Gloversblog

With the news of SSDC completing their purchase of Huish Park emerging on Friday, it feels like a lifetime ago that Chris Hargreaves was announced as the new manager of Yeovil Town FC.

While he was not a favourite for the job in the eyes of supporters (58% of Gloverscast readers wanted Jamie McAllister) he was a name that was on the rumour mill in the middle of April.

Having left his role as Bristol Rovers Academy manager in February to pursue first team manager opportunities, it’s been reported that he was unsuccessful in applications for Oxford City and Woking before getting the Glovers job.

As he lines up his coaching team (a former Glover who’s “only gone and done it” is among the rumoured names), there’s a chance of some post-season freshness at Huish Park – in the dugout at least.

Hargreaves experience since ‘taking Torquay out of the football league’ (as the negative narrative is) has been largely focussed on youth football and the academy system at Exeter City, Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers. His history at this south/southwest triumvirate, within a commutable distance from Huish Park, is probably an indication of the ‘project youth’ strategy Yeovil be taking this season. And who can argue with it?

In his first interview with YTFC.net, Hargreaves said: “Youth development is vital. I said to the players that want to stay at the club, I want to improve them as all coaches and managers do. We want to help them go and play as high as they can. It’s something that is very important to me, they have to produce for the club but we hope to be able to help them along their footballing journey. We have to be as sustainable as possible, so we need to develop our younger players and if the rewards are right for the club and for the player, then brilliant. That has to be a major part of it because producing players is a big part of what a club is about.”

Despite the club’s ‘pretty healthy’ financial position mooted by the chairman, and the recent injection of circa £2.8m, (who’s laughing at the back?) with ever-dropping gates at Huish Park, it’s reasonable to expect the budget will not see signings like Darren Sarll’s first season.

If we’re in the market for young, hungry players who’ve been let go from Rovers, Exeter and Bournemouth we should try and get ourselves to the top of the pile. Hargreaves’ connection with these clubs will hopefully provide Yeovil with a good pipeline of loans and an opportunity to sign some free agents.

Yeovil Town captain Josh Staunton.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

As we await our released and retained list, we’ve secured the most important player in Josh Staunton. His leadership within the squad is obvious and as the standard bearer of the dressing room, he will set the bar for those remaining and those joining. If the core of Staunton, Grant Smith, Morgan Williams, Max Hunt, Tom Knowles and Matty Worthington stay, that’s a good base to build a squad from. 

While Hargreaves wasn’t everyone’s first choice, I was impressed with his first interview with the media. He spoke positively about the club and genuinely seems excited at the opportunity to manager our club. Despite the news which broke on Friday afternoon, I’m cautiously optimistic about the freshening up at Huish Park under his leadership.

This morning Yeovil Town fans woke up in the knowledge that our club is no longer the owner of the ground on which Huish Park stands.

It may well have been the case for a number of days (weeks?) before 2pm on Friday afternoon when South Somerset District Council (SSDC) and the club announced that a £2.8m deal had been completed for the council to buy Huish Park and the land around it and rent it back to the club.

Nearly 32 years after we moved in, we are now tenants in the place we call ‘home’.

So what do we know about the deal? Well, the statement from chairman Scott Priestnall spoke about why the sale was required and what the money would be used for, and SSDC gave its views on the deal.

Their respective messages were consistent – the club lost huge amounts money throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it needs a cash boost and a way to unlock the land at Huish Park for development to safeguard its future.

Having read through it all, there’s a couple of comments on both sides I felt were worthy of further inspection:

Scott Priestnall: “The deal provides valuable funds to the club, in what has been a very difficult period financially and operationally. We utilised all government schemes available to us during the pandemic, but unfortunately those funds did not meet our ongoing cash requirement, never mind allow us to grow.”

There’s absolutely no question the pandemic was a hugely difficult time for all businesses and our football club was no exception. As the chairman rightly says, it furloughed a number of employees to cut its costs to the bare bones, took advantage of grants available to clubs, benefited from more than £50,000 raised by its supporters through a Crowdfunder and has borrowed almost £1m from Sport England. What is an interesting question though is the contradiction between the chairman’s statements from a little under a month ago that the club was in “a pretty healthy” financial position. If that is true, why do we need to sell our only true assets? As one supporter put it, on the face of it it’s a bit like selling your car to pay for the petrol.

Scott Priestnall.

Scott Priestnall: “The funds will help pay for costs incurred during the pandemic such as deferred payments with some of our key partners and deferred salaries to our incredible staff and players who accepted a reduction in wages during lockdown when the club could not operate.”   

If there are individuals or business the club owes money to, it can only be right that this ‘windfall’ enables these debts to be met. No question. However, what of the other debts? We know we owe Sport England £998,538 in monies that, only a couple of weeks ago the Chairman said the Sports Minister was “working to get written off“. So, unless his view on that situation has changed in just under a month, one assumes those debts will not be paid.

So what of the £1.35m the chairman borrowed from Poole-based lender MSP Capital to complete the purchase of the club back in 2019? In the words of Somerset Live back then, the move by Priestnall to secure the loan he took out against the club’s land assets “effectively acts as a mortgage against the stadium.” At that time, he spoke about the loan as “a facility to help us move forward with the land” – a similar reason to given yesterday to justify the sale to the council through the removal of “restrictive convenants” which have prevented land around Huish Park being developed – it all costs money, right?

Scott Priestnall: “When I first came into the Club, I saw the opportunity to grow this already amazing Club into an organisation off the pitch that could provide revenues all week, not just on match days. While I had very positive conversations with local planning, developers and funding partners, the pandemic delayed our options to grow, at the same time causing huge financial difficulties to our ongoing operations.”

There’s no doubt that Scott Priestnall, like his predecessors Norman Hayward and John Fry, see value in unlocking the value of the Huish Park site – and who could argue with the principle of developments which could create a long-term, sustainable income for the club? Certainly not me, it’s worked for clubs up and down the country and the lifting of covenants on the use of the land seemingly frees the club up to do so.

What could development look like? The simple truth is we don’t know and won’t know until the club unveils its “long-term vision for Huish Park” which the chairman says will happen “over the next year“. One insight came from the Glovers’ Trust back in March 2021 when it published a map showing a ‘Concept Plan’ of potential development of the land which showed the entire car park developed for flats and houses, accommodation for players alongside the current 3G pitch, alongside at least one shop, a sports clinic and a hotel.

I welcome the money raised by the sale enabling the club “to sensibly invest in required maintenance work and our playing squad” whilst paying down the debts it has incurred due to the pandemic, but if we are expected to pay an annual rent to SSDC, how is the development of the Huish Park site going to help us do this?

A hotel, shop or sports clinic paying a regular rental to the club or social facilities able to bring a seven-day-a-week income would achieve this. But simply building and selling property – whether houses, flats, shops, hotels or alike – is a short-term strategy which does not answer the question of – who pays the rent?


Who do you believe will benefit the most out of SSDC purchasing Huish Park and the surrounding land?

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Councillor John Clark

“It is important to remember that it is not the council’s intention nor desire to play any part in the running of the football club, which will remain a matter for the shareholders. Our interest is to help with the club’s survival, generate a new rental income, while protecting our ratepayers from loss or excessive risk.”

Not the chairman’s words this time, but those of SSDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, John Clark, the councillor for Yeovil Summerlands.

