INTRODUCTION

It’s that time of year, around the middle of May, where the transfer talk is at its highest point, most of the released and retained lists have been published by football clubs across the country and talks are beginning to happen over what players are ending up where for the new season. In this piece I will be doing my own version of a Yeovil Town recruitment document on some players that I think Mark Cooper and his team should be looking at for the 2024/25 National League season. The club have made it very clear that they are hoping to be up there next season, around the playoff spots, so I have based my player suggestions off of this.

So, how will this document work? First of all, I will go show you each position that I believe we need a player in for next season. once I’ve done this, I will move onto going through each position, explaining what sort of attributes I am looking for as well as giving 3-5 player options for each position, explaining why I think that specific player would be a great fit for Mark Cooper’s system.

Enjoy the read, be sure to comment any opinions you have, I am always willing to listen and improve my work.


 How does the squad look currently?

At the time of writing, we currently have 13 players under contract at the club, with two players – Rhys Murphy and Sam Pearson – in talks to sign new contracts. You may notice that I haven’t included Jordan Maguire-Drew on this squad list as I don’t think he will be here come the start of the new season.

To have a strong enough squad to not be hindered too much, by injuries, I believe you need at least two players per position, with a couple versatile options who can play in more than one position.

Let’s start this recruitment document off, working in position order, starting with the goalkeeper, finishing with the strikers. 


Goalkeeper

The goalkeeping position is always an interesting debate for Yeovil Town fans in the summer. Last season we started off with 22 year old goalkeeper Will Buse, who played six games for us, keeping one clean sheet. He struggled at the start of the season, making a couple of mistakes costing us some big early points. Mark Cooper decided to be ruthless, bringing in a wealth of experience on loan from Newport County, in terms of 33 year old goalkeeper Joe Day, who played 45 games in Green and White, keeping 17 clean sheets.

Will Buse is the current goalkeeper at the club, he has had a brilliant second half of the season for Bath City, playing 20 games, keeping 10 clean sheets. I think he will stay around this season, but I do think we will look to get another keeper in to challenge Will Buse and contest for the number 1 spot.

Will Buse.
Picture courtesy of Iain Morland.

In this position, I am looking for a goalkeeper who is a quality shot stopper, someone who commands their box really well but also has quality on the ball being able to play out from the back. We need a player who is either willing to be backup to Will Buse or be our starting goalkeeper.

Goalkeeper option 1 – Joe Day – Free 

Let’s get the obvious, fan favourite out of the way, Joe Day has come in to the team this season and added some real stability to our defensive unit. This is probably my preferred option as well, he is coming into his mid-30s now so Will Buse can learn a lot from Day, who may play a second part role coming towards the end of the season if Buse keeps developing. He’s likely to leave Newport on a free so it just makes sense. His shot stopping is brilliant, he dominated his box because of his size and stature, he is also good enough on the ball which we have seen this season. I can only think of one or two mistakes he’s made all year. Someone who has made almost 300 appearances in the Football League is definitely good enough to be a part of a playoff chasing National League side, as shown this season.

Joe Day – 📸 Gary Brown

Goalkeeper option 2 – Harrison Male – Free

This one is another boring name, a name that will be on the shortlist of every single National League club. Despite conceding 85 goals in the league for relegated, Dorking Wanderers, without Male it could’ve been so much more. He isn’t the tallest goalkeeper in the world so may not have the dominance in his penalty area like Joe Day but the 23 year old has plenty of qualities. In the 23/24 season, Male made 4.1 saves per game, stopping 70% of shots he faced. It isn’t just his shot stopping that is impressive, his quality on the ball would be perfect for a Mark Cooper team, making almost 28 accurate passes per game with a passing accuracy of 84% it’s hard to look past Harrison Male. Dorking announced that he will be leaving the club, he was an obvious but brilliant shout!

Goalkeeper option 3 – Will Henry – Chippenham Town – Transfer

My first less obvious suggestion of the goalkeeper position comes in the way of Chippenham Town goalkeeper, Will Henry. The 25 year old won player of the season for the Bluebirds, appearing in all 46 National League South games, conceding 62 goals but keeping 11 clean sheets. In a Chippenham side with a very low budget, he has done a brilliant job and helped them to a mid table finish. I think he’d be brilliant at Yeovil, he’s still young so has time to develop, he could be a long term option and he is local. He doesn’t have the experience of playing at the National League level, or higher, but he has played over 100 games in his career so their is plenty of experience in the men’s game, most of those have come in the past 3 years for Chippenham. This just seems like a realistic option to me as he may want a way into full time football.

Goalkeeper option 4 – Harvey Wiles-Richards – Bristol City – Loan

My fourth and final suggestion for the goalkeeper position is Bristol City goalkeeper, Harvey Wiles-Richards. The 21 year-old has had a solid 10 games for W*ymouth since joining from the Robins’, in that time he has conceded 9 goals, keeping 3 clean sheets. He may look for a step up next season, into the National League, Yeovil would make sense as it is local and there is a good group of young players looking to develop their game. However, as we already have a young goalkeeper in Will Buse, I don’t think this would be the best of ideas and we would not be able to promise the game time Wiles-Richards needs to develop. I think a more experienced head is needed to partner Buse for next season.


Right Back

The right back position was a vital part of our team last season, Michael Smith ended up coming third in the Gloverscast’s, fan voted, player of the year, he played 32 games last season, scoring once, getting 4 assists. At 35, I can’t hide on the fact that playing over 2300 league minutes is impressive, especially when you watch Smith play, he is up and down all the time. Towards the end of the season he started picking up small injuries that kept him out for a couple games, this really affected our team having to change right back every game. Mark Cooper then decided we needed to bring in another full back, We signed Yeovil-born right back, Brooklyn Genesini, on loan from Swindon. In his short spell at the club he played 6 games, assisting once. He gave us some vital depth at the back, helping out massively in the run-in. Michael Smith is the only right back at the club as we enter the off-season so in my opinion, we need another right back to add some depth to our squad so we don’t make the same mistake as last season and regret not bringing in backup if Smith gets injured.

