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31 July 2007 : New Main Stand Sponsorship
In what has been a running sequence of rebranding of Yeovil Town's Huish Park stadium, the Main Stand has become the latest stand to get a new name.

Having been known as the Yeovil College Stand over the past few seasons, the official title of the stand will now be the AgustaWestland Community Stand. It hasn't been stated how long this branding will be in place for.

Chairman John Fry has today described the deal as "the first part of a comprehensive package, details of which we will be announcing in August" suggesting that there will be more initiatives announced in the next four weeks. The deal is described as a partnership with Yeovil Town's Football Club Community Sports Trust, which is in a fledgling state after being started over the summer months.

For those easily confused, the following stand names are now in place at Huish Park:

The AugustaWestland Community Stand - was the Yeovil College Stand / Main Stand.
The Cowlin Stand - was the Bartlett Stand / East Stand.
The Carlsberg Stand - was the Westland Stand / Home Terrace.


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31 July 2007 : Glovers Draw A Blank At The Avenue
Yeovil Town played out a fairly dour 0-0 draw at The Avenue Stadium against Dorchester Town tonight. Featuring another set of trialists, the Glovers were unable to unlock the Magpies defence, and in fact it was the home side who came the closest to snatching a win - having a goal chalked off in the final five minutes for offside.

Starting with four trialists, with goalkeeper Alan Playney (Doncaster, Oldham and Southampton), Justin Cochrane (Rotherham and QPR), Aaron Burns (Manchester United) and unknown Alieu Jallow, the Glovers looked reasonably solid at the back and in midfield, but showed little sign that they could provide a score at the other end.

Second half introductions for central midfielder Fawzi Saadi (AFC Bournemouth and Bournemouth Poppies) and right-winger Morgan Evans did little to disturb the status quo until the last five minutes when a spot of end to end football saw the game open out, during which time Dorchester scored the goal that wasn't. Not the highest quality of games and whether manager Russell Slade will have seen anything that he liked in the way of the new players on show is debatable.

Final Score: Dorchester Town 0 Yeovil Town 0.

Yeovil Town:
1. Alan Blayney,
2. Craig Alcock, 4. Matt Rose, 19. Gary Bowles, 3. Ishmael Welsh
7. Darryl Knights, 20. Justin Cochrane, 8. Stephen Maher, 11. Jerahl Hughes,
9. Alieu Jallow, 10. Aaron Burns

Substitutes:
12. Fawzi Saadi (69 mins for Justin Cochrane),
14. Morgan Evans (60 mins for Alieu Jallow),
15 Tom Clarke (80 mins for Matthew Rose),
18. Steve Thompson.


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31 July 2007 : Tonight's Starting Line-Up Against Dorchester
The following line-up has been chosen to play against Dorchester Town in the pre-season friendly taking place at the Avenue Stadium:

1. Alan Blayney, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Ishmael Welsh, 4. Matt Rose, 19. Gary Bowles, 20. Justin Cochrane, 8. Stephen Maher, 7. Darryl Knights, 11. Jerahl Hughes, 9. Alieu Jallow, 10. Aaron Burns

Substitutes: 12. Fawzi Saadi, 14. Morgan Evans, 15 Tom Clarke, 18. Steve Thompson

Alan Blayney is an ex-Doncaster Rovers and Oldham Athletic keeper who was originally with Southampton.

Aaron Burns is a former Manchester United striker (see Ciderspace News Page, 26th July)

Fawzi Saadi is a former AFC Bournemouth midfielder (see Ciderspace News Page, 24th July)

The background of Alieu Jallow (possible variation on spelling!) and Morgan Evans has yet to be determined.


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31 July 2007 : Dorchester Admission Prices
Admission prices for tonight's pre-season friendly against Dorchester Town are as follows:

Adults (seated): £8.00. Adults (terrace): £7.00. Senior Citizens: £5.00. Juniors: £2.50.


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31 July 2007 : Dorchester Providing Strong Line-Up
Conference South side Dorchester Town are expecting to field their first choice eleven when they play host to a Yeovil Town side at the Avenue Stadium tonight, kick-off 7.45pm. This is the Magpies' final home pre-season friendly, and although they are still looking at numerous trialists, not all of them may get a game tonight, Director of Football Shaun Brooks has told the Dorset Echo this may not be the right time to introduce them:

"I want to use the Yeovil friendly to get an idea of my starting 11. We've got just over a week and a half now until the season kicks off so it's important to look at what our best line-up is. Yeovil are a good side and I want it to be a competitive game. I don't think that making loads of substitutes will help that. It will be a similar sort of line-up to the one against Exeter with only a few changes. Everyone's looking forward to it, it will be a really good test for us. Teams from higher leagues undoubtedly play better football so it will be a good run out for the lads."

The Magpies are under new ownership after a summer takeover and that has led to the Dorset side spreading their scouting a little wider than normal. They have two Spaniards at the club, and striker Oscar Gonzalez and winger Josu Olaizola could be two trialists thrown into the game tonight to maximise their time in this country:

"They can both speak English which is already a good start. If they do impress in training then they could feature against Yeovil. They have been recommended to us by someone who knows the club well and knows what we are looking for. Josu is a 29-year-old winger and Oscar is a 29-year-old forward so they have a lot experience behind them but are also fairly young guys as well. It will be interesting to see what they can do."

Other trialists at The Avenue Stadium include former Yeovil Town left-back Jake Smeeton along with names such as Jones Awuah, Aidan Sainsbury, Sean Smith, Scott Sampson, Nathan Simpson and Ouzo Opara, although they may not feature tonight:

"I'm hoping to get a couple of games arranged behind closed doors so that I can have more of a look at the guys on trial who haven't played as much yet."

As for Yeovil boss Russell Slade, he is believed to be sending down a side based around those who did not clock up 90 minutes at Bristol City on the weekend. Hence this will in the main be those who came on as substitutes at Ashton Gate along with those who did not feature at all. Midfielder Justin Cochrane though could be the exception to the rule, with Slade obviously keen to make up his mind whether to offer the former Rotherham United man a contract at Huish Park. He will be training at Huish Park for the rest of this week, having impressed in central midfield against the Championship side.

The expectation is that Friday night's trip to Torquay United will feature a full strength Yeovil side, reverting back to the sort of line-up that featured against Bristol City.


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31 July 2007 : Ladies Youth Training Tonight
In preparation for the new season, the Yeovil Town Ladies Youth teams will be training this evening.

The pre-season training session will take place between 5.45pm and 7.00pm at the Tintinhull Sports Ground.

Three teams, at under-12, under-14 and under-16 levels, will be competing in the Somerset Leagues this season.

New players are always welcome to come along and join in the training with the fast growing ladies club.


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31 July 2007 : Youth Team Draw At Westland
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side drew 0-0 last night against Westland Sports in the latest of their pre-season friendlies.

Their next match takes place against Chard Town on Wednesday night at their Zembard Lane ground, kick-off 7.30pm.


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30 July 2007 : Carlisle Kick-Off Brought Forward
The Carlisle United official site is reporting that Yeovil Town's home match against the Cumbrians will now kick off at the earlier time of 1.00pm on October 13th 2007.

Although it is not explicitly stated, it seems likely that this has been done to give supporters the chance to see the England match against Estonia which kicks off later that day.


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30 July 2007 : More Youth Team Friendlies
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side have got two more matches against Westland Sports arranged this week.

Unfortunately one of them is was tonight, kick-off 6.30pm, so apologies if you wanted to see that one this evening - the game was only publicised after the match had kicked off!

There is a second bite of the cherry on Saturday at 3.00pm when again Westland Sports are the opponents. The venue should be Westland's ground in Alvington, just behind the Airfield Tavern in Bunford Lane.

Finally, a reminder that as per our July 15th news item, there will be a predominantly Under 18 side playing against Chard Town on Wednesday night. The match kicks off at 7.30pm at the Dening Sports Field in Zembard Lane, Chard.


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30 July 2007 : Slade Tempted By Cochrane?
Russell Slade is set to continue adding to the squad and is tempted to sign trialist Justin Cochrane after a commanding performance in the Bristol City friendly, reports the Western Daily Press today.

Talking about Cochrane to the paper, Russell spoke of his performance and current situation:

"Justin is available. He has been training with QPR and had a game for Brentford in midweek and it was an opportunity to have a look at him and I thought he did great. He will be in on Monday and we will take it from there."

The paper goes on to say that Slade is looking to boost the left wing and forward areas of the squad.


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30 July 2007 : Marcus Stewart On Radio Bristol After The Bristol City Game
Marcus Stewart has praised Marvin Williams after the 2-2 draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Saturday. He is happy with the additions made to the squad so far and feels that pre-season preparation is going well.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol immediately after the game, Marcus said of Williams: "I thought he was excellent today, going forward and getting crosses in the box and harassing people, defending as well. I thought he was one of our best players today in the form that his overall work rate, defending and going forward, was excellent."

Read the full interview with Marcus Stewart by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.

Link: Marcus Stewart’s Post-Match Interview.

Link: BBC Somerset Sound's Audio Archive.


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29 July 2007 : Russell's Verdict On the Bristol City Game
Glovers boss Russell Slade has said that he is satisfied with the progress his side are making as they reach roughly the midpoint of their pre-season schedule. He watched his side draw 2-2 at Ashton Gate yesterday against Bristol City and believes that the performance they put in shows signs that they are getting over the loss of a number of key personnel over the summer.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol immediately after the game, Russell explained: "We're going in the right direction. It's been a very difficult and frustrating pre-season. Obviously it was a big hole to fill with Arron going along with Chris Cohen. But now the new players are starting to gel and we are starting to show a bit of purpose in our play. Our shape is looking better and we are starting to create chances like we used to create."

Read the full interview with Russell Slade by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.

Link: Russell Slade's Post-Match Verdict.

Link: BBC Somerset Sound's Audio Archive.


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29 July 2007 : Webb Signs Up For Wimbledon
Former Yeovil Town striker Daniel Webb has signed up with London side AFC Wimbledon after having a short spell playing football in Malta. Daniel was released by Yeovil during the summer, but has now been given a contract by Terry Brown, who was Aldershot's manager when Webb was on loan to Conference National side Woking. Brown explained to the Wimbledon official site that was what brought him to sign up the target man.

"Dan played against Aldershot when he was on loan at Woking last year. He ran us ragged, as well as scoring a good goal, and I made my mind up at the time that I would sign him if I could. Now I have, although it is for another club! To be honest, I thought I'd lost him because when we heard he was available earlier in the summer we made him an offer but instead he went to play in Malta. But when he became available again, we snapped him up. Dan is young, he is only 24, over 6ft 1 and plays as a genuine target man. But he is also mobile with good touch, so we won't be worried about playing the ball into his feet."

Speaking of the deal, Webb explained that the chance to sign for the Dons only came about because things didn't work out for him in Malta:

"I was tempted when Terry made me that offer but I had already committed to Malta and felt I should honour that commitment. But it didn't work out and so I am delighted that a big team like AFC Wimbledon has come in for me."


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28 July 2007 : Last Gasp Jevons Strike Steals Stewart's Thunder
Yeovil Town had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate this afternoon, despite holding a 2-0 half time lead through two goals from former City striker Marcus Stewart. This was a day for all the high profile players, and City came back during the second period, with a Lee Trundle strike giving him a memorable debut for his new club. Then former Glover Phil Jevons scored with the last kick of the match to tie the game.

The Glovers lined up with three players making their debuts, with new signing Marvin Williams out on the right, whilst Liverpool midfielder Lee Peltier, who is due to join the club on loan on Monday, partnered Justin Cochrane who was on the books of Rotherham United last season but is currently a free agent.

Despite being delayed in their arrival at Ashton Gate by heavy traffic, Yeovil looked sharp in the first period and it was little surprise when they took the lead. Marcus Stewart received a weighted pass from Paul Warne and the former Bristol City striker timed his run to perfection, slotting the ball home with his weaker right foot past City keeper Adriano Basso and into the corner for a 10th minute lead.

In a fiercely contested match which looked far from a pre-season stroll, the match was an entertaining one, and despite City keeping Glovers keeper Steve Mildenhall on his toes on numerous occasions, it was the Glovers who doubled their lead three minutes before the break. A Lloyd Owusu cross was put into the box, and Marcus Stewart was able to lose his marker, move towards the penalty box, and fire first time into the corner for a superb finish.

City got a goal back early in the second period when Yeovil failed to properly clear their lines from a Lee Johnson free kick. His set-piece was pushed across the box by Louis Carey and two attempts by the Glovers to clear the ball allowed Lee Trundle the easiest of chances to convert left-footed from six yards out and to provide City fans with a sign of what sort of player they are likely to sign when they complete the paperwork on the 1.2 million pound signing on Monday.

The Glovers though battled well, and will probably count themselves extremely unlucky that they didn't hold out until the end. With literally the last kick of the game, Lee Trundle received a pass from Kevin Betsy, Trundle's shot was parried by Steve Mildenhall, who had earlier been left flat on his back by a challenge by Michael McIndoe, and Phil Jevons proved to be another striker to upset his former employers by equalising for the Robins, scooping home from six yards, just as the final whistle blew.

Final Score: Bristol City 2 Yeovil Town 2.

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
Steve Mildenhall
Mark Lynch, Terry Skiverton, Terrell Forbes, Nathan Jones
Marvin Williams, Justin Cochrane, Lee Peltier, Paul Warne
Lloyd Owusu, Marcus Stewart.

Subtitutions:
Gary Dempsey (sub 62 mins for Mark Lynch)
Matthew Rose (sub 66 mins for Terry Skiverton)
Darryl Knights (sub 74 mins for Marcus Stewart)
Jerahl Hughes (sub 74 mins for Paul Warne)
Ishmael Welsh (sub 84 mins for Marvin Williams)
Craig Alcock (sub 87 mins for Lee Peltier)

Bristol City: (4-4-2)
Bristol City: A Basso; B Orr (B Wilson 46), B Carey (J Myrie-Williams 81), R Keogh (L Fontaine 46), J McAllister; S Murray (I Sproule 46, K Betsy 63), C Skuse (A Russell 46), L Johnson, M McIndoe; L Trundle, E Showunmi (P Jevons 69). Sub (not used): C Weale.

Referee: Simon Cooper

Attendance: 3,839 (215 supporters from Yeovil).


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28 July 2007 : Peltier Latest
This afternoon's BBC Radio Bristol coverage has clarified the situation regarding Liverpool midfielder Lee Peltier. During the match, the reporting team stated that there had been an agreement to take the Liverpudlian on loan, but that the paperwork would not be completed until Monday, due to the relevant Liverpool officials being out in China and unable to authorise the relevant paperwork.

Although the length of the deal has not been firmly clarified, they are expecting the loan to be a six month deal that would keep the player at Huish Park until the end of December.


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28 July 2007 : Today's Starting Line-Up
This afternoon's match against Bristol City will see three players making their debut. Former Millwall winger Marvin Williams will slot in on the right wing, whilst there are two new faces in midfield.

Liverpool midfielder Lee Peltier has joined the club on loan according to BBC Radio Bristol although there are no details of the length of the deal yet. He will be partnered by former Rotherham United midfielder Justin Cochrane who is on trial for the Glovers, having been connected with Queen's Park Rangers earlier this week.

The full line-up is as follows:

Steve Mildenhall
Mark Lynch, Terry Skiverton, Terrell Forbes, Nathan Jones
Marvin Williams, Justin Cochrane, Lee Peltier, Paul Warne
Lloyd Owusu, Marcus Stewart.


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28 July 2007 : Tonks Moves On To Forest Green
Former Yeovil Town left-back Anthony Tonkin has found himself new employment with Conference side Forest Green Rovers. The 27 year old was released by the Glovers at the end of last season but has now moved to the Gloucestershire side.

Boss Jim Harvey told the Western Daily Press of his acquisition:

"Anthony is the vital piece of our jigsaw as we prepare for the season ahead in the Blue Square Premier. His addition fills the void caused by Kevin Nicholson moving on. His experience will be a great asset to our young squad."


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28 July 2007 : Jones Hoping For End To Frustration
Yeovil Town left-back Nathan Jones is hoping for an end to the frustrating start to the pre-season that has seen him miss three friendly matches. The Welshman strained knee ligaments in training just after the opening match against Portsmouth and has had to miss the subsequent matches, as well as ducking out of numerous training.

Nathan told BBC Somerset Sound though that it was not necessarily the missing of games that caused him irritation, but more the long-term effects something like that could have on his preparations for the season proper:

"It's not so much missing a game. I'm not so worried about missing a game against Cardiff or a game against Plymouth. It's that pre-season is the time that you get your fitness and you get your workrate. Although realistically as long as you are ready to go and you are matchfit on the 11th of August and that is the important thing. It's especially frustrating for me because I don't like missing training and to miss two or three days training is frustrating. But it is about getting your match fitness and that is what I am going to try and do now."


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28 July 2007 : Peltier Linked With Saints
Further to yesterday's story, concerning Yeovil Town's bid to sign Liverpool midfielder Lee Peltier on a long term loan, this morning's Western Daily Press reveal that Championship side Southampton are also showing interest in the 20 year old. League Two side Chester City are the other team known to be interested in taking him on a long term loan arrangement.


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28 July 2007 : Four Out For Bristol Friendly
Yeovil Town will go into today's match against Bristol City four players short as manager Russell Slade decides not to take any risks when selecting his squad to play at Ashton Gate.

Midfielders Anthony Barry and Marc Bircham will be missing, as will striker Lee Morris and defender Matthew Rose. However, Russell told BBC Somerset Sound that left-back Nathan Jones will be making his return after a minor knee problem:

"He's back now and he'll be pleased about that, because he's been dying to get some football under his belt. We've still got one or two niggly injuries to one or two of our personnel but they are nothing major."

Russell added that the quartet missing were not of significant concern, pointing out that all would be in the squad if today's match wasn't a friendly:

"Anthony Barry will be back in training early next week, we would hope. The same applies to Lee Morris and Matty Rose. If it was a League game probably all three would play. But we don't want to do that at this stage. Marc Bircham is another one. He has got a slight strain as well. It's all down to the work that they are doing. We are bound to pick up one or two little niggling injuries and we don't want that to affect the start of the season because there is a lot of football to be played."


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27 July 2007 : 3,000 Season Ticket Barrier Broken!
With three weeks to go before our first home game, the Huish Park Ticket Office has today announced that season ticket sales have broken through the 3,000 barrier for the coming League One campaign.

Surpassing the 2,800 total of last season, this is very welcome news and a good result for the improved pricing structure implemented by the club.

Well done to all, let’s hope that crowd levels will rise in a similar manner.


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27 July 2007 : Youth's Portland Match Washed Out
Last night's pre-season friendly for the Under 18s side against Portland United fell victim to the wet weather. The Grove Corner pitch was deemed unplayable, and boss Portland Dave Kiteley told the Dorset Echo:

"It's a shame we couldn't play because it would've been a good test for us, but it won't hamper our preparations for the season and we are looking forward to tomorrow's game."


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27 July 2007 : Bristol City Admission Prices
For those heading up to Ashton Gate tomorrow for the pre-season friendly against Bristol City, we've tried to make some sense of the admission prices on their official site but have failed.

In terms of what is clear, the City site, states that their season ticket holders will get in for two pounds less than the rest of the population. Prices for non-season ticket holders are pegged at:

Adults: 12 pounds, Senior Citizens/Students: 10 pounds, Under 16s: 1 pound.

Despite Yeovil Town not being given advance tickets for sale, City's official site also states that anyone buying their tickets before 11.00am on the Saturday will be getting their tickets at the "reduced rate" but state that after this time, "pay on the day" rates will apply. However, they do not state whether the published prices are the "reduced rate" or the "pay on the day rate".

Cross-checking against another page on the site, our guess is that the above prices are for the pay on the day rate - if for any reason you are at Ashton Gate before 11.00am, published prices are £10.00, £8.00 and £1.00 respectively. This effectively means that all away supporters will get stung to the tune of 2 pounds, unless they are able to get across to Ashton Gate. You can book by phone or online, but as they charge you for using either the online facility or your credit card, it probably isn't worth it.

Yeovil Town fans will be housed as usual in the Wedlock Stand. Unlike last season, there will be no Bristol City fans in this stand. The Atyeo Stand is also closed tomorrow, with City fans being asked to use the Dolman Stand and Williams Stand.

The Ciderspace guide to Bristol City is shown below, although bear in mind that this was the 2006-07 guide, hence disregard all prices and bear in mind that all pubs are now non-smoking unless they have made provisions via a beer garden or outdoor shelter.

Link: Ciderspace 2006-07 Bristol City Guide.


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27 July 2007 : Peltier Linked With Yeovil Move
Further to yesterday's story concerning a mystery player that manager Russell Slade was looking to bring in from a Premiership club on loan, it looks like that player could well be Liverpool midfielder Lee Peltier.

The 20 year old was born in Toxteth, Liverpool on December 11th 1986, initially playing his football for St Patricks RC Primary School before being spotted by Anfield scouts and moving into their Academy structure. Last season he played in three of Liverpool's Carling Cup matches as well as a Champions League match against Galatasaray. During the last two months of last season, he went on loan to Championship side Hull City where he made a further seven appearances.

Yeovil Town face competition from League Two side Chester City, where Chairman Stephen Vaughan has declared both his and Yeovil's interest:

"We are hopeful of attracting Lee to Chester for a temporary spell, we know we face competition from Yeovil Town for his signature, but hopefully our location and the ambition we all have at the club, will tip his decision in our favour."

Peltier is a perfect match for Russell Slade's description of his target, as he played right-back for Liverpool in their Carling Cup win against Reading in October 2006 as well as in their Champions League match against Galatasaray. However, his more usual position in the squad is in central midfield. He is contracted at Anfield until June 2008.

Whilst Yeovil can easily trump the "ambition" Vaughan speaks of given their respective league positions, much will come down to whether Peltier prefers a club close to his native home, or whether he wants to spread his wings a bit and play at a higher level.


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27 July 2007 : OTV Contribution Deadline
The first OTV issue of the season will be due out for the home game with Port Vale (18th August). Seb at On To Victory requests that contributions should be submitted by the deadline of Friday 10th August.

Some of the issues they are looking to cover are....
The 'Revolving Door' at Huish Park, articles on players that have left or have arrived during the summer.
A look at teams relegated/promoted into League 1.
How you spent the summer without football.
The situation in the Middle East :-)

Seven issues are planned for this season. Regular features are looking to be established such as….
The best and worst of the Green Room.
Once Were Glovers - A look at famous past Yeovil players such as Pardew, McGinley, Whittingham etc.
Yeo Managers/Players - Historical look at various Yeovil managers/players that perhaps some of the older amongst you remember with affection.
Other Green and White teams around the world - plenty of them

If you are interested in any of these items or have got ideas of your own, please get in touch to: info@ontovictory.net. Either way, offerings of anything you might fancy are much appreciated. The fanzine is nothing without your contributions, so get writing!



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26 July 2007 : Persistence Pays Off
New Yeovil Town signing Marvin Williams has said that his decision to come to Huish Park was influenced heavily by manager Russell Slade's repeated calls for the teenager to come down to Somerset to see the set-up there.

Speaking to BBC Somerset Sound, Marvin said that he had offers elsewhere, but he felt that Yeovil wanted him more and that aspect mattered to him:

"I think it was the gaffer's persistence. He has shown a lot of interest in me over the past three or four weeks. There were one or two other clubs interested but they weren't showing as much interest as the gaffer was then. He really persisted and he really sounded as if he wanted me to come down and do a bit down there, so I thought, why not? I'm just looking forward to it now."

Marvin has moved from one League One club to another League One club, but despite Millwall having recent Championship pedigree, he believed that Yeovil Town's policy towards young players would benefit him and push his career forward:

"I'm definitely looking at it as a step forward. I'm coming in and hopefully if I get a chance to play, I'll be on the right, or the left or up front. At Millwall things weren't going the best down there. I think my age was hindering me. Down here, the gaffer's philosophy is that if you are good enough you are playing and that's fine by me, and if I am good enough to get a spot, hopefully I can keep it, and I want to push this club up into the Championship."


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26 July 2007 : Slade After Something Different From Marvin
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that his decision to sign up former Millwall right-winger Marvin Williams was because he wanted something different in his side.

With Arron Davies having left the club over the summer, Yeovil have few players in the side who can freely run at and take on opposition defenders - Ishmael Welsh and Jerahl Hughes are two exceptions to that rule - but Russell told BBC Somerset Sound that he was looking for a player that could unlock defences:

"That's why I was looking for a more direct, forward thinking player and I think we have found it in Marvin Williams. He's young, he is not quite 20 years old yet, but he has played already in the Championship and in League One, so there is a little bit of experience there. From what I've seen on the reports and from what I've seen from watching him play, he is going to be a good addition. He'll be a good signing for us. He's very direct and he has got a bit of pace about him. He puts in a good shift, and he will enhance our chances again."


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26 July 2007 : Glovers After Premiership Loan
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has this afternoon said that he is hoping to sign a player from a Premiership side on loan. The player concerned travelled down for talks yesterday, and Russell is hoping to get a response from him by tomorrow (Friday).

Speaking to BBC Somerset Sound, Russell said he expected the player to slot into midfield, but said added that there were other options available to him:

"He's from a top Premier League club, and we're pleased that he made the journey down to have a look at Yeovil. He's obviously never been to Yeovil before. He went on loan to a Championship club last year and did particularly well. He is quite a versatile player. He plays in midfield but he has also played at right-back and he will again bring energy and youth to the side and he will help balance things up again."


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26 July 2007 : Williams Signs Up For Glovers
Millwall right-winger Marvin Williams has finally signed a two year deal with Yeovil Town, for what is predictably described as another "undisclosed fee". The latest from this morning's Western Daily Press stated that it was a free transfer with add-on clauses that could boost the actual fee up to 50,000 pounds, subject to Williams making a set number of appearances.

Williams is a product of Millwall's youth policy who has made 55 appearances for the Lions, scoring eight goals. He also had a very brief two game loan period at Torquay in March where he clocked up two appearances, scoring one goal. He is a pacey player who can also play as a striker. He made his debut for Millwall against Derby County on January 2nd 2006, although half of his matches have been from the substitute's bench.

Millwall manager Willie Donachie had previously threatened to transfer-list the 19 year old after he failed to make a firm impression for the Lions. That alerted Glovers boss Russell Slade who made contact about the player over three weeks ago. Despite interest from numerous other clubs, the 19 year old has agreed to come to Huish Park. His most likely position on the park will be as a right-winger, given the current lack of options the Glovers have in the wide positions at present.

Welcome aboard Marvin, and we hope your stay will be a long and happy one.


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26 July 2007 : Aaron Burns On Trial
This morning's Western Morning News is reporting that Yeovil Town are taking former Manchester United academy player Aaron Burns on trial shortly. The striker was born in Manchester on November 8th 1987.

As a youngster, he played for junior team Wythenshawe Amateurs before being picked up by United's academy scouts at the age of 10. Having moved up through the academy ranks, scoring 6 goals in 11 starts during the 2005-06 season, Aaron broke into the United Reserves team during the 2006-07, but the club released him over this summer, despite scoring a hat-trick against Wigan Athletic Reserves in October 2006.

He has spent his summer months playing for Icelandic second division side Afurelding. The United website describe him as "a powerful forward, who is highly effective with his back to goal holding up the ball. But he also possessing the pace to turn and beat a defender."

Russell also told the paper that he had been in talks with another player on the books of a Premiership side but did not give any clues away as to who he was:

"I talked to a Premier League player today who came down to see us. We will have to wait and see if we have made a big enough impression now."

The WMN also state that right-winger Mark Marshall has left Huish Park after failing to earn a contract with Yeovil Town. Marshall has featured in three out of Yeovil's pre-season friendlies so far.


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26 July 2007 : Agent Fees : Latest Report
The Football League have issued the latest in their twice-yearly report into the payment of fees to Football Agents by their member clubs. The report shows that across the whole league, payments are down by 25 percent against last season's corresponding six month period. However, they have risen when the whole season's figures are taken into account, up to £8,584,321 from £7,660,028. Rather oddly, the Football League's statement prefers to concentrate on the six month period, glossing over the fact that the long term trend is currently upward, albeit mainly because of the amount of money sloshing around at Championship level. Payments made by Championship clubs last season went up to £7,528,501 from the previous season's total of £6,311,853.

Overall payments across the 12 month period are down in League One, dropping from the 2005-06 season figure of £955,059 down to £717,368.

The second half of the season is of course a far quieter time of the year for new contracts to be drawn up and so it is not surprising that figures for the latest six month period are considerably lower than the July - December period. Yeovil Town paid out 3,173 pounds in Agents fees for the second half of the season, compared with the £50,665 paid out during the first half of the season that meant they were one of the division's biggest spenders when it comes to Agents.

Five clubs got through the whole season without paying an agent - step forward Blackpool, Cheltenham Town, Crewe Alexandra, Huddersfield Town and Port Vale. This is down from eight last season.

Top spenders for the 12 month period were Bristol City (£163,580), Millwall (£111,140) and perhaps surprisingly Yeovil Town with £53,838 paid out to football agents. Despite their size, Nottingham Forest paid out just £6,000. Leyton Orient, Brighton and Hove Albion and Bradford City were the other clubs that spent 50,000 pounds or more on agents.

With so much use being made of the loan market, it will come as little surprise to find that Yeovil Town topped the loan transactions during the January-June period, with 18 loan transactions being completed. There were five new contract registrations submitted to the Football League, one updated contract and two cancelled contracts.


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26 July 2007 : Youth Team At Portland Tonight
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side will play the latest of their pre-season friendlies against a Portland United side tonight. Kick-off will be at 7.00pm at their Grove Corner ground.

Speaking to the Dorset Echo, Portland manager Dave Kiteley says of the match:

"The lads have been training for a month now so everyone is keen to get out there and put it into practice out on the pitch. We'll be up against a young side but it will be a good test for our players. It'll be nice to get the first game under our belts. There will be a squad of 21 players for tonight's game, with Saturday's match in mind as well. Everyone will get their chance as we've got a lot of games coming up."

To get to Grove Corner, from Weymouth take the A354 to Portland. Follow the one way system to the top of the island where there is a roundabout (hotel on left, garage on right). Proceed over the roundabout and carry on for 500 metres. Turn left into Grove Road and the ground is on the left hand side.

For those with Sat Nav, the postcode is DT5 1DP and a map is here.


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26 July 2007 : No Move For Sito
This morning's Western Daily Press states that Ipswich Town right-back Castro Sito will be returning to Portman Road after a short trial at Huish Park. Sito played against Cardiff City last weekend but after a spell on the training ground, he has not done enough to impress the Glovers management.

The paper also reports that "many" of Tuesday night's eight trialists that played at Worcester City will also be shown the door, although they don't attempt to speculate as to which players will be given a further chance of earning a contract.

Meanwhile the club are still waiting to see if striker Lee Morris will sign a one year contract that has been on the table for him since May. Morris is still training at the club and playing in pre-season friendlies, but appears to be keeping his options open.


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26 July 2007 : Williams Deal Still On
Yeovil Town's bid to sign winger Marvin Williams still appears to be on, despite the deal having taken much longer than anticipated. On Saturday, manager Russell Slade said he hoped to announce the signing of a winger - widely expected to be the Millwall wide-man - by Monday or Tuesday.

Despite several days having passed, and rumours of a technical hitch in the proceedings, this morning's Western Daily Press report that the deal is still expected to go ahead later this week. They report that a two year deal is on the table for the 19 year old.

What is of amusement is speculation concerning how much the player is likely to cost Yeovil. An unofficial Millwall website last weekend pegged the deal as costing Yeovil 200,000 pounds - a tag that caused this site much merriment and howls of derision. This week's Western Daily Press has gradually brought the price down to a more realistic level. Last Saturday's paper reported a fee of £75,000, but by Monday, that figure had come down to £50,000 plus add-ons. Now today's paper suggests that the deal will be a free transfer, with the relevant add-ons potentially adding on the aforementioned £50,000 provided Williams makes enough appearances for the club.

Perhaps if Russell stretches out the deal a few more days, we could see Millwall owing Yeovil Town money for the transfer?


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24 July 2007 : Glovers Get Narrow Worcester Win
Yeovil Town grabbed their first pre-season win tonight at St Georges Lane when they beat Conference North side Worcester City. The winning goal came from one of a number of trialists on show at the game, with Leon Sturridge, younger brother of former Derby County striker Dean, netting a minute after being introduced as a 61st minute substitute.

There were eight trialists on show tonight, mainly from Home Counties non-league sides. Whilst Carshalton Athletic winger Mark Marshall is already known to Yeovil fans, the remaining seven were all new faces.

Goalscorer Sturridge has played for Leek Town and Winsford United and also has a nephew Daniel on the books of Manchester City.

Greg Stones is a midfielder, playing for Welsh Premier League side TNS, who had been expected to join Crewe Alexandra this summer. Greg has previously been on the books of Rhyl.

Lindon Meikle is a 19 year old striker who plays for Eastwood Town, who Glovers boss Russell Slade used to play for. Lindon scored 18 goals for the Badgers (what a wonderful nickname - Ed) and their official site states he is due two trial outings.

Hardy Pinto-Moreiro is a forward who has been on the books of Wingate and Finchley as well as Kingsbury London Tigers (formerly known as Kingsbury Town).

Ivan Forbes is another attacking player who has been on the books of Kingsbury London Tigers.

Fawzi Saadi was originally on the books of AFC Bournemouth, and is an Algerian who has played for Bournemouth Poppies and Poole Town. He is a midfielder and was born on 12th Jan 1985.

The one player we haven't been able to track down is Cabrera Herve, who came on as a substitute tonight. The teamsheet contained a number of spelling mistakes, and so this may not be his exact name.

The winning goal for Sturridge came when Hardy Pinto got in some good work to set up Sturridge and to leave him with a tap-in. Sight of the evening was Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson donning his boots at the age of 44, as he commences his 10th season with the club.