A number of councils have pots of cash waiting to invest in schemes they will be profitable for them and, as organisations not seeking to make a quick profit, can invest for the long term. When its District Executive signed off the £2.8m investment in December 2020, the council confirmed it would “provide a yield of around 7%” which was “line with the approved target level of commercial returns.Speaking at the meeting which decided the deal, then-Chief Executive Alex Parmley said: “We’re not spending money on a football club or giving them taxpayers’ money – we’re investing in the land. We’ll have a significant land asset with a value at the end of it.” To put it simply, this deal is good business for SSDC.

In his statement, Scott Priestnall spoke about how there would be “those that put a negative spin” on the deal. He – and maybe you – may think this blog is an attempt to do that. I would argue there is no more “spin” in his blog than in the club and council’s own statements. Questions are healthy in any democracy – the chairman himself said just under a month ago that he had “no problem with criticism” and therefore I am sure will have no issue with my questions. They are asked out of a desire to see the club thrive, that’s all any fan wants, right?

Gerry Lock, right, with manager Brian Hall as they collect the Isthmian League winners’ trophy in April 1988.
Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

When I was first becoming a Yeovil Town supporter, the club made its move from Huish to Huish Park, under the stewardship of then-chairman Gerry Lock. It was a move which almost sent the club under due to long-running planning enquiries, the rising cost of land – many other things which have been the subject of podcasts, if you are interested- listen here. Lock’s vision was to create a stadium and facility which was the envy of clubs all over the country – and he did, but almost at a huge cost.

Is this decision Scott Priestnall’s ‘Gerry Lock Moment’?

In “the next year” we have been promised sight of the long-term vision for Huish Park and, if this ultimately benefits the football club, you’ll hear no complaints from me. Like so many things, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Just one week ago, nearly 2000 Yeovil, Exeter and South West football fans came to Huish Park to celebrate the life of Adam Stansfield and raise money for his foundation.

In the build up to the game, the Gloverscast trio joined a host of local reporters, Yeovil fans and hugely respected YTFC people came together to put together a programme, however one article didn’t make the souvenir programme.

Below is my chat with Andy Lindegaard, who had amazing memories of the sides with which he played across many, many years of success.


Andy Lindegaard breaks up-field for Yeovil

It’s fair to say that being a Yeovil fan from 2000 onwards was a special experience, a decade of unprecedented success with the teams from 2002, 03, 05 and 07 all living long in the memories of a Glovers fans.

We can only imagine what it would have been like to have been on the inside through it all, but one player and one player alone did the best of both worlds.

Andy Lindegaard was a Yeovil born, Glovers fan who had been part of the local football from a young age and have been in the youth team under Stu Housley and Maurice O’Donnell before breaking into the first team in 1999 and playing for the next eight years through so many top teams, he spoke to the Gloverscast’s Ben Barrett about how it felt to be part of multiple teams who found success at Huish Park.

When Gary Johnson joined, he inherited a team that was close to success but hadn’t quite landed the big one, Lindy says a little sprinkling of quality was all that was needed.

“When Gary came in, he added a bit of quality, Lee Johnson came in, (Colin) Milesy and Steve Collis, those were the three I remember from the first day of preseason. They’d come from the Football League and had a little bit of experience, but it was more just the team spirit we had together. Anything we did, everyone wanted to win each time. It’s that attitude that helps bring success”

2001/02 culminating in a Trophy Final was a special occasion for Lindegaard, but it was just the start of the journey

We were at the start of riding that wave, I remember going to Villa Park and the whole of Yeovil was there, it was something special.”

After that, the team conquered the conference and League Two with so many happy memories.

It was a winning mentality, we had a lot of pace, it was attack, attack, attack, the fans were spoilt!”

One of my best memories is playing in front of Huish Park when it was jam packed full, we used to get six or seven thousand every week.”

Lindegaard still has the match ball from his hat trick against Gravesend and Northfleet kicking about in the garden and the medals are framed up and on display for family and friends to enjoy, his only ‘what if’… not playing as a striker a bit more.

I wish I played up front more, but we signed Kevin Gall so I didn’t get a look in.”

Fast forward to 2007 and things had changed. Johnson had left, Slade had come in and yet the success continued with the League One play-offs.

Slade, he says, was different to Johnson in the way they approached management but both got results.

Gary was more of a shouter, he liked to encourage players that way, Russell Slade was more of school teacher-ish”

“Russell wouldn’t overload the players with information, but Gary had his own form of data analysis, it was ticks and crosses as we sat and watched the games back.”

Lindegaard was quick to take up the offer to come back and play in this game for the Adam Stansfield foundation, because of who Adam was, and he knew before most that Stanno would go on to be great.

“Stanno always had a smile on his face. I actually played in the game where Gary discovered him. For the reserves, against Elmore. It was a cold, rainy night, luckily I wasn’t playing in defence, so he didn’t run me ragged. I remember playing in that game and he turned up to training the next Monday”.

The rest was history.

From struggling to find somewhere to train with the reserve side to finishing his 8-year stint at Wembley Stadium in 2007, Andy Lindegaard saw it all happen around him and he hopes that for one more packed out Huish Park will wrap up the story nicely.

Lindy and his blonde locks 📸 Mike Kunz

“As soon as they mentioned this game, I wanted to get involved. I’m really looking forward to it, I haven’t seen a lot of the players in a while, I keep in touch with a couple of the lads, it’ll be good. Some of the lads who are coming back never got to play with Stanno so it’ll be good to see teams from across the generations”

When asked who would win between a 2003 Yeovil side and the 2007 Glovers team, it was close, but he reckons the Johnson side would have just about edged it.

I’d probably say the 2003 team would win, but, the 2007 team was the highest we’d ever been. That team was full of quality, but my instinct says that Weasel (Darren Way) and Lee Johnson would make the difference”

Those sides come together today to take on the South West XI, the best of both worlds!


To donate to Andy’s blonde hair Just Giving page Click HERE

To listen to the Gloverscast’s Legends Game Special Click HERE

To take a look at the Gloverscast Photo Gallery of the day courtesy of Mike Kunz, Click HERE

To visit the website of the Adam Stansfield foundation and make a direct donation, Click HERE

Yeovil huddle before Altrincham

…and breathe.

The 2021/22 season has come to an end. 44 league games, an FA Cup run, and a Somerset Premier Cup victory has made the campaign far from dull despite the 12th place finish. The final game saw an injury ravaged squad squeeze out a 1-0 win over fellow mid-tablers Altrincham. Debuts for Ollie Haste and Max Evans rightly took the post match headlines, but I wanted to highlight two other performances.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

I gave Sonny Blu Lo Everton my man of the match on the radio. He was fantastic in the first half, and gave us a glimpse into what we would have loved to have seen more of through the whole season. He glided effortlessly with the ball, had shots, a relaxed game brought out the best in him, how desperately we could have done with that on a more regular basis. His career lies higher than the National League and he’ll go onto good things, I’m sure.

Morgan Williams. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Much was made out of Morgan Williams’ controversial Glovies wins (by Ian mostly), but as one of those certain to be there on Day 1 of pre season next year, I for one am chuffed. He played centre half, he’s played left back, right wing back and for his first proper season adapted to all of them with ease. If he wants to show of the leadership and seniority he showed alongside Jack Robinson and in front of Max Evans that is absolutely fine by me. We’ve got a good one in Morgan Williams, that’s for sure.

184 Yeovil fans made the trip to Altrincham, maybe take a few off for some easy geography, but that is an incredible level of support. I wouldn’t have blamed any supporter for saying no thanks, for starting their summers early and listening on the radio, but so many felt like they needed to be there. To say goodbye? To say thanks? Because that’s just what weekends are for? I’m not sure, but whoever is on that press release as our new manager has a truly brilliant fan base to get on board with. I hope they harness the spirit of the 184, I hope they see the passion and support of the 1900+ at the Legends game and use that to their advantage, give us something to cheer and we are there ready to be on your side.

I have to mention Josh Staunton don’t I? Last summer he told us that last season he thought he might not kick a ball ever again. He did, he became an integral part of the side, then Charlie Lee’s right hand man, then… almost inexplicably, Manager. Find me a Yeovil fan who doesn’t think we should extend his contract? Find me a Yeovil fan who thinks he isn’t the person to build a side around next year? I’ve written in depth before about how I feel he’s the most important player we’ve had since Skivo, well, he became our first player-manager since the Glovers legend took over from Russell Slade. He deserves the upmost respect and a damn good contract.

So, I don’t like to address rumours, but there were murmurs of some players not being in the best frame of mind before the game and there were a number of absentees. I’ll say only one thing… if there’s any player that doesn’t want to be here, they’re absolutely fine to leave. It takes a special type of player to play for Yeovil Town, you have to show the commitment that 184 fans showed today, if you’re not willing to do that, despite all that’s gone on, you know where the door is. For what it’s worth, in every little snippet of conversation I’ve had with people, every game I’ve watched, every interview I’ve transcribed this season I’ve never doubted any squad member’s commitment, I just hope it’s still there at the same level next season.

It won’t exactly be a quiet week for Glovers fans, or a quiet summer for that matter, but I hope YTFC supporters can enjoy their summers. It’ll be time to play ‘Guess the Trialist‘ soon.

Since Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall announced three weeks ago that he had received “40 or 50 applications” for the vacant manager’s job at Huish Park, the rumour mill has been spinning over the identity of the new boss.

The unceremonious exit of caretaker boss Charlie Lee – who was confirmed as having left with immediate effect on Friday afternoon – was accompanied with confirmation that an appointment will be announced next week.

With only a couple of days left for wild speculation, Coatesie takes a look at some of the names in the frame, make sure you read until the end and cast your vote on which of this contenders you’d most like to see.


Chris Hargreaves

The former Torquay United manager’s name has been doing the rounds on the Huish Park rumour mill for the past few weeks.

His last job was as Academy Manager at League Two (soon to be League One) side Bristol Rovers which he quit in February after 18 months in the role, having been involved in coaching in the youth set-up at The Memorial Ground since summer 2019.

During that time he oversaw the development of a number of players who progressed on to the club’s first-team including  Kyrie Pierre and Brad Burrows, who both signed for Aston Villa last year, and Luca Hoole and Jed Ward.

His last (and only) managerial experience came at Torquay United, the club he represented as a player more than 100 times, where he took over in January 2014 with the club in serious risk of relegation out of the Football League.

Hargreaves was unable to stop the rot and the Gulls were relegated that summer and he was placed on gardening leave after rejecting a pay cut and eventually left.

More recently, he is a familiar face with National League supporters as a matchday summariser with BT Sport which you assume would give him some understanding of the division, at least.



Jamie McAllister

Jamie McAllister in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

A name who needs little introduction to Yeovil Town fans as the only Glovers’ captain to lift silverware for the club at Wembley Stadium when he captained the 2013 play-off winning side.

It is believed that McAllister has been interviewed for the job in recent weeks, putting his name in the frame.

Most recently, the former left-back was assistant to another Yeovil favourite, Lee Johnson, at Sunderland and left the Black Cats when the pair were sacked at the end of January.

Earlier this year, McAllister told the Gloverscast that he had considered the manager’s job at National League South side Gloucester City before moving to Wearside and when asked whether he was a future Yeovil manager, he replied: “No comment.” He was still employed at the Stadium of Light back then though – you can listen again – here.

McAllister would be a favourite with Huish Park supporters who fondly remember his two seasons as a player.



Michael Jolley

A bit of a curveball as someone with no connection to the club or even the South West, Jolley’s managerial outing saw him last just seven matches at League Two Barrow.

The former Cambridge University graduate, who has no professional playing record to speak of, spent around two months in charge in Cumbria before exiting with the Bluebirds’ chairman saying they had “differing visions for how the team should play.”

Prior to that he was in charge at Grimsby Town, then a League club, between March 2018 and November 2019, securing the club’s position in the League upon his arrival and then enjoying a moderately successful campaign in 2018-19.

Despite a strong start to the next campaign, he departed within three months by mutual consent and it was later revealed he had an “expletive laden” exchange with a BBC reporter over negative coverage of the Mariners. Something to keep in mind…..


Terry Skiverton

A bit of an outsider, however, following his departure from a first-team coaching role at League One Charlton Athletic, the Glovers’ legend has to be one for discussion.

Skivo’s two decades-long association with Yeovil came to an end back in January when he quit to take up a role in the Addicks’ coaching staff alongside Johnnie Jackson, but departed just over a week ago following the sacking of Jackson.

Speaking following his exit, the former captain, manager, and assistant manager said: “ I need to move on with my career, I have got all my qualifications – my B, A and my Pro Licence – and with all of those things, I really want to give this a crack and it’s time to move away from Yeovil.”

Given that, you would expect that a return seems unlikely, but chairman Scott Priestnall has said he is still in touch with “Tel” and spoke to him about appointing Charlie Lee as interim manager – so stranger things have happened.

Skiverton is certain to be back at Huish Park this weekend, albeit lining up for the Yeovil Town Legends against a South West Legends XI in the charity match in aid of the Adam Stansfield Foundation.


Tony Pennock celebrates the ICIS League title win in 1997. Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

Tony Pennock

A former Glovers’ goalkeeper who turned out for the club more than 200 times in a six-year period left Championship side Hull City after eight years in the coaching set-up last weekend.

Speaking on his departure he revealed he wanted to “try and become a manager myself” having been part of the Tigers’ coaching set up which won their first title in more than half-a-century when they were promoted back to the second tier last season.

The Welshman was well respected in East Yorkshire having initially joined as academy manager in February 2014 before being promoted to the senior set-up in November 2016.

He had a short spell in charge at Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town after Marco Silva was appointed at Hull in April 2017, only to leave and return to Humberside two months later when Silva departed.

Prior to that he had been a coach of the Wales semi-professional side and at Swansea City, but is best remembered for his time between the posts at Huish Park between 1995 and 2001.

He was part of Graham Roberts’ side which won promotion in to the Conference in 1997, and left to join Rushden & Diamonds after they beat the Glovers’ to promotion to the League.


Jerry Gill

The only member of this list of ‘maybe’ men who is actually currently employed by a football team.

Jerry Gill turning out for Yeovil Town in 1996-97. Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

Gill is under contract with National League South side and defeated Somerset Premier Cup finalists Bath City (sorry, Jerry!) until next summer and therefore it would presumably cost money to release him – which naturally makes him an outsider.

Yet another former Yeovil player, he was a flying full-back in the team which won promotion back to the Conference in 1997 before joining on to join Birmingham City, he was rumoured to be in the running for the job when Darren Sarll took the job in the summer of 2019.

His managerial record saw him have a 44-day spell in charge of then-Conference South bottom club W*ymouth only to quit the cash-strapped seagull botherers before having roles in the Bristol Rovers youth team and then in the academy at Kidderminster Harriers.

Having spent two years he departed for a role in the youth set ups at first Norwich City and then Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he was Under-18s head coach. Having left Molineux in March 2017, he took up the first-team job at another of his former clubs, Bath City, in October of that year.

He extended his contract at Twerton Park by signing a two-year deal last summer having guided them to the play-off finals last season.

This year, the Romans had a disappointing campaign finishing fourth from bottom of the National League South.


So there’s some of the runners and riders, but who would you like to see next in the Huish Park hot-seat? Vote for your favourite……

Who would you like as the next Yeovil boss?

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Somerset Premier Cup Winners 2022 📸 SomersetFA

Remember where you were on the night Yeovil Town’s first team won their first silverware since 2013. Ian was at Huish Park to witness the 3-0 victory over Bath City, and here are his Five Conclusions…

We won a trophy!! Firstly, congratulations to Charlie Lee and his team. As the professional side, they had to get the job done against Jerry Gill’s Bath City. Morgan Williams early goal showed the gulf between the two sides early on, but as the first half wore on, Bath City certainly showed they were no pushovers. Lee’s side had work to do in that first half, with Tom Smith getting a lot of the ball and Bath had three decent chances to hit back. The early second half goal from Knowles really put the game beyond doubt, as the Glovers eventually clinched their 25th Somerset Premier Cup in comfort.

It was a shame to not see some of youngsters last night. Our younger players have had a lot of minutes in the SPC and have played a huge part in getting us to the final. I understand the desire to treat it as a first team game and make sure of the trophy, but it would have been nice to have seen Toby Stephens, Ollie Haste (who has signed professional terms), Max Evans get their chance. It was great to see them front and centre of the celebrations at the end as they played an important role in getting us to the final.

It wasn’t the best night for Reuben Reid. The halcyon days of March and Reid’s signs of ‘what could be’ in green and white seem to have long gone. At points in March he was unplayable but last night was one of those frustrating evenings which can give the impression of lack of effort and lack of quality. He didn’t win many (if any) headers, he was out of sync with his teammates, passes were misplaced and nothing seemed to work for the striker.

Morgan Williams. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

We can do worse than signing Ben Barclay in the summer. If we are to lose Luke Wilkinson (if you believe the social media rumour mill) and sweat on Max Hunt’s fitness – he was helped off with what looked to be a bad injury – we have a ready-made signing who will slot in perfectly in Barclay. His poise on the ball and reliability have shone through since his loan from Stockport. With Stockport on course for promotion to the EFL, you would presume he will be deemed surplus to requirements. Hopefully his time at Yeovil has made enough of an impression for all parties to want to extend it.

I’ll have what Morgan Williams is having. I said on Monday’s Gloverscast that I expected Morgan Williams to start because he’s a machine, and he proved it again. His signing last summer was met with cautious optimism, which quickly faded when it was revealed he was suffering with an injury and having to wear a special boot. What a season he’s had, however. Another 90 minutes last night, a goal, a solid defensive performance and a trophy to boot. After the season he’s had, it’s actually a bit of relief to know we’ll have him next season.

Here at the Gloverscast we write a weekly column for the Western Gazette and if you haven’t had chance to pick up the paper yet, you can read this week’s ramblings below.

Ben takes a look at this Tuesday’s Somerset Premier Cup final and thinks it should be taken seriously…

Tickets for the final on Tuesday night at Huish Park are still available – click HERE to buy one.


The Somerset Premier Cup was probably not the silverware Yeovil Town set out to get this season.

A play off final win would have been ideal. The FA Trophy would have been one for the romantics, 20 years on from when Terry Skiverton hoisted it aloft at Villa Park and kicked off a decade of success for the Glovers.

But here we are, sat in mid table mediocrity and looking at a final few games that are nothing more than dead rubbers.

With the exception of that Somerset Premier Cup final. 

It might only be the county Cup, but, surprisingly, we haven’t won it since 2005.

This past week, we heard ambitions of making Huish Park and Yeovil the number one sporting venue in the county…and as the only professional football club in Somerset, we should probably be winning the County Cup more than once every generation.

For some players, it might be the best chance they get to put on a show for those handing out contracts for next season.

Max Evans. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It has the only source of first team football for young keeper Max Evans, Toby Stephens and a number of the Under-18s who will want to try and bridge the gap to mens’ football in the coming years.

And what of Bath City, managed by former Glover Jerry Gill. The’re the second biggest side in the competition and 16th in the National League South probably wasn’t what they were hoping for. They’ll take this game seriously and will fancy something of an upset against their old rivals from the league above.

The team selections throughout have been very respectful and as strong as reasonably could be, but as legs begin to tire and motivation begins to wane, I hope Charlie Lee can get his players up for one more go at winning something.

And who knows, maybe it’ll be a bit of a catalyst for success too. 

 

Yeovil wrapped up their home campaign with a 2-2 draw against Boreham Wood at Huish Park yesterday. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions…

We stuck with the plan and deserved the point, if not more. At half time, I expected to see Charlie Lee make changes, given how early he made them against Wealdstone. At 2-0 down, it felt to me like we struggled to find our rhythm in the 5-3-2. But, no changes were forthcoming from Charlie Lee and his team battled back when it all looked pretty bleak at half time. Fair play to Charlie, he stuck with the system that they’d been working on through the week and his team performed for him.

Luke Wilkinson fires home the equaliser. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It was a relief to finally get something from set pieces. Our poor return from set pieces is no secret this season, but we finally managed to convert not one, but two. It feels like we’ve been waiting for a long throw to pay off since Charlie Lee was hauling them into the box in 2019. Finally, Morgan Williams (or was it Mendy?) put one in the net. And not long after that, Luke Wilkinson got his first of the season with an excellent freekick, aided by Ashmore taking a huge step to his right and leaving the left side of his goal open.

Dale Gorman had a game to forget. I think Gorman has had a decent first season at Huish Park. When he plays well, we play well. He keeps the ball ticking over and he has an eye for pass – just look at his assist for Josh Neufville against Southend. Yesterday, though, was one of his bad days. Having missed a penalty, which would have brought us level, he then got caught in possession and tried to claim a freekick as Dennon Lewis raced away to double Wood’s lead. Gorman’s frustration boiled over 10 minutes later he was booked for dissent. He improved in the second half, but he has had his moments this season.

 

I’d love Charlie Lee to still be with us next season. Considering he was brought in as Darren Sarll’s assistant until the end of the season at Skivo’s departure, Charlie Lee has had to make a hell of a step up in his short time back at the club. I think he’s been a breathe of fresh air as manager. We’ve played more adventurously since he’s taken the reins and I think the team look more relaxed – albeit with considerably less pressure. While I’m not sure he’s the right man to get us out of the National League, he’s a ready-made assistant whose relationship with the current crop (should a few remain) will be crucial to any incoming manager.

Huish Park hasn’t been a happy place this season, but yesterday had a different feel to it. The return of the Get Pedalling ride was a moment I won’t forget in a hurry. This group, who’ve shared their story of the week on our podcast feed, have been an inspiration with their efforts. To see them arrive at Huish Park led by Lee Collins’ partner Rachel, including club legend Terry Skiverton and cheered on by supporters, players and staff set a positive tone for the afternoon. Add to that, the more than 300 kids which the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust brought to Huish Park yesterday and there was a nice feel about the place. Let’s have more of those moments next season, with the community at the heart of their football club.

Jack Robinson in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Yeovil didn’t have enough to find their way through ten-man Wealdstone on Bank Holiday Monday. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions from the John Lukins press box at Huish Park.

Up until the red card, Wealdstone looked in the mood. The North-London side took control of possession early on and carried themselves with purpose, zipping the ball around Huish Park. They looked comfortable in and out of possession and should have taken the lead in the first half after missing a flurry of chances in the six yard box. They showed that being part time can mean little in the National League and they played like a team well worth their spot in the division.

It was the same old story against a team below us. If Saturday was a similar story against a team towards the top, yesterday’s was the same against a team below us. Once again this Yeovil side couldn’t break down a resilient defence and failed to create anything meaningful. Half chances for Josh Neufville and Jack Robinson alongside pot-shots from distance never overly troubled Wealdstone and but for Grant Smith’s flying save from Jack Cook’s effort, the Stones could have taken all three points.

It was nice to see both fullbacks getting forward. Jack Robinson’s return from injury moved Morgan ‘Mr Versatile’ Williams to fullback and for what feels like the first time in a long time, we saw both Robinson and Williams get high up the pitch and give Wealdstone’s wingbacks something to think about. While we never found a winner, it felt like with fullbacks flying forward we caused more problems than we have in previous fixtures when we’ve been chasing a goal.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Despite throwing players forward, we never looked like we’d find a goal. After the red card, I felt like it was a perfect opportunity for Lawson D’Ath, Matty Worthington and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton to take control of that midfield battle and show what creativity they have to offer. Despite flashes of skill from Lo-Everton he wasn’t able to unlock the defence from his ‘number ten’ position. Sonny has definitely grown over his time at Yeovil and he’s come on leaps and bounds from his first outing and with experience he’ll find the right key in those positions. But for now, we’re left with the disappointment of ‘what could have been?’

Can we get this season over and done with? 2021/22 has dragged on and I couldn’t be more ready for it to end and the preparation for the next season to begin. There’s a hell of a lot to sort out in the boardroom, in the dugout and on the pitch and the sooner it’s sorted the better. The crowd at Huish Park was flat, the weather was dull and the football was about as mid-table as it gets. Let’s all get to the beach and figure it out over a Thatchers.

With the Yeovil Town Legends game just under a couple of weeks away we thought it was nigh on time to dig out the old Ciderspace photo archives again, so we searched for an image of each of the Glovers legends from the 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 sides who will be back to represent the Green and White army once more against a select South West Legends side.

Tickets are stil available for the match on Saturday May 14th – Starting at £8 for adults, £4 for kids with family tickets on offer as well.
Click HERE to buy yours, now!

Chris Weale

Steve Collis

Adam Lockwood

Andy Lindegaard

Terry Skiverton

Colin Miles

Roy O’Brien

Nathan Jones

Abdou El Kholti

Paul Terry

Chris Cohen

Lee Johnson

Darren Way

Arron Davies

Gavin Williams

Nick Crittenden

Chris Giles

Phil Jevons

Kevin Gall

Kirk Jackson

Gary Johnson

Steve Thompson

A little trip down memory lane… and i’ve saved the best until last…

Just look at those fans…

Tickets are stil available for the match on Saturday May 14th – Starting at £8 for adults, £4 for kids with family tickets on offer as well.
Click HERE to buy yours, now!

Ahead of Yeovil Town‘s 2-1 win over Stockport County last weekend, a number of the club’s supporters received an invitation to come to the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park to speak with chairman Scott Priestnall.

It was the first time the owner had been seen at the club on a matchday since the BBC television cameras were in town for the FA Cup third round tie with AFC Bournemouth in January, and he was providing an update on the on and off-the-field situation.

This followed a tumultuous 24 hours including the resignation of fellow director Glenn Collis and a statement from the club saying the chairman was seeking to assemble a new board including “local business people.

Owner Scott Priestnall, flanked by Commercial Manager Mark Robinson, right, and matchday announcer Ian Welch, left, speaks to fans in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park.
Picture: @YTFC Twitter

From Monday, the club has released a series of video clips showing the chairman speaking with matchday stadium announcer Ian Welch on a series of topics and, to try and summarise, we have put them together in to a Gloversblog – so here goes:

 

Video 1: Managerial Update: Priestnall updated around the long-term situation around the club’s vacant manager’s job, saying:

  • There have been “40 or 50 applications” submitted for the club’s vacant manager’s job and interviews are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
  • Charlie Lee will be spoken to as part of the club’s selection process for a new manager.
  • Darren Sarll was released from his contract following an offer from National League rivals, Woking.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

 

Video 2: Player contracts and recruitment

In the second video, the chairman spoke about the situation with the club’s current crop of players and gave his thoughts on future recruitment, saying:

  • He has spoken with a number of the club’s current playing squad and made offers to some to extend their stays at Huish Park.
  • The club is targeting a play-off finish in the National League next season, and the chairman believes changes in the playing staff are required to achieve that.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

 

Video 3 – Financial situation: With the club having lost almost £400,000 last year, the chairman spoke about the club’s financial situation and his plans to bring new investment in, saying:

  • He believes the club’s financial position is “pretty healthy” considering the challenges it has faced with COVID-19 in the past couple of years.
  • He has had conversations with a number of people about investment in the club, including people joining the board at Huish Park.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

 

Video 4 – The long-term vision: Released on Tuesday morning, the chairman spoke about nearly £1m in loans the club has taken from Sport England and his plans to create a long-term vision for the club, saying:

  • He is still hoping that the Sports Minister will write off loans taken by non-League clubs which initially it was believed would be available in the form of non-repayable grants.
  • He is hoping that a long-term vision for the club will be in place over the summer.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.


Video 5 
– Communication with supporters: In the last (gripping?) instalment of The Priestnall Tapes, the chairman spoke about his relationship with the Supporters’ Alliance, a group which represents the main fans’ groups at the club, saying:

  • He felt the club was “put up for sale without my knowledge” when the Glovers’ Trust activated its Asset of Community Value and backed a takeover offer from Simul Sports.
  • He hoped to be able to rejoin Alliance meetings but said he believed the group needed to set out some objectives.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.


Video 6 – Matchday experience:
In this video, Commercial Manager Mark Robinson discusses the work which has been ongoing to improve the matchday experience, saying:

  • Work is ongoing with the Supporters’ Alliance to improve the matchday experience and plans for further improvements are “in the pipeline.”
  • Scott Priestnall adds that he continues to “run the club on a day-to-day basis” saying he speaks with Stadium Manager, James Hillier, “five or six times a day.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

And the one that wasn’t a video: The chairman spoke about the situation with a takeover of the club by the Simul Sports consortium and insisted he could not speak about South Somerset District Council’s proposed purchase and lease back of Huish Park and land around it, the headlines were:

  • He accepted an offer to takeover the club from Simul Sports, but said the consortium “never put money on the table.“
  • The deal to sell Huish Park and surrounding land to South Somerset District Council “remains an option.“
  • A new manager, players and a board of directors will be appointed by Priestnall before he releases details of season tickets.

You can read about this one – here

 

Not many would have thought that Yeovil Town would complete the double over National League big-spenders Stockport County. But that’s exactly what Charlie Lee’s Glovers managed yesterday. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions from an excellent game at Huish Park.

It was another match which showed how crazy our season has been. I said before the match that it wouldn’t have surprised me if we nicked the game given some of our results against the better sides this season. And boy did we. It felt like Stockport were banging the door down for the entire first half, but we held firm and after a slick bit of skill from Tom Knowles (#DFILWF) he finished brilliantly just before half time. His goal was the springboard which seemed to galvanise the Glovers and Charlie Lee’s side grew in confidence as the match progressed.

It was amazing to finally see a Josh Neufville goal at Huish Park. A quick break and our lockdown hero was in behind the Stockport defence. He showed

Josh Neufville wheels away after scoring Yeovil’s second.

the calmness of a seasoned striker and coolly sent Hinchcliffe the wrong way to send those that were at Huish Park wild. He’s had to play a different game than he did last season. Yesterday he was starved of the ball at points and really had to make the most of his own possession and when it mattered he made it count.

We didn’t let Stockport’s changes count. Dave Challinor made a double substitution at half time and before Crankshaw and Hippolyte has a chance to settle into the game and make a difference, we were 2-0 up. Another change followed swiftly and although Hippolyte scored against his old club, the red card of Will Collar two minutes later meant they had another on-pitch change to make. It felt like Stockport never managed to get going as cohesively in the second half as they did in the first, and we managed to deal with most of their threat comfortably.

Stockport’s own supporters took their side’s momentum. After Hippolyte’s goal a blue smoke bomb was thrown into Grant Smith’s six yard box. County players had swiftly grabbed the ball to force a quick restart, but their momentum was totally lost as a stewards had to wait for the smoke bomb to extinguish before they could safely remove it. Collar’s deserved red card for a dangerously high foot on Dale Gorman shortly after the delay just exacerbated things for County’s evidently frustrated players. Dave Challinor thought the same:

Central defender Max Hunt. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Max Hunt stepped back in supremely. You wouldn’t have known it was Hunt’s first game back after months out injured. The centre back was dominant against the National League’s lethal pairing of Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley. The deadly duo had moments of freedom in the first half, but Hunt was a man mountain, winning everything in the air and throwing himself in front of efforts at goal. His confidence shone through and was clear to see when he executed a textbook Cryuff turn on the halfway line before getting Yeovil on the attack. It was the kind of performance from Hunt which hammered home the urgent need to secure the futures of some of these players.

 

 

After another draw against the seagull botherers, Ian reflects on an afternoon at The Bob Lucas Stadium…

The first half was a non-event. Weymouth definitely took the Derby Day feeling in their stride and it wasn’t until the second half that Yeovil found their rhythm. We kept bypassing out midfield with long balls up to Reuben Reid which always expose his weaknesses. For whatever reason we couldn’t get any passing game going and Weymouth had a comfortable first half from a defensive perspective and but for a couple of offside flags, they could have gone into half time with a lead.

This was our final big opportunity to get another moment out of the season and we couldn’t manage it. It was another game where we’ve not got a result against a side that everyone else seems to. Weymouth’s form has been dismal as of late and the 1300 expectant travelling Glovers anticipated a positive result. We conspired to not win, yet again, and we’ve failed to beat Weymouth in 90 minutes in four games this season.

It wasn’t quite the same old story. Yes we struggled going forward, especially in the first half, but I thought we looked vulnerable in defence where we haven’t previously. Barclay and Wilkinson were given a difficult afternoon by Weymouth’s harassing forwards. The wingbacks nullified the threat of Barnett and Knowles in the first half and put pressure on Williams and Little going forward too.

Josh Staunton disagrees with Brad Ash of W*ymouth in the FA Cup replay at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

The YTFC faithful turned out in force. It was great to see such a strong following at The Bob Lucas Stadium. They were quietened by the performance of Weymouth in the first half but they found their voice again and helped create an electric atmosphere. If we can replicate that passion and that noise at home, our results at Huish Park might have been a bit different this season. But, we know what needs to happen there.

I won’t miss Weymouth. We’ve had a dull time against our old foes this season. While we have the stress of an awful penalty shootout in the eye of a storm in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, we’ve not been able to dispatch them over 90 minutes. As a supporter who hasn’t experienced that rivalry with Weymouth, I’ve found it difficult to haven strength of feeling about them, other than annoyance that we couldn’t beat them this season and begrudging acceptance of our plight.

Charlie Lee’s debut in front of the Huish Park crowd ended in defeat as Yeovil Town failed to take their opportunities and gifted an Aldershot Town side battling against the drop two goals on a sunny Good Friday afternoon.

Coatesie travelled down from his northern home for the match between his hometown team and his adopted hometown team (no, he wasn’t the away fan who needed medical treatment), and here are his conclusions….

Even the glorious sunshine could not hide the cracks at Huish Park. I’m not just talking about on the pitch – although there were some of those, which I’ll come too – but this was my first home game in well over two years and it’s sad to see the state of the place. Even if you can look past the unloved, run down infrastructure, I heard at least half-a-dozen people complain at the lack of a printed programme (not a problem for me, but it clearly it is for some supporters), the tea bars were shut for away fans meaning big queues in the Screwfix Family Stand. Yet again, it’s the same relentlessly cheery volunteers and underappreciated staff who are fronting up, whilst the only sign of our absent owner, Scott Priestnall, were the chants calling for him to go. If I were him, I wouldn’t want to face up to what my lack of interest and investment was doing to more than 125 years of history either……but I’m not the one who bought a football club less than three years ago.

On the pitch, it wasn’t a great day either. We seemed to forget how to score goals again. The freedom we

Josh Neufville. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

been playing with in recent weeks deserted us and we were unable to find our way through an Aldershot team who had absolutely no reason to do anything more than keep it tight and hit us on the break. Josh Neufville was paired alongside Reuben Reid in a front two and ran tirelessly but too often in the first half there were aimless balls played up to him. At the start of the second half we got it down better and laid siege to the visitors’ goal but just could not find a way through, and when we gifted Giles Phillips the freedom of the area to head home the opener, it felt like game over. I think we could have stayed out there all Easter and not scored.

Our full-backs didn’t not look comfortable. When I saw Mark Little and Jordan Barnett on either side of defence, I was pleased that we had a recognised right and left back on the pitch. However, from the start, Mark Little did not seem to be running comfortably and had problems containing Aldershot down his side. Barnett looked rusty in his first start in almost a month and, although he can still put in a fantastic sliding tackle when he needs too, does seem more effective further up the pitch. I’d put Morgan Williams back in for W*ymouth on Easter Monday.

Dale Gorman. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Please can we get Dale Gorman off free-kicks with a shot on goal? I know he scored that one at Dover, but surely we have other players who have the potential to get a more meaningful effort on goal. There was one in the first half of this match about 25 yards out which I thought was crying out for a Luke Wilkinson pile driver to test the keeper, but no. Or, to quote my Thatcher’s Stand companion, Chris Fox: “Oh, f*** off, Gorman!” It was funny to start with (tequila and all that) but I’m now starting to see what the Glentoran supporters were telling us when we signed him – he shoots from literally everywhere.

Tom Knowles was a bright spot – again. I feel like I have done nothing but complain in my previous four conclusions….so let me end of at least one positive. There were some bright spots and, as is often the case, Tom Knowles was one of them with his relentless desire to attack. When we got the ball to him, Aldershot didn’t know what to do and when we repeated that with other players (especially early in the second half) the same occurred. You know what you need to do on Monday, boys.

A late equaliser from substitute Charlie Wakefield spared Yeovil Town’s blushes by salvaging a point from the trip to a King’s Lynn Town side fighting for survival in the National League.

Coatesie made the trip to north-west Norfolk for what was the Glovers’ first visit to The Walks in more than 20 years. Here’s what he made of it all….

Having spent the first decade and more of my Yeovil Town supporting life in non-League football I have not had these thoughts too often in the past three seasons, but this was the most non-League of non-League days. For large parts it was a scrappy performance with very little in terms of quality from either side and a referee who seemed desperate to put his hand in his pocket for a card, yet missed some clear and obvious fouls perpetrated by both sides. Luke Wilkinson getting a hand round the throat as he jumped for a corner with the official in close proximity with quite baffling. Add to that the over-zealous stewarding from King’s Lynn – a supporter frog-marched out of the ground for sitting on a barrier, for goodness sake – and a serious risk of starvation whilst waiting for food in the away end – it could almost have been Huish Park!

To start with it looked like it could be a comfortable afternoon after Dale Gorman’s penalty put us ahead after just four minutes, but we failed to press our advantage and we gave King’s Lynn too much encouragement

Grant Smith. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

and they took it. Mark Little has looked unflappable when I have seen him this season, but he was ‘got at’ on more than one occasion and undone by a great pass from Brett McGavin for the first and then by the tricky Josh Barrett for the second goal.

On loan goalkeeper Ted Cann had a bit of a stinker with both goals as which makes me think let’s get Grant Smith back in between the posts. Charlie Lee has said the first-choice keeper is fully fit again although he was not named among the substitutes for this one. I have no doubt Cann will be a highly competent goalkeeper, probably at a higher level than this, but you had to cringe when he spilled Barrett’s shot right at the feet of Gold Omotayo who could not believe his luck to poke home against his old employers.

Thank goodness then for a moment of magic from Charlie Wakefield. The substitute’s 91st minute equaliser was a moment of pure quality which is everything we have seen time and again he is capable of. When he collected the ball on the left (isn’t he supposed to play down the right?) and cut inside, there was only one thing on the star man’s mind and he executed it in some style.

These relegation threatened sides are not going to roll over and let’s not forget we have two more of them to come in our next two matches. Our next opponents, Aldershot Town, gave their hopes of survival a boost with a win over a Boreham Wood side whose league season appears to have been ruined by their FA Cup exploits, whilst our seagull bothering friends down the road earned a point with a goalless draw against Grimsby Town. King’s Lynn were not pretty, but they dragged us down to their level through sheer hard work. We have to make our quality count if we are not going to come unstuck in these next two games.

After the past seven days at Huish Park, there was talk from the Barnet side of convincing victories coming their way but did we expect anything other than this Yeovil Town side to turn up at The Hive?

Goals from Tom Knowles and Reuben Reid earned a 2-2 draw in North London at the weekend, and here are Coatesie‘s conclusions on what he saw from the away end….

After the week they have had with the exit of Darren Sarll and remembering former captain Lee Collins a year after his death, Yeovil Town’s players could have found an excuse for sub-par performance. But, this group of players never fail to give it everything they’ve got and they did that once again.
If this was a ‘dead rubber’ match between two mid-table sides with little threat of troubling the top or bottom of the division, get me along to more of them because it was thoroughly entertaining and that was down to the desire of both sets of players.
Glovers’ caretaker manager Charlie Lee has promised that he will make sure his players give absolutely everything in every match he is in charge of and after his first 90 minutes there can be no questioning the commitment of this squad.

However, this was not the vintage performance we have seen in our last couple of outings against Southend or Bromley.
Reuben Reid summarised it perfectly when he spoke after the match and said that the start and the finish from his team-mates was on the money, but the bit in the middle needs some working on.
Both goals conceded will have been a disappointment to both Charlie Lee and his players as on both occasions Barnet seemed to waltz through out midfield without too much challenge.
For the first goal, Morgan Williams was at fault against a very good player in Ephron Mason-Clark, and for the second there were multiple guilty parties for not stopping the hosts’ attack.

Reuben Reid. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Remember when scoring more than one goal was a problem? Nope, me neither. These last few games have seen us reborn in an attacking sense and seeing Tom Knowles’ desire to win the ball after just nine minutes, then tear forward and smash home the opener was fantastic.
Where does he get his energy from? All through the match he was a constant thorn in Barnet’s side.
And, yes, I have said I will judge Reuben Reid on goals this season (well, I did last season as well) and with two in his last two games, there’s nothing more I can say than – keep it up!

Perhaps one of the reasons for the reigniting of our attacking play is the arrival of Josh Neufville and Olufela Olomola and surely it’s time we saw Neufville and Fela given a start.
Charlie Wakefield looks to be trying so hard and it’s just not happening for him at the moment, so why not take him out of the firing line and give one of the loanees a start against King’s Lynn next weekend?

Josh Neufville. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Lee spoke after the game about how Luton has told us to be careful with Josh and I am sure Hartlepool would not thank us for breaking Fela, but both feel like they need more opportunities to show what they are made of.

Finally, on Monday’s podcast I said the one thing supporters can do to help in these worryingly uncertain times was to turn up in numbers and make a racket and boy did we.
Every single one of the 288 fans in that away end did everything they could to show Charlie Lee and his players exactly what their efforts and this football club means to us.
I suspect we don’t need to tell show them, but at a time when these players who have put in so much effort appear to be being shown so much disrespect by others at the club – see here if you don’t know what I mean – it was great that we did.
And for those who either are or seek to be the custodians of this club, I hope you witnessed exactly what it means. History will judge you for your actions. Do not fail these people.

Listening to Josh Staunton talk to the ‘Football, Bloody Hell’ show on 3 Valleys Radio this week was not easy.

Here we have a 26-year-old man with an injury which, in any other walk of life would have been operated on weeks ago, saying that he and his (in many cases even younger) team-mates have absolutely no idea if they have a job at the end of next month.

Any Yeovil Town fan knows all about the ‘will they? won’t they?’ situation with the takeover of the club, the apparent complete absence (at least publicly) of chairman and owner Scott Priestnall and a rudderless ship at Huish Park which has allowed manager Darren Sarll to walk away and join a rival club – and who can blame him?

Just read this that Josh told Adi Hopper at 3 Valley Radio:

Yeovil Town captain Josh Staunton.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

We are surrounded by uncertainty now and it is disappointing when you get to this stage of the season and you don’t know if you are wanted or unwanted.

“That is not just me, that is every player that is out of contract, we would like some sort of clarity of whether we need to look elsewhere or are going to be offered something.

“One of the benefits of having a younger team, that blind loyalty is there. If we had a group of older players who were more family-orientated, I think it would be a lot more toxic around the dressing room.

“Especially at this time of year when people are worrying about their futures.

Now the first thing to say is to praise Josh for his honesty and openness. There are few players in our squad – or indeed any squad in recent years – that clearly have the best interests of the club at heart more than Josh, so this is clearly something he has deep concerns about.

You can read more of what Josh said here or if you want to listen to the full show – try and skip the bits where Adi talks about things vibrating on his thighs (!), you can do that – here.

Now, I know that a footballers’ career is naturally more transient, but, even if you justify this situation that way, what of the other people who are employed by the club? The people looking after the stadium, running our community organisation, doing the finances, the media, all the other things that keep our club going.

Yesterday we paused and reflected on the tragic death of former captain Lee Collins and read heart-breaking tales about the demons which tormented him off-the-field.

As you will have heard Ian say on the latest podcast, we need to make sure the memory of Lee’s story stays with us as a football club – in our thoughts and our actions.

Lee’s concerns included about his future. Yet we have young people who find themselves with the same concerns and yet this seems to be happening. I ask again – how is this being allowed to happen?

Darren Sarll. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Darren Sarll has stepped away as Yeovil Town’s manager to take up the vacant position at Woking. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions from today’s shock announcement and Darren Sarll’s time in charge.

He was the man we needed when we were on our knees following relegation. When he came in to club in the summer of 2019, he picked up a threadbare club that had whimpered out of League Two. He brought Carl Dickinson and Craig Alcock back in from the cold after his predecessor’s abysmal decision to exclude them. He reinvigorated Courtney Duffus and turned him from profligate to prolific. And he brought in experienced players we could only have dreamt of recruiting the season before. 

He hasn’t had a fair crack. With just one month to build his first squad, he managed to build a squad of senior, experienced pros who made us dream in that first season before COVID-19 curtailed football. He admitted the recruitment pre-Christmas second season was poor and the only bright sparks were the discovery of Tom Knowles and the loan signing of Josh Neufville. With Scott Priestnall’s attempt to sell the club’s most valuable assets prevented, and his subsequent disappearance, Sarll was left with a shoestring budget to build a squad which has run itself into the ground, in what is now, his final season.

Like us all, he had his faults. When we’ve been in-form, our performances have been electric and results have followed. But when the form drops off, it really seems to drop off. Our run of six without a win after Christmas in 2019 saw us slip down into the play off spots after our bright start had us dreaming of an immediate return to the Football League. It took us 12 matches to pick up a league win in 2020/21 as we struggled repeat the start of 2019/20. Autumn 2021 saw an incredible run which was abruptly ended by Torquay on Boxing Day and with just one win from the turn of the year until March 19th, it was a bad start to 2022. At times supporters have criticised his lack of Plan B during these runs and his unwillingness to try different tactics, although this season he was left with little room for manoeuvre with his small squad.

You can’t blame him for leaving. With just three months left on his contract and a family to look after, he can’t gamble on his future. The uncertainty that wilts the football club off the pitch has infiltrated the dressing room. Certainty and clarity has been provided by Woking and he’s seen an opportunity to grab with both hands, rather than wait for any new regime to make a decision.

He carried himself immeasurably in the wake of Lee Collins’ passing. Darren Sarll’s reign at Huish Park can be split into two. Since the tragic passing of our captain, Sarll was the face and the voice of the club. He carried a grieving club on his back and dragged a team of young men to finish a season in unfathomable trauma. Lee’s passing will forever be a part of Yeovil Town and the way Darren Sarll picked us up in the aftermath will be too. You would not have blamed him for wanting to have a break at the end of last season, but he went about building a third squad in the three years, that embraced the club and memory of Lee Collins as a driving force. For all his faults, the way he carried himself as the ambassador of our club in this tragedy was exceptional and I’ll forever be grateful that we had him when we did.

It’s three in a row for Yeovil Town and the Darren Sarll’s men put on a good show at home for the second time this week.

Here are Ian’s conclusions from a sun-drenched Huish Park.

This team appears to be out of its sticky spell. They proved that the performance against

Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Bromley wasn’t a one off. This was another confident and energetic from a team that have clearly turned a corner. The passes were slick, the one touch football was joyful, the defending was resolute. In the space of a couple of weeks we’ve gone from hopeless to maybe a tiny bit hopeful. Oh come on, you’re all thinking it. 

The early goals killed Southend off. We fell victim to it against Dagenham, and against Southend it was our turn. Goals from Reuben Reid after four minutes (fitting on the day we celebrated the life of Lee Collins) and then Tom Knowles four minutes later put the game to bed. It felt like we challenged Southend to break us down and they just couldn’t do it.

Ben Barclay. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Ben Barclay was imperious. From his crunching tackle on Matty Dennis to his chance to grab our third, it was a complete performance from the Stockport loanee. He’s developed a good relationship with all his defensive partners (and the ever-reliable Morgan Williams) and he had another stellar performance. Good with ball, timing on his tackle and was unlucky not to score. We’re lucky to have him for the rest of the season.

Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Lawson D’Ath was the missing piece of the puzzle. We knew Lawson was good. We knew he was a cut above any other midfielder in the league, let alone the club. But I’ll admit that I’m surprised at how much he has improved us. The way he has helped our midfield bridge the gap between our defence and attack is abundantly clear. We look happier on the ball and our attacking players are freer knowing D’Ath will find them.

It was nice to feel some positivity around Huish Park. Yes, things haven’t been brilliant on the pitch up until last Saturday. Yes, things off the pitch are still uncertain. But on a glorious sunny afternoon, with a Disney-infused playlist chosen by the daughters of Lee Collins, there was positivity in the air. And a very timely reminder that there is more to life than football.

Goalkeeping coaching Craig Wight chats to Charley-Mae Collins, one of Lee’s three daughter of Lee, who w

It’s been two years in the making, but the charity match in memory of Adam Stansfield is finally on.

A date has been set for the fixture between a Yeovil Town Legends XI against an XI made up from across South West clubs on Saturday, May 14.

If there’s one thing we can all enjoy as Yeovil Town supporters, it is our glorious past and one player who was there at the beginning was Adam Stansfield.

In many ways he embodied what the beginning of that era having been brought to the club from lower league Elmore by Gary Johnson as he built a squad which would go on to lift the FA Trophy that season – with Stansfield scoring in the final, of course.

Stanno at his finest scoring the second in the 2002 FA Trophy final at Villa Park.

A young lad, plucked from obscurity, given a chance and proved his worth; that is a description which could summarise many members of that squad.

It was so unfortunate that he suffered a bad leg break in the opening game of the following season and whilst it was fantastic to see him return to play League football the next year, he had slipped too far down the pecking order and eventually departed for Hereford.

Unsurprisingly, he went on to be a fans’ favourite at Hereford and then Exeter City with his non-stop running and goals.

The response to his death at the age of just 31 after a fight with bowel cancer summed up the feelings of every fan who cheered his name, and this game gives us all a great chance to remember him.

Of course, the game also provides an opportunity to recognise many other club greats who we have lost in recent years. Stuart Housley, Maurice O’Donnell, Bruce James, Tony Trott, Martin ‘Badger’ Baker and, of course, ex-captain Lee Collins.

It also provides an opportunity to unite Yeovil Town as well.

There has been a lot which has happened both on and off the field in recent seasons which has sewn the seeds of division.

Bringing together heroes of yesteryear is something we can all get behind, fill Huish Park and raise plenty of money for the Adam Stansfield Foundation, the charity set up in memory of the striker to help provide opportunities to young people and raise awareness of bowel cancer.

We hope that by the time the game kicks off – or preferably long before then – there will be clarity about the club’s off-the-field situation which continues to paralyse so much at Huish Park.

The ‘will it-won’t it?’ situation around a takeover of the club sadly seems likely to be the subject of many columns past and future – so let’s unite and fill Huish Park for Stanno!