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13 July 2018 : EFL Trophy Group Stage : Full Draw For Football League Sides
Earlier today, the EFL Trophy Group Stage draw for the 2018-19 Season was made, for all Football League sides. With the exception of the 'invited clubs' - the Under-21 sides from EPPP Category 1 Academy teams - it is now known which clubs will line up in which group. The remainder of the draw will be done on Wednesday 18th July at 1.00p.m. in the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

The full draw is as follows:

NORTHERN SECTION:
Group A: Carlisle United, Morecambe, Sunderland
Group B: Bury, Fleetwood Town, Rochdale
Group C: Accrington Stanley, Blackpool, Macclesfield
Group D: Crewe Alexandra, Shrewsbury Town, Tranmere Rovers
Group E: Burton Albion, Port Vale, Walsall
Group F: Barnsley, Bradford City, Oldham Athletic
Group G: Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Notts County
Group H: Lincoln City, Mansfield Town, Scunthorpe United

Northern Section 'invited clubs' (the Academy Under-21 sides) are:
1. Everton U21
2. Leicester City U21
3. Manchester City U21
4. Middlesbrough U21
5. Newcastle United U21
6. Stoke City U21
7. West Bromwich Albion U21
8. Wolverhampton Wanderers U21

Newcastle Under-21s will be blocked from being drawn in Group A (Sunderland's Group).

SOUTHERN SECTION:
Group A: Crawley Town, Gillingham, Portsmouth
Group B: Cambridge United, Colchester United, Southend United
Group C: Newport County, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town
Group D: Bristol Rovers, Exeter City, Yeovil Town
Group E: Cheltenham Town, Coventry City, Forest Green Rovers
Group F: Northampton Town, Oxford United, Wycombe Wanderers
Group G: AFC Wimbledon, Charlton Athletic, Stevenage
Group H: Luton Town, Milton Keynes, Peterborough United

Southern Section 'invited clubs' (the Academy Under-21 sides) are:
1. Arsenal U21
2. Brighton & Hove Albion U21
3. Chelsea U21
4. Fulham U21
5. Southampton U21
6. Swansea City U21
7. Tottenham Hotspur U21
8. West Ham United U21

Southampton Under-21s will be blocked from being drawn in Group A (Portsmouth's Group).

Link: EFL Trophy 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

Link: 2018-19 Season Key Dates.


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13 July 2018 : Yeovil Town Drawn Against Grecians And Rovers In EFL Trophy
Yeovil Town have been drawn against Bristol Rovers and Exeter City in the Group Stages of the 2018-19 Football League Trophy. The Football League have published a partial list for the group stages that will take place on Wednesday 18th July in London, where the League will draw out the 'invited clubs' that will complete each group.

The Glovers will form part of the Southern Region Group D, and will end up playing a Grecians side that they played at the same stages last season. Whilst Plymouth Argyle have moved into a different group, the familiar name of Bristol Rovers will replace them, who Yeovil have already faced in the 2001-02, 2011-12 and 2016-17 seasons in the same competition. Those three Football League sides will be joined by one of:

1. Arsenal U21
2. Brighton & Hove Albion U21
3. Chelsea U21
4. Fulham U21
5. Southampton U21
6. Swansea City U21
7. Tottenham Hotspur U21
8. West Ham United U21

The League have already put certain restrictions on the draw in addition to the regionalisation. Southampton Under-21s will be prevented from being drawn in Southern Group A, which houses Portsmouth. Meanwhile in the Northern Section, Newcastle United Under-21s will be barred from being drawn in Northern Group A which houses Sunderland. This has been done to help keep policing costs down during the early stages.

The draw will take place at 1.00p.m. on Wednesday 18th July, with Sky Sports presenter Jim White hosting proceedings. There is no sign of the draw being broadcast live - the League indicate that the output will be shared via social media as it unfolds.


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13 July 2018 : Midweek Trialist Becomes Fifth Signing After Leaving Blackpool
Yeovil Town have made their fifth signing of the summer this afternoon. They have brought in former Blackpool and Barnsley player Sessi D'Almeida who trialled for the club in Tuesday night's game against Swansea City. He has signed a one year contract with the club, that will keep him at Huish Park until the summer of 2019, with the club having an option on the table to extend it for a further year.

Born in Bordeaux on November 20th 1995, he began playing for his home city through their Academy system, playing 33 times for B Team (Development Squad) between 2013 and 2015. He made three appearances for Bordeaux's first team during the second of those seasons. He then moved across and played for Paris St Germain's B Team during 2015-16, making 16 appearances.

D'Almeida went on trial with Barnsley in the summer of 2016, and was given a two year contract. However, he only made three Championship substitute appearances, not helped by him suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury that kept him out for the majority of the 2016-17 season. That led to him dropping a level to play for Blackpool. He made 27 appearances for the Tangerines, with 11 of those being from the bench before being released at the end of the 2017-18 season, and is therefore a free agent.

He is also a Beninese international, making one appearance against Equatorial Guinea in 2015. He has generally played as a defensive or holding midfielder for his clubs so far. However, after confirming his signature, manager Darren Way said that he saw him as a box-to-box midfielder:

"I feel very lucky to make this signing considering Sessi's CV. He's a box-to-box central midfield player who breaks up play and from what I've seen, he plays with steel, determination and is an all-round midfield player - something this football club has been missing. I'm now excited to see this player develop. Welcome to Yeovil, Sessi."

