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31 July 2003 : Watson link goes nowhere
Former Doncaster Rovers winger Andy Watson will not be coming on trial to Huish Park after all, Yeovil boss Gary Johnson has confirmed. Speaking to the Western Gazette, Johnson said: "It was something that was a possibility because his name was mentioned to me. He decided not to take it up and we decided not to take it up either. It was a mutual non-event."

Meanwhile wantaway winger Michael McIndoe has resumed training at the club, though Ciderspace understands that the Scot has been working away from the first team squad and it seems likely that Macca's presence is more down to contractual obligations on both sides than any possibility of the player being brought back into the fold. The club at present are insisting that they have received no offers for McIndoe, Gary Johnson saying to the Gazette: "The most important thing is that we find Macca a club so that he is happy and we are happy but there has been no interest so far. At the moment it does not look like he is going to be staying around. We are getting closer to the start of the season so the players have got to be totally focused on the first game and we do not need anything upsetting that."

Club captain Terry Skiverton has insisted that the McIndoe situation will not affect the rest of the squad. Speaking to the Yeovil Express Skivo admitted: "It was a big shock to us and Michael was important to our success in winning promotion last season. But when a player wants to go, you just have to get on with playing. The team have shown a great solidarity and togetherness and have not let things that which are out of our control affect us and lose the focus."

Triallist Jake Edwards is to be given another week at Huish Park to press his claims for a contract. Speaking about Edwards, Gary Johnson said: "We perhaps need a bit of competition for Jacko [Kirk Jackson] with the acquisition of another big striker - that is why Jake Edwards is here at the moment. Three years ago Jake was probably one of the best forwards in the Conference but he decided to go to America where he probably played a slower game and he just needs to quicken his play up a bit. Jake is working harder to get fitter but I cannot really give an assessment until he is fit and I would say he is about a week away from reaching that level. It is a progressive thing - we reassess situations all the time."

Right-back Mark Boyce, who would help give Johnson the option to play a 4-4-2 system when and if necessary, missed Tuesday's 2-1 win over Wolves with a groin injury and has been let go until his injury has been sorted out, though the player has been told that he can return on trial when he has recovered. Defender Tom White's position at the club is also unclear with Johnson saying: "We are still waiting to see if he gets over his injuries.". White is currently training at the club on a non-contract basis but has not appeared on any of the official photo-shoots and his name has not been included in the squad list.


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30 July 2003 : Johnson Plays The Possession Game
Manager Gary Johnson has praised his side's performance against Premiership newboys Wolverhampton Wanderers after he saw his side win 2-1 at Huish Park last night.

"I’m very happy," said Johnson. "We played some great football. We competed well with a Premier League side with Premier League players and we’ve created a good number of chances. I thought we looked fit, so we are at a nice stage of our development. We did say that pre-season would prove to the boys that they can play our game against any opposition. If you’ve got the ball, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against, if you don’t give it to them and you keep it, they will be chasing after you and I think we’ve got a team who can do that. My talks to them now will be quite easy because pre-season has shown them that, and they now have got the belief that we can play our game and that our fitness is as good as anybody elses."

"We are ready for the next game," he added. "Rochdale is coming very quickly. We’ll keep their feet on the ground. I’m gonna enjoy this one and watch the video, and I think the beauty of today’s game is that we had players who were comfortable on the ball at a level that’s in the Premiership. Even the subs that came on; the two young boys also got on the ball, young Patch (Ian Patchett) and Stephen Reed looked like they’d been in the Premiership all their lives. They weren’t frightened, nobody was hiding and that’s nice because the confidence that’s going through the squad is a result of pre-season games."

Johnson felt that the Glovers had looked fairly comfortable throughout the match - only conceding a goal in the 88th minute when Alex Rae powered home a header. By then the Glovers were two goals to the good, thanks to an own goal and a 62nd minute Kevin Gall strike.

"I thought Preston upfront were more dangerous than Wolves were," explained Johnson. "But I think Dave Jones knows that his strikers are ill or injured so he knows he needs a couple of strikers. But big Hugo got his head on to the right amount of balls that we wanted him to. He showed he can play well on his feet as well. He made a great diving save where he threw himself in front of something and that’s hard when your 6ft 8ins. I thought Roy and Adam were fantastic at the back. We defended as a team as well. You didn’t get Ince coming in and making two or three great strikes. Rae caused a problem every now and again and Cameron caused a problem just behind the front one or two but we were able to get back, stay on our feet and really they only had long shots. I wouldn’t have said they had anywhere near the amount of chances we had so that was good defending on our part."

Johnson's only concern from the game was a slight knock to Gavin Williams who complained of a sore ankle during the break and so was withdrawn as a precaution. Williams was making his first appearance for the club since the opening match of their tour of Belgium when he damaged ankle ligaments, but will have been glad to get back into the swing of things.

Wolves manager Dave Jones was away from Huish Park on a scouting trip, and he left former Bristol City and Yeovil Town player Terry Connor in charge for the evening. Connor, who made 15 appearances for the Glovers during the 1993/94 season was surprisingly upbeat about a side that had also lost 6-1 at Morecambe on Saturday.

"After the disappointment of Saturday we asked for a response and I think that's exactly what we got," said Connor. "They (Yeovil) gave us a great fight tonight but I am more interested in my own side and after the hiding we got at Morecambe on Saturday we showed much more application and I was much happier."

Reporting by Richard Gibson.


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30 July 2003 : Kevin Dances Round Wolves
Yeovil supporters may have been a little concerned that there would be a back-lash from Wolverhampton Wanderers after their 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Conference side Morecambe on Saturday, and manager Dave Jones certainly put out a strong team. Eight of the Wolves side lined up at kick-off would expect to be regular starters next season, although on tonight's showing several might now have a few more doubts about their futures.

As predicted Yeovil were without Colin Pluck, but Hugo Rodrigues had returned from Portugal quicker than expected and started. Gavin Williams had his first run out since being carried off the pitch three weeks ago against Sporting Lokeren, and Chris Weale was eased back into action in the second half.

Yeovil were good value throughout the game, at least matching and generally excelling Wolves in all departments. Although it came from an own goal by Paul Butler the home side fully deserved the half-time lead. On 62 minutes Kevin Gall, silver boots and all, capped the torment he had been giving the Wolves defence all night with Yeovil's second goal, and the game was wrapped up.

Gary Johnson then rang more changes with, amongst others, trialist Jake Edwards getting another twenty minutes and Youth Team player Ian Patchett ten minutes at the end. It made little difference, Yeovil were mostly in control, though eventually Alex Rae grabbed a well taken consolation with two minutes left.

The crowd of 5,884 left well satisfied. Yeovil Town's pre-season is still well on track as the countdown to August 9th continues. And whither Wolves in the Premiership? Don't really care to be honest, that's their business. But one thing's for sure - Gary Johnson will be sleeping more soundly than his friend Dave Jones tonight.

Yeovil Town 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Match report here.


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29 July 2003 : Wolves Announce Squad For Huish Park
Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Dave Jones will be bringing a near first team squad with him to Huish Park for the friendly tonight.

Missing from the squad are three new signings made by Wolves: Silas, who is suffering with a slight hamstring injury; Oleg Luzhny, who suffered a knock during Saturday’s 6-1 defeat at Morecambe; and Isaac Okoronkwo, a Nigerian defender, who has not received his work permit yet and has been away on international duty. Included in the travelling party is Adam Proudlock, who is returning from a leg infection that led to an overnight stay in hospital last week.

For Yeovil Town keeper Chris Weale and Gavin Williams, injured since the start of the Belgium tour, are expected to play a part. Defender Colin Pluck is doubtful, and Hugo Rodrigues is in Portugal arranging his move to the West Country.

The full Wolves squad is as follows:

Keith Andrews
Paul Butler
Colin Cameron
Sammy Clingan
Mark Clyde
Kevin Cooper
Ivar Ingimarsson
Jimmi Lee Jones
Ian McGrane
JJ Melligan
Matt Murray
Lee Naylor
Michael Oakes
Adam Proudlock
Alex Rae
Marlon Walters
Denis Irwin
Paul Ince

Also travelling are: Michael Townsend, Patrick Flynn, Ashley Vincent, Lewis Gobern and Michael Watson.


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29 July 2003 : Media Descends On Huish Park
As Yeovil Town held their official press shoot for the coming season's Team Photo something of a media scrum developed at Huish Park, with TV crews from a number of stations and press galore scrambling for the best shots and interviews. Interest in the Football League new-boys was intense, and it would be churlish of us to wonder 'Where were you when times were hard, boys?'

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson set out his philosophy for the coming campaign, and promised more of the same flowing football that thrilled fans and decimated the opposition last season:

You have to stick with your footballing principles. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how big and strong the opposition are, if we have the ball, then they are going to have to chase around to get it. People said I couldn't win the Conference unless I had a team full of 6ft 6in players who lumped the ball forward. I proved that theory wrong and I believe you CAN play attractive football in the Third Division. Of course, there will be big, physical teams that play the long ball, but they still have to get the ball off us before they can play. We tended to have a lot of possession in most games in the Conference and I see no reason why that should change now that we are in the Football League. I'd rather have a big six foot-plus player lumbering around trying to get the ball off us than a nippy five and a half footer, so in that respect, it might actually suit us.

Our reputation has gone before us and that's why we're one of the favourites [with the bookmakers]. I'm sure in this league other clubs will have been professional enough to have done their homework on us, but I still reckon we'll surprise a few of them, especially on the fantastic playing surface at Huish Park. My principles have got us where we are currently and I'll never change them. There may come a time, particularly when the grounds get heavy, when a long ball is better than a short one. But it still takes a good footballer to pick the right ball, whether it's a short or long one. Hugo was signed because he is a good footballer. He also happens to be one of the tallest in the world, which is an added bonus for us.


Asked about the Michael McIndoe situation Johnson indicated the club was moving on:

When these things happen you have to deal with them and not let them disrupt what you're trying to achieve. This club is bigger than any one individual and we'll cope. I know some of the fans are a bit worrried, but my advice to them is to relax and enjoy being in the Football League for the first time. After all, they've waited long enough for it!

New signing Jamie Gosling was in demand from the the local media looking for a rags of Barf to riches of The Glovers story.

Playing in the Third Division with Yeovil will suit my style of play far better. It's a lot harder in non-League football because they use channel balls a lot more than we do here. That didn't really help my game, whereas the way Yeovil play is more likely to bring out the best in me.

I'd heard that Cheltenham and Swansea were interested in me, but then the move to Yeovil came out of the blue. I had a look at the club, met the players, saw the way they played and knew this was the club for me.
It's going to be hard because Gavin is a great player and I would love to start but realistically I expect to start on the bench and hopefully I can win my place from there.


Gosling's whole career could have come to a close last year. Having scored for Bath City at Hardenhuish he ran towards the little knot of supporters to celebrate. A wall collapsed under the weight of several excited fans and both Jamie's ankles were trapped. The resultant ligament damage meant he didn't kick a ball for the next three months, though of course the incident could have been so much worse.

It's fine now and I'm not too bitter about it because I have got to a big club now, [are you reading in Barf!] but I could have done that a year sooner really if it hadn't happened. I have put in a claim and it's still happening now and I am waiting for some compensation. I think they have accepted blame and I am just waiting to see how much money I get really. It was a nightmare thing to happen. After you are out for that long it takes a while to get your fitness back but I've done that now.

Possible bargain of the decade Kevin Gall, obtained from Bristol Rovers for £0, 0 shillings and 0 pence, has carried on pre-season as he finished Yeovil's Championship season off - scoring goals for fun. Supporters will have spotted Gall's new boots this term. As they are silver they are a bit hard to miss.

It was through talking to my brother [John, a regular on the Ciderspace forum] in America that I discovered these boots on the internet. You can have them custom made to suit your own requirements and I decided to go for silver boots and have them flown over. So far, they've been magic boots for me and I'm definitely sticking with them.
We've already shown in games against Preston and Brentford that we can match these teams from a higher level. Wolves will be another step up again, but I'm sure we'll be able to play our football and give them a good game.



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28 July 2003 : Wootton Bassett Friendly
Last Sunday's NLP reports that Wootton Bassett Town will take on Yeovil Town on Wednesday in a pre-season friendly match. Although the game is definitely taking place and kicks off at 7.30pm, supporters should be aware that a Youth Team is expected to be used for the fixture under the direction of Stuart Housley.

Wootton Bassett's ground can be found at Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, Rylands Way, Wootton Bassett for those who are interested in attending the match.


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28 July 2003 : Yeovil Town Official Photo-Shoot : July 2003-04
Huish Park was awash with photographers and two TV crews today, as Yeovil Town invited in the region's press for the Official Photo-Shoot prior to the start of the 2003-04 season.

There were two notable absentees from the Official Team Photo. The trials and tribulations of left winger Michael McIndoe are well-documented and he was not present at the ground this morning. Meanwhile Hugo Rodrigues, who signed a contract with the club last Thursday, was back in Portugal, as he prepares for a more permanent life in England.

Yeovil Town FC : First Team Squad 2003-04
Yeovil Town FC : First Team Squad 2003-04
Back Row: Kirk Jackson, Roy O'Brien, Stephen Collis, Chris Weale, Chris Giles, Jamie Gosling.
Middle Row: Maurice O'Donnell (Reserve Team Manager), Tony Farmer (Physio), Adam Stansfield, Colin Pluck, Adam Lockwood, Terry Skiverton, Gavin Williams, Kevin Gall, Tony Trott (Kit Manager)
Front Row: Nick Crittenden, Andy Lindegaard, Lee Johnson, Steve Thompson (Assistant Manager), Gary Johnson (First Team Manager), Darren Way, Abdelhalim El Kholti, Stephen Reed.
Not Pictured: Hugo Rodrigues, Michael McIndoe.
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace



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27 July 2003 : Wolves Ticket Warning
Supporters who have yet to purchase their tickets for Tuesday night's game against Wolverhampton Wanderers are advised to do so as soon as possible. Latest news on the grapevine suggests that although tickets will be available for purchase on the day of the game, that direct sales on the turnstiles will not be available. This may mean that supporters have to purchase a ticket from the ticket office before going through the turnstiles.

Supporters without tickets are therefore strongly advised to get to Huish Park tomorrow where the Ticket Office is open from 10.00am. The office normally closes at 4.00pm, but unconfirmed reports suggest it may be opening until 8.00pm on Monday night. On Tuesday it will be open from 10.00am until kick-off time, although expect the office to become very congested from 5.00pm onwards. Supporters are strongly advised to collect their tickets before then, or to allow plenty of extra time for queuing.

Tickets for the game are priced: £10 (Adults), £7 (Concessions), £4 (Under 16s) in the Main Stand and Bartlett Stand and £8 (Adults), £5 (Concessions), £3 (Under 16s) in the Westland Stand.


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26 July 2003 : Decisions, Decisions
With two weeks left until the new season kicks off, and Yeovil Town launches into its first ever Football League campaign, the time for hard choices arrived. Gary Johnson has released five of the trialists who have been with the club for varying amounts of time pre-season. Let go are David Artell, Alex Jeannin, Jose Sebastiao, Paul Shepherd and Andy Taylor. Johnson praised all of them for their efforts and quality as footballers, but said that in his opinion they were not better than those already under contract at the club. He specially picked out Jeannin for praise, and one rather feels that budget permitting he would have liked to sign him, but revealed that Hugo Rodrigues, who received the offer of a one year contract on Thursday, had just edged out the French centre-back because of his greater "scope for improvement." Johnson has recommended Jeannin to Exeter City, and expects him to impress there.

Retained for a further week of trials are Mark Boyce and Jake Edwards. Boyce is a right back who was at the Watford Academy under Johnson and has had a rather disjointed career since then, wandering through Non-league in the South-East. Edwards is a forward who cost Telford £20,000 from Blackpool in 2000, and stayed for two years. He has most recently been plying his trade in the U.S.A.

With Sebastiao released and any future Michael McIndoe has at the club diminishing by the day it is not too surprising that a late trialist of the left wing variety will be arriving at Huish Park next week. Andy Watson, lately at Doncaster Rovers, is a player of some talent who has been linked with a number of bigger clubs higher up the divisions. However none of the speculation and rumour has come to fruition. Ian Snodin, a Sky co-commentator with Gary Johnson on a number of occasions, signed him from Garforth Town for a fee of £25,000. Doncaster tried hard to resign him ahead of his contract running out this summer, but his agent - can you see where this might be going? - advised him that he should be aiming higher. He departed under something of a cloud. Most recently he had a one day trial at Barnsley, with the club announcing, rather cryptically that: ""We had a young winger - Andy Watson - in yesterday but he has not been back today."


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25 July 2003 : Wolves Tickets Update
Yeovil Town have asked that all season ticket holders intending on going to the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers next Tuesday should try and come to the ground to pick up their tickets as early as possible prior to the kickoff. The Ticket Office is likely to be very congested on Tuesday evening, and you will save time if you are able to purchase your ticket well before the rush hits Huish Park.

Tickets are available for sale and collection until 5.00pm today. The ticket office will also make a special opening from 10.00am until 1.00pm on Saturday. The ticket office returns to normal office hours on Monday.

Tickets for the game are priced: £10 (Adults), £7 (Concessions), £4 (Under 16s) in the Main Stand and Bartlett Stand and £8 (Adults), £5 (Concessions), £3 (Under 16s) in the Westland Stand.


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25 July 2003 : The Flaw In The Agent's Tale
Football Agent Steven Denos's unexpected 10-month-old account of the sale of Anthony Tonkin, recorded in this week's Western Gazette was slammed yesterday by Glovers manager Gary Johnson (see yesterday's story).

Looking into yesterday's claims made by Denos it is easy to understand why Johnson was upset with the claims made in the tabloidesque article, none more so than when Denos claimed: "In February 2002 Stockport County put in a £50,000 bid for him but the player was never told of the interest."

Johnson claims on the Official Site that Tonkin was informed of the bid, which then leads a neutral bystander to question who is telling the truth - Steven Denos or Gary Johnson?

The answer lies in the Western Gazette's own archives, and given that they use archive quotes from both Gary Johnson and Chairman John Fry in the article, it is surprising that they did not uncover articles in their own paper dating from February 2002, sections of which can be viewed also in the Ciderspace News Archives for February 2002.

The Gazette quotes Johnson as saying in February 2002: "The club has informed Anthony Tonkin of the interest and I have spoken with him. We appreciate the interest but Anthony has decided to concentrate on his immediate future with Yeovil Town."

What this makes clear is that Gary Johnson informed the Gazette's entire circulation of readers of Stockport County's interest in Anthony Tonkin, so to suggest - as Denos did - that Johnson had tried keep the news of the bid hidden from the player himself is absolute nonsense; Johnson actually broadcasted the news to the press! Once it is learnt that Steven Denos is capable of rewriting history in such a basic manner, then it is difficult to give the rest of his story much credence.

In other news concerning Steven Denos, it appears that he has not got his own way in the case of Exeter City's James Coppinger. The 22 year old winger had failed to show for pre-season training according to Exeter's local press, and Denos was in the thick of things claiming that Coppinger should be allowed to leave the club on a free-transfer, despite being mid-way through his contract. Now it seems that Coppinger has decided to stay at Exeter and has been welcomed back into the fold.


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25 July 2003 : Adam's Return To The Avenue Slightly Less Painful
Yeovil Town's friendly trail hit the road again last night with a return to The Avenue where the club played its first five "home" fixtures last season.

Andy Lindegaard was captain for the evening. Adam Stansfield started on the ground where his previous season lasted seventeen minutes before he broke a leg. On this occasion he made it to forty, before limping off. Right leg again, but thankfully reported as being just a twist this time. However our advice is that Adam sticks to the Dorchester by-pass in future whenever he's in the vicinity of that town. However in the main manager Gary Johnson selected a side to give maximum exposure to squad players and trialists, as the time fast approaches when he must make decisions on who to retain.

Before kick-off one of those decisions was revealed to the 755 crowd, as giant 6' 8" centre-back Hugo Rodrigues announced his own signing over the tannoy. Johnson is quoted as saying that "his height immediately stood out to me". Not much gets past our Gary!

Johnson was still keen to look at more central defenders as of last night. David Artell was born on 22nd November 1980 in Rotherham, where he also started his career in 1998. He spent more or less the whole of last season on loan at Shrewsbury Town and has made 65 Football League appearances between the two clubs. Artell played the whole 90 minutes of last night's game.

On the pitch Dorchester Town took a 2-0 lead in the first half through Matt Groves and Andy Harris, but Yeovil came roaring back in the second after some positional changes and the odd substitution with five unanswered goals. Scorers were: Andy Lindegaard (2), Kirk Jackson (2) and Abdelhalim El Kholti. Go here for the Ciderspace match report.


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24 July 2003 : Gary's Fury At Western Gazette
This site has plenty of sympathy for the anger and annoyance expressed by Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson, having ourselves suffered from the shoddier side of that paper's reporting.

In today's edition agent Steven Denos is awarded ample space to give a version of events last year concerning the transfer of Anthony Tonkin that some might suggest bears little relation to reality. The Western Gazette, particularly its Sports Department, has shown an unendearing habit of printing one-sided accounts, without bothering to ascertain the response of those under attack, or verify that the claims it is publishing have substance. We well recall the supposed prospect of bayonettings at the Wessex Stadium, and allegations Ciderspace was being sued.

Rather than giving the rantings of Mr. Denos the oxygen of further publicity we shall simply record the response of Gary Johnson as issued on the Official Site this afternoon:

I felt I have to respond to the totally one-sided inaccurate story in today's Western Gazette concerning Anthony Tonkin, especially as it will be seven days before the next issue of the paper. The Gazette have been good to Yeovil Town Football Club over the years and I feel we have been good to them as well, but to give the "club pest" Steve Denos the amount of space they have to fabricate this story is very disappointing especially, without at least contacting me for my views on the subject.

The first thing to say is that Steve Denos does approach our players while they are in contract which is illegal. That is not just the two players he has been involved with but other players as well who have all asked politely for him not to bother them. I don't like to have to comment on a story that is some ten months old now but I feel our supporters and players have a right to know the truth of the matter.

Anthony Tonkin signed a new deal that trebled his wages at the time. He decided to sign that contract knowing a clause would be inserted allowing him to leave the club if a bid of £50K was received by Yeovil. I felt that was a better option than waiting to be a free agent in the knowledge that the club would not stand in his way should that bid come in.

Anthony Tonkin was well informed of the interest of Stockport County as they had approached him the year before, which he turned down, and I tried to advise him that maybe Stockport wasn't his best option. So over a two day period I tried to convince Anthony that his future lay at Yeovil. I was then contacted by Denos to ask me not to make any contact with HIS player. I of course considered him to be OUR player. I told Tonkin to report for the Halifax game but for whatever reason Denos and Gordon Taylor of the PFA told Tonkin he did not have to turn up and he didn't as we all know.

