The 27 year old, who has turned down a contract offer to stay with the Glovers, has been in talks with the Lions for the past few weeks, but the final outcome has been delayed by Webster's summer holiday.

Having now returned to the country, the Southwark News indicate that the former Northampton Town defender is due to attend a medical tomorrow, and will also discuss final contract terms with the London club. They indicate that the length of his contract is the main outstanding issue, suggesting that a two year deal is the most likely option to be taken up.

The paper believes that other than that, Webster has given a verbal agreement to manager Ian Holloway, who earlier this month went public on his interest in signing Webster. Once the deal is done, he will join Ed Upson, who moved to the New Den at the tail end of the January transfer window.


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23 June 2014 : Shrimpers Boss Explains Sokolik Loss
Southend United manager Phil Brown has explained why he believes his side have lost out to Yeovil Town in their attempts to sign up former Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik. The 20 year old, who is a free agent, having been released by the Premier League club at the end of last season, has been connected with a move to Huish Park over the past five days by the Southend Echo and they have now been able to get their manager Phil Brown's views on why they were unable to agree terms with a player they had on loan at the end of last season.

The Shrimpers had also attempted to sign up former Leyton Orient and Shrewsbury Town defender Tamika Mkandawire, only for him to agree terms with a Florida club, meaning that they have suffered set-backs in two defensive targets over the weekend. Brown told the Echo that in Sokolik's case his agent was influential in persuading him that he should be aiming at League One football to help further his career:

"It’s disappointing, particularly with Jakub because I really did think he would sign for us at one stage. For quite a while it was 75 per cent to 25 per cent in favour of him signing for us but now I would say it's the other way round. I’ve spoken to him and it appears that he has been advised by his agent to play at the highest level he can so I would expect him to sign for Yeovil now."

Brown explained that he wouldn't actually throw in the towel until he has seen the Czech Republic youth international sign on the dotted line for the Glovers. But he admitted that competing with a higher level club was difficult to deal with:

"We’ve done all we can to convince him to come and he was very apologetic about his decision. I’m not giving up hope completely because he hasn't signed for Yeovil yet but I think he’s looked at them playing in the Championship last year and the fact they will be in League One next season. That’s what I think has given them the edge over ourselves."


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22 June 2014 : Sokolik Makes Glovers Decision?
Reports from the Southend United end, suggest that Yeovil Town have won the battle to snap up former Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik. As reported on Wednesday, the 20 year old has been heavily linked with the Glovers by the Southend Echo during the week just gone, with their understanding being that the Czech Republic youth international was facing a straight choice between the Glovers and the Essex League Two side, who he spent time on loan with at the tail end of last season.

This evening, a Southend Echo journalist has said on Twitter that he is "hearing that Jakub Sokolik has chosen Yeovil instead of Southend United" - a decision that is roughly in line with Shrimpers boss Phil Brown's prediction on Thursday that Sokolik would make up his mind within a couple of days of holding final talks with both clubs.

Although it's not on their website yet, Brown is quoted (via the journalist's Twitter account) as saying of Sokolik's decision: "I've spoken to Jakub. He was very apologetic but I expect him to sign for Yeovil now."

Link: Jakub Sokolik Player Profile.


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22 June 2014 : Gary Talks About The World Cup
At the tail end of the weekend just gone, the England national team pretty much sealed their own fate in the 2014 World Cup by losing to Uruguay in Brazil. On the morning after that game, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson gave his own perspective on England's performance in the competition, as well as looking back at his own time as the Latvia national manager. With questions from BBC Somerset presenter Emma Britton, Gary's thoughts are carried via the link below.

NOTE: As Gary's interview was conducted before Italy's defeat against Costa Rica, England hadn't quite gone out of the tournament at that stage, and so the interview should be considered with that context.

Link: Gary Johnson Speaks To The BBC About The 2014 World Cup.


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22 June 2014 : Johnson Targets One Of Each For Summer Player Recruitment
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that he hopes to make at least one new signing from every major area on the pitch as part of his preparations for the 2014-15 season. So far the club have concentrated on defensive signings with Aaron Martin arriving from Birmingham City, whilst Nathan Smith returned to the club after three years with Chesterfield. But they lie short in a number of other positions - notably between the sticks where they have lost both Marek Stech and Chris Dunn over the summer.

However, elsewhere on the park, they have lost Ruben Palazuelos and Joe Ralls in midfield, the attack-minded Tom Lawrence has returned to Manchester United, whilst the loss of Shane Duffy and Byron Webster coupled with Luke Ayling being free to join another club mean that there are a still a number of empty holes around the pitch.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Johnson explains that currently his thoughts are that the club need at least one of each from the main areas of the park in order to bring his squad back up to the levels that it had before, and so is casting a wide net with the players due to return to pre-season training by Tuesday 1st July:

"We’re looking to strengthen in a number of areas and have drawn up a list that we’ll work from. In all positions if we think someone will improve the team, whether they can offer us good competition or would fill one of the gaps, we will look to get them in. We probably need at least one extra player in each department."

With most players in the free market holding contracts that run until June 30th, usual practice amongst clubs is to hold back on transfer announcments until July 1st to avoid any fear of poaching from other clubs for any players that they have gained a verbal agreement with. Gary's tendency in the past has been to have a few lined up on that basis, with announcements made on or around the start of July once players have had their first training sessions and medicals have been completed.

Meanwhile Johnson keeps people guessing in terms of his goalkeeper plans. Having said just over a week ago that he was favouring the loan route to fill his main goalkeeper slot, however he has stressed that is an option rather than a predetermined path:

"We’re not turning down any discussions with anyone wanting to join us full-time, but especially with goalkeepers, there’s always that option that you can take someone on loan. We have to make sure we take a look at who is available and get the right one in."


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21 June 2014 : Ladies Sign Former Bristol Academy Striker
Yeovil Town Ladies FC are delighted to announce a new WSL signing. Welsh international and former Bristol Academy player Ellie Curson has joined the Glovers at the age of 20. Curson started her football journey at Welsh club Mardy Tigers before being a part of Bristol Academy's Centre of Excellence and then signing WSL forms for the First team.

Curson is a player who can play across Midfield or as a Striker. She joins the club during the mid season break, with the next WSL fixture away at Sunderland on 28th June. She commented by saying:

"I’m really pleased to be signing for Yeovil and am excited for the challenge ahead! A fresh start was needed and I believe that Yeovil is the place where I can develop and grow as a WSL player. The club, manager and all the players have been really welcoming and I have been really impressed by the team ethos. I can’t wait for the second half of the season to begin".

Manager Sarah Lawler said of the new signing:

"We are delighted to have signed Ellie. She is a hard working and exciting player who will offer lots to the squad. As always, our ethos is about achieving by unity and I am confident that Ellie will do just that. The squad is looking very strong and I am excited to see how the team perform in the second half of the season. We are looking forward to Ellie being a part of this terrific squad and are counting down the days to our next two away fixtures, followed by our next home game on 12th July."

Yeovil Town Ladies' new signing Ellie Curson.
Yeovil Town Ladies' new signing Ellie Curson.

Pictured is Ellie Curson with club chairman David Mills who said "We welcome Ellie to the club and hope she enjoys being a part of this ambitious team. It's a great signing for us."

The Glovers season re-starts away on 28th June when the Ladies take on a strong Sunderland side. The first home game back at the Jones Stadium will be on Saturday 12th July against FA WSL 1 side Notts County at 5.00p.m. in the Continental Cup. Tickets cost £4.00 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. You can pay on the day or purchase online by visiting the Yeovil Town Ladies Ticketing Page.

[Yeovil Town Ladies Press Release.]


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20 June 2014 : Gary Talks About The New Fixture Lists
On Wednesday morning, Yeovil Town's 2014-15 Fixture List was published, giving the club their plan for the forthcoming League One season. Glovers boss Gary Johnson spoke to BBC Somerset reporter Richard Hoskin about the prospect of meeting teams such as Bristol City, Doncaster Rovers and Oldham Athletic during next season - Gary's views can be read via the link below.

Link: Gary Johnson Speaks To The BBC About The 2014-15 Fixture Lists.


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20 June 2014 : Bulls Given Southern League Membership
Hereford United have been formally accepted into the Southern League Premier Division for the 2014-15 season. The Bulls, who were expelled from the Conference league due to non-payment of footballing debts, have been given membership of the league, who put out the following statement yesterday concerning their situation:

"Hereford United have satisfactorily met the conditions placed on it by the Board of the Southern Football League it will accept Hereford United Football Club (1939) Limited into its Premier Division from Saturday 21st June 2014."

The decision comes ahead of the Southern League AGM which takes place on Saturday and means that they will be facing the following teams next season: Arlesey Town, Banbury United, Biggleswade Town, Bideford, Burnham, Cambridge City, Chesham United, Chippenham Town, Cirencester Town, Corby Town, Dorchester Town, Dunstable Town, Frome Town, Histon, Hitchin Town, Hungerford Town, Paulton Rovers, Poole Town, Redditch United, St Neots Town, Slough Town, Truro City, Weymouth.

That decision has been questioned by local MP Jesse Norman, who has written to the Southern League questioning whether current owner Tommy Agombar has had the FA's Fit and Proper Persons Test applied to him, or anyone who may be representing his affairs. Agombar has a past criminal record and there have been reports that he has resigned his position as director in order to meet Southern League rules, as the FA have yet to assess his position and whether his record breaches their regulations. However, given the FA's rules are also intended to prevent such people continuing to have influence or direction by proxy, Norman's letter is intended to draw attention to this.

Despite Agombar's new ownership of the club, Hereford's financial situation continues to look bleak, with still no sign of debts due to current and former staff being settled, whilst independent website Bulls News suggests that some of the club's creditors are sharpening their knives and considering winding up orders. One option being considered amongst their supporters is whether the nuclear one - complete liquidation, followed by a brand new start-up at the bottom rung - may be their best bet. With little sign that the club's £1.3 million debts are going to be addressed by their new owner, and winding up orders still to be heard, that could still be the outcome.


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20 June 2014 : All Quiet On The Ayling Front
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that the club have yet to receive an official approach for the services of right-back Luke Ayling, despite plenty of media speculation on the subject. The 22 year old is out of contract at the end of this month, and has already turned down an offer of a new deal at the club and so seems likely to leave for a new challenge.

Ayling has been connected with moves to Bristol City (Bristol Evening Post), Ipswich Town (Western Gazette) and Brentford (Western Gazette) although in the latter case a journalist for Brentford's local press has stated on Twitter that his view is the Bees do not have any interest in the former Arsenal trainee. Regardless, in all cases none of the clubs concerned have publicly thrown their hat into the ring.

That then leaves the question of exactly which clubs do want to snap Ayling up - any interested party would have to pay a compensation fee, with the matter taken to a Football League tribunal if it cannot be mutually accepted between both clubs, with their decision binding. That means that in reality any club wanting to sign Ayling needs to initially make contact with manager Gary Johnson, who told BBC Somerset that he had heard nothing through official channels:

"There's no news - I've had no news officially, coming into me. At the end of the day with Luke obviously anyone who is interested needs to come to me because of the compensation. Something would then be worked out if that's what Luke wants to do. So that's all up in the air at the moment as we speak. I'm sure there's interest out there, but we don't know of any."

The club have so far signed up former Birmingham City centre-back Aaron Martin and left-back Nathan Smith, who has returned for a second spell with the Glovers following three years at Chesterfield. The club still need to recruit heavily before the season starts and Gary explained that there was plenty going on behind closed doors but little that could be reported publicly at this stage:

"It's quiet publicly but it's very busy privately. There's a lot of phone calls going on and there's a lot of meetings. So there's a lot of things going on and it is very busy because players are coming back off their holidays and a lot of them are wondering where they're going to be. Everyone still thinks that they can ask for the earth as far as their salaries are concerned. But some of them are going to be pretty shocked because of the fair play situation, as a lot of clubs are cutting back."

In terms of where he thought the club would be for the 2014-15 season, Gary said that he wasn't prepared to make any predictions, saying that the most important thing at this stage was to focus fully on his own club's needs, rather than worrying about how strong any of their rivals were going to be:

"You can't have people saying 'look, this year we're going to be getting automatic promotion'. What you can do though is get your team prepared, get it ready, and get the recruitment right and do the best that you can, and hope that your experience over the years can help you get the right recruitment. Certainly as a club, in League One in our last campaign, we were very competitive, so we're hoping to be that again."


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19 June 2014 : Doncaster Rovers Under New Ownership
League One side Doncaster Rovers have finalised new ownership this afternoon. Former Chairman John Ryan and One Direction pop singer Louis Tomlinson have agreed to buy out current majority shareholders Terry Bramall and Dick Watson and assume control of the main football club, the associated Doncaster Rugby League side, and the charitable Doncaster Rovers Foundation. Contracts will complete on July 18th 2014, albeit with the new pair looking to shape a new direction for the club with immediate effect.

Much has of course been made of Tomlinson's association with Doncaster. Currently registered as one of their Reserve Team players, albeit with one token appearance to his name, he has taken the role of co-chairman with Ryan, who is 42 years his senior. In reality, Tomlinson is likely to be a 'figurehead' to generate publicity for Doncaster, with Ryan providing the actual experience of running a football club.

Ryan has an association with Doncaster stretching back to 1998 when he came in as an entrepreneur who made his money in the cosmetics industry. Clearing up the undeniable mess of previous Donny regimes, he was at the helm as they clawed their way out of the Conference and up to the Championship, including managing the club's ground move from Belle Vue to the current Keepmoat Stadium. Like Tomlinson, he has also made one token appearance for Rovers - although Ryan's was a first team appearance - registering himself as a player so that he could take to the field as a substitute against Hereford United at the age of 52 years and 11 months, on the final day of the 2002-03 season.

The 64 year old, who has supported the club for over 50 years, had resigned his position as Chairman in November 2013, following what was reported as a boardroom split between Ryan and his then boardroom colleagues over a move to bring external investment to the club, with Ryan claimed to be unhappy with the decision to call off talks with Irish consortium Sequentia Capital. In recent months he has been working with Tomlinson to set up his own takeover, which has now gone through.

The pair have also launched The Tomlinson Ryan Trust which has set a target of raising £2 million by July 17th 2014 in supporter-funded pledges to the Trust. If that target is successful it will be invested into the main football club, giving Donny fans direct ownership of up to 5 percent of the club and to in theory allow fans a voice in the running of their club, as well as potentially giving Doncaster a chance to expand as a club.

Just don't expect Mr Tomlinson to be too visible around the Keepmoat, or indeed at Huish Park when the two sides meet on the opening day of the 2014-15 season. His popular beat combo are in the middle of a world tour that will keep them in the USA for the first two months of the new campaign. We suspect that Mr Ryan will be capable of holding the fort during that time.


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19 June 2014 : Czech Republic Defender Held Talks With Glovers
Further to yesterday's news, more detail is available concerning the future of former Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik. With the 20 year old being connected with a move to Yeovil Town, the Southend Echo - who are covering League Two side Southend United's interest in the player indicate that the centre-back has held talks with a League One club this week.

The paper has previously indicated that three third tier teams were attempting to sign a player that enjoyed a 12 game loan spell with the Shrimpers at the tail end of the 2013-14 season, along with their own local side. Southend manager Phil Brown has been willing to publicly throw his hat into the ring, but in doing so said that he was aware that the Czech Republic youth international had travelled to meet with another club. He doesn't name that team, but the Echo reports them fairly confidently as being Yeovil Town, suggesting that they may have been given an off-the-record steer.

Speaking to the paper, Brown said that Sokolik was in regular contact with him, and was able to time a phone call to him whilst the player was travelling back from his talks with the unnamed club:

"Our talks with Jakub at the start of the week were very positive but I also know he’s been to see a League One club and spoken to their manager as well. When he was travelling back from talking to them I made sure I rang him again to make sure we were fresh in his mind. I reiterated what we are trying to achieve at the football club and the big part he can play in that and now it’s up to him what he decides really."

Brown adds that he expects a relatively quick decision on the matter, with the player likely to give his decision on Southend's own offer around the end of the week:

"I think he will probably make up his mind within the next 48 hours. I don’t think this is going to come down to the finances. It’s going to be purely based on football I think and hopefully, because he already knows all about us and the area, he will chose to come to Southend United. If he does then he will be a very big and important player for us."

Yeovil Town are heading for a new look back four for the 2014-15 season, with former Birmingham City centre-back Aaron Martin having agreed a two year deal, whilst left-back Nathan Smith will sign a similar deal after his three year stay with Chesterfield.


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19 June 2014 : Johnson Jnr Frets About Christmas Plans
Oldham Athletic manager Lee Johnson has joked that he is worried about what sort of a Christmas he may end up having seen the new 2014-15 fixture lists for League One. The 33 year old, who is the youngest boss in third tier football, will face his father Gary Johnson in the dugouts for the 2014-15 season, with the pair having briefly met during the 2012-13 campaign at Boundary Park.

The two teams meet up at Huish Park on March 7th 2015, but it is the December 13th meeting at Boundary Park that is causing Johnson Jnr some concern. Having beaten Gary's side 1-0 in the last meeting between father and son - a game that Gary described as one of the low points of his season - Lee joked that a repeat performance might see him short of presents a couple of weeks later:

"I obviously looked out for the Yeovil game first and with it being on December 13th, that could affect my Christmas and the number of presents I get!"

Gary told BBC Somerset that he was rather laid back about the two meetings, mainly because the first one was not scheduled to take place for around six months. He said that he had yet to talk to Lee about the new fixture list:

"Not yet, but I will do I should think. To be fair, they're not really early enough to worry about just yet. I think we play them in mid-December which is the first game, and then in mid-March. So I haven't got to worry about him too much early on."

Glovers fans visiting Boundary Park in December may or may not see a new North Stand in use at the ground. The Latics have embarked on a project to build a 2,500 capacity stand, that will include a new supporters’ bar, a 500-seat conference facility, offices, a health and fitness suite and a coffee shop. Oldham's development was originally planned to open for the start of the 2014-15 season, but currently stands as an empty skeleton, and they have not put a firm date now on when the stand will be fully opened for use. For the past few seasons Boundary Park has been a three-sided ground, but with the Latics having had extremely long-running plans to redevelop that side.

However, costs of the structure have also increased, with an original estimate of £4.5 million now upped to £6.5 million - the Oldham Chronicle indicates the delays and costs are due to poor weather earlier in the year, and modifications they have made to the plans in order to overcome problems other professional clubs have had with new stand developments. Despite those delays, their Chairman Simon Corney says that he would rather get the job done properly rather than rush into the situation:

"We lost six weeks in the winter. That was nobody’s fault, it is just one of those things. We are pressing ahead but we take a patient, pragmatic view. We could rush it but that way, we would make mistakes. The main thing is it is there, it is visible and people can see it is happening."

Given Yeovil Town's now aborted Copse End development was intended to cater for a 3,500 capacity all-seater stand, encompassing a similar range of internal facilities, the club would do well to track Oldham's development to learn from their experience, should they wish to produce new plans in the future.


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18 June 2014 : Glovers Linked With Ex-Liverpool Defender
Yeovil Town are being linked with former Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik. He is a 20 year old centre-back who gained some first team experience during the latter half of the 2013-14 season on loan at Southend United, who also are hoping to sign him up for next season.

Born on August 28th 1993 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, he is a former Banik Ostrava youth teamer that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez snapped up five years ago at the age of 16, after he began to break through into the Czech Republic Under-16 and Under-17 team. He made it as far as Liverpool's Under-21 side but did not break into their first team plans and was released last month, and so would be available as a free agent.

His loan spell with Southend ran from mid-March through to their League Two play-offs where he played in both of their semi-finals against Burton Albion. He has impressed enough for the Essex club to want to turn him into a permanent signing, but the Southend Echo believe that they are in competition with three League One clubs, and tonight have claimed that Yeovil Town are one of those clubs he is talking to.

As yet they don't name any sources or quotes, but yesterday manager Phil Brown told the paper that he was optimistic that Sokolik would sign for them, even though he was aware that he had other options available:

"I’m still positive he will join us, Jakub is positive about it too and so is his agent so we’re still very hopeful it will happen. I am meeting with him today as he’s just returned from going back home to the Czech Republic to see his family and we will be looking to advance our talks to the next stage. He knows he gets on well with me and the rest of the lads here, he knows the club and he knows he’s going to games. He could opt to go somewhere else not get on with the manager and not end up playing which is the last thing he needs. He knows he needs to kick start his career and that can happen with us."

As yet there's no firm connection between Sokolik and Yeovil apart from the minimal connection made by a Southend Echo journalist tonight, but they state they will be covering this in tomorrow's paper.


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18 June 2014 : Six Early Sky Sports Televised Matches
The Football League and Sky Sports have published the first six matches that will be televised for the 2014-15 season. With the Premier League kicking off a week after the Football League, there is an early opportunity to view some of the League's clubs in action. The majority of matches selected involve Championship clubs, with Cardiff City getting both of their opening fixtures put in front of the cameras.

As far as League One clubs are concerned, we'll get an early opportunity to size up Sheffield United and Bristol City in their opening weekend fixture, whilst Coventry City's League Cup tie at Sixfields will end up with rather more Sky Blues fans watching on TV than will set foot in their exiled 'home'.

The schedule is as follows, with all matches screened by Sky Sports:

08/08/2014 19:45 Blackburn Rovers v Cardiff City (Championship)
09/08/2014 12:15 Sheffield United v Bristol City (League One)
09/08/2014 17:15 Ipswich Town v Fulham (Championship)
10/08/2014 16:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City (Championship)
11/08/2014 19:45 Carlisle United v Derby County (League Cup First Round)
13/08/2014 19:45 Coventry City v Cardiff City (League Cup First Round)

The choice of the two League Cup First Round ties mean that we can pretty much cement in our own home match against Gillingham for Tuesday 12th August, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. However, we'll wait for formal confirmation on that.


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18 June 2014 : Opening Doncaster Pair-Up No Surprise For Johnson
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that the opening fixture of the 2014-15 season should have been expected given how firmly the Glovers and Doncaster Rovers seem to have been tied at the hip over the past sixteen years. Having not met before the 1998-99 seasn, the two clubs became rivals at Conference National level and have followed each other through four different divisions, with 24 competitive fixtures staged during that time.

Today's release of the 2014-15 League One Fixture List has paired both teams up again as the first match of the season with the August 9th fixture taking place at Huish Park. Speaking to BBC Somerset today, Gary said it was inevitable that both sides would end up facing each other so soon:

"It's typical that it's Doncaster. We seem to have mirrored over the years exactly what Doncaster are doing, so that's probably not a shock. We've gone up and down with them in all divisions and now we get them as the first game of the new season. But that's the game that you have to be focussed for and that's the one that you put all of your energies into during pre-season with that at the end of it. So the first game that you look for is the first game of the season. But we know it's one that we've got to be ready for, because like us they've only just come down from the Championship. It's our old rivals, so it's one to look forward to."

Gary has always tended to assess his team's fortunes in blocks of ten fixtures as part of any given season, and the batch that the Glovers will face include both of last season's relegated Championship sides in Doncaster and Barnsley. On top of that they face one of the bookies favourites in Peterborough United, whilst Scunthorpe United will be hoping their promotion from League Two can give them an early boost.

Asked whether he regarded that opening run of fixtures as a tough start for the club, Gary was cautious of making predictions, pointing out that the real competitors in the division usually only started to shine through once the season had actually started:

"You don't really know whether it's a tough start or not. Eventually you have to play everyone of course, but you don't really know yet the teams that are going to be up there. There's always a couple of shocks, and there are new teams coming up like Scunthorpe, Rochdale and Fleetwood. A lot of those teams have got little stories to them, such as Paddy Madden coming back pretty early on with Scunthorpe at Huish Park. Then there's me looking forward to going to Ashton Gate in December with Bristol City, and then of course the two Oldham games (against Lee Johnson). So a lot of those games have got stories, but we'll take each game as it comes and you make sure that you're ready for the next one."


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18 June 2014 : 2014-15 League One Fixtures Released
Yeovil Town's fixtures for the 2014-15 season have been published. The year will see the Glovers operating back in League One, after one season at Championship level, operating in a division made up of the following clubs:

League One 2014-15 Line-Up: Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Yeovil Town, Leyton Orient, Preston North End, Peterborough United, Sheffield United, Swindon Town, Port Vale, Milton Keynes Dons, Bradford City, Bristol City, Walsall, Crawley Town, Oldham Athletic, Colchester United, Gillingham, Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Notts County, Chesterfield, Scunthorpe United, Rochdale, Fleetwood Town.

In terms of the fixtures, the Glovers will open up with a home game against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday 9th August, which will then be followed by the Football League Cup First Round home match against Gillingham - most likely on Tuesday 12th August (date to be confirmed). Then on Saturday 16th August they will play Gillingham at Priestfield.

In terms of other key fixtures, the three designated Christmas holiday fixtures will see the club face Colchester United at home (Dec 20th), Bristol City at Ashton Gate (Dec 26th) and Leyton Orient at home (Dec 28th). The other local derby match against Bristol City will take place on Saturday 21st March at Huish Park. For those supporters who play by the strict rules of the '92 club' our first ever Football League meeting against Fleetwood Town at the Highbury Stadium takes place on Easter Monday on April 6th.

The 2014-15 season will end on Saturday 2nd May with a match against Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium:mk with the final home game being against Port Vale a week earlier. For other key dates outside the Football League fixtures, see the 'Key Dates' list linked below.

The full set of fixtures for the 2014-15 season can be viewed here.

Link: 2014-15 Season Key Dates List.


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17 June 2014 : Ticketing Offer For League Cup First Round Ties
Yeovil Town supporters interested in attending the club's Football League Cup First Round tie in mid-August should note that there will be a competition-wide ticketing offer in force for all clubs. Earlier today, the Glovers were given a home match against League One side Gillingham as part of the published cup draw.

The ticketing offer, which will apply to all clubs participating in the First Round, has been put forward by competition sponsors Capital One. Adult supporters will be able to buy up to five children’s tickets for £1.00 each at any of the games. Exact purchase arrangements and terms and conditions will be published in due course.

With the match taking place in the middle of the school summer holidays, Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey felt that putting the news of the ticketing offer early on would help young families make arrangements to attend that match:

"It’s great that Capital One and our clubs, are doing their utmost to attract young fans and help people enjoy Round 1 of the competition. Not only are they helping parents looking for inspiration for summer holiday activities, it’s also supporting the clubs draw in more fans and for many kids this could be their first ever football game."

Link: League Cup First Round Full Draw Details.


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17 June 2014 : League Cup First Round Full Draw Details
Yeovil Town have been given a home draw in the First Round of the 2014-15 Football League Cup. They will face League One side Gillingham at Huish Park, after the draw was announced live on Sky Sports News this morning.

The full draw for the First Round reads as follows:

Oldham Athletic v Middlesbrough
Shrewsbury Town v Blackpool
Sheffield Wednesday v Notts County
Tranmere Rovers v Nottingham Forest
Leeds United v Accrington Stanley
Bolton Wanderers v Bury
Rochdale v Preston North End
Rotherham United v Fleetwood Town
Carlisle United v Derby County
Port Vale v Hartlepool United
Morecambe v Bradford City
Barnsley v Crewe Alexandra
Chesterfield v Huddersfield Town
Blackburn Rovers v Scunthorpe United
Burton Albion v Wigan Athletic
York City v Doncaster Rovers
Sheffield United v Mansfield Town
Reading v Newport County
Bristol City v Oxford United
Brighton & Hove Albion v Cheltenham Town
Coventry City v Cardiff City
Luton Town v Swindon Town
Dagenham & Redbridge v Brentford
Charlton Athletic v Colchester United
Crawley Town v Ipswich Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Northampton Town
Yeovil Town v Gillingham
Milton Keynes Dons v AFC Wimbledon
Exeter City v AFC Bournemouth
Stevenage v Watford
Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient
Birmingham City v Cambridge Untied
Portsmouth v Peterborough United
Millwall v Wycombe Wanderers
Southend United v Walsall

All matches will be played during the week commencing August 11th, with Tuesday 12th August likely to be the most popular date for the majority of sides involved at that stage.


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16 June 2014 : League Cup Draw To Be Made Live On TV
Tomorrow sees the Football League reveal the first fixture of the 2014-15 season, as they publish the First Round of the Football League Cup. In past seasons, this draw has been pre-made behind closed doors, and put out to the media at a predetermined time.

This time around, the draw will be made live on Sky Sports News and as a consequence the draw has been brought forward by 20 minutes, to be made from around 9.40a.m. meaning that you can tune in and watch the draw as it happens.

All previous seeding information for the First Round remains as already published with Yeovil Town falling into the Southern Section seeders list. Actual matches will be played during the week commencing August 11th, with Tuesday 12th August likely to be the most popular date for the majority of sides involved at that stage.

Link: Football League Cup First Round Draw Seedings.


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16 June 2014 : Begovic Makes World Cup Finals Debut
Former Yeovil Town loanee Asmir Begovic has played in his first ever World Cup finals match. The 26 year old goalkeeper played 90 minutes for Bosnia and Herzegovina against Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in what was his home country's first appearance at the final stages.

Asmir had two loan spells at Yeovil Town - in 2007-08 and then a more lengthy stay during 2008-09 - both under Russell Slade's management. At that time, he was affiliated with Canada and had played for them during the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and twice gained call-ups for their senior squad but was an unused substitute on both occasions. Begovic's family had left his country of birth during the Yugoslavian civil war whilst he was four years old and although they initially headed for Germany, they eventually settled in Canada where he was schooled from the age of 10 years old.

With Begovic still yet to play for the Canadian senior national team, in 2009 the Trebinje-born player exercised his right to transfer his allegiances and accepted a call up for two Bosnian 2010 World Cup qualifiers. He has gradually become a regular in their team - the match against Argentina was his 31st international cap, and in 2013 he was named the Bosnian Footballer of the Year.

Unfortunately for Asmir, whilst Sunday night's match was a first for his country and a first for himself, they could not contain the might of one of the competition's more fancied sides. An early own goal by Sead Kolasinac was added to by a second half strike from the edge of the box by Argentina's Lionel Messi and although Vedad Ibisevic pulled a goal back with six minutes remaining to scare the South Americans, they held out for a 2-1 win.

Yeovil Town haven't had too many former players at the World Cup in our history. New Zealand fielded striker Rory Fallon in 2010, after his 2005 loan spell - he played all three games during the Kiwis spell in South Africa and is the only other player we're aware of that played in FIFA's main competition after he left the Glovers.

Other players who got to the World Cup but before they arrived in South Somerset, include Ken Jones who was an unused substitute in Wales' 1958 trip to Sweden, whilst defender John McClelland represented Northern Ireland in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups in Spain and Mexico. More recently defender Efe Sodje represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.


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15 June 2014 : Yeovil Town In The 1930s
With current Yeovil Town activities rather thin on the ground over the summer, there's been an opportunity to dip back into the past. The Statistics Section of the Ciderspace website has been beefed up to include all results and goals from the 1930s decade. This now means that the site statistics database now covers 84 years worth of data for Glovers first team matches.

The 1930s saw the club play a large number of Football League club Reserve Teams who were at that time incorporated into the Southern League and London Combination structures - Yeovil Town were members of both at one point, although by 1933 chose to concentrate exclusively on Southern League and Western League football.

It was also this decade that saw the club begin to exert themselves as a force in the FA Cup - their first three visits to the Third Round stage of the competition, and Football League scalps in the form of Crystal Palace, Exeter City and Brighton and Hove Albion - putting them up against Liverpool and Manchester United during that decade.

The 1930s decade ends with a rather dysfunctional final season, with the 1939-40 season being at first aborted, and then restarted in a different form, due to the outbreak of World War II. By the end of that season, competitive football at Huish was being brought to a close, with Yeovil Town only resuming action for the start of the 1945-46 season.

All statistics pages are now held within this site's Statistics section, or can be accessed via the links below. As the match results are stored against the site database, they'll also automatically be shown in the relevant opposition profile pages, where past meetings against the Glovers are displayed for that team.

Season 1930-31: Goals Results.

Season 1931-32: Goals Results.

Season 1932-33: Goals Results.

Season 1933-34: Goals Results.

Season 1934-35: Goals Results.

Season 1935-36: Goals Results.

Season 1936-37: Goals Results.

Season 1937-38: Goals Results.

Season 1938-39: Goals Results.


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14 June 2014 : World Cup 2014 Blog : Costa Rica Cause Rethink On England's Group
When the draw for the 2014 World Cup final groups were made, the assumption was that England were in a tough group where any of three countries could qualify. After Costa Rica's game against Uruguay today, that theory may need a rethink. Henry Hudson's latest addition to the World Cup 2014 Blog gives his thoughts on that game - add yours if you have thoughts on how that may affect England's group, at the foot of the linked article.

Link: World Cup 2014 Blog : Costa Rica Cause Rethink On England's Group.


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14 June 2014 : World Cup 2014 Blog : Colombia Triple Gives Greek Tragedy
Saturday teatime's viewing gave World Cup 2014 viewers their first chance to see how Colombia and Greece could fare in Brazil. The latest World Cup 2014 Blog entry sees Henry Hudson give his views on that match - one of four on our screens during the day - and you can read that via the link below. As usual, alternative views and comments are welcome.

Link: World Cup 2014 Blog : Colombia Triple Gives Greek Tragedy.


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14 June 2014 : Johnson Hoping Grant Gets International Boost
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson is hoping that a taste of international experience will give winger Joel Grant a boost as he prepares for the 2014-15 season. Whilst his Glovers team-mates have been putting their feet up since the final day of last season, the 26 year old has been jetting around the world whilst playing for Jamaica. Picking up four caps - his first for his country's senior side - he has been visiting the USA, Switzerland, London and France in matches against Serbia, Switzerland, Egypt and France respectively.

Whilst Grant's first international cap came against the Serbians, the highlight of that quartet came with his first international goal - scored at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road ground, whilst he also experienced a match against a full-strength French side at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in front of 49,600 spectators as the host country prepared for their journey to the World Cup.

Johnson told the Western Gazette that Grant's experience across those games should help his career, particularly given that he was surrounded by other international players, and in the case of the French match up against some of the World's best players. The Glovers boss hoped that would give him a lift when he returns for pre-season training in early July:

"We’ve got Joel Grant, who has been doing really well for Jamaica this summer, scored a great goal, and that will stand him in good stead. On the back of that experience next season could be his year and we’re looking forward to working with him. We’ve got a few players who have good experience of being in League One and we’ve obviously got a lot of lads who had Championship experience last year and are looking to build on that."


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14 June 2014 : World Cup 2014 Blog : Dutch Delight, Spain Pain
Yesterday evening saw two of the big guns in the World Cup match up against each other as 2010 World Cup winners Spain took on Holland who they had played in the last final. Few would have predicted what happened next. The latest World Cup 2014 Blog entry from Henry Hudson givens his views on an extraordinary evening - you can read that via the link below - and add your own views on the competition so far at the foot of the article.

Link: World Cup 2014 Blog : Dutch Delight, Spain Pain.


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13 June 2014 : World Cup 2014 Blog : Mexico Make Persistence Pay Off
Game number two of the 2014 World Cup and two of the lesser fancied teams met in Natal earlier today. Mexico and Cameroon were the teams, with one of those fielding a player who had come up against Yeovil Town earlier in his season. Guest blogger Henry Hudson continues his thoughts on what's happening in Brazil, via the link below. Add your own views at the foot of the article.

Link: World Cup 2014 Blog : Mexico Make Persistence Pay Off.


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13 June 2014 : World Cup 2014 Blog : Brazil Get Some Home Help For Opening Win
In case you didn't know, a small footballing competition started yesterday. To recognise the first match in the World Cup 2014 competition, which saw Brazil take on Croatia, we have a guest blog from Henry Hudson who gives his own views on how he saw the opener in Sao Paolo. Read on via the link below, and as you prepare for another evening's worth of football, feel free to add your own views at the foot of the article.

Link: World Cup 2014 Blog : Brazil Get Some Home Help For Opening Win.


