Latest Yeovil Town News

 

Avon and Somerset Police have handed a 3-year football banning order to a 29-year old man from Yeovil.

The ban applies to the FA Cup game between Yeovil and W*ymouth on October 16th, which ended in a 1-1 draw with the replay going the way of the Glovers a few days later.

In an update on a number of incidents, the Police Statement read that the supporter was convicted of possessing a firework, flare or pyrotechnic item “in relation his actions at Yeovil Town’s game at home to Weymouth Town on 16 October 2021.

A three-year football banning order was given to him.”

The statement does not give any more details as to whether or not the person was in the home or away end.

 

 

Dan Moss. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

We are starting to spot a pattern.

Former Yeovil Town loanee and Millwall right back Dan Moss will line up alongside Luke Wilkinson for Darren Sarll in the defence of Woking.

Moss will sign a 2-year deal on July 1st.

Moss played a half season with the Glovers impressing on multiple occasions in the absence of Mark Little.

 

The recent Yeovil Town legends game was a huge success with the Glovers drawing 3-3 with a South West Legends side in a dramatic game at Huish Park.

Taylor Stansfield‘s late equaliser helped seal a come back from 3-0 down for the boys in green and white.

It also helped to raise a load of money for the Adam Stansfield Foundation.

There was a printed programme available on the day which completely sold out!

Now, organisers Abby Carter and Kev Gall have made the souvenir programme available digitally for anyone who may have missed out.

Drop YTFCGame@gmail.com an email as you’ll be sent a (rather large) file with all 50-odd pages of content including interviews with many of the legends on show.

Donations to the foundation are welcomed if anyone wishes to make one- click HERE and head to the bottom of the page and click the link, or make a purchase from the AS9 Foundation shop.

Check out Mike Kunz’s legends day gallery below, you can listen to the special legends day Gloverscast HERE or download wherever you get your podcats from!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The Glovers Trust have released a statement today saying the long term future of Yeovil Town FC is at risk, following the completion of SSDC’s deal to purchase Huish Park and the surrounding land and lease it back to the club.

The statement reads:

The Glovers Trust note the sale and leaseback agreement announced by Yeovil Town and South Somerset District Council (SSDC) yesterday, the 20th May. We continue to be concerned that the crucial assets of the club have been stripped away from the fabric of our club. For the first time since the 1930s we no longer own our home. We are worried, that this deal has placed the longterm future of our club at risk.

We are disappointed that limited public consultation with fans by both the South Somerset District Council and the Football Club took place. To state that public consultation took place back in 2020, and that the situation remains similar, seems unreasonable considering the landscape of football, the club, and society as a whole has shifted dramatically since then. We are also disappointed that the immediacy of the deal being completed was not made clear to fans and supporter groups.

Notwithstanding the actual sale of the club assets itself, the Glovers Trust have a number of concerns and questions around the terms of the deal with SSDC. Although not an exhaustive list, these concerns include:

  • Within the leaseback agreement, what is the name of the new leaseholder? We would hope this will be Yeovil Town Football & Athletic Club, the footballing part of the business.
  • How much money from the deal will be used to cover debts that have been taken on to purchase and run the football club? 
    After the first rent free year, what are the annual rental payments? What percentage of the annual budget will this represent? What is the long term plan for making these repayments sustainable?
  • What safeguards or guarantees (if any) are there within this agreement to ensure the club benefits from this deal, both in the immediacy and long term?
  • We understand many fans are concerned at this time. We will continue to engage with the owners of the club to seek answers.

Many of these questions are the same questions we asked back in 2020 and failed to receive adequate responses. We hope to meet with Scott Priestnall soon in order to ask those questions and share those concerns. If members have questions or concerns of their own, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


In December 2020 the Trust board activated the Asset of Community Value held on the site, triggering a six-month moratorium period and preventing the sale.

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Gloversblog: No ground left to stand on

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?


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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

Earlier today, Yeovil Town FC and SSDC confirmed that the £2.8m sale and leaseback deal of Huish Park was completed. You can read all about that here.

This deal is not without controversy, with plenty of supporters taking to social media to make their views known either way.

But, we’d like those of a green and white persuasion to answer the question below.

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

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Midfielder Josh Staunton has signed a new contract to stay at Huish Park for a further two years.

The 26-year-old, who was caretaker manager who the club’s final game of last season at Altrincham following the exit of former caretaker boss Charlie Lee, is the first player to commit his future to the club since the arrival of new boss Chris Hargreaves.

Staunton remains the only Yeovil Town manager in history to hold a 100% win record, but returns to his more regular spot on the pitch.

Speaking to the club’s YouTube channel, he said, “I’m delighted that it’s confirmed that I’m staying here.

I came here to start something, unfortunately we haven’t done it in the last two years, but I’m excited to continue being part of the journey.

The Kent-born player added that he had always wanted to remain at the club describing Somerset as “a home away from home“, adding that he was now house-hunting with his girlfriend in the area.

He is among the players who have spoken to new boss Hargreaves this week and spoke positively about what he had heard, saying: “I like his drive and vision for the club and the way he wants to play football.

It’s nice to have a fresh set of eyes because everything that has happened in the past we can leave in the past.

I hope the fans get behind us as a team and Chris as a manager because it is a really exciting time to for the club.”

Last season saw Staunton play just seven times before picking up a knee injury which ruled him out for most of the campaign which was rocked by the loss of club captain Lee Collins.

He admitted that this was one of the toughest times of his career, saying: “There’s been some real lows, probably some of the lowest of my career but with the support of the fans I have got through them.

I’m hoping that is all behind me, the operation was a success and it will be nice to come in to a pre-season with no worries.

As a group of fans, we have faced some real lows and we deserve a good period together and we have the platform to do that.

Staunton has played in a number of roles, and has been captain in the absence of Luke Wilkinson and Mark Little.

Boss Hargreaves added: “I’m delighted that Josh has committed his future to the football club.

Josh has established himself as a real leader during his spell here and shown great quality whilst on the pitch.

I’m looking forward to working with him and send my congratulations to both him and his family.

From all of us here at the Gloverscast – a huge congratulations to Staunts on committing his future, we can’t wait to see you in a green and white shirt again.

Luke Wilkinson, who returns to the Yeovil Town defence at Woking. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

In what might be the least surprising news of the week, Luke Wilkinson has joined Woking reuniting with Darren Sarll.

Wilkinson announced his future lied elsewhere from Huish Park earlier this week with Woking the most likely destination – he has signed a two-year contract.

We wish you well, next season, with two obvious exceptions.

Dan Moss. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Former Yeovil Town loanee (and Gloverscast guest) Dan Moss has been informed his contract will not be renewed by Millwall

The right-back played 22 league games during the first half of the season before heading to Leyton Orient on loan from late January.

He also played a starring role in the FA Cup win over Stevenage where he was awarded Man of the Match by the BBC team.

We know Dan won’t have any trouble finding a new club… you’re always welcome at Huish Park, Dan!

South Somerset District Council has confirmed it has completed its £2.8m purchase of Huish Park and land around it with Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, the authority said that the deal, understood to be worth £2.8m, was done and it would now rent the stadium and “core land” around it back to the club under a 30-year lease.

Priestnall said the deal had released restrictive covenants enabling it to deliver “a viable plan to grow our infrastructure off the pitch” including putting together plans to develop the land around Huish Park, carry out maintenance work and invest in the playing squad.

Chairman Scott Priestnall speaking ahead of the 2-1 home win over Stockport County.

He also revealed that he expects to follow through on his promise to announce new appointments to the club’s board in “the next couple of weeks.”

In its statement, SSDC said the deal would “help with the club’s survival, generate a new rental income, while protecting our ratepayers from loss or excessive risk.”

Scott Priestnall said: “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 (authorities), developers and funding partners, the pandemic delayed our options to grow, at the same time causing huge financial difficulties to our ongoing operations.

There is and has always been a massive opportunity to develop the club’s infrastructure, but over the last 30 years the custodians of this club have never been able to put a plan together that works for all related parties.”

The council deal would see the ‘core’ (red) and non-core (blue) land bought by SSDC.

There is no value for the deal in either the council or the club’s statement, however, £2.8m was set aside in the council’s budget to acquire both the core and non-core land around Huish Park, see map, left, for an explanation of what that means.

The chairman added that it would use the funds to pay off unpaid debts, including deferred salaries to staff.

He said: “I believe we are now in a position to not only sustain this Club financially but also move forward with a viable plan to grow our infrastructure off the pitch, to help with gaining future success on the pitch.

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.

In addition to this, the funds will also allow us to engage contractors and consultants to put forward a planning application for the site as well as allowing us to sensibly invest in required maintenance work and our playing squad. Fundamentally, it has also allowed us to negotiate and remove the well-publicised restrictive covenants held over the site since the football club moved to the site.

I would like to thank everyone who has been involved at SSDC over the last 18 months. Especially for their understanding and patience over the last year while the Club explored all other possibilities for investment, including the potential takeover that has dominated the Club for the past nine months.”


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Looking to the future, the chairman said he expected appointments to the board – which he trailed in The Priestnall Tapes, a series of recorded statements made to a group if supporters in the Alec Stock Lounge a couple of weeks ago – to arrive soon along with new manager Chris Hargreaves’ backroom staff.

Former chief executive Martyn Starnes, who left the club in 2013, is now a permanent fixture at Huish Park and seems certain to be part of a new set up with the possibility of a supporter representative being appointed to the board.

Priestnall added: “I am pleased to say that I will be announcing appointments over the next week. The new board will have a combination of specialist football operations, a voice for supporters and a wealth of experience in business, that will come together and help shape the future of Yeovil Town.

Our new first team manager, Chris Hargreaves, has also been announced and is in discussion with members of our existing squad, as well as potential targets, while his backroom staff will be announced over the coming weeks.

I do appreciate that it has been a frustrating time for supporters this season with so much uncertainty. I acknowledge that mistakes have been made.

My aim for the upcoming season is that as supporters you have clarity on our plans. That starts with the manager, then with player signings and his backroom staff. Then over the next year you see progress and see sight of our long term vision for Huish Park.

It has been a difficult time for everyone involved in the club, there is no doubt about that, and there will be those that will put a negative spin on this deal, but it’s an exciting development and gives the club a clear route for growth for the first time in its life at Huish Park. Providing future additional revenues that will give us competitive advantages down the line.

Councillor Val Keitch, leader of South Somerset District Council.

It’s important that we come together and work together to ensure a successful future for YTFC, and with the new board, continue to provide clarity on the club’s’operations.”

Councillor Val Keitch, the leader of South Somerset District Council and Yeovil Town season ticket holder, said the deal was “in the best interests of South Somerset and its communities.

She added: “Yeovil Town is the only professional football club in Somerset and it makes a significant contribution to both the local economy and more widely in terms of community, education and local civic pride.

This includes the community impact of the club’s charity, the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust, which strives to make a positive difference for all through sport and learning for thousands of local people through its work with local schools and its own Soccer Schools.

John Clark, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, added: “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.

SSDC is due to be scrapped from next year when it is swallowed up in to a new unitary authority which covers the full county

After the Legends Game special on Monday, Ian, Ben and Dave are back on Zoom with a bit of everything and more.

We hear from:

Morgan Williams about his season and his Glovies.

Kevin Nicholson about the Legends Game and his mate Chris Hargreaves.

Plus we catch up about Altrincham, the Legends Game and, of course, our brand new manager, Chris Hargreaves.


Oluefela Olomola. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Former three-time Glovers loanee Fela Olomola is on the hunt for a new club after being released by Hartlepool.

Olomola played eight times for Yeovil this season, starting four, scoring just the once, in a 1-1 draw against Maidenhead.

We wish him the best of luck finding a new club for the 2022/23 season.

Nottingham Forest 2 Yeovil Town 5 (after extra time) – Friday 18th May 2007

Friday 18th May 2007 will surely live long in the memory of every Yeovil Town fan, even those who were not there. Not only was it a colossal play-off contest that would see the Glovers triumphant over the two-time European Cup winners, but it also symbolised how far Yeovil had travelled in a very short space of time.

Just ten years earlier in 2007, the Glovers had won the Isthmian League to be promoted back to the Conference. Under Graham Roberts, they were still part time and finished 11th, which was a decent return for their first season back. If you had said to any fan at that time that in ten years Yeovil would beat Nottingham Forest and be one match away from promotion to the Championship, they would have said you were hallucinating. Even the most optimistic of fans could never have foreseen it.

It was been four years since winning promotion from the Conference under Gary Johnson, but there had been a lot of change in that short time. Johnson had departed and with him, most of his Conference and League Two winning side. When new manager Russell Slade arrived in the summer of 2007, only Terry Skiverton and Andy Lindegaard remained from the Conference-winning squad, in addition to Arron Davies, Paul Terry and Scott Guyett from the League Two days.

Slade had to rebuild on a reduced budget and expectations were not high – especially given that he had built his reputation on grinding out results on a small budget, as any Yeovil fans who remembered his Scarborough side in 02/03 could attest. As it turned out, Russell Slade’s Yeovil were not the long ball side fans of some of his former clubs might have suggested. They were without doubt built on a very firm defence. Early in the season they played as a 4-5-1, with Terry and Kalala in holding roles allowing Chris Cohen to get forward, with Lee Morris and Arron Davies in the wide positions supporting Wayne Gray and later, Marcus Stewart. This was quite forward-thinking on Slade’s part as the 4-5-1 – or 4-3-3, depending on how you look at it – with two holding players was far less common then, although it is arguably the dominant formation now. The team had the pace and creativity to get forward and the midfield revolved around Chris Cohen, who we somehow managed to steal from West Ham for around £100,000. Even though he was still 19 when he joined us permanently following a loan spell in 2005/06, he was obviously a special player.

Russell Slade’s style was about as different from Gary Johnson’s as it is possible to be, but both were able to be successful. Johnson sent out his teams to score goals and defending was almost an afterthought – if the opposition score twice, we’ll just score three. Slade was the opposite – his team kept it very tight and it was usually a case of ‘first goal wins’. If Yeovil scored first, you knew that odds were, they would win. Even if the goal came in the first five minutes, as it did in the early season wins over Port Vale and Brighton. In the whole season Yeovil never lost after scoring first, and only twice even drew. Russell Slade’s men knew how to hold a lead, and often the last 20 minutes or so of a game were incredibly comfortable if we were ahead.

Part of Yeovil’s success was probably down to surprise – at the beginning of the season we were favourites to go down and with good reason, as we only just avoided relegation in 2005/06, and in the process had lost many of our best players. The second half of the season was harder in many ways – having risen to 2nd following the 2-1 defeat of Bristol City in November, teams came to Huish Park looking to defend a point, and became much more difficult to break down. There are certainly a lot of similarities between Russell Slade’s Yeovil and Darren Sarll’s – both were set up to counter-attack, and often had difficulty breaking the opposition down if they were happy to give Yeovil the ball. As such, both were perhaps set up to work better away from home.

In any event, Slade was forced to change his approach in December when Terry’s season was ended by a knee injury and the only midfield replacement, Anthony Barry, was not a defensive player. Purely by coincidence, Marcus Stewart’s loan period from Bristol City had ended, so Slade organised cover by bringing in youngster Leon Best on loan from Southampton. While Best was on loan the Glovers played 4-4-2, partnering the loanee with either Morris or Stewart. Unfortunately we were not able to keep him for the rest of the season, but Best’s loan spell rejuvenated the Glovers who had stuttered somewhat after the City win, dropping to 7th, but by the time he left, signing off with a 2-0 win away at Bournemouth, Yeovil were back up to 2nd again with just 12 games of the season to go, and it was a case of grinding out the results which they did. It wasn’t often pretty, but Nathan Jones’ 89th minute winner against Chesterfield showed the character of the team, and in the end they did finish comfortably enough to give a number of first team players a rest for the last game, a 2-0 win at Gillingham.

Finishing in 5th meant a play-off semi-final against the mighty Nottingham Forest, who might have expected to have gone up automatically. Forest had already beaten Yeovil 1-0 twice, in possibly fortunate circumstances. Their win at Huish Park came against the run of play from a last minute goal, and at the City Ground via an uncharacteristic mistake from Steve Mildenhall.

Without doubt the playoffs brought the best out of Russell Slade’s team. Perhaps because with no expectations at the start of the season and having secured their highest ever league finish, they had nothing at all to lose. By contrast, Forest had everything to lose, the former European champions playing in the third tier was bad enough, their fans made no secret of the fact that they expected to leave it as soon as possible and there was a huge amount of expectation on the shoulders of Colin Calderwood.

With nothing to lose, Yeovil abandoned their cautious approach, playing a 4-4-2 which was effectively a 4-2-4 with a front line of Stewart, Morris, Gray and Davies. With Cohen in midfield and Barry preferred to Kalala, there wasn’t even a holding player. The object was clearly to take the game to Forest and put them on the back foot, which they very much did. Even though Forest won the first leg 2-0 through two penalties, Yeovil were exceptional and very unfortunate to come away with nothing. The first penalty was arguably a dive, as Nathan Jones did not get the ball but he didn’t make any contact with James Perch either, whose face was looking expectantly at the referee before he’d even hit the ground. After that Yeovil were incredibly unlucky not to score, with Stewart hitting the post and Wayne Gray bringing two excellent saves from Paul Smith. There were no arguments about the second penalty right at the end of the game, as a tired Terrell Forbes lunged in on Jack Lester to give the visitors an undeserved, but seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead. Apart from the two penalties, Forest had achieved zero shots on target.

Although Yeovil had been brilliant but unfortunate in the first leg, the second leg seemed like just a case of playing for pride. They couldn’t possibly go away to the favourites and pull back a 2-0 deficit in front of 30,000 fans, could they? Around 1100 Yeovil fans travelled more in hope than expectation. My own personal hope was that they would at least put up a fight, that they wouldn’t give up and go down 5-0 on aggregate. Their first leg performance had deserved more, but there didn’t seem to be much more to play for than pride.

However, the team had other ideas – Russell Slade had the faith to put out an unchanged side, and even though they were 2-0 down it was effectively half time, so if they could pull one back in the first half, they still had 50 or 60 minutes to get one more – with the right mentality, it was not impossible. Yeovil certainly did have the right mentality, creating at least three shots on goal in the first ten minutes. On 22 minutes, Arron Davies picked up a ball from Stewart, ran the length of the Forest half almost unchallenged, scored from outside the area and suddenly it was game on. Davies, Yeovil’s man of the match in the first leg, had got his reward early in the second and would go on to be man of the match again.

What followed was the most astonishing 120 minutes of football that Yeovil Town have ever taken part in, surpassing even the 5-4 at Doncaster, although that was also pretty incredible. And it was on TV, so we can re-live it over and over again, and new fans can watch the game that their dads go on and on about. There is no point trying to describe every incident as so much happened in the game you could write a book about it – just go and watch it. It’s there on YouTube and will hopefully remain there for a long time. Yeovil carried their belief and positivity from the first leg, and Forest got punished for their unadventurousness. It has to be said that while Yeovil were brilliant, Colin Calderwood helped us by making all of the wrong decisions. Forest didn’t even have a shot on target from open play until the second half, after 135 minutes of football. And after going 3-1 up, he took both strikers off meaning they had no options in extra time.