At that point we knew there was to be no turning back now because we now had a player that goes against the Football Club and takes advice from outside sources. Once that happens a manager loses that bond with the player that has been built over a period of time. In the end as we all know, he went to Stockport but we fined him a proportion of his wages, which was paid, showing that we were correct in expecting him to attend the Halifax game and honouring his contract.

Unfortunately The Western Gazette have allowed this agent to distort the truth and there are some very interesting comments in that article which I shall be following up. I think the most annoying point is why our local paper is giving so much space and putting provocative headlines to a story that is ten months old when here we are two weeks away from our debut as a Football League Club, something everybody in the area has craved for and will benefit from.

Unfortunately I'm having to keep this man's name in the news but I cannot let the article pass without comment. I'm not going to let my supporters go seven days without some response. I hope everybody realises how this chap works. It is no shock to me that both Michael McIndoe and Anthony Tonkin only became disillusioned with our club after contact with Steve Denos.




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24 July 2003 : Wolves Tickets On Sale Now
Tickets for next Tuesday's match against Wolverhampton Wanderers are now on sale from the Huish Park ticket office. They are available today until 5.00pm and from 9.00am until 5.00pm on Friday. The ticket office will also make a special opening from 10.00am until 1.00pm on Saturday. The ticket office returns to normal office hours on Monday. A view on any possible ticketing arrangements for Tuesday will be taken depending on the volume of advance ticket sales, and so supporters are strongly advised to purchase their tickets in advance of the day itself.

Tickets for the game are priced: £10 (Adults), £7 (Concessions), £4 (Under 16s) in the Main Stand and Bartlett Stand and £8 (Adults), £5 (Concessions), £3 (Under 16s) in the Westland Stand.


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23 July 2003 : Glovers Linked With Watson
Yeovil Town are currently being linked with Doncaster Rovers winger Andy Watson in the wake of Michael McIndoe's transfer listing at Huish Park. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Watson has been in talks with manager Gary Johnson, although it quotes no sources to back up it's claims. Notts County and Barnsley are the other clubs named in the article.

The main flaw in the Yorkshire Evening Post's claims are that Watson has not featured in the pre-season friendlies so far, and with Scott Cousins and Jose Sebastiao both training with the Glovers, Johnson seems to have his mind on other left-sided players currently.

On a day that has seen many former Glovers feature in possible and actual transfer movement Jimmy Aggrey has been signed up by Welsh League side Total Network Solutions. The popular central defender will join a club that will be playing in the UEFA Cup this season.

Former right-back Simon Betts is currently trialling with Nationwide Conference side Chester City and Mark Wright is keen to sign him permanently, telling the Chester Standard: "A lot of people are after Simon. He looks comfortable on the ball, and he does a lot of good things. I was very impressed with what I saw of Simon and I'd be interested in seeing him at Chester."

Former Glovers trialist Abdul Senanu is now at Nationwide Conference side Woking on trial and played in their friendly against Staines last night, whilst Warren Patmore took just seven minutes to establish himself at Margate when he scored in a 4-0 win. Senanu played in the Glovers recent tour of Belgium, and another player who featured on that tour; midfielder Olivier Brassart is continuing his trial at Cambridge United.

Finally Ellis Wilmot and Joe Taylor, now of Chippenham and Tamworth respectively, will be travelling to Korea next month to take part in the World University Games.


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23 July 2003 : Johnson Enjoys 'Fun' Game
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson admitted he had enjoyed Yeovil Town's topsy-turvey 4-4 draw against Preston North End last night.

"It was fun for me," admitted Johnson. "I’m not sure how much fun it would have been for (Craig) Brown there, under more pressure to beat us than we are to beat them. It was just a fantastic game wasn’t it? Magnificent goals; all of them were quality goals. We learnt lessons in our penalty area; we know that already, but when you come up against First Division attackers like (Richard) Cresswell and (Ricardo) Fuller, you know we won't come up against them many times in the Third Division. They scored some very good goals, but we were also 'First Division' in our attacking final third so we were very pleased with that. We picked up a few things. We knew we had to concentrate more and compete harder. You have to not take your eye off the game for one minute and that’s the level of the First Division and I thought for most of the time we coped with that and it was a great lesson for us. If we can keep that ability and concentration in the Third Division then the sides shouldn’t be of the quality of Preston."

Johnson nearly saw his side go in 3-1 down at the break, but two quick goals pulled it back to 3-3 and Johnson said: "Our half-time talk was that I’d rather have gone in 3-0 up than 3-3. With certain players, you're asking them to do more in the penalty area to get on the end of the ball and head it away. Big Hugo did it at the end there; he won quite a few headers. But you have to give credit to them, they scored First Division goals and I thought we scored First Division goals and you cant ask for more than that."

The highlight of the evening was Kevin Gall's hat-trick and Johnson said of the triple strike: "It was fantastic because they were all good finishes. He’s starting where he left off and that’s good news. He finished well and all the goals had great build ups. It was our quick thinking, a couple of quick free-kicks and we caught them on the hop. Craig will be saying to them that they need to concentrate much quicker in the First Division because this is the Third Division doing that to us. Hopefully we’ve helped them, you need to switch on and if you don’t switch on for ninety minutes good players will get you."

Jamie Gosling was making his first appearance following his signing of a one-year deal at Huish Park, but Johnson said when asked of him: "You know me I don’t pick individuals out. He was part of our very entertaining evening along with our 11 substitutes. They won their game 1-0 actually in the last half hour team. It was good; I was pleased with our 'hour' team; they competed well and were 4-3 down. It was a great finish to the game with a magnificent goal by Jake Edwards."

Preston manager Craig Brown had kind words for the opposition he had seen his side come up against, explaining: "We played Rochdale last year, and Yeovil on that display were much more dangerous. I think on that display they’ve got a wonderful chance because they're really very fit looking and very well organised as you’d expect. I know Gary from his Latvia days and every team he has is superbly organised and Yeovil are no exception. Of course you’ve got great quality throughout the side, and when your substitute, the big fella (Hugo Rodrigues) came on, he’s a bit of a unique player. Your captain Darren Way is superb; what energy and enthusiasm! He just flits across the ground and he looks tremendous. All the very best to Yeovil."

The Glovers travel to the Avenue Stadium to play Dorchester Town tomorrow (Thursday) night, but Johnson insisted that they would not treat it as a lesser game: "It will still be part of our pre-season. As you can see there, I’ve got 22 players who are all gracing the Yeovil shirt at the moment and so whatever 11 I put in a Yeovil shirt will put up a good performance."

Kick-off at the Avenue Stadium is at 7.45pm and prices have been set at £5.00 for adults (£3.00 concessions) on the terraces, whilst prices in the Stand are one pound more.

(Report by Richard Gibson)


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22 July 2003 : Glovers In Eight Goal Thriller
Yeovil Town drew 4-4 at Huish Park tonight against First Division side Preston North End, as goals rained in and Kevin Gall grabbed a super hat-trick against Craig Brown's men.

Gall set the whole thing rolling but Preston roared back with three goals before the break with Ricardo Fuller grabbing two and Michael Jackson providing Preston's opener. However, Gall decided to steal the show and goals supplied by Lee Johnson and Abdelhalim El Kholti saw the former Rovers striker complete his hat-trick with two quick strikes just before half time.

Richard Creswell showed there was no pause for breath as Preston went 4-3 up in the second half, but then trialist Jake Edwards grabbed the eighth and final goal with six minutes left to make the final score 4-4.

Jake Edwards is a familiar name to Glovers fans, from his days with Telford United. Born on 11th May 1976 in Manchester, Edwards has been playing for Charleston Battery in the USA and stands at 6'1" tall. Edwards has also played for Blackpool and Wrexham, whom he turned out for prior to his move to Telford.

Mark Boyce was another unexpected guest in tonight's team. Playing as a right-back, the 5'7" defender started his career with Watford and so will have worked under Gary Johnson in the past. Boyce, who was born on 11th August 1980, left Watford to play for Hayes and Kingstonian following a very brief spell in Norwich City's Reserve team. Mark left the K's for Chesham United at the end of November 2001, but moved on to Enfield over the summer of 2002, before joining Maidenhead at the end of September 2002.

Ex-Chelsea defender Scott Cousins did not appear in tonight's game, but former Scarborough player Paul Shepherd made his debut and played as a right winger in a 4-4-2 formation.

The Glovers finished tonight's game with an entirely different XI to that which started the game, and yet were still able to test their First Division opponents. Noddy Elms' match report can be found here.

Midfielder Jamie Gosling was formally announced as Yeovil's latest signing over the tannoy - he signed a one year deal today, completing a move from Bath City.

Speaking to the Official Site, Jamie said: "I'm really happy about it as I've always wanted to sign up as a full time professional and to do it with a club like Yeovil is really great. I really like the club and the people here and hopefully I can do really well for them. I get on well with Gary and all the lads and it's a great opportunity to prove what I can do."

Jamie will wear the No.23 shirt and manager Gary Johnson said of the deal: "Jamie on and off the field has proved that he is the right mentality for this club and he's enjoyed his trial with us as much as we have enjoyed having him around. I think he's right for us and we are right for him. The timing couldn't have been better for all of us and having created a good impression in our first match of the season at Huish Park he's proved to us that he is worthy of a Yeovil Town shirt."


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21 July 2003 : Gosling To Sign Tomorrow
Midfielder Jamie Gosling is expected to put pen to paper for Yeovil Town tomorrow (Tuesday) as he completes his transfer from Dr Martens League side Bath City.

Glovers manager Gary Johnson has struck a deal with Bath manager Alan Pridham that will allow Gosling to move on a free transfer in return for staged payments that will be triggered when Gosling has played a set number of appearances. Bath will also benefit from any future sell-on deal involving Gosling.

Speaking to the Official Site, Johnson confirmed: "I have agreed a fee with Bath City which is based solely on appearances plus a sell on clause and I am expecting Jamie to sign a contract on Tuesday."


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21 July 2003 : Youth Team Fixtures Announced
Yeovil Town's Youth Team will operate on an Under 17 level for the coming season, and will play in the Football League Youth Alliance South West Section competition for the 2003-04 season. The move to an Under 17 level means that a radically different Youth Team squad will take to the field this season, with only a small handful elligible for the new level.

Their forthcoming fixtures, which will kick-off at 11.00am unless stated, are as follows:

AUGUST 2003
Sat Aug 16th - Swansea City - home
Sat Aug 23rd - Cirencester - away

SEPTEMBER 2003
Sat Sept 6th - AFC Bournemouth - away
Sat Sept 20th - Cardiff City - away
Sat Sept 27th - Cheltenham - home

OCTOBER 2003
Sat Oct 4th - Exeter City - home
Sat Oct 18th - Plymouth Argyle - away
Sat Oct 25th - Torquay Utd - home

NOVEMBER 2003
Sat Nov 1st - Swindon Town - away
Sat Nov 8th - Bristol Rovers - home
Sat Nov 15th - AFC Bournemouth - home

DECEMBER 2003
Sat Dec 6th - Swansea - away
Sat Dec 13th - Cirencester - home

JANUARY 2004
Sat Jan 10th - Cardiff City - home
Sat Jan 17th - Cheltenham - away
Sat Jan 24th - Exeter City - away

FEBRUARY 2004
Sat Feb 7th - Plymouth Argyle - home
Sat Feb 14th - Torquay Utd - away
Sat Feb 21st - Swindon Town - home
Sat Feb 28th - Bristol Rovers - away


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21 July 2003 : Reserve Team Fixtures Announced
Yeovil Town's Reserve Team have now been confirmed as taking part in the 2003-04 Pontins Holiday Combination Wales & West Division competition. All fixtures in the league kick off at 2.00pm unless otherwise stated. All home matches at Huish Park are expected to kick-off at 7.45pm, with games open to the public.

