Pre season kicks off in less than 24 hours with Yeovil Town’s visit to Toolstation Western Premier Division side Buckland Athletic. As Summers go, this one has been one of excitement and a pleasant lack of turmoil. Martin Hellier has communicated with local media, businesses and supporters to an extent his predecessor didn’t – especially in the latter days of his reign. The refresh of Huish Park began in earnest on Day One the anticipation for that first trip to Huish Park is palpable.

On the pitch, we’ve been busy too. Mark Cooper has wasted no time in making changes to his squad in his first pre-season at the club. So far, 12 players have exited Huish Park, including Jamie Reckord, Lawson D’Ath and Max Hunt. The incomings have seen us fill the void at the top end of the pitch, and add some much needed experience. Rhys Murphy is no stranger to Glovers fans, and Jake Hyde and Frank Nouble add even more nous to the attack.

So, what shape are we in?


Will Buse
Lewis Williams
Will Buse. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

With Grant Smith’s departure – he’s subsequently signed for Bromley – and Max Evan’s release, Mark Cooper has had to sort out a couple of keepers. In Will Buse we’ve recruited familiarity. Local, knows the group, is more than equipped for the level and IF we build momentum and start climbing, he could be ours for the longterm. Backing him up is Lewis Williams. Signed from Tiverton, he’s worked with goalkeeper coach Phil Osborn before, looks physically ready and ticks that young, hungry, local box that Mark Cooper mentioned after signing Buse.

“It was key for me that I wanted to change the way we recruited. I wanted to try and have more local players which I class as areas such as Bristol, because we are out on a limb and there is no disguising that.”


Ollie Haste
Jamie Sendles-White
Josh Staunton
Jake Wannell
Alex Whittle
Morgan Williams

Defensively, in my view, there’s still more depth to add and I suspect we’ll have a look into the loan market to pad out the right side of defence. I got hung up on our formation last season, but it changed so frequently it was difficult not to. I think it’s all up for grabs again this season. The personnel is there to go with a back three (although we are in need of a right wing back) but there’s also back four there too. In Jamie Sendles-White and Jake Wannell we’ve got a couple of players who fall into the #knowsthelevel criteria, with Wannell also landing in the local part of Mark Cooper’s venn diagram.


Matt Worthington. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.
Charlie Cooper
Will Dawes
Jordan Maguire-Drew
Josh Owers
Scott Pollock
Jordan Stevens
Matt Worthington

The further we move up the pitch, the more questions there are about how we could line up. There is serious strength in depth in middle of the pitch, to the point that I think we will see departures.

Charlie Cooper and Matt Worthington is a National League pairing in centre midfield, and with Josh Owers commuting down the A37, we’ve added some real potential. You’ve also got Jordan Maguire-Drew, who the manager was itching to give a pre-season too come the end of 2022/23, Scott Pollock and Jordan Stevens who you’re going to have to fit in somewhere between the midfield and attack. It’s a nice problem to have, but we could have a loaded bench when we visit Hemel Hempstead on the opening day.


Rhys Murphy in his first spell at Huish Park. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.
Benjani Jr
Alex Fisher
Jake Hyde
Malachi Linton
Rhys Murphy
Frank Nouble
Jordan Young

That depth of attack looks as good as strong as we’ve had in years. There’s a bit of everything in there. The poacher in Rhys Murphy, the false 9 in Jordan Young, Jake Hyde’s experience, Frank Nouble (we finally got him!) so nearly dragged Torquay to safety. Sure, there are injury histories for Murphy and Hyde, and Alex Fisher is a long way off a return. But there’s youthful exuberance in Young and Malachi Linton. What they can glean from the experienced heads that have joined on this Summer is going to be invaluable.

Upon his signing, Murphy said: “I have some good memories here and it is such a big football club and the manager is a really good manager, so I am really looking forward to working with him. There are big plans for the club and everyone wants to be playing for a club which is ambitious and this club wants to be higher up the leagues. We want to be winning games and I want to be scoring goals.

How will we line up on the 5th of August is anyones guess, but it’s safe to say we’re going to be a damn sight more experienced than we were 12 months ago, with a boatload of positivity to boot.

Support the Gloverscast

The Gloverscast is a volunteer run website which costs money to maintain. If ever you feel like supporting with our running costs, which include our website hosting, Zoom subscription, The Daily Glove, we’d be extremely grateful for your donations.



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments