Last season, Yeovil Town supporter Phil Parkhelped set up a Fantasy Football League that will benefit the Adam Stansfield Foundation. Because of the success of that league last season, Phil is inviting Glovers fans the chance to either renew their league membership, or for new fans to get involved. Phil's message is as follows:
"For those of you who play the PremierLeague.Com fantasy football game or who are interested in trying the game I just wanted to make you aware of the Adam Stansfield Foundation League.
We're set for the second season of the league, and Yeovil fan Paul Angulo will defend the title he won last season. It's good fun and a nice way of donating annually to the Adam Stansfield Foundation and remembering Adam who we cruelly lost two years ago yesterday.
Adam's brother Wayne helped me set this up, and their sister Andrea has arranged for trophies for the top 3 each year. Both have been very busy recently, with Andrea getting married, though I'll soon have details of prizes and pictures of last year's winner with the Trophy. The new season has crept up on us fast with the Euros and Olympics this summer.
To enter, please visit The Adam Stansfield Foundation Website and make a donation for £5.00. If you can leave a short message explaining that it's for the Adam Stansfield Foundation League (Fantasy Football) that would be great. You should be sent a 12 digit code within a day or so from Wayne, but if you want the code immediately feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your donation reference code (forward the donation receipt from Virgin Money if preferred) and I'll get the code sent over ASAP.
You can then select to join a league from the PremierLeague.Com website. For those new to the game that would like further details please email me and I'll happily provide information. You can register your team at any point and join the league by entering the code at any time, so providing you've donated you'll be entered and don't need to worry about entering the code immediately - your points will count from Week One.
The Foundation and Stansfield Family really appreciated last year's donations (44) and it would be great to match that and hopefully get over 50, and continue to grow this year on year. Feel free to tell your friends!
Apologies I don't have further details of prizes at this moment, and clearer instructions, but please bare with us and and I'll update shortly."
As part of the build-up to the 2012-13 season, Yeovil Town's new striker Reuben Reid spoke to the BBC about his thoughts on the coming campaign. With questions from BBC Bristol reporter Ed Hadwin, Reuben's thoughts on his early time with the club can be read via the link below.
Yeovil Town salvaged a last minute draw in their final pre-season match, as they managed a 2-2 draw against Exeter City at Huish Park. In a fairly poor performance, the Glovers fell behind twice during the match as Scot Bennett and a John O'Flynn penalty put the Grecians deservedly ahead. But the best two moments of quality for Yeovil came in response - Ed Upson's first half shot from the edge of the box, whilst Reuben Reid netted his sixth pre-season goal in the final minute to get his side through all nine friendlies without defeat.
Yeovil went into the match still missing Gavin Williams (calf) and Rohan Ince (shin) but otherwise selected the first eleven that stands as the candidate players to commence the 2012-13 campaign on Tuesday when the League Cup First Round kicks things off against Colchester United. Otherwise, all other first team squad members were utilised, including four players from the Under-18s side, who commenced their season with a 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle this morning.
The game got off to the worst possible start, when the Glovers conceded a fifth minute corner. Liam Sercombe put in the delivery, and defensive indecision allowed Scot Bennett the chance to poke the ball home from close range to put the Grecians a goal up early on.
The Glovers took a long while to get into their stride, and were often guilty of sitting back too much, playing the ball around their own half. That led manager Gary Johnson to leave his position in the stand midway through the first half, to bark out instructions in an effort to get his team to push up the field a bit more. Marek Stech was forced into a couple of good saves, but largely due to sloppy play from his team-mates rather than cutting edge football by Exeter.
Still somewhat against the run of play, the Glovers managed to grab an equaliser half an hour into the match. In their best play of the half, Ed Upson exchanged passes with James Hayter, before firing home a curling effort into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box. Even if Yeovil's quality had not shown before that goal, it certainly did when that one was netted.
The Glovers hadn't played well across the whole 45 minute period though, and so could have few complaints when the visiting side went ahead a minute before the break. Marek Stech brought down Guillem Bauza after he was put clean through on goal, and up stepped John O'Flynn who converted the spot kick off the underside of the crossbar for a 2-1 half time lead for the Grecians.
The second period opened in a similar low key manner, with Yeovil still not getting, or keeping, as much possession as they would like to. Keanu Marsh-Brown replaced Gozie Ugwu on the right wing, Nathan Ralph replaced Sam Foley on the left wing, whilst the introduction of Lewis Young saw a mini-reshuffle, as Luke Ayling switched from right-back to centre-back to fill the hole left by the substituted Richard Hinds, whilst Young took up the full-back position.
It took until around the 75th minute for the Glovers to land their best chance of the second period, as James Hayter's lob over Artur Krysiak was goal bound, but Grecians defender Pat Baldwin was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Just when it seemed that a rather huff'n'puff 90 minutes was going to result in defeat, the Glovers got their Get Out Of Jail card, thanks to a Jamie McAllister free kick. He delivered it into the box, Luke Ayling's header dropped into the path of Reuben Reid and the striker was able to volley home for his sixth goal of pre-season. Not the best performance of Yeovil's pre-season schedule, but on the plus side, they managed to conclude a nine game set unbeaten, and now must take that into Tuesday's first competitive match when Colchester United visit Huish Park.
Yeovil Town: 1. Marek Stech 2. Luke Ayling 3. Jamie McAllister 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid 14. Sam Foley 19. Gozie Ugwu
Substitutes: 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (60 mins for Gozie Ugwu) 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young (71 mins for Richard Hinds) 16. Nathan Ralph (68 mins for Sam Foley) 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown (88 mins for Dominic Blizzard) 18. Will Agbo 21. Charlie Ware 22. Liam MacDevitt 23. Mitch Brundle
Exeter City: 1. Artur Krysiak 4. Scot Bennett 5. Pat Baldwin 6. Danny Coles 7. Liam Sercombe 10. Alan Gow 11. Arron Davies 14. Tommy Doherty 16. Kevin Amankwaah 19. John O'Flynn 25. Jordan Moore-Taylor
Substitutes: 12. Jamie Cureton 18. Elliott Frear 21. Guillem Bauza 22. Jimmy Keohane 23. Aaron Dawson 26. Jordan Tillson 27. Jacob Kane 31. Elliott Chamberlain GK. Rhys Evans
Yeovil Town have published their starting line-up for their final pre-season friendly before the 2012-13 season begins. As expected they've chosen their strongest available line-up for the visit of Exeter City, with Rohan Ince (shin) and Gavin Williams (calf) still missing.
The line-up reads as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Marek Stech 2. Luke Ayling 3. Jamie McAllister 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid 14. Sam Foley 19. Gozie Ugwu
Substitutes: 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young 16. Nathan Ralph 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown 18. Will Agbo 21. Charlie Ware 22. Liam MacDevitt 23. Mitch Brundle
Exeter City: 1. Artur Krysiak 4. Scot Bennett 5. Pat Baldwin 6. Danny Coles 7. Liam Sercombe 10. Alan Gow 11. Arron Davies 14. Tommy Doherty 16. Kevin Amankwaah 19. John O'Flynn 25. Jordan Moore-Taylor
Substitutes: 12. Jamie Cureton 18. Elliott Frear 21. Guyillem Bauza 22. Jimmy Keohane 23. Aaron Dawson 26. Jordan Tillson 27. Jacob Kane 31. Elliott Chamberlain GK. Rhys Evans
The final four players on the Yeovil bench are from Yeovil Town's Under-18s side, and all played in their season opener at Alvington this morning, and so could be on for their second match of the day.
Speaking ahead of the game, manager Gary Johnson has told the Western Morning News that he is hoping that his requests to shorten the grass on the Huish Park main pitch will have been carried out, having previously raised concerns about both the quality of the surface and the length of the grass:
"I am looking forward to a nice, sharp football match, which we will get against Exeter, so long as the surface is right – that is the only way we will get a fast, sharp football match. If that is right then we will have a match between two teams that will play the right way and it will be a good test for us. Otherwise we will have to lump it into the corners because the ball won’t be rolling properly."
In terms of Ince and Williams, Johnson has ruled out both from playing in Tuesday night's match against Colchester United, but hasn't entirely ruled out both from being available for next Saturday's League One against Coventry City just yet, although with both having missed plenty of recent training sessions, it seems that the substitutes bench is the most they can hope for.