The full list of fixtures is as follows:

AUGUST 2003
Wed Aug 20th - Cardiff City - home (7.45pm)
Wed Aug 27th - Swindon Town - away

SEPTEMBER 2003
Wed Sept 10th - Swansea City - home (7.45pm)
Wed Sept 24th - Oxford Utd - home (7.45pm)

OCTOBER 2003
Wed Oct 8th - AFC Bournemouth - away
Wed Oct 22nd - Bristol City - away

NOVEMBER 2003
Tues Nov 4th - Plymouth Argyle - home (7.45pm)
Wed Nov 26th - Bristol Rovers - away (7.00pm)

DECEMBER 2003
Wed Dec 10th - Cheltenham - home (7.45pm)

JANUARY 2004
Wed Jan 14th - AFC Bournemouth - home (7.45pm)
Wed Jan 28th - Oxford Utd - away

FEBRUARY 2004
Tues Feb 17th - Plymouth Argyle - away (7pm)

MARCH 2004
Wed March 3rd - Bristol City - home (7.45pm)
Wed March 10th - Cheltenham - away
Wed March 24th - Bristol Rovers - home (7.45pm)

APRIL 2004
Wed April 7th - Cardiff City - away
Wed April 14th - Swindon Town - home (7.45pm)
Wed April 28th - Swansea City - away


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21 July 2003 : Two More Trialists Join The Glovers
Gary Johnson has added two more players to the training camp this week according to the Official Site. A left-sided central defender and a striker form the latest recruits to Huish Park.

Scott Cousins was born on 12th July 1983 and is a left-sided Central Defender who was listed as First Team Squad number 34 for Premiership side Chelsea last season.

Paul Shepherd is a six-foot player who was born on 17th November 1977 in Leeds, whom he started his career with, making a single league appearance for the Premiership side. Shepherd has also seen service with Ayr United, Tranmere Rovers, Luton Town, Scunthorpe United and Oldham Athletic. Shepherd is described as a defender, a midfielder and a striker by a number of different websites, so it would appear that he is a versatile player.

Shepherd played against Yeovil Town when the Glovers suffered a rare defeat during the 2002-03 season during December 2002 when they went down 2-1 at the McCain Stadium, Scarborough.


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20 July 2003 : Johnson Salutes His Rising Stars
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson spoke to the press immediately after Saturday's 2-0 win over Brentford and described the win as: "Fantastic! I always like to see where we are at this point of the season, which is why we’ve got Brentford in the Second Division, Preston in the First Division and Wolves Premiership. I'm proving to them at the moment that we can play at that level. We proved it against Antwerp and Lokeren, and obviously we had more trialists at that point. Now I’ve cut down the trialists to the three or four that I’m interested in and I was pleased with all of them. I was very pleased with our overall performance including the boys that came on, we didn’t get weaker, I was very pleased with our fitness and our technique."

Johnson expressed his disappointment that want-away left-winger Michael McIndoe was not out there enjoying the game explaining: "He should be playing out there today, he should have trained hard, worked hard, got his dream move and become a hero. We’d have all said well done, we’d have all been gutted to see him go, but theres ways of doing it and you cant do it the way its been done. So its sad, but there was life after Tonkin, and there will certainly be life after Macca."

Johnson had high praise for the five players currently trying to earn themselves a contract and said of left-winger Jose Sebastiao: "You can see that he’s close to being unbelievable. One or two of those tricks has got to come off. We're happy with him. The big lad at the back (Hugo Rodrigues) we're happy with him - he’s got potential."

Gary also said he was pleased with the fitness levels and the squad depth explaining: "In the last 20 minutes I thought it showed how much chasing the Brentford boys had to do, because we had a lot of possession and a lot of opportunities and everyone came through."

Gary said of the two goals: "Kev does that in training; it's not a fluke with him. He’s very clever with those sort of goals. Both goals were good because the second goal came after about 10 minutes of pressure. We had about three corners, a couple of free-kicks and attacks and that’s what we work on and the big boy was there to tuck it home."

"You have to win and you have to win well, showing good ability and good fitness and that’s what we’ve done today and that’s what we can do in pre-season friendlies," added Johnson. "They are all growing up, they are all becoming better and they have fantastic potential. If we can keep growing as a club, we won't get too far forward with ourselves, yet we can all see how well they are developing and that’s good news for the club."

The Glovers return to action on Tuesday night at Huish Park, when they take on Nationwide League Division One side Preston North End with a 7.45pm kick-off.


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20 July 2003 : Glovers Give Bees A Double Sting
Yeovil Town's pre-season campaign continued on a successful theme when they defeated Nationwide League Second Division side Brentford by a 2-0 scoreline at Huish Park yesterday.

Facing what looked to be a near full-strength West London side, the Glovers dominated the majority of the game, and saw their efforts rewarded by a spectacular 35 yard Kevin Gall goal, followed up by a Hugo Rodrigues tap-in from six yards after a period of sustained Yeovil pressure.

A match report of yesterday's game can be found here.

Just one new face was introduced, in the form of goalkeeper James Bittner, who had been between the sticks against Yeovil on Monday whilst playing for Chippenham Town. Bittner has previously turned out for Bournemouth and Salisbury, whilst Southend United and Torquay United have previously taken him on trial. The 21 year old replaced Stephen Collis for the final 15 minutes of the game.

All five of the other players hoping to earn a contract played some part in yesterdays 2-0 win and manager Gary Johnson said afterwards that he would be happy to have any of the players in his team on a permanent basis, but may have to consider the constraints of his budget.

There is still no news of any movement from out-of-favour left-winger Michael McIndoe. Johnson reported that he is still waiting for his first bid for the player saying to BBC Radio Bristol: "There haven't been any enquries and he's sat at home waiting for a call. We need someone to come up quick with the right transfer fee so we can move him on and get on with our own stuff."

The latest news - or rather lack of it - comes one week after McIndoe's agent Steven Denos convinced McIndoe that he had five or six clubs, including a number at First Division level, after his services. The advice from Mr Denos, who works for Key Sports Management in Central London, is sadly starting to look very flawed indeed.


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18 July 2003 : Supporters Bar Open For Friendlies
Yeovil Town have announced that the Supporters Bar will be open for the four pre-season friendlies against Brentford, Preston, Wolverhampton and Brighton.

Supporters that were Supporters Bar members during the 2002-03 season can still make use of their membership during the forthcoming pre-season friendlies.

The Supporters Bar will not be available to supporters during the Nationwide League Division Three campaign, with the club hoping to set up a Marquee-style bar at some point during the early part of the forthcoming season, as a temporary alternative.


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18 July 2003 : Five Alive For Trialists
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson appears to be getting down to a shortlist of trialists who will compete for contracts at Huish Park for the coming season.

According to today's Western Daily Press Johnson has released three of the trialists following Wednesday night's 7-0 win over Chard Town. Midfielder Gareth Phillips, defender Joao Marafona and midfielder Franklin De Freitas, who played as a right-back on Wednesday night, have all been shown the door leaving just five players still hoping to play in Division Three next season.

Of the five, Bath City midfielder Jamie Gosling has been training at Yeovil the longest and he seems to be one of the favourites to sign with Johnson explaining: "Technically he's very good and although his fitness is behind that of the other lads, we can work on that."

Bath manager Alan Pridham has hinted in the local press that he would be prepared to let Gosling leave on a free transfer, subject to a deal being struck up that guarantees the Dr Martens League club staged payments against appearances, along with a share of any future transfer income that Gosling might attract.

The arrival of Jose Sebastiao could not have been more perfectly timed. The left-winger has been playing for SV Darmstadt 98 in Germany and had a useful debut at Chard. His full name is Jose Sebastiao Coelho da Veiga but fortunately prefers the nickname of Seba (pronounced Sabre). If he proves himself, the 19 year old would be a natural replacement for Michael McIndoe who as of Wednesday night had still not been the subject of any offers. Johnson said of Seba: "He's impressed me in training and did well against Chard. As with all the others, I'll make a decision after the weekend."

Midfielder Andy Taylor was another new boy on display at Chard. Andy hails from Exeter, but began his career as a Manchester United trainee before playing last season at Northwich Victoria and is 20 years old.

The remaining five trialists are completed with two central defenders in the form of Portuguese giant Hugo Rodrigues and Frenchman Alex Jeannin. Both played in Monday and Wednesday's games whilst Jeannin joined the club on their Belgian tour. With Terry Skiverton ruled out for the start of the season and Tom White and Chris Giles yet to kick a ball, it would be no surprise if at least one of the contracts went to one of Rodgrigues or Jeannin.

Match reports for Chard Town and Chippenham Town are now available, whilst there are action photo galleries on-line for the games against Sporting Lokeren, Chippenham Town and Chard Town.

The Glovers continue their pre-season campaign with their first home game of the season, against Nationwide League Second Division side Brentford.

Meanwhile in other news, Francis Kumbur is currently on trial at Third Division side Lincoln City whilst Jimmy Aggrey is also hoping to get a place at Nationwide Conference side Exeter City.


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17 July 2003 : Macca: Interested clubs not yet forming any queues
Michael McIndoe's agent, named in today's Western Gazette as Steve Denos, has warned that Macca is prepared to sit out the entire final year of his contract on full wages if he cannot find another club to go to. As of last night the club have not received a single firm offer for the winger, despite claims that "five or six clubs" were interested in the player; a fact Denos is incredibly blaming on the club's refusal to name a price for McIndoe. Glovers boss Gary Johnson has quite rightly refused to have any dealings with Denos following the part the agent played in Anthony Tonkin's controversial move to Stockport last season and has said he will only deal with his counterparts in any interested clubs in regard to any transfer.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Denos said: "Michael has a year to go on his contract and is prepared to sit that out and move at the end of his current deal. That is no good to Michael because he wants to play and no good to Yeovil because they would be paying him good money for not playing. At present Yeovil will not speak to me or put a price on the player. I have not spoken to many clubs and could not because the first question they will pose is 'how much?' and I can only advise them to speak to Yeovil. No club is going to do that because the price is likely to go up."

Denos went on to claim: "The manager (Johnson) said that he (Macca) had been suspended and put on the transfer list at his own request. Michael does not want to stay at the club because of the way he has been treated - but he has never asked to be put on the transfer list. I do not understand why Gary Johnson has come out and said different things from the truth."

Glovers boss Gary Johnson commented: "The only two people who can organise a transfer is the managers of the two clubs involved. There is no manager in the country who would not ring me and speak to me about Michael. If they did ring me I would deal with them with the utmost respect and explain the situation."

"This whole situation started when Michael decided he wanted to better himself," Johnson continued. "We did not want to lose him, but when the atmosphere of the dressing room is disrupted we have to act. All my players know that I love them to death and want them all to do well. Michael has not been suspended. I have simply asked him to stay away from the club for a week because I do not believe it is in anyone's interests for him to be around at the moment. I have taken no money from him - I have just asked him to lie low for a while. No-one at the club wanted to lose Michael. He played almost every game for us last season and was my vice-captain - he was one of my babies. How could anyone think we wanted him out?"

