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30 June 2018 : Khan Says Farewells After Stags Move Completes
Outgoing Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan has sent his farewells, following his summer move to League Two rivals Mansfield Town. The 22 year old headed out the door yesterday, after two seasons at the club, and 87 appearances, that saw him attract the attention of a number of Championship and League One sides, albeit without any of that interest reaching fruition.

Prior to Khan's arrival at Yeovil, his first team appearances for professional clubs amounted to two games for Sheffield United, followed by three substitute appearances for Barnsley, thus meaning that the Glovers were the first club to give him regular games in their starting line-up. Khan thanked those associated with Yeovil Town for the support he had received whilst he was in Somerset:

"Today marks the end of a chapter and the start of a new exciting one. It wouldn't be right without me extending my thanks to everyone at Yeovil Town Football Club. I've had an amazing time and made great friends along the way. I can't thank you enough and will never forget all the support I received."

Khan will stay in League Two, signing for a club that finished in 8th position in the table during the 2017-18 season, missing out on a play-off position on the final weekend of the campaign. He said his ambition was to help get the Stags promoted whilst he was there:

"The next chapter is a very exciting one, and I'm more hungry than ever to repay everyone at Mansfield Town Football Club, including the owners, managers and fans. I assure you I will give my absolute all to get this club promoted and ensure I wear the badge with pride. I'm totally focussed on achieving the success the club deserves. Now time to put in the hard work on the pitch."

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30 June 2018 : Former Loanee Tutte Back In League Two
Former Yeovil Town loanee Andrew Tutte will be playing in League Two during the 2018-19 season. The 27 year old has been on the books of Bury who were relegated from League One at the end of last season, but having been released by the Shakers, he has moved up the M6 to sign for Morecambe.

Since his 2010-11 season loan spell at Huish Park, Tutte has stayed in the Greater Manchester area throughout. Despite attempts by the Glovers to sign him during the summer of 2011, following his release from Manchester City, he signed for Rochdale, who at that time were managed by former City youth team coach Steve Eyre. He spent three years there, making 101 appearances, before making the short move to Bury during the 2013-14 season. There he's made 137 appearances, and was part of their side that won promotion to League One at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Tutte has been given a two year contract by Morecambe that will commence tomorrow. Boss Jim Bentley has said of his signing:

"He's a very experienced midfielder, he knows the level and has been successful at the level. He's a good character who's a winner, full of energy and a good football player so we're hoping he can come in and be a massive success for us."

Link: Andrew Tutte : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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29 June 2018 : Davies Joins Khan At Field Mill
League Two side Mansfield Town have signed up former Yeovil Town loanee Craig Davies. The 32 year old has penned a two year contract at Field Mill, after he left Oldham Athletic, paying an undisclosed fee to take him from the relegated League Two side.

Davies is one of three players that Mansfield have signed today, including Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan, who signed for them on what is officially an undisclosed fee. They've also taken on Nottingham Forest striker Tyler Walker on a season long loan, with the 21 year old having had a string of previous loans including Stevenage, Port Vale and Bolton Wanderers.

Craig Davies was a Terry Skiverton loanee during the 2009-10 season, who was drafted in from Brighton and Hove Albion, who at that time were being managed by Russell Slade. He went on to have a particularly successful career with Chesterfield and Barnsley. His move to Oldham Athletic in June 2017 was his second spell with the club, having featured between 2007 and 2009, and he scored 14 goals for them at League One level last season. However, he now drops a division to sign for the Stags. Chief Executive Carolyn Radford said of the decision to bring in Khan and Davies:

"We've had to remain patient and professional in equal measure but we know these signings will excite our supporters and add real quality to our squad. We have been closely monitoring Otis and Craig for some time and their desire and hunger to play for the Stags are qualities which fit perfectly into our model."

Link: Craig Davies : Yeovil Town Statistics.

Link: Khan Move To Stags Is Confirmed.

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29 June 2018 : Khan Move To Stags Is Confirmed
Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan has left Huish Park. The 22 year old has signed a contract with fellow League Two side Mansfield Town two years after joining the club on a free transfer from Barnsley. Although the fee between the two clubs is officially undisclosed, it is known that Khan had a clause built into his contract that allowed him to move provided a transfer fee was met by the buying club. That fee was reported by Teamtalk back in May as being £100,000.

Khan made 87 appearances for the Glovers, mainly as a left-winger or as a left-sided wide forward in a 4-3-3. He scored 18 goals during his time with the club. On both occasions it was the first half of the season that proved to be the most fruitful - during 2016-17, he sustained an ankle injury that curtailed his season from January onwards, whilst during the 2017-18 campaign, a combination of events, including a five match suspension appeared to unsettle what had been some stunning form up until the Christmas fixture schedule that saw him score 10 goals and claim 10 assists.

Khan's move comes after some hefty transfer rumours and speculation, involving up to ten clubs, of which Bristol Rovers were the one previously confirmed club to have matched the release clause in Khan's contract. He turned down the League One side, and will now move to a club that missed out on the League Two play-offs by one position at the end of last season. The best of luck to him in his future career.

Otis has signed a two year contract at Field Mill. Manager Darren Way has said of Khan's departure from the club:

"Otis made a massive contribution with his goals and assists during his time with us and is a prime example of what you can achieve at this football club. We've built the club to a point where we don't have to sell without remuneration and within two-years Otis has come in and moved on for a substantial sum. It's four years since we last received a transfer fee and we now look forward to developing our next crop of talent whilst being in a position where we don't have to sell."

Link: Otis Khan : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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29 June 2018 : Ladies Chairman Talks About Their Move To The Avenue Stadium
Last week, Yeovil Town Ladies announced that they were changing their designated home ground for the 2018-19 FAWSL Season. They will play the majority of their matches at The Avenue Stadium, home of Dorchester Town and Chairman Stephen Allinson has given his views to BBC Somerset Breakfast Show presenter Claire Carter ahead of that move. Read the interview in full via the link below.

Link: Stephen Allinson Speaks To The BBC About The Ladies Move To Dorchester Town.

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28 June 2018 : Fourth Signing Confirmed As Warren Heads Down From Scotland
Yeovil Town have completed their fourth signing of the summer today. As reported in yesterday's news, they have recruited outgoing Inverness Caledonian Thistle central defender Gary Warren, shortly after his release from the Scottish Championship side. He's been given a two year deal at Huish Park.

The Bristol-born player returns to his West Country roots that saw him play for Mangotsfield United, Team Bath and Newport County before spending six years in Scotland that saw him make 214 appearances, scoring 19 goals, ultimately acting as club captain when they lifted the Scottish Challenge Cup at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Warren is the fourth new arrival at the club, following in the footsteps of Norwich City loan winger Diallang Jaiyesimi, former Notts County left-back Carl Dickinson who has been signed permanently, and Chelsea loan keeper Nathan Baxter.

For a more detailed profile on Gary Warren, see yesterday's news.

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28 June 2018 : Shephard Returns To League Two With Rovers Move
Former Yeovil Town loanee Liam Shephard will be back in League Two for the 2018-19 season. After spending a year with League One side Peterborough United, the 23 year old former Swansea City academy graduate has signed for Forest Green Rovers on a two year deal, with the Gloucestershire side paying an undisclosed fee.

Shephard had made 30 appearances for Peterborough and was playing a full 90 minutes in their first team at the tail end of last season, and so his willingness to drop down a level is a bit of a surprise. However, with Posh under new first team management that may have been a factor in each party's thinking. Rovers boss Mark Cooper has said that he tried to get Shephard during the January transfer window, but when the right-back broke into Peterborough's first team, the deal fell through:

"It's a really good signing for us. We've had to be really patient. It's no secret we've been after a quality right-back after Dale Bennett left us after a lot of good years of service and we needed to fill that void with a real quality player. Liam was a regular in Peterborough's team last year, we tried to get him in January and nearly got there but through hard work weíve managed to get him now. I think he knew how much we valued him and we think he is a really good footballer. He gets up and down the line, he can defend, he gets forward brilliantly and he's got good quality in the final third of the pitch."

Shephard had three loan spells at Huish Park, having been initially brought in by Gary Johnson in January 2015. Following Johnson's departure, he featured heavily under Terry Skiverton and Paul Sturrock before being brought back for two further loan spells under Darren Way. There were suggestions that the club were trying to bring him back for a fourth spell when Peterborough made their move last summer.

Link: Liam Shephard : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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27 June 2018 : Outgoing Inverness Captain Linked With Yeovil Town Move
Yeovil Town are being linked with a move for former Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Gary Warren. The 33 year old centre-back became a free agent today, after agreeing to end his six year stay with the Scottish Championship side by mutual consent, despite having a year to run on his current deal. Claims by a Scottish Daily Express journalist are that Huish Park is his next destination, with other sports reports north of the border making clear their understanding that his next club would be in the English Football League.

Despite being based in Scotland, Warren is very much a West Country boy who has spent most of his career in the South West. Born in Bristol on August 16th 1984, he started his career with Mangotsfield United who he played for between 2002 and 2006, making 164 appearances, scoring 11 goals. In the summer of 2006 he joined Team Bath, and was part of their club's rise into the Conference league structure, spending three years there, making 111 appearances and scoring eight goals.

Warren then moved to Conference South side Newport County, where he was part of their 2009-10 title winning side, as well as being named Conference South player of the season. He went on to play in an FA Trophy Final for Newport - by then as part of a side that included future Glover Sam Foley. He made 120 appearances, scoring 11 goals.

In the summer of 2012, he moved to Scotland to sign for an Inverness side managed by Terry Butcher. He was part of a squad that reached the 2013-14 Scottish League Cup Final and 2014-15 Scottish Cup Final, but was unfortunate enough to pick up suspensions just before the two finals that meant that he did not play in either fixture. By now Warren was their Club Captain, and in 2017-18, he was part of a side that won the Scottish Challenge Cup against Dumbarton, and thus was able to lift the trophy on behalf of the club.

Overall, he made 214 appearances for Inverness, scoring 19 goals for the club across six years. Warren has been allowed to leave Inverness due to them needing to cut back on their finances, following their relegation into the Championship. Their manager John Robertson explained the rationale for allowing him to look for another club last month:

"I spoke to Gary a few weeks back and discussed the club's budget situation. With the cuts we are facing again, I explained the best solution for the club would be to move Gary on as he is on a Premiership wage and appearance fee. But I also made it clear I recognised he was under no obligation to go anywhere unless the move benefitted him and his family. I've said, if he stays, the club would have to honour his deal. This has nothing to do with Gary's ability, commitment or leadership as all are excellent. He will remain captain as long as he is here. It is simply down to finances and dealing with players on a Premiership wage while we are in the Championship and don't have the same income from generated from prize money and gate receipts."

At present, there is no confirmation of Warren heading to Yeovil Town. However, his Bristol roots and his level of experience tend to tally up with manager Darren Way's comments made last week indicating that he was "waiting to announce another experienced player, that will be signing soon". With the Glovers defence having suffered from a lack of experience since Darren Ward's departure from the club a year ago, and Ryan Dickson and Nathan Smith having seen that level of experience eroded even further, the signing of former Notts County left-back Carl Dickinson would appear to fill the shoes of Dickson, whilst Warren would be a natural fit to replace the centre-back slot occupied by Smith during last season.

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27 June 2018 : Commercial Website Claims 'Bid Accepted' For Otis Khan
Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan is being linked once again with a move away from Huish Park. The former Barnsley, Sheffield United and Manchester United player is claimed to have had a 'bid accepted' by Yeovil Town following an offer made by League Two Mansfield Town. Once again, the claims made by TeamTalk - one of the Sky Sports chain of websites - who made claims last month that he was on his way out of the club, listing Championship side Preston North End plus League One trio Burton Albion, Oxford United and Luton Town as the supposed interested clubs.

Teamtalk now eliminate all of those clubs from their May 2018 list, with the exception of Preston North End, and instead add in Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury Town as supposedly interested sides along with reported frontrunners Mansfield Town. Once you add in the January bid from Bristol Rovers - the one and only officially confirmed interest in his services - along with further reports of Bradford City's interest, there is some serious games of pinning the tail on the donkey going on.

