Ben Barrett (Page 13)

Gabby Rogers playing for Tiverton. Pic from @vivcurtis on twitter

Former Yeovil Town midfielder Gabriel Rogers has been spotted on trial at Southern League Premier Division side Tiverton Town.

Our friends at WeLoveYouYTFC alerted us to Rogers’ appearance in the Tivvy friendly against Plymouth Parkway which took place on Saturday. (July 31st)

Previously, Rogers had been on trial with Wycombe Wanderers, news we broke here on the Gloverscast in early July.

Rogers left Huish Park under something of a cloud after being left out of Darren Sarrl’s plans for much of the 2020/21 season.

He played 23 times across all competitions for the Glovers, scoring one goal – that last gasp thunderbolt against Bromley in the FA Cup.

All the best at Tiverton, Gabby!

 

 

Former Yeovil Town attacking midfielder, Matty Warburton has signed for fellow National League side FC Halifax Town after a short spell on trial.

 

Warburton appeared under the cunning guise of “Trialist” in a couple of pre-season friendlies for the Yorkshire side against Farsley Celtic and Carlisle United

Warburton was signed on loan from Northampton Town during a mid season re-jig of signings but his time at Huish Park was a struggle, failing to get regular game time before departing his loan spell ahead of schedule.

An absolute Rolls Royce of a midfielder on his day, he played 19 times for the Glovers scoring twice, once against Woking and once against his former club Stockport County in the FA Cup.

We wish Matt all the best at the Shay Stadium… with obvious exceptions for games against Yeovil Town.

Yeovil Town Under 18s are starting to ramp up preparations ahead of the new season.

It was confirmed recently that the Young Glovers are entering a new division this season and will take on new opponents in the South West Counties league.

Training will commence in “early August” and two friendly fixtures have now been confirmed.

vs Paulton Rovers on Saturday 7th August
vs Priority Football Academy on Wednesday 18th August

At the time of writing, no kick off times, venues or ticketing details have been confirmed, stay across the YTFC Academy Social Media for more details and we here at the Gloverscast will endeavour to keep you up to date as well.

Yeovil Town played their first pre-seaosn friendly of the season at Stratford Town on Saturday afternoon naming four trialists among the substitutes.

The game was won with a Tom Knowles strike from the edge of the box, but the game of ‘Guess The Trialist’ is a staple of any pre-season warm up.

Our roving Gloverscast reporter David Coates attended the game in Warwickshire and took pictures of the hopefuls which – with a little bit of help from social media and a good degree of guesswork, we think are as follows:

Deshane Dalling

A forward player who came on for Reuben Reid at half-time at Knight’s Lane and looked to have some pace and trickery about him.

Based on 45 minutes, he looks Josh Neufville-ish rather than Josh Neufville-esque, but definitely something there.

The 22-year-old has played for non-League Staines Town and then at youth level for both Huddersfield Town and QPR where he made one first-team appearance, as an 80th minute substitute in a 5-1 FA Cup win over Swansea City in January 2020.

He started last season on loan at League of Ireland Premier Division side Cork City and made two appearances for Wealdstone in the National League  last season.

 

 

Harlain Mbayo

A 71st minute substitute replacing Max Hunt alongside another trialist in the second half against Stratford.

This one we are pretty sure about, mostly because we checked with some fans at his former club Aberdeen and the player himself then liked the reply we got from them.

The 23-year-old was in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he moved to Belgium at an early age and played for Anderlecht from the age of eight initially as a striker before being converted to a central defender.

His family then moved to England when Harlain was aged 15 and he joined the academy at QPR.

An interview with Aberdeen’s website in 2018 suggests he had some time with Oxford United and then non-League Bedford Town before he joined the Scottish Premier League side in 2015.

His record shows him as having spent 2015 until 2018 at Aberdeen without making a first-team appearance, before a seven-game spell at Scottish League Two side Albion Rovers in 2018.

He then appears to have made the (not insignificant) move from Scotland to Southern League Premier Division side Truro City in Cornwall and then back to Aidrie where he signed in July 2020.


Richard Afrane-Kesey

Richard Afrane-Kesey warms up at Stratford Town.

Came on in the 68th minute in place on goal-scorer Tom Knowles and took up a position down the left wing for the final 22 minutes of the pre-season friendly.

Looked to want to take players on when he got the ball but, as with all of these players, a bit harsh to judge him on a brief appearance in the opening game of pre-season.

There’s not a huge amount of information about him online except to say he began his career in the youth set-up at Charlton Athletic and in October 2020 had a loan spell at Isthmian League Premier Division side Margate.

 


Colin Daniel…..maybe

This is the one we are the least confident about, but social media appears to have identified the central defender playing the full second half as Colin Daniel.

The player came on in place of Luke Wilkinson at the break and looked relatively assured against the Step 4 opponents.

There is a definite similarity between the player who turned out in the number 15 shirt for the Glovers and Daniel who played 23 times in League One for Burton Albion last season, see pictured below, albeit with his final appearance coming in January.

The 33-year-old was released by the Brewers at the end of last season and would certainly bring some good experience with him having won the National League (or the Conference Premier as it was known then) with Mansfield Town in 2013  and got promoted out of League Two with Blackpool in 2017.

The picture, top, is the player who lined up for Yeovil at Stratford and, below, is Colin Daniel when he signed for Burton from Peterborough United in January 2019.

This one has divided opinion at Gloverscast HQ, so we’ll leave you to make your own minds up.

Here at the Gloverscast, the three amigos, led by Ian Perkins have been working hard to provide Yeovil Town fans with a one-stop shop for all things YTFC.

A podcast twice a week(ish), a website full of stats, analysis and interviews as well as going through the process of saving as much of the Ciderspace archive from the incomparable Badger as we can.

We do it for free, because we love it and because you tell us that you don’t mind it either – or you’re all just being really polite – either way, thank you.

Last year, Ian pretty much single handedly got the Gloverscast nominated for an FCA, “Football Content Award” – we did not win, nor were we expecting to, but the last year has seen the Gloverscast grow exponentially.

So, we’d like to ask for your support, firstly in getting nominated again.

There are plenty of ways you can vote, via Social Media, or using the form on the FCA Website.

All the details can be found HERE 

If you’d rather send a vote in with a tweet, simply copy the text below into Twitter and post your status.

“I am voting for @Gloverscast in @The_FCAs for #BestInNonLeague Podcast”

There’s no need to sign up, they take nothing more than an (optional) name and email address, and do you know what, we’d really appreciate it, we’re proud of what the Gloverscast has become and what it has in store for us.

So, yeah, thanks, legends.

 

Yeovil Town’s Under 18s will have a new division of opponents next season having made the switch to the South West Premier Academy Under 18s division.

Previously, they have faced sides the junior sides from the Football League including Exeter, Bristol Rovers and Newport but this season will be up against the likes of Torquay, Bath City and last year’s champions Mangotsfield Town.

Futhermore, it has been confirmed that Mark Challen of M1 Coaching will be the manager for the Under 18s this season,

If we here at the Gloverscast get details of a fixture list or ticket details we will of course bring them to you,

Here’s to finding another Alfie Lloyd or Toby Stephens in the youth set up this season.

Here at the Gloverscast we have brought you a couple of recent rumours from journalists about potential players Yeovil were looking to sign and there’s been a couple of updates.

Andrew Dallas was linked to the Glovers alongside a number of other clubs including Notts County.

The former Weymouth front man has signed a new deal at his club Cambridge and is quoted as being “excited about being part of the campaign in League One” suggesting he’s staying put… for now.

 

Another player linked with Huish Park was former Harrogate man Jay Williams – we brought you the rumour that he had been linked to us a while ago but it seems as though his pre-season preparations have taken a detour, via Northampton.

The Cobblers have had to draft some extra bodies in for their friendlies due to some Covid related isolation and Williams was named as a trialist for their game against Stamford on Saturday.

Of course, neither news rules either out from making their way to Somerset before the season begins, but may be a sign that either they or us have set sights elsewhere…
Stay tuned to the Gloverscast for more wild speculation as pre-season continues!

 

Former Yeovil Town defender Carl Dickinson has been speaking to sports podcast The Grassroots Guy, conversation ranged from cheesing off Tony Pulis at Stoke, to a short stint in Iceland and of course a rollercoaster couple of seasons at Huish Park.

In the podcast, Dicko talks about how it was Assistant Manager Terry Skiverton who made the move to Somerset possible and despite a promising start to his first season, things didn’t go to plan.

“Terry (Skiverton) used to come up to Stoke City quite often, so I recognised him, I went and met him, had a good chat about everything and was really excited about joining.”

“We got off to a good start that season and then things started to change quite quickly”

That good start Dicko refers to included wins over Notts County, Stevenage, Grimsby and Newport County – a game in which he scored – and an EFL Cup Tie with Aston Villa.

But, the results soon turned against the Glovers and the cracks began to show.

“I didnt have the greatest relationship with Darren Way, I’ll be perfectly honest, we didn’t see eye to eye, we didn’t get on… but that’s probably a different story” (One you’re more than welcome to tell us here at the Gloverscast, Dicko… Just Saying)

“A lot of things happened in that first year where I questioned a lot about football and what I wanted to do… it got to that point”

It was clear to all Glovers fans at the time that at the end of the season, Dickinson’s time at Yeovil was going to come to an end, exiled away from the club and training with his former employers Port Vale to keep fit.

But, when Way and eventually Neale Marmon had come and gone Dicko’s Glovers career was brought back on track thanks to Darren Sarll.

“I had a massive chat with the Gaffer, Darren Sarrl, we had a proper, deep chat about what he wanted and i was like ‘come on then, lets have a go, lets see’ “

There was still work to be done to reintergrate Carl back into a side who had just dropped out of the Football League, had lost the vast majority of the squad and was going through a change in management, ownership and culture.

“The more we trained and spoke to the Gaffer more and more, he seemed to reignite something within me”

“He was able to squad together that was so close to achieveing something, a fantastic group – loved working under him”

That first season in the National League ended up being curtailed early due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, but a table was settled on points per game and the Glovers were in the Play Offs, losing to Barnet in one of the most one sided games Yeovil have ever dominated, but lost.