According to the Gazette, Denos has claimed that the first contact he had with McIndoe was last Thursday, when McIndoe phoned the agent after a recommendation from former Glover Anthony Tonkin. "Michael rang me and explained the situation and asked if I would represent him," Denos told the Gazette. "Gary Johnson has said that he will not speak to me and unless I can speak to the club or the manager there is nothing I can do."

Perhaps if Mr Denos feels there is nothing he can do, then he should reconsider his position as Michael McIndoe's agent? Or perhaps he should consider the simple logical step of getting the manager of one of these "five or six clubs" to pick up the phone and call Gary Johnson? Whilst the telephone at Huish Park fails to ring, it tends to cast significant doubt on McIndoe's agent's boast that he could find his client a new club at the drop of a hat.

People who have known McIndoe well over the last six months and insiders at the club have flatly contradicted Denos's account above, saying that the agent has been in contact with the player for much longer, possibly since Tonkin's original and controversial transfer last season. It's not the second time that the agent has been caught up in controversy either - a quick search on the internet reveals Exeter City have been having similar problems with striker James Coppinger, with his agent claiming that his client has become unsettled at the club and wishes to leave, and the the club are being unreasonable in asking for a fee. The agent in question? A Mr Steven Denos.


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17 July 2003 : Luton Ticketing
www.lutonfc.com reports that:

For our first round Carling Cup game at home to Yeovil, there will be no tickets on sale in advance. Tickets are pay on the day only and unreserved seating. The prices are £10 adults, £5 concessions, and £1 for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.

The match is scheduled for Tuesday, August 12th. Kick-off is 7.45 pm.

The officials appointed are:

Referee - Lee Cable (Surrey).
Assistant Referees - Matthew Knight (Sussex); Mark Scholes (Buckinghamshire).




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16 July 2003 : Macca: I didn't have a choice
Wantaway winger Michael McIndoe has been giving his side of the story as to why he stunned YTFC with a transfer request on Monday.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press McIndoe claimed that he had "no choice" but to leave as the club would not discuss a new contract with him until this coming Christmas.

"Everyone at the club has been so good to me throughout my time there," the Scot commented, "especially the fans and I want to make it clear that I did not want to leave. I tried to speak to the manager six times about getting a new contract and was told to wait until (this) Christmas. I was voted Conference Player of the Year last season and felt I deserved a new deal, but the club refused to discuss it. I'm disappointed that the club were reluctant to keep me and my decision to leave might look rash, but it was a very thoughtful one. I feel harshly done by and in the end I didn't have a choice."

Ciderspace opinion: Macca was offered and accepted a new 18-month contract last Christmas. Along with the rest of the squad he gained an automatic pay rise following promotion and along with the rest of the squad would again have begun new contract negotiations this coming Christmas. Being voted Conference Player of the Year was a great achievement but should be reward enough in itself, it doesn't justify him getting special treatment ahead of the rest of the squad. He didn't win the award in isolation, football is a team game and the award in our opinion was just as much an endorsement of the whole squad's efforts last season as much as his. Having said that there's no doubt that Macca is a very talented player and it would not have been a surprise to have seen him leave the club for pastures new sooner rather than later. It's a shame then that the manner of his leaving has soured relationships between the player, the club and the fans when it could have been handled so much better; but increasingly these days it seems that as soon as agents get involved then common-sense goes out of the window.

In other news Bath City triallist Jamie Gosling's future will be decided at the end of this week. Glovers boss Gary Johnson asked Gosling's club Bath for an extension to the period he's spending training with Yeovil, but Bath manager Alan Pridham wants a decision as to whether Yeovil want to keep the player permanently by this weekend. Speaking to the Bath Chronicle Pridham said: "Jamie will be staying with Yeovil until the end of the week and the situation is that after that Gary will have to make a decision. If he wants Jamie we will have to discuss the terms of any transfer. Gary has been very positive about what he has seen from Jamie. He might be a bit short in certain areas, like his fitness, but that's not surprising because unlike the rest of the Yeovil squad he hasn't been training full-time."

"I know that Gary rates me technically," Gosling said to the Chronicle, "and now I need to prove to him that I'm fit enough to last the pace at that level. The tour (to Belgium/Germany) went well for me and I played a part in all four games. I could have played better and Yeovil haven't seen the best of me yet but I feel that I'm progressing. The standard on tour was very high and the main thing about the opposition we played was how well they kept possession. If you gave the ball away cheaply you ended up chasing shadows. Now I need to maintain my level of performance throughout the week and hope that Gary likes what he sees. If I do well then hopefully they will be in a position to offer me something."

It seems that Bath may be prepared to let Gosling leave on a free transfer, but with future payments linked to first-team appearances and a sell-on clause, should Yeovil decide to offer him a contract. He will train with the club for the rest of the week and is expected to play some part in tonight's friendly at Chard and in Saturday's home match v Brentford.

Finally, former triallist Joe Taylor, who was released by the club earlier this week has now signed for Conference newcomers Tamworth. And former Glovers legend Warren Patmore has left Woking to join fellow Conference outfit Margate. The Cards are going full-time next season and Wazza prefers to remain a part-time player.


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15 July 2003 : Agent Slammed In McIndoe Saga
Today's local newspapers came out heavily on the side of Yeovil Town, in the on-going transfer dispute between the Football Club and left-winger Michael McIndoe, with the player's agent getting the brunt of the blame for the situation.

Both the Western Daily Press and Bristol Evening Post covered the news, with the former going for a heavy-weight series of articles on the story with the morning paper musing that "once again agents have soured a relationship between a player and his club."

The WDP claims that that McIndoe's attitude was beginning to overspill towards other members of the playing squad and cites this as the major factor in Johnson's decision to agree to a transfer listing.

The paper speculates as to the clubs likely to try and win McIndoe's signature and include Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic whilst wryly acknowledging that Stockport County "are also known to deal with McIndoe's agent" - a sly nod towards Anthony Tonkin's controversial transfer 10 months ago that was brokered by the same agent. Ciderspace has also heard names as diverse as Rochdale and Crewe Alexandra mentioned on the grapevine. However, the rumourmill tonight suggested that the phones at Huish Park had yet to ring from these or any other clubs.

The player himself has currently been given a week's sabbatical by Johnson to 'clear his head' though it is doubtful that he will be included in any pre-season plans even if the claimed offers fail to come in.

The Daily Press goes on to drop some possible names into the hat as candidate replacements for McIndoe and they line up Hereford's Paul Parry, Bristol City's Simon Clist and Plymouth Argyle pair Brian McGlinchey and Lee Hodges as their tips. However, it is believed that a fourth Portugese trialist has been called in to Huish Park, and he is expected to join Hugo Rodrigues in tomorrow's pre-season friendly at Chard Town.


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14 July 2003 : Stalemate Hits Wiltshire Once Again
Yeovil Town and Chippenham Town played out their third consecutive pre-season 0-0 draw at Hardenhuish Park tonight, in front of 704 spectators.

On a bond-hard pitch that was in desperate need of watering, ball control was not an easy task, and the game was littered with off-target shots for both sides that contributed to the lack of a breakthrough in sweltering conditions.

The Glovers produced two different teams for both halves, with Stephen Collis the only player to get through the whole 90 minutes. The teams were as follows:

FIRST HALF

Stephen Collis
Adam Lockwood, Hugo Rodrigues, Colin Pluck,
Nick Crittenden, Darren Way, Franklin Manuel, Lee Johnson, Abdelhalim El Kholti
Kevin Gall, Kirk Jackson

SECOND HALF

Stephen Collis,
Roy O'Brien, Alex Jeannin, Joao Marafona
Andy Lindegaard, Ian Patchett, Lewis Hogg, Gareth Phillips, Stephen Reed
Jones Bamfo, Adam Stansfield

Although Bamfo started as a striker, within 10 minutes the former Fulham player swapped places with Lindegaard and played as a wing-back thereafter. The other trialists were Hugo Rodrigues, Joao Marafona and Franklin Manuel who were a trio from Portugal, Lewis Hogg formerly of Bristol Rovers and Gareth Phillips formerly of Swansea.

In other news Joe Taylor has been released from his trial with the club and will not be used again. Sam Sodje was rested tonight and is likely to feature on Wednesday. Jamie Gosling was requested not to be played tonight by Bath manager Alan Pridham, given Chippenham are Bath’s league rivals; Gosling will therefore play Wednesday.

Of the contracted players, Chris Weale is again unlikely to feature on Wednesday - current indications are that he should be fit to return by the weekend, whilst Gavin Williams is likely to need another week to recover from his ankle problems.


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14 July 2003 : Macca on his way out
Flying winger Michael McIndoe is on his way out of Huish Park after what appears to be a terminal row with manager Gary Johnson.

Rumours have been rife for a while that all was not completely well in the relationship between the manager and McIndoe and the pair were said to have clashed again on the Belgian tour last week. The club have now announced that Macca has gone on the transfer list at his own request. A strongly worded statement on the club's official site reads as follows:

"Unfortunately Michael McIndoe no longer wants to play at Yeovil Town Football Club. He believes it is time to move onto a higher standard. He is of the opinion that YTFC's current status is below his ability and thinks he should be playing first division football. This is a very difficult and disappointing situation for the club but Michael and his advisors have decided now is the time to move on.

"He has been a good player and a good servant to the club but he has
taken advice from outside the club and made his intentions clear.

"Michael had a good season but has been expressing his desire to leave
the club for some time. We have tried to change his views but he is quite
adamant about a move.

"We have reluctantly placed Michael on the transfer list and a fee will
be required."


The statement from the club goes on to point out that the agent who engineered Anthony Tonkin's controversial move to Stockport last season is the same person who Macca now appears to be taking advice from.

Manager Gary Johnson didn't mince his words either. Speaking to the official site Johnson said: ""I'm really gutted that the situation has come to this. Sometimes people seem to trust outsiders more than they trust insiders which is really disappointing. As a club we have done everything for him and had two great seasons together and you would have expected him to follow that through in Division Three but he has decided he wants to further his career at another club. We are in the midst of all our pre-season preparations and I want to be able to focus my mind onto the other twenty very very good professionals at this club."

Ciderspace understands that Macca has been told to stay away from the club on full pay until his situation is sorted out for good. All ongoing contract negotiations with him have stopped and any offers made to him previously by the club have been withdrawn. There are said to be 5-6 clubs bidding for him, the favourites at the moment being Crewe Alexandra. More on this story as we get it......


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14 July 2003 : Glovers Take On Bluebirds
Yeovil Town travel to Hardenhuish Park, home of Dr Martens League side Chippenham Town in a pre-season friendly that kicks off at 7.45pm tonight. It will be the third time that the two sides have met in pre-season friendlies since 1999 - the previous two encounters both finished 0-0.

Hardenhuish Park is situated on the A420 (Bristol Road) on the north-west side of the town centre. A map can be found here.


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11 July 2003 : Friendly Combination Tickets Now Available
Special 'combination' tickets for three of Yeovil Town's home pre-season friendlies are now on sale. The combination tickets that will cover entry for the Brentford, Preston and Brighton games are now available after a short delay. Tickets are priced as Adults £15; Concessions £12 and Under 16's £9. The tickets will provide a saving for any supporters planning to go to all three fixtures.

Note that tickets for the individual matches, and tickets for the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers are not currently on sale yet.