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12 June 2014 : Lions On Edge Of Finalising Webster Deal
Championship side Millwall have confirmed that they are about to sign up centre-back Byron Webster. This is the first time that any club has gone firmly on the record in terms of their interest in the out of contract Yeovil Town defender, who has left Huish Park after two years on the club's books. There had been claims that the 27 year old was attracting interest from a myriad of other teams such as Leeds United, Scunthorpe United and Ipswich Town, but none of these clubs have gone on the record at any stage to suggest they held a firm interest.

Lions manager Ian Holloway has now stated he is aiming to tie up a firm deal in the next week once Byron has returned from a holiday, with a meeting scheduled with Chief Executive Andy Ambler to "tie up details". The Southwark News, who have been covering their local club's interest in Webster throughout the summer, quote Holloway as being confident that he has got his man:

"I think he will improve our squad's strength. We're trying to improve the goals-against column, so to do that you've got to stop goals going in. Hopefully there will be more competition in the defensive areas to make it harder to be in the team and stay in the team, and make us stronger if someone gets injured. That's the idea behind it."

Holloway also explained what had attracted him to Webster, having seen him play for the Glovers at Championship level during the 2013-14 season, saying that he liked his style as a ball-playing defender:

"I like how Byron uses the ball from defence and I think he can play left side or right side, and with him I can also change my tactics and go three at the back if I need to. Hopefully someone like Byron can step to the plate for us. I think he's in our bracket of the right age and wants to improve his career having just had one season in the Championship."

Byron made 98 appearances for Yeovil Town, scoring nine times across two seasons. Whilst he hasn't actually put pen to paper at the New Den, the fact that Millwall are now willing to go public over their interest suggests that they have a verbal agreement and are just trying to tie up final loose ends before formally unveilling him as their player.

Link: Byron Webster : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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12 June 2014 : Gary Ponders Keeper Loan Move To Fill Gap
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has suggested that he may use the loan market in order to cope with the loss of both of the club's goalkeepers this summer. First choice goalkeeper Marek Stech signed a three year deal with Sparta Prague whilst on Tuesday, his back-up keeper Chris Dunn signed for League Two side Cambridge United, meaning that at present the Glovers only have goalkeeping coach Gareth Stewart on their books who is capable of standing between the sticks.

With two months to go before the Football League season kicks off though, all that will change, particularly once players drop out of contract at their current clubs on July 1st. Johnson has told the Western Gazette that given the number of quality keepers the club has attracted to Huish Park that he is not losing any sleep over the issue, suggesting that the club's reputation will help them here:

"It certainly puts us back in the market for a couple of goalkeepers but during the time I’ve been here and over the last ten years the club has had some very good ones and built a good reputation. When keepers are looking for a move and hear that Yeovil are interested it makes them sit up and take notice."

Gary added that there was a high chance that one of the two recruits could come from the loan market, with it being cheaper for the club to recruit in someone from another club than it would be to buy someone on a permanent basis:

"It’s always nice if you can get your own in but with the Financial Fair Play regulations it’s now probably better to get a loan keeper in for 10 months. That way you can get someone who is on a bigger salary elsewhere. It’s a difficult juggling act and in some ways we’re looking for bigger players than we can actually afford."

This suggests that the club will go back to the policy of recruiting a loan goalkeeper as their main first choice No.1 with a younger more inexperienced player used as a back-up. Past seasons have seen the likes of England Under-21 goalkeeper Alex McCarthy brought in on long term loan deals, with others such as Asmir Begovic and Wayne Hennessey also having passed through the doors as borrowed keepers.


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11 June 2014 : Ayling Linked With Bristol City Move
Yeovil Town right-back Luke Ayling is being linked with a move to League One rivals Bristol City. A fairly speculative article in today's Western Daily Press suggests that they are weighing up whether to make a formal offer for the 22 year old, who is out of contract at the end of this month.

The WDP report that City boss Steve Cotterill is away on holiday for the next ten days, and so they do not expect any developments on this front in the short term, however suggest that City had scouts watching Ayling at the end of last season, and that they are short of options in the right-back position at present.

As with many of these summer rumours, there are no quotes or sources revealed. The Western Gazette have previously linked Ayling with moves to Brentford and Ipswich Town although that has yet to turn into any firm evidence of interest.

The Glovers have issued Ayling with a contract offer, but initial feedback was that he had turned down the offer from the club. However, Ayling's situation is a little more complex than with other out of contract players, in that the club are entitled to a compensation fee as he falls under the age of 24. Having been on the club's books for over four years, and with the former Arsenal academy player having made 185 first team appearances since his arrival as an 18 year old, the Glovers would expect that to be substantial.

Any interested club would have to approach Yeovil Town to make an offer of compensation, or take the issue to a transfer tribunal. Thus it is highly likely that the Glovers will receive some contact from an interested club in due course.

Link: Luke Ayling : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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10 June 2014 : Hereford Expelled From Conference League
The Football Conference League have expelled Hereford United today, after they missed a number of deadlines to pay their football creditors. The Bulls are likely to be relegated to the Southern League Premier Division, after they were kicked out due to a growing backlog of debts that include one of their former managers, along with players and other interested parties.

Conference rules require all overdue football-related creditors to be settled by the time of their Annual General Meeting each season, but the Bulls have been showing signs of financial stress throughout the whole of the 2013-14 season, with three winding up orders issued against them during the second half of that season, and a series of statements on their club's website promising 'imminent' sums of money that would relieve what was clearly growing pressure.

A meeting held with the Conference board last Friday, after the Bulls had failed to pay £148,000 worth of football-relating debts by a Thursday deadline, saw them given two deadlines this week - one to provide proof of funds by yesterday, and another to make full payment of footballing debts by Thursday.

The Bulls had managed to negotiate extra time, as they have just been bought out by London businessman Tommy Agombar, and so the new man was given the chance to honour those debts. However, local media reports suggest that none of the parties still owed money by Hereford had received payment at any time, and today's announcement would suggest that proof of funding was not possible either.

Current expectations are that Hereford will be demoted two divisions, into the Southern League, with Chester City - ironically the last club to be expelled by the Conference due to financial problems - being reprieved. Hayes and Yeading United who had been relegated from Conference South will instead retain their status.

As for Hereford, on top of their footballing debts, they have fallen behind on their latest PAYE tax demand, and have a winding up order from former manager Martin Foyle for unpaid wages still hanging over their heads, with the total amount of money owed pitched as being around £225,000 across all parties. As a result, even their Southern League status is not absolutely assured.


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10 June 2014 : Reid Finally Cuts Ties With Yeovil Town
Former Yeovil Town striker Reuben Reid has finally cut his ties with the Glovers, after he chose to sign for League Two side Plymouth Argyle today. The 25 year old has been on loan at Home Park across two loan spells for the last 18 months, and so the decision is no surprise given he has effectively been their player during that time.

Reuben has signed a two year contract with the Pilgrims, keeping him at Home Park until the summer of 2016. Other offers on the table came from Argyle's divisional rivals Portsmouth, but with Reuben having scored over 20 goals last season, his decision to stay in Devon, where his career has been revived somewhat, rather than go chasing potentially higher wages, seems a sensible one.

Overall Reuben scored six times in 25 appearances for the Glovers - with all appearances for the club coming during the first half of the 2012-13 season. His time on the pitch rapidly ran out once Paddy Madden and James Hayter began to settle in and cement themselves as the obvious first choice front line for the Glovers during that season, and as a consequence his last appearance for the Glovers came during early January 2013.

Link: Reuben Reid : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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10 June 2014 : Bluebirds To Make Pre-Season Visit To Huish Park
Yeovil Town have planned another pre-season friendly - their third to take place at Huish Park, to add to games against Bristol Rovers and Reading. The Glovers will take on Championship side Cardiff City in a match that will take place on Sunday 27th July, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off.

Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season and will be back in second tier football after one season in the top flight. We last played Cardiff in July 2011, where a 1-1 draw saw Max Ehmer get a rare goal, whilst Peter Whittingham opened the scoring for the Bluebirds. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also familiar to Huish Park surroundings - he took a Manchester United XI down to Huish Park for Darren Way's testimonial match.

The pre-season friendly schedule now looks like this:

09/07/2014 : Wed 19:45 : Frome Town (away)
12/07/2014 : Sat 15:00 : Basingstoke Town (away)
15/07/2014 : Tue 19:45 : Torquay United (away)
19/07/2014 : Sat 15:00 : Reading (home)
22/07/2014 : Tue 19:45 : Bristol Rovers (home)
27/07/2014 : Sun 15:00 : Cardiff City (home)
30/07/2014 : Wed 19:45 : Plymouth Argyle (away)
04/08/2014 : Mon 19:30 : Dorchester Town (away)

Ticket pricing for the Reading and Bristol Rovers matches can be found via the link below. Prices for the Cardiff match will follow in due course.

Link: Ticketing For Reading And Bristol Rovers Friendlies.


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10 June 2014 : Football League Cup First Round Draw Seedings
Yeovil Town have as expected been seeded for the First Round of the Football League Cup. As one of last season's Championship sides, they automatically become one of the competition's seeded teams for the draw, which will take place next week. In addition, as per previous years, the draw is divided into Northern and Southern regions for the first round, and this means that the club can only face one of eighteen other clubs - all from the lower half of League One or from League Two.

Yeovil Town's possible opponents therefore will come from the 'Southern Region Unseeded' section with each grouping as follows:

Southern Region Seeds: 1. AFC Bournemouth 2.Birmingham City 3. Brentford 4. Brighton & Hove Albion 5. Bristol City 6. Cardiff City 7. Charlton Athletic 8. Ipswich Town 9. Leyton Orient 10. Millwall 11. Milton Keynes Dons 12. Peterborough United 13. Reading 14. Swindon Town 15. Walsall 16. Watford 17. Wolverhampton Wanderers 18. Yeovil Town

Southern Region Unseeded: 19. AFC Wimbledon 20. Cambridge United 21. Cheltenham Town 22. Colchester United 23. Coventry City 24. Crawley Town 25. Dagenham & Redbridge 26. Exeter City 27. Gillingham 28. Luton Town 29. Newport County 30. Northampton Town 31. Oxford United 32. Plymouth Argyle 33. Portsmouth 34. Southend United 35. Stevenage 36. Wycombe Wanderers

Northern Region Seeds: 1. Barnsley 2. Blackburn Rovers 3. Blackpool 4. Bolton Wanderers 5. Bradford City 6. Derby County 7. Doncaster Rovers 8. Huddersfield Town 9. Leeds United 10. Middlesbrough 11. Nottingham Forest 12. Port Vale 13. Preston North End 14. Rotherham United 15. Sheffield United 16. Sheffield Wednesday 17. Wigan Athletic

Northern Region Unseeded: 18. Accrington Stanley 19. Burton Albion 20. Bury 21. Carlisle United 22. Chesterfield 23. Crewe Alexandra 24. Fleetwood Town 25. Hartlepool United 26. Mansfield Town 27. Morecambe 28. Notts County 29. Oldham Athletic 30. Rochdale 31. Scunthorpe United 32. Shrewsbury Town 33. Tranmere Rovers 34. York City

All Premier League clubs will enter the competition during the Second Round, with those involved in European competitions given a bye until the Third Round.

The full first round draw will be released on Tuesday 17th June at 10.00a.m. The fixtures for the First Round will take place on the week beginning Monday 11th August.


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10 June 2014 : Dunn Deal Is A Done Deal
Further to yesterday's news concerning goalkeeper Chris Dunn, there has now been formal confirmation that he has left Yeovil Town. Chris has signed a two year contract with League Two newcomers Cambridge United, after his contract at Huish Park expired.

Chris made eight appearances for the Glovers during the 2013-14 season, operating as an understudy to Marek Stech, but despite talks with the club about extending that stay, it's uncertain as to whether a formal contract landed on the table for the former Northampton Town and Coventry City player. Dunn has told Cambridge's club website that he did have other offers on the table as well:

"Even though I had offers on the table from other clubs, I met (Cambridge's Director of Football) Jez George and the gaffer (Richard Money) and the way they sold me the club made the decision a no brainer. I can't wait for the season to start and I'm really looking forward to being part of such a young and ambitious squad."

Cambridge won the Conference National play-off final in May, beating Gateshead at Wembley Stadium, and so are back in the Football League after a nine year absence.