In fairness, the 'new' interest from Mansfield Town, may be a continuation of rumoured interest from their manager David Flitcroft. He was manager of Swindon Town for much of the 2017-18 season, with the Robins being one of the earlier clubs to be named on the rumourmill as showing an interest in him. Although Swindon's position was never confirmed, there's been nothing coming from the County Ground since Flitcroft's decision to jump ship for Mansfield on March 1st 2018. The emergence of Mansfield's claimed interest in the player may therefore come down to Flitcroft himself.

Khan is known to have a clause in his contract entitling him to talk to other clubs, in the event of a transfer fee being met - a value that Teamtalk last month claimed was £100,000 although the actual value has never been confirmed by Yeovil Town. That clause does not force him to leave the building, but merely gives him the option to leave if he is able to agree terms with the buying club.

Unusually, although Teamtalk describe this as an 'exclusive', they have only reported it on Twitter - it hasn't made it as far as their website. Their account simply states:

"EXCLUSIVE : Mansfield Town have had a bid accepted for Yeovil's Otis Khan. We understand Preston North End, Wigan and Shrewsbury all retain an interest in the player."

Given the stories about Khan have been rumbling on for around six or seven months now, and involving up to ten clubs, the claim that Mansfield have had a bid accepted may not result in actual movement.

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26 June 2018 : Glovers Agree Chelsea Baxter Loan Deal
Yeovil Town have signed up a new goalkeeper for the 2018-19 season. They have taken Chelsea teenager Nathan Baxter on a season long loan, with him hoping to build on previous loan spells with Metropolitan Police, Solihull Moors and Woking.

Born in London on November 7th 1998, he has been part of Chelsea's youth system since the Under-8s level. He had two loan spells during the 2016-17 season, spending half a season with Metropolitan Police before playing in the National League national division with Solihull Moors, helping to keep them in that division.

He then spent the 2017-18 season with Woking, where he picked up four separate Player of the Year awards at the end of a rather busy season, given the Cards were relegated at the end of that campaign.

This will be his first taste of the Football League. His agreement with the club will see him stay at Huish Park for the duration of the coming campaign.

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26 June 2018 : Maddison Confirms Darlo Deal After Huish Park Exit
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Jonny Maddison has wasted no time in finding himself a new club. He has signed for National League North side Darlington, a club formed out of the ashes of the former Football League side. The Quakers finished in 12th place in the sixth tier last season, and are managed by Tommy Wright, who had two spells as a player in their original form.

Wright has confirmed Maddison's arrival at Blackwell Meadows, and explains that with Maddison being a former Sunderland Academy player, and being born in Chester-le-Street in County Durham that the move up to the North-East won't be a strange one for him. He also implies that Maddison will now become a part time player whilst he is there:

"Jonny has terminated his contract at Yeovil a year early in order to come and play for us. He started his career at Sunderland, and played in the EFL last season. He had a spell at Leicester, where I first came across him. He's a big strong lad, and has got experience of the National League North when he had a loan spell at Leamington. Everyone I've spoken to, holds him in high regard, plus he ticks all the boxes. He's young enough to coach, and he's experienced enough to be an asset. Moving to Darlington from full time football has been a big decision for him to make, and hopefully he won't regret it."

Wright has said that he has known Maddison for four years, thanks to his time as Corby Town's player-manager. During a 2015 pre-season friendly against Leicester City, he saw the 20 year old between the sticks and had kept an eye out for him since then:

"He signed for Leicester four years ago which is when I first became aware of him as he played against my then Corby Town team in a friendly in 2015. He had a great game that day and I've had his name in my player list since then. In Jonny we are getting ourselves a goalkeeper that is focused and determined to establish himself as a number one. He is a great age at 23 and has all the attributes to go a lot higher in the game. He played ten times last season in League Two, I'm delighted to have secured a permanent goalkeeper and I feel it's a real coup for the club."

At present there is no word on any length of contract for Maddison at his new club.

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26 June 2018 : Maddison Gives Views On Yeovil Town Exit
Outgoing Yeovil Town goalkeeper Jonny Maddison has given his views on his departure from the club, after two years at Huish Park. The 23 year old agreed to tear up his contract by mutual consent, despite still having a year left on his current deal. He heads out the door with 22 appearances to his name, two years after he signed for the club from Leicester City.

Maddison implies that the decision to leave the club was made by himself, rather than the Glovers first team management, with the obvious issue being his lack of time on the field of play, having seen Artur Krysiak and Stuart Nelson restrict his first team appearances, despite both picking up injuries during last season. However, Maddison said that leaving Yeovil was not a decision he took lightly:

"After many discussions and personal reflection over the summer, I have decided to mutually terminate my contract with Yeovil Town. It was a decision I did not take lightly - having made many memories, including my League debut which any player will never forget. For that reason, the club will always have a special place in my heart."

Maddison extended his thanks to the club's supporters and management team, but also had special words for goalkeeper coach Steve Phillips, who had arrived at the club during September 2017. Maddison described him as a massive influence on his game:

"I'd like to personally thank all the supporters for such a warm and welcoming reception I received since the day I signed, and constant support through all the good and bad times. Thank you to the Gaffer and Terry for the opportunity they have given me to play for this football club and everything they've done for me. And I'd also like to personally thank Steve Phillips for the work he's done to help me both on and off the pitch this season. He's a massive influence and a great character."

The goalkeeper also added his thanks to the players, and wished them good luck for next season:

"I would also like to wish all the boys the very best for the coming season. They are a great set of lads with fantastic attitude and work ethic, and they deserve all the rewards that come their way. Again, all the very best to everyone associated with the football club. I hope they achieve what they set out to, in the coming years."

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26 June 2018 : Grecians Sign Up Former Glovers Centre-Back
Former Yeovil Town defender Aaron Martin will be playing in League Two next season. Having left Oxford United at the end of last season, the 28 year old has agreed a deal with Exeter City, penning a contract of an unspecified length. Having had a career that took in Southampton, Birmingham City and Coventry City, Martin's time at the Kassam Stadium has been rather luke warm, managing just 30 appearances for them in the two years that he was there.

Martin has become new Grecians manager Matt Taylor's first signing since he replaced Paul Tisdale, and so starts rebuilding a side that lost in the League Two play-offs. Taylor has said of his new acquisition:

"Aaron is a player with a lot of experience playing at a higher level. He is a good age and is highly motivated to drive the team on to the next level. Aaron is a strong, tall, ball playing centre half and it is important that we have a lot of options defensively. I'll be looking to boost our defensive ranks further over the next few weeks."

With the exception of his early career with Eastleigh, this will be the first time that the Isle of Wight born player has signed permanently for a club as low as the fourth tier. After his fairly brief 14 game stay at Huish Park during the 2014-15 season, he signed for Coventry City, initially on loan, before moving across to Oxford. But he dropped out of their side in February 2018, and was involved in only 12 League One fixtures during Oxford's 2017-18 season.

Exeter have also confirmed their new assistant manager, with former Preston North End and Carlisle United coach Eric Kinder arriving at St James Park. He will join former Glover Chris Weale, who left Dorchester last week to become the Grecians' goalkeeper coach.

Link: Aaron Martin : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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26 June 2018 : Maddison Leaves Huish Park
Yeovil Town goalkeeper Jonny Maddison has left Huish Park. The former Leicester City stopper has had his two year deal ended by mutual consent, despite having a year left on his current deal. He will now be a free agent and free to join another club.

The 23 year old had largely acted as an understudy to Artur Krysiak during his two years at Huish Park. However, despite Krysiak also leaving the club this summer, Maddison looked likely to play second fiddle to Stuart Nelson during the 2018-19 season. Overall he made 22 appearances during his two years at the club.

Link: Jonny Maddison : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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25 June 2018 : Nugent Rejects Gills Contract Offer
Former Yeovil Town loanee Ben Nugent has become a free agent. The ex-Cardiff City and Crewe Alexandra centre-back has decided to reject a contract offer with League One side Gillingham, with the implication being that the 25 year old is after more regular first team football.

Nugent featured in 27 matches for the third tier side last season, but has found his position under hefty competition, with former Glovers Max Ehmer and Alex Lacey also on their books and competing in that area. Manager Steve Lovell said that Nugent's decision to leave Priestfield stemmed from a conversation where he told him that he would not be guaranteed a place in the side as things stood:

"I couldn't guaranteed him a start. Ben is great and he would have stayed. I have been honest with him and said 'you might as well find yourself another club' because we have got three centre halves and perhaps another one who could come in and play there."

Nugent was a 2014-15 season Yeovil Town player, whilst on the books of Cardiff City, playing under Gary Johnson. However, his time rapidly dried up after Johnson left the club, with that season also leading to his departure from Cardiff. He joined Crewe Alexandra in the summer of 2015, where he became a regular, with 63 appearances across two seasons. That earned him his move to Gillingham, but he has featured in under half of their fixtures.

Link: Ben Nugent : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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24 June 2018 : Lee Burch Talks About His Appointment As Ladies Manager
Earlier this month, Yeovil Town Ladies appointed a new first team manager, as they begin their transformation into a full time outfit. Former Millwall Lionesses boss Lee Burch is the man to take them into a new era, and he was interviewed by BBC Somerset presenter Matt Faulkner last week about his hopes as a manager, and how he sees the FAWSL restructuring affecting the competition, as well as the Glovers. Read that interview via the link below.

Link: Lee Burch Talks To The BBC About His Appointment As Yeovil Town Ladies Manager.

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23 June 2018 : Darren Way Talks About The Summer Transfer Market
With Yeovil Town having seen its first summer transfer activity this week, the club has woken up from a bit of a close season hiatus. On the back of that, Glovers boss Darren Way spoke to the BBC about what he has been doing in the transfer market, the future of Omar Sowunmi, Tom James and Otis Khan, his hopes for another experienced signing, and his current objectives for the 2018-19 season. Read that interview via the link below.

Link: Darren Way Speaks To The BBC About The Club's Summer Transfer Activity.

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22 June 2018 : Marsh-Brown Becomes An Exile
Former Yeovil Town winger Keanu Marsh-Brown has stayed in League Two, by joining Newport County. The 25 year old had been released by Forest Green Rovers at the end of last season, having spent three years at the New Lawn, which included being part of their 2016-17 side that gained promotion to the Football League.

His time at Forest Green fizzled out somewhat during the second half of the 2017-18 season, managing only two substitute appearances in League Two matches following the turn of the year - a Football League Trophy match against Yeovil Town in January represented his only start during the second half of the season. As a result, he spent the end of the season out on loan with National League side Dover Athletic where he scored four times in six appearances. Despite that impressive finish to the season in the fifth tier, he was named in Forest Green's released list at the end of the season.

Marsh-Brown has now signed a two year contract with the Exiles, subject to international clearance, joining them on July 1st when his current contract runs out. Manager Mike Flynn said that he was excited to get him signed on, recalling a goal the winger scored at Wembley Stadium in May 2016 against Grimsby Town in a play-off final, one year before Rovers finally got themselves promoted:

"I'm very excited about Keanu signing. He's one of those players who gets the fans on the edge of their seats. He has a promotion under his belt with Forest Green and we all remember that outstanding goal he scored. He's at the right age and as long as he gets his head down and works hard I'm sure he'll kick on and play at a higher level."

Newport had a slow start to their summer recruitment, but have made up for lost time this week by bringing in striker Jamille Matt from Blackpool and defender Fraser Franks from Stevenage. Earlier today, midfielder Charlie Cooper also arrived from Forest Green on a season-long loan.

Link: Summer 2018 League Two : Retained and Released Lists And New Signings.

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22 June 2018 : Darren Way Still 'Very Positive' On Sowunmi Future Despite No Signature
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has said that he is still waiting for a firm response on the future of defender Omar Sowunmi. The former Ipswich Town academy player is out of contract at Huish Park, and is therefore able to move to another club without the explicit consent of the Glovers. However, as an Under-24 year old, any interested club would need to pay a training and development compensation fee, to recognise his progress as a player during the three years that he has been on Yeovil Town's books.