Finally, a reminder that next Wednesday's match at Chard Town is all-ticket, with cost of admission set at five pounds for adults and three pounds for children. Tickets are still available from the Huish Park Ticket Office.


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10 July 2003 : Disabled supporters deserve better facilities
Disabled supporters are urging Yeovil Town to improve facilities at Huish Park for wheelchair users and ambulent disabled people. At present the bar and conference facilities in the Main Stand are almost completely inaccessible to wheelchair users and all but the most ambulent disabled people with staircases providing the only possible access. Last week's Yeovil Times featured Glovers fan and wheelchair user Mike Kuntz's struggle to drag himself up the staircase in the Main Stand to use the bar facilities there, and this week's edition of the Western Gazette features a call from disabled supporter Irvin Morris for the club to set up an official disabled supporters club section with links to the board.

"The club has been saying that it is becoming professional both on and off the pitch," Mr Morris told the Gazette, "and, while that is true on the pitch, what improvements has it made for disabled fans? It is about time the club set up a disabled supporters' club, which has contact with directors, to speed through the changes needed. Without the supporters there would not be a club and there are a large number of disabled fans who should have their needs catered for. We need ramps and lifts right across the ground and not just in the main stand as was recently spoken about. Funding is available but the club needs a group of people who have time to look into it. These issues would be dealt with more quickly if there was a disabled section."

A club spokesman commented that the club didn't keep a list of disabled supporters but that if disabled fans did form a group then they would be listened to as a body. The spokesman said: "The proposal to look at a first-floor lift in the main stand was suggested because there is a social club there. There is none on the other side of the ground but we have been investigating putting in a bar behind the Bartlett stand. The best area of the ground for wheelchair users is on the Bartlett side where there are two dedicated bays. However, we do recognise that we need to do more to meet new Government regulations that come in in 2004."

Ciderspace Opinion: The comments made by the club spokesman show the need for disabled people to make their voices heard over facilities at the ground. There is a definite need for a lift up to the first floor of the Main Stand, not only to provide access to the conference facilities, restaurant and bars, but also to provide access to an elevated viewing platform at the back of the Main Stand, something the club agreed was desirable a few years ago. Also, the comments made about the Bartlett Stand being the "best area" for wheelchair users merely illustrate the fact that that disabled people are not at present being listened to - in actual fact the wheelchair bays in the Bartlett Stand are exposed to the elements and being at ground-level do not provide a good view of the game. Added to that parking outside the stand is problematic - Blue or Orange Badge holders are supposed to be given priority to park against the back of the Bartlett Stand but in practice the spaces are frequently taken by able-bodied drivers.

It's encouraging that the club are prepared to listen to disabled fans as a group, but it must be said that informal discussions in regard to improving facilities at Huish Park have been taking place with various disabled supporters for a number of years now but with no concrete outcome as yet. With the Disability Discrimination Act coming into force in October 2004 the club will by law have to provide access either to existing facilities or provide an acceptable alternative to disabled fans. It would be sensible now for the club to be pro-active in getting disabled supporters on board by setting up a disabled supporters section along the lines Mr Morris suggests above, and to make it an official body with the authority to instigate change.


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10 July 2003 : Skivo injury worse than first thought
Club captain Terry Skiverton's ankle injury, which kept him out of Yeovil's Belgian/German tour, is more serious than first thought and could keep the influential central defender out of the first team picture until early September, according to today's edition of the Western Gazette.

Skivo, who went into hospital yesterday for an operation on the ankle, said to the paper: "At first it was said that I would only miss a couple of games of the new season, but I think that was being a little bit optimistic. I have fractured a bone in my ankle and it looks like I could be out for a couple of months. It will take six weeks after the operation before I can even start running on the ankle again or doing any light training. When I come out of the operation I will have a couple of days rest then begin my rehabilitation with physio Tony Farmer. That is the first step on the road to recovery."

Glovers boss Gary Johnson admitted that losing his captain for the start of the season was a blow, but that getting the niggling injury sorted out once and for all would pay off in the long term. "It's something that's been creeping up on Terry for a couple of seasons," he said. "It is best for everyone that he gets this problem cleared up now to give himself a better quality of life and give us a fully-fit player. We need a Terry Skiverton who is 100 per cent fit."

There is better news on an another injured player - Gavin Williams ankle ligament injury, sustained during the 0-0 draw at Sporting Lokoren last Friday, is responding well and the Welshman is expected to be back playing in a fortnight.


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9 July 2003 : Heavy Defeat In Final Tour Match
Yeovil Town crashed to a 4-1 defeat tonight in their final tour match against Geminal Beerschot in Belgium at the Wijnegem Stadium.

The Glovers went into the game without Chris Weale, who withdrew from the side with a thigh injury, but his team mate Stephen Collis had to fish the ball out of the net twice by the half time break. By that time, Michael McIndoe and Abdelhalim El Kholti had been withdrawn and replaced by Stephen Reed and Andy Lindegaard.

Kevin Gall provided the one high point of the evening when he latched onto a through ball on the hour, to pull the scores back to 2-1, but with both sides chopping and changing in the final minutes, it was the hosts that stayed stronger, and they ran out 4-1 winners against a rather disjointed looking Yeovil side. Around 20 Yeovil supporters witnessed the final match, in a crowd of around 600.

The Glovers introduced two new trialists into the fixture. One was the instantly familiar face of Olivier Brassart who has been released by Scarborough this summer and who was spotted in the crowd during Monday night's game against Royal Antwerp. The second was Ladi Kuye, formerly of Belgian League Level 4 side KSK Hoboken.

Yeovil Town now return home with Chippenham Town the next opponents next Monday in a game that will take place at their Hardenhuish ground.


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9 July 2003 : Pre-Season Match Tickets Delayed
The club have reported that their plans to put tickets for some of the bigger pre-season games have suffered a slight delay at the printers. They now hope to get supplies on or around Friday of this week, although this may or may not include supplies for the Wolverhampton game. Exact details will be posted when they become available.

As a reminder of our July 1st news item, single match rates are:

Saturday 19th July, Brentford: Adults £6; Concessions £4, Under 16's £3.

Tuesday 22nd July, Preston North End: Adults £7; Concessions £5; Under 16's £4.

Friday 1st August, Brighton & Hove Albion: Adults £6; Concessions £4; Under 16's £3.


Supporters can also purchase a ticket covering all three of the above games at the following rates:

Adults £15; Concessions £12; Under 16's £9.


The match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday 29th July is priced at:

Adults £10; Concessions £7; Under 16's £4.

All tickets are valid anywhere in the stadium except the Vice Presidents' seating.


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9 July 2003 : Johnson to sing for his supper
Glovers boss Gary Johnson will be the guest speaker at a fundraising evening designed to raise money on behalf of St Margaret’s Hospice of Yeovil, on Friday 25th July, at Westlands Sports and Social Club.

The evening, organised by the staff of Lloyds TSB Yeovil, goes on from 7.30pm to 12.30am and includes a three course meal, a comedian, an auction of sporting memorabilia and, last but not least, Sir Gary's after-dinner speech on the theme of “The goals that can be achieved by working as a team”.

Tickets are priced at £25 per head, lounge suit/evening wear is required.

To order tickets or for further details contact: Mark Porter, Lloyds TSB Bank Plc, 9 High St, Yeovil. BA20 1RN. 01935 700273 (8.30am - 6pm). All profits from the evening will be matched by the Lloyds TSB Charitable Foundation.




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9 July 2003 : Glovers European adventure ends this evening
Yeovil Town play the final match of their short European tour this evening when they take on Belgian first division side Geminal Beerschot, kick-off 7pm local time. Some reports have suggested that keeper Chris Weale may have picked up a slight strain following the 2-1 defeat to Royal Antwerp on Monday, but manager Gary Johnson has denied this, telling the club's official site: "We've not picked up any further injuries apart from Gavin William's ankle ligament problem. The boys are fit and healthy and we know it is another very hard game against a side that finished high in the Belgium first division. It's the second of the two big teams in Antwerp and I'm sure there will be a lot of Royal Antwerp supporters present who will be supporting Yeovil Town, such is the rivalry between the two teams. I'm sure there will be a big crowd including our own supporters who have travelled over and we'd like to finish the tour on the up with a victory."

The official site also reports that the Glovers held an in-house practice match on Tuesday (yesterday) to enable the gaffer to run the rule over an entire team of mainly African triallists. The Yeovil side for the game consisted of current squad members Andy Lindegaard, Adam Stansfield, Steven Reed, Steve Collis and Abdou El Kholti, plus triallists Jamie Gosling, Joe Taylor, Abdul Senanu, Sam Sodje and Alex Jeannin. Former Glovers Abdoulai Demba and Olivier Brassart played for the African side, but there are no more concrete details of personnel at present. The score was 1-1 after 90 minutes, the African team winning 5-3 on penalties. Boss Gary Johnson refused to comment after the match when asked if any players had caught his eye.

One player who evidently has impressed, at least in the short-term, is former Plymouth midfielder Joe Broad. The Plymouth Evening Herald reports that the player, who is out of contract at Argyle and available on a free transfer, will link up again to train with the Glovers when they return from their Belgian/German tour.

Argyle have offered Broad a 2-year contract, on condition that he finds a club to spend a year on loan at. "That's still on the table," Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock told the Evening Herald. "He's a free transfer so he can either kickstart his career with somebody else or come under our umbrella. That wouldn't be a problem because he's a decent player. He has the potential but the problem is I can't guarantee him a regular first-team game this season, and he needs that at his age."


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7 July 2003 : Glovers Go Down At Antwerp
Yeovil Town suffered their first friendly defeat tonight against Royal Antwerp when they lost 2-1 despite taking the lead against their hosts.

Playing a side that had won their previous two friendlies against Essen and Antonia, 10-0 and 4-0 respectively, the Glovers took an early lead through Nick Crittenden. However, a header from Tony Sergeant and a free kick from Patrick Goots before the break saw the hosts go in ahead - a lead that they were to keep for the remainder of the game.

Yeovil started the game with the same basic line-up as in the previous two games. Chris Weale was back between the sticks as Stephen Collis made way from Sunday's game, whilst trialist Jamie Gosling got a start ahead of Andy Lindegaard in an area of the field that seems to be up for grabs whilst Gavin Williams tries to deal with his injured ankle.

More details of tonight's game will hopefully follow tomorrow.


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7 July 2003 : Jeannin Goes On Glovers Trial
Yeovil Town's third overseas trialist to appear on their tour of Belgium and Germany has been revealed as former Darlington and Troyes defender Alex Jeannin.

Jeannin was a regular part of Darlington's squad during 2001, but was sacked by the North-East club in November 2001, after he was spotted in a night-club on both the Thursday and Friday prior to a Third Division match against Scunthorpe. To make matters worse, Darlington lost the game 7-1, and as a consequence, Jeannin had his contract torn up.

Since then, Jeannin has made at least two attempts to return to English soil, with trials at Carlisle United and Sheffield United proving unsuccessful. He came on as a substitute against RW Oberhausen and will presumably continue with the Glovers as they return to Belgium today to face Royal Antwerp.


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6 July 2003 : Glovers Pick Up Second Draw
Yeovil Town picked up their second draw in a row this afternoon when they tied 1-1 against German Bundesliga Second Division side RW Oberhausen as part of their host's 'Open Day' in front of a crowd of around 2,000.