Yeovil Town: Darren Behcet, Gary Bowles, Ishmael Welsh, Greg Stones, Curtis Ujah, Terrell Forbes, Mark Marshall, Stephen Maher, Hardy Pinto, Lindon Meikle, Ivan Forbes.

Substitutes:
Cabrera Herve (66 mins for Lindon Meikle),
Leon Sturridge (61 mins for Mark Marshall),
Fawzi Saadi (75 mins for Terrell Forbes),
Tom Parsons (19 mins for Gary Bowles),
Steve Thompson (82 mins for Hardy Pinto).

Worcester City: McDonnell, Hodnett (Walker 76), Burley (Dinsmore 76), Clarke (Lobban 83), Khan (Abassi 37), Gill (Duggan 83), Ward (Terry Smith 87), Nwadike, Danks (Brown 85), Webster, Clegg (Wood 65). Subs (not used): Preece, Wright.

Goal: Leon Sturridge (62 mins, 0-1).

Attendance: 265.


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24 July 2007 : Worcester Friendly Looking Good
Despite the heavy flooding in central and Southern England, there look to be no problems with tonight's first team match against Worcester City. This morning's BBC Somerset Sound sports bulletin described the match as 'definitely on'.

The only road closure we are currently aware of is where the A443 meets the River Severn. The BBC's travel pages state as of 7.30am this morning:

"A443 Worcestershire - Hylton Road closed both ways near the A44 Tybridge Street junction in Worcester, because of flooding."


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24 July 2007 : Youth Team Draw With Swanage
Yeovil Town's Under 18s drew 2-2 with Swanage Town and Herston last night in the latest of their pre-season friendlies.


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23 July 2007 : Home Terrace Renamed
The home terrace has been given new sponsorship for the start of the 2007-08 season. Since a roof was constructed on the ground during the 2000-01 season, the home terracing has been known as the Westland Stand, after the helicopter company put up a sum in the region of 50,000 pounds to help with the costs of construction.

The home terrace will now be known as the Carlsberg Stand after a two year deal was signed with the brewery to replace the Westland deal. Whether this has any connection with the club's ongoing attempts to draw up plans for a Supporters' Bar remains to be seen.


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23 July 2007 : Football League Receive Premiership Windfall
Football League clubs will receive a 90 million pound package from the Premiership over the next three years in what has been described as a "solidarity payment" by the leagues.

That will be kicked off by 31.8 million pounds being distributed this season, with Yeovil Town due to receive £103,480, in line with all of last season's League One clubs. However, the relegated trio of Leeds United, Southend United and Luton Town will pocket the sum of £775,909 due to their position in the Championship last season, whilst the quartet promoted from League Two will get £68,987.

Predictably the Championship clubs get the lion's share, with Wolverhampton Wanderers getting £1,383,602, and each club below them getting less on a sliding scale until it levels out with the sides in the bottom half of the table getting a flat rate. They are already due to share an extra £11.2 million pounds this season due to Sunderland and Birmingham City returning to the Premiership, thus foregoing their parachute payments this season.

The principle of the award from the Premiership is meant to encourage clubs to invest in "youth development and community programmes". Given Yeovil Town are currently starting up the shell of a 'centre of excellence' under their new Community scheme, then it may be that is where the club will choose to spend their money. However, unlike some Football League grant awards, this one doesn't appear to have strings attached at all, meaning that there is nothing to stop a club spending the whole lot on a new striker.

The basis of this payment has come partly out of criticism aimed at the Premiership, whose clubs have brokered a television deal worth 2.7 billion pounds. With clubs relegated to the Championship often performing a yo-yo effect by going straight back up, this could be cynically seen more as conscience money than the show of "solidarity" that it is dressed up as.


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23 July 2007 : Pre-Season Friendly At Worcester
Tomorrow night, manager Russell Slade plans to send a 'mixed' squad to St Georges Lane tomorrow night, where they will take on Conference North side Worcester City. The game, which kicks off at 7.45pm will be Yeovil Town's fourth pre-season friendly.

Russell indicated on Saturday that this would be his first chance to rotate his squad around, stating that Ishmael Welsh, Jerahl Hughes and Stephen Maher would be more likely starters with players like Paul Warne, Terry Skiverton and Terrell Forbes more likely to be playing lesser roles in the match. Whether that is 100 percent possible, given a few knocks to players and the Glovers still being a player or two short in certain positions remains to be seen.

For those who are travelling to tomorrow night's game, directions from the Worcester City official site are as follows:

"Leave the M5 at Junction 6 (Worcester North) and follow the signs towards Worcester along the A449. Follow the dual carriageway till you come to a roundabout.

Take the 2nd turning towards Worcester. Stay on this road (Ombersley Road) for about a mile until you reach a T-junction and traffic lights. Take a right turn at the T-junction, St. Georges Lane North is the third turning on the left between a tool hire shop and the In-Toto kitchen showrooms.

As you travel up St. Georges Lane you will see the floodlight pylons of the ground, follow the road until you reach the front of the ground, very prominent.

Car parking is roadside only, it is best to carry on past the front of the ground over the canal bridge and up Merrimans Hill road and park on the side of this road
."

Admission is 10 pounds for adults, with concessions available at 5 pounds.

With the massive flooding, particularly in the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire areas of the country there is obviously some degree of caution to be recommended in both driving up to Worcester as well checking that the game remains on.

At present, things should be fairly optimistic as Worcester City played out a 0-0 draw against Walsall on Sunday and their official site said of the ground and surrounding areas:

"All roads around the ground are accessible. There is a little water in St. George's Walk but this shouldn’t cause a problem. Anyone travelling from outside Worcester should be aware that there are no train or bus services today in the area. The pitch is in perfect condition and there is absolutely no doubt about today’s game going ahead."

The biggest element of doubt will therefore be the surrounding roads - Bristol City had their game against Hereford United called off on Saturday not because of the Edgar Street pitch, but because of accessibility into the town itself. Floodwater in the surrounding counties is expected to reach its peak during the early evening tonight, and so hopefully any doubt over the elements should be resolved by tomorrow morning. At present Worcester are not reporting any problems.

The contact number for Worcester City is 01905-23003. Obviously if there is any news that would make the fixture look doubtful, we'll immediately update this page.


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22 July 2007 : Russell's Verdict On The Cardiff City Game
Glovers boss Russell Slade said he is still trying to find the right formation and the right balance of personnel to start the season with after watching his side lose 0-2 at home at Huish Park yesterday. Russell played a 4-3-3 on Tuesday night but reverted back to a 4-4-2 against the Bluebirds and the Yeovil boss admitted that the latter was more likely to be his favoured formation for the forthcoming season.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol immediately after the game, Russell explained: "I think it is all about finding the right balance and the right chemistry within the squad that you've got. It might have been that using three (in midfield) was the right way to do it, or it might have been four. But we are bringing in a wide man next week, so that will lean us towards playing a 4-4-2 formation, which we did for the majority of last season."

Read the full interview with Russell Slade by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.

Link: Russell Slade's Post-Match Verdict.

Link: BBC Somerset Sound's Audio Archive.


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22 July 2007 : Youth Team Lose At Chickerell
Yeovil Town's Under 18s lost 4-2 at Chickerell United yesterday, as the Dorset side formally opened new dressing room facilities at The Stalls. A superb long range Tom Clarke effort that resulted in one of Yeovil's two goals at least meant that the Glovers went home with some pride out of their day.


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21 July 2007 : Holgate Departs, Winger Signing Imminent
Today's post-match press conference revealed that former Swindon Town midfielder Ashan Holgate has departed Huish Park after failing to earn a contract at the club during a short trial.

Manager Russell Slade also said that he had made his mind up over right-winger Mark Marshall who has also been on trial during pre-season, and played in today's match against Cardiff City. However, Russell declined to say what his thinking was, explaining that he needed to talk to the player first before giving any public comment.

On a more intriguing note, Russell stated that he had agreed terms with a winger who would almost certainly be unveiled as a signing on either Monday or Tuesday. He declined to name names, but the hot favourite would be Millwall right winger Marvin Williams (see news earlier today) who Russell did admit he had some sort of interest in, but declined to say how strong that interest was.

As usual, watch this space!


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21 July 2007 : Glovers Hit By Double Penalty
Two spot kicks resulted in Yeovil Town's downfall this afternoon as Championship side Cardiff City won 2-0 at Huish Park to inflict a third consecutive defeat upon the Glovers.

With both Nathan Jones and Matthew Rose suffering from knocks that kept them out of the team, Mark Lynch swapped over to the left, with trialist Castro Sito moving into the right-back slot. Probably Lynch's unfamiliar role contributed to the opening goal. Cardiff right-back Chris Gunter ran into the area, Lynch put in an awkward looking tackle and in doing so brought Gunter down. Warren Feeney's 36th minute penalty was parried by Steve Mildenhall but the Cardiff player was able to follow-up the rebound.

Cardiff doubled their lead just before the half time break when Feeney broke through on goal. Mildenhall came off his line, but Feeney's touch past the Yeovil keeper was well timed and the goalkeeper's gloves brought him down for the second penalty of the afternoon. With Feeney having already 'missed', up stepped Steve Maclean and he doubled Cardiff's lead to put them 2-0 up at the break.

The Glovers best chance of the first period came when Marcus Stewart was gifted a poor goal kick by Cardiff keeper Michael Oakes. Unfortunately, Stewart's first time attempt to send the ball straight past the keeper went wide of the target on the angle. Second half chances for Paul Warne - one of the more promising players on the day - saw him test Cardiff substitute keeper David Forde, whilst a second attempt from the edge of the box went over the bar.

However, whilst Yeovil matched their visitors reasonably well in the second period, Cardiff defended well and rode the half out with relative ease. The end result was a slightly frustrating experience, with Cardiff having rarely tested the Yeovil defence to any serious extent, but with the two spot kicks having proven decisive.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Cardiff City 2

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
Steve Mildenhall
Castro Sito, Terry Skiverton, Terrell Forbes, Mark Lynch
Jerhal Hughes, Anthony Barry, Gary Dempsey, Paul Warne
Lloyd Owusu, Marcus Stewart.

Substitutes:
Mark Marshall (55 mins for Jerahl Hughes)
Lee Morris (55 mins for Marcus Stewart)
Marc Bircham (55 mins for Gary Dempey)
Ishmael Welsh (83 mins for Paul Warne)
Scott Guyett (79 mins for Terry Skiverton)

Cardiff City:
Oakes (Forde, 46 mins), Gunter (McNaughton, 56 mins), Capaldi, Rae, Johnson, Loovens, Sinclair (Ledley, 50 mins), Feeney (Green, 62 mins), Maclean (Byne, 80 mins), McPhail (Ramsey, 80 mins), Whittingham (Parry, 50 mins).

Attendance: 2,371 (including 456 Cardiff supporters)

Officials:
Referee: James Linington
Assistants: Simon Snart, Richard Greenwood
4th Official: Martin Blatchford


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21 July 2007 : Cheltenham Twelve Cases Dropped
On March 11th and March 15th, we ran two articles concerning the arrest of 12 Yeovil Town supporters for alleged offences that occurred on the day of the away match against Cheltenham Town. Since March 15th, those supporters have been banned from attending Yeovil Town matches indefinitely, whilst they awaited the outcome of a Gloucestershire Police investigation.

Although there has been no official announcement by Yeovil Town or the Police, it is our understanding that Gloucestershire Police have now contacted all 12 supporters and informed them that there will be no charges brought against them. We naturally hope that either the club will officially confirm this, and provide written confirmation to the 12 supporters that they are welcome back at Huish Park, to mirror their March 15th statement.


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21 July 2007 : Today's Line-Up
Yeovil Town will take to the field using a 4-4-2 formation to start against Cardiff City at Huish Park. The starting line-up is as follows:

Steve Mildenhall
Castro Sito, Terry Skiverton, Terrell Forbes, Mark Lynch
Jerhal Hughes, Anthony Barry, Gary Dempsey, Paul Warne
Lloyd Owusu, Marcus Stewart.

Castro Sito is a right-back previously on the books of Ipswich Town. The 27 year old has made 49 appearances for the Championship side since joining them in July 2005. Mark Lynch will play at left-back to cover knocks to Nathan Jones and Matthew Rose. Striker Lee Morris has also been held back today because of another minor knock.


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21 July 2007 : Millwall's Williams Linked With Glovers
Millwall right-winger Marvin Williams is being connected with a move to Yeovil Town according to both the Western Daily Press and an unofficial Millwall website.

There is a fairly substantial difference of opinion between the two sources. Yesterday, the Vital Football franchise site for Millwall claimed that the two clubs had already done a deal for the rather far-fetched sum of 200,000 pounds. They claim Williams will be unveiled as a Yeovil player in the next couple of days.

The WDP are rather more cautious, suggesting that no official bid has been tabled yet, but say that they expect one to be submitted for the rather more realistic sum of 75,000 pounds. They also qualify that by suggesting that many other clubs such as Crystal Palace, Southend United, Colchester United, Leyton Orient and Torquay United are also showing interest.

Williams is a product of Millwall's youth policy who has made 55 appearances for the Lions, scoring eight goals. He also had a very brief two game loan period at Torquay in March where he clocked up two appearances, scoring one goal. He is a pacey player who can also play as a striker. He made his debut for Millwall against Derby County on January 2nd 2006, although half of his matches have been from the substitute's bench.

Millwall manager Willie Donachie has already threatened to transfer-list the 19 year old after he failed to make a firm impression for the Lions. Donachie said he would firmly assess him after he returned from a pre-season tour in Scotland but the WDP say that he has not even travelled with the squad, making the comments Donachie made to the Southwark News sound like the writing is on the cards for him:

"I have told him to wait until after the tour and then we will see where we stand. He has to go somewhere to play games and it might be with us. But it might be with someone else because we have Darren Byfield, Ben May, Neil Harris and Gary Alexander so he is not going to get a game upfront. But if he is outstanding in the tour things might change."

Given Williams apparently not even making it to Scotland, it seems inevitable that he will leave The New Den, but with four South-East clubs apparently interested, including two Championship sides, it would be a surprise if he chose Somerset as his next stop.


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20 July 2007 : Ujah Signs For Glovers
Central defender Curtis Ujah has signed a short term deal of unspecified length following a short trial period at the club. Curtis had played in a match at RAF Honington and followed that up with appearances against Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle at Huish Park and by the looks of it will act as an understudy to the more established trio of Terry Skiverton, Terrell Forbes and Scott Guyett.

Curtis was born on 22 July 1988 in Sheffield and is a central defender who was on the books of Tamworth at the tail end of last season. He joined Reading's Academy before signing a professional contract in Autumn 2006, joining Slough Town on loan shortly afterwards. However, he was released by Reading on 26th January 2007 without making a first team appearance, signing for Conference National side Tamworth on 22th March 2007.

Curtis has so far proven to have a strong physical presence at the back, and despite only having his 19th birthday on this coming Sunday, he is powerfully built. His role model is former Glover Efe Sodje, although presumably without the headgear! Curtis should hopefully make his third pre-season appearance against Cardiff City tomorrow.


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20 July 2007 : Under 18s Open New Chickerell Facilities
Yet another pre-season friendly has been arranged, this time against Chickerell United. The match will take place tomorrow at The Stalls, with a 2.00pm kick-off. It has been arranged to recognise the opening of a new set of changing rooms at their ground, and former Premiership referee Paul Durkin will be a guest of honour at the match, officially opening the new building at 1.00pm by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.

With Yeovil's first team playing host to Cardiff City tomorrow, this is likely to be a game for Stuart Housley's Under 18s, and speaking to the Dorset Echo Chickerell United manager Dave Drage said of the fixture:

"We want to give as many players as possible the opportunity to be involved and although Yeovil's side will be made up of reserves and youngsters it will still be a great day for the club and we are very much looking forward to it."

Chickerell are members of the Dorset Senior League, and normally play at Cranford Avenue. The Stalls ground is their original home but is now used by their Reserve Team and junior sides after they switched their first team to Weymouth College's Cranford Avenue ground in the hope of gaining promotion to the Dorset Premier League. The ground at The Stalls has a heavy slope on it, and is believed to have forced Chickerell into their ground switch.

There will be no charge for admission at The Stalls and parking is available at nearby Willowbed Hall.

For those who may consider going, Chickerell is located a couple of miles North-West of Weymouth on the B3157. The ground itself is located in East Street - an approximate location for the ground can be found on the link below.

Link: Chickerell United Football Club : The Stalls.


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19 July 2007 : Russell's Verdict On The Plymouth Game
Glovers boss Russell Slade said he found the contrast between the first half team and second half team against Plymouth Argyle to be interesting as he tries to pick out the balance he needs to open up the League One season next month. The Glovers lost 2-1 against the Devon side, and Russell believed that whilst the first half side were more controlled and workmanlike, the second half side showed more flair and creativity.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol immediately after the game, Russell explained: "What it shows me is that we need to get the blend between the first half and the second half and then try to take that into the Cardiff game on the Saturday and start to nail down the chemistry, the balance and the sort of side that I want to be starting the season."