Michael Smith. Picture courtesy of Gary Brown

In the right back position we are looking for someone as a backup to Michael Smith but will get lots of game time because of Smith’s age. We need a player who has plenty of energy to get up and down, someone who defends brilliantly in 1-on-1 situations and has quality when coming forward. 

Right Back option 1 – Brooklyn Genesini – Free

In similar style as my first goalkeeper option, I am suggesting that Mark Cooper goes for a player that we signed on loan this season. The 22 year-old right back has been released by Swindon after struggling to get game time for them in League Two this season. He is a Yeovil-born player who still lives locally, which fits into the transfer strategy that Cooper used last season, by mainly signing “local players.” In his short spell at the backend of the National League South winning season, Genesini showed his quality defensively and offensively. He could have some sell on value as he is still only young. This would add some real strength in depth to our squad for next season. He definitely looked like he could make the step up to the National League.

Brooklyn Genesini – 📸 Gary Brown

Right Back option 2 – Oscar Rutherford – Free

The first of two players released by Eastleigh that make my suggestions for the right back options is exciting, 21 year-old full back, Oscar Rutherford. Another young option to add depth to the right back position, he has a wealth of experience in the National League after playing over 2100 minutes of football for the Spitfires this season. Despite being so young, he has already played 74 games at the level, this could be vital for The Glovers to have a successful first season back in Step 1. He is an exciting, attacking right back who enjoys getting high up the pitch, using energy to get up and down. He is okay defensively but has room to improve, this could be another signing that we make profit on in the future if Rutherford delivers good performances. He is also versatile, being able to play left back and right wingback in a 5!

Right Back option 3 – Sam Robinson – Kidderminster Harriers  – Transfer

My third choice for a right back is probably the first player, in the whole document, to break the “local” barrier. Admittedly, Kidderminster isn’t exactly miles away but I wouldn’t count it as local, even then, he was born in Cheltenham. Kidderminster were relegated from the National League last season so certain players may be willing to stay in the National League, especially 22-year-old attacking fullback, Samson Robinson. Just over 1500 minutes of football this season for the ex Man City youth player is probably enough experience to become backup for Michael Smith. Robinson is a well-rounded fullback who looks to play high and wide when his team are in possession, having good creative abilities in the final third. He is also a solid defender who reads the game really well and has good recovery pace to get back into position. Another one who would add real quality depth to the right side of our back line, he also has the ability to play as a wing back in a 5.

Right Back option 4 – Jeff King – Free

The first rogue shout of my recruitment document comes in the way of former Chesterfield right back, Jeff King. The 28 year-old is in his prime age now and is probably one of the best right sided fullbacks in the division. He didn’t get as much game time last season for Chesterfield, only playing 1500 minutes in 19 games, getting 2 assists. When he has played though he has shown his quality, getting forward really well, with his progressive style and threat when carrying the ball. He is a good defender as well, someone who reads the game brilliantly. This option would leave us with two of the best right backs at Step 1, adding to our group of “winners” from last season, with another player who has won a title could add some vital experience. Bringing players in who have won the National League is massive when trying to have a successful season. He is another player who has the ability to play in a 4 or a 5, he has also come inside as a more inverted fullback at times for The Spireites this season, similar to what Mark Cooper asks of our fullbacks.

Right Back option 5 – Brennan Camp – Free

My final suggestion for the right back position is the second player to be released by Eastleigh this summer. At 23 years-old, Camp has played almost 100 games in men’s football, having loans to clubs in non-league such as Dorchester and W*ymouth, as well as Eastleigh where he was at most recently. He signed for Eastleigh on a free last summer but didn’t play a single game for The Spitfires last season. Despite this, Camp would be a useful signing, given his versatility and quality that I know he has. With the experience and quality of Smith, Camp could become a really useful backup next season, giving us the cover at right back and centre half, covering for two positions. His attacking qualities are lacking but defensively he is impressive, decent in the air and defends his bid really well. It’s my fifth choice for this position for obvious reasons but another local player and someone who has shown is quality before. I wouldn’t be against this transfer.


Central Defenders

The centre half position is probably the strongest part of our team from last season, Morgan Williams and Jake Wannell both playing 50 games in all competitions. They were both absolutely vital to our title winning season, defensively and offensively. Between the two of them, they made 15 goal contributions last season, both were so dangerous from set pieces, scoring some massive goals against the likes of Truro, Worthing and Bath. Defensively they were absolutely immense, brilliant reading of the game, getting in the way of shots and intercepting the ball to stop an attack. They were both incredibly dominant in the air and showed real composure when in possession to bring the ball forward and build from the back. However, at times through the season, we never really had a backup just in case one of them had an injury or suspension. Luckily, neither of them picked up any injuries at a time where we didn’t have any other defenders who could fill in. Josh Staunton played 12 games for us last season before being released, Jamie Sendles-White played 5, before picking up a nasty injury which saw him out for the rest of the season and Duncan Idehen played 4 games for us when he came on loan from Bristol City before the busy Christmas period. Jake Wannell and Morgan Williams are the only two central defenders left at the club so a backup or two is definitely needed coming into the new season.

Morgan Williams and Jake Wannell. Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

In this position I was looking for someone who could play as a cover option for Williams and Wannell, allowing us to rotate and rest players if necessary. For the centre half position we need a player who is comfortable on the ball to build from the back and be a part of our unit in possession. We also need someone who is quality defensively, dominant in the air and strong into tackles.