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9 June 2014 : Ladies Trio Get International Call-Ups
Three Yeovil Town Ladies players have been included in the Wales squad for two of their FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifiers. Goalkeeper Alice Evans and midfield pair Helen Bleazard and Amy Wathan have been included in the squad that will play Turkey and Belarus in matches later this month.

Wales will play host to Turkey at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium, Haverfordwest on Saturday 14th June at 15:00hrs. After that match the squad will fly to Belarus to play at the Traktor Stadium in Minsk on Thursday 19th June, kick-off 18:00hrs local time (16:00hrs UK time).

Currently Wales are in a comfortable second placed position in the UEFA Group 6 table, although with England running away with the group with a 100 percent record, it looks as though they will need to qualify as one of the best runners-up, which makes victories over the 5th and 4th placed sides respectively particularly important.

Wales Women National Squad: Nicola Davies - Reading, Alice Evans - Yeovil Town, Rhian Clevereley - Bristol Academy, Nicola Cousins - Cardiff City Ladies, Kylie Davies - Millwall, Loren Dykes - Bristol Academy, Carys Hawkins - Fylkir, Hayley Ladd - Coventry City, Helen Bleazard - Yeovil Town, Jessica Fishlock - Seattle Reign, Josie Green - Watford, Michelle Green - Cardiff City Ladies, Sophie Ingle - Bristol Academy, Angharad James - Bristol Academy, Sam Quayle - Bristol Academy, Sarah Wiltshire - Watford, Natasha Harding - Bristol Academy, Hannah Keryakoplis - Birmingham City, Nadia Lawrence - IBV Vestmannaeyjar, Amy Wathan - Yeovil Town.


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9 June 2014 : Taff's Gloversblog : Planning Problems And Options
Over the course of the past three years or so, Yeovil Town's planning application to build on top of the two training pitches has received plenty of differing views on its suitability and benefit to the club. However, one of the problems we've had in analysing what can be a bewildering size of technical documents is that most of us are not planning experts. Thankfully in the latest Taff's Gloversblog we have a guest blogger in Andrew - a Northern Glover who is both a Yeovil Town fan and a professional architect who deals with planning issues on a day-to-day basis.

He gives his views on where Yeovil Town's own application fell short, and also outlines a possible planning option the club could consider as an alternative when they next go back to the drawing board. You can read that article via the link below, and obviously provide your own views at the foot of the article about what you think the club should be doing - feel free to leave questions for Northern Glover as well.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : Planning Problems And Options.


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9 June 2014 : Dunn Linked With Cambridge Move
Yeovil Town goalkeeper Chris Dunn is being linked with a move to Football League newcomers Cambridge United. The Sky Sports transfer centre claims that the U's have "agreed a deal to sign [Dunn] on a free transfer". They don't provide any sources or quotes to back this up, although all has gone quiet on the 26 year old's future in the past month.

Dunn is a free agent and so is entitled to talk to other clubs - when the club's released list was announced on May 13th they indicated that they were in "talks" with Dunn, implying that although they weren't firmly showing him the door, that they hadn't got a deal on the table for him at that stage. Since then there hasn't been any further communication regarding Dunn's future at the club.

He made eight appearances for the Glovers during the 2013-14 season, as an understudy to Marek Stech, although the latter has since departed to join Sparta Prague. Thus if this Sky Sports claim does turn into something concrete, then manager Gary Johnson would need to search for two goalkeepers over the summer.

As yet, there is no firm report of this in the Cambridge press, so this should be just treated as a rumour at this stage.


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9 June 2014 : Duffy Praises Glovers For Role In International Debut
Former Yeovil Town centre-back Shane Duffy has expressed his delight at finally making his international debut - and gave credit to the Glovers for their role in getting his career back on track. The 22 year old had been on the edge of international honours as an 18 year old when former boss Giovanni Trapattoni had heavily hinted at him getting a chance in an end of season friendly against Paraguay back in 2010, but suffered a horrific training ground injury that saw him in hospital with a lacerated liver, following his collision with a goalkeeper.

That situation put Duffy's medical needs far above his football career, and as a result his chance of Republic of Ireland honours temporarily disappeared, even though he became captain at Under-21s level. On Friday night, the Everton academy graduate finally completed a full circle by playing a full 90 minutes in Ireland's 1-1 draw with England's World Cup opponents Costa Rica, giving him his international debut.

Duffy reflected upon how his career had gradually turned around from those dark moments as a teenager and said after the Costa Rica game that he was delighted to finally get his reward for what had been curtailed four years previously:

"It's been a long four years. I don't know, I was just focusing on club football to see if I could get back to where I was, and hopefully this season I have shown that. Playing the other night was sort of a reward for four years ago, what happened, so I was just delighted. I am made up to be even in the squad, so to play was a dream. Obviously when you start playing football, you want to play for your country, so I was delighted when it actually came."

Duffy cited his time at Yeovil Town as having been highly influential in getting him noticed by new boss Martin O'Neill, after his 39 game loan spell at Huish Park and is keeping his fingers crossed that he will play some role in Ireland's next friendly against Portugal on Wednesday:

"It's a lot different, but it's been brilliant for me down there. It's got me where I am now, so it's credit to Yeovil for bringing me down there and giving me a chance to be in the senior squad. As soon as you have played one game, you want to play more. I don't know how I did, but I just went out there and did the best I could do, and on Tuesday I will be ready if I'm picked."

Ireland's match against Portugal takes place at the MetLife Stadium, New Jersey on Wednesday 11th June as part of Portugal's final match before they head down to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Duffy could stand some chance of pitting his wits against Ronaldo and Co given that the likes of John O'Shea, Seamus Coleman and Damien Delaney have not travelled to the USA, whilst former Glovers loanee Marc Wilson limped off with a hamstring injury during the Costa Rica match.


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8 June 2014 : Grant Completes International Duty In French Rout
Yeovil Town winger Joel Grant picked up his fourth Jamaican cap of the summer, as he completed his summer international duty at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve d'Ascq tonight. The match took place at the new home of Lille OSC - a 50,186 capacity stadium that was packed full of France fans who saw their side produce an eight goal rout as a perfect send-off in their final match before they head off for the 2014 World Cup.

The French took full control of the game right from the start as Yohan Cabaye polished off a superb multi-man move from close range after he was set up by Oliver Giroud. Three minutes later and Capaye was the play-maker, feeding Karim Benzema who set up Blaise Matuidi to fire into the bottom left hand corner from outside the box. France got themselves a 3-0 lead at the break when Benzema's disguised shot from the edge of the box left Reggae Boyz keeper Jacomen Barrett somewhat flat-footed as it curled around a defender.

Karim Benzema continued his terrorisation of the Jamaican defence during the second period, as his cross set up Oliver Giroud for a first time finish inside the box. Then ten minutes later Benzema got his second as he went for power just inside the box to beat Barrett at his near post. Blaise Matuidi got his second straight after that from a Patrice Evra left wing cross. Then Antoine Griezmann grabbed France's seventh and eighth of the night in what was a wholly one-sided match.

Whilst Grant inevitably had a quiet game tonight, with all of the Jamaican attacking players struggling to see the ball, he played another full 90 minutes having become a regular part of the Reggae Boyz international side over the summer. His travels have seen him play in New Jersey, USA, the Swissporarena in Switzerland, Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road ground and finally tonight the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in France. With the third of that quartet of games giving him his first ever international goal, he's had a rather eventful few weeks. Fortunately now he will get just over three week's rest before he has to head back to Yeovil for pre-season training.

Final Score: France 8 Jamaica 0.

Scorers: Yohan Cabaye (1-0, 17 mins), Blaise Matuidi (2-0, 20 mins), Karim Benzema (3-0, 37 mins), Oliver Giroud (4-0, 53 mins), Karim Benzema (5-0, 63 mins), Blaise Matuidi (6-0, 66 mins), Antoine Griezmann (7-0, 77 mins), Antoine Griezmann (8-0, 89 mins).

Jamaica: 23. Jacomen Barrett 3. Lloyd Doyley 19. Adrian Mariappa 4. Wes Morgan 6. Nicholas Beckett 20. Kemar Lawrence 15. Joel Grant 16. Chris Humphrey 17. Rudolph Austin 18. Simon Dawkins 9. Michael Seaton

Substitutes: 22. Dino Williams (72 mins for Michael Seaton) 8. Hughan Gray (46 mins for Kemar Lawrence) 14. John Edwards (85 mins for Simon Dawkins) 7. Nicholay Finlayson 11. Romario Campbell (46 mins for Nicholas Beckett) 13. Ryan Thompson 2. Upston Edwards 10. Ramil Sheriff (65 mins for Chris Humphrey)


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8 June 2014 : SSDC Leader Talks About The Food Store Application
During the week just gone, Yeovil Town withdrew their application to build a Food Store on land to the north of the Huish Park stadium. That brought to an end a project that has been running for over three years at the club, meaning that and development plans will need to be redrawn and resubmitted.

On Wednesday morning, South Somerset District Council leader Ric Pallister appeared live on BBC Somerset to talk about the application and how its withdrawal left the club. The BBC had hoped to get representatives from Yeovil Town or CDS International onto the show but were unable to do so. Presenter Emma Britton's interview with Ric can be read via the link below.

Link: SSDC's Ric Pallister Speaks To The BBC About The Food Store Development.


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7 June 2014 : Seagulls Appoint Hyypia As New Boss
Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion have appointed a new manager, following last month's resignation of Oscar Garcia. They have turned to former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia as their next boss, giving him a three year contract and titling him as 'first team manager' - a slight shift in thinking given Garcia's title as 'Head Coach'.

Hyypia, who played 105 times for Finland as an international, had been at Bayer Leverkusen as their Head Coach, but was fired by the German side in April 2014, ending a five year association with the club he ended his playing days with. There had been some doubts over the future of former Glovers assistant manager Nathan Jones who had been acting as Garcia's assistant, but Hyypia's initial statement on his plans for the club suggested that he was planning to work with the existing coaching staff rather than bringing in his own team:

"I've held extensive talks with the chairman Tony Bloom and chief executive Paul Barber. I have looked at the club from top to bottom and I am very impressed by what I've seen at all levels. I've seen the Amex Stadium and the club's new training ground and they are amongst the best I've seen anywhere in the world. I've also already met some of the key staff including Nathan Jones, the club's head of football David Burke, and Dr Helge Riepenhoff, head of medical and sports science, and I am very much looking forward to working with all of them."


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7 June 2014 : Artificial Pitches 'In Principle' Supported For Football League Matches
This weekend's Football League AGM has voted 'in principle' to support the use of artificial playing surfaces in two of its divisions at some future stage. The matter was up for debate again, despite being rejected at the 2012 Football League AGM, where Championship clubs unanimously rejected it, whilst only Yeovil Town and Oldham Athletic supported its introduction at League One level. The majority of clubs willing to support it at the time were at League Two level, with Accrington Stanley and Wycombe Wanderers particularly keen on the idea.

Since then, the Football Association have agreed to allow such pitches to be used in all rounds of the FA Cup from the 2014-15 season onwards - something that would benefit clubs like Maidstone United and Keynsham Town who currently use such surfaces in non-league football. However, in January 2014, the Conference League voted against introducing that into their three division structure by a 21:11 majority of those clubs present at their EGM to discuss that proposal. The vote was particularly relevant to the Stones, given they are currently operating one division below that level in the Isthmian Premier Division and so would have to tear up that surface if they were promoted.

Today, the Football League's 72 members have agreed that they would allow them to be used in League One and League Two, but not at Championship level. Clubs in the third and fourth tier would still be able to stage cup matches against clubs from other divisions on their artificial turf, but would be expected to change their playing surface if they were promoted or relegated into a division that did not support that surface.

The current vote is not absolutely binding - the Football League have been asked to provide clubs with further analysis of the use of such pitches before formal consideration later in the year. The Football Association have laid down the minimum standards and guidelines such pitches must have and so it is likely that the Football League would adopt a similar standards document.