That situation means that the club need to keep a contract offer open to him, but currently cannot firmly count on his services for the 2018-19 season, whilst his new contract remains unsigned. Way has told BBC Somerset today that he still sees that as a 'very positive' situation because he has not had any firm 'no' from the centre-back at this stage, suggesting that his agent is advising him to wait until the last minute for any clubs that may hold an interest in him:

"All I can say is that we've offered him a fantastic contract. Just as I explained before, players and agents are almost waiting until the last minute, which you can understand as they want the best deal for the player. But I think for Omar's sake it's probably best that he stays at Yeovil Town, because I think he's probably a season away from a very very good move. At the moment it looks very positive, because I've not had a no from Omar. If the player wants to be at the football club, then that's very important. I understand why the agent and the player will not make a commitment right now, but I've not had a no from Omar. The moment I have a no from Omar, no matter what money you offer him, there's no point in him being at the club."

Yeovil Town have made one permanent signing this summer, drafting in left-sided defender Carl Dickinson after his release from Notts County at the end of last season. The 31 year old is expected to mainly fill the shoes of outgoing left-back Ryan Dickson, but can also play as a centre-back if called upon. Way expects Tom James to mainly compete on the opposite flank, and believes the addition of a player like Dickinson will help his side push for the top half of the table, with a top seven position his previously stated target. He says that there will be a second 'experienced' player arriving at the club soon:

"I said that I was going to replace experience with experience. I'm waiting to announce another experienced player, that will be signing soon. So if you've got Carl Dickinson, and we have Stuart Nelson, I don't think I lost a game with Nelson in goal. It just shows that when you've got that experience, a player that has got knowledge and a player that has got leadership skills, it carries the squad very far. With some of the young talent that we've got in our team, I genuinely feel that we should be able to push next season."

Darren Way implies there have been some verbal discussions with other managers concerning the availability of Tom James, and winger Otis Khan, but that neither of them have reached the stage where offers have been put in writing.

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21 June 2018 : Former Notts County Defender Becomes Second Glovers Summer Signing
Yeovil Town have made their second signing of the summer today. They have brought in former Notts County left-sided defender Carl Dickinson on a two year contract, shortly after his release from the Meadow Lane club. The 31 year old is a former Stoke City, Watford and Port Vale player who can play either as a full-back or as a centre-back and so is positionally a replacement for Nathan Smith who was released at the end of last season. Notts County used him as a left-back during his time with them, and so in reality he may more likely to fill the boots of Ryan Dickson.

Born in Swadincote in Derbyshire, on March 31st 1987, he had youth spells with Derby County and Stoke City before turning professional with the latter in 2004. There he made 60 first team appearances, the majority of which were in the Championship, during the 2007-08 season. Around that point he had a myriad of loan spells, including Icelandic side Vikingur (2 appearances), Blackpool (10 appearances), Leeds United (7 appearances), Barnsley (29 appearances) and Portsmouth (39 appearances) with the latter two clubs operating in the Championship.

In the summer of 2011, he left Stoke and signed a three year deal with Watford, playing under Sean Dyche, with a fee reported as being in the region of £250,000. He made 47 appearances across two seasons, although all bar six of those were in his first season. A second loan spell with Portsmouth (6 appearances) was followed up by seven loan appearances for Coventry City.

At that point, he dropped into League One, where he spent three seasons playing for Port Vale, clocking up 143 appearances and scoring four goals between 2013 and 2016. Then came his move to Notts County where he played 72 times in two seasons, scoring once for a side that reached the League Two play-offs. He was released at the end of last season and so joins Yeovil Town as a free agent.

Dickinson played a full 90 minutes in the November 2017 match against Yeovil Town at Huish Park that ended in a 1-1 draw, playing as their left-back on the night. But by the time we travelled up to Meadow Lane in April 2018, he had lost his place in the side to Daniel Jones - who scored the opening goal that day. Ultimately Dickinson didn't make it onto the field of play after April 2nd for County, and was not involved in their League Two play-off matches. As such, his release at the end of the season was understandable, although up until that point he had played in 32 matches that season, including 26 games in League Two.

The signing comes on the back of yesterday's news that Norwich City winger Diallang Jaiyesimi will spend the 2018-19 season at Huish Park on a season-long loan.

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21 June 2018 : Wealey Becomes A Grecian After Dorchester Exit
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Chris Weale is back in the Football League at Exeter City. The 36 year old has been brought in as their new goalkeeping coach, with new first team manager Matt Taylor selecting his new backroom team after taking over from Paul Tisdale. Wealey has left Dorchester Town after a year on their books as a player, that saw him keep 11 clean sheets in 49 appearances under Steve Thompson's management.

That was good enough for him to pick up all three of Dorchester's Player of the Season Awards, gaining honours from their First Team Manager, the Players' Player and Supporters as their top player for the 2017-18 season. However, he now moves down to Devon, where Taylor has also appointed Andrew Wiseman as a new Strength and Conditioning Coach, whilst Dan Green has been promoted from within to become the club's new Under-23 coach. Taylor is still seeking a new Assistant Manager.

Taylor has revealed that he knew Weale from a coaching course, but also got a recommendation from former Glovers keeper Artur Krysiak, with Weale having acted as Yeovil Town's goalkeeping coach until his departure from Huish Park in the summer of 2016. He said Weale's main focus would be as a coach, although he didn't rule out the possibility of registering him as a player if they needed cover on a temporary basis:

"Chris is enthusiastic. He's got a great work ethic and he's a good character and he will fit in well with the environment we are trying to create. I see Chris as a long-term appointment. I knew Chris from a coaching course and from playing against him. He is familiar with the club, having worked with the academy goalkeepers. Artur Krysiak spoke very highly of him from his time at Yeovil and how he improved his game. Chris has had a fantastic playing career and is an ambitious young coach in terms of developing young goalkeepers which is a big part of our club with Christy and James and the younger keepers coming up through the academy. Chris will also provide us as cover if emergency circumstances happen where a keeper fell ill on the day of a game, he could sit on the bench if needed, so we can also sign him on a non-playing contract."

Chris Weale made 236 appearances for Yeovil Town across three spells at the club - including one very legendary goal against Hereford United in April 2009. He made over 450 appearances during his professional career.

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21 June 2018 : Yeovil Town's League Cup Tie Selected For Live Coverage
Yeovil Town's League Cup First Round fixture against Aston Villa has been selected for live coverage. The match will be played on Tuesday 14th August 2018 with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. Sunderland's home match against Sheffield Wednesday has also been selected for live coverage.

All First Round matches are due to be played during the week commencing August 13th, with the majority of games likely to be set for Tuesday 14th August. Prices have yet to be set for this tie.

Update: The Sunderland vs Sheffield Wednesday tie has been set to be broadcast on Thursday 16th August. Yeovil Town's match remains on 14th August.

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21 June 2018 : 2018-19 Yeovil Town First Team Fixtures Released
Yeovil Town's first team fixtures for the 2018-19 season are now available. The forthcoming year will see the Glovers compete in League Two for the fourth consecutive season and will see them open on Saturday 4th August 2018 with a match against Bury at Gigg Lane, with the second fixture scheduled against Mansfield Town at Huish Park a week later. The season ends on May 4th 2019 with Carlisle United the opposition at Huish Park.

As always, the Christmas period is of particular interest. Boxing Day falls on a Wednesday this year, providing a game against Exeter City at St James Park. Then on Saturday 29th December the club will play Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park in a second away fixture. That is then polished off with a New Year's Day fixture against Cheltenham Town at Huish Park.

The full fixture list can be viewed via the link below.

Link: Ciderspace 2018-19 Yeovil Town Fixtures And Results Page.

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21 June 2018 : Ladies Announce New Venue For 2018-19 Season
Yeovil Town Ladies have announced that their designated ground for the 2018-19 season will be The Avenue Stadium, home of Dorchester Town. The FAWSL rules require clubs to declare their default venue for fixtures, and so they have opted to move down the A37 to play in Dorset for the majority of their fixtures. This will see the Ladies play on an artificial surface, with the Magpies having made the decision to lay a 3G pitch this summer, which is currently being installed.

The Ladies have said that they "hope to return to their former home ground Huish Park to play some league and cup games" although with the 2018-19 fixtures for the FAWSL1 season yet to be announced, any commitment to that will have to wait for the time being. Chairman Steve Allinson gave his views on the decision to move grounds:

"We are thrilled to formerly announce our plans for the forthcoming season and are delighted that both Dorchester Town FC and Huish Park are committed to driving forward women's football in the South West. Whilst we are of course continuing with discussions to play some games at Huish Park, we also see the benefit of spreading the message across the county and beyond, and are very much targeting Dorchester as a potential area to grow both our fan base and commercial links."

The 2018-19 FAWSL1 season begins on August 18th, with fixtures due to be announced during mid-July. The Ladies are beginning their transition to a full time side over the summer, as part of new licencing criteria set by the FA. General Manager Trevor Jenkins gave his views on the new arrangements:

"Dorchester Town FC is an approved FA ground meeting and exceeding the relevant criteria for hosting such games and will provide an excellent environment for our fans. We are extremely conscious of the late cancellations and ground changes from last season and the difficultly this caused our fans, supporters and sponsors, however our partnership with Dorchester Town FC will allow us to both promote and fulfill our league fixtures with confidence and reliability, which of course is crucial."

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20 June 2018 : D'Ath Stays In League Two With Tisdale Reunion
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Lawson D'Ath will stay in League Two for the 2018-19 season, despite being part of Luton Town's promotion-winning squad. The 25 year old was released by the Hatters at the end of last season, but has signed a one year contract with Milton Keynes Dons who have headed in the other direction.

Under the new management of Paul Tisdale, Milton Keynes have already signed up midfielder Ryan Watson from Barnet as well as raiding his old club Exeter City for defender Jordan Moore-Taylor, with Tisdale taking advantage of a release clause that he presumably had a hand in inserting himself at St James Park. D'Ath now joins them, with the former Reading academy graduate having had a 2013 loan spell at Exeter, meaning that he is already familiar with Tisdale's way of working.

He has also experienced promotion out of League Two twice, having been part of Northampton Town's 2015-16 title winning squad, before gaining automatic promotion with Luton Town in 2017-18. D'Ath reveals that he is already a resident of Milton Keynes, and so won't need to do any relocation as part of his move:

"I've played under Paul before and I know what he's about and how he wants to play football. It's how I want to play. I'm just looking forward to working with him again. I live two minutes away from the stadium and I've kept an eye out for the team. It's a great stadium and I canít wait to play here."

D'Ath had a 14 game loan spell with Yeovil Town during the 2011-12 season, but also trialled for the club in the summer of 2014 during a couple of pre-season friendlies before moving on to Northampton just before the 2014-15 season started.

Link: Lawson D'Ath : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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20 June 2018 : Canaries Winger Becomes First Summer Signing
Yeovil Town have made their first signing for the 2018-19 season. They hve brought in Norwich City winger Diallang Jaiyesimi on a season-long loan. The 20 year old is a former Grimsby Town loanee who has been on a professional contract at Carrow Road since the summer of 2016.

Born in Southwark on May 7th 1998, he was originally on the books of the Aspire Academy, who act as a feeder for Dulwich Hamlet. He was their Under-18s captain. Snapped up by Norwich City to play for their Under-18s he was given a two and a half year contract by the Canaries in January 2016. That deal was extended in November 2017 to run as far as 2020, with an extra year's option available to the Canaries. He has yet to make a first team appearance, but made three substitute appearances for them in the Football League Trophy as part of Norwich's Under-21s side during the 2016-17 season. During that season he also played for Norwich's Under-23s side, where he scored 8 goals in 33 appearances.

Last season saw him make 35 appearances for Grimsby Town in League Two, scoring one goal as part of his loan deal. The vast majority of those came from the bench, with 10 starts at League Two level. He is relatively flexible, operating as a winger in the main, but can also play as an attacking midfielder or as a supporting striker. His one goal came in the Football League Trophy against Scunthorpe United during October 2017.

He was a half time substitute in Grimsby's 3-0 defeat against Yeovil Town in January 2018, playing as a left wing-back on the night. However, he was an unused substitute in the September 2017 game at Blundell Park that saw the home side win 2-1. It appears that after Russell Slade left Grimsby, that Jaiyesimi's time on the pitch began to fizzle out, being involved in only six matches during the final three months of the season, with no time on the pitch during his final month, when new boss Michael Jolley had begun to turn around results on the field of play. As a result his final moment for Grimsby came on April 7th as a 68th minute substitute, before seeing out the season as a benchwarmer.

Although born in London, he is also eligible to play for Nigeria. He was called up for their Under-20s squad, but has yet to get onto the field of play for his country.

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20 June 2018 : Silkmen Appoint New First Team Management
League Two newcomers Macclesfield Town have appointed a new first team manager. They have opted to bring in former Cheltenham Town and Crawley Town boss Mark Yates, who has left National League side Solihull Moors to sign a three year contract with the Silkmen.

Macclesfield had to deal with the loss of long-term boss John Askey earlier this month, after became Shrewsbury Town's first team manager. Askey had taken them back into the Football League after a six year hiatus, but left for a higher division as soon as the season was up, leaving the National League Champions with rather large shoes to fill.

Yates successfully guided Solihull away from relegation last season, having been appointed in November 2017 with them at the foot of the National League. His escape act caught Macclesfield's eye, whilst his seven years of League Two experience with Cheltenham and Crawley were also worthy of note, even if his time at Whaddon Road left on a low note as one of the four managers they appointed during the 2014-15 season on their way to relegation from the Football League. He said of his appointment at Moss Rose:

"I'm really pleased. It's happened really quickly but I'm joining a club with momentum and a club that are on the up. Everybody at the Football Club did a fantastic job last season and I just want to carry that on in a very competitive League Two. I'm looking forward to working with the players that are here but also bringing in some new faces too. I've been very impressed with the Chairman and I'm sure we're going to work tirelessly to put together a squad that will do well next season."

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19 June 2018 : Prices Set For Home Pre-Season Friendlies
Advance tickets for Yeovil Town's home pre-season friendlies are now on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office. The July fixtures against Swansea City, Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle will see the Main Stand ONLY open to Home Supporters.

Tickets can be purchase in the usual way - either via the online portal, by phone on 01935-847888, or in person at the Huish Park Ticket Office via standard office hours.

Prices for the three fixtures are as follows:

Swansea City (10th):
Adult £10.00; Seniors and Young Persons £5.00; Under-16: FREE

Bristol Rovers (17th) and Plymouth Argyle (21st):
Adult £6.00; Seniors and Young Persons £3.00; Under-16: FREE

For the full 2018-19 Pre-Season Friendly Fixture List, head to the link below.

Link: 2018-19 First Team Fixture List.

UPDATE: The Swansea City friendly has now been rearranged to take place on July 10th.

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19 June 2018 : Dunn Back In Football League With Saddlers
League One side Walsall have signed up former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Chris Dunn. The move for the 30 year old is a slightly surprising one, given he was released by National League side Wrexham at the end of last season, having spent the last two seasons playing outside the Football League, where he made 55 appearances.

Dunn has signed a one year contract with the Saddlers, and will compete with Liam Roberts for a starting point in their side. Prior to his stay in North Wales he'd spent two years with Cambridge United, making 64 appearances at League Two level, where again he was released at the end of his contract.

His time with the Glovers dates back to the 2013-14 season, when Gary Johnson brought him in at the start of the club's Championship season, as a back-up to Marek Stech, having previously worked with him at Northampton Town. He made eight appearances for the club during that season, with Stech only making way as a result of injuries, with Dunn dropping back to the bench as soon as the Czech Republic player was fit again. There was a feeling that Dunn had expected a bit more than that, when he turned down the offer of an extension with the club, to sign for Cambridge in the summer of 2014.

The connection with Walsall comes through boss Dean Keates who was Dunn's boss at Wrexham until March 2018 along with goalkeeping coach Michael Oakes. Under Keates, the keeper helped the Welshmen keep 15 clean sheets - a club record - and Dunn has said he is looking forward to that reunion:

"I'm really excited to get underway and I'm looking forward to the season. It's a great opportunity for me. I'm looking forward to working with the gaffer and Michael Oakes again. That was a big pull to come here and also to get back in the league, which is where I want to be. It was brilliant working with them and we enjoyed a decent season last year defensively. We kept a lot of clean sheets and had the best defensive record."

Link: Chris Dunn : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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18 June 2018 : Academy Clubs Selected For 2018-19 Checkatrade Competition
The Football League have confirmed the list of sixteen Invited Clubs that will field Under-21 sides in next season's Football League Trophy. The 2018-19 Season will see Arsenal field a development side in the competition - in the last two seasons they've opted out, with their early feedback indicating that they regarded their involvement in the Premier League 2 competition, and their tendency to already blood their youngsters in the League Cup and FA Cup as sufficient for their needs.

For next season, the Gunners will be entering the competition. The Football League have reclarified the way in which teams are selected, pointing out that the Under-21 team 'invites' are initially offered to sixteen clubs with EPPP Category One academies whose first teams finished the highest during the 2017-18 season. It is only when those clubs reject the invitation that the offers are then passed over to the 17th, 18th, 19th etc club in the pyramid, dropping down to the Championship, if necessary.

The list of clubs that will field Under-21 sides in the 2018-19 competition are as follows:

Arsenal, Newcastle United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Southampton, Chelsea, Stoke City, Everton, Swansea City, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City, West Ham United, Middlesbrough, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Group Stage draw will take place in July, with the first round of fixtures scheduled to take place week commencing on Monday 3rd September. There are also a number of rule changes for the 2018-19 Season - see the article linked below for full details.

Link: EFL 2018 AGM Matchday Programmes and Ownership Decisions.

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17 June 2018 : Taff's Gloversblog : The Two That Got Away
In terms of player movement at Yeovil Town, this may rank as one of the quietest summer breaks the club has had. There have been a couple of transfers that have had Glovers connections down at the Youth end of the market, with a Premier League club and a Championship club taking on players. The latest Taff's Gloversblog looks at the cases of Academy player Joe Tomlinson and Exeter City defender Jordan Storey and how the club need to deal with the reasons why those players did not result in a benefit to the Glovers. Read on via the link below and feel free to add your own views.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : The Two That Got Away.

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16 June 2018 : 2018-19 FA Cup Added To Key Dates For Season
The Football Association have published their competition dates for the 2018-19 season. The main interest here is the schedule for the FA Cup which will as per recent seasons see Yeovil Town enter at the First Round stage. Those dates have now been integrated below with all other 2018-19 Key Date information that we're aware of. Exact dates are as usual subject to the requirements of the police and television broadcasters.

The 2018-19 Season will see the prize money pool increased for the first time in several seasons. The FA have stated that the pool will be "more than doubled" with a structure that will benefit "all" participating clubs at every stage. It's not clear at this stage whether this will be a uniform raising of the money clubs obtain if they win ties, or whether this will be weighted towards certain rounds.

The 2018-19 Season will be the last season where the FA Cup Fifth Round will be played around a weekend schedule. For the 2019-20 Season, the Premier League is introducing a staggered 'winter break' during February 2020, with replays scrapped for that round, and all ties played in midweek.

As already reported, there will be two Summer Transfer Window deadlines, with permanent transfers treated differently to the deadline for Loan Agreements.

The dates that are in place so far for the 2018-19 season are as follows:

21/06/2018 : Thursday 9.00a.m. : Fixture Lists published

11/07/2018 : Pre-Season Friendlies commence (list here).

04/08/2018 : The 2018-19 Season Commences
09/08/2018 : Permanent Transfer Window closes at 5.00p.m. for all Premier League and EFL clubs
13/08/2018 : League Cup First Round (week commencing)
31/08/2018 : Loan Transfer Window closes for all Football League clubs

03/09/2018 : EFL Trophy First Round (week commencing)

20/10/2018 : FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (last round before Yeovil are involved)
10/11/2018 : FA Cup First Round weekend
01/12/2018 : FA Cup Second Round weekend

05/01/2019 : FA Cup Third Round weekend
26/01/2019 : FA Cup Fourth Round weekend
16/02/2019 : FA Cup Fifth Round weekend
16/03/2019 : FA Cup Quarter-Final weekend
06/04/2019 : FA Cup Semi-Final weekend

04/05/2019 : Final weekend of 2018-19 Season Proper fixtures.
18/05/2019 : FA Cup Final (Wembley Stadium)

Link: 2018-19 Summer Transfer Window Rule Changes.

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15 June 2018 : 2018-19 League Cup First Round : Full Draw With Glovers Given Villa Challenge
The draw for the First Round of the 2018-19 League Cup has been made by the Football League. The opening round was drawn out in Vietnam and has given Yeovil Town a home draw against Championship side Aston Villa at Huish Park.

The full draw is as follows:

Rotherham United v Wigan Athletic
Tranmere Rovers v Walsall
Crewe Alexandra v Fleetwood Town
Scunthorpe United v Doncaster Rovers
Macclesfield Town v Bradford City
Grimsby Town v Rochdale
Sheffield United v Hull City
Nottingham Forest v Bury
Middlesbrough v Notts County
Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday
Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers
Carlisle United v Blackburn Rovers
Mansfield Town v Accrington Stanley
Port Vale v Lincoln City
Preston North End v Morecambe
Oldham Athletic v Derby County
Shrewsbury Town v Burton Albion
Blackpool v Barnsley

Millwall vs Gillingham
Portsmouth vs AFC Wimbledon
Cheltenham Town vs Colchester United
Yeovil Town vs Aston Villa
Southend United vs Brentford
Reading vs Birmingham City
Swindon Town vs Forest Green Rovers
Exeter City vs Ipswich Town
Milton Keynes vs Charlton Athletic
West Bromwich Albion vs Luton Town
Bristol Rovers vs Crawley Town
Bristol City vs Plymouth Argyle
Cambridge United vs Newport County
Queens Park Rangers vs Peterborough United
Oxford United vs Coventry City
Wycombe Wanderers vs Northampton Town
Norwich City vs Stevenage

All matches are scheduled to be played during the week commencing August 13th, with Tuesday 14th August the most likely date for the majority of sides.

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14 June 2018 : Oscar Gobern Exits Huish Park
Yeovil Town have lost the services of midfielder Oscar Gobern. The 27 year old has rejected the terms offered to him by the Glovers at the end of the 2017-18 season, and has signed a one year deal with National League side Eastleigh for the 2018-19 season. The club gave out offers to Gobern and Omar Sowunmi who were both out of contract at the end of last season, but the former Southampton, Queens Park Rangers and Mansfield Town midfielder will now relocate to Hampshire. Gobern gave his view on the deal:

"After speaking to the Gaffer and Strevs (Ben Strevens) it was clear what their intentions are and it was a no brainer for me to come down. The potential this club has is tremendous and I want to be a part of it."

Manager Andy Hessenthaler confirmed the deal and said that his board had been putting a lot of effort in behind the scenes to get the deal completed:

"I am absolutely thrilled to get this over the line. He has a decent pedigree and played at a good level. He is young and hungry and will be a big addition to the playing squad. I would also like to thank the club in their efforts to get the deal completed. I know there has been a lot of hard work gone on behind the scenes and I canít thank them enough."

Overall Gobern made 14 appearances for the club, having made his debut in December 2017. He leaves on a free transfer, and will officially become an Eastleigh player on July 1st.

Link: Oscar Gobern : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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14 June 2018 : Yeovil Town Ladies Appoint New Head Coach As Sherwood Successor
Yeovil Town Ladies FC have appointed Millwall Lionesses manager Lee Burch as the club's new Head Coach, as the club begins life in its new professional surroundings. Burch, who was named the 2017-18 FA Women's Super League Two Manager of the Year at the LMA Awards, will take on the role, following the departure of former manager Jamie Sherwood.

Joining Millwall Lionesses midway through the 2016 campaign, Burch guided his former team into a top three finish last season, picking up the Manager of the Year Award in the process. With Yeovil Town Ladies FC now confirmed as a Tier 1 side for next season, Burch will look to build upon recent successes of the club, in a full-time professional setting. Commenting on his appointment, Lee Burch said

"I'm delighted to be joining Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club. After speaking to the club and seeing the vision, I was excited by the challenge and look forward to the season starting. The club has many of the key values I look for in myself, the players I work with and the staff and this was key to my decision. I cannot wait to get into the full time environment and with the new WSL1 structure, I believe itís going to be an exciting time for the club, staff, players and supporters."

Club Chairman Steve Allinson said of the recruitment process that saw Burch confirmed as the club's new boss:

"On behalf of everyone at Yeovil Town Ladies I am delighted to welcome Lee to our Club at this exciting new chapter in our development. Lee demonstrated in our interview process how much he shared the values we cherish and our long term development vision. We look forward to working with him and building together on and off the field."

