Make your own free website on Tripod.com

4-5 The First word

 

Thanks for buying it and welcome to the 7th issue of On To Victory the Yeovil Town fanzine, brought to you by the Northern Greens.

 

This issue has been beset with problems namely a nice computer virus. Every effort has been made to make sure OTV is up to scratch but please forgive any small errors– if the official site can get away with it so can we!

 

Like the club on the pitch OTV went from strength to strength last season, from just about selling 200 in August to easily selling 500 in April. Not only have we strengthened our relationship with the fans, but also we now feel that we have a good relationship with the club itself—as seen in the interviews with players, and most importantly giving our profits back to the club in the form of kit, ball and goal sponsorship. OTV has so far achieved what we set out to do, that’s due in part to the number of contributors that help make the fanzine worth reading - even if they do submit articles extremely close to the deadline! As vital though is your support and hopefully we can still tempt you to part with your one pound coins throughout this season so hopefully YTFC and OTV can enjoy another season.

 

You’d think with loads of time between the end of last season and the beginning of this one, I would have found enough time to go on holiday during the boring summer months. Free holidays however don’t come along often particularly to a skint graduate and despite it clashing with the first historic week of the season the offer from my girlfriend’s parents was to good to miss. So as thousands of you baked in the Rochdale sun (typical the only time I’m not in Manchester, my team play and its bloody boiling) I sat in an Irish bar in the middle of Turkey watching Soccer Saturday. Nothing could distract me from the fantastic result but nothing can get close to being there. I think I was more jealous when Jon Brier text me that he had his first football league pie rather than witnessing the first ever league goal! We may have lost to Luton but for 2 hours at least I would have gladly swapped places with anyone, despite the beautiful location I was spending my holiday in. I managed to catch the last half hour of the Carlisle game on the BBC websites getting a little excited when anything flashed up only for it to say ‘86 minutes a defensive throw-in by Williams’. No matter how many miles away though, when it says ‘2 mins Pluck booked for tackle’ you know exactly what’s happened! I was away for just a week and relying on the 3 games via T.V, text and the net was hard enough, I now really appreciate what those who live abroad full time go through week in week out.  Mac from Oz, Simon from Amsterdam and the Turkish Glover each give differing aspects on what its like to be exiled abroad in this issue. With a bit of luck and with some help from Mr Mastercard I should make it to a fair few games in the upcoming weeks Orient, Northampton, Macclesfield, York, Donny, Mansfield etc. Whilst I overdose on watching the lads, I will have great respect and admiration for the exiled Glovers across the world especially when Locky steps up to take a defensive throw in.

 

Macca, from a Yeovil Town legend that helped as much as anyone in our promotion to the promised land in May to judas, traitor, b*****d whatever expletive you can think in July. On our pre-season trip to Belgium Macca spoke to us at every game and was clearly appreciative of our efforts saying ‘if Yeovil played in Australia on a Monday night you’d still be there with your flags and all that… I love it’. I was well chuffed by what Macca had said to us and remember thinking that those who call him arrogant and cocky have got him wrong. That same night after a few beers (Belgium brews can do strange things) I got into a debate about Macca and proudly declared ‘mark my words Macca will stay he knows what a good thing YTFC are at the moment’. Whilst you may be cursing me for tempting fate I do remember whilst under the influence saying Gall will be unstoppable this season and be top scorer – so far so good so I’m not always wrong! As we all know Macca will be wearing red ‘n’ white hoops not green ‘n’ white this season. I was pretty much a lone defender of Macca at the time, if only cause some bitter Yeovil fans took it upon themselves to argue that he wasn’t actually that good, no right foot, inconsistent, arrogant etc.. Forget what you think personally about Macca no-one could say  that he wasn’t one of the most skillful and creative talents seen at Huish Park if not for years in our history. I think it was odd that he was labeled inconsistent when every single opposition manager voted him as the best player in the Conference – this meaning that he must have impressed every manager in at least one if not two of the two games against them. His quality should not be in question and I will bet with any fan that in the future he will make it at a higher level. His eventual transfer to Doncaster (not what Mr Denos had promised him) was a sad end to a distinguished time at Yeovil and I was left with the feeling of regret. Regret that we had lost a quality player, regret that the situation couldn’t be resolved and the regret in what Macca must have felt when he realized that he was merely moving to more of the same. Macca has quickly established himself at Donny and will no doubt be all geared up come September 16th as much as some Yeovil fans no doubt up for some abuse. It’s got nothing to do with it being Macca I don’t believe in booing and abusing past players I’d much rather put effort into getting behind and supporting our own players. I would think it makes just as much of a point to completely ignore Macca and sing the name whoever is occupying the left midfield slot, somehow though I think I may be in the minority in that respect.

 

It could be you! - Gav and Gally have signed some Belgium postcards. We’ve put the postcards in  random fanzines and  there's a 100-1 chance that you could have this unique prize!

 

Remember OTV welcomes all contributions no matter how big or small on Yeovil or football in general. Even if you’ve just got an idea for an article, or agree/disagree on anything in the fanzine we want to hear from you just email us on ontovictoryfanzine@yahoo.co.uk

 

Enjoy the Issue

 

Seb

 

6 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

 

GOOD

 

Kevin Gall.

Roy O’Brien.

Darren Way.

Greg Heald (Leyton O).

Brian Reid (Northampton).

Lees free kick at       Rochdale.

Away support and atmosphere @ Rochdale.

Away turnout @ Orient.

The Coach and Horses pub @ Orient.

Hugo making amends since the Luton game.

Plenty of new flags including OTV’s very own.

That Tonks did the dirty on Stockport and Carlton. Palmer who moaned about the agent - what goes around comes around!

The marquee at Huish -could well be ugly though by February.

Ticket prices at Huish - fair and good value.

Good enough - Trialists Jake Edwards and    Jamie Gosling.

Paul Terry looked class at Daggers lets hope he can do the same here.

Beating Wolves.

The Beer in Belgium.

We realized early on that this is a tough league and that anyone can beat anyone.

Reserve team football.

The owner of an internet café in Turkey knowing that Yeovil beat Carlisle 3-0 after seeing my shirt.

 

BAD

 

Kirk Jackson - deserves our patience though.

No smoking at Huish - the clubs greatest supporter Brian Moore stood like a naughty schoolboy  in the corner of the main stand. Northampton.

The maths used to work out the attendance v Carlisle

No song for Roy O’Brien he deserves one.

The ref booking Super Gav for diving v       Northampton.

Hugo’s defending at     Luton.

Gav’s shot at goal @   Orient moments before they scored their 1st.

The refereeing as usual.

Defending from set-pieces in pre-season.

Deflated atmosphere at Orient.

Tom White getting injured again.

Jermaine Johnson getting injured for the reserves.

 

UGLY

 

Carlisle’s tackling.

Macca going to Donny.

Gav’s ankle at Lokeren.

Roddy Collins suit.

Our finishing v Orient and Northampton.

Mr Denos - no one knows what he looks like but if his judgment is anything to go by he is one ugly git!

The stewards at Carlisle home game - OTT.

The TV gantry in the Bartlett Stand.

Pluckys plucking someone in the first minute v Carlisle - funny though.

Tony Thorpes elbows.

The entrance to Luton’s away end.

The 2 Celtic fans in the Yeovil end at Orient—good singers though!

 

7 - 11 On the Piss in Belgium

 

The whole thing started early, very early as myself, Jon Brier and Chris Riley met at Manchester Airport at 5:00 one Friday morning destined for a flight to Brussels. Sticking out like a sore thumb amidst the suited businessmen we stood new tops and all excited but at the same time bloody tired and questioning why we would do this to ourselves just to watch a few pre-season games (never the most exciting at the best of times!) and have a few beers – the next few days would soon make us realize why.

Arriving in Brussels seemed to invigorate us all and we sorted ourselves with a train to our base for the trip - Antwerp. Straight away we realized we were in a foreign country as the train was not only cheap, clean, easy to use but actually got us to our destination on time. The journey wasn’t without its problems though as Badger informs us by text that the Lokeren game is off! The rest of the journey is spent asking what to do instead and how can you possibly have a waterlogged pitch in July!

Before the trip I was continuously told Belgium is boring, I can only say that they obviously haven’t been there, its architecture alone is enough to impress anyone (even me a culture vulture I am not) when even its train station impresses you know things must be pretty special. Belgium’s public transport is obviously impressive cause everyone is so scared to drive on the roads - as we soon found out in the taxi to our Hotel – Chris was looking worried that he hadn’t got travel insurance! Hotel Cammorporte was well situated and had a bar right below it which we soon checked out. This was our first taste of a beer called Rodenback which we soon changed to a ‘Glen Roader’ after already sampling a ‘Linvoy’ Primus, it’s a cheery based beer IMO alcoholic cheeryade though the other lads loved it and had the first of many.  Our other roommate Will Ranner soon arrived and as if by magic so did the news from Badger that the game was back on.

The match had been rearranged to a place called Zelzate - a district of Genk (about 30 minutes away from Antwerp), our belief in the good public transport system led us to think it wouldn’t be a problem and the train to jounery to Genk gave us no indication to what would unfold. Arriving in Genk we looked at the local map - Zelzate appeared a little further than first thought and we had narrowly missed the last bus. Not the end of the world we thought, we’ll just get a taxi. Getting a taxi on the other hand was the hard part, despite being stood under a sign in big letters TAXI outside a train station no one came for over half an hour – we were starting to get worried. When a taxi did eventually come we enquired how much to Zelzate to which the driver laughed and said at least 40 euros (about £30) or more it was the ‘or more’ bit that worried us and we decided we needed to rethink and let him go. Stuck in the middle of Belgium with kick off fast approaching and no way of getting to the ground – Shit! We decided we hadn’t come all this way for nothing so we’d get a taxi and sod the cost, which we did ( although our meager budgets were telling us otherwise). On the way at last…no not quite, there was a debate about where the actual ground was as the football club’s ground which was hosting the event  had recently merged and it could have been one of 2 grounds 20 miles apart. We had to choose so we stuck with Zelzate after a brief conversation with a bemused Badger! Fingers well and truly crossed. The taxi driver was a top man and despite supporting just about everyone - Man Utd, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus … managed to get us to Zelzate but he wasn’t sure where exactly the ground was. Down a few windy lanes and we caught a glimpse of the team coach—we’d found it! We had arrived and in the end it cost us 35 euros – we didn’t care just getting there was enough.

The match was as entertaining as pre-season matches normally are but Lee J got involved in a bit of handbags a couple of times and Plucky well and truly plucked Lokerens leading striker - an Iclenadic international, making the game more interesting. The toilet facilities led to some interesting images, firstly the players had to use the same outdoor urinal as the supporters just outside the changing rooms. Even more bizarre was sight was a open urinal literally feet from the corner flag, Pete L of course had to relieve himself somewhere and can be seen doing so in the picture. Some Yeovil fans obviously unaware of the change of venue arrived just before half time only to be greeted by the already merry contingent ‘its nice to know you here’. We met Simon from Amsterdam who answered the tricky question of how exactly we were going to get back to Antwerp by offering us a lift on his way back to Holland – we were so elated at getting there we hadn’t thought how we were getting back! The long day had taken its toll for the old git Mr Brier who went home earlier whilst me, Will and Chris went for a pizza and for dessert ended up eating cherry sweets off some birds leg. Apparently the custom for girls on their hen nights in Belgium stick sweets to various parts of the body and sell to strangers the opportunity to eat them off needless to say Mr Ranner indulged in a bit of that, don’t tell me girlfriend so did I!

Being sensible the night before meant a nice easy morning and we had a bit of a wonder round Antwerp admiring yet more nice architecture and also the many, many dogs which seem to be the ultimate fashion accessory to any cosmopolitan Belgian citizen. The sensible among us realized that with Dogs inevitably comes dog mess and I soon assumed the role of pavement checker! With no Yeovil fixture we had all day to check out the local culture and cuisines, however we decided a short trip to Holland to watch the Intertoto cup match between Willem II and FC Wiss. The Lancasters and their reserved Youth Hostel crew joined us and after again being impressed by the trains we ended up in Holland. Being in Holland we found ourselves in a “coffee” shop and some sampled Morocco’s finest espressos and cappuccinos! It took a while to find the stadium, due to not having a clue where we were going, and also the strength of the Dutch coffee! Willem II stadium is very impressive - think of Huish but bigger, all enclosed and also with a 10ft deep moat round the pitch. The game was entertaining; Willem II winning 2-1 with a dubious penalty. Luckily we met up with an Irish bloke - Paul from Cork and with his help managed to get back to the train station for the last train. Good job otherwise we would have been in a right mess. A nice sing song (in which a few new ones were created) on the way back followed and before we knew it we were back on the beer in Antwerp.