The big headache a club would face if it did lay down such a surface, as a League One or League Two side, is that as the rules stand they would have to rip up their pitches if they were either promoted to the Championship, or relegated to the Conference National division. There are very few clubs in those two divisions who could safely guarantee that they would not move outside those levels. A club in League One would look wholly unambitious if it implemented such a pitch, whilst a club in League Two would be making a huge assumption that they could never get relegated. Clubs such as Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United at one end, and Torquay United and Barnet at the other end who have tended to yo-yo between divisions would be highly unlikely to want to change their surface every other year.

Back in March 2012, Glovers Chairman John Fry suggested the club were looking into using an artificial playing surface on the Huish Park main pitch, but of course could not do so without a rule change. Meanwhile during October 2011 the club went into an ill-fated agreement with Blue Sky International to provide a 3G training pitch, but that project was later abandoned - the club have since relaid the pitch next to the Main Stand with an artificial surface.

However, both Gary Johnson and Terry Skiverton have tended to give such pitches a luke warm reception in terms of competitive football, with the Glovers putting out their Youth Team against Keynsham rather than risk injuries, whilst Johnson warned of the need for quality surfaces when he was asked for his views. Hence clubs would need to agree their own policies internally before considering such a project to ensure that Boardroom views and Coaching Staff views are aligned.


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7 June 2014 : Duffy Makes Full International Debut
Former Yeovil Town central defender Shane Duffy made his international debut late last night as he started in a match against Costa Rica. Now back at his parent club Everton, Shane played at the PPL Stadium, Philadelphia against England's World Cup opponents operating alongside Richard Keogh as his fellow centre-back. Boss Martin O'Neill made nine changes to the side that had turned out against Italy at Craven Cottage, Fulham last weekend and that allowed Shane to get his chance, having spent the previous match as an unused substitute.

Playing a full 90 minutes, Shane saw his side go ahead on on 18 minutes when another former Glovers loanee, Marc Wilson, made a move up the left-flank and then delivered the cross that saw Kevin Doyle score with a well taken header. Wilson limped off after 40 minutes with a hamstring problem, leaving the Irish defence having to cope with a makeshift back four, as James McClean played the remainder of the game as a left-back.

During that same period, Costa Rica's Giancarlo Gonzalez was sent off after he was involved in an aerial challenge with Doyle that left the latter with blood running down his face. Despite that man deficit, Costa Rica fought back during the second half, with goalkeeper David Forde bringing down Marco Urena inside the box, with Celso Borges converting from the spot. Ireland then should have won the match, as they got their own spot kick, but Robbie Keane's penalty was saved by Costa Rica's substitute keeper Patrick Pemberton.

The Irish Times report that Duffy had an 'assured debut' for the Republic, although the press do indicate that the back four in general came under increasing pressure during that second period. He joins goalkeeper Marek Stech and winger Joel Grant as being players who ended the 2013-14 season on the Glovers books that have since played senior international matches for their country as part of this batch of pre-World Cup friendlies.

Final Score: Republic Of Ireland 1 Costa Rica 1.

Scorers: Kevin Doyle (18 mins, 1-0),

Republic of Ireland: Forde, Kelly, Duffy, Keogh, Wilson [McClean 40]; Pilkington [McGeady 65], Whelan, Green [Hendrick 65], Quinn [Cox 83]; Doyle [Long 70], Keane [Hoolahan 83]

Costa Rica: Navas [Pemberton 45], Gonzalez, Duarte, Umana; Mora, Cubero, Borges, Urena [Brenes 77[, Diaz; Campbell [Calvo 86], Ruiz [Bolanos 74]


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6 June 2014 : League Clubs Give B Teams The Thumbs Down
Football League clubs have given proposals for 'B Teams' to be introduced into the football pyramid the thumbs down at their AGM today. Despite FA Chairman Greg Dyke being given two hours to present and debate the proposals that were outlined in the FA England Commission report a month ago, the 72 member clubs were unimpressed at the ideas put forward.

League clubs also rejected plans to introduce Strategic Loan Partnerships, which were also detailed in Dyke's report, that would have allowed a League One or League Two club to retain their high level club identity, but would have seen a contractual arrangement between them and a Premier League club concerning the provision of loan players to that club, along with potentially coaching or physio staff. Prior to the meeting, clubs had expressed concern that such an arrangement might lead to bidding wars, whilst other clubs would find their running implicitly controlled by proxy as the Premier League club dictated to them who they could and couldn't play.

Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said that clubs appreciated the underlying needs behind Dyke's report - to help improve the flow of players through to the England national team - but they didn't see either proposal as being in their interests:

"Greg Dyke provided a detailed and thought provoking presentation that helped clubs get a better understanding of the thinking behind his recent report. Whilst it's fair to say there is no appetite amongst clubs for the use of B teams or Strategic Loan Partnerships in the football pyramid, they did share his overriding concern about the development of young English footballers and supported a number of the report's other recommendations. We will continue to work with the FA to help find solutions that will be supported across the whole game."

As an aside, the Football League fed back to the FA their views on the recent controversies surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. A number of media outlets - particularly the Sunday Times - have printed allegations of corruption in the bidding process that allowed the Arab state to be awarded the rights to host the competition.

Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said that they would support the Football Association if they put pressure upon FIFA to re-run the World Cup bidding process, should the allegations be found to have legs:

"The Board offered its support to the views expressed by the FA Chairman on the matter, namely that the process should be re-run if the allegations are ultimately proven to be true. In our view, it is essential that FIFA - as the ultimate guardian of the world game - complies with the very highest standards of corporate governance, otherwise it will lose the confidence of national associations, leagues and football fans across the world."


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6 June 2014 : Ticketing For Reading And Bristol Rovers Friendlies
Advance ticketing information is now available for Yeovil Town's home pre-season friendlies against Bristol Rovers and Reading. Details for each fixture are as follows:

Yeovil Town vs Reading : Saturday 19th July, kick-off 3.00p.m.

Adults: £15.00; Seniors (Aged Over-65) and Young Persons (Aged 16-21): £10.00; Under-16s: £2.00.

Yeovil Town vs Bristol Rovers : Tuesday 22nd July, kick-off 7.45p.m.

Adults: £10.00; Seniors (Aged Over-65) and Young Persons (Aged 16-21): £5.00; Under-16s: £2.00.

For both matches, the AgustaWestland Main Stand will be available to home supporters. Part of the Screwfix East Stand will be available to away supporters. At this stage it is not planned to open other parts of the ground.

Both home and away supporters can purchase tickets in advance via the same means. Either visit the Huish Park Ticket Office during normal office hours, or give them a call on 01935-847888 to pay over the phone via debit/credit card.


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5 June 2014 : Football League Add Two New Directors
The Football League have announced two changes to their Board of Directors as part of their Annual General Meeting. The first completes a plan to appoint an additional independent Director to the Board, with that being put out for interested parties to apply for the position in March 2014.

They have brought in Debbie Jevans, who will take up her position by the end of the year. Although she has not held a senior position in football circles before, she has plenty of experience in other sporting fields. She is currently the Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015 who are organisers of the next Rugby World Cup. She is also on the Board of Sport England - the national Government body responsible for the provision of grass roots sporting facilities. She was also Director of Sport for LOCOG during the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

In addition to Jevans taking up her role, Chief Executive Shaun Harvey will also join the League's Board of Directors, meaning that the current make up of the board is as follows:

Greg Clarke - Chairman
Shaun Harvey - Chief Executive
Richard Bowker - Independent
Debbie Jevans - Independent
Karl Oyston - Blackpool (Championship)
Keith Lamb - Middlesbrough (Championship)
Andy Ambler - Millwall (Championship)
John Nixon - Carlisle United (League One)
James Rodwell - Notts County (League One)
Ian Lenagan - Oxford United (League Two)

Carlisle United's John Nixon will shortly need to step down from his current position. As the Cumbrians were relegated at the end of last season, he is no longer able to act as a League One representative, and so there will be a vacancy there. The League haven't made it clear when they will be seeking nominations for a replacement.


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5 June 2014 : Webster Reported As Close To Lions Deal Completion
Championship side Millwall are reported to have more or less tied up a deal with outgoing Yeovil Town defender Byron Webster. Whilst the 27 year old's name has been listed as being connected with a wide list of clubs over the summer, but it is the Lions that have tended to attract the more concrete-looking link, via the Southwark News - other names such as Leeds United, Rotherham United and Ipswich Town have tended to come in a more speculative manner. This would tend to point to Millwall as being by far the most likely team to snap him up.

Today the same paper reports that Millwall will sign up Byron as soon as he returns from a current summer holiday, claiming that he "is close to agreeing terms", having met with manager Ian Holloway last week. The final step will take place once he is back from his vacation and is in a position to visit the New Den. Again they don't offer any direct sources, but given their report of Byron's situation is bundled in the middle of an interview with Lions Chief Executive Andy Ambler, who is out in Portugal at the Football League AGM, there's a fair chance that Mr Ambler may have had an input into that reporting.

Across his two years, Byron made 98 appearances, scoring nine goals after arriving at Huish Park from Northampton Town in the summer of 2012. Manager Gary Johnson has indicated today that he is still prepared to talk to both Webster and Luke Ayling, despite their contract offers being off the table, but if the Southwark News are correct, that won't be necessary in Webster's case.

Link: Byron Webster : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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5 June 2014 : Johnson Still Leaving Door Open For Webster And Ayling
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that the door is still open for right-back Luke Ayling and centre-back Byron Webster to talk to him, despite both players missing a deadline to take up their contract offers with the club. The out of contract pair had until June 1st to accept or reject deals and on May 20th they and Marek Stech (who has since signed for Sparta Prague) were reported as having rejected the club's initial offer that has been on the table to them since the start of May.

That has meant that Johnson has turned to other player targets, whilst both Webster and Ayling have been repeatedly linked by the media by an increasingly long list of clubs - albeit without any concrete information confirming that interest. However, provided the Glovers boss has not recruited their replacements, he is still willing to pick up the phone to them and talk about their futures.

Johnson has told the Western Gazette today that he still expects the pair to move on, and admits that he hasn't heard from them for around a month, meaning that there are no talks happening at present. The deal given to them in early May is now off the table, having expired five days ago. He explained:

"They get a month to take that offer and that month was up on June 1st and we haven’t heard from either of them or their representatives yet as to whether they want to re-negotiate with us. I’ve always said that I expect them to move on. That’s not that I want them to move on, I just expect them to. That contract offer that we gave them is only open until then. After that, of course, we can renegotiate, give them the same figure or whatever we want to do. But our rules are that the actual, official offer that we made them is only open for a month."

Johnson's comments are consistent with those he made in a lengthy BBC Somerset interview he conducted in mid-May where he said that he was happy for them to do a u-turn if that was the way things transpired, but that he wasn't holding his breath on that front:

"We'd welcome them back - they've all been made offers and if they end up where things don't happen for them out there, then we're there for them to come back if they so wish. But I'll be honest with you - I think we've lost those three (Stech, Webster and Ayling)."

Of the pair, 22 year old Luke Ayling is the only one who is obliged to make contact with the club. As he falls under the cut-off age for the Bosman ruling, the Glovers are entitled to compensation to recognise the four years he spent at Huish Park developing as a player. Johnson told the paper that some clubs may be put off by the need to pay a fee for a player whilst there are so many free agents out there:

"There are a lot of players out there that are free agents. What people don’t realise about the new financial regulations is that any money that you spend out, whether it’s transfer fees, agent’s fees or signing-on fees, all counts within the new rules as expenditure. That’s pretty difficult for quite a few clubs that have not got a great income. You can’t use a sugar daddy at our level any more."

As an aside, with respect to Gary's comments about a 'sugar daddy', our understanding of the League One and League Two SCMP rules are that club owners and benefactors can underwrite the costs of purchasing a player without it impacting upon their expenditure limit, provided that additional money is provided in the form of a new share issue, or a no-strings-attached donation to the club. At Championship level, clubs working to the Financial Fair Play rules can receive up to £3 million in new shareholder-based investment, whilst there is no limit on straight-forward donations.


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4 June 2014 : Video : Joel Grant Nets Debut International Goal
Yeovil Town winger Joel Grant scored his first ever senior international tonight - even if he had to pick rather familiar surroundings to do it in. Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road ground was hosting the friendly between Jamaica and Egypt in what was Joel's third cap for his country, having been called up for a series of summer matches the Reggae Boyz have been taking part in around the globe. After New Jersey, USA and Switzerland it was the familiar surroundings of London in a match that finished in a 2-2 draw.

Grant's goal came on 38 minutes, with a superb solo strike that put his country 2-1 up in a match in which Egypt had taken an early lead through Mohamed El Nenny. The Jamaicans equalised through Derby County midfielder Simon Dawkins, who had a loan spell with Orient earlier in his career, before Grant put them in front at the break. Joel played out the full 90 minutes, but couldn't come out on the winning side, as Egypt equalised through Bassin Morsi with 18 minutes to go.

Final Score: Jamaica 2 Egypt 2.

Scorers: Mohamed El Nenny (0-1, 5 mins), Simon Dawkins (1-1, 27 mins), Joel Grant (2-1, 38 mins), Bassin Morsi (2-2, 72 mins)

Jamaica: 23. Jacomen Barrett 3. Lloyd Doyley 19. Adrian Mariappa 4. Wes Morgan 20. Kemar Lawrence 15. Joel Grant 16. Chris Humphrey 17. Rudolph Austin 11. Romario Campbell 18. Simon Dawkins 9. Michael Seaton

Substitutes: 22. Dino Williams (78 mins for Michael Seaton) 8. Hughan Gray (81 mins for Lloyd Doyley) 14. John Edwards 21. Jamar Loza (84 mins for Simon Dawkins) 6. Nicholas Beckett (62 mins for Romario Campbell) 7. Nicholay Finlayson 13. Ryan Thompson 2. Upston Edwards




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4 June 2014 : League Three Plans Expected To Get Cold Shoulder At AGM
On the eve of the Football League's AGM, the 72 members of the League are expected to give a firm thumbs down to the FA England Commission's proposals to allow 'B Teams' to enter the Football League structures. FA Chairman Greg Dyke, who will be present in Portugal across the long weekend, is expected to get a frosty reception at an event that he has previously attended as Brentford's former Chairman. Last month, Dyke unveiled the concept of introducing Premier League Reserve Team sides into the Football League pyramid as a new division sandwiched between the current League Two division and the Conference National division.

That has gone down like a lead balloon amongst member clubs, with little public support outside the Premier League. The latest Chairman to go public over the vote is Bradford City's Mark Lawn who is already in Portugal and is confident from canvassing other colleagues that there is little support for the FA's proposals:

"Nobody understands how playing at Conference or League One level can help any player make it to play for England. There is a general consensus that it wouldn’t work and would not be good for our club football either. The FA need to go to the Premier League and say they only have so many foreigners but they won’t do it."

Lawn believes that use of the loan system is the way to progress players through the ranks and cites Manchester United player Tom Cleverley who started his career as a Bradford City schoolboy. His view is that the proposed system will stop prospective England players from experiencing Championship level as current loan opportunities will be curtailed:

"The loan system as it is now works better – look at Tom Cleverley. He started at Bradford, went to Manchester United when he was 12, went out on loan to Leicester, Watford and Wigan then went back to United and ended up playing for England. If they are going to end up playing for England they need to be playing at least at Championship level."

In terms of other things on the table at the AGM, League Two side Portsmouth have indicated strongly that they will be voting against the Football League's proposals to introduce 'B Teams' into the Football League Trophy. The League have put forward this as their own counter-proposals to the FA England Commission's plans in an attempt to provide a possible compromise to Dyke's own plans.

Pompey, whose club are run by their Supporters Trust, in the wake of their financial collapse under previous ownerships, came out strongly against the initial 'B Team' proposals, and are once again one of the first to speak out about the compromise deal that will land on the table of the Football League's AGM which takes place on Thursday in Faro, Portugal. Speaking to the Portsmouth News, their Chief Executive Mark Catlin has made it clear that he does not want any deal involving 'B Teams' to be inched through the back door via a compromise agreement:

"I am morally opposed to B teams entering another competition that affects the integrity of Football League clubs and its structures. I will be doing everything in my power to convince anyone and everyone that this is a recipe for disaster and needs to be put to bed. You cannot compromise. I have read the plans and, in my opinion, we should just say no. This is not a grey area. It is a black and white area and will be a creeping process if allowed in. You can read all the plans you want, the bottom line is I am totally against any proposals that allow B teams or nursery clubs to infiltrate the league and cup structure."

Speculation is that both FA Chairman Greg Dyke and the Premier League will be attempting to lobby the League's 72 member clubs by the promise of either a one-off compensation package, or an annual package of financial benefits that will be used as a means to twist the arms of any cash-strapped Chairmen. However, Catlin warned that this would be short-termism, given the long term effect it would have upon the Football League and its member clubs once that door had been opened:

"In all things in life it is right and proper that the board of the Football League consult the member clubs during the decision process. Nothing has been agreed or decided yet and there are debates to be had. I can only hope people see through the plans for what they are. There is no point in putting short-term financial gain above long-term interests of the Football League and its member clubs."

In League One, Port Vale Chairman Norman Smurthwaite has indicated that Dyke will be heading across to Portugal for the AGM, even though he does not form a part of the Football League structure. Dyke has been invited to speak at the conference, but the Valiants boss predicts that he will not be giving a warm welcome from the lower tier clubs, and predicts he will find opposition to the plans to be substantial:

"It will be interesting. Greg Dyke might have his legs taken off him. He needs 75 per cent backing from League One and League Two sides so it looks like a complete non-starter."

Plymouth Argyle have declined to give their views on the alternative Football League Trophy proposals, although did put out a statement indicating their opposition to Dyke's initial 'League Three' proposal. They will be represented in Portugal by former Glovers Chief Executive Martyn Starnes.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most positive response from Football League clubs to the Football League Trophy proposals has come from Oldham Athletic boss Lee Johnson. The former Glovers midfielder says one thing he would like to see considered is an overhaul of the loan system to encourage top flight clubs to provide their younger players with good loan opportunities. However, he has told the Oldham Chronicle that he sees the Trophy plan as a compromise worth looking at but questioned whether Premier League clubs would always be facing a Football League first team:

"It’s a decent compromise. From a development point of view I agree with it, in giving kids experience of senior football. Then again as manager of a League One club I am thinking do we really need more games? I am all for under-21s players getting more experience of playing against men. The flip side of it is, will they be playing against full-strength opposition from Football League clubs or virtual reserve sides? There are different agendas at play in the competition sometimes."

Other things that are expected to be on the table in Portugal include the subject of artificial pitches. This was put out as a consultation by the Football League in the summer of 2012, but was given the thumbs down during the 2012 Football League AGM. However since then, the FA have given the green light for clubs to use such pitches in the FA Cup, which theoretically could see one of their member clubs playing on such a surface whilst being banned from implementing one themselves.

The other thing up for discussion is the current impasse regarding Financial Fair Play rules. The changes, which relate to Championship clubs only, are due to be brought into full force at the end of this year, with a number of clubs attempting to force a u-turn on the issue. There is also another side issue in that the Premier League appear to be washing their hands of the Football League's wish for a Fair Play Tax to be imposed upon any clubs promoted to the top flight who have breached FFP rules during their time in the Championship. With promoted clubs not governed by the Football League, they need the Premier League's support to police this, but the BBC Sport website have reported that this will not happen, which could leave the Football League in the embarrassing situation of having implemented a rule that cannot be enforced if a team's overspending helps it get promoted.


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4 June 2014 : Yeovil Town Sign Up Birmingham City Defender
Yeovil Town have made their second new signing of the summer, with Birmingham City centre-back Aaron Martin agreeing to join the club as a free agent. He is a 24 year old former Southampton player who has also been on the books of Eastleigh as well as enjoying loan spells with Salisbury City, Crystal Palace and Coventry City. He had been connected with the latter club a couple of days ago, albeit without them making a firm move for his services.

Born on the Isle of Wight, in Newport on September 29th 1989, he started his career with Eastleigh, making 47 appearances for them after joining them as a 14 year old, but was snapped up by Southampton in November 2009, signing an 18 month contract after being recommended to them by Eastleigh's manager Ian Baird, who used to play for the Saints.

He played 29 times for Southampton across a five year period, mainly featuring in loan spells elsewhere, with Salisbury City (15 appearances), Crystal Palace (6 appearances) and Coventry City (12 appearances) seeing his services. He was released by Southampton in January 2014 and joined Birmingham on a short term contract. He made eight appearances for the Blues.

Coventry boss Steven Pressley told the Coventry Telegraph yesterday that he had considered moving for Martin, following his loan spell with the Sky Blues, but denied that he had made any formal offer to him at that stage:

"We’re in the market for a centre-back and he is on our list,” confirmed Pressley. “We’ve got a number of names we’re looking at over the course of the next couple of months and he’s one of a number of players in that position that we’re considering. As yet we haven’t made any actual decisive move for him but we are certainly considering it."

Standing at 6'3", Aaron will sign a two year contract with the club on July 1st.


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4 June 2014 : Taff's Gloversblog : Food Stocks Run Out
Yesterday saw Yeovil Town finally withdraw their Food Store application from the table. The long-running saga was killed off 24 hours ahead of what would have been its final hearing at South Somerset District Council's offices, meaning that the club are now firmly back to Square One in terms of its aspirations to develop the stadium and surrounding land. The latest Taff's Gloversblog considers the latest position, what the club could have done better, and what they should be looking to do in the future. Read on via the link below, and add your own views at the foot of the article.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : Food Stocks Run Out.


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3 June 2014 : Stech Makes Full International Debut
Outgoing Yeovil Town goalkeeper Marek Stech played a full 90 minutes for the Czech Republic national team tonight, as he made his senior international debut against Austria. The 24 year old, who has agreed a three year contract with Sparta Prague to start next season, was an unused substitute against Finland last month, but was given a complete game tonight in a match played at the Andruv Stadium, home of SK Sigma Olomouc.

Unfortunately Stech ended up on the losing side, with the Czech side twice falling behind as Marcel Sabitzer and Julian Baumgartlinger scored in each half, whilst Tomas Horava equalised for the home side just before half time. With Joel Grant representing Jamaica at international level twice this summer, Stech's appearance means that - on a technicality, given he only comes off the Glovers payroll on June 30th - the club has had two full internationals on their books in the season just ending.

Final Score: Czech Republic 1 Austria 2.

Scorers: Marcel Sabitzer (0-1, 34 mins), Tomas Horava (1-1, 42 mins), Julian Baumgartlinger (1-2, 72 mins)

Czech Republic: 23. Marek Stech 5. Vaclav Prochazka 8. David Limbersky 6. Lukas Vacha 9. Borek Dockal 18. Tomas Horava 4. Mario Holek 7. Josef Husbauer 19. Ladislav Krejci 2. Pavel Kaderabek 12. Matej Vydra

Substitutes: 14. Daniel Kolar (47 mins for Tomas Horava) 13. Jiri Fleisman (73 mins for David Limbersky) 15. Jan Kopic (73 mins for Ladislav Krejci) 11. Milan Petrzela (64 mins for Borek Dockal) 16. Tomas Vaclík 3. Lukas Hejda (89 mins for Josef Husbauer) 20. Stanislav Tecl (89 mins for Matej Vydra)

Marek Stech's name appears on a team graphic for the Czech Republic match against Austria


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3 June 2014 : Club Confirm Application Withdrawal To SSDC
Yeovil Town Football Club and South Somerset District Council have now formally confirmed, via the exchange of letters, the withdrawal of the planning application to build a Food Store at Huish Park. In a letter signed by Chairman John Fry today, the club has provided the following communication to the Council:

"Outline planning application for the erection of a food store, area of public open space, access, car parking, servicing and landscaping on land to the north of Huish Park Stadium, Lufton, Yeovil (App. No. 12/00403/OUT)

Following initial consideration of the planning application by Committee on 2nd April and the scheduled consideration at a further meeting tomorrow, the Applicant has reviewed the issues raised by the current scheme. The Football Club has always been very keen to ensure that its plans for redeveloping the site have broad support at local and Council level and it is clear that this has not been possible in the context of the current proposal.

Consequently in order to promote a consensual approach to an alternative scheme the Applicant is withdrawing the current application with immediate effect. I would therefore be obliged if you could confirm that the planning application will not be determined at tomorrow's committee meeting and the Club looks forward to discussing with you possible alternative schemes for the land which would be more acceptable.

Yours faithfully
(signed)
John Fry
Chairman.
"

In return, making reference to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010, SSDC have communicated back to the club's planning agents MWA a short proforma referencing the application details and confirming:

"In pursuance of powers under the above Acts and Orders the South Somerset District Council gives you notice that: THE APPLICATION IS NOW WITHDRAWN".

For the avoidance of doubt, this means that although tomorrow's SSDC Area South Planning Committee agenda will list the club's planning application, the case will NOT be heard. Hence if you were considering attending the meeting, this will no longer contain anything of relevance (unless you have a vested interest in any of the other agenda items of course!)


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3 June 2014 : Food Store Plans Withdrawn By Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town have voluntarily withdrawn their Food Store application ahead of tomorrow's hearing at South Somerset District Council's offices. Three years and three months after the plans were first revealed, the club have announced that they will not put the application forward at the meeting at Brympton Way.

The plans had been recommended for rejection by SSDC, and it seemed inevitable that tomorrow's hearing would produce an outright refusal, with all four reasons for rejection still on the table from the April 2014 meeting. However, the club have now decided not to contest that decision.

The club's statement suggests that they will be still continuing their relationship with CDS International, owned by Chris Dawson - better known as the owner of 'The Range'. However Chairman John Fry implies that it will be an entirely new proposal that is put on the table:

"I am very disappointed that after such protracted discussions with the council we have come to this decision. However it is fair to say I am very excited about the new proposals that the club, along with their development partners CDS international, will be submitting to the Council in the near future. With the introduction of Financial Fair Play to all clubs it is absolutely vital to generate more commercial income streams at the club and we feel our new proposals will be able to do that."


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3 June 2014 : Shrewsbury Wanting To Emulate Yeovil Town Achievements
Yeovil Town have been named as a role model that a League Two club should follow if they are to realise their ambitions. Shrewsbury Town, who were relegated from the third tier at the end of last season, had spent two years in League One, but struggled badly during the season just gone, eventually finishing 23rd, and dropping down, meaning that they will miss the Glovers during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Shropshire side last occupied second tier level at the end of the 1988-89 season, but have since then tumbled down into the Conference briefly before rising back up the pyramid again. Last season was a set-back for them and in regrouping they've recruited a new Chief Executive, with Matt Williams joining them from Blackpool where he held the title of Football Secretary, but also looking after their Media and Commercial arms.

Williams therefore witnessed Yeovil Town's single season at Championship level, which included the Glovers doing the double over his former club. He has told the Shropshire Star that his primary target as their new CEO is to set up a plan that will allow them to emulate the Glovers:

"Shrewsbury is a club that should have aspirations to do the things like Yeovil have done. I know Shrewsbury Town are a bigger club than Yeovil. The facilities here are better than at Huish Park. We need to look forward and look at making Shrewsbury Town competitive at the right end of League Two and getting back into League One. And then when we get back into League One, making Shrewsbury competitive there and staying in League One, and possibly progressing from there. It’s a big job. I know that there have been people sat in this chair in the past that have come out with the same sort of things but I am going to give it my best shot."

Shrewsbury's facilities have been significantly changed in recent years, as part of their move to the Greenhaus Meadow - a new all-seater stadium, with a capacity of just under 10,000 people. Despite their relegation, they were able to take in an average gate of 5,581 during the 2013-14 season.


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3 June 2014 : Date Published For League Cup First Round Draw
Another new date for the 2014-15 season has been made available by the Football League. The draw for the League Cup First Round is always made just before the main Football League fixtures, and thus provides clubs with their first competitive fixture to pencil in for the season.

The draw for the first round of this competition will be published on Tuesday 17th June, at 10.00a.m. This is usually pre-drawn behind closed doors a day or two previously and is seeded and regionalised into Northern and Southern sections. As a Championship club for the 2013-14 season, Yeovil Town should be one of the seeded sides, meaning that we will face a club either from the lower half of League One or from League Two.

The majority of Premier League clubs join in the Second Round, whilst those clubs involved in European competitions will join at the Third Round stage. There will be more information provided about the seeding and those clubs that are given byes to the Second and Third Round stages nearer the time.

For a full list of 2014-15 dates, see the article linked below - this is also pinned permanently to the 'Forthcoming Events' section of this site's Home Page.

Link: 2014-15 Season Key Dates List.


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2 June 2014 : Food Store And Stadium Development Financial Figures Published
Yeovil Town have published a document that provides a high level financial breakdown of their Food Store plans. The figures have been made available to South Somerset District Council ahead of Wednesday afternoon's Area South Committee planning meeting. The motive is to provide enough information to assist the club's case in terms of the work that will be undertaken after the revenue is received from the sale of the six acres of land to the north of Huish Park's stadium.

Last week, the club published, via an outside company called LGPS Resources, a list of developments that they would be aiming to carry out that would either be associated directly with the building of the Food Store (such as Highways improvements) or would be subsequent projects initiated as part of the 'profit' from the sale of land.

There are three figures provided to SSDC as part of this document. The first figure describes the 'estimated input from developing part of assets' - this is the amount of money the club believe will be received in return for the sale of the six acres of land at Huish Park and is stated as being £4,450,000.

The second relevant figure is the club's 'estimated cost of Improvements' - although it is not explicitly stated, it's probably safe to say that this should be read in conjuction with last week's development list. These are costed as £8,750,000.

The third figure stated is the 'estimated input required from additional funding streams' and is the gap between the money that would come from the Food Store, and the amount money that would be needed to implement the development list. This is therefore stated as £4,300,000.

The document states that "the proposed development would make a substantial contribution to funding the proposed improvements at the club, including the spectator experience". However, it doesn't indicate whether the 'additional funding streams' needed to fund the gap in development costs have been identified, and therefore where that money would come from.

The two key baseline figures are on a par with previously circulated figures. Back in March 2012 the club offered to put up a £4 million bond as commitment towards the stadium development that would take place at Huish Park after the Food Store was built. That bond was withdrawn in February 2014 but still seems to represent the rough sum of money that the club believe they will have in their hand once the six acres of land are sold.

In terms of the overall costs of providing the planned stadium developments, Chairman John Fry indicated in March 2012 that he believed the club needed around £7 million worth of funding to do all of the projects it wanted to do at Huish Park. However, a later interview in the Sunday Independent revised that figure upward to £8 million. Today's figure of £8.75 million again shows some upward creep, but is probably in line with the effect of inflation and the gradual emergence of further projects and needs that need to be funded.


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2 June 2014 : Byron Leaning Towards Lions Move?
Outgoing Yeovil Town centre-back Byron Webster is reported as giving Championship side Millwall his main attention, as he chooses which club he will play for during the 2014-15 season. The 27 year old has had a cluster of clubs seeking his attention, mainly at Championship level, having already made the decision to turn down an offer from Yeovil Town last month. Rotherham United, Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Scunthorpe United have all been named by various media outlets.

The Southwark News report that Webster held talks with Lions boss Ian Holloway last week, and that with that meeting having gone well, they claim that the centre-back is temporarily stopping talks with another unnamed Championship club who have shown interest, so that he can push towards concluding discussions with Holloway. The paper doesn't provide any quotes or sources for their information as yet.

If Byron did move to the New Den, he would join former Glovers midfielder Ed Upson, who moved to London on the final day of the January transfer window. His contract at Huish Park runs out on June 30th, meaning that he will join his next club as a free agent.


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2 June 2014 : Joe Edwards Opens Clubhouse At Former Youth Club
Yeovil Town midfielder/right-back Joe Edwards returned to where his footballing career started on Sunday to help them open up new facilities at the club. FC Highnam, who are a girls and boys junior football club based in Highnam, near Gloucester, taking in youngsters up to 16 years old, were the club that the 23 year old was playing for when he was spotted by Bristol City, giving him his route into the professional game.

The club has just finished building a new clubhouse, giving them much needed facilities, and as Highnam's most recognised graduate since they were formed in 1986, he was invited to formally open the new building, which gives Highnam new changing rooms, showers, toilets, a store room and a kitchen. Edwards told the Gloucester Citizen that things had radically changed since he was at the club:

"The clubhouse looks brilliant. When I was here it was just a playing field with nowhere to get changed, so everyone involved with the club has done a brilliant job. We had a good team when I was playing. I may have played up a few years and I can remember us winning the treble. Those were special days. Highnam were the only local team I ever played for and it turned out to be a good choice in the end. It’s been a pleasure to come back and see how far the club has come and to see a few old faces."

The Plaque at FC Highnam bearing Joe Edwards' name.
The Plaque at FC Highnam bearing Joe Edwards' name. Photo c/o Joe Edwards.


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2 June 2014 : Lawrence One Of Four Ex-Glovers In Welsh Squad
Former Yeovil Town loanee Tom Lawrence could be catapulted straight into full Wales international squad for his first cap on Wednesday. The 20 year old Manchester United attacker had been named in a 40 man training camp for the Welsh senior squad, but there had been some doubt over his chances of participating in that after he picked up a hamstring injury that forced him to withdraw from the Wales Under-21 squad.

Lawrence has managed to recover from that injury and has been named in the cut-down list of 23 squad members who are heading off to Holland to play in the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday 4th June, kick-off 7.30p.m., and he could benefit from the fact that Wales are ten players short for that match, with the likes of Gareth Bale dropping out of the squad due to end of season injury problems.

The squad features four former Yeovil Town loanees, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), midfielder Owain Tudur Jones (Hibernian) and striker Simon Church (Charlton Athletic) all named for the trip. A fifth - Lewin Nyatanga (Barnsley) - is a former Glovers trialist. The Wales Online website singles out Lawrence, predicting that he will be named in the starting line-up, with the travelling team including six uncapped players, and six players who are young enough to still play for their Under-21 side.

Lawrence was inevitably asked about his Manchester United debut during Sunday's press conference, that saw him start against Hull City and swap places with a Welsh international legend in Ryan Giggs who was his club's interim manager at the time. Lawrence paid tribute to Giggs and said that he was looking forward to travelling to Amsterdam whatever happened:

"He (Ryan Giggs) is an absolute legend for Manchester United and Wales and I was so thrilled to get my chance when it came for United. You can't help but learn a lot when you are around someone like him - on the training field - or just around the club in general. I have had most of the campaign with the Under 21's, so hoped that my chance with the seniors would come, and now to be involved with a match in Amsterdam against the Dutch is like a dream come true."

Welsh manager Chris Coleman has said that Lawrence's Manchester United debut was a big step in terms of how he viewed the player's progress, and that he was pleased to see a player coming through both his parent club and international ranks in that way:

"He is a great example of a lad who has come-through the player pathway and he has done very well for the Under 21’s. He now has his first team debut for Manchester United under his belt, so it is all there for him."

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Connor Roberts (Cheltenham Town), Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere Rovers)

Defenders: James Chester (Hull City), Paul Dummett (Newcastle United), Danny Gabbidon (Crystal Palace), Declan John (Cardiff City), Lewin Nyatanga (Barnsley), Ashley Richards (Swansea City), Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

Midfielders: Joe Allen (Liverpool), Emyr Huws (Manchester City), Owain Tudur Jones (Hibernian), Andy King (Leicester City), Tom Lawrence (Manchester United), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), David Vaughan (Sunderland), George Williams (Fulham), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace)

Strikers: Simon Church (Charlton Athletic), Jermaine Easter (Millwall), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading).


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1 June 2014 : Interview With Trialist Billy Texeira
Yeovil Town have taken on a large number of trialists over the years, but there can't be too many who have come from the route that striker Billy Texeira has taken. He is one of two players the Glovers are bringing to the club in July, after their participation in the Budweiser Open Trials - a scheme that gives a 'second chance' to players the academy or non-league systems may have missed. Billy recently played at Wembley Stadium, and will head off to Brazil later this month as part of the scheme before he heads down to Yeovil.

As part of their station's coverage of the event, TalkSport Radio presenters Max Rushden and Barry Glendenning spoke to Billy about his experience of the trials, and you can read that interview via the link below.

Link: Billy Texeira Speaks To TalkSport Radio About His Open Trials Participation.


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