Guest Blog by Jake Gallagher

If social media is any barometer there’s been a clear feeling within the fanbase that the club’s recruitment this season has been truly abysmal. And I agree. We all agree. Even the people doing the recruiting agree.

I wanted to understand how you can possibly get it so wrong, ask who is responsible and ultimately look at what the bones of the squad will look like next season.

Now if you include all the players who’ve been named in the matchday squad at least once – then the club has had forty-five (45) players on its books this season. Forty-fucking-five.

It’s a genuine shambles but I’ve tried to make sense of it. Here goes…

Yeovil Town Football Club signed thirty-six (36) players since the start of 2022/23. I’ve unpacked this into segments. It isn’t a perfect exercise but it’s enough to make conclusions thinking about these questions:

  1. Who Signed Them?
  2. How Many Have Been Successful?
  3. Where Are They Now?
  4. Will They Be Here Next Season?

Who Signed Them?

Believe it or not, eighteen (18) of the players were signed under Chris Hargreaves and eighteen (18) were signed under Mark Cooper. A perfect 50/50 split. Or is it?

It’s obviously more nuanced than that given the club has had a change of ownership or ‘stewardship’ since the beginning of March and a new recruitment process/mess has been in flight.

Therefore, the pie chart looks more like this with new owner Matt Uggla taking responsibility, as stated on social media, for six signings since SU Glovers’ arrival in town.

How Many Have Been Successful?

Very few is the short answer.

The chart below demonstrates that just four (out of 36), in my opinion of course, have been successful and remain playing for the club today.

Some that I’ve deemed successful aren’t at the club anymore. The likes of Alfie Pond, Sam Pearson and Jamie Andrews are all examples of good talent identification and go down as good signings despite the short impact they had. It’s just a shame we couldn’t keep hold of them.

These players are now playing at a higher level – you could argue if we were fortunate enough to hold on to them for the full campaign, we’d be the handful of points better off to be out of the relegation zone.

Overall though the recruitment has been bordering on incompetent. The process resembles a blubbering drunken lady walking out of Neo nightclub looking for a 2:00am barrel-scraping shag and turning up with Matt Grivosti. Just one single match scouting this player would’ve told you he’s not good enough for National League football. Certainly not right now anyway.

I’d suggest that just four signings can be deemed successful and for a couple of these you could accuse me of being kind. Owen Bevan, Charlie Cooper, Scott Pollock and Jordan Stevens are the names I have in the successful bucket. Bevan has bled green and white while Cooper is clearly good enough for this level – if you can ignore his persistent whinging at the referee which annoys me so greatly. Stevens and Pollock are similar types of players and are certainly ones for the future given their age.

So how then can you get it so wrong that just 11% of this season’s signings can be considered successful? That’s a hit-rate of just over 1 in 10!

I genuinely hand on heart believe that I, a person who works at football statistics website, could’ve overseen recruitment at Yeovil Town and had a better strike rate than 1 in 10. I could’ve used Sports Interactive’s Football Manager game as my only scouting tool and had a healthier hit-rate.

Where Are They Now?

The revolving door at Huish Park is knackered but still we had new players joining into late March. I’m aware that’s not unusual – but needing to make six signings in March is surely not a sign of a settled squad.

Most won’t be here next season, of course, due to the nature of their deals while some were just not good enough for the level required.

Of the thirty-six signings made, fifteen played first team games and found themselves leaving via the A303 just weeks later. Gime Toure, Jake Scrimshaw and Louis Britton are examples of players were awarded permanent contracts and left by mutual consent after not making the grade.

We made two permanent signings that are currently out on loan. Ben Richards-Everton and Ollie Hulbert. You can file these under ‘didn’t work out’ I suppose.

Will They Be Here Next Season?

This is up for debate and in some cases will depend on relegation clauses and other information I don’t have access to.

The likes of Jordan Maguire-Drew, Zanda Siziba, Will Dawes, Alex Fisher, Malachi Linton, Charlie Cooper, Scott Pollock, Jordan Stevens and Jordan Young have been signed on contracts that should see them here next season. Whether they want to or not is another matter.

There are others such as Jamie Reckord who have an option for another year should the club and player wish to renew. Chiori Johnson has a contract up for renewal and could be given a new deal if the new management believe he’s at the required level. After Saturday’s needless and naïve second yellow card, I’d think twice about renewing.

On the ‘definitely won’t be here next season’ list are mostly loan players such as Miguel Freckleton and Will Buse and I’m going to confidently predict that Callum Harriott (too good for this level) and Ben Richards-Everton (fans haven’t warmed to him) won’t be playing for Yeovil Town come August despite being permanent members of the playing staff right now.

As it stands, we have twelve players on contract until at least 2024 and two with options to extend beyond the summer in Reckord and Hulbert. Any notions that we should ‘rip up the squad and start again’ are foolish. Clearly a reset is required but there are players at this club who should be here next season irrespective of what league we find ourselves in.

In among those twelve under contract are players who will be ready for football in the National League South and can develop as the club progresses. Players like Stevens, Pollock, Young, Linton. We need hang on to them – they are the young, exciting forward players we must get behind in 2023/24.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the recruitment has been embarrassing. It’s the main reason (though there are so many reasons) why we’re going down – we can all see it.

In true ‘An Inspector Calls’ fashion, absolutely everyone running the club is to blame. That’s everyone who dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on the incoming transfers.

Chris Hargreaves’ summer signings of Jake Scrimshaw and Ben Richards-Everton didn’t give the team a solid start back in August and we’ve been playing catch up ever since. Mark Cooper’s early dealings bringing in Anthony Georgiou and Louis Britton were complete failures and left us short of quality. More recently our deadline day call to opt against bringing in Frank Nouble, a player who had all but been announced as a Yeovil Town player, showed a lack of joined up thinking between the management and new ownership.