D'Almeida will numerically replace Connor Smith in the squad, who left for Boreham Wood earlier this month. However, with Jake Gray and James Bailey not expected to start the 2018-19 season, there are currently plenty of gaps in the midfield area to be filled.

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


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12 July 2018 : Bailey Goes Under The Knife As Gray Misses Pre-Season
Yeovil Town have provided an update on the availability of injured midfielders Jake Gray and James Bailey. Neither player featured in the opening pre-season friendly against Swansea City, having suffered long term injuries last season. Bailey was injured in a block tackle during the Boxing Day match against Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road, whilst Jake Gray suffered a serious ankle injury ligament injury in the home match against Carlisle United at Huish Park.

Both have been confirmed as missing pre-season, with Jake Gray having travelled up to St George's Park for rehabilitation on his ankle. He is due to be back in action around September. Meanwhile James Bailey has needed further surgery on his knee on Tuesday and was pictured on his Instagram account with a large knee brace. With respect to Bailey the situation is ambiguous - the club say that he "will now be back on the pitch this year", although they do not say when he is expected to return.

James Bailey, pictured after his knee operation
James Bailey, pictured after his knee operation



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12 July 2018 : Darren Way Praises 'Terrific' First Half Swansea Performance
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way praised his players for a 'terrific' first half against Swansea City, despite his side ultimately falling to a 1-2 defeat in their first pre-season friendly. The Tuesday evening fixture saw the Glovers spend much of the match in the lead, after Jordan Green's 25th minute goal that was scored whilst the club had ten contracted players and one trialist on the pitch.

Way told the Western Gazette that he felt the 45 minute period showed what his side had been doing on the training ground and had particular praise for goalscorer Jordan Green's overall performance:

"I played a lot of trialists in the second half, so that's not really much to go on. But the first-half performance was terrific. We've tried to put a strategy in place and when you put a strategy in place you're looking to see it. I thought there were large spells of the game where you could see what we've worked on on the training ground. For me, it was the individual performances. (Jordan) Green - you wouldn't be able to tell whether he was a Swansea player or a Yeovil player. That's really pleasing to see, up against fantastic opposition that's just come out of the Premier League. I was really pleased we passed the ball and when we got back behind the ball we blocked, we tackled and they’re the things you look for to be successful."

The second half ultimately saw all eleven of the first half players replaced, with goalkeeper Stuart Nelson the only one to be given more than 45 minutes. Six trialists were joined by three contracted players, with one player from the Under-18s, and right-back Dan Alfei, who is still training with the club following his release, joining those numbers. Way felt that the trialists had struggled to understand what they needed to be doing, and admitted the trialist goalkeeper could have done better with the winning 90th minute goal:

"I was disappointed with the second goal. I thought we could have done better from a goalkeeper point of view but he's come in, he's on trial, we're having a look at him and we'll have to wait and see what develops. I thought we didn't deserve that. I thought the team put in a fantastic effort. Non-stop running and if we keep building on that we'll be very successful. None of the trialists were familiar to what we do. It's important we just look at them in the game. That was the difference with the first half to the second half. In the first half, you could see what we worked on in the training ground."


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12 July 2018 : Ticketing For Bury vs Yeovil Town
Ticketing information for Yeovil Town's League Two match against Bury is now available. This is the opening match of the 2018-19 season, and wil be played at Gigg Lane on August 4th 2018, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off.

There will be no tickets on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office. However, you can purchase tickets over the internet if you want to, by heading to this page. There will be a small handling charge. Otherwise, this will be a Pay On The Day game with prices set as follows:

Adults: £20.00; Concessions: £14.00; Under-18s: £10.00; Under-16s: £7.00; Under-12s: £5.00; Under-5s: FREE.

Concessions apply to Over-65s, Disabled and Under-23s. The Under-12s price is subject to that person being accompanied by an Adult.

Away supporters are housed in Manchester Road End of the ground. This is situated on the West side, and is behind one goal. It is a covered all-seater stand and holds up to 2,000 spectators.

Link: Ticket Pricing For Yeovil Town vs Aston Villa.


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12 July 2018 : Ticket Pricing For Yeovil Town vs Aston Villa
Advance tickets for Yeovil Town's League Cup First Round fixture against Aston Villa are now on sale to Season Ticket Holders. The match takes place on Tuesday 14th August 2018, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off, with the match also being screened live on Sky Sports. Ticket prices are as follows:

Adults: £12.00; Seniors and Disabled: £8.00; Under-23s: £8.00; Under-16s: £2.00

Tickets will be available from Monday 16th July onwards on General Sale.

Season Ticket Holders will have until Monday 6th August to claim their usual seats/spaces. You can purchase either by logging into your online account (assuming your Season Ticket registration and online account registration have been linked up) or by calling 01935-847888.

Update: Tickets will be available on General Sale from Monday 16th July and will not be restricted as initially reported.

Link: 2018-19 Yeovil Town First Team Fixtures.


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11 July 2018 : Former Barnsley and Blackpool Midfielder Reported As On Trial
Yeovil Town are being linked with former Barnsley and Blackpool midfielder Sessi D'Almeida. The 22 year old is thought to be the central midfield trialist who played in the first half of Tuesday night's home match against Swansea City. He is a former Bordeaux Academy and Paris Saint Germain Academy player who moved to England in the summer of 2016.

Born in Bordeaux on November 20th 1995, he began playing for his home city through their Academy system, playing 33 times for B Team (Development Squad) between 2013 and 2015. He made three appearances for Bordeaux's first team during the second of those seasons. He then moved across and played for Paris St Germain's B Team during 2015-16, making 16 appearances.

