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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Peltier's a Terrier

Well that was quick. No sooner had we got the news that Huddersfield had made an offer for Lee Peltier, then the very next day it's announced that the offer has been accepted and he is, indeed, off up the M1 to Yorkshire to sign a 3-year contract.

It's a shame he's gone, but it was inevitable. As discussed previously the only way the club can hope to break even at present is by selling its better players and Peltier is undoubtedly the jewel in YTFC's current crown. He's a right-back by preference but is equally capable of playing in midfield and towards the end of last season had what I thought were his best series of games for the Glovers as a central defender - versatility is his middle name. We'll miss that a lot. I have to say I'm surprised he's gone to another L1 club, all the talk since the end of the season was of him moving up to the Championship. Huddersfield are undoubtedly a step up from us, but still, they're in League One. They're by no means the biggest club in L1 at that and are by no means assured of challenging for the play-offs, automatic promotion would appear a distant dream. Still, the best of luck to him. He did well for us and I'm sure he'll do well for them.

The fee, I hear you ask, what about the fee? Undisclosed, as per usual with YTFC. I do get a little tired with the club's obsession with secrecy regarding transfer fees. As I understand it their argument is that if other clubs know how much we take in transfer fees then in turn the fees we pay (hah!) will be inflated accordingly. This is, in my humble opinion, a specious argument, or to put it another way, bollocks. Undisclosed transfer fees simply lead to reams of ill-informed speculation, most of which is exaggerated which inevitably leads to disappointment once the real fee is eventually discovered. And it will be discovered, sooner or later. There are always leaks, human nature being as it is, and the truth always comes out eventually. But if other clubs find out how much we received for a player then so what? Football clubs don't run in splendid isolation, every club in the football league will already have a pretty good idea of each other's financial situation. Everyone already knows we have to sell to survive, more pertinently everyone already knows that Yeovil don't do transfer fees; at least not the sort of transfer fees that the vast majority of other L1 clubs regularly contemplate.

Whatever, the first rumours are putting the fee at £250k plus add-ons and a sell-on percentage. Time will tell as to whether that's accurate, for what it's worth it sounds on the high side to me.

Just read: The City at the End of Time by Greg Bear. Oh dear. I've gone on about Bear's novels before, loved the majority of them but this, his latest, is a real disappointment. As the title suggests it's primarily set as far in the future as it's possible to go, but there are strands set in our time and the past. I found it confusing above all else and frequently incomprehensible, not to mention boring. It took me nearly a week to read 150-odd pages and with another 300 or so to go gave it up as bad job. Me no like.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Stefan Stam signs up

The new signing I was talking about yesterday but never got around to actually detailing is Stefan Stam, a 29-year-old Dutch central defender who was released by Oldham at the end of last season. He comes with a pretty good reputation as a footballing centre-half, one of which we haven't really seen at Huish Park (Lee Peltier aside) since the days of Mark Shail. I can't be arsed to check on any Oldham forums to see what their fans make of the news, but the odd couple that have turned up on the green room seemed to be surprised that he'd been released in the first place and then that he'd come to us, so hopefully he'll be a decent signing.

Talking of Lee Peltier and the first transfer story of the summer regarding him has stirred: Huddersfield are reported by their local press to have made an offer of £250k plus add-ons. I hope the club doesn't accept the first offer that comes along for Lee, he's been linked with several clubs already and I'm sure his dream move wasn't to another L1 club so would presumably be happy to wait to see if anyone else, preferably in the Championship, comes along. 250k is a decent enough offer, but you never know, a bit of publicity might encourage other bidding clubs out of the woodwork and drive the price up a bit. So that'll be Lee off up the M1 to Yorkshire tonight then! Ah well.

What else? Well, Scott Murray continues to be linked with us, both in yesterday's Sunday Independent and today's Western Daily Press. The ex-Bristol City man is a right-winger and would be a direct replacement for Paul Warne, both positionally and in terms of his age. On the face of it it sounds a bit daft replacing a 35-year-old with a, er, 35-year-old; but I kind of see where Skivo is coming from on this one. Murray's played at a higher level than Warney for most of his career and has consistently out-scored him too. It is a risk, but as in the past, we simply don't have the financial clout to attract players who don't come with some sort of risk attached. All our signings will either be young and unproven and therefore risky; or they'll be proven but with some sort of baggage (hello Gary Roberts!) and therefore risky; or they'll be proven, experienced but injury-prone, and therefore risky. What they'll all have in common aside from being risky is that they'll be relatively cheap, but that's another story. Anyway, Murray is apparently in talks with Exeter as well as ourselves, so no use getting too excited just yet.

Other players being linked with us in the press include last season loanees Jon Obika, Andros Townsend and David Noble. I'd be delighted if we signed Noble in particular, just the type of classy, creative midfielder we need, especially if or should I say when Danny Schofield finds a new club, though Skivo has said he will only be allowed to leave if the club gets a suitable offer. Last season a suitable offer for the likes of proven goalscorers Andy Kirk and Lloyd Owusu was a willingness to take them off our wage bill, so I don't imagine Danny will need to wait too long before he gets his move. The Noble story is interesting however, previously he was being strongly linked with The Gas, but if his name is now being mentioned in connection to us then maybe that's fallen through.... On the other hand his agent may just be getting creative with the press to push up his clients wages at the Mem... Agh, don't you just hate the silly season? As for the Spurs duo above, I'm sure they will go out on long-term loans to someone, but would be surprised if it was at our level. I'd guess that Harry Redknapp will be looking at a Championship club for both. Hopefully I'm wrong!

One player not as far as I'm aware being mentioned in the press, but who is being linked to us very strongly on the rumour-mill, is our former keeper Steve Collis. Steve was mostly no.2 to Chris Weale under Sir Gary, and eventually moved on to Southend when he tired of life on the bench. He didn't pull up any trees at the seaside and eventually ended up at Crewe, where he was first-choice until last Xmas, when a change of management there saw him back on the bench. He's by no means a bad keeper, certainly more reliable IMO than Josh Wagenaar but not as accomplished as his old sparring partner Weale, not that there's any shame in that. He apparently still owns property in Yeovil and is married to or is seeing a local girl, so it shouldn't be too surprising that he's been seen in town lately and it may well be that the rumour-mill is mistaking a domestic appearance with a professional one. Time will tell. What is indisputable is that he has a year left on his contract at Gresty Road and that Crewe have told him that if he can find a club to go on a season-long loan to then they will let him go. One former keeper we definitely won't be signing is Scott Flinders, who'll be plying his trade at Hartlepool next season.

Just watched: Glastonbury Festival '09 over BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4. I normally watch this on the box every year and every year I've generally given up by the Saturday night, fed up with the constant diet of crap indie bands, incomprehensible rappers/hip-hoppers and fatuous presenters rabitting on about the Glastonbury 'experience', whatever the fuck that is. For a start us locals know it as Pilton, and it was certainly called the Pilton festival the last time I was there in person, in 1982. The only experience I remember much is being constantly tired, wet and pretty bloody cold most of the time, and not even the delights of seeing my favourite band Hawkwind could compensate adequately for the sheer physical discomfort. My fault for not taking a tent I suppose, but by the Sunday lunchtime I'd had enough and came home early. Anyhow, this year, for a pleasant change, was different. I actually enjoyed most of the coverage I watched, particularly Neil Young on the Friday night and Bruce Springsteen on the Saturday, and even Blur on the Sunday weren't too bad. Honourable mentions as well to Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Status Quo, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Bat For Lashes and Tom Jones, all of which pigeon-holes me as a dirty old man I suppose, but hey. For me though, the stand-out performance was Springsteen's. I've always loved the man's music and lyrics and admired his politics, and he and the E-Street Band produced a glorious noise which I don't mind admitting had me on the verge of tears at times. Just a wonderful, wonderful performance and for the first time since I walked out of the festival on that Sunday lunchtime in 1982 I wished I was there in person. Fabulous stuff, thanks Boss. That's not to say I enjoyed all of the coverage of course, the likes of The Prodigy, Franz Ferdinand, NERD and many others were as shit as ever and I was particularly disappointed that neither Steve Hillage nor Gong received any coverage at all, but I guess you can't have everything.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

In's, out's and maybe's part 4

Been AWOL for a few days back home to the land of my fathers, or Welsh Wales isn't it look you. In my absence we've signed a player, lost another in almost Marcus Stewart-like circumstances, and revealed the identities of the new physio and goalkeeping coach. Oh, and Andy Welsh has agreed a new deal.

Taking the last of that list first, I'm pleased with the Welsh news. Once he'd got his fitness up to scratch after he joined us last season he was consistently our main provider of opportunities. He's an excellent crosser and has a lovely left foot and a good attitude - he didn't throw the toys out of the pram when he (rather unfairly) lost his place to Andros Townsend, he got on with it and did his part from the subs bench. Informed sources say that he'd been dismayed at the club's slow pace of doing business regarding his new contract, but all's well that ends well, in his case at least.

Not so for Paul Warne however. He - like Terrell Forbes - had gone public stating his dissatisfaction with his contract negotiations, not so much with what was on offer but with the time it was taking to complete them and the difficulty of dealing with a chief executive who failed to return calls. Be that as it may, on Thursday Warne was quoted in the Western Gazette as being 'not a million miles away from signing'. Twenty-four hours is a long time in football however and the next day the club announced that Warne had left the club "after they failed to reach an agreement on a new contract". Very similar to last year's events then, when Marcus Stewart verbally agreed a deal with the club only for it to be pulled at the last minute. Hard for anyone to blame Russell Slade this time, not that will stop some from trying. But regardless about the rights and wrongs of how the club does business, I can't say I'm too unhappy about Warne leaving. He gave us two good years but was clearly slowing down by the end of the season. I suspect that this season he would have been a very positive influence in the changing room and at training but increasingly less influential on the pitch. In an ideal world it would have been nice to be able to afford to keep him, but I can understand the club's (and presumably Skivo's) reasoning in letting him go. The best of luck to him anyway, I'm sure he'll have no difficulty in finding another club, albeit probably at a lower level. Ideal player/manager/coach material for an ambitious L2/Conference club, I'd have thought.

No news on the final two players left from last season who have still to sign a contract, though we know they've been offered one. Josh Wagenaar is on duty with Canada and the silence over Terrell Forbes situation is deafening. If he's still here by the time the season kicks off I'll eat my hat.

We may not have a goalkeeper at the moment but we do have a goalkeeping coach now. The grapevine was wrong about Alan Fettis, the new man is former Middlesbrough keeper Ben Roberts. He retired at the top at 29 with a debilitating back injury and went on to take a sports science degree. Joining him at the club is the new physio, Simon Baker. He's another youngish guy, in his late 20's, and is another with a sports science degree. He's familiar with the club, having played for the youth and reserve teams around the turn of the century and for the last few months has been looking after Darren Way's rehabilitation following the midfielder's car accident, which is doubtless how he came to Skivo's attention. The best of luck to both men, it'll be fascinating to see how Skivo's new scientific approach to training, treating injuries and hopefully preventing them pans out, but it must be worth a try.

It's late, I'm tired, I'll blog about the new signing tomorrow. Adios!

Friday, 19 June 2009

New(ish) kid on the block

A new independent Glovers website has sprung up - It's run by YTFC Scratch, who edited the Vital Yeovil site last season. Vital Yeovil tailed off after a strong start, I suspect because a lack of visitors or obvious interest, probably caused by the bloody awful Vital template - almost as many ads as the official site and a horrible, clunky design.

Scratch's new site is a step up from the Vital monstrosity, getting rid of the crap and keeping the better bits. It's smart, very modern and he's been clever in getting a couple of well-known names from the green room to contribute. Fair play to him, he's obviously put a lot of work into what is a labour of love and it'll be interesting to see how the site develops over the season. Ciderspace will still be my first port of call when looking for YTFC news/info, but there's certainly room for another independent Glovers site out there.

Just read: Black And Blue by Ian Rankin. Thoroughly satisfying cops-and-serial-killers yarn featuring Edinburgh's finest, CI Rebus. I particularly liked the 70's rock allusions scattered throughout the book, including the title lifted from a Rolling Stones album. He even finds a way to get in pothead pixies from the planet gong - what's not to like? Recommended.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Let's be 'aving you!

We've been drawn at home (!) against Norwich City in the first round of the Carling Cup. We will, of course, be playing Norwich in L1 this season anyway so what seems a big draw on the face of it is no different really than facing Colchester, or Swindon. Just another all-L1 clash at the end of the day. At least we've actually got a home draw, for once. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we've been drawn at home since we left the Conference in either the FA Cup or the Carling Cup, so this is very welcome.

The last time we played Norwich was in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, back in 1980. They were in Division One, we were struggling in the Alliance Premier and lost the match 3-0. It's not a game I remember fondly. It remains to this day the only match I have been ejected from, and I have to admit I deserved it. I was 19, young and stupid and probably pissed on cider to boot. I was standing behind the goal on a packed Queen Street End to the right of the snack bar when I was grabbed from behind on the shoulder by someone. I reacted by turning quickly, accidentally-on-purpose driving my elbow into the stomach of whoever it was behind me, which turned out to be not the most sensible move I've ever made as the person who'd grabbed my shoulder turned out to be a policeman. Three of his colleagues immediately jumped all over me and half-wrestled, half-bundled me down the terrace to the pitchside. I was literally thrown over the wall and then frogmarched out of the ground, and yes, I was on Match Of The Day that evening. Once they got me out of the ground they let me stand up then the biggest one knocked me over again and bawled in my ear while I was lying on the ground, "Don't you ever raise your hands to a copper again you bag of shit!" They then cautioned me and sent me on my way, all this before half-time. I remember heading for the churchyard in the centre of town and coming across a dozen or so familiar faces who'd all been ejected from the match, as well as a similar number of Norwich fans. Everyone was mingling quite happily and comparing war stories and that was that.

Looking back on it of course the coppers dealt with me in exactly the right manner. I got a slap, missed most of the match and no harm done to anyone. Nowadays I'd doubtless have been arrested, charged, dragged to court, banned from football and ended up with a criminal record, and for what, really? I'm glad I'm not a teenager today.

Anyhow, roll on August and the latest visit of the Canaries. The new season's fixtures are out tomorrow, what's the betting we'll have to play them twice in a week?

Currently reading: Emperor: The Gods of War by Conn Iggledun. This is the final book in the four part 'Emperor' series, a fictionalised account of the life of Julius Caesar. And somewhat to my surprise, it isn't bad. It deals with the final period in Caesar's life, his return from Gaul, the civil war with Pompey and its aftermath in Egypt, right up to his murder in Rome. Very readable, but not for sticklers for historical accuracy. Would I read the rest of the series? On balance, yes.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Seven by seven

So, what's been happening lately? Not a lot since news of Danny Hutchin's very welcome signing. Skivo is on his honeymoon but before he left he told the Gazette that he's after a couple of season-long loans and hasn't completely ruled out the likes of Jon Obika and Andros Townsend returning as well. Personally I don't think we've got a cat in hell's chance of seeing that particular dynamic duo at HP again, I reckon Harry Redknapp will want them playing at a higher level next season, but we may be in with a chance with some other youngsters from Spurs in particular. Like ourselves, Spurs reserve side has withdrawn from their reserve league next season to play ad-hoc matches as and when, rather than be tied in to a formal league structure. Redknapp has also stated that following the success of last season's loans - to ourselves, Cheltenham, Exeter and Southend, amongst others - that he'd rather see his young pro's loaned out again rather than playing meaningless reserve team fixtures. So we'll see. Can I put in a bid for Ryan Mason please?

Elsewhere, the Football League have been enjoying their usual week away pissing it up deciding policy in Portugal. Two main points have been agreed. Firstly, clubs finances are to be somewhat more rigorously scrutinised than in the past and "any club that falls behind with its employee related payments to HMRC will be subject to a transfer embargo until such time the debt is cleared". Secondly, seven (count 'em!) substitutes will be permitted on the bench in football league games from next season onwards, though only three of the seven can play. All moot as far as we are concerned of course, god knows we struggled to field five subs at the best of times last season. Seven subs would mean a squad of eighteen and no injuries, neither of which is remotely likely for us.

To be fair I don't doubt that the majority of L1/L2 clubs will also struggle to field 7 subs on a regular basis. The move seems designed to let the larger Championship clubs feel better about not being in the Premiership rather than being of much practical use. Indeed, the disadvantage to clubs of Yeovil's size is that the larger clubs will possibly be less inclined to loan players out, preferring instead to keep them on the bench. Would Swansea, for example, have felt able to loan out Shaun McDonald when he could be on the bench adding to their options? If the bigger clubs do think that way then it becomes even harder for clubs of our size to compete in this league, which is another reason why success for us next season is all about survival and a bit of a cup run, if we're lucky. So thanks football league - for nothing.

Friday, 12 June 2009

The man not in black anymore

Rob Styles retired from refereeing today. He's only 45 so he could have gone on for another few years had he wanted to, but apparently the pressure of reffing at the top was too much for him, so he's gone. Good! He was a poor, poor ref in my humble opinion, always seemed to want to be the centre of attention, always very eager to get his cards out of his pocket at less than a moment's notice, and was something of a homer to boot. I'm glad he's packed it in.

I know, I know, without referees we wouldn't have a game. Styles may have been poor generally and always seemed to get at least one crucial decision wrong per match, but we should be encouraging referees generally and one experienced ref less is nothing to celebrate..... Well sorry, but in Styles case the fact that he's retired is something to celebrate. From memory he only took charge of one Yeovil game, when he managed somehow to send off Gavin Williams of all people. Super Gav may be many things but one thing he is not is a dirty player and apart from the likes of Bobby Moore or Ryan Giggs it's hard to think of a player less likely to be sent off for anything, but Styles managed to do it. He certainly wasn't afraid to make decisions, the problem was that too many times those decisions were just plain wrong. Bye bye Rob, have a good retirement and please, don't change your mind.

Talking of referees makes me think of the standard of officiating in L1 generally and I have to say that on the whole last season it wasn't too bad overall. I'm struggling to recall more than a couple of games when I left at the end fuming at the man in the middle, most seemed to be competent enough on the whole. The biggest problem that I could see and the thing that leads to frustration amongst fans and players alike was a lack of consistency. But there, I guess if the refs at L1 level were as consistent as they should be then they'd be plying their trade in the Premiership. Just like Rob Styles did.... Oh.

Currently reading: Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson. I wanted to like this, I enjoyed Mappa Mundi by the same author, but I had to give it up as a bad job in the end, didn't even get halfway through it. A weird mix of fantasy, superheroes and hard sf but ended up as self-indulgent rubbish, albeit well-written self-indulgent rubbish. Ah well, you can't win them all.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Danny Hutchins signs up

Some good news - Former loanee Danny Hutchins has signed a 2-year deal at the club. Danny, a right-back by choice who can cover at left-back and in the midfield, was released by Spurs a couple of weeks ago. He spent the last couple of months of the season on loan at Huish Park, originally as cover for the then injured Craig Alcock but kept his place even after Craig was fit, and impressed just about everyone with his composure, pace and defensive nous as well as looking dangerous going forward. An excellent signing then and one that gives real hope that maybe - just maybe - there'll be more to come as the summer goes on. Good work by Skivo and the club.

Not much else to report at present, other than the teams that will play in Skivo's testimonial game on July 4th have been named as a 'Yeovil Town XI 2002-03' versus a 'Terry Skiverton Select XI'. So basically the side that won promotion from the Conference against a team of Skivo's mates, which rumour has it, could include the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard from Skivo's Chelsea days.

Currently reading: Line War by Neal Asher. Wow! Can't understand why I've not read much Asher before this, because this ticks all the boxes. Space opera again, but superior space opera, extremely well-written and an utterly believable universe, quite similar to Ian Banks Culture universe but with enough differences to make it original. Asher's creation, the Polity, shares intelligent AI's, drones, augmented humans and the like with the Culture, but adds its own twists and turns to make it distinctive. Thoroughly enjoyed this one and am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the author's rather extensive output. Highly recommended.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Season review - September 08

And then there were none... No strikers, that is, or at least no targetmen to speak of. Lloyd Owusu, top scorer last season, signs for Cheltenham on a free transfer on the last day of the transfer window.... At least we've got a winger now, with wideman and free agent Andy Welsh, formerly of Sunderland and Blackpool signing a year's contract following a succesful outing for the reserves last month..... Also incoming is the club's new physio, Wayne Jones, who leaves Hereford for Zummerzet's sunnier climes and superior cider..... The board writes to all of its backroom employees, giving them 90 days notice of unspecified changes to their working practices. It's thought that this will mean cutbacks in working hours with some staff going from full-time to part-time and even possible redundancies..... The Glovers travel to West London to face L2 leaders Brentford in the 1st round of the Johnstone Paint Trophy. They draw 2-2 at full-time but lose the subsequent penalty shoot-out 4-2..... Chairman John Fry criticises 'rumour-mongers' and 'people who want to do this business harm' in the press in the wake of speculation regarding the club's financial situation following the letters sent to backroom staff earlier in the week. "Our budget is as big, if not better than any comparable-sized club in League One," he insists. So that's Hereford and Cheltenham at best then..... Former Glover and current Brentford midfielder Glen Poole apologises to Yeovil fans after making gestures to them following his goal for the Bees in the JP Trophy defeat..... Meanwhile another former Glover, Ali Lwanga, who made a handful of appearances for the reserves and youth team in the 07-08 season, is sentenced to 8 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to robbery..... The Glovers play their 4th away game in a row and go down to their 4th defeat in a row, losing 3-0 at MK Dons..... Reservist Ren Turnock is released by the club and signs for Chippenham for a month.... As part of the club's never-ending search for decent training facilities it's announced that the club is taking over the management of Westland Sports pitches at Alvington, though the Sports will still continue to use the pitches for league games..... Sad news: Former odd-job man/jack of all trades/caretaker and more recently kitman Tony Trott passes away, aged 79. He'll be missed..... A home game at last! Brighton are the visitors at Huish Park but a dull game never really sparks into life, 1-1 the final score..... Bottom of the league Cheltenham part company with manager Keith Downing and a couple of days later appoint former Brentford, MK Dons and Leicester City manager Martin 'Mad Dog' Allen as his replacement..... Bristol Rovers fail to sell-out the away end at HP for the first time, 2-2 the final score - the Glovers fourth consecutive draw at home.... Colchester United, struggling in 23rd place in L1, sack manager Geraint Williams..... Free agent Gifton Noel-Williams, the former Watford striker who's just returned to the UK after playing in Spain, is the latest to be linked in the press to the Glovers. A couple of days later he signs for Millwall..... The Glovers are linked in the press to two other strikers - Kevin Kyle, who's surplus to requirements at Coventry, and Stuart Fleetwood of Charlton. Enquiries are made, but Kyle ends up at L1 rivals Hartlepool and Fleetwood goes to Cheltenham..... Yeovil end the month as they began it - poorly, going down 2-0 at Scunthorpe.

Currently reading: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. Quite a sad love story, a tale of missed opportunities and an inability to communicate all mixed up with emotional repression which blights two lives. Put it like that and it doesn't sound a riveting read, but I scampered through this in about 3 hours and actually enjoyed it. The quality of the writing is superb and for a so-called 'literary' novel this is a very easy read. Recommended.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Season review - August 08

Portsmouth keeper Asmir Begovic arrives at HP for training ahead of his proposed loan deal with the Glovers. Fellow Canadian international keeper Josh Wagenaar will sign a deal next week, says manager Russell Slade.... Invisible striker Andy Kirk, another of the club's high earners, signs for Scottish outfit Dunfermline on a free transfer..... As things stand at present, the Glovers have 16 contracted professionals on their books, including Jordan Street and Rob Fitzgerald, who aren't expected to challenge for a first team place this season. Oh, and no goalkeepers at all..... What players we do have travel to the Wessex Stadium to beat old rivals Weymouth 0-1 in the penultimate friendly of the pre-season.... L1 rivals Cheltenham are reported to be talking to striker (and high earner) Lloyd Owusu..... The Glovers open talks with Barnsley regarding their 23-year-old midfielder Sam Togwell.... Yeovil beat Tiverton 2-1 in the final friendly before the league season proper begins next Saturday.... We have a goalkeeper! In fact we have two, sort of. Josh Wagenaar signs a 12-month deal. Compatriot Asmir Begovic is expected to sign a loan deal before the season starts. The club want a season-long loan, but parent club Portsmouth are saying 3 months for now.... Sam Togwell arrives at Huish Park for talks, but his present boss Simon Davey says his understanding is that the transfer will only happen if Yeovil are succesful in offloading one of their squad..... Asmir Begovic signs for 3 months.... CEO Martyn Starnes is interviewed on the telly and admits that the new season will be a tough one. It's common knowledge that the playing budget has been cut, a 25% reduction seems to be the consensual number, though Starnes won't admit the actual figure..... Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams and West Brom striker Sherjill MacDonald are loan targets, according to the press.... The Glovers begin the new season as firm relegation favourites, according to the bookies - we're 12/5 to go down, with only Cheltenham and Hereford having shorter odds.... Yeovil director Stephen Allinson tells the press that the Glovers have budgeted for average crowds of 4,500 to break-even this season.... 4,518 turn up at HP for the first game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Walsall, Gavin Tomlin the scorer.... Russell Slade tells the press that he's worried about the miniscule size of his squad but recognises that he can't go over-budget. He's still hopeful that Sam Togwell will be signed before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, though the board have insisted that someone, anyone will have to be taken off the wage bill first..... Chairman John Fry updates the latest ABUFP meeting, saying the club are intending to develop the Copse Road End with a two-tier all-seated stand with concourse bars and all sorts of good stuff besides, which will raise the ground capacity to around 12,500. Dare I say we've hear it all before? Yes I dare..... Defender Aaron Brown is put on a rolling week-to-week contract..... Yeovil travel to The Valley to play Championship big-boys Charlton in the 1st round of the Carling Cup. With only 15 fit players and including 40-something assistant manager Steve Thompson, the Glovers can't even fill their subs bench but still shock their illustrious hosts with an incredible 1-0 away win. Giant-killers once more, the Glovers receive the LMA's award for Performance of the Week..... Avon & Somerset Police release their arrest figures for last season. Three Glovers fans in total had their collars felt throughout the year, compared to 88 Bristol City and 45 Bristol Rovers supporters..... Yeovil's reward for beating Charlton is a trip to Premiership Middlesboro in the 2nd round of the Carling Cup..... Sam Togwell tires of the waiting game and despite agreeing terms with the Town a couple of weeks ago signs for L1 rivals Scunthorpe instead.... Russell Slade makes enquiries about 4 Ipswich players, according to the papers. Dean Bowditch, Jaime Peters, Jordan Rhodes and Tommy Smith are the people concerned.... Triallist Andre McCollin signs a 2-year deal, former club Fisher receive a 'small fee'..... The Glovers follow-up the win at Charlton with their first three-pointer of the season, a 2-1 win at old rivals Hereford United.... With injuries to Darren Way, Mark Bircham and Lee Peltier besetting an already tiny squad, the club bring in seven triallists for a reserve game, including Crewe midfielder Gary Roberts and free agent Andy Welsh.... Former Glover Darren Behcet joins Conference South outfit Bognor on a week-by-week basis..... The Glovers sign Gary Roberts on a 6-month loan from Crewe with a view to a permanent deal..... The unbeaten start to the season continues with a creditable 1-1 home draw with Yorkshire giants Leeds United, 6,580 watch the game.... 19-year-old James Dayton, a winger, is signed on a month's loan from Crystal Palace.... No rest for the wicked and a depleted Glovers squad make the long journey to the north-east for the 2nd round Carling Cup tie with Premiership giants Middlesboro. There's no fairy-tale repeat this time however and the Town lose for the first time this season, going down 5-1 at the Riverside.... Russell Slade reiterates that he's not allowed to bring any more players into the club without shipping others out on a one-for-one basis and the squad, as small as it is, will have to manage, injuries or not..... Another long trip for the Glovers but injuries are beginning to bite and it's a second heavy loss in a row, the Town going down 4-1 at Carlisle United....

Currently reading: Stealing Light by Gary Gibson. First time I've read this author. It's a space opera, not the most well-written book in the world but with enough good ideas to keep me turning the pages until the end. Er, that's it.

Currently watching: The Apprentice (BBC1). It's nonsense really, but enjoyable nonsense for all that. It's always good to see a bunch of yuppies make fools of themselves in front of the cameras and I was pleased to see my two personal favourites make the final with Yasmina eventually beating the Blonde Bombshell. The real star of the show is Surallan of course, though I live in hope of one day seeing one of the hapless apprentices telling him to fuck off to his face. One day... :)

Season review - July 08

In the absence of any news or even much in the way of rumours coming from in or around the club I've decided to do a month-by-month review of last season, otherwise I can see a severe lack of updates to this blog, for the next month at least. Here goes with July:

It's the first of July which means contracts from last season have now expired and the following players have been released by the club: Darren Behcet, Stephen Maher, Mark Lynch, Jerahl Hughes, Anthony Barry, Ishmael Welsh, Wilfried Domoraud, Darryl Knights, and last and very much least, the Invisible Man aka James Brown. In addition to that lot, winger Marvin Williams has been sold for a small fee to Brentford, keeper Steve Mildenhall has joined Southend after refusing an offer to extend his contract, left-back Matthew Rose is a free agent after similarly refusing a new deal, and Marcus Stewart is in limbo as far as anyone knows. The former Sunderland striker's contract at Huish Park expires and with no agreement on a new offer in sight as chief executive Martyn Starnes is on holiday, the veteran starts pre-season training at Conference South new-boys Team Bath.... Glovers boss Russell Slade makes his first signing of the summer - former Huddersfield winger Danny Schofield puts pen to paper on a 2-year contract.... Also joining is Fisher Athletic youngster Kieron Murtagh for a "small fee" and former Everton youth teamer Aidan Downes, for nothing.... Crewe Alexandra are big spenders this month. The Alex buy striker Calvin Zola from Tranmere for £200,000, Joel Grant from Aldershot for £130,000, plus goalkeeper Adam Legzdins from Birmingham City and last but not least former Glovers keeper and free agent Steve Collis. That lot should keep the relegation wolf from the door.... Meanwhile, midfielder Darren Way is set to rejoin the Glovers after a frustrating few years at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins claiming the move is a done deal. Talking of the Jacks, former Glovers legend Tony Pennock is appointed as the club's new youth development supremo.... Roberto Di Matteo replaces Blackburn-bound Paul Ince as Franchise FC's new boss..... Former Glovers loanee Ritchie Jones signs for Hartlepool after being released on a free by Manchester United..... St Albans midfielder James Archer and Dutch striker Orlando Sneekes are on trial at the club for a couple of weeks.... And Weasel is officially confirmed as a Glover again, signing a 2-year deal with a £50,000 price tag, though in actuality no money changes hands as that's what Swansea still owed us from the original transfer to the Liberty Stadium.... Meanwhile Football League Chairman Lord Brian Mawhinney receives a mandate from this summer's FL AGM to conduct a root and branch review and reform of the League's insolvency practices and financial rules. Mawhinney resigns from the main FA Board to concentrate on his task.... Down to the south coast, and goal-keeping loan target Asmir Begovic signs a new 3-year contract with Portsmouth.... Newly promoted L2 outfit Exeter City deny twice that they are in talks with Marcus Stewart.... Speaking in the Western Daily Press club CEO Martyn Starnes announces that there will be an, er, announcement on the club's stadium expansion plans in "the not to distant future". Don't hold your breath.... After two years at Huish Park Marcus Stewart signs for Exeter. It later emerges that he signed for the Grecians after agreeing a 40% wage reduction with Yeovil that was withdrawn literally 10 minutes after the offer was made. Some blame the board, others blame the manager. You pays yer money and you makes yer choice .... The sponsor of the home terrace at Huish Park changes from Carlsberg to Blackthorn, the Carlsberg Stand (formerly the Westland Stand, of course) now being named the Blackthorn Stand. Last season the away terrace was the Blackthorn Stand but is now the Copse Road End. The Main Stand was the Yeovil College Community Stand but is now the Agusta Westland Community Stand and the Bartlett Stand is the Cowlin Stand. Confused? Me too.... French keeper Pierre Antoine Martini is neither shaken nor stirred at being on trial at Huish Park.... Jim Joyce is the latest to leave the club. The highly regarded physio is to work a month's notice after agreeing to join newly-promoted Aldershot in August. The official line is that he wanted to move nearer to his Hampshire home to spend more time with his family; unofficially there are rumours that he was unhappy that recommendations he made to improve working practices in the physio dept were ignored by the board.... Former Reading centre-half Aaron Brown and Fisher Athletic striker Gavin Tomlin arrive on trial.... L2 side Luton have their -30 point deduction for repeated administrations and agent irregularities confirmed. Bournemouth and Rotherham await their punishments.... Former Swindon keeper Rhys Evans moves on after spending a week on trial at Huish Park... An almost unrecognisable Yeovil XI beat Potters Bar 2-3 in Berkshire in the first friendly of the season, two days later a rather more identifiable Glovers side beat Championship outfit Barnsley 2-0 at Huish Park, Gavin Tomlin and Lloyd Owusu the scorers.... Triallist keeper Pierre Martini moves on, in comes two more keepers, Corrin Brooks-Meade and Canadian international Josh Wagenaar.... Gavin Tomlin signs a 2-year contract.... The friendlies come thick and fast and the Glovers go down to Uncle Gary's mob, losing 3-0 at home to Bristol City..... Jeral Hughes, released at the start of the month, signs for Dover, of the Ryman Premier League.... The Glovers head for North Devon at the start of the inaugural South West Challenge Cup tournament. If only we knew then what was alleged to have happened off the pitch and it's ramifications for later on in the season.... Yeovil beat Conference side Kidderminster 2-0 at Bideford, and two days later see off Ryman League Chertsey 4-1.... L1 rivals Cheltenham are linked with Glovers striker Lloyd Owusu.... The club are knocked out of the South West Challenge Cup, drawing 1-1 with Torquay United but losing the subsequent penalty competition 5-3.... Back home from Devon and two more triallists arrive: Albert Jarret, recently released by Watford, and Andre McCollin, a striker from (surprise, surprise!) Fisher Athletic.... Championship side Plymouth Argyle are next up at Huish Park and are despatched 1-0 in an impressive Glovers performance.... A rather more experimental side beats Hillingdon Borough 0-3 the following evening.... Centre of Excellence and Youth Team physio Phil Cole takes over temporarily from the outgoing Jim Joyce.... The Glovers forgotten striker Andy Kirk, who along with fellow high earner Lloyd Owusu has barely played any of the friendlies up til now, is rumoured to be talking to a Scottish club.... And central defender Scott Guyett, four years at Huish Park, mutually cancels his remaining year contract at the club to sign a 2-year deal at Bournemouth.