New Yeovil Town Ladies Head Coach Lee Burch
New Yeovil Town Ladies Head Coach Lee Burch

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14 June 2018 : Bird Becomes A Magpie
Former Yeovil Town striker Ryan Bird has found himself a new club for the 2018-19 season. The 30 year old has agreed to move from one National League side to another, with Maidenhead United agreeing a contract to join them from Dover Athletic. This should cut down on the player's travelling radically, given that the Slough-born player lives in the area.

The signing for Maidenhead is a bit of a coup, given that Bird scored 20 goals last season. Dover finished one place outside the National League play-offs, missing out on the final day, whilst Maidenhead finished four places lower. Since leaving Yeovil Town he's carved out a useful career mainly at fifth tier level, spending half a season with Eastleigh before briefly moving back into League Two with Newport County.

He then spent last season with Dover where he enjoyed the most prolific spell of his career since his early days with Burnham where he scored 45 goals in 45 games during his final 2012-13 season before Portsmouth signed him up.

Maidenhead United are currently on a historical high, having been promoted to the National League top division at the end of the 2016-17 season as Champions. Up until the 2004-05 season, they'd never been higher than the Isthmian Premier Division.

Link: Ryan Bird : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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13 June 2018 : Oldham Appoint New Management After Wellens Sacking
League Two newcomers Oldham Athletic have appointed a new manager to replace Richie Wellens. Having been relegated from League One at the end of last season, they chose to sack Wellens even though he had only been in charge since September 2017, waiting until June 8th before making their decision to make the change. The Latics have now opted for former striker Frankie Bunn, who has been appointed on a one year deal.

This is the 55 year old's first permanent front line appointment, with his only other experience of first team management being a two game spell as joint Caretaker Manager of Coventry City back in 2008. Otherwise he's been largely employed as a Development Coach at various clubs, with his most recent role at Huddersfield Town ending in December 2017. He's also been on the coaching staff at Wigan Athletic, Coventry City, Manchester City and Rochdale.

Bunn's playing spell with Oldham came between 1987 and 1990. He is a competition record holder, having scored six goals in a single League Cup match against Scarborough Athletic in October 1989 - the most a player has scored in a single match in that competition. Overall he scored 35 goals in 88 appearances at Boundary Park.

Earlier this month, Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam had to douse down reports that Oldham were in financial problems, following claims made by the Daily Mail that the club were the 'next Leyton Orient', sparked by over-inflated wages given to foreign imports inducing dressing room unrest at Boundary Park. The report claimed that Oldham's playing budget had risen from £1.4 million to £2.4 million. Their owner, who is a Dubai-based Moroccan that used to be employed as a Football Agent, has chosen not to deny any of the reports, but states that the 'mess' the club was in at the time of his January 2018 takeover was greater than he anticipated, trying to put some of the problems down to the process of trying to change the way the club was being managed:

"My long-term aim and ambition for the club has not changed. I have never run away from any challenge and will not be doing so at Oldham. I am still fully committed to this great club. It is unfortunate that recent media reports have been made to damage our club. I will not be making any further comments in respect of the media article and will focus our energy on the real and important tasks in hand. We will let our actions speak for themselves. I have invested several millions in the club since my arrival but unfortunately the mess was bigger then we expected. Let me be clear, I am here for the long term. I will continue to invest whenever it is needed but our ultimate goal is to run the club in a responsible and sustainable manner."

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12 June 2018 : Moloney Agrees Cobblers Departure
Former Yeovil Town right-back Brendan Moloney is to become a free agent at the end of his Northampton Town contract. The 29 year old had been offered a new contract at Sixfields at the end of the 2017-18 season, but the implication is that he has turned down that offer, with the Cobblers announcing that he will come off their payroll on June 30th at the end of his current contract.

Moloney made made 108 starts and seven substitute appearances for Northampton, scoring two goals in his three-and-a-half years at the club. He suffered from a number of injuries during that time, largely explaining why his average number of appearances for the Cobblers sat at under 30 each season. However, he was part of their 2015-16 League Two title winning team that has given them the last two years at third tier level.

His rejection of a new deal would imply that he has an offer in League One, or that one of the larger League Two clubs has trumped Northampton's offer. He had been on their books since January 2015, when he was put out on loan by former Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson, half a season into a disappointing spell at Huish Park that reaped just seven first team appearances. His move to Sixfields turned into a permanent deal a month later.

Link: Brendon Moloney : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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11 June 2018 : 2018-19 League Cup First Round Draw Schedule And Ball Numbers
The schedule and ball numbers for the First Round draw of the 2018-19 League Cup have been published by the Football League. The draw will represent the first known competitive fixture for the new season, and as per last year, the League will be getting on a long distance flight. They will be sending Steve McManaman, Louis Saha and Dennis Wise out to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to make the draw on Friday 15th June, with matters commencing at 10.45a.m.

There won't be any video of the draw - all ties will be tweeted via the cup competition's Twitter feed, so you'll just have to imagine that they are actually in Vietnam and not in an office somewhere in the UK. The overseas location is a tie-in with sponsors Carabao, who are based in Thailand. There will be 70 clubs in the draw, with a split between North and South regions. However, on this occasion there will be no seeding, meaning that Yeovil Town - who are Ball No. 34 - can face any of the teams in the Southern Section on a home or away basis.

There are two EFL teams excluded, with Stoke City and Swansea City given a bye, along with all Premier League sides. The draw is as follows:

Northern Section:
1 Accrington Stanley 2 Barnsley 3 Blackburn Rovers 4 Blackpool 5 Bolton Wanderers 6 Bradford City 7 Burton Albion 8 Bury 9 Carlisle United 10 Crewe Alexandra 11 Derby County 12 Doncaster Rovers 13 Fleetwood Town 14 Grimsby Town 15 Hull City 16 Leeds United 17 Lincoln City 18 Macclesfield Town 19 Mansfield Town 20 Middlesbrough 21 Morecambe 22 Nottingham Forest 23 Notts County 24 Oldham Athletic 25 Port Vale 26 Preston North End 27 Rochdale 28 Rotherham United 29 Scunthorpe United 30 Sheffield United 31 Sheffield Wednesday 32 Shrewsbury Town 33 Sunderland 34 Tranmere Rovers 35 Walsall 36 Wigan Athletic

Southern Section:
1 AFC Wimbledon 2 Aston Villa 3 Birmingham City 4 Brentford 5 Bristol City 6 Bristol Rovers 7 Cambridge United 8 Charlton Athletic 9 Cheltenham Town 10 Colchester United 11 Coventry City 12 Crawley Town 13 Exeter City 14 Forest Green Rovers 15 Gillingham 16 Ipswich Town 17 Luton Town 18 Millwall 19 Milton Keynes Dons 20 Newport County 21 Northampton Town 22 Norwich City 23 Oxford United 24 Peterborough United 25 Plymouth Argyle 26 Portsmouth 27 Queens Park Rangers 28 Reading 29 Southend United 30 Stevenage 31 Swindon Town 32 West Bromwich Albion 33 Wycombe Wanderers 34 Yeovil Town.

All matches are scheduled to be played during the week commencing August 13th, with Tuesday 14th August the most likely date for the majority of sides. The competition final will be played on Sunday 24th February 2019. There are a number of changes to this season's competition, as summarised via the link below.

Link: League Cup 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

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10 June 2018 : EFL 2018 AGM Matchday Programmes and Ownership Decisions
Aside from some of the major announcements made by the Football League in the last few days, on the back of their 2018 Summer AGM, there have been some more subtle changes agreed in Portugal. The EFL reveal that there were 17 regulation amendments or additions on the table, along with one constitutional change that was not asked for a formal vote. The more minor changes were as follows:

Matchday Programmes: The AGM agreed that the production of physical matchday programmes would be optional for clubs for the 2018-19 season onwards. It will therefore become a commercial decision for each individual club, as to whether they believe it is profitable, or serves a purpose as a communication device. However, it also enables clubs to offer publications wholly on a digital basis, using an electronic application. The League's change allows clubs to opt out, but in terms of partnership and sponsorship agreements, clubs would still be expected to honour advertising commitments.

Groundsharing: From May 5th 2019 onward, applications for Groundsharing must be limited to football, plus one other sport. Clubs that groundshare with another sport must have a hybrid or similar pitch installed. For any club with an existing groundshare agreement, this rule will apply from July 1st 2019. Although they are not named, this would appear to be aimed at Newport County, who experienced groundshare problems up until the 2017-18 season, where attempts to groundshare with Newport Gwent Dragons (now known simply as Dragons) and Newport RFC on a wholly grass surface led to waterlogged pitches and postponed matches.

Safeguarding Standards: The EFL Board will have the power to implement operational standards relating to the safeguarding of young persons and vulnerable adults, as appropriate. Nothing is said beyond that, but it presumably takes the issue out of clubs hands and allows the League to define a rule across all 72 clubs.

Owners Conduct Review: The League have been looking into what additional standards they can adopt to deal with problematic owners, with them admitting that the current rules only allowed them to vet owners and directors at the time they took over the football club. This meant that any problems experienced during their ownership could not be dealt with. As a result they will tackle this from three angles - firstly a Club Charter will be published, detailing the commitment that all Club Officials must make towards the EFL and other associated bodies.

Secondly, the League will extend the ability to sanction clubs (usually in the form of a transfer embargo) where clubs fail to pay loan wages, ticket revenue owed to other clubs, or staff wages. The current rule only relates to transfer fee and loan fee payments and so is being expanded to include a wider set of scenarios. This appears to be a reaction to the problems that materialised at Leyton Orient just over a year ago, as they were relegated to the National League, with office staff frequently going unpaid, but with the League admitting they could not intervene.

Thirdly, the Owners and Directors Test will be amended to prevent a registered Intermediary (i.e. a Football Agent) from also engaging in activities that fall under the definition of a Director within League regulations. This appears to be a reactive change, in response to controversy concerning agent Jorge Mendes and his role at Wolves. An EFL investigation in April concluded neither club nor agent had broken any rules in terms of the number of players Mendes had registered at Molineux, but the change to the rules appear to be an attempt to stop anything that they may have felt morally stepped over the mark.

Action Against Individuals: Strongly related to the above, the EFL Board are to define a policy where individuals fail to meet the standards required under the League regulations. This policy will include action that the League can take in the event of 'a very serious single act or persistent serious acts' relating to their operation of a League club, and where their conduct is damaging to the reputation of the profession and the game of football. The EFL Board have a target of adopting this policy at their next meeting on July 26th.

Financial Controls in League One and League Two: There will be discussions with third and fourth tier clubs over changes that could be made to the existing SCMP Rules, which cover the amount that clubs are allowed to spend on players wages. These discussions will continue at the next September 2018 club meeting. Here, Yeovil Town may hold an opinion on this, given that Chairman John Fry has recently expressed concerns that the club cannot carry forward any of the 'windfall' the club received from their 2017-18 cup runs into the 2018-19 season under the present rules.

There are two topics of conversation that the Football League do not divulge the outcome of. As part of their February 2018 club meeting, the EFL stated on the subject of artificial pitches that "discussions will now continue ahead of the EFL's AGM in June to determine if there is an appetite for either league wide change or if there is an option to adopt the use of artificial pitches on a divisional basis". In addition, in late May, Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry stated that he was in discussion with the EFL over introducing a "fibre pitch" at Huish Park. However, there was nothing that came out of the Summer AGM - the only possible explanation comes from National League clubs who believe that the item was about to be dropped from the agenda due to insufficient support, with opposition from the PFA particularly strong in this area, with 94 percent of their members against such a rule change. However, given the EFL stated it would be on the June 2018 agenda, it is surprising that they have not made the current position clear.

The second area that has not been mentioned is the introduction of the "developed player" rule for the 2018-19 Season. This came up back in April 2017, and was part of two changes planned to further the development of Academy players, and their pathway into the first team. This did not get a mention in any of the League or media output from the AGM. However, only last month, EFL Head Of Youth Development David Wetherall spoke about it, saying that he saw it as guaranteeing a pathway from the Academy to the First Team in all 72 clubs:

"EFL clubs invest very significant amounts of money, above £90 million, on youth development each season. It makes it clear to everyone in the system that there is that pathway because somebody from each academy will be within that first-team environment. Everything in youth development is a long-term project. The work that is under way takes a long time to come to fruition at first team and international level. The Elite Player Performance Plan came into effect in 2012. The licenced academy system started at under-nines. So the players who will undertake their whole journey under the new academy system are still a long way away from first teams. But I think we're making some really good progress in the country in terms of the quality opf players that are being produced."

Back in September 2017, Chief Executive Shaun Harvey stated that the rule change would still be going ahead and that regulations would be amended to provide this:

"From 2018-19, clubs will have a requirement to field Club Developed Players on their team sheets, and we believe amendments to regulations in this way can be a game changer and have a major impact in an increasingly important area."

Hence the most likely situation is that clubs already regarded the issue as voted through from the April 2017 meeting, and were therefore happy for the League's Executive to define that regulation for the 2018-19 Season without a further vote.

Link: League Propose New Financial Model For Distributing Funds To Clubs.

Link: EFL Trophy 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

Link: League Cup 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

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9 June 2018 : Quartet Of Glovers Triumph In Seniors World Cup
A quartet of players associated with Yeovil Town are World Cup winners, after England Veterans triumphed in the 2018 Seniors World Cup in Thailand today. The Three Lions team beat Scotland 4-0 in the final played at the Hua Hin Stadium, at the end of a competition in which they won all of their fixtures in normal time, to take the trophy for the third consecutive occasion.

Yeovil Town goalkeeping coach Steve Phillips has been a part of all three of those tournaments, and he started in the final, along with former winger Lee Elam, who played on the right flank, with Alex Russell taking on a central midfield role. Former Yeovil Town manager and midfielder Steve Thompson was on the bench for the final, but was pushed into the action after just 40 minutes, when he had to replace Captain Peter Beagrie.

England opened the scoring through Mark Saunders 27 minutes into the tie, and at one point it looked as though Scotland were going to make a game of it. However, three goals in five minutes killed off the match around the hour mark. Lee Elam set up the second, thanks to a right-wing run that took the ball to the byline before cutting the ball back to Jason Price to score. Elam then smashed in England's third, before Steve Jones broke through the middle of the Scottish defence for the fourth of the game.

England Seniors - winners of the 2018 Seniors World Cup
Top Left to Right: Johnny Wilson (Head of Sports Science and Medicine), Paulina Czubacka (Lead Clinician), Rod Thornley, Dave Galloway, Lee Elam, Karl Munroe, Steve Phillips, Jason Price, Steve Dickinson, Mark Saunders, Nicky Southall, Steve Thompson, Jonny Haigh, Ian Nockolds (Media), Mark Clifton (Assistant).
Bottom Left to Right: Dean Barrick, Kevin Mooney, Wesley Reid, Alex Russell, Tristram Whitman, Andy Newell (Assistant), Paul Bell (Manager), Mark Smitheringale (Coach), Peter Beagrie, Barry Hayles, Steve Jones, Steve King, Andy Hessenthaler.
Photo © 2018 England Seniors.

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9 June 2018 : RIP Chris Weller 1939-2018
Former Yeovil Town forward Chris Weller has passed away at the age of 78 years old. Chris spent most of his life living in Dorset - as well as his prolific spell with the Glovers, he played professionally for Reading, AFC Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers as well as managing a number of Dorset and Hampshire sides. He died on June 4th, after suffering with dementia.

Chris was born in Reading on December 25th 1939 and represented his county at cricket as a teenager. But he became a professional footballer for Reading, and at the time he made his debut for his hometown club he was their youngest player to represent their first team, aged just 17 years old. He transferred to Bournemouth in the summer of 1959, in what was to be the first of two spells for the Cherries, broken up by a six month spell with Bristol Rovers during the 1965-66 season. Overall he made 119 league appearances for Bournemouth, scoring 26 goals, with three more league appearances for Rovers.

In the summer of 1967, Yeovil Town manager Ron Saunders was building a new squad, and he brought in Weller, for the start of that season. He was the club's top goalscorer during the 1967-68 campaign and managed to hit double figures in all six of the years that he was with the club. He was part of Yeovil Town's first team during the 1970-71 season when the club won the Southern League title and the Western Counties Floodlight Cup, as well as reaching the FA Cup Third Round and a money-spinning home tie against Arsenal at Huish, and an FA Trophy Semi-Final.

Across his six seasons with the club, Chris scored 104 goals, putting him in an elite group of just six players who have broken through the century barrier for the club since the end of the Second World War. At the end of the 1972-73 season, he was one of four long-serving players that were given joint testimonial matches against Fulham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ipswich Town and Hereford United, with the proceeds being shared by the quartet as an aggregate of 19,296 turned out to watch the four matches. Overall, he made 218 appearances for the club, meaning that he left with a strike rate of almost one goal in every two games.

He went on to play for Salisbury, Poole Town and Ringwood Town, at which point he moved into management as Holt United's player-manager. When he hung up his boots entirely, he managed Shaftesbury, Wimborne Town, Brockenhurst and Bournemouth Poppies. Off the field, he worked as a self-employed plumber and heating engineer. He also managed Grange Athletic Under 16s and Parley and Brockenhurst Under 18s.

He married just before his move to Huish, having met his wife Dorli whilst playing for Bournemouth. She had arrived in England as a hairdresser from Austria and they married in her home country in 1966. He moved to Verwood at that time, where his daughter Britta and son Kristian were born and raised.

Chris Weller's funeral will take pace at 12.30p.m. on Friday 29th June, at Wimborne Woodland Burial Ground. Family flowers only. Instead, donations can be made to Dementia UK.

Chris Weller and his wife Dorli outside their bungalow in Verwood
Chris Weller and his wife Dorli outside their bungalow in Verwood

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8 June 2018 : League Cup 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes
The Football League have confirmed that there will be no extra time in next season's League Cup competition. With the exception of the Wembley final, all fixtures will be settled by just 90 minutes worth of football, with games going directly to penalties if the match is drawn - the same rules that the sister Football League Trophy uses.

The Wembley Final will still use extra time if needed. At the 2018 EFL AGM, member clubs were presented with statistics detailing that 85 percent of matches across the last three years were settled in normal time, and so did not even reach the extra time period. The end result was that clubs voted in favour of the rule change.

Another change voted in is that seeding will be scrapped from the 2018-19 Season competition. Previously in the First and Second Round, clubs in the Championship and top half of League One would be drawn against clubs in the lower half of League One, or those in League Two. The 2018-19 Season League Cup draw will now be unseeded, with only the North and South regionalisation maintained. The removal of this rule should allow for a bit of randomisation, with lower division clubs getting a better chance of progressing through to later rounds, although it does lower the chances of them getting a high profile draw in the earlier stages.

The League have also revealed that the penalty kicks for the League Cup will revert to the standard ABAB format. The one-season trial of the ABBA format has been dropped, meaning that penalties will be taken alternatively by each team. This method will also be used by the Football League Trophy and the Play-Off competitions.

Finally, the League have agreed to allow the use of VAR in the League Cup competition, where the match is played at a stadium supporting that technology, which currently will cover the Premier League clubs and Wembley Stadium.

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8 June 2018 : EFL Trophy 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes
The Football League has made a couple of small changes to the rules for the Football League Trophy for the 2018-19 season. Whilst the main format of the competition, which is currently badged as the Checkatrade Trophy, will remain unchanged, there will be some modifications on team selection again.

For Football League sides, they will be able to include players on their teamsheet that are in the middle of loan agreements with National League clubs. This would not result in the terms of the loan being broken or ended - that player would be able to return to the National League side after the Trophy tie has been played. This is similar to a rule that is currently in place for players loaned to Football League clubs, who are allowed to play at Under-23 level as part of the Premier League 2 league competition.

In addition, there is a larger change to the rules that will affect EPPP Category One clubs that field Under-21 sides in the competition. The current rules are that each Under-21 side must field at least six starting players that are aged Under-21 on June 30th in the year that the competition commenced. On top of that, they will only be able to name two players who are over the age of 21 and have made more than 40 First Team appearances.

The League have also said that their Executive Committee will be preparing changes to the competition for the 2019-20 season. The present format has an agreement to continue until the end of the 2018-19 season. The League plan to present to clubs any changes to that format at a meeting in September. One of the open-ended questions will be whether Under-21 sides will be allowed to continue in that competition, with sponsors Checkatrade having provided the competition with a large sponsorship and prize pool, but at the expense of substantially lower gates, particularly during the Group Stages of the competition.

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8 June 2018 : Calls For Safe Standing Gain Major Political Backing
Football's Safe Standing campaign has today been given formal backing by a political party this morning. The Labour Party have announced that changes to the 1989 Football Spectators' Act would form part of official party policy if it was put to a vote in Parliament. The confirmation from Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, ensures that the Football Supporters Federation and the Football League now guarantee that their hopes to legalise the concept of Rail Seating in Premier League and Championship grounds have backing from politicians.

Support for Safe Standing was also a part of the 2015 and 2017 Liberal Democrats Election Manifesto, and so although they have been quiet on the recent campaigning, it would seem likely that they would also support any moves to change the law that was set up in the wake of the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Launching their plans at a meeting at Queens Park Rangers' Loftus Road ground, Dr Allin-Khan said that she had been consulting with a number of fans groups and safety authorities, and their view was that the choice of what facilities to offer should lie with the local safety authorities and clubs, rather than Whitehall officials:

"It's time for change. Labour's decision is the result of in-depth consultation with football clubs, fans and safety authorities. It's time to back safe-standing. We want to give the power to fans, clubs and local safety authorities, to allow for a small area inside a stadium to be designated for safe-standing. Clubs, fans and local authorities know their stadium far better than anybody in Whitehall - the decision should rest with them."

The current Government position is for them to resist change in the current laws, with Sports Minister Tracey Crouch dismissing campaigners as a 'vocal minority'. But with the EFL and the FSF formally giving their support to the campaign, along with a number of high profile professional clubs, and a petition attracting over 110,000 signatures, it has been somewhat harder to maintain that stance, and earlier this week, there were signs that the Government were softening their opposition a little. However, Dr Allin-Khan believes that the Government have been slow to move with the times over the issue:

"This is about safety. The current system isn't working, people are standing in unsafe seated areas, and accidents can happen. We would allow the installation of specialised rail seating where appropriate, or standing in current seated areas where it can be made safe to do so. The data and extent of the surveys provided by the EFL and fans' groups clearly shows that fans want safe-standing introduced. Government ministers have dragged their feet. They have not met safety authorities in the past two months, they haven't spoken to any supporters groups, and launched a review overnight without giving it any thought."

The current laws, and the issue of Safe Standing and the introduction of Rail Seats, will be discussed in Parliament on June 25th, as a result of the petition exceeding 100,000 signatures.

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8 June 2018 : Extra Time Could Be Scrapped In League Cup
This weekend's Football League AGM is expected to discuss proposals to scrap extra time during the 2018-19 League Cup competition. The current format is for matches to be settled on the night, but for games to be played using an additional 30 minutes extra time, followed by penalty kicks if the scores are still level after 90 minutes.

The League's proposal stems from complaints from players that they are suffering from 'fatigue' from having to play the full 120 minutes. On the table is therefore a vote to consider bringing it into line with the Football League Trophy, which sees teams go straight to penalty kicks if the scores are level on 90 minutes. This is with the exception of the Final, where extra time is allowed.

On a related note, the League will also vote on what to do with the penalty kicks system. Last season, the League introduced a new ABBA system, which saw teams take penalty kicks in pairs, in a similar pattern to a tennis tie break. This replaced the long-established ABAB system which saw penalty kicks alternate on a one-by-one basis. The ABBA system had been introduced on a one season trial, and so League clubs will now vote on what steps to take next, which could include adopting the ABBA format on a permanent basis or reverting to the original ABAB format.

The other items that are expected to be discussed include a vote on whether the production of physical matchday programmes should be mandatory for clubs. Back in April 2018, the League said they'd been approached by several clubs asking for programme production to be optional and therefore a commercial decision by individual clubs. As yet, we've not seen any clubs state that they would withdraw programme production in the event of a rule change. The League have said that they would continue to produce programmes for their Cup Finals and Play-Off Finals.

There is also expected to be the formal introduction of a 'developed player' rule for the 2018-19 season. This was originally discussed by clubs in April 2017 and will require clubs to name at least one player on their teamsheet that has been developed by their own Academy/Youth system, with that player needing to have been on the club's books for at least one season leading up to Under-19 level. This is a rule that would significantly affect Yeovil Town, given that clubs that cannot name such a player are expected to be rationed to only six substitutes. At present, having released all second year scholars there are no players that would qualify under that definition.

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7 June 2018 : League Propose New Financial Model For Distributing Funds To Clubs
The Football League have announced plans to review their current financial distribution model for the 2019-20 season. The proposals were put forward at the League's 2018 Summer AGM and concerns the way that income from deals like Sky Sports broadcast contracts and commercial sponsorship trickles down to member clubs. The formula used is a complex one, but has historically meant that Championship clubs have taken the lion's share of that pot.

That isn't likely to change soon, but the League have provided clubs with a couple of offers that may or may not provide a bit more certainty for League One and League Two clubs in terms of what they receive. The offer involves the Football League taking on the central costs of providing the facilities for Goal Line Technology in Championship fixtures, and Select Group 2 Match Officials, that are full time professionals in second tier football. Currently the costs of both are met by Championship clubs on their own, with League One and League Two sides not liable for that expense.

Based on the League's current constitution, the formula for the distribution of funds to each level of football is expected to be 71.15% in the Championship, 17.16% in League One and 11.69% in League Two for the 2019-20 Season.

The League have put forward two proposals. The first is to reset the splits back to the 2016-17 season, which saw financial awards of 68.51% in the Championship, 18.7% League One and 12.79% in League Two. The second is to move to a new split of 66.66% in the Championship, 20% in League One and 13.34% in League Two. However, whilst this may seem more generous to third and fourth tier clubs at first sight, clubs will be able to keep 80 percent of its own income from the domestic streaming of matches, whilst the costs of goal line technology and professional officials would be met by the league, thus meaning all 72 clubs would share the expense.

At present there is no formal vote. It will be discussed again in September 2018, with a formal vote expected by the end of the year. As the change is constitutional, it would require at least 75 percent of the membership to support one of the new measures. Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said of the proposals:

"Today was about setting the scene and providing clubs with the relevant information so that the discussion can develop over the course of the coming weeks and months. I would hope there is enough initial detail within the draft proposals for clubs to be able to start having the necessary conversations with their Boards and colleagues so we can start to understand if making a change is going to be possible."

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6 June 2018 : Tisdale Confirmed As Milton Keynes Boss
In news that will shock no-one, Milton Keynes Dons have announced their new first team manager as Paul Tisdale. The former Yeovil Town midfielder's name has been linked with the vacancy at Stadium MK since the final week of the season proper, meaning that Exeter City went through their 2017-18 Season Play-Offs with heavy speculation hanging over their manager's head. That has proven to be true, with Tisdale's departure from St James Park last Friday making it fairly obvious what would happen next.

That has now been confirmed, and so the 45 year old will remain in League Two, but with the possible gamble that he is now at a club that will be attempting a quick return to third tier football following their relegation last season. Chairman Pete Winkelman ha said that Tisdale has been his number one target throughout their search for a new manager:

"Paul was our number one choice from the very start and although it has taken some time to become real, it is certainly worth the wait. Paul ticks every box for us and I am very much looking forward to working with him and his team, as we all look to bring back exciting times to Milton Keynes."

His exact terms haven't been divulged, but has been described in the media as a 'long term rolling contract'. He will be joined by two of his backroom staff from St James Park, with assistant manager Matt Oakley and first team coach Mel Gwinnett also making the trip up to Buckinghamshire.

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5 June 2018 : Carlisle Appoint New First Team Manager
League Two side Carlisle United have appointed a successor to Keith Curle, who left the club at the end of the 2017-18 season. They have opted for John Sheridan, who has managed a myriad of Football League sides, but was most recently in charge of League One side Fleetwood Town, meaning that he's not got too far to travel for his next position. His major management career highlights have taken in three spells with Oldham Athletic, plus one each with Chesterfield and Plymouth Argyle.

It's that trio of clubs that brought most of his management success. he took Oldham to the League One play-offs in 2006-07, then gave Chesterfield promotion from League Two in 2010-11. Sheridan then took Plymouth to the League Two play-offs in 2014-15, managing them through a difficult period just after the Devon side had come out of administration and gradually turning them into a promotion-challenging club.

His last few appointments haven't been quite so fruitful, and have all been rather brief. Since October 2015, he's taken in Newport County, Oldham (again), Notts County, Oldham (for a third time), then Fleetwood Town with the longest that he's managed in any of those five spells being 33 games. That said, his 13 game spell with Fleetwood at the end of last season was impressive enough to steer them away from the relegation area and up into lower midtable.

There is no mention of Sheridan's contract length at Brunton Park. However, Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens claimed that their decision to appoint Sheridan came from an extensive process of selection:

"John has a record of success, and he is respected by managers, players and fans in equal measure. He is known for getting the absolute best out of players, and has a commitment to bringing young players through. I know that he will bring his characteristic determination, motivation and ambition to the club. Time and time, he has shown that he has been able to deliver results in the face of stiff competition. This appointment has been the result of a thorough and extensive process. The process has been comprehensive, and we have no doubt that John Sheridan is absolutely the right man for the job."

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5 June 2018 : Government Re-Open A Closed Door On All-Seater Policy
What a difference a few weeks can make. Back in April 2018, West Bromwich Albion had an application to the Government to introduce safe standing at the Hawthorns rejected. At the time of the rejection, Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch appeared to be digging her heels in on the issue, describing football fans who wanted the ability to licence rail seats, and thus a return to a structured form of terracing, as a "vocal minority" with a statement saying: "We have no plans to change our position and introduce standing accommodation at grounds in the top two divisions covered by the all-seater policy."

During the time that has followed, the Football Supporters Federation has joined ranks with the Football League, who formally announced their support for such a venture, launching a survey that showed that 94 percent of fans were in favour of a change in the law. At the same time, a petition launched by an Ipswich Town supporter gathered over 110,000 signatures, triggering a debate in Parliament over the issue that is set to take place on June 25th.

Late on Monday night, BBC Sport picked up that Government officials had approached both the Premier League and Football League about conducting a review into the current regulation, declaring the "time is right" to look at the issue. Currently outlawed by the 1989 Football Spectators' Act, it is unusually not an issue for individual leagues or local authorities, but one where Sunderland are barred from opening any terracing at their ground, even though their position in League One means they will come up against many opponents who are allowed to open terraced sections and even build new ones, whilst Shrewsbury Town have become the first English professional club to open up a new section of their ground based around rail seats.

The Government's latest position is that having blocked attempts to debate the issue in April, they are now willing to discuss the matter in June. A Government source has told the BBC the door is not closed on the matter:

"We recognise that technology and stadium design has evolved since the all-seater policy was introduced and the time is right to look at the issue. The sports minister has not shut the door to fans keen on standing sections being introduced but it is important that all the evidence and viewpoints are considered extremely carefully."

Whilst Yeovil Town remain in League Two or League One, they would be unaffected by the current, or any future position. However, having held a position in the Championship for one season, they would be expected to turn both terraces into all-seater structures if they complete two more seasons at that level, with a financial commitment and business plan published by the end of the second year.

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4 June 2018 : Former Keeper Behcet Returns To Somerset
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Darren Behcet is back in the West Country after agreeing to sign for Southern League Premier Division South side Frome Town. The 31 year old has been largely playing for sides in the South East over the past few years, but has relocated this year, and so has decided to join a Somerset club for the 2018-19 season.

Behcet was brought into Huish Park by Steve Thompson during the later part of the 2005-06 Season as a former West Ham United Academy player, eventually being signed on a permanent basis by Russell Slade. The form of Steve Mildenhall meant that Behcet's time with the club was confined to benchwarming, with a loan spell at Dorchester Town representing his only first team competitive playing time during his two years at Huish Park.

As a result, it was no surprise when in the summer of 2008, he moved on, and joined Sutton United. Since then he's worked his way through a myriad of Home Counties clubs, with Tooting and Mitcham, Harlow Town, Carshalton Athletic, AFC Hornchurch, Bognor Regis, Cray Wanderers, Maldon and Tiptree, Thurrock Ware, Heybridge Swifts and Coggeshall Town all using him over the past decade.

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3 June 2018 : Mugabi On Bench As Uganda Beaten Again
Yeovil Town defender Bevis Mugabi was part of a Uganda Cranes squad that lost 2-1 against hosts Niger on Saturday evening. The second of their June friendly internationals came at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey, as part of a mini-tournament that included the Central African Republic, who Uganda had lost 1-0 against earlier in the week.

Both Niger goals were scored by 21 year old Victorien Adebayor, whilst right back Nicholas Wadada netted a consolation for Uganda towards the end. For the second game running, Mugabi was named on the bench. Whilst we're certain that he didn't enter the field of play in his previous match, details on the substitutions for this fixture are sketchy, with FUFA and the Ugandan national press only recording the teamsheet, rather than any in-game changes. If we can confirm the substitutions, we'll add them in later.

The Ugandan squad will spend Sunday in Niger and are due to fly home on Monday, at which point Bevis should commence his summer break.

Uganda Cranes:
Dennis Onyango (GK), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Joseph Benson Ochaya, Timothy Denis Awanyi, Murushid Jjuuko, Khalid Aucho, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Moses Opondo, Allan Kateregga, Edrisa Lubega Emmanuel Okwi.

Charles Lukwago (GK), Salim Jamal, Denis Iguma, Isaac Muleme, Bevis Mugabi, Tadeo Lwanga, Allan Kyambadde, William Kizito Luwagga, Milton Karisa, Muhammed Shaban, Yunus Sentamu, Farouk Miya

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2 June 2018 : Quartet Of Glovers In England Seniors Squad
The England Seniors successfully landed in Bangkok yesterday, with four current or former Yeovil Town players and coaches numbered in their ranks. The squad are currently undertaking a training camp, prior to the tournament itself, which takes place later this month. Pictured inside that squad are former Yeovil Town manager and midfielder Steve Thompson along with current goalkeeping coach Steve Phillips.

The squad also features two other former Yeovil Town players. Winger Lee Elam featured for the club during its first season in the Football League. At the age of 41 years old, he finished his playing days at Harrogate Town; the same town that provide the main organisation and set-up for the England Seniors team. He is now managing Eccleshill United's Under-21 side. In addition, the squad includes midfielder Alex Russell, who played for the club under Terry Skiverton during the second half of the 2010-11 season.

The Seniors squad took part in a warm-up match against a Thailand B team in Bangkok today. During the first half, goals from Peter Beagrie, Barry Hayles and Mark Saunders put them 3-0 up in heavy rain, before a much-changed second half side added a fourth goal, with Alex Russell scoring. England are the current holders of the tournament, and so will be one of the fancied sides once the competition starts later in June.

England Seniors in Thailand for the 2018 Seniors World Cup
England Seniors in Thailand for the 2018 Seniors World Cup
Photo © 2018 England Seniors

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2 June 2018 : Ralph Makes Scottish Premiership Move After Leaving Cardinals
Former Yeovil Town left-back Nathan Ralph has moved north of the border to sign for Scottish Premiership side Dundee. The 25 year old was out of contract at National League side Woking, which led to The Sun claiming that Charlton Athletic, Oxford United and Hearts were after him, whilst a writer for HITC claimed he was heading for a trial for Bolton Wanderers. The only media that got it right were the Dundee Evening Telegraph who correctly predicted back in January that he was off to the Kilmac Stadium, signing up as a free agent.

Ralph has signed a two year contract with his new club, having had two successful seasons with Woking that had seen him make 72 appearances - by far the most consistent part of his footballing career so far. He was persuaded to make the move by former Crawley Town and Stevenage midfielder Roarie Deacon and although he admits that the level that he will be playing at will be much higher than what he has been used to in the last couple of years, he hopes he can establish himself at that level:

"I spoke to a few people as well, the likes of Roarie Deacon who said itís a good place to come, play good football and the manager will improve me. That's pretty much everything I was looking for. I know the level is better than what I have been playing at recently so I'm looking to test myself as much as possible. I feel like I'm good enough to play at this level. I'm excited, looking forward to it."

The former Peterborough United trainee was recruited by former Glovers boss Gary Johnson in the summer of 2012, but found his three years with Yeovil Town dogged by injuries, which persisted through his year with Newport County during the 2015-16 season. It only seems to be since his move to Kingfield that his career has taken off, leading to a number of clubs being linked with him, particularly during last season.

Link: Nathan Ralph : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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2 June 2018 : Campbell Confirms Forest Green Deal
Former Yeovil Town loanee Tahvon Campbell has not wasted any time in getting himself a new club. The 21 year old has penned terms with League Two side Forest Green Rovers, less than a day after he was released by West Bromwich Albion. The striker has signed a one year contract at the New Lawn, having had a 14 game loan spell there during the second half of the 2017-18 season.

Rovers manager Mark Cooper suggested that Campbell's move was probably his last chance to prove himself in the professional game, having had two loan spells with Yeovil Town, along with others at Kidderminster Harriers, Notts County and Solihull Moors, none of which had shown a particular spark. However, Cooper believes the player does have something about him that could allow him to succeed:

"Tahv showed us on numerous occasions during his loan spell with us that he was a real handful and he had something about him. Weíve given him a deal where he has got to really prove himself. It's probably a last-chance saloon for Tahv. He has had three or four loans that haven't worked out, he's come to us, felt at home and we've given him an opportunity to kick on."

Campbell himself prefers not to see it as a last chance for him to establish himself as a first team professional, but added that having already experienced the set-up at Forest Green that he saw it as an easy decision:

"Having been here before it was quite an easy decision, knowing the whole background of the club as well as the staff and players. I really enjoyed my loan spell at the club and staying in the league was a great feeling and hopefully next season we can push for bigger things. I wouldn't say it is my last chance but I feel the club have given me the opportunity to show what I can do and I am thankful for that. I just want to get a whole season under my belt and try and score as many goals as I can."

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1 June 2018 : Grecians Promote Taylor As Tisdale Successor
In what we'd assumed was a cued-up bit of decision-making, League Two side Exeter City have appointed a successor to outgoing manager Paul Tisdale. The former Yeovil Town midfielder left St James Park this morning after 12 years at the helm, with Milton Keynes Dons widely assumed to be his destination. In his place, they have appointed 36 year old Matt Taylor, who has been their Under-23 manager since hanging up his boots.

Taylor is a former defender who had a long career with non-league Burscough and various other clubs before he met up with Tisdale at Team Bath during the 2006-07 season. He moved to Exeter in June 2007 where he spent four seasons, before heading off to a variety of Football League sides, including Charlton Athletic and Cheltenham Town. In 2016 he became a Player-Coach at Bath City before rejoining Exeter.

As such, he is an obvious heir to Tisdale's methods and ways and so gives the Grecians some continuity. However, this will be his first front line job since turning to coaching. As yet, Exeter have not revealed anything about his appointment, stating that interviews will be arranged next Monday. One of his first tasks will be to agree Exeter's Released and Retained List following their League Two Play-Off Final defeat against Coventry City.

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1 June 2018 : Chairman Fry Plans Under-21 Set-Up For 2019-20 Season
Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry has given his views on how the club's Academy system stands, at the end of a season that saw no professional contracts offered to the club's Academy players for the third summer running. All seven of the club's second year scholars were released at the end of their Scholarship Programme at the club, with full-back Joe Tomlinson later being given a one year contract by Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion as a route into their Under-23s side.

Fry had talked about creating an Under-23s side back in January 2018, to provide a more coherent link between the club's Academy system and their First Team system, although since then nothing substantial has materialised. He has now told the club's website that they are proposing the creation of an Under-21s team for the 2019-20 season. He also now confirms widespread reports that Premier League side Southampton have been providing some sort of inputs into the running of the club's Academy system:

"We have recently undergone a full EFL Audit of our Academy standards and on limited resources, we have performed well thanks in no small part to very strong support from Southampton FC and Yeovil College. Having said that we are not complacent as we want to see graduates from our own Academy transition and be able to play EFL standard football. With that in mind we will be amending our Academy operations for next season and are also looking to set up an under-21 team for 2019-20. Setting up these improvements is a very detailed process and has included our own in-house review of our Academy's football, education and safeguarding practices to ensure we continue to apply the very best standards going forward. We expect to be able to announce the results of our reviews shortly."

Whilst the Glovers obtained fees for last season's transfer of Callum Morton to West Bromwich Albion and Kingsley Latham to Southampton, from the Academy, their decision to release Tomlinson from his Scholarship without offering him a contract meant that his move to Brighton will come on a free transfer. Fry states that the club helped Tomlinson set up trials with Southampton and Brighton, but denies rumours that there was any sort of offer from the Seagulls in place at the time that he left the club:

"After a discussion between the first team and Academy Managers it was agreed that none of the scholars could immediately transition to the EFL squad this season. Without an under-21 team this would normally leave a talented scholar like Joe (Tomlinson) with few options, but via our exit programme and contacts Joe was given the opportunity of trials at Southampton and Brighton by our Football and Academy Management teams. I am aware that there have been social media comments suggesting Joe had been subject to a six-figure offer from another club before he left us, but that is simply incorrect. No offers were received and if we had selfishly held on to Joe's registration waiting for an offer, this clearly talented player could have seen his football career options limited. It underlines our commitment to our youth players that if they cannot immediately be part of our senior squad, we will find ways to help them progress."

As with all players aged Under-24, the club would have been entitled to a fee from an interested club, but only provided they offered Tomlinson a professional contract at the end of his Scholarship. Upon releasing him, Brighton were entitled to make their move, as a free transfer, at the end of his contract with Yeovil Town on June 30th.

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1 June 2018 : Macclesfield Lose Manager After Promotion Back Into The League
League Two newcomers Macclesfield Town have been delivered a blow by the news that they have lost their first team manager John Askey to League One side Shrewsbury Town. The 53 year old had been their boss since April 2013, and had an association with the Cheshire club going back to 1984, when he joined them as a 20 year old striker, whilst the club were in the Northern Premier League.

Askey had been a player during Macclesfield's previous two Conference League titles (now known as the National League) and was their manager when they won the title for a third time, finishing above Tranmere Rovers by a ten point margin. However, he'll not manage them in the Football League, having penned a three year contract at the New Meadow.

This is the second time Shrewsbury have raided the National League Champions for a first team manager, with Ashey's predecessor Paul Hurst being recruited from Grimsby Town shortly after their promotion to the Football League. Hurst has been appointed as Ipswich Town's manager this week, kicking off a chain reaction down the divisions.

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1 June 2018 : Tisdale's Departure Confirmed By Grecians
League Two side Exeter City have parted company with first team manager Paul Tisdale. The 45 year old former Yeovil Town midfielder had been in charge at St James Park for 12 years, but is now widely expected to take up the vacancy at Milton Keynes Dons, who have just been relegated into League Two. The Grecians were beaten Play-Off Finalists this year, with Coventry City getting promotion to League One last weekend, but strictly speaking the issues behind Tisdale's departure lie before that point.

Tisdale had been operating on a rolling two year contract at Exeter, but was given notice on that deal in November 2016 following a poor start to the 2016-17 season. Ironically that has since resulted in Exeter reaching two consecutive League Two Play-Off Finals, which resulted in the Grecians Board offering him a replacement contract. With them needing to make plans for the 2018-19 season, they had set a deadline for Tisdale to sign the new deal. That deadline has now passed, and so Chairman Julian Tagg has announced that they will be looking elsewhere for a new boss:

"Regretfully, Paul has decided not to sign. We wish him the best of luck for the future and would like to thank him for his commitment to our club over the last 12 years. He has been a dedicated and successful manager, well respected both inside the Club and equally so in football generally and ever popular with players staff and volunteers, having worked so extremely hard to bring Exeter City to where we are today. Our offer of a new contract to Paul came with our express desire that he sign it in order to allow the club to plan and go forward with certainty. It is of course entirely Paul's prerogative that he should choose to let the club's deadline for a decision pass, but we are now at the point where we must move on and unexpectedly plan for a future without Paul as our manager. He has been Exeter City's most successful ever manager and he will always be welcome here and we wish him well."

Tisdale took Exeter City back into the Football League at the end of the 2007-08 Season, reversing the events that had led to their previous owners being kicked out of the club. He then gave them a second promotion to League One in 2008-09, and since then has helped Exeter build up a flourishing Academy system that has produced numerous first team players, as well as giving them in excess of £5 million worth of transfer income over the last five years.

In May 2018, he became the longest serving manager in the professional game, following Arsene Wenger's departure from Arsenal. That accolade now falls to Morecambe's Jim Bentley, who has been with the League Two side for just over seven years.

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1 June 2018 : Football League Survey Gives Emphatic Backing To Safe Standing Campaign
The Football League have published the results of their survey into fans attitudes towards terracing and safe standing at stadiums. The survey was conducted following an announcement last month that the League was prepared to campaign for a change in the law that currently prevents both top flight and second tier clubs from having any sort of standing accommodation. Those laws were brought in during the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, but subsequent revelations about the causes of that disaster, and the development of Rail Seats (commonly known as 'safe standing' options) have made clubs and campaign groups revisit this option.

So far, Brentford, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Northampton Town, Norwich City, Peterborough United, Portsmouth and Wimbledon have given their backing to safe standing, whilst Shrewsbury Town have become the first English professional club to fit rail seats within their stadium. A request by West Bromwich Albion to provide similar facilities in the Smethwick End of their ground was rejected by Government Sports minister Tracey Crouch who claimed that such facilities were only wanted by a 'vocal minority'.

A formal Government petition to change the laws was signed by over 110,000 people, and now the Football League's own survey says that 94 percent of football fans believe that clubs should be able to offer a choice of either seated or standing facilities at each ground. The League have highlighted that this is an issue that is seen as important, given that their survey was completed by more than 33,000 supporters - a record number of a League survey, that even led to the form software crashing on its first day of usage.

The survey results reveal that 69 percent would prefer to stand, whilst 22 percent of fans would prefer to sit at games. It will come as no surprise to find that the strength of feeling on this is at its highest with younger fans. The League have stated that there is high demand across all three divisions, meaning that it does have uniform support, even though the issues are mainly confined to those clubs who have been in the Championship or higher for any length of time. The League have also said that there is no material difference in opinion between clubs like Yeovil Town who are licenced to use terracing, and those that have been forced to convert their stadiums into all-seater stadiums - the demand remains consistently high. The League even states that the availability of standing facilities may increase attendances - 47 percent of fans say that they would attend more games if such facilities were available.

Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has said that the objective of the survey was to demonstrate to the Government that there was a strength of feeling inside clubs and their supporter bases. He felt the survey results had shown a very clear outcome:

"We stated at the outset that we wanted this survey to provide Government with a clear indication of the strength of feeling amongst those supporters who attend matches every season. The response could not be clearer. Football supporters clearly want the option to stand at football matches and we see absolutely no reason why they should not be allowed the choice to have the matchday experience they want. With nearly half of all fans claiming they would attend more games if licensed standing was available, this campaign demonstrates how standing could play a significant role in boosting attendances, particularly with the under 35s demographic, a group of supporters that have a significant number of other options to consider when determining whether they will or will not attend a match. With stadium occupancy at 61 per cent in 2017-18, a change in legislation would provide an opportunity to increase revenue from gate receipts."

The main sensitivity of this issue lies with Stadium safety, although West Bromwich Albion's viewpoint has been that they regard seating as creating its own safety problems, when there is a large amount of movement within a section of a stadium, such as when a goal is scored. Harvey said the League were mindful of the need to produce legislation that considered Stadium safety, but he argued that the inconsistency between the way long-standing Championship clubs are treated, versus the flexibility that League One and League Two clubs could offer, needed to be resolved:

"The safety of all fans attending football matches is the number one priority and we very much understand why the issue of standing at football matches is sensitive and the concerns that the Government may have in terms of changing the legislation. However, it is the view of the EFL that the current legislation is not appropriate, with some League One and League Two clubs allowed standing areas in their stadiums but others not. When you consider the position in the Championship, it is equally unfair as clubs are required after three years to only offer seated accommodation. The standard of football on the pitch can have no bearing on whether standing accommodation should be available. If standing is permitted at a football match in League One, then why not a game from the division above if they are designed to the same standards? Alongside the FSF, the EFL is committed to working with Government in order to provide clubs with a choice on this matter, so that fans can choose the matchday experience they want - whether that be seated or standing in safe, licensed areas of grounds."

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