Read the full interview with Russell Slade by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.

Link: Russell Slade's Post-Match Verdict.

Link: BBC Somerset Sound's Audio Archive.


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19 July 2007 : Advance Sales For Huddersfield Tickets
As per tickets for the Carling Cup match against Hereford United, tickets for the opening League One match at the Galpharm Stadium on August 11th 2007 against Huddersfield Town are also on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office from Monday 23rd July.

Prices are as follows:

Adults: £16.50. Seniors/Full Time Students: £9.00. Under 16s: £5.00.

Wheelchair users: £11.00. Ambulant disabled: £16.50. Assistants for both, free of charge.

Disabled car parking spaces can be applied for by phoning 0870-4444552.

These are early bird prices and tickets are for unreserved seating in the gloriously named Pink Link Stand. You and I will probably refer to it hereafter as the South Stand, which is the area that has housed Yeovil supporters on previous visits. If tickets are bought on the day, add £2.50 to Adult prices, £1.00 to Seniors/Students prices and £2.00 to Under 16s prices.


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19 July 2007 : Advance Sales For Bulls Tickets
Further to our news item (see June 28th) tickets for the First Round Carling Cup tie against Hereford United will go on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office next Monday 23rd July. With the game unlikely to sell out, tickets will go immediately on general sale.

The match will be played on Tuesday 14th August, with a 7.45 p.m. kick-off at Edgar Street. The match is not all-ticket.

As a reminder, ticket prices have been set at :

Terrace

adult £13.00, concession £9.00, children £6.00

Stand

adult £15.00, concession £12.00, children £7.00

Ambulant disabled persons are charged £9.00 with assistants admitted free of charge. Wheelchair users should phone 01432-276666 to reserve their space.

Concessions are those over 65, children are those under 16. Note that for league matches Hereford's policy is to charge concessions and children who are not Club Members an additional £1.00 surcharge for pay-on-the-day. It is not stated whether this policy will apply for the Carling Cup tie, but be prepared.

The normal area allocated to away supporters is situated in the Floors-2-Go Stand, which runs parallel to Edgar Street (A49). The stand, which gives a side-on view of the pitch is a canteliver design, and accommodates both covered seating (higher tier) and covered terracing (directly beneath), and is split between home and visiting fans. The away part is situated towards the Blackfriars Street End, with the seating available in Block 'E'. Block 'F' is usually kept clear as a 'no man's land' between home and away supporters.


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19 July 2007 : Friendly Match At Swanage
Another pre-season friendly has been arranged against local opposition. Rather like the already announced friendlies against Gillingham Town (last week and earlier this week), Shaftesbury Town and Chard Town, we expect these will probably be geared towards Youth players, although there's been no confirmation from the club.

The latest match is one against Swanage Town & Herston who play in the Dorset Premier League. The match will take place on Monday 23rd July with a 7.00pm kick-off.


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17 July 2007 : Tonight's Trialist : Mark Marshall
Whilst midfielder Ashan Holgate and defender Curtis Ujah clocked up their second appearances for the club as part of their trial period at Huish Park, there was another new face in the squad as part of this evening's match against Plymouth Argyle.

Assuming there are not two Mark Marshalls in English football, this one is a pacey right winger who has been on the books of Ryman League side Carshalton Athletic up until May 2007. Reading manager Steve Coppell spotted him playing at Colston Avenue and invited him for a trial at the Madejski Stadium. Speaking about the prospect of jumping from Isthmian League football to the Premiership, Mark said late last month:

"Steve came to watch me play and, from there, he spoke to my agent. I was shocked when I got the news but I just want to give it my best shot. I have always aimed for the top and I will always try my best to get there. I think I'm good enough to play in the Premiership but I guess we will just have to wait and see. Even if it doesn't work out at Reading, then I will keep going because I am confident in my ability to play at the highest level."

There is no word as to how that trial has gone for the 20 year old, but the fact that he is down at Huish Park suggests that he is at the very least keeping his options open.


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17 July 2007 : Argyle Punish Slow-Start Glovers
Championship side Plymouth Argyle punished Yeovil Town tonight for a slow start at Huish Park as they started the game as the sharper side, allowing a 6th minute goal from Akos Buzasky to put their noses in front. Although the Glovers got back into the match and matched the visitors during the second period and even equalised through Stephen Maher, a penalty from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake two minutes later gave Argyle a win that they hung onto.

The opening 20 minutes or so realistically saw Yeovil all at sea as they tried out a new formation that many of the players seemed uncomfortable with. Argyle took full advantage of the situation, taking the lead just six minutes into the match when Peter Halmosi accepted a ball over the top, controlled it well then put in a cross that Akos Buzasky finished well from 15 yards out.

Argyle hit the woodwork during a poor opening period and probably could have been more than one goal up by half time. The Glovers gradually stabilised, and Marcus Stewart should have done better when he received the ball after a strong Yeovil attack, but his final shot was weak. By half time Yeovil had finally got a degree of control over the game, without necessarily creating too many chances, but certainly a far cry from the opening 20 minutes that Argyle had dominated.

The second half was a different story though. Only goalkeeper Darren Behcet, defenders Terrell Forbes and Matthew Rose remained on the park and the new look side looked far more comfortable and provided an instant reponse.

Ishmael Welsh's left-wing run saw his cross into the box only partially blocked out by the Argyle defence, and it fell into the path of Stephen Maher, who has recently returned from a loan spell with Shamrock Rovers, and he fired sharply home to level the scores.

A shame then that Yeovil couldn't hold onto the lead. Matthew Rose committed a fairly blatant foul in the box two minutes later on David Norris and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake restored the lead from the penalty spot.

The game saw a spirited finish from both sides. Argyle made most of their substitutions during the middle period of the second period, whilst Yeovil just added two more, with Rose and Forbes finally retiring. Both sides could have easily claimed further goals - the speed of Ishmael Welsh and Jerahl Hughes often saw the Argyle defence stretched, and on two occasions, the advancing of visiting keeper Luke McCormick saw the final effort from Hughes go just wide of the target, despite the youngster timing his lobbed shots well. At the other end Argyle's Nick Chadwick could have sealed matters when he struck the woodwork, but that would have been somewhat harsh on Yeovil's second half performance. A shame though, that it took 20 minutes for the game to really start from Yeovil Town's point of view, and in the end that sluggish opening period cost them.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Plymouth Argyle 2.

Goals: Akos Buzsaky (6 mins, 0-1), Stephen Maher (53 mins, 1-1), Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (55 mins, pen, 1-2).

Yeovil Town: (first half, 4-3-3)
13. Darren Behcet
2. Mark Lynch 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 12. Matthew Rose
8. Anthony Barry 20. Marc Bircham 7. Gary Dempey
11. Lee Morris 10. Marcus Stewart 14. Paul Warne

Yeovil Town: (second half, 4-4-2)
13. Darren Behcet
12. Matthew Rose, 6. Terrell Forbes, Curtis Ujah, Craig Alcock
Mark Marshall, Ashan Holgate, Stephen Maher, Ishmael Welsh
Darryl Knights, Lloyd Owusu

Yeovil Town: (second half substitutions)
Scott Guyett (for Terrell Forbes, 65 mins)
Jerahl Hughes (for Matthew Rose, 75 mins)

Yeovil Booking: Terrell Forbes (57 mins, foul)

Plymouth Argyle: 1 Luke McCormick, 2 Dan Gosling, 3 Gary Sawyer, 4 Lilian Nalis (Lee Hodges 63), 5 Marcel Seip, 6 Mathias Doumbe, 7 David Norris (Reuben Reid 74), 8 Akos Buzsaky (Luke Summerfield 63), 9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Nick Chadwick 69), 10 Barry Hayles (Rory Fallon 63), 11 Peter Halmosi (Ryan Dickson 63)

Plymouth Argyle booking: Gary Sawyer (81 mins, foul)

Referee: Roger East.


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17 July 2007 : Gills Rolled Over Again
After losing to the Glovers U18 side last Thursday (see 13th July) Gillingham Town faced what they billed as a Yeovil Town team last night. In practice the visitors fielded a side which was again very much Youth orientated. The hosts lost 0-3, with 188 at Hardings Lane.


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17 July 2007 : Morris Closing In On New Deal
Yeovil Town striker Lee Morris is expected to sign a new deal later this week and the implications are that it may be for a longer period than the 12 month contract he was offered last season. Morris is the only one of last year's squad that has yet to put pen to paper, but manager Russell Slade told the Western Daily Press yesterday that he expects that to be resolved soon:

"That deal is very close to being resolved. I expect Lee to put pen to paper some time this week. It will be at least a year's contract."

Slade believes he is now seeing a significant improvement in Lee's fitness this season and revealed that he spent much of last season wearing a support to help him get around the pitch:

"He is looking in much better shape. He's not actually wearing his back brace, which he did for most of last year, and he hasn't had to receive any additional treatment and we are very pleased with the progress he's made."


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16 July 2007 : Gray Signs For Orient
Striker Wayne Gray has become the 12th player to depart Huish Park this summer, signing a two year deal with League One rivals Leyton Orient this morning. The Glovers will get an "undisclosed five figure fee" according to the Leyton Orient official site.

Boss Martin Ling, who has already taken Paul Terry off the Glovers books this summer, as well as several other high profile players said of the deal:

"I'm very pleased to have signed Wayne Gray. He is a player I have been trying to bring to this football club all summer and he will add pace and power to our front line. He's experienced this club before whilst on loan and he was looking to come back to London so this move is ideal both for him and for us. Wayne's had an exceptional record over the last three years, scoring at a one-in-three ratio and winning two promotions, as well as helping Yeovil to the play-off final last year. So I'm happy to get this deal done - that takes the number of strikers here up to four and there will be one more coming in as well."

Gray's previous spell at Brisbane Road came during the 2001-02 season whilst he was a Wimbledon player, scoring six goals during his spell in East London. Last season he was Yeovil Town's top scorer, netting 12 goals in 52 appearances after starting in 27 league matches. His departure leaves another gap in Yeovil's attacking options for the coming season, meaning that manager Russell Slade will have another space in his squad where he will need to dip into the transfer market.


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16 July 2007 : Gray Move Still On The Cards
This morning's Western Daily Press repeats last week's news (July 12th) that striker Wayne Gray is being courted by fellow League One side Leyton Orient. This has been a significant feature of the rumourmill for around 10 days now, but as yet it hasn't reached fruition. The WDP say that there is a five-figure bid on the table, but stop short of stating whether the value has been acceptable to the Glovers.

On Saturday, manager Russell Slade revealed he was leaving Gray out of the side due to injury but without naming the club involved, he did suggest that there was no smoke without fire:

"Wayne has got an Achilles problem at this moment in time and he's also attracting a bit of interest from another club."

Gray's injury could well be one factor in why matters are being drawn out somewhat. Clearly the former Southend United marksman would need to go through a medical before moving to another club, and any injury could delay matters.

The other factor is that Slade is already short in key positions on the park, and some of those are areas that Gray can play in. So without immediate replacements on the horizon, there could be an issue if Gray is allowed to leave whilst recruiting attack-minded players is still going on. Slade added:

"To be honest three more major signings have got to be made. I do need another midfielder to make four (central midfielders). I need a wide player and the other one might be a frontman. There are probably three signings I need to bring to the football club before we start the season."

Yeovil's pre-season plans continue tonight when a "Yeovil Town XI" visits Gillingham Town, with a squad that will almost certainly be centred around players from the Under 18s side. Kick-off at Hardings Lane is 7.30pm.

Tomorrow evening, the first team squad will take on Plymouth Argyle at Huish Park, kick-off 7.45pm.


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15 July 2007 : Russell's Verdict On The Portsmouth Game
Glovers boss Russell Slade reassured those present at Saturday's 2-0 home defeat against Portsmouth that the injury to central defender Scott Guyett was not as bad as first feared. Guyett went down after making a block tackle in a move that led to Portsmouth's second goal, and initially the stretcher-bearers were called into action. But Guyett limped off on his own, and Russell is hoping it is just heavy bruising.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol immediately after the game, Russell explained: "It is not as bad as I thought, I can tell you that. He's got a lump on the inside of his shin. Exactly how much of the muscle fibre that has hurt, I don't know. But I thought he'd probably done his knee in at first when he first went down and made the block but it doesn't appear to be that, so he'll hopefully not be too long."

Read the full interview with Russell Slade by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.

Link: Russell Slade's Post-Match Verdict.

Link: BBC Somerset Sound's Audio Archive.


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15 July 2007 : Youths Travel To Shaftesbury
Yeovil Town's Under 18s will travel to play Shaftesbury on Wednesday, 8th August 2007 with a 7.30pm kick-off.

The match will be played at Cockrams in Coppice Street, Shaftesbury against the Wessex League side.


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15 July 2007 : Glovers Travel To Chard
Toolstation Western League Premier Division side Chard Town will play host to a Yeovil Town XI in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday 1st August 2007, kick-off 7:30pm.

The match will take place at the Dening Sports Fields in Zembard Lane, Chard.


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14 July 2007 : Glovers Downed By Pompey Double
Yeovil Town went down 0-2 at home this afternoon against a strong Portsmouth side as they commenced their 2007-08 pre-season schedule. A goal in each half undid Russell Slade's side as Lomana LuaLua and a trialist going simply by the name of Giovanni netted for the visitors.

Midfielder Marc Bircham made his debut for the club in the centre of the park, whilst the versatile Paul Warne operated on the right wing. A third debutant was striker Lloyd Owusu. He set up Terry Skiverton who managed an unexpected spot of acrobatics by sending in an overhead kick that goalkeeper David James did well to pick out.

But it was the Premiership side that was to go on and dominate the half. After hitting the woodwork, another forward move saw Giovanni feed Lomana LuaLua who waited his moment, dragged Steve Mildenhall off his line and slotted home in confident fashion to give Portsmouth the lead with 20 minutes gone. Mildenhall went on to make several crucial blocks, with Portsmouth getting through on a number of occasions only to find the big goalkeeper denying them a second strike.

The second half saw a predictable raft of changes, with the Glovers allowing Gary Dempsey and Jerahl Hughes to get a full half of football on their debuts, whilst trialists Curtis Ujah and Ashan Holgate also got onto the field of play.

But it was the visitors that were creating the better chances, and on 57 minutes, Noe Pamarot exchanged passes with Sulley Muntari, and Scott Guyett's attempt to block the ball out saw it fall to trialist Giovanni who finished from close range.

Guyett was unable to continue having got a bang on his shinbone from the tackle, and Matthew Rose replaced him. Yeovil got a little more into the game as Pompey's first team squad was rapidly rotated, causing the game to get a little disjointed, but they struggled for shots on goal, with probably Gary Dempsey's edge of box effort after he was set up by Jerahl Hughes being the pick of the bunch, with visiting keeper David James doing well to get down and save.

Not a bad workout for the Glovers though, even if one or two looked a little leggy after their week in the RAF camp in Suffolk. Only goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall and club captain Terry Skiverton played the full 90 minutes, with Russell Slade admitting afterwards that he would have replaced Skivo as well if it wasn't for Guyett's injury. Portsmouth were a higher class and deserved their win though - the more important matches will come when the Glovers face Championship sides Plymouth Argyle and Cardiff City and find out what standard they have to reach to realise their ambitions.

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
2. Mark Lynch 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Scott Guyett 3. Nathan Jones
14. Paul Warne 8. Anthony Barry 20. Marc Bircham 25. Lee Morris
9. Lloyd Owusu 11. Marcus Stewart

Substitutions:
Jerhal Hughes (46 mins for Marcus Stewart)
Gary Dempsey (46 mins for Marc Bircham)
Matthew Rose (58 mins for Scott Guyett)
Darryl Knights (64 mins for Lee Morris)
Craig Alcock (64 mins for Mark Lynch)
Curtis Ujah (69 mins for Nathan Jones)
Ashan Holgate 69 mins for Anthony Barry)
Ishmael Welsh (77 mins for Paul Warne)
Tom Clarke (85 mins for Lloyd Owusu)

Portsmouth (4-4-2):
James; Cranie (Pamarot 46); Campbell (O'Brien 46), Distin (Stefanovic 46), Traore (Hreidarsson 46); Lauren (Songo'o 46), Davis (Mvuemba 46), Mendes (Muntari 46), Kranjcar (Taylor 46); Giovanni (Duffy 68), LuaLua (Nugent 46).

Attendance: 4,277 (1,303 from Portsmouth)

Officials:
Referee: Steve Cook.
Assistants: Eamonn Smith (Surrey), Ron Ganfield (Somerset).
4th Official: Mark Philpott.


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14 July 2007 : Season Ticket Sales Continue To Rise
Today's Western Daily Press carries the welcome news that Season Ticket sales have already surpassed the total figures for the 2006-07 season.

Last season, the paper states the club sold 2,800 tickets in total throughout the 2006-07 season, with around 180 sales of the club's 'Final Countdown' ticket package that was unveiled to cover the closing matches of the season. That had been a significant drop on the 3,600 sold during the 2005-06 season, which was of obvious concern.

This summer though, there has been a concerted effort made by the club to rectify various public relations issues, including the formation of a new Communications Department. In addition, a professionally produced mailshot was sent out to both last season's season ticket holders as well as those who had purchased a certain level of individual tickets last season.

The good news is that these efforts appear to be reaping rewards. Despite it being over a month until Port Vale visit Huish Park on August 18th, sales have now reached the 2,900 mark - 100 up on last season. And with some supporters likely to leave it until the last minute to make their purchases, it would seem inevitable that the 3,000 mark will be reached. The obvious target though for the club would be to restore levels back to that of 2005-06, with a record 3,600 tickets sold, and that figure is clearly still achievable. Speaking to this week's Western Gazette Chairman John Fry said:

"Season tickets have been going very well but we would like to sell more. It is all about the fans coming through the turnstiles. The tickets are pitched at the right price and we want to convey the message to them to come and buy tickets because it is a good deal. Our ambition is to get Championship football so let us get out of the traps quickly to try to obtain that. It promises to be a good season and we do not want to deter people from coming to watch us. We have got the experience and still have players to bring into the squad. I would urge people to come here because the club is going somewhere."

Link: 2007-08 Season Ticket and Match Day Admission Prices.


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14 July 2007 : Curtis Ujah Profile
Today's match against Portsmouth has seen a new trialist Curtis Ujah take to the field for the first time. Curtis was one of two trialists playing this afternoon, with former Swindon Town midfielder Ashan Holgate also taking to the field. Whilst Holgate was already known to be on trial at Huish Park (see July 4th news) this was the first that Ujah had been sighted within the camp.

Curtis was born on 22 July 1988 in Sheffield and is a central defender who was on the books of Tamworth at the tail end of last season. He joined Reading's Academy before signing a professional contract in Autumn 2006, joining Slough Town on loan shortly afterwards. However, he was released by Reading on 26th January 2007 without making a first team appearance, signing for Conference National side Tamworth on 22th March 2007.

Manager Russell Slade clearly thought enough of him in training to have him involved in the training camp at RAF Honington, as Ujah played in a midweek friendly against an RAF team. He played 21 minutes today in the centre of defence, partnering Terry Skiverton and has a strong physical presence in the way that he plays the game.


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14 July 2007 : Today's Starting Line-Up vs Portsmouth
Manager Russell Slade has chosen the following starting eleven for this afternoon's match against Portsmouth:

1. Steve Mildenhall
2. Mark Lynch 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Scott Guyett 3. Nathan Jones
14. Paul Warne 8. Anthony Barry 20. Marc Bircham 25. Lee Morris
9. Lloyd Owusu 11. Marcus Stewart

Substitutes are expected to be the rest of the first team squad although there is no place for Wayne Gray (achilles problem) and Terrell Forbes (dead leg) that were picked up at this week's RAF training camp. On the bench is former Swindon Town midfielder Ashan Holgate and former Reading defender Curtis Ujah. Portsmouth have included Martin Cranie in their starting line-up.


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14 July 2007 : 2007-08 Squad Numbers
The squad numbers for the 2007-08 season, as per today's match-day programme are as follows:

1. Steve Mildenhall
2. Mark Lynch
3. Nathan Jones
4. Terry Skiverton
5. Scott Guyett
6. Terrell Forbes
7. Gary Dempsey
8. Anthony Barry
9. Lloyd Owusu
10. Wayne Gray
11. Marcus Stewart
12. Matthew Rose
13. Darren Behcet
14. Paul Warne
15.
16.
17.
18. Darryl Knights
19. Craig Alcock
20. Marc Bircham
21. Jerahl Hughes
22. Tom Clarke
23. Ishmael Welsh
24.
25. Lee Morris
26. Stephen Maher


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14 July 2007 : Russell Slade T-Shirt On Sale
The Away Travel Club have issued a new T-Shirt which is now available at £7.50. Featuring manager Russell Slade, the shirt has both a front and back design as shown below - perfect for all you '70s pop-pickers. Not 'Arf!

For further information, contact Mark Kelly at markkelly@ytisa.freeserve.co.uk or look out for him in the beer tent over the next three home friendlies.
Russell Slade shirt (front) On Sale Now from the Away Travel Club
Russell Slade shirt (back) On Sale Now from the Away Travel Club
Russell Slade shirt On Sale Now from the Away Travel Club.



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14 July 2007 : League One Play-Off Final Badges
Away Travel Club organiser Mark Kelly has now got his Yeovil Town League One Play-Off Final badges in stock. These are one-off badges to commemorate our play-off final at Wembley. They are described as high quality enamel badges, perfect for collectors or those wanting a memento of the day. These are available on a first come first served basis and are expected to sell out fast. The cost of the badge is £3 each if you want one please email Mark on markkelly@ytisa.freeserve.co.uk. If you want Mark to post one, the cost will be £1 and it will be sent in a jiffy bag. This badge is in two designs as shown below.
League One Play-Off Badges On Sale Now from the Away Travel Club
League One Play-Off Badges On Sale Now from the Away Travel Club.



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13 July 2007 : First Friendly Result
The Yeovil Town U18 side defeated Gillingham Town's First Team 1-2 last night at Hardings Lane. The match was watched by a crowd of 157. We have no further details at present.


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13 July 2007 : Club Moving On Youth Policy
The club's Football Development Officer Maurice Hopkins has been speaking to the Western Gazette about plans for the coming season, and beyond. Grumbles have rumbled on for years about whether Yeovil Town was more aspirational talk than action when it came to its youth policy. Now things seem to be on the move :

During 2007-08 we are going to have two centres - one in Yeovil and one in Taunton - which will be like centres of excellence. We will have squads from Under-Nines up to Under-Fifteens. The Under-Fifteens will get a good two year run before they join the U18 team and we will take it from there.

As far as the forthcoming season is concerned we are going to start off by building strong foundations. We will start off slowly and gradually build into the programme. We will be following the same programme as a centre of excellence but we will not have one of those at first.

The chairman has dipped his toe into the water on the youth system front, but we need to be sure that it is the right way to be going. So we are not going to be boom and bust. We are trying to make sure that the infrastructure and networking of people we have got is big enough to push forward. At the moment we are want to do the walking before we do the running but we do want this to grow. It is going to be big anyway but we want to make sure it gets bigger and stronger as time goes by.


Hopkins was bullish about the future and the seriousness of the club's commitment :

It is history for the club because it is the first time they have had a proper set-up below Under-Sixteen level. I do not think we can yet use 'Centre of Excellence' or 'Academy' to describe us but they are only words. In my eyes it will be as big as either of those anyway.

We have got about 230 kids within the system. We have probably tried about 800-1,000 people since April. We have been selective and it is not a case of 'anyone can come along'. We have held trials or people have been scouted for the system. We hope we will be able to produce players for the Reserves, First Team and U18s.

It is great for the kids in the area. I have been involved with Schools District and County football for a long time. In the past everybody has come into our county and taken away players. It is now our turn to start pushing those clubs out of the Yeovil area and the county. We will start looking after our own and push them up through the Yeovil ranks rather than Southampton's, Plymouth Argyle's and Bristol City's.

We will be playing Swansea City and Plymouth and will be touring Liverpool - Everton and Tranmere - next month as well as playing Wigan Athletic. It is too easy to look back and say 'What if we had had this sooner?'. We have just got to look forward and that is my philosophy. I have got good friends at Ivel Barbarians RFC. Chris Heal
[Head Coach] and I talk a lot about youth in the area and about how it should be progressed. I hope that is what we are going to be doing now at Yeovil Town.

Sounds promising, but everyone, especially those putting in the funding, has to be patient. A youth policy comes to fruition some ways down the road, and the results are long term not immediate.


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13 July 2007 : Yeovil Town vs Portsmouth Match Preview
Premiership side Portsmouth arrive at Huish Park tomorrow, having gone on a spending spree in the last few days. Manager Harry Redknapp has spent an estimated £20million on midfielder Sulley Muntari and his new strike pairing of David Nugent and John Utaka this summer. There has even been the recruitment of a certain Martin Cranie for an undisclosed fee from Southampton. That has been added to by free agent defenders Sylvain Distin and Hermann Hreidarsson, plus on loan midfielder Arnold Mvuemba as Pompey look to improve on last year's ninth-placed finish.

Redknapp believes that the spending spree is the result of more money being available to the 'lesser' Premiership sides that will result in a more competitive season. Speaking to their official site he explained:

"I'm delighted with the players we've been able to bring in - we've had great support from the owner. You only have to look around the place to see how ambitious he is. The Premier League this year will be the toughest so far. There is a lot more money being put into all of the clubs. Everybody is looking to push on and get stronger - including us. We've brought in people early this summer and they're going to make us even stronger this year."

Portsmouth follow up their match at Huish Park with trips to Havant and Waterlooville and Eastleigh in mid-week before heading out to Hong Kong to compete in the Barclays Premier League Asia Trophy. With the first team squad at a training camp in Devon, it seems likely that Redknapp will blood the majority of his players throughout the 90 minutes, albeit with Pompey tending to in the past swap round the majority of their large squad over the half time period.

Kick-off for the match is at 3.00pm and tickets are available from the Huish Park Ticket Office right up until kick-off, priced: adults £10.00, senior/students £5.00, juniors £1.00.


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13 July 2007 : Glovers Still On The Look-Out For Signings
Yeovil Town assistant boss Steve Thompson has this week stated that the signing of midfielder Marc Bircham is unlikely to be the last, as the Glovers continue to try and build their squad up to last season's levels. Whilst boss Russell Slade is likely to leave room for emergency signings and loan deals, Thommo has pointed out to the Western Morning News that with the departures of three central midfielders and the arrival of two that they are a man down in that area and are also looking thin on the wings:

"We are always on the look-out for more players and we are still one short on what we had last year in the middle of the park. We had four last year with (Anthony) Barry, (Paul) Terry, (Jean-Paul) Kalala and (Chris) Cohen, and we only have three at the moment, so I would think there is a good chance of us getting another midfielder in before the season starts. We have a list of players that we are interested in, and a wide player might also come up because the wide players we have (Ishmael Welsh and Jerahl Hughes) are very young, so we might look for a bit more experience and for someone to go in straight away."

That said, Thommo admitted he was impressed with what he had seen of Bircham so far, and expects him to slot into the 'holding' midfielder role fulfilled by Paul Terry or Jean-Paul Kalala last season:

"It's a good signing for us, he is experienced and has done very well for Millwall and QPR. He is a similar type of player to Paul Terry and JP (Kalala) and he is very atheltic as well, so we hope he will give us more variety in midfield. He was attracting interest from a number of other League clubs as well, he has had two promotions from League One, and we needed another midfielder as we lost three with Chris Cohen, Paul Terry and JP. It is certainly a position that we needed to strengthen and we have got someone who has spent the last four years in the Championship, so that is the kind of pedigree that he has. I'm sure the fans will warm to him, he is a loud and extravagant character, although he doesn't have the coloured hair that distinguished him! He might feel he has gone past that stage now, but, if he does, then I'm sure that will go down well with the fans."

The squad's week in Suffolk at RAF Honington ends today, but Thommo's view in midweek was that things were going to plan. Perhaps many had assumed that it was Thommo's RAF contacts that had organised the week away, but the former RAF fitness instructor admitted this was something that his boss had done in the past with Grimsby Town:

"It's going very well so far. The lads are being taken well out of their comfort zone and it shows the purpose of bonding the team together, because you want to be able to rely on people on a Saturday on the pitch and you want to be able to rely on people up here when you are doing these practice drills and exercises. Russell knows the bloke here very well and did it with Grimsby, and they have done a fantastic job organising it all."

Midfielder Anthony Barry seems to have fared the worst during the week. Earlier in the week we reported that he had to run a lap of the RAF camp after failing miserably in an exercise that involved taking out forces vehicles on a coned off obstacle course. Now it appears he managed to get his bearing wrong when on another exercise, so badly that they had to send someone out to rescue him:

"Bazz somehow went flying for about two minutes because he was supposed to come to a bush and he went straight past it and ended up running half a mile! We had to send a Land Rover out to recover him."

Ooops! Sounds rather as though Ant will be glad to be back in his own bed tonight when the team arrive back on Somerset soil.


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13 July 2007 : Forest Fee Will Be 'Spread' Throughout Club
Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry has said that manager Russell Slade will not see the full proceeds of the seven figure fee the club received from Nottingham Forest for the sale of midfielders Arron Davies and Chris Cohen. Fry has told this week's Western Gazette that the money will be "spread" throughout the club to protect it from over-spending on the football side, citing Leeds United as an example of a bad way to run a football club.

Fry also added that the club were under pressure to sell both players because of the way their value would diminish over the course of the coming season if they didn't sign extended deals:

"We will spread it the right way because we do not want to end up like a Leeds United. It is very difficult and complex and fans do not always understand the running of a football club. A player is classified as a tangible asset. Assets are normally buildings and things of that nature but in the case of football it is footballers. They are an asset to the development of the club and you have got to make the best of the asset. The trouble is a player can be out of contract quite easily. He may not want to move and then if he is out of contract at the end of the season he is worth nothing. A £1M or £3M asset can evaporate to be worth very little or nothing so you have to be shrewd and clever and run with your head rather than your heart."

Fry also appeared to point the finger of blame at one or both of the agents involved in the deal, suggesting that they had played a part in the exit of both players. Cohen and Davies are managed by different agents and so it would be difficult to imagine one agent being able to influence the actions of another, but Fry felt that the situation had been taken out of his hands:

"If football was how normal business was conducted there would be total anarchy. Clubs are not helped by the ambitions of agents. They are there to look after players and, therefore, there is a continuous tussle with regard to where a player goes and who decides. There are cases that the selling club have things that are being taken out of their hands but you cannot argue because you have to look after your own club. Ideally we would have liked them not to have gone to one of our rivals but it did not work out that way."

The Gazette also have provided what they believe to be a breakdown of the deal that was brokered with Nottingham Forest, even if the official line from the club is that the fee will remain undisclosed.

The claim is that the total package was for Yeovil Town to receive 1.2 million pounds for the pair, with a sum of one million pounds allocated against the transfer of Arron Davies but just 200K set against the transfer of Chris Cohen. Both players had sell-on fees negotiated with their former clubs, Southampton and West Ham United at the time of their transfers to Yeovil. The Gazette quote those as being 10 percent for Arron, whilst the sell-on percentage for Chris was 50 percent.

Both sell-ons will be calculated against the profit made by Yeovil Town - something that makes calculating the exact money that will enter Yeovil Town's bank account to be a tricky task, given that both players arrived at Huish Park without a fee being made public.

Mr Fry refused to comment on the Gazette's assertion of how much the two players cost Forest, saying that although unofficial figures were being stated in various quarters that the actual amounts would remain confidential:

"It is an undisclosed fee. It is a matter of confidentiality between the two clubs."


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12 July 2007 : Johnson And McIndoe Reunited
A few months ago, the Green Room forum ran a thread containing news headlines you'd be least likely to see. We don't recall this specific one being in that list, but it certainly should have been.

Today, former Glover Michael McIndoe teamed up with former Glovers manager Gary Johnson on a three year contract at Bristol City to result in one of the most unlikely reunions you will ever see in football.

McIndoe left Yeovil Town four years ago amidst a significant row between himself and the club, including Johnson himself. Coming back from a pre-season European tour, there was clear friction between McIndoe and Johnson and also between the left winger and numerous key Yeovil players. This was brought to a head when the club decided to put McIndoe on the transfer list after he repeatedly demanded a new contract with the Glovers having got themselves into the Football League.

The friction between player and club got so bad that Johnson told McIndoe to stay away from the club for a week, and thereafter only allowed him to train on his own whilst the club sat waiting for the offers that McIndoe's agent Steven Denos had promised his client would come flooding in. In the end it was only Doncaster Rovers, who had been promoted to the Football League at the same time as the Glovers, who were willing to take a punt on him, and 50,000 pounds was all that Yeovil could get out of the deal. But Johnson would have undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief when the Scotsman left the ground for the final time.

Further fall-outs between McIndoe and Donny boss Dave Penney were rumoured, and since then the former Luton Town trainee has worked his way through Barnsley, Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers, meaning that Bristol City will now be his fifth club since leaving Yeovil Town, and his fourth since March 2006. That it brings him back in partnership with Johnson is nothing less than extraordinary, when it is recalled what the then Yeovil boss said about his outgoing player in July 2003:

"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'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 did not want to lose him, but when the atmosphere of the dressing room is disrupted we have to act."

Football really is a funny old game.


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12 July 2007 : Pre-Season Friendly Prices Reminder
As we originally publicised the pre-season home match prices all the way back on June 6th, and those three matches are now fast approaching, here is a reminder of the forthcoming three friendly matches and their admission prices:

Portsmouth, Saturday 14th July, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

adult £10.00, senior/student £5.00, junior £1.00

Plymouth Argyle, Tuesday 17th July, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

adult £8.00, senior/student £4.00, junior £1.00

Cardiff City, Saturday 21st July, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

adult £8.00, senior/student £4.00, junior £1.00

Ticket office hours are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on weekdays and the office will also be open on the respective match-days up until kick-off (with the final hour reserved for sales and collections for the day's match only). Call in person or phone 01935 847888.


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12 July 2007 : Football League Currently Has Only 71 Clubs
There's little doubt that the Football League is absolutely furious about the shambolic mess that the Leeds United affair has become. And also little doubt where they suspect the blame lies. The official statement released by the Football League this afternoon drips annoyance and scarcely disguised anger.

The Football League states that ahead of today's meeting of the governing board it was asked by what they witheringly term the "reported purchasers", i.e. Ken Bates and any relevant sidekicks, to transfer Leeds United's share in The Football League to them. The administrators, KPMG, had arranged to attend the meeting, but late yesterday afternoon informed the Football League that they would not be turning up, with no explanation provided as to why.

The Board has therefore refused the request. Leeds United is thus not a member club of the Football League at this time. Instead the Football League has demanded the administrators present certain documentation and assurances regarding the sale of the club. The Board also requires evidence of certainty of outcome on the current legal proceedings surrounding the administration.

In addition, the Board expressed and minuted concerns at the handling of the whole process by the administrators. The Football League chairman, Lord Mawhinney, was instructed by the meeting to obtain legal advice in regards to various issues.

The Board stated it would convene again to reconsider the share transfer, when it has been provided with all the information it requires.


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12 July 2007 : Lindy Makes Cheltenham Switch
Former Yeovil Town player Andy Lindegaard has now been officially confirmed as a Cheltenham Town signing. He has verbally agreed a two year contract at Whaddon Road after being released by the Glovers over the summer, and the move will allow him to continue to play at League One level.

Speaking to their official site, Robins manager John Ward said of the deal:

"I'm really pleased that we are able to add Andy to our squad. He is a player with plenty of experience at this level having played nearly 200 first team games for Yeovil. Andy is also an adaptable player who can play at full-back or in midfield and that is important to us. His character is also one that will fit in with the players we have here already. At 26 he is a good age and we are looking forward to working with him over the next two years."

The very best of luck to Andy in settling in at Cheltenham, and in 44 out of his forthcoming 46 league games this season.


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12 July 2007 : Gray Linked With Orient Move
This morning's Western Daily Press is reporting on suggestions that Wayne Gray could be the latest player on his way out of Huish Park this summer.

Despite reaching the League One play-off final, the Glovers have so far seen eleven of last season's squad leave the club, with the seven players released at the end of last season being added to by Paul Terry (Leyton Orient), Jean-Paul Kalala (Oldham Athletic), Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest) and Arron Davies (Nottingham Forest).

Leyton Orient are again the club involved, with the East Londoners having already made some fairly detailed enquiries about the striker. Whether Gray leaves the club or not will apparently depend upon squad numbers. At present the Glovers are still very thin in the wide positions on the park, with just teenagers Ishmael Welsh and Jerahl Hughes available as specialist wingers, meaning that both Gray and Lee Morris could be asked to play a role in those positions this coming season. However, with Morris yet to pen a deal, any agreement to sell Gray, who was Yeovil's top scorer last season, would undoubtedly hinge on manager Russell Slade having confidence in being able to line up a quick replacement.

With Gray still having a year left to run on his current deal, the Glovers would no doubt expect Orient to cough up a significant fee, but it would appear the answer given back to Brisbane Road has been a "maybe" rather than an outright "no". Matters could change if Morris signs his deal and assistant boss Steve Thompson told the paper that was now looking more likely:

"He is closer to signing a new contract now than he was at the start of the week."


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11 July 2007 : Staggering Decision By KPMG
Administrators KPMG kept up their bizarre performance in the Leeds United affair by announcing today they would sell the club to Ken Bates.

KPMG employee and joint administrator Richard Fleming said :

The approved deal represents the best result for creditors in the circumstances and we believe provides the club with the best chance of survival.

With rival bidders Simon Franks and Simon Morris revealing their offer was sixteen and a half million pounds, plus a commitment to invest twenty million pounds over the next two and a half years, Fleming's view on what was the best result for both creditors and the club seems wildly at variance with the likely facts. Conveniently however the matter will be difficult to prove for a while as KPMG has stated the details of the winning bid will not be disclosed for several months. We'll take a punt that Bates will be revealing as little as he has to in the meantime as well.

The Football League Board will be addressing the matter tomorrow, and will have to decide whether to pass the new 'Leeds United' the share that signifies membership of the Football League and allows the club to start the 2007-08 season. Given the chaotic implications if they don't we'd guess the board will take the line of least resistance. There is speculation, however, that they may also insist that a formal CVA is set up. If they do then the whole mess is almost back to square one.

What Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will decide to do, presuming Bates hasn't suddenly and hugely upped his bid, as they see their money snatched away again, is not yet known.


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11 July 2007 : Reserve Fixtures Out
The fixtures for the Pontin's Holidays Combination Wales & West Division have been released. Yeovil Town Reserves will start off on Wednesday 22nd August at home to Swindon Town. The Glovers will be one of only three clubs playing their fixtures in the afternoon.

Wednesday 22nd August 2007, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Swindon Town at Huish Park
Tuesday 11th September 2007, 2.00 p.m., Plymouth Argyle v Yeovil Town at Home Park
Wednesday 19th September 2007, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Exeter City at Huish Park
Wednesday 17th October 2007, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Cheltenham Town at Huish Park
Monday 22nd October 2007, 7.00 p.m., Bristol Rovers v Yeovil Town at Memorial Stadium
Wednesday 31st October 2007, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Swansea City at Huish Park
Tuesday 13th November 2007, 7.00 p.m., A.F.C. Bournemouth V Yeovil Town at Dean Court
Wednesday 28th November 2007, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Bristol City at Huish Park
Monday 3rd December 2007, 7.30 p.m., Forest Green Rovers v Yeovil Town at The New Lawn
Tuesday 18th December 2007, 7.00 p.m., Cheltenham Town v Yeovil Town at Whaddon Road
Wednesday 9th January 2008, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Bristol Rovers at Huish Park
Wednesday 16th January 2008, 7.00 p.m., Swansea City v Yeovil Town at Port Talbot
Wednesday 23rd January 2008, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v A.F.C. Bournemouth at Huish Park
Wednesday 6th February 2008, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Forest Green Rovers at Huish Park
Wednesday 13th February 2008, 7.00 p.m., Bristol City v Yeovil Town at Ashton Gate
Tuesday 19th February 2008, 2.00 p.m., Swindon Town v Yeovil Town at County Ground
Wednesday 27th February 2008, 2.00 p.m., Yeovil Town v Plymouth Argyle at Huish Park
Tuesday 18th March 2008, 7.00 p.m., Exeter City v Yeovil Town at St James Park

Reserve fixtures are notoriously subject to time and venue changes. Ciderspace always does its best to keep the list, which is on-line here, up to date.


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11 July 2007 : FA Women's Cup
The round dates for the F.A. Women's Cup 2007-08 are as follows :

Preliminary Round - Sunday 2nd September, 2007
First Round Qualifying - Sunday 16th September, 2007
Second Round Qualifying - Sunday 30th September, 2007
Third Round Qualifying - Sunday 7th October, 2007
First Round Proper - Sunday 28th October, 2007
Second Round Proper - Sunday 11th November, 2007
Third Round Proper - Sunday 2nd December, 2007
Fourth Round Proper - Sunday 6th January, 2008
Fifth Round Proper - Sunday 27th January, 2008
Sixth Round Proper - Sunday 10th February, 2008
Semi-Final - Sunday 9th March, 2008
Final - Monday 5th May, 2008

So far 252 teams that have applied to enter, including Yeovil Town. Fifty-four of the clubs named so far are entering the competition for the first time. Entries have not yet closed. The list as it currently stands can be seen here.

As a Combination League team Yeovil Town are exempt until the First Round Proper. At present forty-five teams are exempt to the First Round Proper, twenty-four to the Third Round Proper and twelve to the Fourth Round Proper. Details can be found here.


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11 July 2007 : Bircham Turned Down Leeds For Glovers
New signing Marc Bircham has admitted that he had a long list of clubs he could have signed for when he was mulling over where to take his career next. The former Queen's Park Rangers man could have signed a contract with many other clubs, including AFC Bournemouth, his local side Luton Town and former Premiership giants Leeds United. Yet he told BBC Somerset Sound that he rejected that trio to sign for the Glovers after being impressed with what the manager to say, despite Luton being the easier option:

"I spoke to a few clubs and it was a big decision because Luton came in at the last minute and they are just round the corner from me. They train only 10 minutes from here. So it was a big decision, but I was really impressed with Russell, really impressed with the club and they did really well last year and I think that they can kick on and get to the next level. I've got promoted from this division twice, so hopefully it will be third time lucky as well."

Bircham has been promoted from this level of football with both Millwall and QPR and said that his arrival at Yeovil Town was very similar to a situation he encountered at Loftus Road, where Rangers had to pick themselves up after the disappointment of a play-off final defeat:

"It is very similar to my first year at QPR where we got to the play-off final and we lost to Cardiff. It was very important that we went out and won it next year, so we didn't have a play-off hangover. The lads are in good spirits and so if we can start well then that will be a major thing for us."

The Glovers are fast becoming 'QPR Old Boys' with Bircham the third such player to sign up with the club in the past 12 months but those were not the only two faces that he recognised:

"Matty Rose and Terrell, I obviously know. I've known Lloyd (Owusu) because we've played in the same area in London so I've known him for a good few years. I've played against Stewie (Marcus Stewart) as well, so there are a few familiar faces."

The midfielder has been a high profile player since dying his hair various shares, in particular the blue and white hoops to reflect his club colours whilst at Rangers, and he explained the background to that and why he got rid of it:

"That was at QPR, and it all started off with a bet between myself and Kevin Gallen. Then the manager asked me to get rid of it because it was getting a bit too much attention and I was getting too many bookings. So I got rid of it, but then I started getting letters and petitions from fans saying that their kids had dyed their hair, but then I'd changed it and they didn't know what to do. So I kept on adding back in little bits and little more bits throughout the season and then I started to see it as a 'lucky' thing. In the end I had so many different styles. I got sponsored with it for two years, so that was quite good! Then my brother got married and I was the best man, and so I had to change it all for the pictures and I just felt that it was nice being normal again."

Marc is also a Canadian full international, with 17 caps and one goal to his name, although he doesn't expect that to be a problem with Yeovil Town as he doesn't have immediate plans to play again for the country that he qualified for through his grandfather:

"I've sort of retired from Canada, because it was a lot of travelling. Especially with me having a family I was missing a lot of the summer holidays. We were only getting six weeks off, but I was away for three of those with Canada. We weren't really going to win the World Cup, so I've just put that on the back burner. I'd never say never though, so you never know I could go back and play for them."

Manager Russell Slade was obviously delighted to have got hold of a new midfielder so quickly after seeing two of last season's squad leave late last week:

"He is a great signing for us. He's been there, seen it, done it. He has just turned 29 years old, so there is plenty left in him and he has got plenty to prove and he wants to prove that he is still a very good player."

Russell also added that he considered the recruitment of Bircham to be a benefit to the squad in terms of the overall experience it would give the club:

"There is a little bit more experience in the side and that little bit more maturity that it will give us, with the likes of Marcus Stewart, Nathan Jones, Skivo and Mildy. We are becoming a very mature side. Marc gives us tremendous experience. He is a very enthusiastic player. He loves the game, loves playing and can be a thorn in the side of the opposition. He will give us that maturity and that little bit of savvy in midfield. He will be a good recruit for us."


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11 July 2007 : Lindy Stars In Cheltenham Friendly
Former Yeovil Town player Andy Lindegaard looks to be heading for League One rivals Cheltenham Town after he impressed significantly in a pre-season friendly at Twerton Park last night. Lindy set up one goal and scored another, playing 58 minutes in a match that saw the Robins easily overcome non-league minnows Bath City by a 4-0 scoreline.

Whilst Lindy often figured for Yeovil as a right-back, Cheltenham manager John Ward is mindful that he has another former Glover Jerry Gill playing there plus Andy Gallinagh playing in a left-back position. However, with the exception of central defence and goalkeeper, Lindy played every position on the park for the Glovers and so Ward has told the Western Daily Press that he is more tempted to use him in the right-wing position where he made his Glovers first-team debut seven years ago:

"I have invited Andy up for training on (last) Thursday and I will speak to him on Wednesday (today). He has got nearly 200 games under his belt and is a bright boy and has got plenty of appeal. I know he can play at both left and right-back. I have got Andy Gallinagh and Jerry Gill to play there and I am committed to those guys. . But it is interesting to see Andy play further up and he has said he is interested in considering that. We did that with Brian Wilson when he arrived and maybe Andy can do the same. I have instigated this with a phone call, knowing he was still available."


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10 July 2007 : Two Additional Friendlies
Can't wait until 14th July? The website of Gillingham Town has two matches against Yeovil Town sides advertised. The first is on Thursday 12th July versus a Glovers Under 18 team. Kick-off is 7.30 p.m.

The second, on Monday 16th July, also kicking off at 7.30 p.m., is against an unspecified Yeovil eleven, but presumably likely to be one with a Reserve appearance.

Both are billed as being against Gillingham's First Team. They play at Hardings Lane on the eastern edge of the town. Click here for a map. The ground has a clubhouse.


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10 July 2007 : Play-off Final Dates
The dates for the 2007-08 Football League Play-off Finals are :

Championship - Saturday 24th May, 2008

League One - Sunday 25th May, 2008

League Two - Monday 26th May, 2008


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10 July 2007 : Bircham Agrees Two Year Deal
This morning's Western Daily Press states that former Queen's Park Rangers midfielder Marc Bircham (see yesterday's news) has verbally agreed a two year contract with the Glovers after yesterday's talks went to plan.

Bircham will be joining up at the boot camp at RAF Honington in Suffolk where the players are participating in various forces-oriented exercises until Friday. Manager Russell Slade has said of the first day's work:

"It's good character building. Everything we do this week will help foster team spirit and, of course, the physical training gets them in shape. We've taken the players out of their comfort zone and they are working hard but they will see the benefits."

Update: 1.00pm: Marc's signing has now been officially confirmed as above. For a full profile of the midfielder, see yesterday's news. Welcome aboard Marc!


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9 July 2007 : You 'Orrible Lot ...
Yeovil Town's squad endured the Monday morning early alarm call from hell when they woke up at RAF Honington in Suffolk today in the first full day of an RAF boot camp designed to get their fitness levels up as part of a pre-season training regime. The team will be there until they return to Somerset just before they face Premiership side Portsmouth on Saturday. BBC Radio Bristol have sent Chris Spittles to the camp so that he can laugh at watch the team being put through their paces and he put out a report tonight giving an idea of what has gone on during the day.

The squad were woken at 5.00am by a traditional friendly greeting from a kindly Butlins Camp RAF chappie who gently persuaded the horrible miserable lot our trusty braves to go for a nice little march into the parade area where they were told by the genial camp host how lovely they looked this morning.

After an hour's worth of marching around the parade area, the squad moved on for some breakfast, but that was followed by a move into the gym. The squad were then subjected to a bleep test, where players are baselined against their previous season's results. As is a common pattern in the squad's fitness tests Nathan Jones came out on top in the bleep tests. That was then followed by how many press-ups the team could do in a minute, and then how many sit-ups they could do in a minute. Like the bleep test, Nathan once again proved that he was top dog amongst his team-mates.

After some further gym exercises, the squad were put back into their combat gear, where they were taught how to drive army vehicles. An obstacle course was set up using cones, and obviously the object of the exercise was to take the vehicles out and slalom through the cones, with the end of the exercise resulting in each player having to reverse the vehicle into a garage, marked up with cones on either side.

Whilst all of the players managed to hit a cone or two along the way, it was Anthony Barry who seemed to be on a mission to flatten every cone in the camp. Anthony's performance resulted in the commander in charge of the exercise giving him a nice little tour of the perimeter of the RAF base that took 45 minutes to lap the whole camp.

Tonight, the squad have been given a slight token of rest, having headed off to Mildenhall to watch the dog racing there. No doubt that Steve Mildenhall will be paying homage to the town that bears his name whilst he is there.

In other news, it was revealed that former Queen's Park Rangers midfielder Marc Bircham is definitely in contract talks with the club (see news from earlier today). The BBC believe him to be a midfielder with a high workrate who is a strong tackler in the centre of midfield.


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9 July 2007 : Bircham Linked With Glovers
This morning's Western Daily Press is linking the Glovers with a move for former Queen's Park Rangers midfielder Marc Bircham.

He was released by the West London side at the end of last season and has since had a trial for Canadian side Toronto. Although born in Brent in North-West London, the 29 year old has adopted Canada as his national country, due to his grandfather hailing from Winnipeg. He has made 17 international appearances for his 'home' country, and managed his only international goal on his debut against Northern Ireland in Belfast, amusingly prior to even setting foot on Canadian soil.