Dickinson was quick to draw comparisons with some of his other former bosses, saying how Sarll and he were honest with one another, could argue, disagree, but always come back around to the same wavelength and get on with the job – something which Dicko says he respects.

Furthermore, it was noted how the Sarrl era had started to bring supporters back to the club after many had fallen out of love with the style of football and lack of success on the pitch.

“He managed to get a real togetherness back with the fans, I think there was a real disconnect with the fans, players and everything at club just looked like it was defeated”

“He’d probably say the same, but it was one of his biggest achievements, getting that togetherness back and having that bond between fans again.”

Attention turned to the crop of Yeovil players that Carl and a number of other experienced players have left behind, something which the left back says should excite Yeovil fans.

“There’s some really good lads, even this year, even though we didn’t do as well as we should have done, there’s some good lads there, some good young lads who could kick on and have very good careers”

“Looking at the signings they’re making now, I think they’ll be alright again – he’s made some good signings”

Dicko singled out a couple of the players he’s looking forward to seeing at Yeovil; (Jordan) Barnett who was at Notts County, had a great game against us at their place, Mark Little who will be a massive signing… I really do wish them all the best, I’ve got some really fond memories of the last two years”

There was plenty of praise for the likes of Luke Wilkinson and Josh Staunton too.

Of course, the final words were left to the Glovers faithful,

“The fans were always fantastic with me, they know what happened the first year, they get it, but they know deep down, every time I went out on that pitch, I wore the shirt with pride, I always wanted to give them all the best, I just want to wish them – the fans, the gaffer, the lads – I do thoroughly wish them all the best, they deserve to be in and around the top of the table.”

“Im excited to watch Yeovil this season and see how they do”

You can follow the Grassroots Guy onTwitterand Instgram

Harry has also spoken to Matty Worthington on his podcast – you can see the links to that podcast HERE

 

Some time ago, we here at the Gloverscast decided we’d test out some questionable Latvian (and a little Slovienian) to try and track down one of the 2013 Wembley heroes – Vitalijs Maksimenko – and we did! (you can read our interview with him… HERE)

This week, we dusted off the Google Translate, set it to Hungarian and tried to find another former Yeovil star – Zoltan Stieber – and wouldn’t you know, it worked!

The former Aston Villa youngster joined Yeovil Town on loan in November 2007 and only actually spent a few months with the Glovers.

But, he has gone on to have an incredible career, which includes playing at UEFA Euro 2016 for his country and playing in the top flight of both Germany and the USA.

We sent some questions to Zoltan and he remembers his time at Yeovil fondly.

“I signed for Villa I think in 2007. I used to train with the first team at Villa regularly and it was the next step in my career to go on loan, so i was really exited to go on loan to Yeovil Town and get some first Team Football! “

It would be a fair assumption that a young Hungarian plying his trade on the verge of the Aston Villa first team may not have heard of a small Somerset club who were in League One, but that wasn’t the case.

“I heard about the club, because i was following the lower leagues as well, but didn’t know much to be honest!”

It was Russell Slade who signed Stieber, initially on a short term loan, but after impressing in his first few games, the deal was extended.

“It was a great experience to work with him, he was my first Coach in first team football so of course I had to adapt, but I learned a lot from him and I am thankful for him that he gave me the chance to get my first games in first team football it helped me a lot for my career”
A lot has been made about how Yeovil have helped young players move through their careers and go on to better things, something which Stieber agrees with – his career in adult football essentially began at Huish Park
“All the players were great with me, they helped me directly and made it easy for me to feel home for my time at Yeovil, this was the biggest step coming out of youth team football, it helped me a lot”
Stieber played 15 times in the Green and White, scoring just once, a winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Brighton in late December of 2007, a moment that Stieber will remember for a while; “It was a great feeling to score the first time in English Football”
Sadly, the Hungarian doesn’t keep in touch with any of his form Yeovil team mates any more, but he did say he keeps an eye out for the results occasionally.
He did want to send his gratitude to the Glovers faithful though
“Thanks for the support, it was a great experience to play in front of 8-9000 fans, the game days were really a dream came true feeling”
Zoltan Stieber may have made more goals than he scored at Yeovil, but you could tell there was quality waiting to burst out – time spent with Wayne Rooney at DC United and scoring at major international tournaments suggests it did find it’s way through!
A huge “köszönöm” (thanks) to Zoltan for asking my questions… where shall Google Translate take us next? Who knows!

New Glovers Lewis Simper in action for Concord Rangers

Cambridge United Head Coach Mark Bonner has been speaking to the club’s official website about the season long loan deal that will see U’s midfielder Lewis Simper head to Huish Park.

Bonner has highlighting the success and progression of another former Cambridge player, Tom Knowles since his move a year ago.

He said;“We have seen how good Darren Sarll and Yeovil Town have been for Tom Knowles and hope that Lewis will rise to the challenge of competing for a regular starting place in the team, coping with the physical demands that brings and adjusting to a new environment.”