D'Almeida went on trial with Barnsley in the summer of 2016, and was given a two year contract. However, he only made three Championship substitute appearances, not helped by him suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury that kept him out for the majoritty of the 2016-17 season. That led to him dropping a level to play for Blackpool. He made 27 appearances for the Tangerines, with 11 of those being from the bench before being released at the end of the 2017-18 season, and is therefore a free agent.

He has generally played as a defensive or holding midfielder for his clubs so far. He is also a Beninese international, making one appearance against Equatorial Guinea in 2015.

As yet his name has not been officially revealed by the club, but his position, looks and availability matched the player who took part in Tuesday night's friendly, with BBC Somerset reporter Chris Spittles believing that he is at the club on trial.


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11 July 2018 : Video : Yeovil Town vs Swansea City Match Highlights
For those who want to watch match highlights of Tuesday night's pre-season friendly against Swansea City these are now available online. Three minutes of footage from the 1-2 home defeat are captured, including the opener from Jordan Green. Watch via the YouTube clip below.




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10 July 2018 : Yeovil 1 Swansea 2 : Late Grimes Strike Sees Defeat In First Friendly
Yeovil Town went down to a last minute goal in their opening pre-season friendly tonight against Swansea City. It took a 25 yard strike by Matt Grimes to end the game with the Championship side on top - the only time they had been ahead in a game that saw Jordan Green net from close range midway through the first half. The traditional sea of changes both at half time and on the hour mark meant that two different teams faced each other as the game closed out, and Swansea equalised through attacker Yan Dhanda with just 13 minutes remaining before Grimes won the match right on the 90 minute mark.

The Glovers fielded three new players in their starting line-up with former Notts County left-back Carl Dickinson the only permanent signing to get that privilege. Norwich City loanee Diallang Jaiyesimi was played as a front line striker in a 4-4-2, whilst there was an unnamed central midfielder playing as a trialist. Swansea's line-up had six major players missing through injury and World Cup duty but did include former Glovers loanee Connor Roberts.

It was Roberts who almost opened the scoring as he saw his shot from a Wayne Routledge cross deflected onto the woodwork by captain Omar Sowunmi. As Swansea started in a sluggish way, Jordan Green was able to fire off a shot from a short free kick that saw Erwin Mulder save. Yeovil's opening goal of the night came from a corner kick, with Carl Dickinson on duty for the set piece. His low delivery was flicked on by Alex Fisher allowing Green to finish from close range, with Swansea's defence having somehow allowed an ankle height ball to travel right across the face of their six yard box.

Green had Yeovil's best other first half effort as he curled a shot wide of Mulder's far post, in a half that saw Yeovil show good value for their lead. The half time whistle saw Yeovil make ten changes, with Stuart Nelson the only player to be given longer than 45 minutes. He eventually made way on the hour mark. Swansea also rang the changes, making six substitutions at half time, followed by a further four just after Nelson left the field. Whilst Swansea's were named, Yeovil's were the infamous 'Trialist B', 'Trialist C' that litter early pre-season friendlies.

With 13 minutes remaining of a half that had seen Swansea dominate the possession, they equalised when Yan Dhanda struck home a deflected shot from a Daniel James cross. Then as the game closed out and into the final minute, Matt Grimes struck a 25 yard drive into the back of the net that won the match for Swansea.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Swansea City 2.

Scorers: Jordan Green (1-0, 25 mins), Yan Dhanda (1-1, 77 mins), Matt Grimes (1-2, 90 mins)

Yeovil Town:
1. Stuart Nelson
2. Tom James, 5. Shaun Donnellan, 6. Omar Sowunmi (Capt), 3. Carl Dickinson
7. Jordan Green, 8. Trialist A, 4. Alefe Santos, 10. Rhys Browne
11. Diallang Jaiyesimi, 9. Alex Fisher

Substitutes:
12. Trialist B (60 mins for Stuart Nelson) 13. Francois Zoko 14. Dan Alfei 15. Gary Warren, 16. Bevis Mugabi, 17. Tyrique Spencer-Clarke 18. Trialist C 19. Trialist D 20. Trialist E 21. Trialist F 22. Trialist G (all subs introduced on 46 mins, except where stated) 23. Daniel Ojo (89 mins for Francois Zoko)

Swansea City:
1. Erwin Mulder, 23. Connor Roberts, 26. Kyle Naughton, 5. Mike van der Hoorn, 50. Cian Harries, 15. Wayne Routledge, 24. Jordi Amat, 14. Tom Carroll, 48. George Byers, 11. Luciano Narsingh, 62. Oliver McBurnie.

Substitutes:
19. Andre Ayew, 38. Adnan Maric, 21. Matt Grimes, 56. Jay Fulton, 23. Federico Fernandez, 42. Daniel James (all 46 mins), 61. Joe Rodon, 30. Yan Dhanda, 31. Aaron Lewis, 63. Ryan Blair (all 63 mins). 39. Gregor Zbret 18. Jordan Ayew (not used)

Referee: Kevin Johnson. Assistants: Simon Knapp and Ron Ganfield. Fourth Official: Matt Eva.

Attendance: 893.


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10 July 2018 : Team News For Yeovil Town vs Swansea City
Yeovil Town's starting line-up for the pre-season friendly against Swansea City has been published. The club have made four new signings over the summer, with two of those included in the starting line-up, as former Notts County left-back Carl Dickinson and Norwich City loanee Diallang Jaiyesimi start.