Centre Back option 1 – Raphael  Araoye – Bristol City – Loan

The 19 year-old German, left sided central defender is my preferred solution to backup Jake Wannell next season. Araoye has played 15 games for Somerset side, Weston Super-Mare, this season, in which he has played over 1300 minutes. He showed his quality in that time by helping a Weston side find a mid table spot. Defensively he is brilliant, really quick, powerful recovery pace to chase the forward done if the striker gets beyond the last man. He defended his box brilliantly, putting in some vital blocks and some big last ditch tackles. On the ball, he looks very promising, composed in possession, which allows him to move the ball around very nicely, he has an excellent range of passing and can step into midfield to overload when needed. It’s a progressive loan for the German, one that makes sense considering our links to Bristol City. This is my preferred option at left sided centre back.

Centre Back option 2 – Luke Wilkinson – Free

The reason I stated clearly that Raphael Araoye was a backup for Jake Wannell was so I could get a fan-favourite, right side central defender in as my other backup. This signing is less about quality and more about getting some experience and leadership through the door. Wilkinson is a brilliant player to have around the dressing room because of his leadership and fight no matter who he plays for. This is a very popular name among Yeovil fans as he played 77 games for The Glovers over a 3 year period before moving to Woking, following Darren Sarll. The 32 year-old defender was born local to Yeovil in Wells so he knows the surrounding area. He has had an okay season for Woking despite being hampered by injuries, he played 23 times for the Cardinals, in the league, playing over 1700 minutes. He is a fantastic defender who reads the game really well. He doesn’t necessarily have the pace or quality on the ball but he would be a brilliant signing because of his leadership and defensive qualities he would be a useful signing to make 10-15 appearances throughout the season. He has plenty of experience at EFL and National League level to help the younger players improve. I could see Morgan Williams benefiting massively, having Wilkinson as a backup.

Luke Wilkinson. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Centre Back option 3 – Canice Carroll – Oxford City – Transfer

Despite Oxford City being relegated back to the National League South after just one season in Step 1, I have no doubt in my mind that the 25 year-old, Ex Irish youth international will still be in the National League come the start of the 2024/25 season. He has had a fantastic season for Oxford City, playing over 2600 minutes, across 30 games, scoring one and assisting one. Carroll is at a brilliant age where he has lots of experience in the men’s game but still has time to improve before he enters his prime, this may be the perfect time to pick him up as he could be fairly cheap after Oxford’s relegation. He suits how Mark Cooper wants us to play perfectly, in an underdog side like Oxford, Carroll still controlled the ball, having a passing accuracy of 86% throughout the season. He is brilliant on the ball and dictates games from the defensive position. Defensively, he is really impressive, has quick pace to recover and get back into position, reads the game brilliantly and is good in the air. He would have been tested massively in a poor Oxford side who conceded 94 goals, it would be interesting to see how good he would be playing alongside a solid back line.

Centre Back option 4 – George Langston – Free

My fourth suggestion for a central defender is former Eastleigh defender, George Langston. The 21 year-old had a good season for the Spitfires but was surprisingly released at the end of last season. He played 43 games in the National League, making over 3800 minutes. At such a young age this is impressive, he now has the National League experience to stay there and make a name for himself. Another young player who may have some sell-on value if he puts in some good performances, this could be a really interesting signing for Yeovil. He is a good defender who made over 6 interceptions per 90 last season, which shows he reads the game very well. He is still young so has a lot of room for improvement, I’m sure he would be a brilliant backup centre half in the National League. On the ball he still needs to improve but there are definitely signs that he has some quality. This is one i would like to see us go for as it adds some real quality in depth to our back line.

Centre Back option 5 – Duncan Idehen – Bristol City – Loan

My final suggestion for a central defender is another ex Yeovil player. Idehen played 4 games for the Glovers this season before moving to Bath City on loan where he started to get some consistent game time. The 21 year-old is a left sided defender – which is rare to find itself – who has struggled to find a successful loan spell for Bristol City. Next season is a vital season for Idehen who needs to get a good load of experience under his belt. I doubt Bristol City would loan him back to us because of the lack of game time he got when he game down to south Somerset last season, however, it is local and Cooper could use a player who already knows the surroundings down at Huish Park. He is a strong, quick defender who defends his box excellently, getting his body in the way wherever possible. On the ball he looks a bit shaky but at 21  he has time to improve.

Duncan Idehen

Left Back

We were fairly comfortable at left back last season and weren’t really threatened with needing one. Alex Whittle was signed on a free transfer from York and was probably our most consistent performer throughout the season. He played 40 games last season, scoring once and getting 2 assists. However, towards the end of the season he picked up a big injury which will leave him out for the whole summer period. Jay Foulston was the other left back brought in last season, on loan from Taunton. He played 20 games for us, mainly from the bench. He had an option to buy at the end of his contract but as of yet, there is no news of this being activated. Therefore, we currently only have one left back at the club in Alex Whittle.

Alex Whittle – 📸 Gary Brown

In this position we are looking for a left back who is brilliant at defending, has lots of energy to get up and down as well as having quality when they come forward. They need to have the ability to challenge Whittle for the first choice spot, giving us some real quality in depth down that left hand side.

Left Back option 1 – Jake Vokins – Free

At 24, it’s time that Jake Vokins left Southampton to find some quality first team football and get his career back on track. He has spent the final part of last season on loan at Eastleigh in the National League, where he played 6 games, starting all 6. Vokins is a player who would add real depth to our left back position, allowing us to rest Whittle if needed and it won’t affect our performances. He is quite short, at 5”4 which could lead to some issues when defending crosses to the back post, however, what he lacks in height, he gains in athleticism. He is quick, agile and dangerous when running with that ball. He likes to get as high up the pitch as possible and deliver with quality. It works geographically and allows him to settle down into a first team environment, at 24 he is at a good age where he can still develop into a brilliant left back. He can also play as a left wing back in a 5, which could become useful throughout the season.