Simper, who has spent time on loan at Concord Rangers, has recently signed a new deal at the Abbey Stadium and this move is the next step in his career according to his parent club’s head coach.

 

“This loan gives Lewis an excellent opportunity to build on his strong conclusion to last season, stepping up a level to the National League. (It) makes it the perfect time for him to experience a first team environment with a more realistic chance of senior match minutes.”

Speaking on social media, Simper himself said he was “Buzzing” to sign for Yeovil.

Welcome to Huish Park, Lewis!

Former Yeovil Town defender and coach Nathan Jones has been speaking to the Best Eleven Podcast, which is a predominently Luton Town based chat with former Luton player Marvin Johnson and presenter Andrew McMellon.

In the chat, the Welshman is asked to put together the best XI he has ever played competivley with as well as chatting about his playing and coaching career.

He lists for former Yeovil Town loanee Ryan Mason in his all time XI claiming he was the “best young players I’ve ever worked with” 

The ex-Brighton full backs talks about all the former Glovers loanees who have since had international honours.

“The amount of England internationals that made their debut for Yeovil Town, you would not believe… there was a few more, Steven Caulker made his debut in league football at Yeovil, so did Andros Townsend, so did Ryan Mason – all three went on to play for England – Alex McCarthy made his debut from Reading at Yeovil”

“We (Yeovil) had to go and take players at their youngest, because of the budget, because of the location, we couldn’t go and get experienced players – so we started to have a philosophy – we had to get them early before anyone knew about them”

“We took Luke Ayling, Luke Freeman, Asmir Begovic – all played and made their league debut for Yeovil Town”

Looking back on his time at Huish Park, Jones talks about how establishing the Glovers as a consitent League One side was an incredible achievement.

“We were League One at the time, surviving at League One level – but then we established ourselves in mid table on the lowest budget in the league, but playing young players – and the record they produced, it continues with Tom Lawrence, Shane Duffy, that have gone on to play for their countries too”

Aside from Mason, Jones says that both Chris Cohen and Marcus Stewart narrowly missed out on his all time XI after they crossed paths at Huish Park – Cohen is now embarking on coaching alongside Jones at Luton where he is the Assistant Manager whilst Jones recalls how the Glovers ended up with Stewart as his time at Bristol City was coming to an end.

“We got him by default, he wanted to leave (Bristol City), they paid big money for him and he fell out with Gary Johnson, he was a Bristol boy, wanted to live in Bristol and we were just the next club local”

“We took him on loan and eventually signed him… what a player – I loved playing with him”

There was also a tale about a post-training session fight and how Jones ended up playing cupid for Stewart and his wife – but we will let you listen to the podcast for that!

As current Luton Town boss, the link between Jones and Yeovil remains strong with the loan deal of Josh Neufville last season.

We here at the Gloverscast are fully paid up, card carrying members of the Nathan Jones fan club and we would encourage any YTFC fans to listen to the podcast in full, click HERE to see who makes his best XI and follow My Best Eleven on Twitter HERE

 

NEW EPISODE: Nathan Jones (Current @LutonTown manager)

He talks through his playing career and managerial career so far!

Direct: https://t.co/HM2HHWonkc
Apple Podcaster/ iTunes: https://t.co/B8TNvGLlbO
Spotify: https://t.co/5seRJneNz3
Website: https://t.co/jEkS3VsCsJ pic.twitter.com/uaQwgzlscq

— MyBestElevenPod (@mybestelevenpod) July 14, 2021

With Yeovil Town‘s first game of the new season not taking place in England, but in Wrexham, Wales, there was a little extra delay in confirming just who could attend and in what numbers, but Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that as of Saturday July 17th Wales would follow England in easing some Covid Protocols.

Drakeford has annouced that Wales will not restrict attendances in outdoor events as they move to ‘Alert Level 1′.

In a series of tweets he confirmed that… “there will be no limit on the amount of people who can gather outdoors in Wales – and we will no longer have to social distance when outdoors”.

This seems to suggest that Yeovil fans will be able to make the trip across the border without restriction.

The rules change when indoors where, numbers will still be reduced and face coverings will still be required and those showing symptoms of Covid will still not be admitted into sporting events.

Ticket details for away supporters are yet to be confirmed, and it is yet to be seen if Wrexham as a football club intend to apply any further restrictions.

The Glovers start the 2021/22 season against Wrexham on Saturday 21st August.

Charlie Wakefield battles against Yeovil’s Charlie Lee for Wealdstone last season

New Yeovil Town midfielder Charlie Wakefield has been speaking to Goal.com about his horrid luck with injury, illness and contract situations as he looks to head back to the big time, starting off at Huish Park this season.

The former Chelsea youngster looked set for stardom under Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, before a string of injuries hampered his progression through the youth set up.

He impressed in the Under 18s and Under 23s alongside some household names including one of England’s Euro 2020 hero’s Mason Mount.

“I played in unbelievable teams with the likes of Mason Mount, Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and many more. Everything was good… All of a sudden, injuries started. I have had 10 hamstring injuries between the ages of 18 and 21.”

Hamstring problems aside, the former England Youth player also had to have a couple of months off after a serious incident after returning from holiday in the United States.

“I had 10 days off to go on holiday so I went to New York with my girlfriend. The plane journey led to me suffering a collapsed lung on the drive to my first training session upon my return, I was rushed to hospital from the training ground and I had to have two months out with no exercise after that.”

It is of no surprise that after all that, Charlie admits needing help with his mental wellbeing, teaming up with the charity Tape 2 Talk, a mental health focus group for young players who have found themselves going through hard times or having been released from clubs.

Covid also brought his time at Coventry to a screeching halt and Wakefield now says that a move to Yeovil – via Wealdstone and Bromley – is a chance for him to begin climbing back up the ladder – and hopefully taking the Glovers along with him.

“I am grateful, but I don’t think it is arrogant to say that I know I can play in the Football League. I hope to look back on one hell of a journey and story, losing it and getting it back…

“People like Jamie Vardy and Tyrone Mings inspire you, who went through non-league and came back. Six good months can change your life in football, that’s what’s great about the sport.”

Everyone here at the Gloverscast is excited to see Charlie at Huish Park and wishes his charitable ventures off the pitch all the very best too.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Charlie Wakefield (@charliewakefield)

 

In a continued attempt to save some of the history of the great Ciderspace.co.uk, we have salvaged a trio of book reviews from the archive and are pleased to present them here.
These were last updated on the Ciderspace in around 2004, 2006 & 2008 respectivley..

Behind The Green Door, by Brendon Owen – First Stone Publishers – £9.99

Brendon Owen is a football fan. More importantly, Brendon Owen is a Yeovil Town fan. One hundred and eight years of non-league football came to an end for Yeovil Town in 2003 and the Championship season was captured brilliantly by Brendon’s first book ‘Yeovil ‘til I die’.

That momentous season was catalogued in a bright and breezy style that we could all relate to. With ‘Behind the green door’ Brendon carries on the story, which has now moved to more illustrious venues with the KC Stadium, McAlpine Stadium and Reynolds Arena replacing Cherrywood Road, The Lawn and Edgar Street.

The book starts with the arguments about the change of shirt design to hoops for our inaugural league season. Remember them? I’d almost forgotten just how heated the arguments were. Now, twelve months on it seems the most natural thing in the world to see the lads in the green and white hoops. It moves on to describe the turmoil in the camp caused by Michael McIndoe’s wish to move to a bigger club. The reader is left in no doubt as to Brendon’s feelings in this matter!

Brendon had to miss the first game at Rochdale as his son was getting married on the same day. Radio Five Live picked up on this and phoned him that morning to ask about the fan that was left behind! Brendon managed to keep up with events at Spotland with the help of his mobile phone and was able to enjoy a double celebration that day.

For this season, Brendon had been given access behind the scenes and is able to shed some light on the activities at the club between matches. He was also invited to travel with the team to an away match and this was duly arranged for the teams’ league fixture at Belle Vue against the play-off promoted Doncaster Rovers. As most of us would agree, this was like an early Christmas present to Brendon and even a fairly serious fall at home the night before travelling was not going to stop the intrepid author joining the team. It was interesting to find that the team apparently stayed overnight at the same hotel that McIndoe was staying at! In retrospect, travelling with the team is a brave thing to do. What if you sit in the wrong seat? What if the team suffer their heaviest defeat for years when you accompany them? And possibly worst of all, if the team lose, where do you look for the entire journey home?

As we now know, a Supergav goal won the game that night and Brendon’s worries were over.

The book continues to chronicle the season interspersed with stories from Brendon’s day-to-day life. It is this aspect which makes the book so readable and personal. It’s reassuring to know that we are not alone in following some of our rituals in our own attempts to help the cause. The camaraderie and friendship that following a football team creates is there for all to see in the pages of this book. We all know it exists. We all try to explain it to our non-footballing friends. Supporting your team is a tribal thing and it’s difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced this to understand. If you’re having trouble convincing someone of the merits of football supporting then give him or her a copy of this book and tell them to read it. They will soon understand!

The season’s high and low points are all here with understandably more than a few pages written about the Liverpool game. I’m pleased to learn that I’m not the only one who felt a little jealous of the poor souls who queued overnight for tickets and enjoyed an unforgettable experience. I’d forgotten the fire, which created so many problems for the club immediately before the match tickets went on sale.

Of course, the Liverpool match didn’t end up as we all wished and indeed you could say the same for the season as a whole. The book does remind me however, of the sheer fun that we had for our first season in the league, even the defeats.

For those who know the format of the first book, the second is very similar but with over 170 pages of text this time the second book is somewhat longer. With some excellent photographs from Nigel Andrews and an appendix which includes statistics from the season’s games it is a must buy for every Yeovil fan.

I like sports books. I especially like books about football and feel that we are privileged to have two excellent books from Brendon, which mean so much to us all personally about our team. I’m also not a quick reader. I can’t be doing with this scan reading, I have to hear each and every word in my head as I read.

I bought Brendon’s book and sat down to read it. I finished it at 2am the following morning, read all in one sitting and I knew the ending!!!!

I can give it no higher praise than that.

Don Gibson

——–

Around The World With Yeovil Town, by Michael Bromfield – Tempus Publishing – £12.99
Not many shy retiring types become millionaires, the likes of Jon Goddard-Watts or the Barclay brothers excepted. And the author of Around The World With Yeovil Town, Michael Bromfield, isn’t one of those exceptions that proves the rule.

Book reviews don’t generally concentrate on the author, but this book is very much about Bromfield, with Yeovil Town, and indeed much of the rest of the World, a backdrop. Amidst the ‘if it’s Thursday it must be Timbuktu’ one learns a lot about Michael. Perhaps more than he intended; and, for the more private amongst us, more than maybe we’d feel comfortable revealing. Refreshing openness, or overweening egotism? One’s view of Michael gleaned from these pages will, to a large measure, determine whether one enjoys this book or not.

Written and dictated every few days over the 2004-05 football season the source material ran to over 600,000 words – longer than Lord of the Rings, as Bromfield charmingly admits one publisher’s rejection letter pointed out. The finished product runs to a more realistic 256 pages. Outside of some introductory and concluding material the structure of the book is based around the sequence of matches played by Yeovil throughout their second season in the Football League, each one providing a ‘chapter’.

The book crosses over two potential, and crowded, markets: Football Fan Writes About, and Travel Writing. Amazon chooses to reference it under ‘Sports, Hobbies & Games’ rather than ‘Travel & Holiday’. However both markets have produced a certain genre, and are linked by a common factor. Whether the work provides the reader with a feel, be it for the experience of the club, its season and being a fan in the former, or for the places and people in the latter, determines the success or otherwise of the writing. So does Around The World With Yeovil Town have ‘feel’?

This question brings us back to the author, again. There’s too much Bromfield, particularly on the travel side of the book. I didn’t get much of a feel for the places Michael visited. Argentina was best, perhaps because this was new to the author, and seen and recorded through fresh eyes. Of the people he came across one only gets glimpses, often tantalising glimpses that leave you thirsting to know more about them. This thirst is rarely quenched, because potential stars in the making are generally only accorded the role of extras in the book.

On the football side the book works better. Firstly there’s the variety between the fifteen games Michael was in this country to see, and those recorded as secondhand experiences in distant climes. He was extraordinarily lucky too, his visits home coinciding with many of the classic matches of the season. Football is all about opinions, as the cliché goes, and when reporting on games, players and giving his views the author may not have much that’s particularly original to say, but most of what he expounds is sensible. Or, to put it another way, there wasn’t too much this reviewer disagreed with. There are some insightful comments of a wider nature too, though again more of the sort where other fans will tend to say : ‘Yep, fair shout’; rather than : ‘Wow, I’d never thought of it in that way before’.

Of the matches Bromfield didn’t attend, which is of course the main theme of the book, there are only so many different ways one can record making or taking a phone call, or logging onto the Internet, even if it is from various parts of the planet. It’s now possible to say that’s less than thirty-nine.

So, is this book worth buying? It depends who you are. As someone who had followed the season closely and seen all but two matches, and who has read it when that campaign is still fresh in the mind, it didn’t offer enough surprises. There could be more value coming to it in a year or two when the memories have dimmed and need refreshing. For those Yeovil fans who couldn’t get to so many games it can be recommended as a solid account, from an unusual perspective, of a great season and time in the club’s history. For the football rather than the Yeovil fan, looking for a read relating to a team other than their own, there are alternatives out there with more of that ‘feel’ factor.

In the final analysis, if you come away from it rather liking the author you’ll have rather liked the book. Despite qualms about its literary qualities – one definite recommendation, should there ever be a sequel, is to leave SHIFT resolutely alone when using the ‘1/!’ key – this reviewer did indeed come away rather liking Michael Bromfield.

Hugh Gleave.

—– 

Birth of the Giant-killers, by various contributors – JLH Design – £6.99

It is unlikely any fan of the Glovers will not know that January 2009 sees the Diamond Anniversary of what still remains the most famous, if no longer the most important, match played by Yeovil Town F.C. Although the FA Cup may not be the huge draw it once was, it still remains the case that since the introduction of exemption to Round Three Proper for leading clubs in 1925 on only six occasions has a Non-league side knocked out a team from the highest division. Yeovil’s achievement remains unique in that all other instances, by Colchester United, Hereford United, Wimbledon, Altrincham and Sutton United, came in the Third Round, while the Glovers made their greatest mark in FA Cup folklore in the Fourth.

As part of its celebration sixty years on of the victory over Sunderland, the club has produced a book subtitled ‘A tribute to Yeovil Town Football Club’s historic achievements in the 1948/49 FA Cup’. So, is it a fitting tribute, and has it captured the essence of that momentous event in the club’s history?

It is a very thin publication, and even the claimed sixty pages is rather over egging the pudding. While common enough to include the covers in the page numbering sequence in football programmes this is not the usual practice with books. Inside, eight pages are taken up by advertising. The core of the book is a series of articles and the photographs. The producers of the work were fortunate enough to track down the last surviving member of the 1948-49 team, Victor ‘Dickie’ Dyke, just days before he too passed on, and understandably have built the resulting interview and photos from Dickie’s own scrapbook into the main component of the book. It captures well a completely unassuming and essentially very private man a little bemused that anyone would remain interested in what he had achieved sixty years before. Martin McConachie follows up the feature on Dyke with brief thumbnails on all eleven Yeovil players in the Sunderland game.