There is one unnamed trialist in the starting line-up, believed to be playing in central midfield, whilst six more are on the bench. Right-back Dan Alfei is also on the bench, despite being released by the club at the end of last season. Tyrique Spencer-Clarke is part of Yeovil Town Under-18s.

There is no sign of midfield pair James Bailey and Jake Gray who were both injured at the end of last season. Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter is known to still be at Chelsea, covering for a goalkeeper shortage there, associated with World Cup call-ups.

The line-up for tonight is as follows:

Yeovil Town:
Stuart Nelson
Tom James, Shaun Donnellan, Omar Sowunmi (Capt), Carl Dickinson
Jordan Green, Trialist A, Alefe Santos, Rhys Browne
Diallang Jaiyesimi, Alex Fisher

Substitutes:
Gary Warren, Bevis Mugabi, Dan Alfei, Tyrique Spencer-Clarke, Francois Zoko and six further trialists.

Swansea City:
Erwin Mulder, Connor Roberts, Kyle Naughton, Mike van der Hoorn, Cian Harries, Wayne Routledge, Jordi Amat, Tom Carroll, George Byers, Luciano Narsingh, Oliver McBurnie.


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10 July 2018 : Terry Returns To Huish Park
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Paul Terry has returned to the club. The 39 year old has been given the role of First Team Coach at Huish Park, after leaving a role he held at Oldham Athletic last season. The Barking-born player, who is the older brother of Chelsea legend John Terry spent four years at the club during its early days as a Football League side, after signing from Dagenham and Redbridge and went on to play for Leyton Orient in the Football League.

Paul has been involved at the club during pre-season training, and played alongside Darren Way and Terry Skiverton during his playing days. He made 154 appearances for the Glovers, scoring 12 goals for the club, and was part of the side that won promotion from League Two during the 2004-05 season. When he hung up his boots, he became a player's agent for six years, until last season when he became a first team coach working under Richie Wellens and Paul Jewell in League One. Their relegation and change of management has resulted in his departure. Darren Way says he hopes that he can make use of Terry's knowledge of player recruitment in the future:

"Paul is someone who strengthens the backroom staff and has a wealth of knowledge in player recruitment. Paul has personality, character and knows the history of this fantastic football club. He's the latest step in our bid to bring success back to Huish Park."

Link: Paul Terry : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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10 July 2018 : Swansea Leave Six At Home For Huish Park Friendly
Yeovil Town's first pre-season friendly opponents Swansea City are expected to bring their strongest available squad to Huish Park. The Welsh side are in the middle of a rebuilding exercise following their relegation from the Premier League, and will go into Tuesday night's match with former Ostersund manager Graham Potter ending up in the dugout for the first time since his appointment last month.

Swansea are expected to leave at least six players behind in Wales. Four of those are out injured, with Wilfried Bony, Sam Clucas, Leroy Fer and Alfie Mawson all absent. Meanwhile Swedish pair Martin Olsson and Kristoffer Nordfeldt have yet to join pre-season training due to their involvement at the World Cup. There are also a number of other players within their camp who are the subject of transfer interest and so may drop out, but in principle most of their remaining first team squad members will be given a run-out for a minimum of 45 minutes.

Yeovil Town's one known absentee will be goalkeeper Nathan Baxter. The Chelsea loanee is yet to make it down to Somerset as he is acting as cover for two of Chelsea's goalkeepers during pre-season, due to Thibaut Courtois and Willy Caballero being on international duty with Belgium and Argentina respectively. Otherwise all other first teamers are expected to be involved in the game.

The two sides last properly met in August 2015, when a Swansea Under-21 side featuring eight players who would end up playing for the Glovers, lose 3-2 at Huish Park. A behind closed doors game in July 2016 in South Wales saw Yeovil win 5-0 against a team that was believed to be mainly their Under-18s. When Swansea City put out something more like a first team in July 2013, they were the ones who gained the 5-0 victory at Huish Park.

Admission prices are as follows:

Adult £10.00; Seniors and Young Persons £5.00; Under-16: FREE.

Only the Main Stand will be open to Home supporters. Kick-off tonight is at 7.45p.m. with tickets available on the night.

Link: 2018-19 Yeovil Town First Team Fixtures.


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10 July 2018 : Main Stand Sponsorship Deal Extended
Yeovil Town have extended their sponsorship agreement with Tamburino for the coming season. The Italian Restaurant chain will continue to sponsor the Main Stand at Huish Park, having held the naming rights for the past four years.

The club haven't stated the length of the latest arrangements - the last deal was for a single season, and so it would not be a surprise if the latest extension was based on similar lines. From 2007 until 2014, the stand was known as the AgustaWestland Community Stand, whilst prior to that it was known as the Yeovil College Stand.


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9 July 2018 : 2018-19 FA Cup Prize Fund Sees Potential Windfalls Doubled
Recently, the Football Association announced that it was increasing the amount of money available to those competing in the 2018-19 FA Cup. With the Prize Fund having stayed static for a decade, this is a significant change in what will be available to those who win matches during the competition, and is in addition to any gate receipts or television revenue they may make during ties.

In most cases the amount each club will gain is doubled - for example for the last ten years or so, First Round winners would have earned £18,000 through the Prize Fund, but that will now be £36,000, meaning the amount that Football League sides can make out of the competition increases quite significantly.

