Yeovil Town manager Terry Skiverton has said that he has full confidence in his goalkeeping coach Gareth Stewart to make his first team debut on Saturday. The 31 year old will be selected for the FA Cup First Round match against Hereford United at Edgar Street, having not played at professional level for three and a half years, after first choice keeper Marek Stech was called away on international duty for the Czech Republic Under-21s.
Skiverton told BBC Somerset that the 179 appearances that Stewart made for AFC Bournemouth during his nine years at the South Dorset club would easily get him through the match, and pointed out that they were always aware of the risks involving Stech's international status:
"He (Marek Stech) is away on Under-21 duty, so that's where we stand on that. But we always knew that. We've got more than enough confidence in Gareth Stewart to come in and play. He's played in more games than all of the loans I've ever had as manager, and that just sums it up. We're getting somebody where we don't need to sing from the rooftops that our player has been away on international duty. We just get on with it."
With respect to the six other loans on the club's books, Skiverton was far more tight-lipped on the subject, claiming that he had received no negative feedback from any of the players parent clubs:
"I'm still waiting on news about all of the loan signings for the future. We're still waiting. Put it this way, we've had no 'no's' come back regarding players playing on Saturday. We'll pick the squad, and the squad that we've picked will be playing on Saturday."
Although the Glovers boss suggests he has not received any negative responses from clubs, Watford's club site made it clear that Gavin Massey would not be allowed to play in the FA Cup, whilst Conor Clifford is due to be playing for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s on Monday night in Sligo. Monday's Western Daily Press reported that Oli Johnson and Max Ehmer had received the nod for them to play on Saturday.
That just leaves Jonathan Obika, who may be lacking match fitness anyway, and central defender Darren Purse. The Millwall centre-back is probably the big unknown of the six, with Skiverton, Purse and Lions boss Kenny Jackett all having said their piece this week, but without revealing their hand.
Finally, a news item wouldn't be complete without another twist on Hereford's ongoing goalkeeper farce. David Cornell, who last we knew was on a flight out to Armenia, has sent a message via Twitter tonight, contradicting Hereford's Director of Football Gary Peters, stating: "On the way back to Hereford ready for Saturday! Nice two hour drive from Reading back! #tiredman".
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