Following the news earlier this week that Yeovil Town Ladies are moving to Wells City FC this coming league season, the club are happy to announce the girls will be playing their first match at the Athletic Ground tomorrow, Sunday 12th August, when they take on Wolves Women FC.
Wolves Women operate in the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division, having been promoted from the Midland Combination at the end of last season, so are in a similar situation to the Glovers. This should then prove a fine warm up to the league season, and should be an entertaining match for the supporters.
The match kicks off at 2.00p.m., and supporters are welcome to come along to support the girls. And with this being the first home match for Yeovil Town Ladies at Wells City, the club are offering the game at a special entry rate of just £1.00 for both adults and concessions.
Directions To Wells City: The Athletic Ground
Somerset. BA5 ITU
From the North & Southwest - Follow the A39 to Strawberry Way to roundabout. Follow A371 East Somerset Way, and take right turn into Rowdens Road. The ground is on the left.
From the East - Follow A371 from Shepton Mallet. After approximately five miles on East Somerset Way take left turn into Rowdens Road. Ground is on left.
Yeovil Town Ladies kick off their FA Women’s Premier League season next Sunday 19 August 2012 when they take on Lewes Ladies at the Athletic Ground in Wells, kick off at 2.00p.m.
Tomorrow may bring another pre-season friendly for Yeovil Town's first team, but for the Under-18s, they commence their 2012-13 campaign tomorrow. They start their South West Youth Alliance fixtures with a home match against Plymouth Argyle, that will take place at the usual Alvington venue.
Kick-off tomorrow is at 11.00a.m. and admission is free of charge, giving fans the chance to see both that match as well as the afternoon first team game against Exeter City at Huish Park, which will be the final one of the pre-season schedule.
South West Youth Alliance Fixtures: Exeter City vs Hereford United
Oxford United vs Bristol Rovers
Swindon Town vs Torquay United
Yeovil Town vs Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town have obtained secondary sponsorship today for the 2012-13 season. They are Italian restaurantTamburino who already have a partnership with Yeovil Town Ladies, in addition to regularly hosting 'team meals' for the men's and ladies' sides over the years. Their name will sit on the back of the 2012-13 home and away shirts, with the main club sponsor sitting on the front.
Meanwhile there's a little more detail on the main sponsorship deal announced earlier today, involving W&S Recycling. The club don't explicitly reveal the length of the contract, but describe it as for the 2012-13 season, which appears to mean that this is a twelve month sponsorship deal.
Their company website shows them as supporters of AFC Bournemouth - an advert on their 'Contact Us' page shows the Cherries as their 'first love' whilst they have provided partnership agreements, mainly with the club's Community Trust. The Glovers have indicated that negotiations with W&S Recycling's Geoff Thompson were done by Yeovil Town Vice Chairman Norman Hayward, who himself is a former Chairman and owner at Dean Court. However, we're not aware of a direct connection between the two parties apart from that.
League One side Portsmouth look to be heading for survival after the last of their high earners came off their wage bill today. Liam Lawrence, reported in the Portsmouth News to be on a contract worth £20,000 per week, has reached agreement to depart the club, meaning that all eight of their top earners have now left the club.
The 30 year old's departure from Fratton Park means that the club have now met the conditions that were attached to the CVA agreement set up by Portpin and prospective owner Balram Chainrai. Administrator Trevor Birch has now said he will aim to finalise his agreements with Chainrai, in a move that will aim to take the club out of administration, and satisfy the membership conditions laid down by the Football League:
"This means that we have now successfully completed agreements with all of the first team squad and met the major condition of the offer from Portpin, which formed the basis for the CVA proposal. We will now aim to finalise our discussions with Portpin with a view to completing the sale of the club as soon as possible. The intention is to push this through early next week in order to ensure that player recruitment can begin as quickly as possible for the start of the new season."
As Birch implies, the next big race for Portsmouth is to get themselves into a position where the Football League is willing to either lift their transfer embargo, or give them temporary dispensation, with Portsmouth's season opening up next Tuesday with a League Cup First Round match against Plymouth Argyle.
Once that is achieved, manager Michael Appleton should be able to turn his club full of 'trialists' into committed signings. The move out of administration will also mean the Football League will finally invoke the ten point penalty they levied as part of the terms and conditions they gave to Pompey as part of the reformed company's offer of membership.
Yeovil Town supporters will probably tell you that it's been on the cards since the 2009-10 season. At that time, a 17 year old Steven Caulker from Tottenham Hotspur swept the end of season awards after he featured in 46 matches for the Glovers, as part of a loan deal that gave him his first steps in competitive first team football.
Having played this summer in four matches for Team GB as part of the London 2012 Olympics, Caulker's impressive performances in an Under-23 squad have been enough to see him called up into the full England squad for the first time.
Manager Roy Hodgson has named a slightly experimental and youthful squad for the full international against Italy that will take place in Berne next week. The squad will meet up on Sunday evening before travelling to Switzerland on Tuesday, and will then take to the field next Wednesday at the Stade de Suisse for the international friendly.
Whether Caulker steps foot on the field or not, his recognition is proof once again that his career progression from a Spurs youth player into what will no doubt be full England caps given time, continues at a fast pace, despite him still being only 20 years old.
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Ashley Young (Manchester United).
Forwards: Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Theo Walcott (Arsenal).
Yeovil Town have confirmed their new shirt sponsors for the 2012-13 season. They are W&S Recyling of Poole who provide services for both local authority and private recycling of waste. Based in the Nuffield Industrial Estate, they describe themselves as follows:
"A long established & well respected recycling company, operating in all market sectors, ranging from individual site requirements through to major regional and mainland recycling contracts. Local Authority Contracts and private commercial requirements are covered by our comprehensive services."
As yet, there is no contract length revealed. However, Geoff Thompson and Tony Knowles were present at Huish Park this morning on behalf of the company to agree the contract deal.
Those who tuned into ITV's Daybreak show this morning hoping to see Yeovil Town featured on national television will have been rather disappointed. Although the Glovers were mentioned in the introductions for the show, with a still shot of their 'topless' team group, the feature itself never appeared.
It transpires that the transmission van sent by ITV broke down, and so the recording could not be transmitted back to their London studios. As a result, the broadcast never happened, leaving Glovers fans stuck watching some less than interesting alternative programming.
The club are still due to feature on regional programme The West Country Tonight where the footage that was originally intended for broadcast will still be used.
Yeovil Town Ladies have been drawn in Group One in this season's FA Women's Premier League Cup, after the Football Association provided the schedule for the group stages of the competition this morning. The draw, made at Wembley Stadium, has pitched the Glovers in a group of five teams as follows:
Group One: Cardiff City Ladies FC, Portsmouth FC Ladies, Queens Park Rangers LFC, Reading FC Women, Yeovil Town LFC.
The group stages consist of six separate groups, with all bar one group playing two home matches and two away matches against the other sides in their group. The top two clubs in the group stages automatically qualify for the knock-out stages, along with the four best third placed teams.
Yeovil Town striker James Hayter has said that there is an obligation for him and other experienced players to help his younger team-mates through the coming season. The 33 year old is the second oldest player on the Glovers books in a squad that contains many players that have only a small handful of appearances between them.
With well over 500 appearances in the Football League for AFC Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers, and having achieved promotion from League One whilst on Donny's books, Hayter has had a long and varied career, and he told BBC Somerset that it is up to himself and others to lead the line:
"There's a couple of older lads, but the rest are quite young here. It's up to us older ones who are a bit more experienced, to help them along. There's a couple of us who have had a couple of promotions and things, so we know what it takes. So it's up to us to help them, and hopefully push the club along."
Hayter explained that it was not necessarily about explicit leadership, but by doing the right thing and showing an example to younger players of how they should behave and perform whilst they were on the club's books:
"First and foremost you've just got to lead by example and do what you think is right. You hope others will follow. If not and you think you need a word with someone then you'll do that as well. Hopefully we're all quite approachable, so I think if any of the younger lads do need any help then they can come and have a chat with us and we'll help them all we can."
Early betting odds for the 2012-13 season placed Yeovil Town in a familiar spot as one of the rank outsiders for the division, with only Walsall tending to attract wider odds. Hayter said that those sort of predictions didn't bother him, as he had experienced so many seasons where his clubs had been defying the odds:
"I've had that with most of my career. With Bournemouth we were always underdogs. With Doncaster when I first got there, we obviously got promoted to the Championship, but then we were a small fish in that league. But we managed to stay there for a few years and punch above our weight. Hopefully that can be similar here. There's not too much expected of us as it is 'only Yeovil' as some people look at it like that. But hopefully we can surprise a few people this season."
So far this season the Isle of Wight born striker has managed three goals, with the team as a whole managing 21 goals in eight matches. The acid test will be how the team cope against League One opposition, but for now, Hayter is happy with how things have panned out from a scoring point of view:
"We haven't found that a problem at all. We've scored quite a few goals in pre-season. We're unbeaten as yet, and we've had some good games. We've scored some good goals, and hopefully we can continue that into the season."
Yeovil Town are to feature on national television tomorrow morning. The Glovers will feature on ITV's Daybreak programme, who have visited Huish Park this week, in the wake of the club's decision to hold their team photo-shoot 'topless' on Monday, in the hope of finding a new club sponsor.
The show runs from 6.00a.m. until 9.00a.m. on the ITV1 channel. Scheduling on such programmes is 'live' and therefore subject to change, but the club currently expect the piece on Yeovil Town to be run around 7.30a.m. You may be wise to put the TV on in the background though or keep an eye on Twitter for any indications of the article being run.
League One side Portsmouth are showing signs that they will end the week with the issues surrounding their over-inflated player wage bill much clearer, after their highest earner agreed to leave the club.
Israeli player Tal Ben Haim had been exposed by administrator Trevor Birch as having a salary of £36,000 a week, plus an image rights deal that put him on earnings greater than a number of League One clubs entire playing budgets. He has now left the club, leaving Liam Lawrence as the last of Pompey's big earners left on their books, although Kanu is still aiming to have his situation resolved through a tribunal.
Birch expects Lawrence's situation to be resolved today, beating a deadline of tomorrow that had been set in order to finalise the purchase of the club. With that prospect now in mind, Birch is now looking for prospective owners Portpin to push through their plans:
"We expect to make an announcement on Liam Lawrence’s future later today and, whilst the situation with Kanu has not yet been resolved, we are cautiously optimistic about our prospects. The progress that we have made over the past 24 hours means that there is now a much better prospect of meeting the conditions of the CVA, completing the sale of the club and avoiding liquidation. As a result, we will now push on with our negotiations with Portpin, with a view to finalising a deal in the next few days."
Pompey's other race against time relates to their ability to register players with the Football League. The over-sized wage bill, combined with extreme doubt over whether they'd be able to start the new season, has meant that the League currently have placed them under a transfer embargo.
The Hampshire club are due to commence their fixtures next Tuesday with a League Cup First Round tie against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park, but currently do not have enough players to fulfil the fixture. The common belief is that most of Portsmouth's pre-season trialists are in fact committed signings, but that the paperwork cannot be put through until the Football League give the green light. Whether the League will agree to temporary dispensation, isn't clear at this stage.
The Football League have published details of payments made by clubs regarding Football Agents for the 2011-12 season. Over the twelve month period covering July 1st 2011 until June 30th 2012, Yeovil Town paid out a total of £8,720 to Agents as part of transfer dealings relating to players.
The League have also published details of how many player Contracts were registered by the Glovers during the 2011-12 season. Overall, the club registered 15 new players, and initiated 18 loan transfers across the season. There were four updated contracts, whilst three contracts with the club were cancelled - one of those would have been Kelly Youga.
In comparison with other League One clubs, Hartlepool United were the only club to not make any payments to Football Agents. Only Walsall (£7,398) and Exeter City (£5,500). At the other end of the payment scale, Sheffield Wednesday were the biggest spenders, forking out £332,620, whilst Charlton Athletic spent £265,170. Overall across the whole division League One clubs spent a total of £1,930,836 on Football Agents.
In comparison with the 2010-11 season, the League One figure has dropped slightly, with £2,347,749 having spent during that campaign across the division. For Yeovil Town, payments are up slightly from £6,000 during the 2010-11 season.
Across the whole Football League, a total of £21,672,010 was spent - significantly up on the 2010-11 figure of £16,658,976 and a huge increase from the £12,739,867 two years ago.
With those sums spiralling against the League's wishes to control spending within football, Chairman Greg Clarke has a bit of explaining to do. He cites the fact that much of the spending has been done by a 'top end' of clubs, specifically mentioning West Ham United's payments of £4,314,270 to Football Agents:
"While £21m is a lot of money leaving the game, it should also be noted that a considerable amount of this total has been spent by a small number of clubs. In fact, almost a fifth of the overall figure was spent by one club alone.
"Where such spending forms part of a sustainable business plan it shouldn't be of great concern and supporters should be encouraged to see our clubs committing themselves to the new Financial Fair Play regulations that will take effect across all three divisions in the new season. In time, these rules will require clubs to be more circumspect with regard to their spending and may help reduce the costs incurred in this area."
Yeovil Town midfielder Gavin Williams will miss the start of the 2012-13 Season, after his manager conceded that there was no hope in him getting fit for the start of the campaign. The Welshman, who is one of the most experienced members of Gary Johnson's squad, has missed the last three pre-season friendlies with a calf muscle problem, but the initial prognosis was that he just needed to be rested.
Johnson has now revealed that the 32 year old will now be out for up to two weeks, meaning that he will miss at least the first two competitive fixtures and putting his availability down to around the away trip at Brentford towards the end of the month. Speaking to this week's Western Gazette, Johnson said that a small tear had been found in the calf that resulted in him having to reshuffle his plans:
"He has got a slight tear in his calf and he will be ten days to two weeks."
The Glovers boss has also hinted that the starting line-ups in the last two friendlies against Newport County and against Stoke City are his current Plan A, pointing out that even the likes of Keanu Marsh-Brown, who missed the second of the South Wales matches, would struggle to justify a place in the team because others had jumped in ahead of them:
"The lads that get injured now are going to find it difficult to get in, like Keanu Marsh-Brown who had a sore groin at Newport. The lads played well at Newport so he didn't get a chance against Stoke."
Despite only having a squad of eighteen players, Johnson remains confident that he can cover any gaps left by injured players, pointing out that all sixteen of his outfield players are capable of performing in alternative positions. At present there's no firm indication of when Chelsea defender/midfielder Rohan Ince will be returning to the club, following his shin injury at Newport, although his problem was not thought to be too serious.
On Tuesday night, Yeovil Town drew at home to Stoke City in their eighth pre-season friendly. The match at Huish Park saw a Reuben Reid penalty cancelled out by a Kenwyne Jones header during the second half. At the game, Glovers fan Kurt West witnessed events and has posted a Taff's Gloversblog entry, giving his thoughts on the game, and in addition a bonus video blog, created just after he got home from the match.
View both via the link below, and feel free to post your own views at the foot of the main blog.
Yeovil Town Ladies have announced that the club's first team will be playing their home league matches at Wells City's Athletic Ground for at least this coming season. The club have been playing at Sherborne Town's Raleigh Grove for the past two years, but have made the move across the county ahead of their move back to the FA Women’s Premier League. Like Raleigh Grove, the Athletic Ground has excellent facilities, but with a far superior playing surface the club have opted for this move, allowing them to play the standard of football required for operating successfully at the higher level.
Speaking today, Glovers’ joint manager Nigel Williams spoke of his delight in finalising the club’s new home:
"Having been looking for a home pitch since the end of last season, I am very pleased we have linked with Wells City. We would have liked to have stayed in the Yeovil area, but pitches are at a premium and the standard we have risen to required a good standard of playing surface.
"Obviously it would be great to play at Huish Park, but that was not an option. We will continue to work with Sherborne Town to look at how we can help bring their surface up to standard, but in the meantime we are grateful for the welcome we have received from Wells. We hope that our supporters will travel that little extra to watch us this season."
Fellow manager Sarah Lawler is also sad to be leaving Sherborne, but is excited about the move to the Athletic Ground, and the possibilities it will present the team playing on an excellent pitch:
"Although it is a shame we will be moving further away from the Yeovil area to play our home games this coming season. Wells City FC are absolutely fantastic and are by far the best venue available to us that complies with the FA Premier League ground grading in Somerset.
"We have listened to the players on the matter of trying to improve the home ground facility, and as a result for the short term this means a move away from Sherborne for the league fixtures. Sherborne will be working hard to bring their pitch up to standard in the next couple of seasons, so we hope to bring our league games back to this venue in the future, provided the surface improves.
"Our relationship with them is excellent, and we are planning on playing some cup games out there this season, but the priority must be the league and in order to fulfil our ambitions as a team the players need to have confidence in the surface they are playing on.
"As a team we like to keep the ball down and play good football, and playing our league games at Wells we will allow all the hard work the players put into training on Tuesday and Thursday nights to pay off on a Sunday. Our league away record last year was fantastic, but when we played at Sherborne last season in what should have been our home advantage we simply did not perform as well due to the surface.
"Wells City FC have an excellent set up, and we will work in partnership this season to promote Girls and Women’s Football in the area. The club also has a thriving female section much like ours, and we hope to attract players, families and football supporters from this area to come and watch us play."
The club realise that the move to Wells will mean supporters have to travel a little further, but as Lawler explained the club really appreciate the fans loyalty, and hope they will enjoy watching good football on a good pitch:
"We were really lucky to have had a good following of Yeovil Town supporters over the past two seasons at Sherborne, and I want to thank every supporter that backed us. I would like plea to those people who have followed us battle our way back into the FA Women’s Premier League to come and watch us at Wells City, so that we can show them how we want to play football against excellent opposition, making a real advert for Yeovil Town and Women’s Football.
"A lot has changed from the first time we were in the Premier League in 2010/11, from the management, professionalism and the players. What has to be the most noticeable change is the style of football we encourage our side to play. Given that this is the most significant change in the club and it being a key element to our success in the last season, the pitch that we play on must be the number one priority to get right to give the players every confidence in competing in this league. We believe this team will do that, and the decision we have made has been to help them enhance their game so that they can enjoy this season and the challenges it will bring us. Personally I am really excited, and I cannot wait for the season to kick off."
The Yeovil Town Ladies Reserve Team will continue to play their home matches at the Somerton Sports Ground.
Yeovil Town's opening League One opponents Coventry City have more or less sold out their away allocation for their first competitive match at Huish Park. The Sky Blues travel to South Somerset on Saturday 18th August for the opening league game of the 2012-13 season and will be bringing close to 2,000 supporters to the club.
According to Coventry's club website, as of Wednesday lunchtime, they had just 65 tickets left of an allocation totalling 1,950 available tickets. Despite them playing at third tier level for the first time since 1964, the Sky Blues have fully sold out their 1,500 terrace places, and were just left with a small number of seated tickets in the Screwfix (East) Stand from their 450 allocation, and so will bring a full allocation later this month.
The Coventry away following should guarantee a crowd of at least 5,500 at Huish Park on the opening day of the League One season. For 2012-13 pre-match and matchday ticketing information follow the link below.
Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry has admitted that he is frustrated at the lack of progress in the club's ongoing attempts to remove the restrictive covenants that exist on the Huish Park site. In an article in the Sunday Independent, Fry believes that whilst those remain in place, his club will be unable to move foward in their plans to develop the stadium and surrounding land.
The covenants on the land at Huish Park are restrictions include restrictions on what developments can be carried out on the land, and were largely drawn up as concessions to various parties at the time planning permission was granted for the stadium around 1989. The two key ones at stake, to our knowledge, are that Huish Park's 26 acres are designated for 'sports' purposes only, with the rights to that covenant held by South Somerset District Council. The other relates to the restrictions on the sale of alcohol on the land, and is held by Abbey Manor Group, under the terms that saw The Arrow pub built 20 years ago.
Fry doesn't explicitly state which covenants are causing him concern, but accuses unnamed parties of not sharing the club's dreams. He also claims the current problems are preventing the club from having their own training ground, or facilities for Yeovil Town Ladies to play on:
"It is very frustrating. We are up there with the best-run clubs in the country and have done things the proper way. But we need people to be helping us. There are restrictive covenants on Huish Park that need to be lifted to help us develop.
I don't want this to seem like a threat, but there are people who don't share our dreams. For instance, we haven't even got a training ground. There are no decent pitches in Yeovil. Our Ladies team as been promoted but they have had to go to Wells City to find a pitch to play on. We should be looking for a sports facility for Yeovil, and the local council admits this, but we need people with a will to make it happen."
The addition of the main 'site usage' covenant was supported by former Yeovil Town Director George Smith in a letter to SSDC in the year 2000. As a result, the club's plans to build a Food Store on the Huish Park land are likely to be heard by SSDC's Regulatory Committee, with the latest date for the application to be reviewed being October 2012.
Fry believes there are 'ongoing issues' within the Council and has brought in local MP David Laws to resolve them. He claims that the sale of the Huish Park land is needed in order to work within FIFA regulations, and to deal with the £500,000 he wants to spend on the main stadium pitch, which unable to stage a pre-season friendly against Plymouth Argyle this summer due to problems with it being match ready. The Glovers Chairman feels that he is encountering too many problems along the way:
"How do we move forward with a restrictive covenant on the site? I seem to spend all my time going through hoops and hurdles. It has to be progression or die. There are ongoing issues with the South Somerset District Council and we have had a meeting with our MP (David Laws) who can see our position and has been helpful. All clubs need money to work within FIFA's financial fair play rules.
We need to spend £500,000 on the pitch and I know it's a tough world out there. I have the dream to take the club higher. Fans don't want relegation battles every season, but to realise the dream we have to generate money. We have not gone to the council to ask for money, and I don't intend to, but we must get rid of that legal millstone around our necks."
League One side Bury are looking for a new manager just before the 2012-13 season starts after they lost their first team manager Richie Barker today. The 37 year old has taken up the vacant post at Crawley, signing a two year contract at the Broadfield Stadium, replacing Sean O'Driscoll who shocked the League One newcomers by heading to Nottingham Forest before taking charge of a competitive fixture.
O'Driscoll's departure has triggered a chain reaction that has led to Bury's loss - the Shakers have cited Barker's wish to move down to the South as being behind the move, saying that after discussions "it became clear that the primary factor in Richie's decision to leave was his desire to be closer to his young family on the South Coast."
Bury have placed Peter Shirtliff in temporary charge of their first team, with Ben Futcher as his caretaker assistant manager.
Yeovil Town maintained their pre-season unbeaten run tonight, as a 1-1 draw against Premier League side Stoke City saw them draw in their eighth practice match. A goalless first half burst into life during a ten minute period just after the break, as Reuben Reid's penalty opened the scoring after Byron Webster was fouled in the box. Then the Potters grabbed their equalising goal through Kenwyne Jones as his backpost header saw the visitors level to give them their second draw in the West Country in 24 hours, having also played Torquay United last night.
The Glovers went into the match missing two key players, as Rohan Ince continued treatment on a shin injury back at parent club Chelsea, whilst Gavin Williams missed his third consecutive match with calf muscle problems. For Stoke City, former loan pair Asmir Begovic and Marc Wilson got the chance to start against their former club, although there was no place for the likes of Rory Delap, Peter Crouch and Robert Huth in a relatively strong Potters starting line-up.
Both sides had their chances during the first period, with Ryan Shawcross almost putting into his own net from a Reuben Reid cross, whilst James Hayter headed over the bar. Stokes best chance came via trialist Sebastian Boenisch who forced a terrific save out of Marek Stech, after Stoke's Jamie Ness and Glenn Whelan had combined to good effect down the channel following a free kick. Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu was once again playing as a winger, and he showed that he knew how to drive at the full-back with an excellent run, but his final ball to Reuben Reid was poor and the two sides went in at the break without beating the keepers.
Three minutes into the second period, Yeovil Town got a shock breakthrough after Ryan Shawcross fouled Byron Webster in the box, giving the Glovers the chance of a spot kick to open the scoring. Up stepped Reuben Reid and although Asmir Begovic guessed the right way, he couldn't get his hand to the ball, with the penalty kick putting Yeovil Town 1-0 up against Premier League opposition.
Unsurprisingly Stoke came back at them - with Ryan Shotton's cross-cum-shot clipping the crossbar as he sought out Kenwyne Jones. However, nine minutes after the Yeovil opener, Sebastian Boenisch got in down the left flank, and his deep cross into the box, and Jones planted an excellent header home on the back stick, with the Glovers perhaps guilty of losing their marker as Stoke levelled the game.
Both sides made a series of second half substitutions, although with Yeovil only having four available outfield substitutes, their options were a little more slender as legs on both sides tired somewhat. In the dying stages, Cameron Jerome could have won it as he tried to stab a loose ball home but couldn't get his tow on it, then Danny Higginbotham blasted well wide of the target in the final minute.
Overall, a good performance from a Glovers side that tired a little in the second period, but did not look overawed by their Premier League opposition. Reuben Reid got the sponsors man of the match, not only for his penalty, but for leading the line well. With six of the ten outfield players getting through 90 minutes, with a near first choice eleven competing, the Glovers are timing the end of their pre-season schedule well.
Yeovil Town: 1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 3. Jamie McAllister (c)
19. Gozie Ugwu 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid
Yeovil Substitutes: 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (71 mins for James Hayter) 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young (71 mins for Luke Ayling) 16. Nathan Ralph (80 mins for Jamie McAllister) 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown (80 mins for Sam Foley)
Stoke City: 1. Asmir Begovic 5. Sebastian Boenisch 12. Marc Wilson 17. Ryan Shawcross 20. Matthew Upson 26. Matthew Etherington 6. Glenn Whelan 18. Dean Whitehead 9. Kenwyne Jones 19. Jonathan Walters 30. Ryan Shotton.
Stoke Substitutes: 8. Jamie Ness (25 mins for Matthew Etherington) 33. Cameron Jerome (46 for Marc Wilson) 40. Wilson Palacios (60 mins for Dean Whitehead) 32. Diego Arismendi (60 mins for Glenn Whelan) 24. Rory Delap (65 mins for Jonathan Walters), 23. Michael Tonge (71 mins for Kenwyne Jones), 3. Danny Higginbotham (71 mins for Sebastian Boenisch)
Yeovil Town have named their starting eleven that will take on Premier League side Stoke City at Huish Park tonight. They go into the match missing midfield pair Rohan Ince (leg) and Gavin Williams (calves) who are both receiving attention on the treatment table. However, Byron Webster has recovered from a rib injury and is able to take his place in the starting line-up.
As expected for Stoke City, former Glovers loan keeper Asmir Begovic lines up against his former club - the inclusion of another ex-loanee Marc Wilson is more of a surprise, given that he played 90 minutes against Torquay United last night. England striker Peter Crouch is at Huish Park but is not in their starting line-up.
Yeovil Town: 1. Marek Stech 2. Luke Ayling 3. Jamie McAllister (c) 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 9. James Hatyer 11. Reuben Reid 14. Sam Foley 19. Gozie Ugwu
Yeovil Substitutes: 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young 16. Nathan Ralph 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown
Stoke City: 1. Asmir Begovic 5. Sebastian Boenisch 12. Marc Wilson 17. Ryan Shawcross 20. Matthew Upson 26. Matthew Etherington 6. Glenn Whelan 18. Dean Whitehead 9. Kenwyne Jones 19. Jonathan Walters 30. Ryan Shotton.
Stoke Substitutes: TBA.
Looking ahead to tonight's match, which is the club's first against higher league opposition this year, midfielder Ed Upson sees the game against the Potters as a good benchmark to see how strong the Glovers squad really is:
"They'll be a good team, obviously, as they're Premier League, and so it will be a good test for us to see where we're at in our pre-season. Obviously we're doing well, so it will be a good test and we can really go for it."
Striker Reuben Reid agrees, recognising that so far the club have played five sides outside the Football League, and two more in the division below them. He therefore sees the match against Stoke as a night where the team will need stick to their gameplan:
"We've played lower league teams so far, so obviously it's going to be a very good test for us, against a Premier League side. So everybody will be up for it. But don't count us out not to give them a good game. If we stick to our gameplan and do what we do well, and all the players come to the table, then it should be a good game."
Officials for Yeovil Town's opening competitive game of the 2012-13 season have been published by the Football League. Due to the London 2012 Olympics, the season opens with a League Cup First Round match against Colchester United which will take place on Tuesday 14th August 2012 at Huish Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.
The referee in charge of the game will be Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Mr Hooper was promoted to the Football League in the summer of 2008, and we've had him six times as the man in the middle.
The earliest occasion was October 2008, when a 0-0 draw with Leyton Orient saw him a little too trigger-happy in terms of stopping the game and failing to play advantage for both teams. We also weren't too happy about him missing a fairly blatant penalty shout for an off the ball foul on striker Scott Rendell. That was his first match at League One level, so some allowances should be made for his lack of experience at that time.
Next up was the August 2009 trip to play Huddersfield Town, where he was a late replacement as referee. He awarded us a penalty that day, and although we went on to lose the game, anyone who awards a spot kick to an away team at a stadium the size of the Galpharm deserves credit for a brave decision.
The third encounter was the November 2009 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic. In a game played in atrocious weather conditions, Mr Hooper sent off Charlton's Sam Sodje half an hour into the game for a professional foul. Another brave decision, but to our (biased) eyes, the correct one. We had no other comments about his handling of the match.
Mr Hooper was at Huish Park for the September 2010 game against Southampton and we were a little less enthused about his brave decision-making. To be fair he had a decent game overall, and did give us one penalty for a trip on Gavin Williams, but it was his earlier decision to not award a spot kick for a foul on Andy Williams in the box that had us grumbling during the game.
Moving on to January 2011, he took charge of the home match against Milton Keynes Dons. During this match, he sent off Jean-Paul Kalala for an off the ball incident involving ex-Glover Michael McIndoe. No complaints about the Kalala decision, although our (extremely biased) opinion was that McIndoe should have walked with him. However, we did feel that the whole situation that had been brewing for the previous 84 minutes was partly the responsibility of a referee who wasn't doing enough to diffuse situations.
Mr Hooper's most recent visit to Huish Park was for manager Gary Johnson's first 'proper' game in charge for his second spell, having returned to the club at the start of that week. No complaints here about Mr Hooper's performance ... except that he failed to finish the match! He suffered a second half hamstring injury and had to leave the field.
Mr Hooper will be assisted by Robert Ellis (West Midlands) and Andrew Bennett (Devon). The Fourth Official will be Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire).
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson admits that tonight's visitors Stoke City will present a very different sort of test for the club's eighth pre-season friendly, as they prepare for the start of the 2012-13 season. Whilst the club have so far had seven matches against lower league opposition - with just two teams from the Football League - they will come up against a Potters side that last season competed in the Europa League, playing twelve matches last season at that level.
Speaking to BBC Somerset, Johnson believes that his side will still be able to stick to their own 'brand' of football, as they aim to keep up their on the deck passing style. However, he admits that a lot will come down to how his team cope when the visiting side gain possession:
"It's good that we've got a Premier League side coming down to Huish Park. I want us to be able to show our football against that type of opposition, because in my opinion if you've got a football team, then they can play against any opposition. It's when the opposition have the ball that you're in trouble. So we've got to make sure that we're nice and sharp, and nice and solid - and to make sure that we're committed, so that when they've got the ball, we try to get it back quickly."
Whilst recent summers have been dominated by the club bringing in large numbers of trialists, and the list of contracted players only known late on, this year Johnson has brought in a different ethic - forming a squad of eighteen players early on that has contained just two loan players. He said that bringing in those players at the start of the pre-season schedule has added to the excitment he feels in what he is working on:
"I got the tingle when I started getting the group together, early on in pre-season. We did get them in early enough, so that we did a lot of work with them as a group. There's no excuses now if we're not ready enough as a team, when the season comes round."
So far, the club have managed five wins and two draws in their seven pre-season friendlies, giving the potential chance to go through all nine matches unbeaten before the season starts. Gary admits that would be nice, but says that's not the be-all and end-all of the situation:
"Obviously we've got just a week or so to go now, and two pre-season friendlies to go, and it would be nice to keep our unbeaten record going. It's not necessarily the results that show whether it's gone well. It's whether you can see your shape, your pattern in your team and in your players. We've got that, we think. We've just got to get that fine-tuning now - that last little bit of work, that makes them match-ready for three points."
Tonight's match at Huish Park kicks off at 7.45p.m. with tickets still available from the Ticket Office.
With tonight's visitors Stoke City playing a pre-season friendly last night against Torquay United, the team that they will send to Huish Park will no doubt be influenced by that line-up.
The Potters fielded a strong line-up at Plainmoor, but made ten substitutions during the match, suggesting that they will probably do the same tonight. Former Yeovil Town loanee Marc Wilson played a full 90 minutes down in Devon, suggesting that he will not be involved in tonight's game. However, goalkeeper Asmir Begovic - the other player with Glovers connections - did not feature at all, giving hopes that he will be lined up to start against his old club.
Last night, Stoke gave a trial to former Werder Bremen left-back Sebastian Boenisch and manager Tony Pulis has indicated he is likely to feature in tonight's game as well, as he is short of match fitness. The Potters also are hoping that they can still draft in Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Michael Kightly, who they are trying to agree a transfer with. However, Robert Huth is highly unlikely to feature in tonight's match, despite missing the trip to Plainmoor - he has gone to hospital with a virus.
The most likely scenario is that in addition to goalkeeper Begovic, that the bulk of Stoke's starting line-up tonight would be selected from those on the substitutes bench at Plainmoor. Last night's line-up in Devon is shown below. In terms of the game itself, Torquay drew 1-1 with Stoke, after a late Billy Bodin equaliser grabbed a draw for the home side. Stoke's goal was unwittingly scored by former Glovers trialist Aaron Downes, who deflected the ball into his own net just before half time.
Stoke City (starting line-up vs Torquay United): 29. Thomas Sorensen 5. Sebastian Boenisch 6. Glenn Whelan 12. Marc Wilson 17. Ryan Shawcross 19. Jonathan Walters 20. Matthew Upson 25. Peter Crouch 26. Matthew Etherington 30. Ryan Shotton 40. Wilson Palacios
Substitutes: 3. Danny Higginbotham (62 mins for Ryan Shawcross) 8. Jamie Ness (52 mins for Matthew Etherington) 9. Kenwyne Jones (46 mins for Peter Crouch) 11. Mamady Sidibe (62 mins for Ryan Shotton) 18. Dean Whitehead (52 mins for Glenn Whelan) 23. Michael Tonge (62 mins for Sebastian Boenisch) 24. Rory Delap 28. Andy Wilkinson (62 mins for Matthew Upson) 32. Diego Arismendi (62 mins for Wilson Palacios) 33. Cameron Jerome (46 mins for Jonathan Walters) XX. Carlo Nash (62 mins for Thomas Sorensen)
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson laid his club's problem out bare this morning, as part of the club's annual photo shoot. With the Glovers having yet to find a first team shirt sponsor for the 2012-13 season, the first team squad were asked to turn out for the team group with something missing - their shirts!
Johnson's logic was "no shirt sponsor - no shirt" as the players (but mercifully not the management staff) went topless for their team photo in the hope that the publicity gained would result in someone getting in touch with the club.
As reported last month, last season's sponsors Jones Building Contractors have declined the opportunity to extend their deal, and so the club have been wearing unsponsored shirts during all of their pre-season friendlies so far. Johnson told BBC Somerset that the club had received interest from prospective sponsors, but they were holding out for the right bidder. He joked that he'd insisted that he was one of the few to keep his own shirt on during the photo shoot:
"It was my idea for the staff to keep their shirts on! Yes, it was (my idea). I think there's been a lot of interest from sponsors. But we feel that we're going to have a successful season. So obviously we need to make sure that the sponsors are paying the right sort of sponsorship money to be on our shirt. If we haven't got a sponsor at the moment then you can't wear the shirt."
Johnson explained that he dropped the hint to the players that they would be asked to 'strip off' for Monday morning's session. However, claimed that his players reaction was to head down the gym to tone themselves up for the occasion:
"I just felt that the boys have been working out over the last couple of days in preparation, and did a few press-ups before! It just highlights really that we are still looking for a sponsor. It's a little bit tongue-in-cheek of course; it's not serious. A few of the lads look okay and a few of them look like they need to get in the gym a bit more!"
Those wishing to put the shirt back on the players backs should get in contact with Glovers Commercial Manager Dave Linney on 01935 847872 or email him at email@example.com
Tomorrow evening's Premier League opponents Stoke City will be splitting their first team squad over the coming couple of days as they play two matches in the South-West on consecutive days. Tony Pulis is taking his squad down to Devon tonight to face League Two side Torquay United tonight, and will then travel back to Somerset the next day for Tuesday evening's fixture at Huish Park.
That means that those who land on the bench or do not feature in the Monday evening game at Plainmoor will be more likely to start at Huish Park, and so we should get a better idea of their line-up once the game in Devon has been played. The Potters have just returned from a three game tour in the USA, playing sides from Columbus, Orlando and Kansas, returning to the UK on Friday. Pulis has told his club's website that he expects the Gulls and Glovers to pose very different tests:
"Both Torquay and Yeovil are in the final stages of their pre-season, so they will really be up for it. They will want to produce a good performance against Premier League opposition to set them up nicely for the start of their League campaigns. They will provide us with a big test and the cooler conditions will no doubt mean that the pace of the games will be different to those in the States."
As yet, Stoke have had a fairly low key summer in terms of transfers, with 21 year old midfielder Jamie Ness the only major arrival, from Glasgow Rangers. Right-back Ben Glasgow is another signing, with the 18 year old coming in from Arsenal on his first professional contract. They are currently trying to sign Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Michael Kightly but it's doubtful as to whether that deal will be completed by tomorrow.
Heading out the other way, defender Danny Collins has gone to Nottingham Forest, defender Jonathan Woodgate has signed for Middlesbrough, striker Ryan Brunt has joined Leyton Orient on loan, whilst Walsall have grabbed midfielder Florent Cuvelier for six months.
Tomorrow's match kicks off at 7.45p.m. with tickets available on the day at the following tariffs:
Visiting Stoke City supporters should note that the Copse Road Away Terrace will not be open for tomorrow night's fixture. Away supporters will instead be housed in the Screwfix (East) Stand. All three home sides of the Huish Park ground will be open for Yeovil Town supporters.
As far as the Glovers team is concerned, they are expected to be without Chelsea loanee Rohan Ince, who is back at Stamford Bridge following a leg injury, whilst trialist James Clarke has been let go. Three other players will require fitness tests, with Gavin Williams (calf), Byron Webster (ribs) and Keanu Marsh-Brown (groin) having sat out the last pre-season friendly with knocks.
Yeovil Town have decided against offering Oxford City defender James Clarke a new contract. The 22 year old had been on trial at the club, playing in pre-season friendlies against Hereford United, Llanelli AFC and Newport County, separated by a gap caused by a minor injury.
According to the Western Daily Press, manager Gary Johnson has decided against a contract on the basis that Clarke would be better off seeking a club that can offer him more guaranteed first team football.
Meanwhile, defender/midfielder Rohan Ince has temporarily returned to parent club Chelsea, and was not present for this morning's annual first team photo. At present his injury - following a tackle in last Friday's match at Newport County - is not thought to be serious, but for the moment he is back at Stamford Bridge receiving treatment.
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has said that he may send Rohan Ince for an X-ray tomorrow if there are still concerns over the tackle he sustained in Friday night's match against Newport County. With the first team squad having returned from their week in South Wales, their final fixture was marred by the Chelsea loanee failing to complete the fixture at Rodney Parade - limping off after a poor tackle by County player Max Porter.
Johnson has told today's Sunday Independent that he felt the tackle was excessive, and that although they don't yet know the damage, Ince's immediate reaction to it gave cause for concern:
"It was a poor tackle and we don't know how bad the injury is yet. It was a poor challenge for a pre-season friendly, however competitive you want it to be. The lad caught him on the shin and his leg went numb, which makes you fear the worst."
The Glovers boss said that with the new 2012-13 season due to kick-off in around 10 days time with a League Cup match that there were obvious concerns, and that he was likely to send him to have a scan if there was still discomfort on Monday morning:
"We'll keep our fingers crossed that he's fit and available for the start of the season, but he's in a bit of pain. He'll probably go for an X-ray to check it out but we have to wait for it to settle down first. I really hope he's okay because he's going to be a big player for us and we're going to need him."