He started his career in 1996 with Millwall, spending six seasons there, making 121 appearances and scoring four goals. He was part of the Millwall side that managed promotion to Division One (Tier Two - now the Championship) in the 2000-2001 season. He had chances to move to Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic but turned both offers down.

Marc then moved onto Queen's Park Rangers, who are also the team he supports, going on to make 167 appearances and scoring 7 goals. He was part of the QPR side that gained promotion to the Championship in the 2003-04 season.

Marc is described as a holding midfielder, meaning that any interest from the club is likely to be related to the departures of Paul Terry and Jean-Paul Kalala over the summer.

He lives near the Shendish estate in Hemel Hempstead. His release from Loftus Road is linked to a back injury he sustained in January 2007 that was also causing hamstring problems, and he only made one further appearances for Rangers. At the time Bircham said of the injury:

"I'm gutted. I hope I haven't played my last game for the club, but it looks like I have. I should know more next week, but at this stage it's a case of waiting to see what the specialist says. It's been troubling me for a while and considering the pain I've been in, when I've played I don't think I've done too badly. I really wanted to play on and avoid having the operation, but when I came off on against Southampton on Saturday I realised I couldn't delay it any longer."

Marc obviously knows defenders Matthew Rose and Terrell Forbes well from their spells at Loftus Road, and so it would be no surprise if their past connections with the midfielder had brought him to manager Russell Slade's attention.

The WDP also state that Yeovil Town's bid for Huddersfield Town winger Danny Schofield (see July 6th news) was priced at 50,000 pounds. The Terriers immediately turned down the bid, and boss Andy Ritchie has accused Yeovil of merely "trying their luck" when he gave reaction to the Huddersfield press:

"There’s no way I’m letting him go. Yeovil were just dabbling and trying their luck, like a lot of clubs do."


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9 July 2007 : Alcock And Clarke Sign Up
Former Youth Team pair Craig Alcock and Tom Clarke have agreed deals that will keep them at the club for the coming season.

Striker Tom Clarke, who played for both the Youth Team and Reserve Team and made his first team debut against Gillingham on the last day of the League One 2006-07 season, has signed a six month contract with the club. Tom also had a loan spell with Taunton Town last season.

Right-back Craig Alcock, who had loan spells with Tiverton, Taunton Town and Weston-Super-Mare last season, has signed a one year extension to his contract with the Glovers.


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8 July 2007 : Reserve Rumblings Continue
Championship Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Holloway has continued the discontent that is surfacing about the level of opposition in the Football League's reserve structure (see Ciderspace, 22nd and 23rd June).

Cardiff City have already withdrawn from the Pontin's Holidays Combination for the 2007-08 campaign, citing the paucity of some opposition, and despite last season's basement finishers Weymouth not being invited back, a late entry from Forest Green Rovers was allowed (see 3rd July).

Forest Green will be one of two Blue Square Conference Premier clubs in the Wales and West Division, along with Exeter City. Holloway expressed his concern that the Combination did not offer a competitive enough challenge for the Pilgrims and stated he was planning to arrange a series of reserve team friendlies next season to provide a sterner test. As a result, the club's under-18s may be seen fulfilling Argyle's fixtures in the Combination on occasion.

It has to be said that in our opinion Holloway has delusions of grandeur. With Bristol City promoted to the Championship, Yeovil Town and Swansea City serious challengers in League One last season, and AFC Bournemouth, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town and Swindon Town all remaining or becoming League One clubs for the forthcoming campaign, the Wales and West Division doesn't look the bunch of pub teams Holloway might have it to be.

The fixtures will be released on Tuesday 10th July, with the opening games expected to be in the week beginning 20th August.


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8 July 2007 : Bates Threatens His Own Legal Action
Yesterday evening Ken Bates made his first statement since last Tuesday on the Leeds United affair. Caring as he does for the interests of fans he chose the medium of Yorkshire Radio, which he owns, and which required a subscription to listen to its master's voice. Thus Ciderspace, cheapskate as ever, has waited until someone else has paid to hear what Bates had to say : thanks Sporting Life.

Bates confirmed that he was still in the frame, and would be putting in a bid by the new deadline of 5.00 p.m., Monday 9th July.

We have amended it twice to try and meet the Inland Revenue's objections and now we've withdrawn the conditionality of it, so it's now unconditional.

We believe in fact our offer is valid. Therefore it should be the only one to be accepted. So there's a problem and a possibility that if the administrator goes down another route then there could be further legal battles.

At the moment it's a very unhappy situation, it's unnecessary. At the moment we are precluded from signing players. We're just in limbo.


As with much of what Bates says this is not quite true. As Leeds are now, through sales and releases, down to seventeen registered players the Football League has confirmed its rules state that they can engage in the transfer market. Clubs in Leeds position can deal until they reach the maximum number of twenty players on the books.

Bates continued :

It must all be very worrying for the fans and it's very worrying for the staff. They're just ordinary people wondering if they've got a job or not. If it's not funded by someone the administrators will have to close the club down because they're not allowed to, if you like, trade and borrow money, so the answer would be bankruptcy.

Leeds United is not short of potential buyers. Redbus Group headed by Simon Franks, and local property developer Simon Morris and his consortium, have already stated they will bid. Now Adam Pearson, who was formerly commercial director at Elland Road, then chairman at Hull City before selling that club for £10 million, is expected to enter the fray, backed by Internet multi-millionaire Peter Wilkinson.


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8 July 2007 : Busy Day Ahead For Football League Board
The Football League Board is set to meet next Thursday, 12th July. The first item on the agendum is likely to be the on-going mess that is Leeds United. However it is reported that it will also be considering the situation of Queens Park Rangers, and whether they are in serious breach of League rules.

This story has been running since early May 2007, when it came to light that QPR had entered a loan agreement with Simon Blitz, chairman of League One Oldham Athletic. Although the £500,000 sum was a personal loan from Blitz, allegedly secured against the potential future sale of Rangers winger Lee Cook, early investigation by the Football League revealed that the required Football Association permission for such a deal to take place, in a case carrying possible implications of conflict of interest and dual involvement, had not been sought or given. QPR were thus instructed to repay the loan immediately. QPR declared that this had been done, however it recently emerged that their cheque had in fact bounced.

QPR chairman Gianni Paladini now says another cheque has been issued :

"We paid the cheque to Oldham on Friday [6th July]. I can tell you now that everything is satisfactory.

The Football League will doubtless be interested in whether this cheque clears, why two months have passed by since QPR initially claimed the matter had been settled, and the differences in the stories of QPR, who say this was a gesture of good faith from Blitz as a prelude to his possible take over of the club for £10 million, and Blitz who says it had no bearing on Oldham Athletic and his position there as chairman.

A Football League source said :

We have unlimited powers to take an acceptable course of action in the case.

However, despite a Sunday paper writing today in dramatic terms about possible points deductions or relegations, Ciderspace would expect no more than a bit of wrist-slapping to result. Such matters are harder to predict at present, however, with the football authorities beginning to show a greater inclination to take rule breaking more seriously, after years of adopting the 'Three Monkeys' approach to these things.


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6 July 2007 : Bids By Monday
If you fancy buying your own League One football club on the cheap - though not as cheap as Ken Bates thought he was getting away with - Leeds United is back on the market as of this evening.

A spokesman for the administrators, KPMG said :

We are putting the club up for sale and offers must be in by 5.00 p.m. on Monday and we are interested in talking to other parties.

This "other parties" presumably means 'as well as Ken Bates', since previously he was the only party KPMG was talking to. Whether Bates will even place a bid, now the stakes have been raised with other consortia stating they were prepared to offer around 20p in the pound first time around, remains to be seen.


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6 July 2007 : Two Loose Ends Tidied Up
Further to our news items concerning Scott Guyett (July 5th) and Matthew Rose (June 30th) concerning their agreement to sign contracts at Huish Park, it has now been officially confirmed that both have put pen to paper on new deals.

Scott signed a two year deal at the club a day or two ago, whilst Matthew has agreed to stay at the club for another 12 months. The club have also now officially confirmed a 12 month deal for Jerahl Hughes that was signed earlier in the week (see July 4th news).

There is currently no word on the plans of Lee Morris, who has returned to Huish Park for training but has not agreed a deal with the club yet.


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6 July 2007 : Owusu Signs
Lloyd Owusu, who has been training at Huish Park for a few days, has been offered and accepted a one year deal.

Russell Slade has made no secret he's been hunting this summer for a big target man to lead the line. In truth Owusu may not have been his preferred choice, but credit to the player that he's done enough to convince the manager that he's worth a contract. One area where Slade may have wanted his mind set at rest with some rigorous training sessions and a thorough medical, is Owusu's fitness. An injury kept the Ghanaian international out of the game for eleven months, and he only managed seven appearances last season for Brentford, with no goals, and the London club let him go as they dropped into League Two.

Ghana are one of the more powerful footballing nations on the continent of Africa, having reached the Final of the African Nations Cup seven times, winning on four occasions. They are hosting the competition in 2008, and it remains to be seen whether Yeovil Town will lose Owusu for about a month in January/February. He was a somewhat unexpected call-up to the 2006 World Cup squad, but his injury in a pre-tournament friendly put paid to his chances of appearing in the finals in Germany. Now thirty, and after that long injury break, it may be his international moment has gone.

We wish him all the best for the forthcoming season with the Glovers.


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6 July 2007 : Leeds Date In Court Set
Mr Justice Patten today set the date of the challenge by HM Revenue & Customs against the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposed by Leeds United Football Club Limited for Monday 3rd September. The hearing is expected to last around five days.

However it is doubtful whether the matter will ever reach that stage. Louis Doyle, barrister for adminstrators KPMG, trotted out a sob story in court about how the HMRC's appeal would mean Leeds would be unable to start the 2007-08 season, and thus by implication cease to exist :

The cessation of these proceedings [the original CVA] will actually stop Leeds playing at the start of the season. It remains to be seen what approach the League may take to that.

Odd then that no one, including the administrators, made any representations to try and get matters expedited by the start of the season on 11th August. Former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner, who has been acting as a spokesman for some of the smaller creditors, had a ready explanation as to why the emotional blackmail from the Bates camp and representatives of the administrators was just that. He stated his belief it would not come to court, hence the doom laden prouncements not fitting with the ready acceptance of a date three weeks into the season :

My personal belief, and it's well-founded, is that this will never come to that hearing in September and that all matters will be sorted well before then. That date has been put there as a backstop to give breathing space for the parties going forward and come up with a very pragmatic solution.

They
[KMPG] should use the buyback clause in the agreement to take control of the club next week for £1.00. They should give all interested figures, and I include Mr Bates here, the chance to make a final sealed bid within say five or six days. The administrators would then look at the best bid, inform the Inland Revenue, who have an interest and they would go to court with a view to accepting that bid and having it sanctioned by the court. They will, of course, have to bring the Football League onside at that stage.

He also said that at least two parties other than Bates were still in the field of runners, and might join forces :

It is possible that two of the figures will get together and put in one gigantic bid. It is a possibilily that has been discussed. Even if that doesn't happen, the funds that are available are much more substantial than we've heard in the CVA... tens of millions. I believe that the ownership question will be sorted out by the start of the season.

Redbus Group chief executive Simon Franks and local property developer Simon Morris reiterated their continuing interest yesterday.

The biggest threat to the future of the club comes from Bates himself, should he decide to play the dog in the manger and try to take the club down with him. Bates claimed that if a case was brought his company Leeds United Football Club Limited would stop meeting the running costs of the club :

If there is a legal challenge it could take two or three months to get to court and be decided. In the meantime, who is going to pay to run the club? So far it's been funded by the 'new Leeds' but if there is a challenge the 'new Leeds' won't do it because it's a risk. The implications are that the club would close down.

The administrators, who are legally obliged not to run up any more debt, could indeed at that point start the process of winding the club up. However, despite Bates' scare stories of liquidation, a more likely course of action to meet short-term running costs is for the administrators to sell off about the only assets the club has left, some of the players. The Football League has already given permission for the sale of players, though the embargo on any inward movement remains.

The Football League’s new Board, elected last Friday, will meet to discuss the Yorkshire club’s situation next week.


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6 July 2007 : Cohen and Davies Gone - OFFICIAL
The transfer of midfielders Chris Cohen and Arron Davies to fellow League One side Nottingham Forest has been made official this afternoon.

Cohen has been given a four year contract, whilst Davies has been given a three year deal. Predictably the transfer fee is "undisclosed" although both the Western Daily Press and earlier suggestions on the rumourmill earlier in the week pitch the deal as being worth around one million pounds to Yeovil Town.

Arron arrived in December 2004 as a direct replacement to the outgoing Gavin Williams, signing from Southampton and quickly established himself as a similar sort of player, scoring on his debut against Leyton Orient. He clocked up 114 appearances and 27 goals in two and a half seasons, with his finest hour being against Nottingham Forest during last season's play-off semi-final when his tireless running saw him score two goals in a 5-2 win at the City Ground that took the Glovers to Wembley.

Chris arrived on loan during November 2005 from West Ham United as temporary cover for Darren Way, who had been suffering shin problems that eventually led to a lengthy layoff with a stress fracture. When Way left for Swansea City, Cohen extended his loan stay eventually picking up a mass of end of season awards for his performances. A near ever-present during his time with the Glovers, he managed 82 appearances and eight goals.

Both will leave a massive hole in manager Russell Slade's first team squad and there is little doubt that he will need to bring in direct replacements for the pair during pre-season.

The very best of luck to Arron and Chris for the effort they put in over the past two or three years, and above all thank you for the memories of last season.


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6 July 2007 : Schofield Knockback For Glovers
Perhaps recognising that he is about to lose two of his midfielders, manager Russell Slade has attempted to lure Huddersfield Town winger Danny Schofield to Huish Park, but have received an immediate rebuttal by the Yorkshire club.

Scofield has been with the Terriers for nine years, but boss Andy Ritchie told his club's official site there was no chance of that coming to an end:

"We've had an enquiry about Danny Schofield from Yeovil, but I've knocked it back straight away. They wanted to buy Danny and they were talking about a nominal fee, but that didn't make any difference as I don't want to sell him. I've spoken to Danny about it and he was quite happy that we wanted him here and didn't consider accepting the bid for a second."

Schofield is a player that fits into the Arron Davies mould, in that he can either play on the wing, as an attacking midfielder or as a striker, and so if today's earlier news is officially confirmed, it doesn't take too much imagination to work out where Russell's mind is going.


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6 July 2007 : Davies And Cohen Exit Looms
It's been pretty much on the rumourmill since last weekend, and is certainly not the best kept secret at Huish Park, but it is now growing ever more likely that midfielders Arron Davies and Chris Cohen will be heading out of Huish Park.

Earlier in the week it was Leicester City that was allegedly their destination, but nothing appeared to come out of that, with rumours that the Foxes couldn't come up with a suitable package to tempt the pair.

The latest rumour is that Nottingham Forest is their destination, and this morning's Western Daily Press feels sure enough about this to suggest that a fee in the region of one million pounds has been agreed between the two clubs, and that they are off for their medicals today.

Sell-on clauses for the pair to both Southampton and West Ham United, 40% in the case of the latter, will mean that the Glovers will not see as much of that money as they'd like to, if such a deal is concluded, but the main headache will be that manager Russell Slade would have to replace two key players just before the squad depart for a week in an RAF training camp.

Throughout the week there has been no direct comment made by the club on the situation, so this is by no means confirmed, but it seems more than likely now that this particular rumour does have legs to it.

Watch this space.


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5 July 2007 : Rose Prefers HP To US
It emerges Matthew Rose turned down a chance of playing in the United States when he chose to stay at Huish Park.

Rose played with Steve Morrow, who is now manager at Dallas F.C., at both Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers, and spent the summer mulling over a move to the Major League Soccer in America to join up with Morrow.

I did think about going abroad because I am coming to the latter stages of my career. And it is still something I would like to do at a later date. I know Steve Morrow really well, having played with him at two clubs, and I did speak to him about playing in America.

It's as much about my kids as me because I think it would be a good life experience for them to live out there for a bit. But in the end I decided that I wanted to stay in England, especially after experiencing Wembley with Yeovil in May. I wouldn't have got that in America and hopefully there is still time for me to go out there, but for now I want to be with Yeovil.

Having come so close to promotion last season, we all really want to make it happen this time and I want to be a part of that.


Manager Russell Slade was keen to retain Rose, stressing his versatility; a versatility the player believes is a bit of a two-edged sword. He was entitled to a new contract with Yeovil Town if he wished, through a clause written into the deal he signed last season if he passed an appearance mark.

I knew that the contract was there for me if I wanted it. But I wouldn't have stayed if the gaffer didn't want me. I needed to know that I was a part of his plans and fortunately he confirmed that I was, which was nice to hear. I think that my versatility has counted against me at various times in my career, because I've been switched around and never really settled.


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5 July 2007 : Best Sent To Coventry
Former Yeovil Town loan signing Leon Best has signed a three year deal with Championship side Coventry City after turning down a deal to stay with Southampton.

Leon, who enjoyed a highly successful spell at Huish Park last season that saw him knock up 10 goals in 15 appearances, is the second Saints player with Yeovil connections to leave St Mary's. Last month defender Martin Cranie was picked up by Premiership side Portsmouth and so is likely to have an early return to his home town in just over a week's time.

Leon's transfer fee will be set by a football tribunal. Although he was out of contract at St Mary's, his age means that Saints are entitled to a fee.


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5 July 2007 : Interview With Scott Guyett
Despite losing in the League One Play-Off Final in May earlier this year, Yeovil Town defender Scott Guyett has said that he regarded getting to Wembley to be the high point of his career. The Australian was able to persuade his family to make the journey over to London and so from his point of view it was a landmark moment in being able to play at the new stadium.

Speaking to BBC Somerset Sound yesterday, Scott said: "What an end to the season! I couldn't believe it. It was the biggest thing to ever happen in my football career. My mum and dad and brother came over from Australia and it was such a brilliant day. Hopefully we can go one step further this season and get ourselves into the next league."

Read the full interview with Scott Guyett by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.

Link: BBC Somerset Sound Interview With Scott Guyett.


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5 July 2007 : Leeds United Commemorative Badges
Yeovil Town may not be playing Leeds United until October 10th (and if Mr Bates continues his battle with HM Revenue & Customs may not play them at all) but in the meantime, Away Travel Club organiser Mark Kelly has ordered a number of new badges to coincide with the event. Mark writes:

"I have got 100 Yeovil Town v Leeds Utd badges. The badge has been designed to commemorate the first league game between the clubs. They are available in two designs. I am expecting them to sell fast, so if you would like to order any then contact me urgently. They are due to arrive this Friday.

The badges will cost £3.00 each plus P&P.

As with the other badges, they are available on a first come first served basis. To reserve your badge, send a cheque to Mark Kelly @ 39 Mudford Road, Yeovil, BA21 4AE. Please enclose a note stating it is the Leeds Utd badge you are ordering.

Please note, for those who have ordered Yeovil V Blackpool badges, they are due to arrive next week. I will dispatch them to everyone whose orders I have received as soon as they arrive.
"

For further enquiries, contact Mark at Mark kelly@ytisa.freeserve.co.uk


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5 July 2007 : Scott Agrees An Extension
Central defender Scott Guyett has agreed to stay at Huish Park after sorting out terms on a new contract with the Glovers this week. The Australian joined the club during the summer of 2004 and so will be commencing his fourth year at the club.

Scott told BBC Somerset Sound that he was glad to get matters sorted out as this was his preferred option:

"I was keen to stay. I like it down here and I enjoy the club. I think it is a brilliantly run football club. I like the area, and so I didn't want to move. So I am hoping for the same next season, with maybe a few more appearances but we'll see how we go."

Despite his wish to add to the 64 appearances he has made for the club so far, Scott was quick to point out that he would have to perform well to dislodge the regular pairing of club captain Terry Skiverton and the pacey Terrell Forbes:

"Skivo is the club captain and last season I thought him and Forbesy were superb. So there's no point in me going in and seeing the gaffer and I've said that before. Sometimes you've just got to take a step back and think about it and try and be realistic about it."

There is a small difference of opinion in terms of whether ink has actually been put on paper yet. Yesterday's interview with Scott suggested the contract had merely been verbally agreed, whilst this morning's Western Daily Press suggests that contract has now been signed.


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4 July 2007 : Holgate On Trial
Former Swindon Town midfielder Ashan Holgate has been identified as one of an estimated five trialists up at Huish Park this week.

The 20-year-old has spent the last nine years with the Robins after joining the club's Centre of Excellence as an 11-year old but was released last month after failing to break into Paul Sturrock's first-team plans.

He made only three first-team starts for the club and nine further appearances from the bench. However, his main contact with the Glovers has been in Reserve and Youth matches where he has come up against Yeovil on several occasions.

Holgate, who is a tall strong attacking midfielder, also spent loan spells with Basingstoke, Newport County and Macclesfield Town, scoring once in six appearances for the Silkmen this term. He was widely expected to sign for Maccy over the summer, but Paul Ince's departure from Moss Rose to join up with MK Dons has scuppered that move, and so Holgate is on trial at Huish Park whilst he looks to find another club.

Also on the Huish Park training ground is former Brentford striker Lloyd Owusu and an unnamed Portuguese player. Others involved in the pre-season build-up include Youth Team striker Liam Hoader, whilst of course Jerahl Hughes has been signed up this week after he returned to Huish Park this week. His contract length has tonight been confirmed as a one year deal.


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4 July 2007 : Step Up For Ladies
Yeovil Town Ladies face a demanding new season, with more challenging opposition and a longer fixture list, after their promotion to the South West Combination Women's Football League.

Gone are the trips to remoter parts of Cornwall, and various student sides. After all this is the third step of the women's pyramid :

AFC Bournemouth Ladies
Chesham United WFC
Clevedon Town LFC
Forest Green Rovers LFC
Frome Town LFC
Luton Town LFC
Plymouth Argyle Ladies
Queens Park Rangers LFC
Reading FC Women
Southampton Saints WFC
Swindon Town LFC
Yeovil Town LFC

It appears that there will also be a Reserve team playing in the Somerset F.A. Division One, at step six :

Bishops Lydeard LFC
Burnham United LFC
Clevedon Town LFC Reserves
Frome Town LFC Reserves
Ilminster Town LFC
Yeovil Town LFC Reserves


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4 July 2007 : Jerahl Signs Up For Glovers
Yeovil Town have signed up former Crystal Palace winger Jerahl Hughes after he reported for pre-season training at the club yesterday. Jerahl is a product of Crystal Palace's youth academy and spent his time there living in Brighton. He was brought down on trial with three other Palace players during March 2007 and in doing so featured against Weston-Super-Mare in the Somerset Premier Cup.

He was released by Palace in May, and with the Glovers already having had two trial sessions with him last season, they knew enough about him to decide to snap him up, although the contract length has yet to be revealed. Speaking to BBC Somerset Sound, assistant manager Steve Thompson explained:

"He's a winger, but he's very good at popping up in all sorts of positions. He's not one of those who hugs the line all the time. He's one of those who pops up in good positions. He's got good pace and is a good crosser of the ball. With some wingers you find that they don't have a good awareness, but I think that for an 18 year old and as a winger, he's got a good awareness of people around him and I think that should stand him in good stead."

A big welcome to Jerahl, and we hope his stay in Somerset will be a long and successful one.

Update: The contract length has since been confirmed as a one year deal.


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4 July 2007 : Bates Looking For A Lifejacket
Only an hour away from smugly congratulating himself on making a potential killing should he have chosen to cash in a Leeds United suddenly debt free and sail off into the Monaco sunset, HMS Ken Bates has just been torpedoed by HM Revenue & Customs. While its not yet certain whether Bates has suffered terminal damage and is sinking, it is clear that he's dead in the water at present and those waters are rising rapidly. However Bates has proved in the past that rats can swim, and doubtless will be twisting and turning with all his might in the coming days to keep afloat.

Bates is mightly unpopular throughout much of football, and there will be plenty who have no axe to grind against Leeds United itself who would be more than happy to see the back of him. One of his worries will be how much is going to emerge. Although nothing concrete has yet been established, administrators KPMG have raised a lot of suspicion as to whether they were too close to Bates' interests and failed to act in an impartial way. There is speculation that in order to forestall the HMRC legal challenge, with the resulting washing of potentially dirty linen in open court, the administrators themselves may seek a way to withdraw the current CVA, and open up the sale of the club, allowing other bidders, previously ignored, a chance to buy the club. A least one of the five other bids put forward before last month's vote remains on the table. The Redbus Group last night confirmed its continued interest.

This would then raise the spectre of Astor Investment Holdings, the off-shore company who hold over 25% of the debt, and thus can block any deal - which needs 75% acceptance. It was this company, controlled by anonymous personnel, which stated it would vote down any offer other than one from Bates, thus allowing him to offer the minimum one penny in the pound as there was no alternative allowed to come to the table. The administrators claimed they had diligently searched for any connection between AIH and Bates, and that none existed. Bates made a sworn affidavit there was no connection. Oddly, despite all this diligence, creditors found a connection simply by looking in the published accounts of Leeds United. The Bates camp then hastily asserted that this connection was now in the past. (Ciderspace, 2nd June.)

It is understood that the role of AIH, and questionmarks over whether the company had any connection with Mr Bates, will form part of HMRC's legal challenge. If such connections did emerge then matters would get very interesting. First, if AIH continued to block other parties from taking over and saving Leeds United then it would be Bates who would be responsible for destroying the club. Secondly he would be open to charges of conspiracy to defraud.

Another aspect HMRC intend to challenge is the late emergence of a £480,000 debt to a radio station, as it happens set up by Bates last year, which hadn't appeared on the original list of creditors. It was this debt to Yorkshire Radio which took the creditors vote just past the 75% mark.

Another option for Bates, who suddenly found on Monday he could raise his offer to creditors by eight times, would be to raise the offer further to a point where HMRC were prepared to accept and withdraw their case. The best offer any other group was putting forward is worth around twenty pence in the pound. If Bates was to come up with that sort of sum it's possible HMRC might accept out of court, as their first obligation is to get the best settlement possible for the taxpayer. However each increase eats away Bates' potential profits when cashing in the club at a later stage.

Mr Justice Patten will hold a directions hearing at the High Court in Leeds on Friday morning. The case is likely to be adjourned for a later date.

After Bates having said yesterday, prior to the lodging of a legal challenge........

The implications are that the club would close down. It would mean liquidation. Leeds United would cease to exist, and the loss of 500 jobs would be a further drain on government resources.

......... there has now been a complete change of tune :

The club remain confident of a positive outcome and that it will be able to start the 2007-08 season.

The Football League has refused to comment on the situation, but do have wide ranging powers that at one end could see them assisting the club so that it can start the season, and at the other extreme refuse to pass the "share" each member club owns in the League to the new company, in effect terminating Leeds United's membership. The Football League was one of the creditors who voted against the 1p-in-the-pound offer from Bates last month.


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4 July 2007 : Magilton Hopes For Knights Success
Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton has wished outgoing striker Darryl Knights the best of luck in establishing a career with Yeovil Town. Knights signed a one year deal earlier this week after leaving Portman Road, and Magilton has told his club's official site that his own personal experience of dropping down a level to further his career did himself a lot of good.

Magilton chose to go down a level when he left Liverpool for Oxford United, but four years later he returned to top flight football by joining Southampton and so he felt Knights was doing the right thing:

"We all wish Darryl well and it's a good move for him. He's a young lad looking to progress and that means playing first team football every week. We couldn't offer him that at Ipswich, but he did well at Yeovil while on loan there and we hope it works out for him. Sometimes you have to step down to get a foothold in the game. I did the same when I left Liverpool for Oxford. Playing football matches in the first team every week is what it's all about."


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4 July 2007 : Forbes Agrees Contract Extension
Yeovil Town defender Terrell Forbes has agreed in principle a one year contract extension at Huish Park. The former Oldham Athletic man has yet to sign the deal but is expected to do so later this week, according to this morning's BBC Somerset Sound sports bulletin.

The welcome news hopefully draws to a close claims made by the Western Gazette on two consecutive weeks that Forbes had handed in a transfer request, although manager Russell Slade and Chairman John Fry always denied this was the case. More details will doubtless follow later on in the week.

Matthew Rose put pen to paper on his new one year deal with the club yesterday.

Matty has now signed his contract, so he's with us next season which is good news. His versatility is very valuable to the squad, said Slade, speaking to the Western Daily Press.

Scott Guyett has still not signed his new one year contract, but there are no indications this is problematic, with the club taking the line this will go through shortly.


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3 July 2007 : HM Revenue & Customs To Take On Bates
We were wondering why Ken Bates suddenly had a pang of conscience and, late yesterday, plucked a better deal from out of the air for the creditors he'd previously stitched up with a one penny in the pound settlement of debts.

It could have been that his heart strings had been tugged by the thought of small businesses crippled which suddenly inspired him to find an offer of eight pence in the pound, plus an extension of the offer of an extra £5m to creditors should Leeds United return to the Premiership from five years to ten years. Bates also generously offered not to cash in his profits after six months by saying he wouldn't sell the club on before the end of the 2007-08 season at the earliest. All this was stated as being conditional on no one making a legal challenge.

The other possibility was that Bates' sources had given him advanced notice that HM Revenue & Customs had decided to go to court, so he was getting in his window dressing early, knowing he wouldn't have to cough up when the legal challenge did appear, whilst trying to cast the taxman into the position of bad guy.

At 3.00 p.m. this afternoon, an hour before the twenty-eight day deadline expired, HM Revenue and Customs lodged their appeal at the High Court. Now his hand has been called it will be interesting to see if Bates follows through his earlier assertion - a nice bit of attempted moral blackmail - that "the consequence will be liquidation and Leeds United will cease to exist" if anyone challenged his buying back of the club out of administration.

A spokesman for administrators KPMG, who have been under some pressure themselves for the way they claimed within hours of Bates putting the club into their hands that his was the only option to purchase they were prepared to consider (only for five other proposals to emerge later), stated they were now considering their options and were not in a position to comment.

We've not had time to study the Inland Revenue's notification yet.

The hearing will begin this coming Friday, 6th July.

As an aside, because of the legal challenge Leeds United remain in limbo. It means that the embargo on any transfer dealings which has been in place for the 28 day period after the CVA was announced will continue until the legal case is resolved.


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3 July 2007 : Reserves Confusion
With the Pontin's Combination AGM having taken place and the line-ups of its three divisions having been announced - see Ciderspace 22nd June - this morning the Forest Green Rovers Official Site has thrown matters into some confusion by announcing that they have reformed a Reserve side, scrapped in 1999, and been accepted into the Football League Combination Wales and West Division for season 2007-08.

They then provide a list of the other members of the Wales and West Division that includes Cardiff City, who have withdrawn as we understand it, and excludes Yeovil Town. For now we'll presume this is merely incompetence on their part, but that at least they are correct in having been accepted as a late entry. After all, they ought to know that. Home matches will be played at the New Lawn.

If no confirmation appears through the Football League in the meantime all should be revealed on 10th July when the fixture list is scheduled to be released.

Update - Now confirmed by the Football League. The revised list is :

AFC Bournemouth, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Exeter City, Forest Green Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Swansea City, Swindon Town, Yeovil Town.


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3 July 2007 : Morris Minor Concerns
Lee Morris will report for training today, but has concerns over the matter of the distance away his young son lives, and his future as a Yeovil Town player is still uncertain.

In a very honest interview with the Western Daily Press Morris frankly admitted that "there hasn't been much interest from elsewhere". He has spent the break back in Derby where his child resides, and explained the difficulties this had caused last season :

I have got a little boy who still lives in Derby who I want to see most weekends. It's quite hard leaving every Saturday after a game and going straight back to Derby and then having to leave again on a Sunday to come back to Yeovil. It's a long, long drive. It's not the easiest place to come to play but the lads are a really good bunch and the manager is a really good bloke to work with.

Of course, whatever problems players have, football clubs have to carry on planning, and Russell Slade has been open about looking for another striker. The uncertainty about Morris will have made decisions more difficult. Discussions with Lloyd Owusu are thought to be continuing, and everyone is aware that David McGoldrick could be available on a season long loan from Southampton. Slade was interested in obtaining his services last term to replace Leon Best, before McGoldrick chose to go on loan at AFC Bournemouth. While Swindon Town have made a public move to secure McGoldrick's services nothing is yet settled.

Morris continued :

I am back in training tomorrow. I am sure I will speak to the manager then. It's never nice when you don't know what is happening with your future plans. Last season was more to do with getting back fit and letting myself believe I can play football again. Now I want to kick on and do a lot better.


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2 July 2007 : Knights Signs
Darryl Knights signed a one year contract at Huish Park this morning.

Already familiar to Glovers fans from his loan spell last season, Knights came up through the Academy at Portman Road, signing professional terms in 2005. He has also represented England at youth level, selected for the Pepsi International Tournament against Italy, Russia and Portugal in 2004, and the UEFA European U17 Championship in 2005.

We hope Darryl settles in at HP and this initial deal is just the start of a longer relationship.


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2 July 2007 : Glovers Contact Smith's Agent
Aberdeen boss Jimmy Calderwood has admitted over the weekend that he is expecting an approach from Yeovil Town for a second of his players, with the Glovers having already held talks with the player's representative.

It's no surprise to find that player is defender Dan Smith, who both former team-mate Gary Dempsey and Yeovil boss Russell Slade have stated is a target for the club.

Smith is, however, still under contract with the Dons for another two years, and Calderwood has told the paper that he has yet to receive contact from Huish Park (and in fact, to split hairs, clearly isn't aware of Russell having already returned from his holidays):

"I have heard of Yeovil's interest and assume they will do something when their manager reports back to the club next week. They have spoken to Dan's agent so it seems they are taking the first steps forward. However, there is still no guarantee anything will happen."

The Sky Sports website are claiming that if Yeovil don't take up their interest in Smith, then Hartlepool United and Darlington are waiting in the wings to stake their claim.


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