Left Back option 2 – Jay Foulston – Taunton Town – Transfer

Jay Foulston is a player, familiar to Yeovil fans because of the 20 games he played for The Glovers at the end of last season, helping them towards the National League South title. I am not sure what the situation is with Foulston and his contract, when he signed for us on loan the club stated that we had an option to buy him at the end of the season, in the retained list was released, it was unclear if we were going to active that clause and buy Foulston permanently. I personally hope we do buy him, he would be a quality rotation option alongside Whittle, he’s only 23 so can develop and become our starting left back in the future as Whittle is getting older. He is a defender who improved massively as he got more comfortable with the professional environment, he looks dangerous going forward and takes a really good set piece. I could see Foulston being very useful if we decide to resign him next season. I feel it may be a missed opportunity for us if we don’t go on to sign him permanently.

Jay Foulston – Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

Left Back option 3 – Ryan Haynes – Free

A bit of a rogue shout this one but Ryan Haynes was released from Northampton at the end of last season after playing just 5 games in the 2023/24 season. To have a successful season in the National League, you need a mix of experience and youth, Ryan Haynes is a player who has made over 200 appearances in the Football League, giving him the levels of experience required. He is 28, so probably wouldn’t expect to play week-in-week-out so he could rotate with Whittle. Haynes isn’t a brilliant footballer but would add a large level of experience to the back line and is someone who will be great in the dressing room. He still has a few years left in football so a move down to the National League could relight his career.

Left Back option 4 – Ben Brookes – Chelmsford City – Transfer

Ben Brookes has had a superb season for Chelmsford, who are spending another season in the National League South after losing in the playoffs to Braintree. This means that they will lose a lot of players in the summer to teams in higher divisions. Ben Brookes is another one of these. I feel that a lot of National League clubs will be in for the versatile full back this Summer, so the 23 year-old is one i’d love to see Yeovil go in for. He is a player who can play either side of fullback and uses both feet very well. He needs to work on himself defensively but going forward is very dangerous. He used his unpredictability to take the ball on either foot and deliver with quality. He is still young, so can develop and improve defensively. I think he would be a fantastic signing for us next seoson and add some real depth to our back line. Brookes would learn a lot off of Alex Whittle. Ben Brookes is bottom of my left back suggestions because of location, him being in Essex makes it slightly unrealistic for a move down to the South West.


Defensive Midfield

We didn’t really have a defensive midfielder last season, this left us very open in midfield at times and we looked under serious threat when teams hit us on the counter attack. Charlie Cooper and Josh Owers were the closest players we had to a number 6 last season but both Cooper and Owers are more like central midfielders. Cooper played 37 games for Yeovil last season, getting himself 7 assists. Josh Owers, who was released at the end of the season, played 20 games, scoring once. Cooper may still play as a defensive midfielder next season but I don’t think he is good enough to be a starting “number 6” in the National League and should be further forward.

Charlie Cooper – Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

For this reason, I feel that we need to sign a proper defensive midfielder who is there to sit in front of the back line and stop opposition counter attacks. We need a player who is big and strong, someone who can put in a tackle and read the game really well to make interceptions. We need a midfielder who is good on the ball so they can dictate play and create chances in deep areas.

Defensive Midfield option 1 – Rohan Ince – Free

I’ve gone for another ex-Yeovil player for my first suggestion for a defensive midfielder. Rohan Ince has had a poor season for Woking, he struggled to get up the standards he reached in the 2022/23 season under Darren Sarll. I believe the 31-year-old could reach them heights again with proper reset in his career. The ex-Chelsea academy player has had plenty of experience at this level, playing over 100 games for Woking since 2021. He is the perfect type of build for the defensive midfield position, 6’3, strong and powerful allowing him to hold the midfield. He is a really powerful runner, someone who can carry the ball a long way if the space opened up for him. This is a signing that would add real experience and quality to our midfield, allowing the likes of Worthington and Sonny Blu to be more open and creative in the final third. Ince will also be a threat from set pieces because of his height and power. He would be an excellent short term option in the number 6 position.

Defensive Midfield option 2 – Lloyd Humphries – Weston Super-Mare – Transfer

My second suggestion for the defensive midfield position is a local one. The 26 year-old Welshman is one of the most underrated players in the National League South, he played all 46 games in the league this season, adding over 4000 minutes to his name, scoring twice. He is an absolute joy to watch on the ball, the way he manages to dictate play. He is a good defensive player as well, reads the game brilliantly and holds the midfield with ease. This signing makes perfect sense in a Mark Cooper side, Humphries would dominate games with his quality on the ball and his lovely passing range. At 26, he is coming into his prime and at the perfect age to move into full time football. I feel that if he has another season at Weston some more clubs would start realising how good he is, so getting in early could be great idea. He is very disciplined and doesn’t rush forward unnecessarily, he holds his position very well.

Defensive Midfield option 3 – Omar Mussa – Free 

My third option for the defensive midfield position is Belgium-born midfielder, Omar Mussa. Mussa never really kicked on for Dagenham since his move from W*ymouth in the summer of 2022, hence why he has been released this summer. A move back down to the South West, but staying in full time football, may be an attractive proposal for the 23 year-old. He only played 14 times for the Daggers this season but there is definitely quality in there. At such a young age, he still has plenty of time to grow and improve. His stature and build is similar of that to Rohan Ince, although not quite as tall, he is still a very strong and powerful runner with and without the ball. He reads the game brilliantly. He’s more of a progressive defensive midfielder, someone who isn’t afraid to get forward and involved in the attack, this shouldn’t be a problem because his recovery pace is excellent. A signing I’d love to see us make!

Defensive Midfield option 4 – Henry Ochieng – Chelmsford City – Transfer

It seems that most of the defensive midfielders in the National League South have gone about their business quietly this season. Ochieng is another one, he has had an excellent season for the Clarets since moving back to Essex after a disappointing season at Aldershot in 2022/23. The 25 year-old is at the perfect age where he can still develop but has enough experience to be comfortable in any environment. This may be a slightly unrealistic signing as he may not want to move down to the South West, however, a route into full time football would be an attraction for Ochieng, that’s why I feel he’s a player Cooper should be looking at. I watched him closely when Chelmsford played Chippenham at HardenHuish a few weeks ago and he was my MOTM. Brilliant tackler of the ball, recovery pace was excellent and he dictated the game from deep.

Defensive Midfield option 5 – Emmanuel Maja – Banbury United – Transfer

My last suggestion for the defensive midfield position is 22 year-old Banbury midfielder, Emmanuel Maja. Banbury have been relegated from the National League North so certain players, like Maja, will be looking for moves up the pyramid. He is probably going to go back into the North, where he can keep building his career, however, he has been a real standout player this season and is deserving of a move into professional football. He is not a proper defensive midfielder but he can play there. Similar to Mussa, he has the ability to drive forward into space and get involved with the attacking play but has the recovery pace to get back into position again. He played 32 games for Banbury this season, scoring 4 goals from midfield. A signing that definitely won’t happen but I really like Maja so I thought he deserved an honourable mention because he has a lot of quality.


Attacking Midfield

We haven’t really had a genuine attacking midfielder throughout this season, Frank Nouble has taken up the number 10 role in a way. He has been given a free roam role to get on the ball in deeper areas to create when coming forward. He played the most minutes of any player this season and reached 50 games for the season, scoring 14, assisting 5. He will probably take up the same role next season as well but at the age of 33, he might not be playing as much football, so another option may be needed to rotate around with Nouble. I must add, if Jordan Maguire-Drew is to stay at Yeovil this season, he probably takes him this position as an attacking midfielder, however, I doubt he will stay. Jordan Young can also play in this number 10 role but his main position is coming in off of the right hand side.

Frank Nouble celebrates his goal with Jordan Maguire-Drew, left, and Jordan Young.

In this position I was looking for a player with a lot of creative qualities and a brilliant end product. As well as having the technical ability to play the game at different sorts of pace, whether that is on the counter attack or when in controlled possession. Some that has some flair to excite the crowd but is ruthless with their decision making in the final third. Possibly the most important player in our attacking play.

Attacking Midfield option 1 – Reece Brown – Free

As soon as Forest Green released their retained list for the end of the 2023/24 season, and Reece Brown had been released, I knew that Yeovil would get linked to it straight away. Mark Cooper has spoken about him on many occasions saying how much he likes him, I can’t help but put his name down as my number 1 suggestion for an attacking midfielder. Technically, he is top class, last season in League 2, despite only playing 11 games, he completed 85% of his dribbles. It works geographically, he is played under Cooper before, he is at an age, 28, where he has plenty of experience at this level and higher, where he can really push this team up the table. Another important factor is that he has won the National League before, under Cooper, at Forest Green. A bit of work needed on his end product but if he got off to a good start, I could help feel he could be one of the best players in the National League.

Attacking Midfield option 2 – Charlie Carter – Dorking Wanderers – Transfer

It is going to be tough to pull anyone away from Dorking next season, Marc White will be telling their players that they are going to get promoted back up, at the first time of asking but if you offer the correct amount of money, for a player like Charlie Carter, they may budge. Carter has had a brilliant season in the National League for Dorking, playing 38 times, scoring 8 with 2 assists. He is a well rounded midfielder who can play as an 8, or a 10, drifting around the pockets of space. One of the main things I like about Carter is his quality on the ball, his passing is lovely and he has the vision to match his range. At 27, he is coming into his prime and may like the attraction of full time football. This would be a real statement signing and could be the difference between mid table and the play off push.

Attacking Midfield option 3 – Alex Babos – Hereford – Transfer

Alex Babos is a player I’ve been following for a couple of months now and really like the look of. He has a lot to experience in the men’s game, at 25, he has played almost 100 games for Banbury, before joining Hereford in the Summer where he has played 45 times, scoring 10 goals and getting 4 assists. He is a wonderful player to watch, plays in the pockets of space, where he can pick the ball up on the term and seriously hurt a team with his quality in the final third. He has never played in the National League before but after an excellent season in the North he won’t be short of offers this season. Yeovil isn’t miles from Hereford so it could work geographically. The former Derby County youth player would be an excellent pick up for Mark Cooper’s side and even add some sell-on value to himself which could benefit all parties.

Attacking Midfield option 4 – Harry Pell – Free

There is a reason this is my fourth suggestion for an attacking midfielder, it’s very unrealistic. However, the 32 year-old attacking midfielder was released by Wimbledon this summer. He played 33 games for AFC this season in League 2, scoring 2 goals and getting 2 assists. Despite playing 33 games, he only started a handful. He would be a a short term replacement, only getting a single season out of him. He would come in use his experience to really help us out as the season goes on, players like him, Michael Smith and Frank Nouble could take us through if things get tough in periods next season. He has played in the South West before, when he had a short spell at Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham 10 years ago, but has spent most of him time in the East of England at Colchester, Grimsby and Wimbledon.


Wingers

Yeovil had a lot of success with most of the wingers that played last season, Jordan Young being the main one, he played 46 games, scoring 15, getting 10 assists as well. Young signed a new contract in January keeping him here until 2026. Dylan Morgan and Sam Pearson were the other two success stories with wingers last season, both played 16 games for the club after signing half way through the season. Dylan Morgan is one to be really excited about ahead of next season, he scored 4 goals, getting 2 assists in his short spell at the end of last season. Sam Pearson has been offered a new contract ahead of the 2024/25 season, he scored 4 goals, getting 4 assists in a similar period of time to Morgan. Having those 3 here next season could be absolutely key to our success. Other wingers we had last season include Jordan Stevens and Will Dawes, they have both been released after playing 23 and 24 games retrospectively. Courtney Senior came on loan from Barnet, showed sparks in his 4 game spell but didn’t do anything to shout about. Our three contracted wingers for next season are Young, Morgan and Pearson if he signs the contract.

In this position I am looking for someone with quality and unpredictability, allowing them to stretch the oppositions defence and create chances from out wide. They need to come in to be another option for our wingers, adding some real quality in depth to our team.

Winger option 1 – Ephraim Yeboah – Bristol City – Loan

Yeboah is one of the most exciting Bristol City youngsters right now, he has already had first team experience in the Championship for the Robins’ this season before being loaned out to Bath City where he played 10 games. In those 2 games he showed his qualities, scoring 2 goals and producing some brilliant chances. The Italian 17 year-old is so powerful and exciting when he’s at full speed, he can go either way with his tricky feet. For such a young player to have experience in a first team environment already, it really shows how good Bristol City rate him. They may want to loan him out for a whole season next year, either in the National League or League Two. If Yeovil can use their Bristol City links can to get Yeboah through the door they will have one of the best players in the National League.

Winger option 2 – Pedro Borges – Exeter City – Loan

For my second suggestion at the winger position I have gone for someone who can through our youth academy before being poached by Exeter City. Pedro Borges was poached by City when he was 16, he’s since had loans at Dorchester, Tiverton and Plymouth Parkway but has struggled to find a consistent run. He has played a few games for Exeter this season where he made a massive impact from the bench, even getting an assist in League One. Next season could be his chance to kick start his career, a loan back at Huish Park for a season could do him the world of good, not only will he be playing regular football but learning from some brilliant players. Exeter may be persuaded to loan him here after the success of the Sonny Cox loan last season. I could see this one happening. Borges is an exciting, tricky winger that would get the crowd off their feet. That’s what you want in a wide man.

Winger option 3 – Noah Coppin – Salisbury Town – Transfer

My third choice for a winger comes from Step 3 of non league. Noah Coppin has had a fantastic season for Salisbury in their playoff season. He has had unsuccessful spells at Chippenham and Taunton before but he has finally settled down and had a brilliant season. The jump up from Step 3 to Step 1 may be a big one, that’s why I’ve made it my third choice suggestion and not any higher. We have had some massive success stories from players who have moved from Step 3 to Step 1 before, I’m hoping this would be another one of them, like Josh Stokes moving from Sudbury to Aldershot last season. He is local to Yeovil so knows the South West very well. The 22 year old mainly plays off of the left but can play more central as he has an eye for goal. Will be interesting to follow Coppin over the next few seasons to see where he ends up.

Winger option 4 – Jephte Tanga – Free

This one came about as a bit of a shock to me, Tanga has had a brilliant season on loan in the National League South at Welling and Maidstone where he played all 46 games, plus a playoff game, scoring 4 times. At just 19, he has been released by Leyton Orient, leaving himself a free agent for the summer. He had two really successful loan spells in the South where he showed his quality on the ball. He’s a tricky winger, who is unpredictable on the ball and dangerous when running at the opposition defence. He needs to work on his final product but at just 19 he has plenty of time to develop. This one could be worth the gamble by Mark Cooper, he has experience in the men’s game already and seems like an absolute bargain on a free. Will be some sell-on value in there if performances are good as well. I would love to see Tanga down at Huish Park, obviously location could be a problem.

Winger option 5 – Enzio Boldewijn – Free

My final suggestion for the winger position comes in the way of versatile, 31 year-old, Enzio Boldewijn. The Ex-Eastleigh winger had an okay season for the Spitfires, scoring 6 goals and getting 5 assists, before being released it what was a big clear out on the south coast. He can play on either wing or as a right wing back in a 5, which could be really helpful for Yeovil next season in a Mark Cooper team who has played in a back five sometimes. He is an exciting player, with plenty of experience at this level and it leagues above. He is someone who has moved around a lot in his career, including a move from the Netherlands to Crawley. This is a signing I could see happening if we wanted a more experienced player on the wing to go with the younger talent we already have.


Centre Forward

As ever, the striker situation is an interesting one at Yeovil. Most of our strikers that were at the club last season have been released or gone back to their parent clubs. This being Jake Hyde, Alex Fisher, Ollie Thomas and Jahmari Clarke. The only striker we have kept at the club, other than Frank Nouble, who I’ve counted as a number 10, is Rhys Murphy – if he agrees a new contract. Murphy scored 15 goals and got 4 assists in 29 games this season. We probably need two more strikers, one in their prime, and one a bit younger to complement what we already have with Murphy.

Rhys Murphy. Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

In this position we need two players who are a decent size, so they don’t get bullied off the ball, they also need to have decent pace and power and someone who can link up well with the midfield, second striker or wingers. They also need to be confident in front of goal.

Striker option 1 – Aaron Jarvis – Torquay United – Transfer 

Not sure much explaining needs to be done for my first suggestion at the striker position. Jarvis has struggled this season with injuries and a poor Torquay side in general. However, 9 goals in 19 appearances in the National League South does show his quality. Last season he was one of the best strikers in the National League but he decided to stay at Torquay. He has recently moved house to Taunton so he is local to Yeovil. The 26 year-old is a physical striker who plays well with runners off of him. He is a natural finisher who is most effective when he is shooting with instinct. I could really see this one being done.

Striker option 2 – Ricardo Rees – Merthyr Town – Transfer 

The second to last suggestion from step 3 on this list comes in the way of 24 year-old forward, Ricardo Rees. He has had an unbelievable season for the Welsh side, scoring 35 goals in the league alone. He is a complete striker who scores all types of goals. He would work very well upfront with Aaron Jarvis and Rhys Murphy because of his on the ball qualities. He is brilliant on the half turn because his linkup play with his teammates is brilliant, he has quick feet to get away from his man and his finishing is as natural as they come. Rees is deserving of the jump from step 3 to 1, into professional football because of this brilliant season. I think he would still score 15-20 goals in the National League because of his finishing qualities. It’s worth a gamble, with a chance of selling him on for more money. It seems like a low-level risk worth taking for me.


Striker option 3 – Marcus Wyllie – Enfield Town – Transfer

Another step 3 suggestion comes in the way of 24 year-old striker, Marcus Wyllie. He has had a brilliant season for Enfield, scoring 30 goals and getting 15 assists in all competitions. His quality in and around the penalty area is brilliant, he is a naturally gifted finisher and someone who links up play brilliantly. No matter the level, to have 45 goal contributions in a single season is quite something! He would be a real fun, interesting player for us to sign, at a good age, where he already has lots of experience in the men’s game and is ready to make the step up. Would be another low-risk gamble worth taking, it could lead to profit being made in the future as well.

Striker option 4 – Jordan Garrick – Free

My final transfer suggestion, for the whole recruitment document is former Swansea, Plymouth and Forest Green striker, Jordan Garrick. The 25 year-old Jamaican needs to rebuild his career in English football, a drop down to the 5th tier could help this massively. He played just 8 games for Rovers this season, scoring 2 goals in that time. He is a quick, technical forward who can also play on both wings, he likes to get the ball to feet and take his man on. This could give us a different style of player to what we currently have and he could link up really well with Aaron Jarvis. Someone who will thrive with confidence so if we get him scoring in pre season, come the start of the National League season, he could be one of the best players in the league. He needs to find the level he was when playing for Plymouth again. He is local and lives in the South West so this makes sense geographically as well.


So here it is then, my final squad that I think we should go into the first game of the season with. I am interested to hear your thoughts on who I have picked.

thankyou for reading! Any feedback is always taken on board.


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Essex Glover
24 days ago

Think we should be looking more at released EFL players tbh.Given our upward trend, I feel
YTFC is a very attractive proposition right now.

Callum Hallett
24 days ago
Reply to  Essex Glover

I think we will go for a mix between, released EFL players and some younger players with potential sell-on benefits.

Weston Glover
22 days ago
Reply to  Essex Glover

I’m not sure we have the financial muscle to persuade that many EFL players, plus whilst we won the NLS, we were expected to do that and players may want proof that we can compete on the higher level before they sign on. Plus if Jake Wannell has proved anything, it’s that hungry players can make the step up and excel, I think either Rees or Wyllie would be interesting signings, cause having watched highlights they look like very composed strikers, and could learn from Nouble and Murphy.

Would love some EFL players, but I’m skeptical as to how many we can afford/persuade to come down, but MC has surprised us before, look at Michael Smith.

Mark
24 days ago

We need a degree of realism here. While I’d agree a 22-23 man contracted squad is ideal, we’re not going to have the money to fund it. We apparently went over budget last year in an attempt to get back at the first time of asking. The budget is likely to be similar this season.
A lot of the retained squad are in their mid-twenties upwards & that’s already going to be eating up a lot of our budget.
Of the released players, only Jake Hyde & Alex Fisher are likely to have been on expensive contracts so there’s not an awful lot of room for manouevre, unless Jordan Maguire-Drew leaves on a free before the start of the season.
I’d agree with you about the need for a good defensive midfielder but with Worthington & Cooper as well as Lo-Everton it’s likely two of them would have to drop to the bench to accommodate a new man, which doesn’t seem likely at present.
Assuming Murphy signs I think we’ll try to bring in two strikers & possibly, a wide man.
The interesting one will be Jay Foulston. I don’t think we can afford two contracted right & left backs & I don’t think he can cover enough positions to make him a viable signing, so it will be interesting to see what Cooper does!

Weston Glover
24 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I think there’s a bit more room into he budget than you give credit for, remember that we’ve also released players like Linton and Pollock, who were signed up on wages priced for the league above, plus the youth prospects being released, which could be more than enough to sign a player on a lower wage like Foulston or Rees.

I still think Reece Brown and Vokins might be a bit ambitious, from what I can find out about their previous wages, but Jarvis seems to be earning less than what someone like Stevens was earning, so no reason he couldn’t be brought in, especially cause with Torquay’s financial state they can’t exactly demand a huge transfer fee.

I reckon of the squad mentioned at the bottom of the article the two Bristol City loans, the two strikers, Genesini and Joe Day are all very realistic. Add Foulston at LB, cause I’m sure he could be picked up for a song now Taunton have been relegated, and that’s 19 players already with none of the new additions breaking the bank and our wage bill still lower than last year’s, so room to bring in either another CB or a Humphries type player, which I think would be a good signing so that Sonny could be pushed up into a 10.

That’s a 20 man squad and gives us 3 loan slots available to cover for injuries, which I’d be super happy with. I think that squad would be a solid mid-table team, maybe even a play off push we got another winning run during the season, which is very respectable for our first season back up.

Andy Pandy
24 days ago
Reply to  Weston Glover

I believe Aaron Jarvis is out of contract at Torquay, so no transfer fee would be required. But due to his injuries this season, would he be worth signing for the Glovers for next season? Not sure about that.

Any thoughts on Charlie Wakefield returning to Huish Park? I see he has been released by Woking.