The other articles are from: John Lukins on Alec Stock; Dorset Echo journalist Chris Spittles, who covers the matches in the 1948-49 cup run in some detail, and provides a brief trot through all Yeovil’s other giant-killing exploits; the reminiscences of three there that day, Bryan Moore, later a chairman of the club, player’s wife Audrey Hamilton and supporter Gerald Isaacs; and finally the opposition’s perspective on the tie from Winston Young who is the Secretary of the Sunderland Former Players Association. Of these, Bryan has written better elsewhere on the game, notably in the programme of 25th July 1998 for the friendly against Sunderland, though the paragraph on his first kiss as a twelve-year-old from a woman other than his mother as the final whistle went, and remembered all these years, is touching. The piece from Mr Isaacs is an interesting inclusion. A self admitted occasional follower of the Glovers, it reminds us that so were the vast majority of the home support there that day. Such matches accrue their own mystique, and with hindsight claims of undying loyalty are easily scattered about, but in reality most ‘fans’ in such Non-league v Big Club events are there because of who the opposition is, and the club’s support rapidly dwindles back to more normal figures once the glamour tie is over. The contributions of Audrey Hamilton and Winston Young stand out as providing a different perspective and some of the essence of what makes some football matches so much more than what happened in 90, or in this case 120, minutes on the pitch. Audrey’s inaccurate recall of the game itself – Stock did not score the winning goal – matters naught, as it is the peripheral colour and memories that turn a result in the record books into a legend, and hers are simply but poignantly described. Winston Young’s piece is an excellent evocation of the trauma and downright humiliation of being on the losing end of such an event, and how it haunts supporters for years every time it crops up again in conversation or the media.

The articles are interspersed with pages carrying reproductions of clippings from the time out of newspapers. These are a welcome addition, providing the immediacy of reporting that no subsequent recollections can, influenced as the latter are bound to be by hindsight and the layers of myth that build up and eventually supersede reality as the years advance. It would have been good to see the original publications from which they originated recorded though, but perhaps that’s the historian and a dedication to the itemising of primary source material in the reviewer showing through.

So, back to the original questions. Is it a fitting tribute? Though the contributions are uneven in quality, the book does strike, whether by accident or design, the right balance between historical reality, the accumulated legend and panegyric. Though some passages do teeter on the brink, there’s enough that avoids the trap of cloying sentimentality to maintain it as a worthwhile record, and quite a few of the photos are unfamiliar. The essence of how and why football provides memorable moments in so many people’s lives does shine through. At £6.99 the price, however, is steep for the amount of content. Given all the contributions, and one should have hoped the work of JLH Design, would have been provided without cost, and that 13% of the publication is advertisements, one trusts that all the somewhat excessive mark up is heading into our club’s coffers.

Hugh Gleave.


 

Yeovil Town have confirmed that the BT Sport cameras will be paying a visit on Saturday, September 4 for the visit of FC Halifax Town to Huish Park

The kick off time has been pushed back to 5:15pm.

BT have announced their first couple of month’s worth of televised games, the Glovers will only be featured once with Solihull Moors the only side covered more than once between the season’s start and the end of October.

We don’t have a great record in live TV games, drawing 2-2 with King’s Lynn at the start of last season with the world, well a small percentage of it, watching on.

The full BT Sport National League schedule can be found below:

Saturday August 21 – Bromley v Grimsby Town (5.20pm)

Saturday August 28 – Southend United v Stockport County (5.20pm)

Monday August 30 – Wrexham v Notts County (7.30pm)

Saturday September 4 – Yeovil Town v FC Halifax Town (5.15pm)

Saturday September 11 – King’s Lynn Town v Dagenham & Redbridge (5.20pm)

Saturday September 18 – Weymouth v Dover Athletic (5.20pm)

Saturday September 25 – Chesterfield v Torquay United (5.20pm)

Saturday October 2 – Eastleigh v Boreham Wood (5.20pm)

Tuesday October 5 – Wealdstone v Solihull Moors (7.45pm)

Saturday October 23 – Maidenhead United v Woking (5.20pm)

Tuesday October 26 – Altrincham v Solihull Moors (7.45pm)

Saturday October 30 – Barnet v Aldershot Town (5.20pm)

 

Former Yeovil Town midfielder Alex John is reportedly on trial at SPL side Dundee FC

According to “Not The Old Firm”, the 20-year-old is heading north of the border after leaving Huish Park at the end of the 2020/21 season.

John had attracted interest from Hull City, signing a loan deal in January 2020 before returning at the end of that season.

Injury prevented John from being a part of the squad throughout the following season.

The Wales Under 19 international failed to make any competitive appearances for the Glovers but was a regular in match-day squads and played in multiple friendlies.

All the best at Dundee, Alex.

 

New Glovers’ ‘keeper Grant Smith

Chesterfield Manager, James Rowe has been explaining his decision to let goalkeeper Grant Smith move to Yeovil Town.

In an interview with the Derbyshire Times, Rowe explains that he couldn’t offer Smith guaranteed football after the arrival of former Barnet (and Yeovil) ‘keeper Scott Loach.

“He wanted guaranteed first-team football and I was not prepared to give him that,” Rowe said. “For me, Grant started well but some mistakes crept in that cost us crucial goals and he came out of the team. He represented himself well in the team the first few months. For him to be guaranteed first-team football down at Yeovil, on a better wage than what he was currently on, we did not want to stand in his way.”

Smith has replaced his name sake Adam Smith as the Glovers’ first choice glove man this season after signing a one-year-deal in June.

Well, if you don’t want a keeper who kept 10 clean sheets in 18 games for you, we will more than happily take him off your hands!

 

Tom Whelan celebrates with Myles Hippolyte

Former Yeovil Town midfielder Tom Whelan has left Chesterfield by ‘mutal consent’ in something of a surprise move.

Whelan who played little over half a dozen games for the Glovers in 2019/20 moved onto W*ymouth before earning a move to big spending Chesterfield in December of 2020.

He scored the all important 2nd goal of a 3-0 win by Chesterfield over Yeovil when the sides met in March and was expected to be a key part of the Spireites promotion push this campaign.

Whelan took to social media to thank his former employers, it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up for this coming season.

Chesterfield boss, James Rowe has said how he couldnt guarantee Whelan enough games and that he would be better off finding more opportunities elsewhere.

Rowe told the Derbyshire Times: “Tom did well when he first came in but with the emergence of (another former Glover) Jack Clarke at the end of last season, we obviously can’t have three ‘number 10s’ in the building for one position, or potentially two if we play with two 10s, so Tom’s game time was going to be limited”

 

 

 

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The2021/22 is just around the corner and Yeovil Town’s schedule for the upcoming season has been revealed.
We will – unlike the previous two campaigns – play every side twice;once home, once away.!

You can find the full fixture list HERE, but let’s talk about the headlines.

First Five

We kick start our campaign with a trip to Hollywood!!! – sorry, no Wrexham for a tricky looking trip on August 21st.

Following that with games agsint King’s Lynn (H) and Aldershot (A) before welcoming Halifax Town to Huish Park on September 4th

WREXHAM (AWAY) – SATURDAY AUGUST 21ST
KING’S LYNN (HOME) – SATURDAY AUGUST 28TH
ALDERSHOT TOWN (AWAY) MONDAY AUGUST 30TH
HALIFAX TOWN (HOME) SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH
STOCKPORT COUNTY (AWAY) SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 11TH

Final Five

The final day of the season falls on the weekend of and the Glovers last game of the regular season will be against ALTRINCHAM (A) on Saturday May 15th 2022.

Here’s how the run in looks;

STOCKPORT COUNTY (HOME) – SATURDAY APRIL 23RD
HALIFAX (AWAY) – SATURDAY APRIL 30TH 
WEALDSTONE (HOME) – MONDAY MAY 2ND
BOREHAM WOOD (HOME) – SATURDAY MAY 7TH
ALTRINCHAM (AWAY) – SUNDAY MAY 15TH 

Festive Football

The eyes are nearly always drawn to the big games in and around Christmas and New Year, the schedule for these fixtures nearly always focus around some of our local rivals with attempts to reduce travelling and hotel stays factored into the plans.

This season is no different.
On Boxing Day, we travel to TORQUAY before playing W*YMOUTH on December 28th, before it’s time to renew the festivities with TORQUAY on January 2nd.

TORQUAY UNITED (AWAY) – SUNDAY DECEMBER 26TH (Boxing Day)
W*YMOUTH (HOME) – TUESDAY DECEMBER 28TH 
TORQUAY UNITED (HOME) – SUNDAY JANUARY 2ND

Our away day to the Claret and Blue lot on the beach comes much later on in the season, six games from the end.
W*YMOUTH (AWAY) – MONDAY APRIL 18TH

Of course, all dates, times, venues and even opponents are subject to change – ticketing details will also be released in due course for both individual sales and season tickets in the near future.

Other dates of note include our entry to the two cup competitions – the FA Cup and FA Trophy – details can be found HERE, whilst the full Pre-Season schedule can be found HERE

The National League Play-Offs will take place between Wednesday 25th May 2022 and Sunday 5th June 2022 (Dates subject to FA approval)

The dates are in the diary, the countdown is on, C’mon You GLOVERS!!

 

Brundle in action against Yeovil for Dagenham

National League side Barnet have continued a busy summer of activitiy with the signing of former Yeovil Town youngster, Mitch Brundle.

Brundle, who played for Dagenham during the 2020/21  season has signed for the Bees on a two-year deal.

Predominently a defender when in the youth system at Huish Park, the 26-year-old is now more known for his box-to-box play in midfield.

As far as we can tell, he never made a competitive appearance for the Glovers, but did take part in friendlies and was an unused substitute on a couple of occasions before his departure to Bristol City in 2013.