Ince may well be joined in the X-ray unit by defender Byron Webster, who has sore ribs after suffering a knock in last Tuesday's match at Llanelli. Other players who missed the Newport County game are less of a concern - Keanu Marsh-Brown (groin) and Gavin Williams (calves) were both omitted but Johnson says that they were more 'resting' because of soreness, rather than suffering from serious problems.
Former Yeovil Town right-back Lee Peltier has left Leicester City after one season with the Foxes. The former Huddersfield Town defender made 47 appearances in the Championship last season, but has now agreed a three year contract with Leeds United, signing for an undisclosed fee. Huddersfield themselves had been interested in taking back the 25 year old for a second spell, but instead he has penned a deal with their Yorkshire rivals.
Former Yeovil Town striker James Walker has found himself a new club this week, signing for Conference South side Eastbourne Borough. The 24 year old has been snapped up after being released by Dover Athletic at the end of last season.
Fairly remarkably, this is Walker's 12th club, despite being aged just 24 years old. Since his loan spell with Yeovil Town during the 2007-08 season, that appeared to be pitching his career on an upward climb, his £200,000 transfer to Southend United failed to ignite, and he has since worked his way through Hereford United, Gillingham, Leyton Orient and Woking before spending the 2011-12 season with Dover.
Following Friday night's 3-1 win over Newport County at Rodney Parade, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson spoke to local journalist Chris Spittles about the game. In an interview for BBC Somerset, Gary's post-match thoughts can be read via the link below.
Yeovil Town completed their week in South Wales tonight, with a 3-1 win over Newport County that continues their good pre-season form. Having played seven fixtures, all against lower league opposition, the Glovers have clocked up five wins and two draws, and gained victory tonight thanks to two first half goals from Reuben Reid and Nathan Ralph, whilst Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu got his fourth in pre-season as he netted in the second period, with Newport's goal coming late on from the penalty spot as Andy Sandell converted after a handling offence.
The first half saw a somewhat experimental starting line-up with trialist James Clarke getting another chance to impress as a centre-back. The line-up saw Gozie Ugwu and Nathan Ralph tried out as wingers, whilst Ed Upson rested his legs on the bench. There was only one player missing, with Gavin Williams still out with a calf injury - Dominic Blizzard got his first pre-season outing as he recovers from a broken hand.
The game's opening goal came from Nathan Ralph's advanced position on the field, as his cross into the box gave Reuben Reid the chance to finish from close range with quarter of an hour gone. Overall the first half was played at a slightly slow pace at times, with Yeovil passing well, but without serious end product, even if Gozie Ugwu should have extended Yeovil's lead when his header on goal was blocked. County's chances were rarer, with Mike Flynn having the best chance for the home side.
Yeovil doubled their lead when former Newport County hero Sam Foley crossed into the box, and Nathan Ralph was on hand to head powerfully home, just as the game went into first half injury time. Foley got an excellent reception from the home supporters, and even received a Fair Play Award from the club prior to kick-off, but did not allow room for sentimentality once he got on the pitch.
Half time brought a significant reshuffle with four players coming on at the break and a series of substitutions. Luke Young came on as a right-winger, allowing Gozie Ugwu to go up front, whilst the introduction of Ed Upson and Rohan Ince allowed Sam Foley to move out onto the left wing. The substitution of Richard Hinds and Jamie McAllister allowed Nathan Ralph to drop deep down to left-back, whilst Curtis Haynes-Brown took a central position.
Within five minutes of the restart, Yeovil went further ahead, with Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu getting his fourth pre-season goal. Collecting a Rohan Ince pass, he controlled it well, beat his marker and confidently fired home to set up a 3-0 scoreline.
The second half had a higher tempo to it, with the Glovers looking a more organised unit and midfield pairing Ed Upson and Rohan Ince powering forward at times. With five minutes to go though, that organisation was disrupted somewhat as Max Porter's tackle on Ince left the Chelsea man in pain and needing to leave the field, looking distinctly unimpressed by the situation.
Perhaps surprisingly Yeovil played out the remaining time with just ten men rather than make another substitution, or reintroduce any of the substituted players. During that time, the home side pulled a late goal back - Jefferson Louis' shot was handled by James Clarke, gifting Newport a penalty. Andy Sandell took it, and scored past Gareth Stewart to give the Exiles a late consolation on the night.
Yeovil Town: 12. Gareth Stewart
2. Luke Ayling, 4. Richard Hinds, 18. James Clarke, 3. Jamie McAllister (C)
19. Gozie Ugwu, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 14. Sam Foley, 16. Nathan Ralph
9. James Hayter, 11. Reuben Reid.
Substitutes: 1. Marek Stech, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 8. Ed Upson (46 mins for Dominic Blizzard), 15. Lewis Young (46 mins for James Hayter), 17. Rohan Ince (46 mins for Richard Hinds), 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown (46 mins for Jamie McAllister).
Yeovil Town have selected their squad for tonight's trip to Rodney Parade that sees them play their seventh pre-season friendly of the 2012-13 campaign, with Conference National side Newport County their opponents. Gavin Williams (calf) and Byron Webster (ribs) are absent from tonight's squad, however Luke Ayling (foot) is able to return to the side.
The most welcome sight in the line-up is that of midfielder Dominic Blizzard who takes part in his first pre-season friendly of the season, having broken his hand in training.
There is a bit of juggling about for tonight's line-up with Marek Stech and Ed Upson sitting this one out, and also the hint at either a new formation, or a few new ideas of where players could play, with a 5-3-2, 4-3-3 or a diamond formation possible to construct out of the starting line-up, with three forwards selected along with two left-backs. The eleven that start read as follows:
Yeovil Town: 12. Gareth Stewart
2. Luke Ayling, 4. Richard Hinds, 18. James Clarke, 3. Jamie McAllister (C)
19. Gozie Ugwu, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 14. Sam Foley, 16. Nathan Ralph
9. James Hayter, 11. Reuben Reid.
Substitutes: 1. Marek Stech, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 8. Ed Upson, 15. Lewis Young, 17. Rohan Ince, 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown.
Tonight's match though is all about Sam Foley's return to Newport County. Having spent three and a half years with the South Wales side, this is his first chance to say goodbye to their fans and the playing squad, having signed for the Glovers over the summer. He has told the South Wales Argus today that he didn't expect this situation to develop, but is relishing his return:
"I had absolutely no intention of going anywhere and I certainly didn’t think at the end of the game at Wembley that it would be my last performance for County. I would have stayed on but there was a lot of interest from Yeovil and suddenly I was faced with the chance to move to a League One club. It was a great move for me, a chance to prove myself at that level.
"Not many players get to say a proper goodbye like I will and I am relishing it. I’ve got so many friends at the club and had such a great rapport with the fans. This game is an absolute bonus for me. As soon as it was announced I was buzzing and I am really hoping to get some game time."
Premier League side Southampton have transfer-listed three of their players, including former Yeovil Town loan signing Ryan Dickson. The 25 year old joins strikers Lee Barnard and Jonathan Forte who have been all told they can find new clubs.
All three are still under contract at St Mary's Stadium, and so will need to agree severance deals with the club, but the implication is that with the Saints having been promoted back to the top flight that they do not form part of their future plans. Boss Nigel Adkins has said told BBC Radio Solent that there is already interest in the players:
"It's fair to say that (they can leave). There has been interest in them because they are of good quality. We want to try and do it early enough for them and I know their agents have been working actively. They are fit but they need to play football as well so everyone is working very hard to create a win, win situation. There has been interest in them because they are of good quality and I would imagine as the month progresses something more concrete will materialise."
All three had played in Southampton's pre-season friendly against Sholing on Tuesday night, in what was meant to be an outing for their Under-21 side, and thus have been separated from the Saints first team squad already.
Glovers manager Gary Johnson did say earlier in the summer that he would be keen on the idea of signing Dickson, but doubted that he could afford his wages. With Jamie McAllister, Nathan Ralph and Curtis Haynes-Brown all able to play left-back and McAllister likely to take the captaincy for the 2012-13 season, this probably isn't a priority position for the Glovers to fill - and with a severance deal needed, may not come cheap. With Brentford stating they are aiming to sign a left-back within the next week, it's much more likely that Dickson would be looking for a return to his former club.