All in all, our impending relegation has been compounded by the Uggla versus Cooper handbags that have been increasing in viciousness as each weekend passes with another L next to Yeovil Town’s form. The pair have continued to stoop to take swipes at each other, through the media usually, with a clear disagreement across the board including the abilities of our latest signings Reo Griffiths and Zanda Siziba.

It’s time for the people running the football club to put their egos away, put their big boy pants on and start showing some leadership without plastering their thoughts on social media. I believe we should part ways with Cooper sooner rather than later, he’s a bad egg whose obnoxiousness and goading behaviour is bleeding the fanbase of optimism in what should be an exciting time under new ownership. The only way is up from here.

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

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Don Gibson
1 year ago

Great article. Wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. Given yesterdays handbags I don’t know how Cooper hasn’t already either by resignation or sack. The only reason he could possibly have a future is if the whole ownership deal falls through.

1 year ago


I thought your presentation ( Blog) was very clear & concise, therefore easy to digest – cheers

For your info:

Relegation release clause is a standard clause within the National League Player Contract template though it’s referred to as a Relegation option clause. Therefore any player over 24, has the option to seek alternative employment. If the player still holds a book value, the Club can defer the Asset value against debt or HMRC


Derek Hamilton
1 year ago

Good analysis.
Please do another one called ‘Follow the Money”

Phil A
1 year ago

Kudos on your blog Jake! This recruitment shambles is definitely one step beyond the one associated with relegation from the EFL. May I dig a bit deeper? Back in 2018-2019 there was Fry/Hayward’s unwillingness to risk ‘spending beyond their means’ (or perhaps not understanding it takes more than 10 shillings and sixpence to function as a professional football club).

Then it was Priestnal and his “plans”, which (I can only guess) went to pot soon after Errol Pope decided being part of a football consortium was not for him.

For 3 years give or take, it’s been like a weird murder mystery: Silent Owner – Unprecedented Times.

Obviously we fans can merely guess what truly goes on behind the scenes when it comes to signings but with our previous managers, the incumbent has toed the party line with: “the chairman continues to back me in my signings”, of course he does…if he didn’t he’d be setting himself up for a bitter and drawn out bitch session with his employers*. (Oh, now I get it!!!)

*soon to be? maybe?!

The next twelve months will be hugely telling and is an absolute must to get the recruitment right pre-season. It could be we have a highest profile of manager in place but if he ends up with another array of injury prone/played out of position/utility players, heavily reliant on loanees, and not enough to have eleven-a-side on training days, no amount of Josh Staunton’s, Matt Worthington’s and Grant Smith-esque players will get YTFC back on par with the Dorkings, Gateshead’s, Maidenhead’s, and York’s of this world.

Footnote: I struggle to believe this but on 7 November 2023, I’ll have been watching YTFC for 36 years. There is no longer a Leyton Wingate out there but the irony is we’ll be in exactly the same division as when I started watching. That is quite a sobering thought IF I don’t remember what actually happened between the two dates. Thank you Gary Johnson, Russell Slade and all who helped make the impossible, possible…but next, please!!!

1 year ago

Employing Mr Cooper was always going to a shit or bust situation. There’s a small band of managers around L1, L2 and NL that can start a fight with a goal post and MC is one of them. The sort of person who weekly blames everything but themselves when it goes wrong…. match officials, opposition methods, the pitch, the weather, club officials, the away supporters and unique to a very very small group… your own supporters.
One thing is for sure, either MU or MC won’t be here come August, because that’s now a total and utter non working relationship even if they do walk out at the next game holding hands and smiling at each other

Phil weatherup
1 year ago

You will survive by the skin of your teeth

1 year ago

Cooper has to go. I liked him at first but now he’s become rather toxic and continues to thumb his nose at the owners to be. Really is unacceptable in every way. His position is now completely untenable. The ownership situation needs resolving very very soon or Cooper will be here next season and it will be very very embarrassing as we struggle to stay out of the Southern league in 24/25. Yes I’m serious. Everyone will be out to shoot us down and I really don’t believe we will prosper under his leadership. In fact if he is still here I can’t see myself renewing my season ticket.
We need to try to hang on to Smith and Staunton. Harriott would be fantastic but he’ll be off for certain. I could see Josh Staunton going off to join Darren Sarll at Woking. Fans are now beginning to realise what a fantastic manager he was for us.
We have to hit the ground running in NLS with a good squad on a big full time budget with a good coach under our new Director of Football (is he even here? More Twitter rumours started by Matt Uggla about Kevin Bond) Unfortunately Jerry Gill has signed a new deal with Bath, but he is on record as saying this would be his “dream job”. Unfortunately he was treated very poorly when Sarll was appointed. Depends on what the new owners are willing to part with to get him, if he’s on their “hit list”
One thing I will state confidently is that if Priestnall remains in charge of this club forcing SU Glovers to walk away, we’re completely finished. We will most likely go out of business.
It’s a circus which has to end immediately

1 year ago

Great article. I think to be honest it would help to reflect on this season with a dose of common sense. Maybe… just possibly Mr Cooper Snr’s comments were a reaction to sarcastic clapping or abuse of his players at Gateshead, some of them lacking in experience. Yes, the “real fans” comment was a regrettable thing to come out with, but I do not believe the man was aiming that jibe at all fans. It gets a bit OTT and nuts if he can’t be forgiven for that.

Mark Broadbent
1 year ago

Good review of the players – however disagree about cooper. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea – but he knows his stuff and try’s to play good football.

The ‘new owners’ are a shambles

1 year ago

Wow, very insightful and backed by great stats.
Not sure on conclusion about manager Cooper.
But his constant moaning at refs has led to bookings and copy cat behaviour in the team.