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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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News Archives

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