Each club that wins through the FA Cup Rounds will receive the following sums, as part of the competition prize pool:

Extra Preliminary Round winners : (184 clubs) £2,250
Extra Preliminary Round losers : (184 clubs) £750
Preliminary Round winners : (160 clubs) £2,890
Preliminary Round losers : (160 clubs) £960
First Qualifying Round winners : (116 clubs) £6,000
Second Qualifying Round winners : (80 clubs) £9,000
Third Qualifying Round winners : (40 clubs) £15,000
Fourth Qualifying Round winners : (32 clubs) £25,000

First Round Proper winners : (40 clubs) £36,000 (League One and League Two clubs enter competition)
Second Round Proper winners : (20 clubs) £54,000
Third Round Proper winners : (32 clubs) £135,000
Fourth Round Proper winners : (16 clubs) £180,000
Fifth Round Proper winners : (8 clubs) £360,000
Sixth Round Proper winners : (4 clubs) £720,000
Semi-Final winners : (2 clubs) £180,000
Semi-Final losers : (2 clubs) £900,000
Final runners-up : (1 club) £180,000
Final winners : (1 club) £3,600,000

Amounts are accumulative per club for each round that they win - i.e. a club winning a First Round match and a Second Round match would receive £36,000 + £54,000 as part of their run.

There are additional sums given out to those clubs who take part in televised ties, regardless of whether they win or lose the tie.

Link: 2018-19 Season Key Dates.

Link: 2018-19 Yeovil Town First Team Fixtures.


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8 July 2018 : Tom James And Clickbait Speculation
Back in mid-March there was a bit of idle speculation from national paper The Independent over the future of defender Tom James. That was a bit out of character for that paper, given it tends to be the red-tops that feed off such things. The claim was that Celtic, AFC Bournemouth and Swansea City were after a player who used to be on Cardiff City's books, and was about to pick up a decent slice of Yeovil Town's End Of Season Awards.

That seems to have sparked multiple months worth of fairly repetitive stories by a number of websites that have increased the speculation, but on the other hand have added very little in the way of concrete facts along the way. One of those to pick up this story was the national commercial site Here Is The City - which started off many years ago as a finance news site, but has in the last couple of years expanded out to include sport. They ran a March 12th story entitled:

12/03/2018 : Report: Celtic want Yeovil Town defender Tom James - HITC

Unfortunately, for what seemed to be a fairly flakey set of claims, it didn't stop there. Within the 48 hours that followed, providing made-up speculation on two Celtic players, along with an attempt to rope Rangers into the rumourmill. And so HITC ended up with five 'stories' out of one questionable Independent article, in three days, with the subsequent quartet headlining as follows:

13/03/2018 : Celtic want Tom James but Swansea City offers a greater opportunity - HITC
13/03/2018 : Is Celtic's interest in Tom James bad news for Mikael Lustig? - HITC
14/03/2018 : Is Celtic's reported Tom James interest a worrying sign for Anthony Ralston? - HITC
14/03/2018 : Should Rangers join race for Tom James and offer Lee Hodson? - HITC

By the time we hit April, the West London Sport website added the name of Championship side Aston Villa to our Tom James Fan Club, on April 6th along with their local team Brentford. After briefly returning to Celtic again, that was enough to set off HITC again, cooling their interest in Celtic and promptly providing plenty of speculation on two Villa players to wraparound stuff about James before finally concluding that he was still off to Celtic anyway:

02/04/2018 : Three Celtic players fighting for their futures, including six-time title winner - HITC
12/04/2018 : Aston Villa will reportedly challenge Celtic for Welsh defender Tom James - HITC
12/04/2018 : Does Aston Villa's Tom James interest shed light on Alan Hutton's fate? - HITC
14/04/2018 : Could James Bree warning see Tom James snub Aston Villa for Celtic? - HITC

We then had a fairly lengthy lull in proceedings, until Yeovil Town gained a League Cup First Round draw against Aston Villa during mid-June. Merely on the back of that cup draw, rather than any new information, this was good enough for HITC to cancel Celtic's interest in James, reignite Aston Villa's apparent interest, and then just for good measure stick a cherry on top by dragging Rangers out of nowhere for a second time, even though to our knowledge, Glasgow's other club have not been connected with James in any shape or form:

16/06/2018 : Aston Villa given perfect chance to scout Yeovil Town's Tom James - HITC
16/06/2018 : Should Rangers challenge Celtic for Tom James? - HITC

Most recently, during the middle of last week, Sky Sports suggested that Swansea City and Hull City (the first time they'd got a mention) were after James. Less than 24 hours later, the Scottish Sun leapt on this and threw the name of Celtic back into the ring again, referencing the Swansea and Hull reports. This seems to have resulted in a mini-avalanche of commercial websites jumping on the bandwagon. HITC have managed five further articles so far, mostly centred around Celtic again:

05/07/2018 : Swansea and Hull battle for James - HITC
05/07/2018 : Tom James should interest Celtic again after previous link - HITC
06/07/2018 : Report: Celtic step up Tom James interest as English clubs make conact - HITC
07/07/2018 : Celtic's reported Tom James interest should be music to Jack Hendry's ears - HITC
08/07/2018 : Some Celtic fans react to Tom James speculation - HITC

So four months on, HITC have now managed to fashion sixteen articles out of what was ultimately one speculative March 2018 national newspaper article. At present, we're not even 100 percent certain if there has been any firm bid for Tom James - the most the club has mentioned is of some generic 'interest' in some of their players, such as James, but without any firm statement of any bids. There is a reason why this is known as the 'silly season' in football. There may be some mileage in some of the rumours surrounding James, given his good form last season, but nothing that warrants this sort of excess.


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7 July 2018 : Taff's Gloversblog : Summer Changes At Huish Park
Yeovil Town are now a week into their pre-season schedule, with all action so far confined to the training ground, and the usual trip down to visit the Dorset cliffs. Even though there are no trialists on display (or at least none that have slipped through any of the pictures released) we can at least take a look at how the contracted squad is shaping up. The latest Taff's Gloversblog takes you through all that, via the link below. Alternative views welcomed, as usual.

Link: Taff's Gloversblog : Summer Changes At Huish Park.


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6 July 2018 : Poole Town Pre-Season Friendly Announced
Southern League Premier South side Poole Town have announced a pre-season friendly against Yeovil Town. The Dolphins, who were relegated from National League South at the end of last season, have reported that they will be staging a friendly against the Glovers on Saturday 28th July 2018, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Tatnam Farm.

The scheduling of this fixture may cause a bit of confusion, as the club have already announced a first team friendly that will take place against Southern League Division One East side Corby Town at their Steel Park ground, at the same time.

It may be that the plan is for the club to send an Academy side to Tatnam Farm, however that would be a little unconventional given the Dorset side sit above Corby Town in the pyramid, and thus represent tougher opposition. However, Poole have described it as a "big pre-season friendly" suggesting they see it as first team opposition. Hopefully it will be made clear, in due course, which squad is visiting which location.

Link: 2018-19 Yeovil Town First Team Pre-Season Friendlies.


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6 July 2018 : Smith Drops Down A Level To Sign For Wood
Outgoing Yeovil Town midfielder Connor Smith has quickly found himself a new club. The former Plymouth Argyle and AFC Wimbledon player, who cut short his Huish Park contract yesterday, has signed for National League side Boreham Wood, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Football League last season when they lost the Play-Off Final against Tranmere Rovers at Wembley Stadium.

Smith has some connections with Boreham Wood. He started his career with Watford, whose Reserve side used their Meadow Park ground, meaning that he is very familiar with the surroundings, even if stadium developments since then have changed the way it looks. Smith made reference to that when he agreed to sign up:

"I am delighted; I remember playing here during my time at Watford in reserve games and you can see the massive growth of the club, even since then. The pitch is unbelievable, the ground is quality and the facilities are unbelievable for this level. I am just delighted to be back at the ground and back in an area that I am used to, and I cannot wait to get going. It didn’t take long to sort. When he (Luke Garrard) found out that I was leaving Yeovil, the interest was there immediately. We spoke, and I didn't take much convincing to be honest."

Boreham Wood haven't revealed the length of contract that Connor Smith has signed.

Link: Connor Smith : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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5 July 2018 : Sowunmi Agrees New Glovers Deal
Yeovil Town central defender Omar Sowunmi has signed a new contract with the club. The 22 year old former Ipswich Town academy player has agreed a two year contract with the Glovers that will keep him at Huish Park until the summer of 2020. He had fallen out of contract at the end of last season, leading to speculation as to his future, but that can now be put to bed.

Omar was brought into the club during June 2015 by former boss Paul Sturrock, but his attempt to blend into the first team during that season was curtailed by a September ankle injury that saw him stretchered off against AFC Wimbledon following a poor tackle by a Dons player. An attempt at a comeback during the autumn had to be aborted, with the same injury flaring up, and he ended up missing the remainder of the season, after having surgery to fix the problem, meaning that fans only saw him on eight occasions.

During the 2016-17 season, Omar's time was again restricted, with him spending the year as a front line striker, making just four starts in 14 appearances. His third season saw him switch to his original centre-back position, and early on it looked as though he was heading for another stop-start season. However, from mid-October onwards he began to cement a regular starting position in the side, playing a full 90 minutes in the vast majority of games that followed.

His overall form saw him pick up two Player of the Season Awards at the end of 2017-18, recognising his performances, particularly during the second half of that campaign. He'll now continue in that role over the next two seasons. Manager Darren Way has said of the agreement the various parties have reached today:

"Omar is a big signing for the future of this football club and we've put in a lot of effort to get this deal over the line. It's a big statement of intent from the owner and the chairman and allows us to keep the core of the squad from last season. He's developed at a very fast rate, which shows some of the others what can happen, and I'm excited that he's decided to pledge his future to Yeovil Town Football Club."

Link: Omar Sowunmi : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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5 July 2018 : Connor Smith Exits Huish Park
Yeovil Town midfielder Connor Smith has become the latest player to leave Huish Park. The 25 year old former Plymouth Argyle player has had his contract terminated by mutual consent midway through a two year contract that he signed in July 2017.

Although he initially featured reasonably heavily in Yeovil Town's midfield during the first half of the campaign, that thinned out radically from mid-October onwards, with him making only four starts in League Two after that point. Overall, Connor made 28 appearances for the club, scoring one goal.

He will now become a free agent, and will be able to sign for another club. Since the club issued their formal Released and Retained list back in May, they have seen goalkeeper Jonny Maddison leave for Darlington, midfielder Oscar Gobern sign for Eastleigh and winger Otis Khan agree terms with Mansfield Town.

