Somewhat understandably Yeovil chairman and chief executive John Fry, usually a man bearing the demeanour of General George Custer on 25th June 1876, has been like a cat sitting next to a particularly large bowl of extra thick double cream the last few weeks. Face wreathed in constant smiles, he was even seen performing something remarkably like a little jig on the terrace at Crabble as the second from Kirk Jackson hit the back of the net.
And it is manager Gary Johnson who has brought so much sunshine into John's life:
Gary is the best investment I have ever made in this club........... the best choice of manager I could have made.
So how did Mr Fry, a chairman not timid at bringing in new faces to the Yeovil Town managerial hot-seat, arrive at Gary Johnson, a man one suspects he'd scarcely heard of two years ago. The story starts with the departure of Colin Addison :
It was a difficult decision that had to be made because Colin had done a good job here. But Colin knew from the start that there was going to be no future position or new contract for him if we didn't win the championship that year, so he decided to resign.
We had a number of applications on the table when my chief scout, Frank Leworthy, gave me this video of Gary's work in Latvia to watch. I said to Frank, "It's not another one of those video salemen is it?" but he persuaded me to view it, saying "He's your perfect manager, chairman." So that night, when my wife went off to bed early to read a book, I put the video on, and realised straight away why Gary had made himself a hero in Latvia. And when we first met a few days later, I realised just how much he wanted the job and that our philosophy on how the game should be played was the same. I feel very fortunate that, after 108 years of history, I found the right manager to take us into the Football League and now I feel Yeovil Town has a vast future ahead of it.
We've had some good managers in my time, but signing Gary was a masterstroke - a first-class choice because his ambitions were the same as mine. Everything was in place for the right manager, and Gary, who is the consummate professional, fitted in perfectly to what was needed to take Yeovil own from the Conference to the Third Division.
There is a feeling in the town that he is already a legend. He's not quite there yet, but I know the fans love him.
I can see Gary being here for at least the next three years, and he has already indicated to me what he wants. With Mr Goddard-Watts' backing we have the perfect partnership to take this club beyond the Third Division. With careful investment and stage by stage development, we can take Yeovil Town into the First Division of the Nationwide League.
[Extracts from an interview conducted with Graham Nickless.]
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