Andrejs Stolcers spoken about how he tried to encourage his Yeovil Town team-mates to play the ball through midfield after joining the Glovers’ side that would go on to win the League Two title.

The Latvian international had been released by Premier League Fulham in the summer of 2004 and linked up with former national manager, Yeovil boss Gary Johnson, in September.

Upon his arrival, Johnson spoke about Stolcers joining to build up his fitness as he looked for a move, but within three days he made his debut in a 1-0 home win over Swansea City in League Two.

The winger went on to play 43 times that season, scoring seven goals, and has spoken to the Gloverscast about his season at Huish Park.

He said: “I tried to bring something more to the team through my conversations with the lads to help them to keep the ball and manage the game rather than get it forward quickly.

Andrejs Stoclers on his debut as a second half substitute against Swansea City in 2004.
Picture courtesy of Ciderspace.

“When I arrived I saw that it was difficult to create much from midfield when you saw so little of the ball, so I tried to help us get the ball down, move it quicker and build up attacks rather than direct passes forward.

“We had some great full-backs and great wing players and we were able to use them more, but if we needed to play it direct, we knew we could do that as well

It did not take long for Stolcers to make an impact, on his debut as a half-time substitute against Swansea, he nearly combined to set up Phil Jevons with his first touch of the ball.

Then, in his second start, he scored twice in a 6-1 demolition of Oxford United at Huish Park, but it was the New Year’s Day trip to Swansea that season that sticks out as a memory for him.

He recalls: “I remember players telling me that Yeovil did not have a good record there and I spoke to a few of the lads about not allowing these things to stick in their heads.

“I told them to to put the past aside and stick to the game we knew we could play and the game plan the manager had set for us

The result was Yeovil won 2-0 and became one of only three sides to win at  The Vetch in the club’s final season at their old home – oh, and Stolcers scored the opener and set up Phil Jevons for the second.

The winger adds: “I loved that game in a big stadium, playing away from home where so many supporters are against you, it helps you focus and concentrate.

“I remember scoring a great goal there and then setting up Phil Jevons for the second – a brilliant performance which bred more confidence in our group.

“I think that game gave us more strength and understanding of what we could do, we wanted to be champions that year and we obviously went on to do that.”

However, having taken a drop of £14,000 a week in wages – according to manager Gary Johnson on his arrival – the winger was looking for a better deal than Yeovil were able to offer at the end of the 2004-05 campaign.

He recalls: “I wanted to stay, but I wanted to improve my contract a little bit and that did not happen.

“I felt I had given something special to influence the team’s performance, but it did not work out like that and I felt I had done enough so I left.”

Stolcers, who had signed for Fulham from Russian side Spartak Moscow in 2000, left Huish Park and joined FC Baku of Azerbaijan before returning to Latvia.

In 2009, he did have a trial at Yeovil, he recalls: “I went for a trial when Terry Skiverton was manager and I tried to get back, but he did not feel I was not good enough.”

He ended up playing for non-League Bath City and then Hayes & Yeading before retiring in 2010 and quickly got in to coaching the game.

In 2015, he was a youth team coach at Stevenage when current Yeovil boss Darren Sarll took over as Head of Youth.

Stolcers recalls: “I enjoyed my time at Stevenage and I did have a short time with Darren Sarll there, maybe three months.

“But, Darren decided he did not want to work with me, so I left – that is football, sometimes things do not work out.

“I am still coaching young players and working in schools with them, but I am ambitious to be a manager and applying for opportunities when they come up – but it is very competitive


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments