Yeovil Town owner-in-waiting Matt Uggla (see below for more on that title) and manager Mark Cooper have both been in front of the local media today to talk about player incomings and the ownership situation at Huish Park.

In summary:

  • Uggla says his SU Glovers‘ group has “the papers” to complete the takeover of the club from Scott Priestnall and expects them to be signed within “the next 48 hours“.
  • He has indicated that he expects the signing of players to involve a wider group of people than just the manager as his group begins to put its mark on Huish Park.
  • There is a slight discrepency between Uggla and Cooper about the fitness of new signings Callum Harriott and Zanda Siziba with the owner(-in-waiting) describing them as “ready to go” and the manager suggesting he was still assessing how to use them.
  • Defender Max Hunt and midfielder Scott Pollock are both in full training but Cooper expects Hunt to be unavailable for Saturday’s visit by Bromley, and said he is not planning to rush Pollock in to the side.

Firstly, on the ownership issue, Uggla told 3 Valleys Radio’s Adi Hopper on Thursday: “We have got the papers and they should be signed today or tomorrow. I like the term ‘steward’ (rather than owner) but it will be changing.” So, that’s that one.

He also explained that there was now a team of “numerous different people” who was involved in recruiting players with both Harriott and Siziba being announced as arriving at the club by Uggla’s owner Twitter account.

Speaking about the arrivals, he told BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins: “Having people who are experienced in the game who might not necessarily at the club but we know through our network, getting those opinions is key.

If you have ten people watching a player rather than one person watching that player, you are going to have a more well-rounded view of what you are looking at.”

Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper speaking to the media ahead of the weekend’s home match with Bromley.

Having confirmed that Cooper was involved in all decisions involving the playing staff, he admitted things were changing: “We are definitely moving away from the old school model of the manager solely selecting a team.

Managers come and go but Yeovil is forever, when the manager maybe does eventually go, then it is a seamless transition for the person coming in because this is how Yeovil play. If the manager is just picking the players, that is not a place we really want to be at.

Asked if he still had 1,000% backing for the manager, he added: “We are still in a transitional phase and next season (the philosophy) will be more obvious. Mark has done a good job to get to where he is at the moment, but, as I say, getting as many eyes on players is the way forward and maybe then it transitions to a head coach role and we bring in a recruitment team – maybe it doesn’t. We’ll figure that out in the summer, let’s just try and stay up first.”

He added: “Mark is manager right now and that is great. Let’s get to the end of the season and make sure we stay up and go from there.

Things are different if we are not in this division because the budget is not going to be the same, so we are not thinking too much about (the long term) – it’s just think of Saturday, then the following Saturday, then Tuesday.

On the subject of Harriott and Siziba’s potential involvement in Saturday’s National League match with Bromley at Huish Park, both Uggla and Cooper were asked their thoughts.

On Harriott:

Uggla:This is the lowest level he has ever played at. I went down to training to have a look and he looked fantastic. I think for us to be able to get a player like that shows the ambition the club has, he had offers from lots of different teams, so for him to come to us and buy in what we are selling is great. He will get fans off their seats and that is what want going forward.

I know for a fact that Callum had been playing. He played last week for 90 minutes and scored a goal, he’s fit, he’s fine and I don’t know if he will start but he will take part on Saturday.

Cooper: “Callum has been a top player, I remember watching him play in the Championship and my teams have played against him.

He’s had a few injuries and has had a bit of time out, so he is playing catch up with his fitness, but he has tremendous ability and we have to find out the best way to use him without putting him at too much risk. Whether that is to start him or bring him on, that is what we need to decide.”

On Siziba:

Uggla:I doubt you will find a faster player in the league. He’s a young player who has such an elite attitude.

He came over from Ipswich to train with us, he got his head down, trained really well, he wants to prove everyone wrong and he plays with a chip on his shoulder because he should be playing higher.

Zanda has been training which I know if different to playing in a match, but he is fit and ready to go – and try and catch him!

New signing Zanda Siziba gets a high five from Matt Uggla after signing.

On the injury front, both owner/steward and manager confirmed that defender Max Hunt and midfielder Scott Pollock are back in training – but it does not sound like either will feature from the start against Bromley.

Uggla described Pollock as “a special player” having watched him train in the week and Cooper admitted the recent signing from National League North side Boston United had impressed in training.

The manager said: “He has looked sharp in training this week, but he has not played for six or seven weeks. If we put him straight back in to that environment we risk him breaking down again and that is what we don’t want. He is training properly this week and he is showing some glimpses.”

Hunt is still “a week away” from fitness, but Cooper pointed out the defender has not played since the 4-1 defeat at Bromley in mid-January.

Perhaps tellingly with no out-and-out striker arriving ahead of the registration deadline, Uggla also commented to on loan Doncaster Rovers striker Reo Griffiths‘ form in training: “Reo Griffiths is up to match fitness and watching him, he is a special player and should hopefully take part.”

Griffiths appeared as a second half substitute in the 2-1 defeat at Barnet and travelled with the squad to FC Halifax last weekend despite missing training the day before.



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