Yeovil Town play the second and last of their matches in South Wales tonight, when they make the trip to Rodney Parade, to take on Conference National side Newport County. As the seventh of a nine game pre-season friendly schedule, the club are now moving into the final couple of weeks before the season starts on August 14th, and this will be the final match on the road.
This will be third time a Glovers side have taken on a County first team side - with all three taking place at different grounds! Back in September 1988, the club's one and only competitive league match came at Somerton Park, just before the original Newport club went bankrupt. That 1-1 draw was later expunged from the seasonal records. Back in 2001, Gary Johnson took a pre-season side to Spytty Park - one of several venues the reformed club have used - with the Glovers coming out with a 3-2 win.
Newport now find themselves playing at Rodney Parade for this season - home of Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport Rugby Club. This is an 11,000 capacity stadium with just over 2,500 seats, and has staged full rugby union international matches in the past. This is a town centre ground, and is situated on the east side of the River Usk. If you're coming in via public transport, the railway station is on the opposite side of the river to the ground, but is easily walkable.
Assuming you're travelling from the East, take Junction 25a from the M4, then take the first exit off the motorway roundabout onto Heidenheim Drive (A4042). Go through a set of traffic lights and take the first exit off the flyover. Stay in the left-hand lane and take the second exit off the roundabout. At the next roundabout take the first exit across the River Usk, then at the next lights bear right onto Chepstow Road. Then take the first right onto Cedar Road, then the next right onto Corporation Road. Then take the first left onto Graffton Road and you'll find the ground on your left hand side.
Note that there is no spectator car park at the stadium, and most of the adjacent roads have a residents only parking scheme in place. So you either need to find street parking further away, or try one of the town's public car parks. The nearest car park is on Chepstow Road, but it's small and therefore may sell out on matchdays.
Admission prices are as follows:
Adults: £12.00; OAPs and Students: £10.00; Under-16s: £5.00.
As usual if you're going to tonight's game and want to write anything about it, or keep other supporters up to date with your views, drop us an email, or tweet us at @ytfcciderspace where matchday updates will be collated.
Yeovil Town's plans to build a Food Store at Huish Park appear to be under threat from expansion plans for the town's Quedam Shopping Centre. The freehold owners UBS Triton have written to South Somerset District Council, via their planning advisors Iceni Projects objecting to the club's supermarket plans on the basis that they have similar town centre proposals lined up.
UBS Triton have had long-standing plans to expand the current Quedam Centre lay-out and plan to use land surrounding Vincent's Car Centre in Market Street to expand the shopping centre into that area. In their letter to SSDC, UBS's objections - recorded in this week's Western Gazette - are largely in line with SSDC's planning department report on the application. However, the key problem for the football club is that UBS have their own plans for a supermarket within that expansion. Their letter states:
"UBS is presently formulating proposals for the (Vincent's Garage) site which would include an anchor food unit. The intention is to bring forward a detailed planning application as soon as possible, but in any event, within the next 12 months. The redevelopment of the Vincent's Garage site would incorporate structural and aesthetic changes to the Quedam Centre, and would conclusively read as an extension to the Centre."
The argument presented by UBS is that their site fits more rationally into the Government's National Planning Policy Framework, which requires local councils to perform a 'sequential test' which assesses the suitability of town centre locations for retail outlets ahead of out of town outlet. They claim that allowing the Huish Park proposals to proceed ahead of theirs would result in a "significant loss of investment (that) would undermine the performance of the Quedam centre and Yeovil town centre as a whole, and in turn, (affect) retailer and customer confidence."
Yeovil Town's planning advisors MWA have previously claimed that there are no suitable town centre locations for a supermarket within the town, and therefore that permission should be granted for an out of town store. At the time MWA's argument was that the Vincent's Garage site would not be available until 2016, and potentially required road junction improvements and compulsory purchase orders to be realised. The test of whether Vincent's Garage is a suitable location will therefore be a crucial one, regardless of whether UBS realise their overall plans.
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has confirmed that he still has room in his playing budget if he decides to take on Oxford City defender James Clarke. The 22 year old had been on trial at the club, playing in the opening pre-season friendly against Hereford United but did not appear in the four games that followed, due to an injury picked up after that match.
On Tuesday night, the former Oxford United trainee reappeared as a half time substitute against Llanelli and he is part of the squad who are spending the week in South Wales, suggesting that Johnson is quite keen on him. The Glovers boss has told this week's Western Gazette that this is certainly on his mind, although admits Clarke has a few other options as well:
"He was injured and he left us for a week to get rehabilitation and a bit of treatment. He has just come back in time for this tour so he joined us for the two games. We have got to see a little bit more of him. There are a lot of clubs interested in him at the moment but he would like to join us more than anybody else so we will have to wait and see."
Johnson had previously spoken of targeting a squad of eighteen players to start the season, and achieved that with the six month loan deals for Reading striker Gozie Ugwu and Chelsea midfielder Rohan Ince. However, since then Anthony Edgar has left the club, allowing the out of favour player to come off the club's wage bill. Hence, it could be that this has opened up enough money to make way for Clarke to come in.
The Glovers travel to Rodney Parade tomorrow in the last day of their stay in South Wales where they will take on Conference National side Newport County, with midfielder Sam Foley returning to his old club. They will take a check on Luke Ayling (foot) and Gavin Williams (calf) who missed Tuesday night's game at Llanelli, whilst Byron Webster (ribs) picked up a knock in that game. Today the team went white water rafting, as a team bonding exercise, perhaps taking their inspiration from the 2012 Olympics!
Yeovil Town's partnership with American Artificial Turf company Blue Sky International has unsurprisingly been killed off. After BSI had struck a deal with League Two side Port Vale, the Glovers announced a £1.25 million commercial deal with the firm last October that would give them a new artificial pitch, combined with ten years worth of pre-season tours to the USA and Caribbean.
All the warning signs were that this deal was on shaky ground, when BSI pulled out of their deal with the Valiants last December, establishing a chain of events that eventually saw them go into administration in March of this year.
Having kept silent on the issue for the last ten months, Yeovil Town have released a statement to this week's Western Gazette that confirms the deal is dead. However, they suggest that the problems are caused by the inability to find a suitable location for the artificial surface to reside:
"Yeovil Town FC and Blue Sky International have reached a mutual agreement to cancel the sponsorship agreement which provided for the installation of an artificial playing surface for use by the local community. Problems identifying and acquiring a suitable location for the surface and the lack of progress with the Huish Park site has led both parties to conclude the project cannot proceed at this time."
The inability to locate a plot of land for an artificial pitch to be implemented could be relevant to the club's Food Store application. Back in March, South Somerset District Council and Government body Sport England advised the club that they needed to provide replacement pitches as well as land that was accessible to the community. In the four months that has passed, no further application has been made by the club to cover this gap, and the above statement would suggest that the search for land has so far been unsuccessful.
League One side Tranmere Rovers have completed the signing of former Yeovil Town winger Abdulai Bell-Baggie. The 20 year old Sierra Leone player has signed a twelve month contract at Prenton Park, having featured in a series of pre-season friendlies on the Wirral.
Having played under Rovers boss Ronnie Moore during a loan spell at Rotherham United, the two parties are already familiar with each other. Moore told his club's website that he saw the former Reading trainee as a bit of a crowd-pleaser:
"He’s done well since he has been here, he’s been lively and quick and he likes to take people on. He’s a very attacking player who will twist and turn and give defenders a headache and I think he’ll be a real crowd favourite. I’m delighted he has agreed to join us."
During his time at Huish Park, Bell-Baggie failed to clock up a first team appearance, spending the first half of the 2011-12 season on the club's books. Since then he's been playing for Hayes and Yeading United and Salisbury City, but now gets an opportunity to work his way back into the Football League.
Yeovil Town have changed ticketing arrangements for next Tuesday evening's home pre-season friendly against Premier League side Stoke City. The original plan was to have all four sides of the ground open for this fixture. The Copse Road Away Terrace will now no longer be opened for the match, with all visiting supporters housed in the Screwfix (East) Stand.
The change to arrangements would suggest a lower than expected uptake on tickets for the game from Potters fans. The game is to take place on Tuesday 7th August at Huish Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. For full ticketing prices on that and other fixtures, follow the links below.