When Scott Dobie scored a header at the start of the second half to put Forest 3-1 ahead on aggregate, the tie looked sure to be over. Yeovil kept fighting and created more chances, but Smith was equal to all of them. In hindsight, all of Calderwood’s substitutions backfired – first he brought on David Prutton, who was sent off for a second yellow card at the end of normal time. Then he replaced Dobie with Grant Holt, who was returning from injury and not fully fit. Apart from committing GBH on Arron Davies and attempting to start a fight with Scott Guyett, Holt did not provide much of an attacking threat as he was clearly not fit. He then took off Jack ‘I appear to have fallen over, can I have a penalty ref?’ Lester and replaced him with a centre half, Wes Morgan, who would go on to gift Lee Morris Yeovil’s fourth goal.

By making the wrong substitutions, Calderwood reduced his attacking options and left several half-fit players on the pitch who could barely walk by the of extra time. Had the game gone to penalties then surely Yeovil would have won, as a demoralised Forest barely had enough fit players left on the pitch to take them.

Meanwhile, Russell Slade kept faith with his team and made no unnecessary changes. The only substitution was enforced, as Chris Cohen, who had been struggling for some time with a groin injury, could not continue past 60 minutes. And his replacement, Jean-Paul Kalala, was instrumental in the third goal. It’s easy to forget that somehow we managed to beat Forest 5-4 with our player of the season and top assist-maker carrying an injury. It is testament to the fitness of the team that Arron Davies, who played all 210 minutes of the tie and almost scored at the beginning of the first game, popped up with the winner at the end of the second one, turning an exhausted Forest defence inside out before firing home. Also, all credit to Andy Lindegaard, who at the end of two exhausting matches, still had the energy to get up from full back to put in the cross for Stewart’s equaliser, and deliver the ball for the winner. He also ran half the length of the pitch to tackle Kris Commons and take a yellow card to prevent him from scoring.

Arron Davies really should have made it six by passing to Barry or Kalala instead of taking it on himself, but we’ll let him off that one.

Team that day: Steve Mildenhall, Andy Lindegaard, Nathan Jones, Scott Guyett, Terrell Forbes, Anthony Barry, Chris Cohen (sub. Kalala 74), Arron Davies, Wayne Gray, Marcus Stewart, Lee Morris. Subs not used: Mark Lynch, Matthew Rose, Martin Brittain, Darryl Knights

 

Nearly 2000 people were in attandence to see the Yeovil Town legends, led by Gary Johnson return to the pitch in celebration of the life and career of Adam Stansfield.

Glovers fans, alongside those from around the area raised loads of money for the Adam Stansfield Foundation and played out an enthrawling 3-3 draw at Huish Park.

The South West side were 3-0 up at Half Time, but some tactical switches and some classic, old school…. urm… motivation from the gaffer inspired an almighty come back with goals from Kevin Gall (he got the ball, and scored a goal), Terry Skiverton from the spot and a last gasp equaliser from Taylor Stansfield.

You can watch the highlights from the day below or on Youtube and if you didn’t make the day itself but would like to contribute to the Adam Stansfield Foundation – you can do so, by clicking HERE

There is a gallery of the day courtest of Mike Kunz – Available HERE

There’s also a special edition of the Gloverscast where we spoke with many of the legends on show – which you can listen to HERE

 

Being able to develop young players through its first team will be vital to creating a “sustainable” Yeovil Town, according to new manager Chris Hargreaves.

The 50-year-old was appointed as the new number one at Huish Park this week having previously been academy manager at Bristol Rovers and in youth coaching roles at Exeter City and AFC Bournemouth.

Chris Hargreaves.

Speaking in his first interview with YTFC.net on Wednesday, he 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.”

He added: “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.”

The Glovers’ academy closed in 2020 following the club’s relegation from the Football League, but it has an Under-18s side, filled with players from the Yeovil College Elite Player Development Programme, and a number of age groups representing the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust in the Junior Premier League.

He admitted the challenge of creating an academic would be “very difficult” without the funding available through being a League club.

Hargreaves said: ”I have a massive sympathy for any club that loses that funding, but there’s ways to get around it.

I have a few ideas and discussions to have over the next couple of weeks and, over and above our own boys coming through, any younger players that come through we have to use the development they have had at other clubs to our advantage.

But I understand there is no better feeling as a fan that to know you have got one of your own, so fingers crossed we can try and do that.

Midfielder Toby Stephens, a product of the club’s Community Sports Trust and academic system, and defender Ollie Haste have both signed professional contracts with the club in recent seasons.

A number of players which featured in this season’s Somerset Premier Cup campaign have come from the EPDP.

Luke Wilkinson has confirmed that he has left Yeovil Town on the same day new boss Chris Hargreaves was appointed.

The central defender missed the club’s final game of the National League season at Altrincham last Sunday saying he had been “unwell” and “spent a little time in hospital.

Luke Wilkinson. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

He turned out 36 times for the club this season when he was club captain, however, he was one of a number of players who is out of contract this summer.

In a statement posted on his Twitter on Wednesday, he said: “So my time at Yeovil Town has come to an end. I have made the decision to move on and looking forward to a new challenge.

I want to say a massive thank you to you all for your incredible support over the last three years, it’s been incredible.

To captain your club this last season has been an honour and I wish you all the success in the future.

His last appearance saw him score a stunning free-kick in a 2-2 draw at home to Boreham Wood a couple of weeks ago.

Chris Hargreaves has said he is confident he understands the off-the-field situation at Yeovil Town as he takes over as the club’s new first-team manager.

The former Bristol Rovers’ academy boss was confirmed in post on Wednesday and said he had spoken with club chairman Scott Priestnall about his ambition to appoint a new board of directors.

Chris Hargreaves, working for BT Sport at Huish Park this season.
📸 Aaron McLean

Almost a month ago, the owner said he had been speaking with “prominent local business people” about them joining the Huish Park board – but the new boss said his focus would be on the pitch.

Speaking to the media for the first time in his new role, he told the Gloverscast: “My focus is the squad, the team and players, that is what I can impact.

The discussions I have had with Scott about him trying to form a new board and is in the process of doing that, but that is for him to do that, my job is the football. That is my sole focus.

Asked if he was confident he understood the off-the-field situation to allow that focus, he added: “Absolutely.”

It was April 23 when Priestnall address a group of supporters ahead of the 2-1 home win over (now league champions) Stockport County, and told them of his plans to get a new board in place before the end of the season. The National League season finished last weekend.

Speaking then, the chairman said: ““I am pleased to say there has been some positive conversations on that part and I’m hoping to have a concrete framework around the board by the end of the season, so we are not in limbo during the summer. I do appreciate there has been a lot of limbo during the last few months.”

You can read more of his comments in our article – here.

New Yeovil Town manager Chris Hargreaves is hoping to announce his new coaching team within “the next couple of days.”

The boss, who was confirmed in the post on Wednesday, has also confirmed he expects to have spoken with all the club’s players by the end of the day.

However, he admits the club may struggle to compete against clubs with bigger budgets for some of their players.

On his search for a backroom team, he told YTFC.net: “I’m speaking to a couple of coaches, not announcing them yet. That will be done in the next couple of days.

There are complexities because some people are employed, so that needs to be sorted out but I know who I want with me and a lot want to work for such a club.”

On the playing staff, he added: “I’ve spoken to every player at the club to see where they are at and how much they want to be here.

“There’s an inevitability about some players because there’s only so far we can go with some of them. We can tell them we value them, but we can only go to a certain level (of financial offer)

“There’s nothing we can do if clubs blow us out of the water (with their offers) so we have to do our own business for this club. That’s for me to do that.”

Defender Morgan Williams and youngster Ollie Haste are the only two players who are known to be on contract beyond the end of the season, although chairman Scott Priestnall has said the club does have options to extend the stays of other players.

Hargreaves said he would be looking to bring in players but admitted this may not happen immediately, he added: “These conversations will happen over the next couple of weeks and in to pre-season, but all the deals will not be done super quickly.

“As a footballer, you want to get to the end of the season, relax and see what your options are.”