Former Yeovil Town midfielder Ben Smith has said he believes the Glovers would have “comfortably” beaten Rushden & Diamonds to the Conference title in 2000 if manager David Webb had not left.

The former Chelsea player and manager quit in September 2000 to re-join Southend United having overseen the club’s transition from part-time to full-time football.

He left a side which went on to compete with big-spending Rushden under the management of Steve Thompson as caretaker boss and then Colin Addison, but fell six points short.

Speaking to the Gloverscast on an episode due out tomorrow, Smith said: “We had a young team and he (Webb) had us on a tight leash, whereas Colin was a really good coach, great manager good guy but he gave you a lot more freedom.

“When David was in charge, we were the fittest team (in the division). I was the fittest I have been in my whole career, that was the hardest pre-season I have ever done even after playing 17-18 years.

“That just tapered away as the season went on, especially for people like me who were not behaving themselves and getting a bit excited and we just lacked that bit of nous at the end.

“My form tailed off because I was enjoying myself too much and not training as hard as I should have done, and that was my fault not Colin’s, but at that age David Webb was certainly the right man for me at the time.”

Don’t miss the Gloverscast  on Monday to hear Ben talk about his time at Huish Park, stories from his time under David Webb and his thoughts about leaving Huish Park just before Gary Johnson‘s arrival.

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