Callum Hallett
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Pandy

I don’t think Wakefield is good enough

Weston Glover
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy Pandy

I totally get the concern about Jarvis’ injury from this season, but that seems like a one-off, and it didn’t need surgery, so not the sort of thing that’s likely to be reoccurring. I haven’t found any history of injuries, and even this season the one injury made him miss half the season and that was it, I think anyone who’s proven to be able to score 15+ goals in a league has to be considered when buying a new striker, I’d have him signed in a heartbeat, but as Phil said below, we could all be in for a surprise from Mr Cooper.

As for Wakefield, lovely lad, scored one of our legendary recent goals against Stevenage, but there’s no way he works hard enough defensively to work in Cooper’s system, doubt he’s even on the radar.

Phil A
23 days ago
Reply to  Mark

One thing we can be assured of is MC will have a surprise or two up his sleeve.

I can’t recall if Hyde and Murphy were known to be heading our way but despite their injury record, they were big signings for us. How we got Michael Smith was a coup at NLS level! Should we expect similar this season? Jarvis seems to fit the mould more than most.

Would be good to have Genesini and Day sign permanently (continuity). Others may not be so well known. As Essex Glover suggested – (a mix of) released EFL and I’ll add NLS players who want to go FT will be our targets. I just hope MC can avoid signing the injury prone a bit more!

The off-season merry-go-round starts again!

Andy Pandy
24 days ago

A quick question to the Gloverscast team, what is The Daily Glove? I’ve never heard of it before. Anyone got a link for that?

Admin
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy Pandy

Hi Andy, it’s an email that we send out everyday from the website with the stories that have been posted. You can subscribe with your email address in the box under every article. Thanks, Ian

Mick
24 days ago

It seems that Callum has done a lot of work on his article and full praise to him. It shows that for someone so young he has quite a depth of knowledge. It also shows his passion for YTFC. Fully agree about Genesini, I thought he slotted in well, knows the set-up and played well. If you are looking for experience, needed in the national league, then suggest none better than Ben Tozer who has just been released by Wrexham.

However, the only criteria Cooper is looking for is the players ability to pass back, sideways and back again. Also if you analyse the mins played and goals scored you will see that Fisher out scored Nouble. ( sorry two old gripes from me, AGAIN)

Well done Callum, I hope Cooper reads you work

Phil A
23 days ago
Reply to  Mick

GET IT FORWARD COOPER!! 😁

While Ben Tozer might be outside of our budget, there is definitely room for a player who can bomb a long throw into the box, a la Tozer. No doubt a staple attacking option for most NL teams.

The one thing I’ll suggest about Big Frank is – don’t make him angry! He was so much better when he had a grump on. Several times he turned a game in our favour just because of a moody moment. He will get plenty of opportunities in the NL….perhaps one will be vs York 😉

Weston Glover
22 days ago
Reply to  Mick

Unless your name’s Erling Haaland, anyone who plays 50 games won’t have a better stats ratio than someone who played less than 20 and had a purple patch. So glad Fisher got to have his moment coming back from injury, but think NLS is his level now, hope he finds himself a good club for a few more seasons and then transitions into a coaching role. The thing to remember is we’re going from almost all teams being part time in the NLS to almost all being full time, and that difference is going to be stark.

There’s no way in hell we’d get Tozer, 1 because of the crazy Wrexham wages, and 2 because there’s no way he’d want to back up Morg and Wannell, and I think it’d be madness to break up such a consistent pairing at the back.

Also fully agree with the praise for Callum, seriously strong research went into this one

Stewart Barnes
22 days ago

A very unambitious squad imo.
We need a really top goal scorer
A midfielder supremo and a commanding
Center back
Add Joe Day and you have a spine that
will do well in next league
Teams that have that generally do well
A bunch of players from lower leagues
Will struggle
I watched the play off final between Bromley and Solihull yesterday the
Quality was excellent

Weston Glover
22 days ago
Reply to  Stewart Barnes

Jarvis scored 17 goals in his last season at NL level in a team that got relegated, not sure what else someone would need to do to be a ‘top goal scorer’. We already have a commanding CB pair, so I don’t see how that’s a requirement for a signing, at least one for depth and injury cover, yes, but why break up the best CB pairing we’ve had in a decade? Similarly our midfield pair has worked together well as a pair and we already have 1 backup, so hardly first priority.

Also, how would lower league players ever play higher if everyone had your attitude? Adam Stansfield was signed from much lower levels, and he turned out pretty good, there’s a hatful of examples of players thriving when asked to make the step up, look at Jake Wannell this year, I don’t see how this squad is unambitious at all, or should we be signing Mbappe, Modric and Varane, as they’re all out of contract this summer?

Andy Pandy
22 days ago

Ollie Pearce’s contract at Worthing expires on 30 June. He might fancy a crack at the National League instead of the NLS.

Worthing lost the play-off final.

Last edited 22 days ago by Andy Pandy
Mick
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy Pandy

Agreed, if we can’t get Paddy Madon!!!! I know dreaming again, sorry. However, changing the subject never mind who we get in my main concern is that we don’t fall into the Gateshead situation?? And finally buy our ground back

Andy Pandy
22 days ago
Reply to  Mick

Well, I’ve just read that Paddy Madden is leaving Stockport County after failing to agree a new contract with the club, so you might get your wish, Mick!

FrankS
20 days ago

To everyone’s surprise, Tom Smith has been released by Bath. Heading to Yeovil?

Andy Pandy
20 days ago

As expected, Joe Day has been released by Newport County. Sign him up, Mr Cooper!

Simon Thornley
20 days ago

Genesini looked good so is a good shout. I can’t really comment on most of the others but very impressive work for the article!

Archie Morris
18 days ago

Great work, Callum. Really enjoyed reading this – will be coming back in a couple of months and seeing which of these came true!

Have a great summer and looking forward to some more analysis next season.

Paul Scudds
15 days ago

Well researched- thank you for putting in the time and effort.
Let’s hope, whoever we sign, next season is a success.