The Glovers made just one enforced changed from the side that drew against UEFA Cup participants Sporting Lokeren, with Gavin Williams forced to withdraw in favour of Andy Lindegaard.

Kevin Gall gave Yeovil the lead after 15 minutes, but Oberhausen equalised before the break with a header from a corner. Like the previous game though, the second half fizzled out as the mass of substitutions took focus away from the game itself.

In addition to Friday's trialists - Abdul Senanu and Danny Kukulies - a third, as yet unnamed, overseas trialist also joined the squad. Our men on the spot reported particularly impressive second half performances from Chris Weale, Stephen Reed and Joe Taylor to keep out a slightly more dominant Oberhausen side.

The Glovers now return to Belgium, where they will take on Royal Antwerp tomorrow night.


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6 July 2003 : Questions Invited For Gavin and Gally
Seb from the On To Victory fanzine is interviewing Gavin Williams and Kevin Gall tomorrow (Monday) whilst they are out on the tour of Belgium and Germany.

If anyone wants to aim any questions at either player then email your question to ontovictory@hotmail.com as soon as possible, stating which player your question is aimed at.


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6 July 2003 : Club President Warns Of Need To Self-Support
Yeovil Town Club President Norman Burfield has this week warned that the club will have to "become self-supporting" in order to guarantee it's long-term future.

In a letter to the Western Gazette, Burfield, who was Club Chairman during the club's last 'golden days' between 1969-1971, paid tribute to those who had got the team into their present position saying: "Over the past two years we have registered our joy as to the amazing accomplishments of the team and director management of Yeovil Town Football Club and we are most grateful to them."

Burfield also praised the unsung heroes who worked to keep the club alive in the mid-1990s adding: "We must not forget the thousands of supporters who, over the years have made our present position possible by sheer hard work (voluntary), and by giving whatever monies they could afford (coins in buckets), even directors selling balloons in the square (Yeovil) in order to buy a football and or pay wages. Such hardcore supporters who kept things going much be made to feel proud of their loyalty and, as president, it is my pleasant duty to thank them for all their hard work, generosity and support over many many years. They fully deserve the success which has followed."

Burfield also recongnised the massive contribution of the club's majority shareholder Jon Goddard-Watts explaining: "Today at headquarters, it is an entirely different ball-game, thanks in the main to the business skill and generosity of one person in particular, who does not enjoy his name being mentioned."

However, Burfield finished his letter by warning that such generosity could not be taken for granted forever, and that one day the club would again be reliant on the goodwill of the supporters once again. He explained: "However, we should all bear in mind that such generosity cannot always be ongoing, so let us enjoy it whilst we can, but bear in mind that we shall eventually have to become self-supporting."


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5 July 2003 : New Trialists Join The Travelling Glovers
Friday night's match against Sporting Lokeren saw two new trialists take to the field for the Glovers as part of their 0-0 draw.

Abdul Senanu has had a very brief previous flirtation with the British Isles, having been signed and very quickly released by St Mirren. Senanu was an unused substitute in the SLC semi-final on 27th August 2002. A statement on the 29th August said he had been released and had returned to Austria. However, in December 2002, he appears to have returned to England where he had a trial with Nationwide Conference side Margate though it seems he failed to settle there and did not make a first team appearance for the club.

Senanu was born on 9th June 1977, and is a defender of Ghanaian origin, and was released from Royal Antwerp during the summer of 2002, prior to his brief move to Scotland.

His time at Antwerp saw him rub shoulders with the volatile Bimbo Lanre Fatokun who went on to play for Scarborough, as well as Barry Budts who is also on trial with the Glovers.

The second trialist in Friday night's match is listed as Danny Kirkleeze. We believe it is Danny Kukulies, a 23 year old central midfielder currently with SC Pfullendorf. Previous clubs - BFC Dynamo/FC Berlin (Youth) (1994-1996), Reinickendorfer Füchse (B- and A- Youth teams) (1996-1999), SpVgg Greuther Fürth (1999-2001), and Dresdner SC (2002). He's over six foot and just over 12 stone.

Friday's attendance was 237, with approximately 30 making the journey from Yeovil.

Line-Up: Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Roy O'Brien, Colin Pluck, Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Nick Crittenden, Michael McIndoe, Gavin Williams, Kirk Jackson, Kevin Gall.

Subs: (all used) Jamie Gosling, Joe Taylor, Abdelhalim El Kholti, Adam Stansfield, Andy Lindegaard, Stephen Collis, Danny Kirkleeze, Abdul Senanu.

Seb White has produced a diary page of his group's travels around Antwerp on their first day out in Belgium, and you can read it here. Expect more updates from Seb throughout the coming days - Belgian beer permitting!


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5 July 2003 : More Travel To Rochdale
Glovers supporter Simon Gear has organised executive coach travel to Rochdale. He describes the facilities as a "family organised coach with video, toilet and free tea, coffee & cakes!"

Simon plans on an approximate arrival time of 1.00pm in Rochdale leaving time to visit the town or it's pubs. Cost will be approximately £17.00.

Interested parties should contact Simon at SIM93MAND@AOL.COM or by phoning him on 07752-533681.

Meanwhile the YTISA have reminded supporters of their travel plans for Rochdale. Their coach will have a video and toilet on board. The first coach is more than half full. The price is £14.00 for members and £16.00 for non members. To book your seat contact YTISA Chairman Mark Kelly on 01935-412236.

All profits made on any YTISA trip are donated back to the football club, generally by the purchase of goods for the club. Last week, the organisation purchased 30 new towels for the First Team Squad for the 2003/04 season following a request from Glovers manager Gary Johnson.


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4 July 2003 : Lokeren Draw Marred By Williams Injury
Yeovil Town drew 0-0 against Sporting Lokeren tonight in a game played in Zelzate, near Ghent. A strong Yeovil Town line-up matched Lokeren in an interesting game, that ultimately fizzled out towards the end.

The only downside to the game was a serious injury to Gavin Williams that is expected to be diagnosed as ankle ligament damage. The situation was complicated by the lack of a stretcher in the ground, caused no doubt in part due to the hasty rearrangement of the venue for the game. Williams is now expected to miss the rest of the pre-season campaign, but still hopes to get himself back to fitness for the start of the season proper.

More details on the match, and the experiences of those who have travelled over to Belgium are expected to follow over the weekend.


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4 July 2003 : Squad Numbers For 2003/04 Issued
Yeovil Town's squad numbers for the 2003/04 season are now available. Unsurprisingly there are few changes from last season's numbers, with Abdelhalim El Kholti taking the vacant No.3 shirt, whilst Chris Giles has decided to vacate the No.12 shirt in favour of a No.19 shirt. Kirk Jackson has taken shirt No.18 this season, whilst Stephen Collis has gone for the No.13 shirt vacated by Jon Sheffield. The No.17 shirt has been provisionally allocated to Tom White if he is able to win a new contract following his injury lay-off.

The full list is as follows:

1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood
3. Abdelhalim El Kholti
4. Terry Skiverton
5. Colin Pluck
6. Darren Way
7. Adam Stansfield
8. Lee Johnson
9. Kevin Gall
10. Nick Crittenden
11. Michael McIndoe
12. (currently unallocated)
13. Stephen Collis
14. Roy O'Brien
15. Stephen Reed
16. Andy Lindegaard
17. Tom White (provisional)
18. Kirk Jackson
19. Chris Giles
20. Gavin Williams
21. Steve Thompson

According to postings on the Fans Forum, supporters can get names and numbers of their favourite players printed onto their replica shirts for a cost of one pound per letter and three pound per number on top of the actual shirt price.


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4 July 2003 : Large Shirts Sell Out
Sales of the new green and white hooped shirt are reported as going quickly at the club since it's launch earlier in the week. Rumours are that over 200 were sold during the first day of sales, and it is believed that the club have sold out of large shirts. New stock of the large shirts are expected in next Tuesday. For the latest situation, phone the Commercial Department at Huish Park on 01935-423662.

According to supporters on the Fans Forum the club are also taking credit card orders (with the exception of switch cards) for fans who live a significant distance from the ground. An XL-sized shirt costs 44 pounds (5 pounds postage and packing) to ship within the UK. Supporters can also get the Champions book shipped by adding an extra 2.50 pounds to the £9.99 book price. Contact the Commercial Department to place your order.


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4 July 2003 : Sporting Lokeren Venue Switch (Again!)
The Sporting Lokeren match, due to be played tonight, has undergone a second venue change due to a waterlogged pitch.

The game will now be played at St-Laureins V.C. Zelzate, Patronagestraat, Zelzate, near Ghent. Kick off is now 7.30pm.

The team bus will be leaving the Holiday Inn Express Hotel which is situated at Italielei 2A-B 2000 Antwerpen at 5.15 this afternoon and any supporters travelling by car are welcome to follow the coach.

A street map for the new venue can be found here.


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4 July 2003 : Thommo Signs New Two Year Deal
Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson has signed a new two year deal according to the Nationwide Football website. Thommo first signed for the club as a player in March 1998, under Colin Lippiatt but has since assumed the position of assistant manager, including a six month spell as First Team manager.

Glovers manager Gary Johnson said of the news: "Steve has signed his new deal and obviously I'm delighted to have him by my side as we enter the league for the first time."


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4 July 2003 : Skivos Ankle Is A Break
Today's Western Daily Press sheds new light on the injury to Yeovil Town captain Terry Skiverton (see yesterday's news). The paper reports that the injury is in fact a hairline fracture that is believed to have occurred late last season. The summer break has failed to naturally cure the problem and so Skiverton has remained in England to undergo minor surgery and is ruled out for six weeks.

Manager Gary Johnson said to the paper: "It's a blow to lose Terry but he will only miss about two games of the new league season and by then we know that the injury will be cleared up permanently."

Skiverton is in good company with Chris Giles also remaining behind as he recovers from a summer ankle operation. Although Giles is currently still on crutches, he is expected to be fit for the start of the season.

The Western Daily Press speculate that Johnson may be on the look-out for at least a temporary replacement for Skiverton, with Tom White's future still undecided, although that could come from Burscough's Joe Taylor who is currently on trial at the club, and out on their current tour of Belgium and Germany.


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4 July 2003 : Sporting Lokeren Game Off (Possibly!)
According to the Sporting Lokeren website, tonight's friendly against Yeovil Town has been called off following communication from their club secretary Louis Horemans. No explanation for the cancellation of the game is available at the moment.

Update: (10.00am) The problem has been caused by a waterlogged pitch. Lokeren are trying to find an alternative venue for tonight's game. As news becomes available, this article will be updated.


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3 July 2003 : Skivo Misses Out On Pre-Season
It has been confirmed that Terry Skiverton has withdrawn from the tour of Belgium, and will be out of action for around the next six weeks. An injury picked up last season has flared up again, and Skivo will have a minor operation on his ankle to rectify the situation. Manager Gary Johnson expects him to miss the first two games of the season.


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3 July 2003 : Glovers hit the road as preparations for the new season begin
Today's edition of the Western Gazette confirms the identification of various triallists at pre-season training mentioned on these pages and the Ciderspace Fans Forum over the last few days. Defenders Sam Sodje (Margate) and Joe Taylor (Burscough), have been joined by midfielders Lewis Hogg (former Bristol Rovers), Jamie Gosling (Bath City) and Joe Broad (former Plymouth Argyle) along with 'several' foreign players, one of whom Ciderspace believes to be right-back Barry Budts (Royal Antwerp), see story below.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Glovers boss Gary Johnson praised the players attitude when returning to training: "I already know the players commitment and passion but that shows right through from day one. They are not just looking to ease into the season and you could see that in training. Once you bring eight or nine quality triallists in to have a look at then that makes the current squad even more keen because it is people they do not know. We had a hotly contested nine-a-side tournament and there was some good ability out there - I was really pleased."

Speaking about the short tour of Belgium and Germany, Johnson indicated that he would take four triallists with the squad when they travel today, with three continental players joining up with the Glovers in Belgium. Three of the triallists travelling are expected to be Sodje, Gosling and Taylor with fourth man's identity uncertain as yet. "When you bring in new people they have got to have just as much our personality and mentality as our ability," Johnson affirmed. "I can test that in seven days because I can see the way they eat and live in that time. The type of people we bring into our little family is very important now and that is why I will take my time to see if someone is right for us or not. A tour early on, especially if it is a serious one like this - as Latvia was - really helps to focus the players minds. We are not just going over there for a jolly, we have four very big games. The prospect of going on tour has not only given the players something to look forward to but it has also kept them fit."

The gaffer confirmed that the only squad member missing from the tour will be striker/defender Chris Giles, who is "three or four weeks away from being available" after an ankle operation over the summer.

Winger Michael McIndoe said to the Western Daily Press: "Last year we went to Latvia and I think the manager realised how much of a benefit it was to play top opposition and we're doing it again this year. It's good to test yourself against good players and a good way to get to full fitness."

Glovers boss Johnson has confirmed that the club have not received any firm offers for any of the squad, and fired a broadside at "sneaky" and "unscrupulous" agents: "There is a lot of sneakiness in the game at the moment," he said, "and it is only because the players trust me totally that we have not had too many problems. There are some very unscrupulous agents out there who are talking to our players all the time. They tell them that they can get this club and double their money but, because of the loyalty we have, the lads tell me when that happens. The players are happy here but they also know that if the right offer came into me and it is one that they cannot refuse there is nothing we can do about it. That is football - you lose some and you gain some."

Yeovil begin their tour of Belgium and Germany with a match against Sporting Lokeren tomorrow (Friday). Games against Oberhausen Kick and Royal Antwerp follow on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th July respectively, and the tour ends with a match v Geminal Beerschot on Wednesday 9th July. See the 1st July news item for full details of the tour, plus directions, hotels, maps etc.


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2 July 2003 : Johnson Gets The Budts In
At least one more of Gary Johnson's pre-season trialists has been identified, with Royal Antwerp right-back Barry Budts being looked at during the pre-season training and friendlies.

Although it is not clear whether Budts is one of the trio Johnson plans to meet in Belgium, or if he is already in England, his current club have identified him as being on trial with the Glovers. Budts was born on January 31st 1981, and is a product of Antwerp's Youth system. He is 5'10" tall, and is described as having an excellent long range shot, as well as being able to pick out long ball passes.

The drawback Johnson will have to consider is that Budts has been out of the game for a long time following an injury, and is only now feeling his way back into football.

Rumours also suggest that Plymouth Argyle midfielder Joe Broad is also on Johnson's trialist list, with Argyle sources suggesting that he may be one of five trialists believed to be currently at Huish Park. Jamie Gosling, Joe Taylor and Sam Sodje are believed to make up three of those five. Broad, who spent a month on loan at Huish Park around 18 months ago, is currently out of contract at Home Park, and although he lies under Bosman ruling cut-off age, the PFA website suggests he is available on a free transfer.

Finally BBC Radio Bristol has been reporting that Bristol Rovers player Lewis Hogg has been training with the club this week. However, it seems that is where the story may end as Hogg is not expected to join the club on their tour of Belgium and Germany.


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2 July 2003 : F.A. Cup Payments
The F.A. has now released details of the prize money and T.V. fees attached to the coming season's F.A. Challenge Cup :

Prize Money

Extra Preliminary Round winners (65) - £500
Preliminary Round winners (198) - £1,000
First Round Qualifying winners (99) - £2,250
Second Round Qualifying winners (84) - £3,750
Third Round Qualifying winners (42) - £5,000
Fourth Round Qualifying winners (32) - £10,000
First Round Proper winners (40) - £12,500
Second Round Proper winners (20) - £15,000
Third Round Proper winners (32) - £50,000
Fourth Round Proper winners (16) - £75,000
Fifth Round Proper winners (8) - £150,000
Sixth Round Proper winners (4) - £400,000
Runners-Up (1) - £1,000,000
Winners (1) - £2,000,000

Broadcast Payments

TV Fees

Rounds First and Second - Live Matches £50,000 - Highlights* - £20,000
Rounds Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth - Live Matches £265,000 - Highlights* - £30,000
There will be no fee for single camera coverage.
In Rounds 1 & 2, BBC to screen 1 tie and Sky to screen 2 ties with Sky to screen 1 live replay. In Rounds 3-6 BBC and Sky to screen 2 live ties each and Sky to screen 1 live replay.

*Highlights are defined as not less than 20 minutes, and not more than 60 minutes.

National Radio Fees

Full Match Commentary - £9,000
Half Match Commentary - £4,500
20-45 Minutes - £ 2,250
0-19 Minutes - No Fee

As far as clubs like ourselves are concerned the main effect has been a shift of money away from the early Rounds Proper of the F.A. Cup.





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2 July 2003 : Jolly Green Giant On The Run
Yeovil Town's mascot the Jolly Green Giant will be putting on his running spikes on Saturday when he takes part in Chepstow's Annual Football Mascot Race.

The event, which puts the Giant up against other local football club mascots, is a Charity race that is run before the main programme.

In last years race, the Jolly Green Giant could only manage a second from last position. That finish led to comments being made by Yeovil Express Sports Editor Steve Sowden that ultimately resulted in a head-to-head race between the duo down at the Avenue Stadium, Dorchester. One can only hope that the local Paparazzi will be kinder to the Giant this time round, or Mr Sowden could find himself doing another lap - and this time round the larger Huish Park pitch!


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2 July 2003 : Glovers Conference Dream Team
The Yeovil Express are reminding supporters that there is still time for people to select their Yeovil Town Dream Team formed of the best players to don Yeovil shirts during their final six seasons in the Conference.

Supporters are invited to select eleven players (in a formation) and five substitutes from the players that took part in Conference games between the summer of 1997 and the summer of 2003. Be careful in making your selection that you do not include players such as Jerry Gill who left the club before they played their first Conference game.

Once you have made your selection, send it to Sports Editor Steve Sowden at Yeovil Express, 46 Princes Street, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1EQ or alternatively email him at stephen.sowden@countygazette.co.uk


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2 July 2003 : Sodje Taken On Trial
Yeovil Town have taken Margate defender Sam Sodje on trial, according to eagle-eyed supporters who have been analysing pictures from the early training sessions at Huish Park this week.

Sodje, who is the brother of Crewe Alexandra player Efetobore Sodje was born on 14th July 1980, and is one of four Nigerian footballing brothers. He scored six Conference goals for Margate last season, who he signed for from Stevenage Borough.

Sodje will have been joined by Bath City's Jamie Gosling and Burscough defender Joe Taylor but Johnson is believed to be running his eye over several other trialists, including three other unnamed overseas players - a defender, midfielder and a striker - who will join the Yeovil party when they arrive in Belgium later this week.


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1 July 2003 : New Replica Shirts Now On Sale
Yeovil Town's new 2003/04 replica shirts are now in stock and available for purchase by supporters. Shirts are available in medium, large and extra-large sizes at present.

The club shop will open at 9.00am tomorrow (Wednesday) for sales, and the club will be staying open until 8.00pm on Thursday and Friday for further sales. Provided there is still stock available, the club also plan to sell shirts from a caravan in the Quedam Centre on Saturday morning.

All stock is of course available on a first come, first served basis, and so supporters are advised to get their orders in quickly.

The cost for adult shirts is £39.00 and stock of shirts in children's sizes are expected to follow soon.


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1 July 2003 : Friendly Ticketing
Tickets for the home Friendlies will go on sale on Wednesday July 9th.

Single match rates are:

Saturday 19th July, Brentford: Adults £6; Concessions £4, Under 16's £3.

Tuesday 22nd July, Preston North End: Adults £7; Concessions £5; Under 16's £4.

Friday 1st August, Brighton & Hove Albion: Adults £6; Concessions £4; Under 16's £3.


Supporters can also purchase a ticket covering all three of the above games at the following rates:

Adults £15; Concessions £12; Under 16's £9.


The match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday 29th July is priced at:

Adults £10; Concessions £7; Under 16's £4.

All tickets are valid anywhere in the stadium except the Vice Presidents' seating.


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1 July 2003 : Venue Switch For Belgian Tour Opening Game
Yeovil Town's opening match of their tour of Belgium and Germany has been subject to a change of venue. The game against Sporting Lokeren has now been switched back to Lokeren's Daknam Stadium with the game almost certain to be played on a training pitch outside the stadium called B-Terrein (presumably 'Pitch B'!)

The Daknam Stadium is ten minutes walk from Lokeren Railway Station. A map of how to get to the stadium can be found here whilst a detailed map of the stadium complex can be found here. Kick-off is 7.30pm local time.

On Sunday the team travel to Germany where they will play Oberhausen Kickers in a match that will take place at the Landwehrstadion which is situated in Rechenacker. A detailed map of the area is here whilst a town-level map can be viewed here. Many of the Yeovil Town supporters are staying in Antwerp over the week, and to get to Oberhausen by car, you can take the A76 until Sittard then change onto A2 towards Venlo. At Venlo take the A40(A67) to Oberhausen. Kick-off is 3.00pm local time, although it may be worth arriving around three hours earlier as rumours suggest that Oberhausen are planning to treat the game as a 'pre-season party' and so there should be plenty of time to socialise with the locals before the game.

Monday sees the Glovers back in Belgium where they will take on Royal Antwerp at the Wuzwzell Stadium with a kick-off of 7.00pm local time. The full address of the ground is Complex Wuustwezel FC, Achter d'Hoven 105, BE-2990 WUUSTWEZEL, Belgium. A detailed street map can be found here whilst an area map can be found here. The main Royal Antwerp FC website can be found here. Yeovil Supporters basing themselves in Antwerp may find it useful to know that a No. 64 Bus goes to Wuustwezel - get on at Roosevelt Square near the central station. By car the stadium is about 30 minutes from the centre of Antwerp.

Wednesday night sees the Glovers play their final tour game against Geminal Beerschot at the Wijnegem Stadium, kick-off 6.00pm local time. The full address for the ground is Complex VC Wijnegem, Kasteellei, BE-2110 WIJNEGEM, Belgium. An area map can be found here whilst a detailed street map can be found here.

Those looking for ultra-cheap accomodation in Antwerp need look no further than the New International YouthHotel. This looks to be a YMCA-style dormitory hostel. Their address is New International YouthHotel, Provinciestraat 256, B 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium. Tel : ++32 3 230 05 22. Fax: ++32 3 281 09 33. E-mail: niyh@pandora.be. They have websites at www.youthhotel.be and www.niyhotel.com. Rates vary but become cheaper for larger parties willing to share their dormitory-style rooms, although single-rooms are still good value.

For those wanting a more traditional style of hotel, a substantial list of hotels in Antwerp can be found here.

For the more touristy parts of your stay in Antwerp, you may like to visit the following sites: www.trabel.com/antwerp.htm, www.webguideantwerp.com and www.visitantwerpen.be. The latter is the best of the three if you only have time to look at one of the sites.


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