Link: Connor Smith : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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5 July 2018 : Tom James Linked With Two Championship Clubs
It's been a while, but the Tom James rumours are back. In a saga that has been carrying on since March 2018, the former Cardiff City defender has been names by a multitude of media outlets, connecting him with clubs from all over the UK, but without anything reaching the point at which there appeared to be anything concrete in them. Now nearly four months down the line, Sky Sports are claiming that Championship sides Swansea City and Hull City are after his services, claiming that they have 'made inquiries' about his availability.

As has become the trend with these reports, there are no quotes or sources provided, nor any expectations made in terms of whether an actual bid might be tabled. Swansea City's name has been on that rumourmill list since the very start of this, with the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Celtic, Aston Villa, Brentford and Bristol City listed as holding an interest.

The name of Hull City brings the total number of 'interested' clubs to seven. Tom James remains under contract at Huish Park until the summer of 2019. He was the club's main Player of the Season winner for the 2017-18 campaign, and so that may have brought some interest from outside the club. However, unlike Omar Sowunmi, who is out of contract, the club are under no obligation to sell.

The Sky Sports reports claims that Swansea would need to move some of their current defenders out of the building in order to afford James, but they suggest that Hull would use him as an immediate back-up to Eric Lichaj.

As always, treat these reports with a little pinch of salt. In the case of Otis Khan, although he left the club last week, the name of Mansfield Town only turned up on the radar a couple of days before he left Huish Park, with the nine other clubs named as holding an interest not part of the final discussions.


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4 July 2018 : Swansea City Match Moved To Avoid Potential World Cup Match
Yeovil Town's pre-season friendly against Swansea City has been brought forward by 24 hours. The match against the Championship side was due to take place on Wednesday 11th July, but that match would have clashed with any theoretical World Cup Semi-Final if England progress against Sweden on Saturday.

The match will now take place on Tuesday 10th July at Huish Park with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. All tickets purchased so far will remain valid. If you've bought one but can no longer make it to the game, contat the Huish Park Ticket Office for a refund or exchange before the day of the game.

For the revised fixture schedule, see the list below.

Link: 2018-19 Yeovil Town First Team Fixture List.


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4 July 2018 : Sincil Bank Trip Is Rearranged
Another change has been made to Yeovil Town's 2018-19 fixture list. The Glovers match against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank has been brought forward to be played on a Friday night, meaning that it will now take place on Friday 8th March 2019, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.

The change comes on top of Yeovil Town's trips to Notts County and Exeter City also having their dates or kick-off times changed for the coming season. For full details, head to the fixture list, linked below.

Link: 2018-19 Season Yeovil Town Fixture List.


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4 July 2018 : Roadworks And Partial Closure Near Huish Park During July And August
Yeovil Town supporters visiting Huish Park during July and August should be aware of roadworks that will be set up on Lufton Way and Western Avenue that will affect traffic in the area. The planned work is part of Somerset County Council's Western Corridor improvement scheme that is designed to provide £14.5 million worth of enhancements to the western side of Yeovil - some of which was carried out in January 2018 during the build-up to the FA Cup match against Manchester United.

On this occasion, roadworks will commence on Monday 9th July, and last for approximately seven weeks during an initial first phase. The work will see a new cycleway and retaining wall built along Lufton Way. This will see Lufton Way closed to traffic going Eastbound towards the approach of the Preston Road Roundabout (nearest to the Asda supermarket). Traffic will still be able to travel Westbound from the roundabout towards the football club's main entrance.

Lufton Way road closure during phase one of the Roadworks
Lufton Way road closure during phase one of the Roadworks


The effect of this will be that if you're visiting Huish Park, you either need to go via Western Avenue, or you'll need to treat Lufton Way as a clockwise one-way system. The contractor performing the works has the option of temporary traffic lights on the junction of Copse Road and Western Avenue if it is found to be needed to help traffic turn right onto Western Avenue, but initially this will not be the case.

At the end of the first phase, which is expected to be towards the end of August, there will be a second phase that will see a retaining wall built on Western Avenue. During this time, Western Avenue will be closed to southbound traffic, and will be rerouted around Lufton Way - i.e. the reverse of the first phase closure. We'll try to provide a bit more detail on that nearer the time - the above represents the first phase which takes effect from next Monday.

There is no mention of any lifting of the road closure on evenings or weekends, and so it's probably safer to assume this is a 24x7 road restriction. If so, then it will affect all three pre-season friendlies, along with the first three or four competitive fixtures of the 2018-19 season.


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3 July 2018 : Seaborne Switches To Ireland After Grecians Exit
Former Yeovil Town defender Dan Seaborne is off to Ireland for his next career move. The 31 year old has signed for League of Ireland Premier Division side Derry City, having been released by League Two side Exeter City at the end of last season. He's agreed a deal that will run until the end of their calendar-based 2018 season.

Seaborne had spent half of the 2017-18 season at St James Park, in what was his second spell with the Grecians, playing a fairly minor 'squad filler' role in their first team set-up. Since leaving Yeovil Town midway through their 2013-14 season, he's had a fairly varied career, initially joining Coventry City, who at that time were in the division below, managing 24 appearances with the Sky Blues during that season, to add to the 11 games he played for the Glovers at the start of their Championship stay.

After Coventry also terminated his stay by mutual consent, Seaborne spent the next two years with Partick Thistle, in the Scottish Premiership, playing 57 times and scoring two goals. In the summer of 2016 he had two aborted moves to go overseas, training with I-League side Mohun Bagan and Greek side Olympiacos. However, he then headed back to Scotland instead, playing 13 times for Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Premiership. Having been left without a club during the summer of 2017, he then headed off to Exeter, who he began his career with.

Link: Dan Seaborne : Yeovil Town Statistics.


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2 July 2018 : Storer Heads To Scotland After St Andrews Release
Former Yeovil Town loanee Jack Storer has got himself a new club. The former Birmingham City striker has agreed a one year contract with Partick Thistle, after being released by the Championship side at the end of last season. He will now play in the Scottish Championship, for a side that were relegated at the end of last season.

Storer's time since his brief January 2017 loan with the Glovers has been a nomadic one. Due to his Yeovil Town deal being lodged as a half-season spell, it wasn't until the start of the 2017-18 season that he was seen elsewhere. He trialled for Macclesfield Town during pre-season, but after he was involved in a scuffle with Derby players that led to him shoving a Macclesfield player, he threw his shirt off and walked down the tunnel.

He then managed an eight game loan spell with National League South side Gloucester City, before a two game loan spell with National League Premier side Solihull Moors, with Birmingham deciding in February that they would not be offering him a new contract and advising him to look elsewhere. His contract with Partick contains an option for a second season.

Storer's spell with Yeovil Town was restricted to a single 45 minute appearance against Crawley Town at Broadhall Way. He was an unused substitute against Reading Under-21s in the EFL Trophy, followed by another bit of benchwarming at Blackpool, but after that match returned to St Andrews, with the club citing 'personal reasons' for his early departure.

Link: Jack Storer : Yeovil Town Statistics?.


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2 July 2018 : Notts County And Exeter City Trips Rearranged
Yeovil Town have had two of their 2018-19 season fixtures changed. The trips to Notts County and Exeter City will now kick off at non-standard times, following modifications to the fixture list that was published last month.

The trip to Notts County will now be a Friday night kick-off, with the match taking place on Friday 17th August with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. The change has been made due to international cricket taking place at Trent Bridge on the Saturday.

The Boxing Day trip to Exeter City will now have an early kick-off. The match on Wednesday 26th December will now kick-off at 1.00p.m. instead of the standard afternoon kick-off.

The full fixture schedule can be found via the link below.

Link: 2018-19 Season Yeovil Town First Team Fixtures.


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1 July 2018 : First Team Squad Standings As Pre-Season Training Commences
July 1st is the date in the footballing calendar that represents the starting point for 2018-19 contracts. Outgoing players formally leave the club payroll, whilst incoming signings are now formally contracted to the club. This provides an opportunity to see where Yeovil Town lie, with four players having come into the club since the end of last season, but with a number of players having left the building.

A summary of the comings and goings so far is as follows:

NEW ARRIVALS:
1. Diallang Jaiyesimi (winger, Norwich City, season-long loan)
2. Carl Dickinson (left-back, Notts County, two year contract)
3. Nathan Baxter (goalkeeper, Chelsea, season-long loan)
4. Gary Warren (central defender, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, two year contract)

DEPARTURES:
1. Artur Krysiak (goalkeeper)
2. Nathan Smith (left-back/centre-back)
3. Ryan Dickson (left-back)
4. Daniel Alfei (right-back)
5. Oscar Gobern (midfield, Eastleigh)
6. Jonny Maddison (goalkeeper, Darlington)
7. Otis Khan (winger, Mansfield Town)
8. Jared Bird (midfield, Barnsley loanee)
9. Sam Surridge (striker, AFC Bournemouth loanee)
10. Marcus Barnes (striker, Southampton loanee)
11. Ryan Seager (striker, Southampton loanee)
12. Corey Whelan (right-back, Liverpool loanee)
13. Lewis Wing (midfield, Middlesbrough loanee)

IN LIMBO:
Omar Sowunmi (central defender, out of contract).

In the case of Sowunmi, he is at present not contracted to Yeovil Town Football Club, although the club will have held onto his playing registration, in the absence of him signing a new contract. He has the option to move to another club, of his own free will, but that club will have to either agree a training and compensation fee with Yeovil Town, or accept the outcome of a Football League Tribunal that will base their fee on his three years at Huish Park, and his development as a player during that time.

His presence at the club's pre-season training does not offer any reliable clues. For the last two players that fell into the same category as Sowunmi, in falling out of contract at the club whilst being aged Under-24, Luke Ayling chose not to attend the club's pre-season training sessions, whilst Craig Alcock did attend. Both players left the club during early July, to Bristol City and Peterborough United respectively.

Positionally speaking, and using each player's favoured position, the club have the following sixteen players under contract for the 2018-19 season, made up of fourteen permanently contracted players, and two loan contracts:

Goalkeepers: Stuart Nelson, Nathan Baxter (loan)

Right-Backs: Bevis Mugabi, Tom James,
Centre-Backs: Shaun Donnellan, Gary Warren
Left-Backs: Carl Dickinson

Midfielders: Connor Smith, Jake Gray, James Bailey, Alefe Santos
Wingers: Jordan Green, Rhys Browne, Diallang Jaiyesimi (loan)

Strikers: Alex Fisher, Francois Zoko

The club have until 5.00p.m. on August 9th 2018 to make any permanent signings, whilst the loan transfer window will close on August 31st 2018. This is a rule change brought in for this season, that will mean clubs will need to complete transfers earlier, although will not apply to players that are free agents on August 9th.

Link: 2018-19 Football League and Other Key Dates.

Link: 2018-19 First Team Fixture List.


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