Everything stays open until you leave basically, so after sampling a few of Belgium's finest ales we found ourselves eating a pizza at 4.30 in the morning. We were later to find out that in the Karaoke bar across the road only a hour before was some of the club staff including Sir Gary himself – certainly a missed opportunity. Will rued another missed opportunity he got turned down by a nice Dutch bird because he was too drunk! We eventually found our way back to the hotel only to realize we would be up in another 3 hours for our trip to Germany!

We had previously arranged a lift with Robin who had a people carrier, bloody good job really as the trains were 5 hours each way and nearly 60Euros for a return – a bit of Railtrack creeping into the continent. On the way we passed a sign for Herefords twin-town (as seen in the photo) but nothing was to prepare us for what greeted us in Oberhausen. Will Ranner described it on Ciderspace and I don’t think I could better it

“Entering Oberhausen is like walking through a hard rock vortex into 1985. The fashions, the STUPENDOUS MULLETS, the bratwurst and DON'T MENTION THE WAR - I JUST DID BUT I THINK I GOT AWAY WITH IT!

The first question we were asked on arrival was "Are you hooligans?" and a teenage lad with severe acne asked to swap my brand new Glovers shirt for a T-Shirt proudly declaring 'I support White Power'. It's nice to see that fascism is alive and well in this corner of Germany! All kinds of people were looking to swap shirts, badges and scarves. It's a shame we didn't take more with us. Next time. We also saw an Oberhausen player kissing a dog. You really had to be there.

Oberhausen were having an open day to celebrate the start of the season and there were lots of interesting MULLETS on show. Voller MULLETS, staight MULLETS, ugly MULLETS, shell suit MULLETS and the all time Belgiqn beer tour favourite, the denim jacket with patches MULLET. There was also a rather over friendly AC-DC fan named Marc, who sported a fetching leather waistcoat complete with tassles! Super Gav Williams sat with us in the first half but too many mullets and drunken Germans led him to seek sanctuary on the team bench for the second half.

By this stage we had mentioned the 1939-1945 conflict several times. Did I mention the MULLETS? Particularly the Oberhausen coach who sported an absolute beauty!

“Came for the MULLETS, we only came for the MULLETS, we only came for the MULLETS!”

Mullets aside, praise must go to Oberhausen for holding the open day - great beer and food, a chance to meet the players and buy merchandise, bouncy castles for the kids all finished off with a footy match against foreign opposition, Yeovil should really look at doing something similar.

Back in Belgium we meet up again with the Lancasters and took great advantage of the unlimited opening hours and we ended up taking a detour through the red light district. Amid the rubble-strewn streets stood window after window of beautiful women and the odd transvestite – we son got back to normality and most of us called it a night. Not Mr Ranner who was  supported by a lighter holding Pete Lancaster during his no doubt excellent rendition of Sweet Caroline.

The previous nights adventure meant we were a bit weary the next morning which was soon rectified by yet another pizza and a Bollocke Blonde (IMO the best ever beer; smooth, tasty and bloody strong!). Pizza turned out to be the staple diet of a Yeovil fan abroad and I think by the end of the trip I had won the pizza eating league chomping down 8 to my nearest challenger Will who had 6 – so much for sampling the local cuisine! We noticed a familiar face bundle past, it turned out to be Dylan who had been staying in Brussels and due to the change of venue and the difficulty of getting to Oberhausen hadn’t yet seen Yeovil play on the tour – dedication. On route to the bus station we saw yet more dogs but yet the most bizarre sight 2 Greyhounds in the Belgium equivalent of Dixons, hillarous! We ended up meeting the Lancasters for a few beers before the we got the bus out to Wuustwezel at about 5pm with the journey taking around 45 minutes on a burning hot bus. Said heat made the boys quite thirsty and by the time the game kicked off quite a few of the local beverages had been dispatched. The locals all seemed friendly and they even had some lads from Feyenoord down (Rotterdam is just across the border) who were all friendly despite some initial worries about their intentions towards us. On had a very detailed picture of the De Kuip stadium, Rotterdam tattooed across his entire back. The first half was tight with Antwerp showing their class despite having the lead singer of Status Quo up front! Myself and Will spent the second half talking to some of the Antwerp and Feyenoord fans and swapping scarves and e-mail addresses. Those guys really like their English football and seem very knowledgeable. They were genuinely impressed with the standard of our play and the numbers we had taken on a Monday night (about 40-50 this time). We saw very little football, but a lot of the bar. A quick interview with the Welsh wizards followed before what should have been a routine bus trip back to Antwerp. However the copious amount of alcohol and our determination to enjoy the final night made the journey extremely entertaining. The bus rocked all the way back to town, with some particularly good Oom Pah Pah, Blur (Darren Way), 2 Unlimited (Gareee) and the Entertainer (stolen from Willem II). We went to a bar by the bus station where the beer was cheap and the conversation flowed with quite a few of the lads sticking around, the barmaid was top and her name was Nimeke (which rhymes with Lineker) and she was very friendly and courteous like all Antwerp residents we encountered, even keeping the bar open after closing time. With all the alcohol consumed it was inevitable something would go wrong, it did - we lost Dylan who had decided not to go back to Brussels and should have been staying at our hotel! The night ended once again in the karaoke bar, which it has to be said featured a disgraceful performance from Jon Brier and that was that for myself and Will as we departed the next day.

 

The tour to Belgium was better than I ever expected, the actual football was secondary to enjoying ourselves with other Yeovil fans in places we had never heard off or could barely find. Before my trip I had the impression that Belgium was ‘boring’ I hold my head in shame now, nothing could be further from the truth. Anywhere that sells ridiculous strong but tasty beer (Carlsberg special brew it is not) at a cheap price til whatever time you want cannot be boring in my book. Roll on next year, I’m already dreaming of Sweden but wherever it is I will be following Yeovil over land and sea and so should you be!

 

12 - 13 Brendon Owen

 

It's 32 degrees in the shade; the sun is blazing from a cloudless sky. The ice-cubes are melting at a rate of knots in my gin & tonic. The book I am reading is fascinating but I'm finding it difficult to roll over on the padded sun-lounger without loosing my page.  How much longer is this hell to continue?  Where are the icy cold blasts ripping round the Bartlett Stand? The pelting rain that stings the face and runs down the neck? The new park and ride to the Council offices in the freezing cold?  I want them - now.

   Having said that the pre-season has had its moments for me. I happened to be mooching about Huish Park one morning when a gaggle of press reporters and photographers with three T.V. camera teams in tow pulled up in the car park.  Ever a nosy parker I hung around and watched.  One of the photographers was known to me so I sidled up to him and inquired as to their purpose at the club.  He thought Yeovil were going to unveil a new player and they were to capture the moment of him signing a contract. Intrigued as to who this mystery player might be I asked if I could tag along with him, carry his camera bag or something.  He was quite happy so we entered with the others and climbed the stairs. My adventure could have finished as soon as it began, for at the entrance to the inner sanctum sat a lady at a desk. I thought she must be vetting the press passes but to my surprise she ushered us all along the corridor to the supporter's bar at the far end (Remember when you could get a drink in there? Happy days!)  Rows of chairs had been set up, facing a table with another row of chairs.  Yes this certainly looked like a 'present the new boy to the press occasion'.  Coffee and tea facilities were laid out with a nice selection of biscuits. With a handful of bourbons and a black coffee I was well in, chatting with the HTV and BBC lads. The consensus of opinion was that it was not a new player signing today but Gary Johnson himself, renewing his contract. The doors opened and a party stepped into the room.  John Fry, Gary Johnson and the club Solicitor (oh and Fat Harry).   Ignoring all others Gary strode across and shook my hand and asked how I was. This caused all the press guys to swivel and wonder who the hell I was.  Great fun!  I stayed for the contract signing and if I'd been a little pushier I reckon I could have got in on the official photos, holding Gary's pen or keeping the contract steady.  I like to be useful you know.

   A few afternoons later I was once again to be found up at the club.  I was purchasing a mouse mat or something, well any excuse.  It was big-wigs day up at Huish Park, Greg Dyke, Director General of the BBC was there to sign an agreement for a designated BBC line for broadcasting Yeovil games. Even Geoff Twentyman was there!  Once again I passed security at the top of the stairs and before I knew it Gary Johnson had introduced me to the man himself.  Handshakes and a chat about the club and then Greg asked me for my autograph!  Honest.  Ok so it was on the inside cover of a copy of 'Yeovil 'til I Die!', which, incidentally, I hope he reads on his chauffeur driven return to London.  I'm expecting a call any day now with an offer to turn the book into a play for prime time T.V.  That would go down a storm in the Hereford area I'm sure.

All this celebrity stuff put me in mind of the lad who gets in to all the big sporting events, like posing in the England kit with the team for the National Anthem.  Didn't he also walk out to the wicket as a batsman in a Test match?  It just shows that if you have the gall (no not Kevin) and the bluff it is possible to get right inside and be involved with what's going on.  I'll try and get on the podium at the end of next season and see if I can get to lift the 3rd Division Trophy!

 

Brendon Owen.  20th July 2003.

 

14 - 15 Coatsey

 

AS any politician, journalist or traffic warden will tell you, the actions of a minority in their profession can have serious implications on the majority. 
 
It does not take much to give a dog a bad name - so, welcome aboard football agents to the country's most hated list. 
 
Ex-England boss Graham Taylor once said he would like to line all agents up against a wall and shoot them and we all know what our very own Gary Johnson thinks of certain members of this profession, following the sagas surrounding Michael McIndoe and Anthony Tonkin's moves away from Huish Park. 
Agents are often portrayed as the blood-sucking parasites that live off players and wander around with brown envelopes bulging out of their cheap suit pockets. The recent actions of the infamous Steve Denos and Bernie Mandic, who took a £2 million cut from Harry Kewell's £5 million switch from Leeds United to Liverpool, do little to remove this stereotype. But surely they cannot all be like that. Can they?
 
No is the simple answer. Good agents are very good; bad agents are very bad. Our latest terrace hero Hugo Rodrigues came via an agent. Using his international web of footballing contacts, Gary Johnson put out the word that he was after a defender, the giant's CV arrived on the gaffer's desk via an agent and a star was born. Also, during the pre-season tour of Belgium and Germany, Gary arranged for his trusted agents to send players to play in a trial match. Players from across Europe and Africa turned up to allow Yeovil Town to put them through their paces - could anyone have imagined that happening a few years ago? It happened because we are lucky enough to have a manager who knows who he can trust and who he cannot.
 
Remember Boycey from Only Fools & Horses? The guy who could sell a car with an engine full of sawdust or a satellite dish that only picked up 
Spanish television, but who had the gift of the gab to make you believe you were getting the bargain of the century? That is what an untrustworthy football agent is like.
 
My own experience of agents has not left a pretty picture in my mind. 
When you add to that some of the tales that circulate the footballing grapevine you can add manipulation, bullying and lying to the list of charges leveled against agents. 
 
One such story - and I shall omit the names of the people involved as I am not sure OTV's budget will stretch to a lawsuit - was of a player who was being pestered by an agent all summer, after a very successful season, about joining his list of clients. The player politely said he was not interested and asked the agent to stop making his approaches. When the player suffered a serious injury at the start of the next season, the agent contacted him again saying 'See, if you had come with me, you would never have got injured.' When you hear stories like that you almost want to offer to load Mr Taylor's shotgun. Fortunately, not all agents are as depraved as this nameless fiend.
 
No doubt agents have families to feed and mortgages to pay and no one begrudges them their cut of the profits. It is the tactics some of the tainted few use to get their income that has done possibly irreparable damage to the honest majority.
 
Whether you consider them dream makers or breakers, there will always be a place for agents in football. No manager can say they would rather live without them and, as with many other of life's essentials, you have to take the rough with the smooth. Michael McIndoe was by no means the first player to be led astray by an agent and he certainly will not be the last. Let's just hope that no more players will allow themselves to be swayed by an agent that promises Heaven but delivers a living Hell.
 

16 Pete Lancaster

 

The Euro Bunny has returned hence from the tour and what jolly japes went on! "What happens on the tour stays on the tour" said the editor in chief. I think that applies to those who disgrace themselves I guess. Mind you can get a lot for fifty Euros!

 

Jaywalking is illegal in Belgium. The princely sum of 25 Euros for dodging the traffic is met with disdain by the local cops (if you see any), and how our Timmy escaped without penalty baffles me! Still no one got caught. I simply obeyed the little red man!

 

The lads are probably still recovering from Mullet mania from the sausage sizzle at ze Oberhausen. Skinheads, rockers and questionable tracksuits were aplenty as Yeovil took on the Germans at Mudford Rec!

 

Indeed the short on top and long at the back cut rules and David Hasselhoff is the equivalent of Garfy Gates over there! Still I gave that a miss as I didn't want to pay ninety Euros to visit a training pitch!

 

One of the star turns on the tour was Worker. What a guy! In Lokeren (a quite town) old Works marched in and yelled "Five Stella's" to a bemused bar man. The locals sussed out we were cool and were OK. Rodge then took us on a jaunt to Zelzate and we only went on the wrong side of the road once! The local constabulary probably thought we were let out for the day...well kind of!

 

It was a must to visit Tilburg in the Netherlands for a coffee (?) at the cafe (!) and then to see the mighty Willem II beat the 1900 FC Wil (Switzerland) in the Intertoto 2-1. Crowd participation was a must and on the train back to Antwerpen we brewed up the Oompah song (which served us well).

 

Following the 2-1 defeat to Royal Antwerp we and our new Belgian friends the Chuckle Brothers had a sing-a-long on the bus back. Even the local alcoholic joined in!

 

"I do not know what the mullet is but I will sing" said our suitably barneted friend Chuckle One as we sung "We only came for the mullets" conducted ably by that good squire and gentleman John Brier.

 

We soon established our hang out as Ninecke's (rhymes with Lineker’s) bar. A lovely Dutch lass from Breda she. The lads were made welcome and Will was his usual charming lounge lizard self! Timmy and I went in this bar at 6am on arriving and people were still drinking beer!

 

Mr Ranner wooed the ladies with some early morning Elvis in the Karaoke bar and I saluted him with my lighter held aloft! He had woken up after falling asleep in another bar!

Still nice pizza eh Will?!

 

So I see Macca has gone to hotshots Donny. Good move mate. Who recommended them then? I hope you will be happy there and oh I nearly forgot, Doncaster fans make the most of him because he'll be off soon. I hear Sir Alex hasn't replaced that Beckham bloke yet.

 

17 Tim Lancaster

 

TIM LANCASTER  looks at several of the more interesting places that Yeovil Town have played over the years, we may have visited new grounds recently, but for now do you remember…
 
Lancashire outfit Chorley never maintained their GM Vauxhall Conference status for as long a period as modern day rivals Southport or Morecambe, however Victory Park was in many ways just as good a ground as that of either 'The Sandgrounders' or 'The Shrimpers'.
 
Chorley, close to Preston, came into the Conference via the Northern Premier League in 1988/89.  Victory Park had an impressive seated stand (Pictured) not unlike the construction at Cheltenham Town that still stands in the Football League today.  Behind both goals there were significant areas of covered standing.  The home end was situated behind the main turnstile block, adorned in the clubs colours of black and white, and was a deep, terraced structure with a series of concrete supports that provided an obstacle as far as viewing was concerned.  At the other end of the ground stood a steep covered area some fifteen steps in depth that had been developed into the cinder bank that once existed.  This area of modern terracing ran about one third of the area behind the goal.  The area opposite the main stand was still gravel and cinder banking, with a few crush barriers dotted about on an uncovered terrace.  Surrounded by small redbrick terraced houses Victory Park was not unlike Hilton Park, Leigh in it's atmosphere, although nowhere near as large.
 
Yeovil made two visits to Victory Park between 1988/89 and 1989/90 winning the first 3-2 on April 22nd 1989 courtesy of goals from Andy Wallace (Pen), Mickey Spencer and Guy Whittingham, and losing the next game by a similar scoreline (Robbie Carroll and Peter Conning) on September 23rd 1989. Relegated that season with Farnborough Town and Enfield 'The Magpies' dropped back into the NPL and now play in division one of The Unibond

League.

 

19 - 21 Jeremy Gear

 

TIM LANCASTER  looks at several of the more interesting places that Yeovil Town have played over the years, we may have visited new grounds recently, but for now do you remember…
 
Lancashire outfit Chorley never maintained their GM Vauxhall Conference status for as long a period as modern day rivals Southport or Morecambe, however Victory Park was in many ways just as good a ground as that of either 'The Sandgrounders' or 'The Shrimpers'.
 
Chorley, close to Preston, came into the Conference via the Northern Premier League in 1988/89.  Victory Park had an impressive seated stand (Pictured) not unlike the construction at Cheltenham Town that still stands in the Football League today.  Behind both goals there were significant areas of covered standing.  The home end was situated behind the main turnstile block, adorned in the clubs colours of black and white, and was a deep, terraced structure with a series of concrete supports that provided an obstacle as far as viewing was concerned.  At the other end of the ground stood a steep covered area some fifteen steps in depth that had been developed into the cinder bank that once existed.  This area of modern terracing ran about one third of the area behind the goal.  The area opposite the main stand was still gravel and cinder banking, with a few crush barriers dotted about on an uncovered terrace.  Surrounded by small redbrick terraced houses Victory Park was not unlike Hilton Park, Leigh in it's atmosphere, although nowhere near as large.
 
Yeovil made two visits to Victory Park between 1988/89 and 1989/90 winning the first 3-2 on April 22nd 1989 courtesy of goals from Andy Wallace (Pen), Mickey Spencer and Guy Whittingham, and losing the next game by a similar scoreline (Robbie Carroll and Peter Conning) on September 23rd 1989. Relegated that season with Farnborough Town and Enfield 'The Magpies' dropped back into the NPL and now play in division one of The Unibond

League.

 

22 - 23 Mac from Oz

 

Don't know about all of you, but this off-season has been the worst in living memory. It took me until the end of May to get over the celebrations of a fantastic championship season. Then I had my local Grand Final over here where my second team Perth Glory won the National championship: another few days of over indulgence. But then the realisation that I still had another 9 weeks to go before we played our first LEAGUE match, well actually 66 days, the depression just absorbed me. I went off my food (not a bad thing) but worse still couldn't stomach an ale. It seemed to peak on Saturday nights. I would just sit in front of my computer screen starring at Google with no enthusiasm to "surf the net”. I can remember back in the "good old days" the summer months I spent in God's country in my youth. The off season would take a similar pattern every year. Once that final whistle went it was up the pub to map out the next few weeks social activities. A few weeks later we would await with bated breath the outcome of the football leagues "re-election" vote. Don't know why we even bothered looking back on it. We could have won the league, had a great run in the cup beating a couple of league sides in the process but couldn't beat the likes of Hartlepool in the votes (sorry Hartlepool you just sprang to mind first).
 
By now we are into June. The festivals will be beginning soon. Remember the days when we turned into week-end hippies and trudged off to the Isle of Wight, Bath (well called the Bath festival but held in Shepton Mallet) and other various parts of the country. And then closer to home. The Helyar 
Arms out Coker use to have their folk festival. Summer nights out there were always good times. Now we are into July. Where are we going for our summer holidays??? Must get them in before the pre-season friendlies start. 
Exotic places like Sidmouth, Looe, and Watchet spring to mind. Well they all had plenty of pubs.  What more do you want? I mean, as a supporter you had to do your "pre-season" training. Couldn't get out of condition, let  yourself go etc. Then the fixture list would come out. I used to really get pissed  off if we played away from home first up. Meant you had to wait ANOTHER week to get to see them. In those days coaches didn't run to all away matches. So now its August and only a few weeks to go to that all important "first  home league match" and wouldn't you believe it.....................we lose!
 
So the off-season is a really though time for us football fans, unless you’re NOT like me and you actually "have a life". The more successful you are the previous season the longer the off season seems to last. But it's all about to come to an end. As I write this there is only 43 hours to kick-off at Rochdale. I'm also going to be an even more informed fan than last season. Yeovil FC aren't the only ones who splashed out a bit of money over the last few months to improve their performance. I bought myself a new computer and got "Broadband connected". Its that fast I'll know we've scored before you will on the terraces. Bloody marvellous this new fangled technology.
 

Enjoy the new season, just wish I could be there to share the moment.

 

24 - 25 Van Pistelrooy

 

Betting on football is an emotional roller coaster and should only be for the hardened few who can cope with the ecstasy and agony of it all. It can make a Yeovil victory even sweeter and a 2-2 draw with Gravesend feel like life isn't worth living.

OTV approached me to write a column on betting, mainly due to a large win I had last season where Yeovil and Man Utd title wins netted me a cool £1500. Therefore I was seen to be the right chap to inform readers of my experiences of betting with Yeovil Town FC. But before you all mob me as I enter the marquee at the next home game for a pint and a top tip - it hasn't been all money, money, money.

Two poor starts from the Glovers and the Red Devils saw me nearly in tears as it appeared I had blown a week's wages and it was still only August. Luckily Van Nistelrooy and Kirk van Jacksonrooy et al went goal crazy and the rest was history. 

25th January and the table topping Glovers travel north to Manor Park to play a struggling Nuneaton team. 6/5 the odds on a Yeovil win. Yes please. £50 on town will net me £60 - easy money….or so you'd think. 600+ Glovers arrive to discover that Gary Johnson's slick passing game would have to be carried out on a field used the previous week for a ploughing competition. 1-1 it finishes, £50 wasted, and a certain Chester striker scores a last minute winner. I'm not happy. But I am more than happy a month or so down the line as town win their sixth game on the bounce by beating our welsh friends 4-0.

The opportunity to bet on Yeovil has dramatically increased over the last few years, with the rise of the internet and having bookies in the ground like at Stevenage and Rushden. Our famous 2-1 victory over the Annies a few years back was especially nice as I had £5 at 4-1 on Wazza to score first. What wasn't especially nice was that I had to walk through the irate Rushden ‘Burberry Massive’ to collect my winnings after the game.

Now we are in the football league even more bookies offer a wide variety of bets on the Glovers. You can bet on whether you think Yeovil will win from behind at The Vetch, or whether Gall and co. will put more than three goals past Steve Perrin in the FA Cup 1st round. I wouldn't advise the latter bet - Perrin always seems to play like Pat Jennings on heat against us.

Accumulators are always good fun, both over the course of the season and involving a series of matches. A friend of mine a few years back lost out on £15,000 as his £1 16 team accumulator was let down by one match. He got all 15 others right from the Arsenal winning at Chelsea, Yeovil winning against Kettering and Swanage beating Sutton Bingham in a mid week friendly, but Rangers failed to see off Hearts at Ibrox. It's a mugs game.

When you bet on Yeovil you can sometimes find yourself in the strange position that you want the other team to score. This happened twice last season with a friend of mine. He must have been the only person in the Westland Stand not laughing when Junior Agogo famously missed from a yard out in our 0-0 draw  with Barnet at the end of last year. He had put £10 at 9-1 on Agogo to score first. Yes that's the same Junior 'two goals since Christmas' Agogo that Ray 'Kevin Gall is useless' Greydon snapped up for a bargain £100,000! My friend was also in the position of wanting Hereford to score against us in the Trophy last season. He had Yeovil to win 2-1, so when Ben Smith pulled one back for the bulls he was slightly happy. Cheering on Hereford - one of gambling's many negatives!

For those Internet users I recommend www.bet365.com which is a well set out site that offers a wide variety of odds for all Yeovil games. Many firms still offer generous odds as they are not informed as well as us fans. For the first 3 games of the season they offered great odds on Critts scoring first. I had a fiver on him at 33-1 at Rochdale so I wasn't too pleased by his attempted conversion early on in the game. Critts can still be backed at around 8-1 to score at any time during most games, which is a steal especially if he's on penalty duty. Big Hugo, Plucky and Lockwood are also priced at around 33-1 to notch first - worth keeping an eye out for. 

After our great start to the season our odds have shortened dramatically and after the Carlisle game we were around 5-1. I just wish I had put £100 on Yeovil to win the league at 14-1 at the end of last season like a mate of mine. Like many other Ciderspace readers I did however manage to get £10 on Kevin Gall to win the Golden Boot at 16-1. Keep it up Kev! Mind you at this rate he will have scored 30 by November and will be on his way to Chelski to partner Raul up front!

Good luck…

 

Sparksy

 

26 - James Churchill

 

I don't know how it’s been for you, but the summer has really dragged this year! Don't get me wrong the weather has been good, I've been away several times and I've got sun-burnt and resemble a lobster rather than the normal polar bear shade that I have for most of the year, but this summer, of all summers, has really dragged because it’s the biggest season of all time for us Glovers. I’ve been studying the fixture list since it came out in June, looking at all the heady trips we have in store now that we have hit the 'big time': places like Huddersfield, Hull and Bristol Rovers. I've been absorbing every piece of information, speculation and rumour concerning the squad, looking on Ciderspace to get the slightest snippet of news, talking to everyone on how we will do, even speaking to strangers who notice the YTFC sticker in the car on what they think - but its not enough, I want the season to start and I want it to start now!
 
Okay, I'm writing this on the eve of MY first pre-season friendly (Chippenham). I feel like that time when you first started seeing a girl who you hadn’t seen for a couple of nights and were on your way round to her house and you just couldn’t wait to see her! But lets face it, pre-season friendlies suck. It doesn’t matter what the result: win, lose or draw it can never really give you a good gauge on how well the boys will play when it kicks off for real. If you play a lot of friendlies some say that the squad will be burnt out and others will state that the side are ready and fit and will hit the ground running. I don't know, you tell me?
 
There is only so much info to take in and it made me think what it must be like to be supporting Chel'ski' at the moment: It would be easier to compile the players who are NOT on the Russian shopping list at the moment rather than list the ones that are. How does that make their fans feel? Excited, or a little dubious perhaps? Its all very well assembling a squad of world class players by raiding the Russian's piggy bank. But surely its better to see your side mature through youth academies, to read about your shrewd manager (arise Sir Gary!) wheeling, dealing and promoting your football club as a great place to be, whilst keeping a beady eye on the bank account, and THEN watch your team win things!
 
I know its easy for me to say that’s what’s happened at Yeovil because it’s slightly more common for it to happen at the level we are at. But within the next ten years wouldn’t it be great to see a side came into the Premiership with a squad that was assembled with a mix of home grown players and players that didn’t break transfer records. Incidentally, does anyone know of another trade apart from soccer where a company would pay another company for an employee? Weird, is it not?
 
Better still, wouldn’t it be great if our beloved Town could do it? Well, why not, keep hold of Sir Gary and come 2013/14 season we could be giving Arsenal and Man Utd a run for their money in our 20,000 all-seater...maybe I am getting a little carried away! Must be all that sun I've been getting lately- it really has been a long summer!
 

27 - 38 Season Preview

 

Club by  club OTV brings you the low-down on our opponents this season including contributions from the fans themselves

BOSTON

The illegal activities that got them up cost Boston dear last season, the 4 point penalty meant that they were lagging behind right from the start. Just as damaging was the loss of boss Steve ‘Brown Envelopes’ Evans, not surprisingly Boston struggled early on and a quick return beckoned. However, led by the experienced Neil Redfearn in midfield and the much needed goals of youngster Richard Logan signed from Ipswich, Boston performed well in the final stages and steered clear of the relegation that many felt they deserved. A fresh start this time will make things a little easier with Logan and Redfearn key players but they still face a battle to retain league status. OTV Predicts – Relegation dog fight

BRISTOL ROVERS

Ray Gradon performed wonders at Walsall, and much was expected of Rovers last season with an overhaul of the squad but, unfortunately for Gasheads, relegation was a serious possibility throughout the campaign. It was the loan signings of creative midfielder Lee Hodges and bustling striker Andy Rammell in the closing stages which helped inject some spark into the side and relegation was narrowly avoided. Hodges and Rammell have both signed along with experienced goalie Kevin Miller from relegated Exeter yet the 110,000 pounds spent on Junior Aggogo from Barnet appears a more risky move. To release Gall on a free who went on to score as many goals in 16 games as Aggogo managed in a whole season seems to imply we got much the better deal. The risk on Aggogo aside, this season should certainly be an improvement and Rovers have the quality to make the play-offs. It goes without saying that Gally will be looking forward to this as much as Yeovil fans eager for a ‘derby fixture’ and the games against them might actually mean Yeovil will get on the local news for a change! OTV Predicts – Play-Offs

 

BURY

 

Bury have certainly had troubles off the pitch in recent years but on the pitch Andy Preece, their player-manager, led them to the play-offs last season, depsite limited resources.Bournemouth dispatched them in the semis on route to the second divsion, and Bury could well rue the missed chance. Bury are still in no posistion to turn down offers or offer good contracts and as a result top socer Jon Newby and inspritaional defender Michael Nelson are one of many to leave for pastures new. Bury do have excting players in the form of George Clegg, a left sided midfielder, and in the young pacy striker Dave Nugnet, their very own version of Wayne Rooney. Bury have shown they have spirit to get even this far,this coupled with admirable leadership of Preece should see them safe from harm but nothing more. OTV Predicts – Lower Half

 

CAMBRIDGE

 

How did you do last season? We started off the season superbly and maintained this right up until just before Christmas. We had a very small squad though and, due to numerous other reasons,  we eventually dropped away. The formation change to 3-5-2 was disastrous and never worked but, to be honest, the genuine reason was simply the size of our squad and age of our team.

 

What are your hopes and ambitions for the coming season? Well, opinions vary on this. A few think we'll really struggle, others think we'll just 'plod along' and others think we can mount a serious challenge.

 

Who have you signed and let go? We've lost Youngs, Riza and Scully from last season's squad and we've signed Justin Walker, a midfielder from Exter, and Mark Venus, an ageing but maybe a very important centre-back. Our skipper Wanless has now left the club on a free transfer to join Oxford Utd and we've signed left-back Stuart Bimson from Lincoln City on a 2yr deal.

 

Players we should look out for? Well, the whole Division are aware of our flying winger Shane Tudor and our leading goalscorer Dave Kitson, who hit 25/26 goals last season. Also watch out for our lightning fast centre-back from West Ham, Steve Angus. He's sure to join a bigger club soon. Very promising and a highly-rated player.

 

What do you know about Yeovil and how do you think we’ll do? Well, we all know Gary Johnson. He's a good manager and a very nice bloke. I think you look like a decent team and could be bound for the play-offs. Certainly top-half

OTV Predicts – Will find the losses of Youngs, Riza, Scully and Wanless hard. Mid-table

CARLISLE

It wouldn’t be a relegation battle in the 3rd division if Carlisle were not involved, and last year was no different. Not quite Jimmy Glass proportions this time, they still left it to the penultimate game v Shrewsbury to confirm survival and in the process relegated the Shrews. With alien spotting Chairman Michael Knighton finally gone, there should be little distractions for boss Roddy Collins (brother of the famous Boxer Michael) to do his work. However they still lack enough real quality (striker Richie Foran aside) to do any real damage and it could well be another season battling relegation. OTV Predicts – Relegation dog fight

 

CHELTENHAM

 

How did you do last season? It took a while to get going and ultimately we paid for our poor start, being relegated on the final day.

 

What are your hopes and ambitions for the coming season? We can take heart from the fact that Hartlepool and Rushden were the top two this season and, on paper, the squad is stronger now than when we went up, although the striking positions may be a cause for concern. I expect the Robins to be looking for automatic promotion this season. 

 

Players we should look out for? Key players will be Martin Devaney and John Finnigan. Finnigan is a real midfield dynamo, who can run all day and has skills to match. Devaney was inspired on the right of midfield this season after taking a few years to reach his peak, and may operate either there or possibly up front depending on how the hunt for strikers goes.

 

What do you know about Yeovil and how do you think we’ll do? I would say that the gap from the Conference to Division 3 isn't that big, but the key is consistency. Defenses are generally better, and the strikers will be more likely to punish mistakes. That said, I expect Yeovil to do very well, and should certainly claim at least a play-off spot and possibly even challenge for a top 3 position.

 

OTV Predicts – Bobby Gould enough said will find it harder than expected. Mid-table

 

Keith Iles www.cheltrobins.com

DARLINGTON

There can be no more of an eccentric chairman than George Reynolds and this has had its positives and negatives in Darlo in recent times. Its negatives have been a break down in relations with the fans and his wife even accused the players of fixing matches. However he has built a 25,000 all seater stadium. On the pitch, the club struggled last year and finished 14th, manager Tommy Taylor has a job on his hands to improve matters this time around. Last seasons top scorer Barry Conlon will have to reproduce the goods if Darlo are to have any impact on proceedings. OTV Predicts – Nothing to suggest Darlo doing anything exciting, may get dragged into the fight at the bottom and lose. Relegation.

DONCASTER

Doncaster will always hold a certain magic for Yeovil, the FA Trophy comeback which sparked success and of course finally winning promotion and a display of awesome total football last April. Good memories this time though will ultimately be outweighed by the appearance of Macca in a red and white hooped shirt. Everything aside, the signing of Macca is a huge boost for Donny who will hope that him along with the young industrious midfield pairing of Paul Green and ‘despised by OTV’ Ricky Ravenhill can supply the experienced duo up front of Paul Barnes and Leo-Fortune West. Donny no doubt have the experience and strength to mix it but can they last the whole season? OTV Predicts – Mid-table

 

HUDDERSFIELD

 
How did you do  last season? Awful. Deservedly relegated after a year of mismanagement both on and off the field.
 
What are your hopes and ambitions for the coming season? Immediate hope is for financial stability. Promotion is the hope but mid-table is probably a more realistic expectation.
 
Who have you signed and let go? Gone are last season's top scorer Martin Smith (Northampton), Adie Moses (Crewe) while Simon Baldry, Thomas Heary, Eddie Youds Kenny Irons and Kevin Sharp have all been released. New signings include Bury's Jon Newby, Oldham's Tony Carss, Rotherham's Ian Gray, former Huddersfield favourite Rob Edwards from Chesterfield and Coventry's Lee Fowler.
 
Players we should look out for? Hopefully new striker Jon Newby will form a good partnership with Andy Booth.
 
What you know about Yeovil and how do you think we will do? Only that you won the Conference in some style and could continue your momentum with another promotion push this season.

Danny @ htfc-world .com

HULL

 

How did you do last season? Terribly poor compared to what was expected of us. Molby got sacked and when Taylor came in we looked as though we had turned the corner, but too many inconsistent displays and late minute errors cost us goals and valuable points. Finished 13th and it was where we deserved to finish as well.

 

What are your the hopes for the coming season? Ask any normal Hull fan and they will say that they are not going to be too optimistic this season. However I do not believe that for one moment. I reckon that deep down 90% of us expect to get automatic promotion and about 50% of these also expect the championship.

 

Who have you signed and let go? This season we have brought in more promising players, but the most notable change is that we have brought in two big strikers, Ben Burgess and Danny Allsopp; we’ve always lacked strength up front, but not this season it seems. Other signings include two full backs, Thelwell and Dawson. Price, an energetic midfielder and from the latter half of last season Joseph, a centre back. 

 

Players to look out for? The player we will have our eye on is Stuart Green, who is tipped as one of the most talented midfielders in the division. Most will agree he is a big talent, however last season he had a row with the manager and cleared off on-loan to his home-city, Carlisle. No-one knows the exact details of the row, but after Stuart watching City beat Carlisle on their own turf 1-5, he shortly declared he wasn’t getting on very well at Carlisle, and that they couldn’t afford him. He was back at the

end of the season after pissing off both Hull and Carlisle fans, and shortly after confessed his ‘mistakes’

 

Keith Brown & Andrew Smith

 

OTV Predicts – Great squad, stadium, support surely about time. Champions.

KIDDERMINSTER

Kiddy have done themselves proud since their promotion to the Conference without actually threatening too much. Their achievement to consolidate a place in the league goes to show that with that little bit extra, which Kiddy lack, you can go far as proved by the successes of Cheltenham and Rushden. The play-offs last year always seemed just that step too far and it could well be more of the same this time around, however plucky manger Ian Britton will ensure that Kiddy are not their just to make up the numbers. OTV Predicts – Lower half

 

LEYTON ORIENT

 

How did you do last season?  Rubbish! We had high hopes, but the players we had didn't click properly. We looked like we’d solved it at one point and make a late gatecrash of the play-offs, but then we sold our captain to Sheffield Wednesday and lost 5 on the trot. We since picked it up again and have made some very shrewd signings.

 

What are your hopes and ambitions for  the coming season?  The man at the top, Barry Hearn, has told everyone that it's promotion or failure, to do what's expected of them with no exceptions. The current managerial twosome of Paul Brush and Martin Ling are in the last year of their contracts, so it's playing for the right to carry on and get the job done. Everyone expects what we've been looking forward to for the last 8 years now and we do have a good team per player, it's just finding the form now.   

 

Players we should look out?  Chris Tate! He looks like he's wearing the wrong wig, but he's brilliant and does a great job up front.  Wayne Purser, a tricky winger who became the first Orient player ever to score a hat-trick on his debut last season. Wants to take players on given the chance.  Justin Miller, a young centre back who looks a cut above most in this division after we signed him from Ipswich following a very successful loan spell.   

 

James Orient ExpressNet

OTV Predicts – Relegation dog-fight

 

LINCOLN

 

Lincoln achieved a lot last year despite having very little thanks to the efforts of former Northwich boss, Keith Alexander. He used his Non-League contacts to make an number of signings including giant Ben Futcher who some Yeovil fans may remember was at Stalybridge with his Dad as boss a few season ago. Despite being expected to struggle and also being criticised for their long ball tactics, by fans and opposition managers alike, they ended the season with a visit to the Millennium stadium and just 90 minutes from Division 2, only to lose to Bournemouth. Lincoln have been written off before and who’s to say they won’t prove their doubters wrong again, though perhaps a repeat performance is unlikely. OTV Predicts – Mid-table

MACCLESFIELD

Since their successive promotions from the Conference to the Second Division (in which they played Man City in a league game!) and then relegation back to the third, Macc have found it difficult to make an impact. Sammy McIllory – now Northern Ireland manager was always going to be hard to replace and Dave Moss is one of many trying to fill his shoes. It’s great to see another Non- League team still in the league but this maybe a season too many for Macclesfield. OTV Predicts – Relegation

 

MANSFIELD

 

How did you do last season? Well, we got relegated last season from division two, and dumped back into the familiar surroundings (for us anyway!), of Division three. The manager (Keith Curle), is putting a brave outlook, saying we should get promoted again, at the first attempt.

 

What are you hopes and ambitions for this season? In truth, anything less than the play offs will be seen as a failure by our supporters. Seeing as it took us 10 years to get out of the third in the first place, whose to say we'll be better prepared if we went straight back up?? 

 

Players we should look out for? The two wide men, Wayne Cordon and Liam Lawrence, both deserve to be playing at a higher level, given space they can destroy teams all afternoon. 

 

What you know about Yeovil and how you think we’ll do?  Your fantastic attendances in the conference for one, and that can only be good for the third division. I heard your manager giving it the old, we'll beat most teams in the third division, let's hope he doesn't fall flat on his face, it won't be a walkover, but there isn't much difference in the bottom teams in the third, to most teams in the conference. 

 

Michael  Editor  DejaVu

 

OTV predicts  Challenging for the play-offs

NORTHAMPTON

Think of Northampton as the Chelski of the 3rd division, as manager Martin Wilkinson has been given a free rein by new owners to completely replace the side that were deservedly relegated from the 2nd division last season. 12 new players have come in including Josh Low for 165,000 pounds. As Mr Raneri will find moulding these into an effective team is the hard part and, despite the undoubted skills of some of the new signings, Northampton may not find it as easy as the actions in the transfer market suggest. However with 46 games to play and plenty of time to make up for a bedding in Northampton should be play-off contenders and in with at least as shout for a quick return. OTV predicts – Play-offs

 

OXFORD

 

How did you do last season? We finished 8th, one point off the play-offs, which we were just 4 minutes away from joining until Lincoln's late bastard equaliser against Torquay. Our highest position was third and we spent most of the season in or around the play-off zone.   

 

What are your hopes for the coming season? Anything less than automatic promotion would be considered a disappointment after last season. We have been in serious (almost terminal) decline for several seasons while we were trying to get the new ground built, and our first season at the Kassam Stadium saw us almost join you in the Conference (thank heavens for Halifax!), but the slide has been arrested and we will now hopefully rise back up the league to Division One, which is where many fans see as the club's rightful position. Kassam is not the kind of chairman to plough shitloads of money into buying new players, but he has ensured that United finances are solid and with the new guidelines about wages not exceeding 60% of turnover the club certainly won't have to shed any players to meet them.   

 

Players we should look out for Depends when we play you. Our rising star is Jamie Brooks, but he was out all last season after contracting Gillame-Barre syndrome (a la Markus Babbel) in the close season. He came close to dying, but eventually recovered and started light training. He should be fit enough to resume first team action around Christmas. Otherwise, well, they're all superstars of course!    OTV Predicts – Ian Atkins knows what we wants an whilst it may not be pretty could be effective – Play-offs

How did you do last season? Badly, very badly, only the cup run made the season anything.

 

ROCHDALE

What are the hopes and for the coming season? To see a winning side. Top 10 finish and most Dale fans will be happy

Who have you signed and let go? Let go, where do we start. Clive Platt (fw), Michael Oliver, Dave Flitcroft (both mf), Paul Simpson (ex player manager - mf), Richard Jobson (ret - df), Kieran Durkan (rw), Steve McAuley (df). To date one signing Daryl Burgess (df) ex WBA and Northampton

Players we should look out for? Pat McCourt - N Ireland international winger and is destined for great things - doesn’t head a ball, just brings it down !

OTV Predicts – Alan Buckley will take time to mould his side and could well get dragged into a Relegation dog fight.

 

SCUNTHORPE

 

How did you do last season?  Slow start, good finish (5th). Could have took automatic promotion but had to settle for the lottery of the play-offs, which we lost.   

 

Players we should look out for  Peter Beagrie (obviously), and some extremely talented youngsters like Nathan Stanton, Matty Sparrow and Cliff Byrne (if he signs). Our goalie Tommy Evans recently made his debut for Northern Ireland B. 

 

OTV Predicts – After numerous play-off scraps expect the Irons to get promoted. 

 

SOUTHEND

 

How did you do last season? Last season: was hugely disappointing for us Shrimpers, for the sixth or seventh season in succession. For the fifth year in a row we finished outside the top ten of the Third Division despite, structure-wise, being well-equipped to do much better. We haven't finished in the top ten of any division since we were promoted to the old Second (now First) Division back in 1990/1. Many people harp on about the glory days, but it is behind us now and we must concentrate on rising slowly. Last year's 17th was diabolical, and manager Rob Newman (ex-Norwich City player) was rightly sacked in March.

 

What are your hopes for this season? We're looking to get into the play-offs, realistically. Our new boss is Steve Wignall, ex-gaffer of our rivals Colchester United, and he has signed wisely, getting the likes of Mark Gower (£25,000 from Barnet),  and also Mark Warren (ex-Colchester), Jamie Stuart (ex-Charlton) and Jimmy Corbett (ex-Blackburn) on free's. The squad is looking good, and with a decent youth set-up and a few more signings (we released 2/3s of our squad at the end of last year) we could challenge for a top five place with a bit of luck. But rebuilding takes time, and Wignall has won the fans over to give him that.

 

Players to look out for? Based on last year, Leon Cort, a massive central defender, brother of Carl at Newcastle United, finished up as about fourth top-scorer last season, and is a real colossus at the back. Other than him there's Tesfaye Bramble, brother of Newcastle's Titus (notice a theme?) who was top-scorer two years ago and second last campaign. He blows hot and cold, but when he's on fire he's one of the best in the Division. All the players reckon last year's captain, Kevin Maher, once a trainee at Tottenham Hotspur, is the best player in the division ability-wise.

 

What do you know about Yeovil? We are expecting big things from the Conference champions. Unlike Boston you won't start at a disadvantage points-wise and in a bit of turmoil staff-wise, so I fully expect you to finish in the top half.

OTV Predicts – An overhaul of the squad with some sound buys with the potential to flirt with the play-offs. Mid-table

 

SWANSEA

 

How did you do last season? Put basically, we missed out on relegation last season with a win over Hull in the final game of the season (4-2). Brian Flynn joined as manager last season taking over from Nick Cusack, who was player manager, and managed to place us bottom of the table. Luckily Brian Flynn and his contacts ensured plenty of loan players which allowed for our survival.

What are your hopes for the coming season? As for this season, ask any swans fan what they think of the current squad and hopes for the up and coming season and all will say sincerely that the swans will be promoted. Flynn has attracted a lot of good players to the side, with the possibility of more with regards to Connolly. Although he hasn't bought any defenders which may prove costly. Swansea should have one of, if not the best, attacking midfield and striking options in the division this season. The Swans are likely to shock some people this season and are definitely dark horses!

Players to look out for? Martinez, Leon Britton, Lee Trundle, Thomas, Johnrose. Britton and Martinez were loan signings last season and were influential in the swans survival.
 
OTV Predicts – Lee Trundle to be best buy of the division, and the Swans to surprise many and get promoted. Promotion

 

TORQUAY

 

How did you do last season? It ended in disappointment but overall was extremely pleasing. After a stunning start when we were joint leaders for a while, we hit a bad run in October and then in the new year we continually struggled to beat the lower teams. This, coupled with a small squad hit by injuries and suspensions, meant that the team fell just short of the play-offs in 9th place.

What are your hopes for the coming season? Hopefully the squad can continue to build on last season and make a strong promotion push, but realistically there are at least 9 or 10 sides in better shape than us at the moment so the top half is a attainable target.

Players we should look out for? Players to watch out for include the G-Force strike partnership of David Graham and Martin Gritton and the midfield partnership of Alex Russell and Jason Fowler. Graham started the season in stunning form but was hit by an injury and suspension and never re-discovered his best form. Martin Gritton is renowned for always giving 110% and chipped in consistently with goals to finish the season as top scorer on 16. Russell and Fowler combine in midfield to produce some wonderful skill and creative brilliance, with Russell noted for his long-range shooting and Jason for his great passing and eye for a good ball.
 
What you know about Yeovil and how you think we will do? The impression I have of Yeovil is that of a large club finally on the right track. I honestly think Yeovil will go straight up in their first season in the football league.

 

Steve Mumford

 

OTV Predicts – Great going forward should see them challenging for the Play-offs

 

YORK CITY

 

York City are lucky to even be in Division 3 after the trials and tribulations they have suffered recently as Daley Mayall tells all

 

‘Season 2003/04 is supposed to be the final one at Bootham Crescent for York City FC, if former Chairman Douglas Craig gets his wish to see them forced out to ground share with York City Knights RL at Huntington on the outskirts of the City. In 1999, Craig and fellow directors formed Bootham Crescent Holdings and separated the ground from the club "to protect its assets". Fast forward to Dec 2001, and BCH decide to sell the club, and subsequently the ground THEY now own to property developers. Persimmon Homes have a planning application to build 93 homes at BC currently lodged at the Council, but the 'Friends of Bootham Crescent' - a supporters' group formed to protect BC until a viable alternative becomes available to the club, are calling on the council to reject the submission due to a record number of objections. The ground at Huntington does not currently meet the criteria laid down by the Football League. This saga re. City's future home is currently ongoing.....

 

How did you do on the pitch last season? The club exceeded our expectations and finished in the top ten, hitting 3rd with 6 games to go before fading badly.

 

What are your hopes for this season? Terry Dolan's services were dispensed with by the club's board members (appointed by the Supporters' Trust) along with a few players on high wages, and Chris Brass, inspirational captain and player of the year last season, was appointed player/manager with Lee Nogan given a player/coaching role. Brass & Nogan's promise that they would try and play football to progress rather than the 'hoof it and see' fayre served under Dolan's leadership, means that things may not turn out so bad. I'd gladly settle for a top ten spot again in Chris' first season while he 'finds his feet'. Anything better would be a bonus.

 

Who have you signed and let go? David Dunning, a free from Blackburn looks a very good prospect in midfield. Mitch Ward’s experience could prove vital among the youngish squad we have. Our achilles heel could be down the left-side. Two left-sided players (Cowan and Potter) were dispensed with without being replaced as I write.

 

DALEY MAYALL, Editor, York City Fanzine 'Ginner's Left Foot'

 

OTV Predicts – A tough season for the youngest boss and for York fans successes off the pitch could be just as important.

 

...And finally what about us?

 

Yeovil have been tipped to do very well ever since we won the league back in April and there is no doubting the potential that exists in the squad. Kevin Gall will give numerous defences the run around this season and will definitely feature in the top scorers list. Lee Johnson banished all his doubters towards the end of last season and will flourish in this league. Going forward we will punish teams, the only fear is the more physical nature of the 3rd division. Our skilful play and neat passing may find its match against the likes of Oxford and Lincoln for example. That aside there is the quality and just as important the team spirit about for the Glovers to make an impact on this league and hopefully we can make the play-offs, or even better. If we do finish out of the top 7 its by no means a failure and finding our feet this time around will no doubt make us stronger second time around and we could well do a Rushden in 2004/2005 season.

 

36 – 38 HOW TO SURVIVE IN DIVISION 3

 

I have been asked by the editor of this wonderful organ (that’s the fanzine, not the fancy thing with pipes playing at a church near you) to give Yeovil fans advice on how to survive life in Division Three. Now I suspect many Yeovil fans would rather run the risk of entrusting Michael Jackson with their kids for a couple of weeks, than take advice of a Rushden fan – but after a couple of successful seasons in what’s known in some quarters as the ‘Turd Division’, I think I can give you lot a few tips on how to adapt to life in the promised land. So here is a step by step guide on how to survive in Division Three:

 

Buy an alarm clock!

 

I know that some Yeovil fans still prefer to wake each morning to the sound of a cockerel crowing outside, but this is an unreliable method of being woken up early, especially if foxes are prevalent in the area. Division Three is truly the most national league in British football, where one week you may travel to Scotland (Carlisle), the next Wales (Swansea), then there are the remote wastelands that makes up North East England (Darlo), and of course your near neighbours (but for everyone else a bloody long way to go) – Torquay. There are numerous long trips in Division Three which means lots of early starts.

 

Don’t be afraid to add to the squad.

 

When Rushden entered Division Three Brian Talbot decided to keep faith in the squad that won the Conference and made few new signings. However he quickly found out that some players couldn’t bridge the gap. Many Conference fans like to support the myth that Division Three is no better than the Conference, but although the gap is not huge like the jump from Division One to the Premier League, there is still a noticeable gap. Most Conference teams are well organised, as are most Division Three sides and as a result there isn’t a huge difference between the quality of defending in the two leagues. However many Division Three teams are sharper attacking units than what you will be used to in the Conference, something which is helped by a better quality of pitches. As there is a gap, some players who coped well enough at Conference level will struggle to make the gap, and will need replacing. The Rushden players who stood out for us in the Conference easily bridged the gap into League football, many of the more mediocre members of our squad are now no longer with us. If Gary Johnson allows sentiment to settle in and keep faith with players who struggle at first in this vital season for you, then you will end up wasting valuable points.

 

Start saving!

 

Supporting a Division Three is a lot more expensive than supporting a Conference team. Some league clubs charge far more than what you are used to in the Conference. Last season the worst offender was Barry ‘I’m a prick’ Hearn who usually puts away fans into Orient’s crumbling main stand and charges them £16.50 for the privilege. The norm for terracing is around £11-£13, with seating varying from around £13-£17. More and more Football League grounds only provide seating for away fans, and be wary of clubs like Scunthorpe who charge home fans less for better facilities and views.

 

Don’t worry if you have claustrophobia

 

If being in small, tightly packed spaces brings you out in a cold sweat then Division Three should hold no fears, as many clubs have far bigger grounds than they actually need. The worse culprits are Darlo whose convicted criminal chairman has just built them a 25k capacity ground, despite the fact last season their crowds often fell below the 3000 mark. Bury have a 12k capacity ground but can see their crowds dip to around 2000 if things aren’t going well, and Huddersfield’s ground is still to achieve a sell out attendance.

 

Also the stories about the atmosphere at Football League games being superb is a myth, the only grounds Rushden have visited in the Football League where the atmosphere really was rocking were Plymouth, Swansea and Hull. Hull have since moved and the atmosphere is meant to be much more subdued at the Kingston Communications Stadium, than the decaying but atmospheric Boothferry Park. However visiting the Vetch is like a trip to how football used to be, lots of big terraces and an intimidating and noisy home support. When 4000 or so Welshmen along the side of the pitch in their big terrace all start singing at the top of their voices it’s a truly impressive sight (and sound).

 

Be wary of trouble.

 

Yeovil haven’t got much of a reputation for trouble but at certain away days you still need to keep your wits about you. Swansea and Hull are where you will have to be most careful, but nearly every club has a firm of some sort. Certain pubs should be avoided, especially if your male and between the ages of 16 and 40. Macclesfield however, is safer than a nuclear bunker. On the other hand if you’re a hoolie you will have a great time, until you get battered by Hull’s Silver Cod Crew.

 

Expect away fans.

 

There is far more of a culture of travelling away in the Football League and the amount of away fans you will see at Huish Park will rise dramatically – especially this season as large numbers of fans will want to cross another new ground of their list. However some things never change – Kidderminster and Macclesfield’s away support is still useless. Kiddy apparently took 38 fans to Halifax a couple of seasons ago.

 

The referees are no better.

 

Any Yeovil fans expecting to see a better quality of officials in the Third Division will be disappointed, there are some absolute stinkers.

 

Far better media coverage

 

The quality of national media coverage for teams in the Third Division is far better than that of the Conference. You get to see your goals each week on Sky Sports and Nationwide League extra, and many Sunday newspapers have reports from every league game. The Daily Mail’s sports coverage is reliably shite at all levels though.

 

The FA Cup isn’t the same

 

There is something special about reaching the first round of the FA Cup when you’re a non-league club, but when you are a league club its just not the same. If you beat a Second Division club in round two then no one will care, but if say Morecambe knocked out Tranmere then it would be all over the papers.

 

Enjoy yourselves!

 

Sure you will miss some things about the Conference, but the Football League is undoubtedly the place to be. Where would you rather be playing? In front of 400 at a wind swept Leigh RMI, or watching your team run out in front of 15,000 fans at Hull’s stunning new ground.

 

Thanks to Adam - Editor of Rushin & Rantin.

 

39 - 42 Simon Amsterdam

 

The 2003 Title Run-in, by an Amsterdam Exile

 

Most of you are lucky to live in Yeovil.  Honest.   I never thought I’d be saying that, given how much I’ve enjoyed living in various other places around the world.  You’re lucky because you can see the Glovers every other week.  I hardly ever get to see them, but when I do, boy is it an effort!  Yes I know it’s my fault.  If I wanted to see the boys every week I could move back.  I’m just saying I enjoy my life where I am but wish I could see Yeovil Town every week as well.  But until we have affordable teleportation technology, I’ll have to make do with seeing them every now and then.

 

Anyway, I’ve been a YTFC supporter since I were a wee nipper, and here’s a few words about last season’s historic title win, and the run-in from an Exile’s point of view.

 

I live in Amsterdam. Moved here just over a year ago from London, where I’d been for many years.  In fact I moved here the day after the F.A. Trophy Final, oh glorious day.  I delayed my start in my new job til May 13th. I took the train back down to London after the game, went to Heathrow, met my girlfriend who had my suitcase, said goodbye, got on the plane, arrived here in Amsterdam at midnight and went to work in my new job the next morning!  Since I now work in a sports-obsessed ad agency making ads for Nike, the people here (sort-of) understood my behaviour…

 

When I lived in London, I got to see a handful of games a year, at least in the ICIS league days, there were quite a few opposition clubs near London.  And, while we’re talking about those days, do you remember being able to watch YTFC from behind the goal we attacked in the first half, then move round to the other end at half-time? [J].  Now, I was clearly going to see even fewer games.  I knew we were improving and we’d almost gone up in the last couple of years, but I’d hardly planned on our best season ever by a (West) country-mile in the year that I moved abroad!!

 

Short aside….I know it’s a cliché, but it’s weird to think how we ever survived before email and the internet.  I’m in constant contact with my mates in the UK every day, and I’m on Ciderspace every day for updates, match reports etc.  We do get BBC 1 & 2 out here, but annoyingly, on Ceefax we only get the BBC TV Schedules. So, if I miss Final Score, I don’t get to find out the Conference results until I get back to work on the Monday and log on again.  (And special thanks to those in control at Five-Live who make it so they rarely give Conference updates).

 

Anyway, I managed to fly over every few weeks, and combined some of those weekend trips to see my family in Surrey and girlfriend in London with a few Glovers away days, but the more the season progressed, the more I realise we had a real chance of making history this year.  But, as I’m sure many others did, I had my doubts.  I’d been through hope and disappointment and didn’t want to get over-optimistic.  We were bound to have a bad patch at some stage in the season, weren’t we? (It never did come J )

 

As we got towards Easter,  there were still several teams in it (it’s funny looking back to think it was close for so long – my memory now seems to tell me that we were miles ahead for ages), and of course there was that nightmare run-in.  So I booked flights for the last 4 games….it couldn’t be over any earlier could it?  Could it….?  The closer we got to the end, all the other teams kept slipping up.  Suddenly the gap was getting bigger, and there were fewer games left to close it.

 

Saturday 5th April.  5 games to go. Telford at home.

Donny had lost midweek to Scarborough, and so, almost out of nowhere, there was suddenly a strong possibility that we could clinch the title there and then, if we won and Chester didn’t.   With this in mind, my Yeovil mates in London went down to the game and of course taunted me, but it was just too expensive for me.  Even though I’m one of Easyjet’s best customers (!), I usually book my tickets way in advance, when they’re relatively cheap.  Not so for last-minute-they-might-now-suddenly-win-the-title bookings.   So I didn’t go.  And this is hard to admit – I was hoping for a Chester victory.  There, I said it.  But I’d already spent a lot of money on flights and plans for the run-in – they couldn’t go and now do it without me could they?   We ended up winning (3-0) of course, and so did Chester.  We’d basically won the title bar goal-difference, which meant that I was 99.999% certain we’d clinch it now, but, importantly - as I reminded my mates - technically the party couldn’t start until I arrived next week. J

 

Saturday 12th April.  4 games to go. Away at Doncaster.

I’ll remember this day for as long as I live.

I took a train on my own up to Doncaster for the late Kick-Off – stupidly, my mates had a softball game they were apparently committed to (come on – all those days skiving off school, and all those sickies off work – have you learnt nothing?!!?).  This is the only game I think I’ve ever been early for – you could only buy tickets on the day, so I made damn sure I wasn’t coming all this way from Holland for nothing!!  Not much more to say about this game, and this historic day, that you won’t already know, but suffice to say that I’d waited years and years and I have to truthfully say that until very very recently I thought it would never happen.  We revelled in being the famous giantkillers.  It’s romantic.  It’s got grass-roots, support-the-small-teams credibility.  All rubbish I know, but it’s how we justified our place in football, and I just always thought it would never change.  That we’d never make that jump to ‘proper’ football.  So today was like a fairy story – you didn’t really think it was real.   We’d been promoted to the League before the game, thumped our main rivals at their own ground, live on TV.  Unbelievable.  My celebrations had to be fairly non-alcoholic, however.  I was running the London Marathon (for the first time) the next morning! J

 

Saturday 19th April.  3 games to go.  Burton at home.

I’d had to explain to my parents that although I was flying ‘home’ (ie. their adopted home in Surrey) for Easter weekend, I’d actually be spending most of it travelling around watching Yeovil Town!!  Hired a car and drove down to Somerset, met up with a few friends.   A fabulous game, 6-1, absolute Fantasy Football.  It was also my 20 year school reunion in Yeovil that night, so I was in a real party mood.  But, funnily enough, I don’t think it had sunk in yet, even now.

 

Easter Monday 21st April.  2 games to go.  Dagenham & Redbridge away.

By now, it was like playing for fun.  Another 4-0 win, although I think the result flattered us, for once.  I’d shelled out a load of money on flying over to see these games, and it was nice of the boys to put on a good show for me. ;)  I was so happy that, on my drive back into London, I pulled over and phoned Alan Green on 606.  When the operators heard that I’d flown over from Amsterdam to go and see Yeovil at Dagenham, they said I’d definitely get on-air! Alan Green also seemed amazed I’d come over especially for this game.   Funny that; they’re football fans right? Don’t they realize when history is being made and what it means for the fans?

 

Saturday 26th April.  Last game.  Chester at home.

Just a few days later, back on the plane and driving down the A303.  This time, I took my girlfriend of 3 years to her first ever football match.  She doesn’t know how lucky she is. J  I did tell her that this is not a typical atmosphere.  It’s not always a party like this.  You’re witnessing history in the making.  Well, it was, as you all know, an historic day.  I took so many photos, almost got hoarse from singing, bought stupid giant foam hands, a silly jester’s hat, a Champions flag and every piece of newspaper article and memorabilia I could get my hands on.  The bag was full of Yeovil Town stuff!!  I just didn’t want to leave.

 

So, that was my 2003 Conference Title run-in.  Obviously I couldn’t see the open-top bus through the town, but never mind, I’d been there for the games.  It seemed silly at the time to a lot of people for me to spend a lot of money flying and back and forth and driving all over the place every few days, just to see some football matches for a non-league team.  People think you’re mad to do this for a Conference team, yet people do it all the time for Premiership teams.  I read that when Berkovic played for West Ham, there’d be a group of people flying over from Israel every week to see him play.  It just happens that this is my team, the team I’d supported since I was a kid – OK, I’d not gone to as many games as many fans, but I’d not always lived in the town.  I don’t regret a penny of it.  You can’t buy emotion like there was at those closing games.  I hope the manager and players realize what it means to some of the fans (I suspect they do now).  I had the advantage of being able to drive a couple of hours down the road to the pre-season games in Belgium, and as I write, we’ve won 2 out of 2, and sitting pretty on top of Division 3.  It’s never been better.  Oh, and it still hasn’t really sunk in.  Will it ever?

 

Simon Amsterdam

 

43 - 44 Jon Hartley

 

A summer without football can be a very dull place to be. In non-World Cup or European Championships years, it can be difficult to fill you time with anything constructive. Personally, I turn to another great love, music. Journey’s to homes of the great unwashed, like Glastonbury (Pilton) and Reading or Leeds Festivals are not uncommon. Other hedonistic quests include seeking the perfect beer garden and the best beach. However this year I decided that I would improve my cultural status by putting my nose in a book and get reading. So which literary masterpieces did I choose to fill those long sun filled summerdays? Would I be caught up in Potter mania and wisk myself of to Hogwarts? Or possibly see if I could get mentally readjusted by reading the classic Catch 22? 
 
Fortunately my decision was easy, lets stick with football. In fact they were two very different views of clubs in contrasting situations. Tim Parks A Season with Verona follows the ups but mostly downs of Hellas Verona as they battled to stave off relegation from Italy’s football elite. The other is a little closer to home with read that has kept must Yeovil fans gripped during the post season, Yeovil till I die: A Ciderspace Odyssey by our own Brendon Owen. Yeovil till I die encapsulates our historic Conference winning season, something that I’m sure we will not forget but will remind us of the finer points. So how do the pair stand as a good read and would I recommend them? 
 
Lets start with the continental counterpart from Tim Parks. Tim draws out the essence of his adopted home in true style. A Hellas fan and citizen of Verona for 30 years, he really does know about Italian football and this knowledge shines throughout the book. Don’t be fooled in to thinking that you too need to be an Italian football addict to understand, as quite frankly Tim will ‘Anglo-fy’ this for you. You will be taken on a extraordinary visceral tour of a country, its sights and multiple personas in order to find the real Italy. So much so that this book can also be found in the travel section of all good book shops(and some rubbish ones as well!), but this is far from a travel book and has football at heart. Bringing together Italian life, politics and ideals, only increases the enjoyment of this book. Did you know that football can help you get elected to government? In Italy it can. 
 
From Bari to Udine and from Rome to Naples the book will take you to every Hellas Verona game in the 2000/01 season. On this journey you will meet the characters of the club from the ‘presidente’ down to the controversial members of the brigate gialloblù, Verona’s fanatical following. Italian football is unique, but to be a football fan is universal, a point that is made apparent in the books message. On the brink of relegation, it is impossible not to feel strong empathy to Hellas and the inhabitants of the Bentegodi Stadium. Hellas are a club in Italy that everyone loves to hate, due to the historic temperament of the city. However for all it fault’s Tim Parks engages the reader to come away wishing the club well. As we all know relegation is a nasty business and a fate that I only wish on a few clubs and Hellas are certainly not one of them.
 
A Season with Verona offers a personal view surrounding a wide variety of issues within the game, Italy and beyond. While I have never watched Verona or ever taken the arduous bus journey to Bari, by reading this book I am so much closer to understanding what it must be like. Some antics will make you laugh and some will make you want to shout in disgust, as this book does not want to paint over the ugly cracks in Italian football. So for the warts and all view of a national obsession A Season with Verona is a fantastic book and comes highly recommended. 
 
Having introduced the heavy weight from Italy, how does our debutant local contender compare? Weighing in at nearly 300 pages lighter, our own Brendon Owen’s Yeovil Till I Die: A Ciderspace Odyssey still packs a hefty punch. Unlike A Season with Verona this book does not need to do is to get under the skin of a nation, its football and its politics. Brendon was able to keep it a lot simpler, Yeovil’s Conference winning season. Brendon has been able to bring a fans perspective to this incredible occasion for the Glovers. Having been through the same emotions myself this book is a pleasure to read. From page to page the memories come flooding back in to view as Brendon puts in to words what we were all thinking and feeling. I can envisage a time in the future where the events of last season will not be so fresh in my mind; this book will be the first place I will turn to. 
 
For me, one of the great aspects of this book is the personal touch. Brendon does not just write about the matches themselves but how his life interacts with going to watch football. Last season was a memorable one for Brendon in more that just a football way, which is brought in the book for us all to experience with him. He let us in to his life as we learn of his change in job and goings on in his family (one that explains his absence from Rochdale). These additions bring a more human factor that we can relate to and I for one appreciate it as part of the book. 
 
All in all I’ve enjoyed both books and would certainly recommend them. They cover similar subjects from different angles. One is written by a proven author of international stature, the other by a talented new comer but both have a lot to offer. So to while away those long journeys to new far away locations like Carlisle and Darlington pick up these books to help you through. 
 

JON HARTLEY

 

 

46 – Phil Harris

 

It is the end of the season, Yeovil are supreme champions, the summer with dreams of the third division and league football. Now that the formalities of the end of season have taken place, I have folded my Yeovil shirt away, washed my scarf (never wash during the months of August-May could bring bad luck!!) pop my hat back on the Yeovil town shelf (full of Glovers bits ‘n’ pieces) and waved goodbye to Jinxavitus  What to do over the summer months?

 

Well it all started with changing my home page on the internet. All season it is, of course, Ciderspace. A friend of mine suggested Celebdaq on the BBC website. I do not subscribe to Hello ,OK or any other trivial nonsense mag but this silly Celebdaq thing caught my interest. Who is Beyonce? Who is this geezer Justin Timberlake?? Well suffice to say I put all my money on Keanu Reeves.. after all David (You’ll never play for Yeovil) Beckham is never going to leave Man U (whoever they are!!) is he.

 

I put money on all sorts of no hopes (Stevenage didn’t even have a listing!! And as for Whymouth). But it is true to say I watched the celebs with an interest I never want to repeat. TIZ A DISEASE I TELL YA!!

 

I have also discovered the Earthquake site ( 6 on the Richter scale is 1 million tons of TNT… 9 is 31 billion Crikey).. the KFC website ( for a private tour that I never did) and the Bentley site , again for a private tour, I wanted to sing OHHHH DARYLL CLARE you went to Chester City and you won f*** all. But I refrained.

 

The only Great thing to happen was my brother coming back from New Zealand having missed the entire season ( apart from frequent text message updates etc.). For a lad who’s followed the Glovers since he was seven , you couldn’t have planned a round the world trip at the wrong time of your life, could you, really!!!

 

By the way I have become a multi millionaire. If you have succumbed to this dreadful piece of celebdaq trash then don’t worry HELP IS AT HAND.The MIGHTY GLOVERS are back.

 

Oh and my home page is back to Ciderspace. I hope yours is or you may get JUNKAVITUS….. nasty!!

 

PHIL HARRIS

 

47 - 51 Ground guides

 

 

16/09 DONCASTER

 

How to get there: From the North - follow the A638 towards Doncaster town centre, past the Doncaster Railway Station (Trafford Way). Go straight over the next two roundabouts, and turn left at the third onto the A18, Carr House Road. Follow this road for two miles, and then turn right at the large roundabout onto the A638 Bawtry Road. The ground is on your right. From The South - Exit the M18 at junction 3, and follow the A6182 towards Doncaster for approx. 3 miles. At the roundabout with the A18, turn right into Carr House Road. Follow this road for two miles, and then turn right at the large roundabout onto the A638 Bawtry Road. The ground is on your right. The best bet for parking is actually at the ground.
 
Pre-Match: Doncaster is a little light on the Pub front and the Grand St Ledger Hotel and the Park Hotel are the only pubs near the ground. The Grand St Ledger is on the corner of the last round about before you reach the ground. The Park Hotel is visible from the ground to the right of the main stand and does half decent food. There is a McDonalds a short walk behind the away terrace as well for those food connoisseurs.
 
Stadium: Away supporters are allocated the Town End of the ground, entrance in the left corner of the ground if you looking at the main stand from the outside. Never had the food there from the portable cabin as soon as you walk in but the Bovril’s good.

 

 

20/09 MANSFIELD

 

How to get there: Exit the M1 at junction 27. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto the A608 (Hucknall/.Mansfield). Go straight over two roundabouts, following signs to "Mansfield A611" and at the third roundabout turn left onto the A611. Continue for 3.8 miles to a set of traffic lights at a T-junction. Here, turn left onto the A60 Nottingham Road. Travel for around 1 mile towards Mansfield Town Centre.  Once you have gone past the KFC on the left-hand side, keep in the nearside lane, and go through the set of traffic lights. At the next set of traffic lights, with the church on the right-hand side, turn left into Quarry Lane, and the ground is on your right hand side. There is a car park next to the ground, with a £1 parking fee, although this may rise in the near future.  There are plans to extend it, as it gets full early on. There are plenty of Retail Parks around the ground, but be careful, security firms have took over the running of the car parks, and will fine anyone parking for more than two hours. There is plenty of street parking within a mile radius, so that is your best bet.
 
Pre-Match: The place for away fans to have a pre match pint is the Early Doors, which is directly down some steps, at the back of the away end, you can't miss it. It is totally away fan friendly on match days, and you won't get any bother in there. If you fancy a pint and a meal, you will need to walk around 500 yards back up the road with KFC on it, to the Talbot, or the pub opposite, which keeps changing its name!, otherwise, there are plenty of fast food outlets on the various retail parks. The town centre is about a 10 minute walk and is well signposted, be careful though, most of the town centre pubs are full of home supporters about an hour and a half before kick off, but if you visit the main ones in the market square, like Yates's and Weatherspoons, you'll not encounter any problems.
 
The Stadium: The away end is on Quarry Lane itself, It'll cost you a full £14 Adults and £7 concessions. The ground is an all seater affair, with three sides recently developed and looking mighty fine, whilst the other is a old looking stand, that seats any excess away fans, and seats 500. The away end itself will squeeze 1900 in, and is directly behind one of the goals.
 
Michael ‘Déjà vu’ fanzine 

 

04/10 CHELTENHAM

 

How to get there: Glovers fans heading for Cheltenham should follow the M5 north to Junction 11. Take the A40 towards Cheltenham, going straight over the first roundabout and left at the second. At the top of the hill, take the 2nd exit at the large square-shaped roundabout, and continue straight ahead at the next. Turn right at the mini-roundabout, and take the 1st exit at each of the next two. Continue straight ahead, and straight over the set of traffic lights, before joining the left-hand lane and bearing left. Straight ahead at the roundabout is the 3rd exit, and the first road on the right is Whaddon Road, at which point the floodlights should be visible. Parking will be on-street as the club car park is now only for season ticket holders. (Park before reaching Whaddon Road, as the Whaddon estate is not the most salubrious). Alternatively, the club operates a park and ride scheme from Cheltenham Racecourse, which is signposted from the motorway; free buses travel both before and after the match.
 
Pre-match: The club bar still welcomes away fans, and the usual away pubs are about a five minute walk back towards the town centre (one is the Sudeley Arms, the other is virtually next door but the name escapes me). Food isn't easy to come by outside the ground without going all the way into town, but there is a chip shop about 150 yards further up Whaddon Road past the away entrance. The Cat & Fiddle pub opposite is best avoided as there has been occasional trouble there (although usually provoked by other teams).
 

The Stadium: Whaddon Road has changed a little since Yeovil's last visit, with a new 2,000 seater stand opposite our old main stand, of which up to about a third can be allocated to away teams, along with the Whaddon Road terrace, which is still as decrepit as ever, although it does boast a new turnstile block which incorporates toilets and refreshments. Capacity is now a mighty 7,300(!) The home terrace now has a roof, which helps focus the noise and makes a good atmosphere. It's £15 to sit and £13 to stand, with reductions for concessions, and further reductions for under-16s. Ground photos and a layout plan are on my website, so feel free to appropriate those as necessary.

 

Keith @ www.cheltrobins.co.uk

 

11/10 OXFORD

 

How to get there: The ground is to the south of the city, on the outskirts between Sandford on Thames and Blackbird Leys.  It is well signposted from the ring road (follow the brown football signs) although parking can be a problem - there is a free car park with about 1500 spaces right by the ground, but this is often full by around 2ish. There is some parking along Grenoble Road (the road theground is on) but it is restricted and the traffic wardens are shit-hot round there.
 
The stadium: The away end doesn't exist as such, as currently we only have three sides. Away supporters are housed in the west (open) end of the North Stand. Entry is by ticket only (no cash on the turnstyles) and there is a ticket office adjacent to the away entrance although I would advise purchasing tickets in advance as you save something like £3 or £3.50 on matchday prices. Last season it was £14 in advance and £17 on the day, but I think they may have gone up by about 50p for next season.  The ground is all-seater and all seats are uncovered with unrestricted views. The North Stand is single-tier but rises fairly high so there are excellent views from the back.  Food, drinks (inc bottled Carlsberg) and matchday programmes are sold in the concourse, but there have been problems with supply and demand in the past with pasties and such running out sometimes even before half-time, although that should have been resolved now.  There are also catering outlets in the car parks.
 
Pre-match: There is a pub right next to the ground, at the west end, called the Priory and ?, which is away fan friendly but only sells lager and draught flow beer. It often gets quite packed before a game. Otherwise the nearest decent pub for away fans is about a 15 minute walk away in the village of Sandford on Thames, called the Catherine Wheel, and this has Brakspears on tap (as well as pool, Sky TV, and decent, reasonably cheap, food.  Fans can also 
Take advantage of the restaurant at the ground which last season cost £10 for a two-course meal, but I think that the prices have gone up for next season (although to be fair it was excellent value for money ‘cos the food was top notch, and it could easily stand a modest rise without too much fuss).
 

The stadium: The away end doesn't exist as such, as currently we only have three sides. Away supporters are housed in the west (open) end of the North Stand. Entry is by ticket only (no cash on the turnstyles) and there is a ticket office adjacent to the away entrance although I would advise purchasing tickets in advance as you save something like £3 or £3.50 on matchday prices. Last season it was £14 in advance and £17 on the day, but I think they may have gone up by about 50p for next season.  The ground is all-seater and all seats are uncovered with unrestricted views. The North Stand is single-tier but rises fairly high so there are excellent views from the back.  Food, drinks (inc bottled Carlsberg) and matchday programmes are sold in the concourse, but there have been problems with supply and demand in the past with pasties and such running out sometimes even before half-time, although that should have been resolved now.  There are also catering outlets in the car parks.

 

Martin @ www.rageonline.co.uk

 

25/10 CAMBRIDGE

 

How to get there: From The M11 - Exit the M11 at junction 11 and take the A1309 towards Cambridge. Continue along the A1309, and then take the right exit onto the A603. Turn left at the second roundabout onto the A1134 and the ground is located about a mile along this road, on your right hand side. From The A14 - Leave the A14 at the junction with the A1303 and then follow the A1303 towards Cambridge. Go straight over two roundabouts, and through two set of lights, passing Cambridge airport, a large car sales and a park and ride. Once you pass the second roundabout, start looking for a car park in one of the back streets, as you should be able to see the flood lights from here.

 

Pre-match: Of the pubs relatively close to the ground The Greyhound is the one most frequented by visiting supporters. It's a five minute dash or a ten minute stroll away, under the railway bridge and across Coldhams Common.

 

The Stadium: This ground is a typical lower league stadium. It appears to be in the middle of the housing estate, and has no road access to two of the four stands. The away fans are now [20th Nov 2002] situated in the corner of the west stand that runs along the side of the pitch and also in the new 1,200 all seater south stand (depending on the expected number of away supporters - in other words, to be guaranteed the better facilities its always best to buy lots of tickets in advance!). The facilities in the new stand are far better than any that can be found in any other part of the ground, with excellent, unobstructed views and cleaner, more spacious toilets to boot! To find the away turnstiles, walk down the A1303, past the main entrance. When you get opposite the 'Pipashi' restaurant, you need to turn left, walking along a foot path, that crosses a field! At this point, you should be walking along the back of a stand. The away fans are located in far end of this stand. The food is not bad, but the service is very slow. so expect to queue for about 15-20 minutes

 

52 - 53 Stadium Review

 

It is the turn of Yorkshire’s current biggest club Leeds United to have their stadium reviewed for OTV. It is also my local premiership as it is located about 3 miles from my house. Elland Road can be very striking at first sight if approaching on the motorway as it is situated adjacent to the M621 just one junction away from the city centre. The most obvious feature of this ground is the massive modern East Stand (or Lurpak Stand), which stands head and shoulders above the rest of the stadium. The other 3 sides are enclosed at the same lower level, which includes the Revie Stand where the hardcore of the Leeds faithful congregate.

                   

Away fans are situated at the opposite end of the ground in the South Stand and depending on the amount of away fans will depend on exactly where you will sit. For clubs with smaller followings a corner of the South Stand is allocated which holds about 1,800 seats. For Yeovil fans larger accommodation would be required, so the whole end behind the goal would be released and Leeds fans would take the corner. This flexibility allows Leeds to make the most of the space that they have.

 

At a 40,000 capacity Elland Road is not a small ground however it does feel that way inside as legroom is not the greatest at this stadium. It gives that air that the 40,000 have been crammed in to the smallest space possible. Thankfully the times that I have been to Elland Road I have had an unrestricted view and for most away fans this will be the case. Home fans in the upper tier of the Revie Stand may not have this luxury, as there are a few pillars. For the best view in the house must be found in the East Stand that provides excellent viewing where ever you are.

 

A plus point for this stadium is its ability to holds in a great atmosphere, in fact the first game I saw there was the loudest crowd that season at any premiership ground. Leeds fans are passionate and when they can be motivated can make a major racket. It is unfortunate that they have to do it in such dire surroundings. Apart from the very impressive East Stand, the rest of Elland Road is looking very shabby indeed. Situated on what can only be described as wasteland next to the motorway, it is safe to say that the stadium has seen better days. Abandoned warehouses are found with in the stadium grounds and the hospitality area is found in a marquee next to the bus park. All in all it isn’t the most attractive of places to be.

 

This is not likely to get any better as the clubs proposed move to a new stadium on the east side of of the city seems to be under threat due to finances. The crisis seems to have hit Leeds more than just on the field. Which means that you have the opportunity to visit Elland Road for sometime to come.

 

If you are visiting the ground there are several way to do it. By car is convenient due to the proximity to the M621, however on a match day this can be nightmare so beware. Parking can also a little problem if there is no space in the main car park as this will mean leaving it in the less than desirable areas of Holbeck, Beeston or Middleton. Alternatively there are many special bus services to Elland Road which can be caught from the city centre. The easiest place to jump on is the ‘dark arches’ (now known as Granary Wharf) next to the Train Station.

 

As a city Leeds has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife. With many bars and clubs in the Corn Exchange and Calls area of the city centre. For a slightly out of town feel go to Headlingley (take the number 1 or 95 buses) where a good cross section of bars and pubs can be found many of which have 1 am licences. In summer time the beer garden at the Original Oak cannot be beaten.

 

Overall a trip to Elland Road and Leeds has a lot to offer with a great atmosphere held within. The flip side of the coin is a decaying stadium in need of work. This is a stadium, which is a sad sight in parts but still worth a visit before the club raises some funds and moves out of town. Get it before it is gone!

 

54 – 55 Turkish Glover

 

You are probably wondering what the hell is a Yeovil fan doing coaching Youth football in Turkey? Well I will try and condense the answer in as few words as possible. I used to coach part time at AFC Bournemouth with the centre of Excellence and Soccer schools. I was then made redundant from my main job as a Marketing Executive and used the time to pass my coaching exams in the end gaining an FA Licence. I was then offered work for the United States Soccer Academy in New York, I went there but it went belly up – a story in itself! I then met a Turkish girl, she moved back to Antalya in Turkey and was soon offered a job coaching the youth team at Antalyaspor.

 

So what about Turkey? The biggest problem here is of course the language barrier, however with lessons and the fact that Football is a international language it became easy for the players to understand we I required from them. The second problem is the bloody heat here, to counter this we coach from 7.00am until 11.00am and then from 6.00pm until 9.00pm. In between these times we will look at players dietary requirements and growth spurts. Mostly the diet is not a problem, as the normal diet here is fresh vegetables and rice, and fruit is cheap and readily available. Players discipline is not a problem off the pitch, they are all Muslim so do not touch alcohol, and respect what their hojam (teacher) ask of them.

 

One of the biggest problems faced is the player’s parents, as most of the players are from very poor families and the parents see their sons as the road to riches. Telling them at the six monthly returns, that their sons are not going to make it can be very hard to do. Often the players accept the decision with a shrug of the shoulders but the parents end up in tears as their dreams of riches disappear.

 

Discipline, may be in abundance off the pitch but can be a real problem on it, as the Turkish mentality of wining at all cost means a serious lack of discipline. This can range from everything to blatant diving, to spitting which isn’t really considered a major crime here. However I won’t stand for it and some of the players have became very disillusioned with me when I took them off in a match if they deliberately dived or punched, kicked or spat at an opponent.

 

Travelling to matches can also be a pain sometimes, with lots of matches or tournaments taking places in cities that require 6 or 7 hours in a Dolmush. For those who have been to Turkey and travelled in one you will know what I mean.  These are small mini busses with all the comfort of a 1980’s Safeway coach from Yeovil Bus station! The first tournament I had to go to was in Ankarra - we left at midnight in a dolmush  travelled through the night, arrived at 9.00am we played our first game at 11.00am lost 5-1. We played the second game at 3.00pm lost 7-0 and were eliminated. We then had to travel all the way back to Antalya arriving back at 1.00 the next morning! The highlight of the day was a weird conversation with some of the team about an English player called Atkinson. In my tired and confused state I though they meant "Big Ron" and introduced their basic English to "early doors” much to my personal amusement. However not until I was lying in bed the next morning  I realized they meant Dalian Atkinson, who had spent a season here at Besiktas?

 

Turkey also has its perks, for example each club is entitled to 10 tickets for internationals at reduced prices....so don’t tell the FA but there will be at least one England fan in Istanbul for the Turkey v England match in October. I have even thought of being brave and have a Turkish flag with "biz sevyorum Yeovil Town"  printed on it. 

 

I still miss the Glovers though, and get back a couple of times a season to watch them. My dad keeps me updated on what is going on, and of course Ciderspace which is a god send to us exiled Glovers throughout the world.

 

To all Glovers at home and throughout the World, keep the faith and Up the Greens.

 

MICHAEL

 

56 - 59 Welsh Wizards

 

The Welsh Wizards Kevin Gall and Gavin Williams spoke to OTV after the Royal Antwerp game. Thanks to both players for taking the time to speak to OTV and for being so approachable and entertaining. Whilst doing the interview it was clear, thorough Kev and Gavs interaction and their answers, that the players of Yeovil Town FC have a team spirit to be proud of and coupled with their talent this should take us far this season.

 

PRE SEASON

 

What’s the dreaded pre-season been like?

Kevin - Well so far we’ve done loads of football, with 15 minutes of running every so often – it doesn’t sound hard but that was really hard…

Gav - I had to sit next to Gally from Yeovil to Belgium that was hard!

Its quite unusual to do loads of football work isn’t it?

G - The gaffer is obviously more concerned with the technical side of it , we work with the ball more and we get our fitness from that…

K - I think its much better than running round a pitch 20 times

G - Players get pissed off with that.

K – Its not easy though and you can see in these games we are ready and with the games to come well get better.

How was the operation Kev?

K  - After I had the operation I didn’t do nothing for 3/4 weeks, I couldn’t move, couldn’t walk really. I didn’t have crutches but was I was walking really cramped over. I gradually had to get back into it, walking for a week or so and then had to ease myself into some running. Feel much better for it though.

Gav, you now find yourself in a similar position…

G – I’ve not been on crutches before, never even missed more than two games in a row with injury so its unfortunate and frustrating. The worst part is when the lads are training I’m stuck in the hotel.

 

THE TOUR

 

What’s it like coming abroad and playing foreign teams?

K - This team, Antwerp, were good today. It was really good experience for the boys. If we play as well as we’ve done over here against Rochdale we’ll beat them 5-0. These teams are much better than those in the 3rd division. We’ve drawn against 2 very good sides only just lost to a great side today – if they were crap they wouldn’t be connected to Man Utd. We’ve also got some great games when we get back as well in Wolves and Preston, they’ve got international players in their teams. It is great preparation.

Has there been many pranks?

K laughing – Absolutely loads. My telly got pinched from my room on the first day and it was Gav. Mine and Jackos bed got turned over, all our stuff was all over the room, Roy got involved as well so we had to get him back. So I pinched his telly, I’ve had it for a day, I’ve hidden in my room and he can’t find it. Then someone, well 2 people have done Maccas and Gavs room today, that was bad…

G – I found all my laces screwed up in a bottle of water.

K – There’s been a few and there will be a few more.

G - A lot of telly pinching…

Not with your leg though Gav?

K laughing – Yeah alright, believe me he has!

Anyone done the bosses yet?

K & G laughing – NO!

That sort of thing is obviously a great sign of team spirit?

K - Its brilliant, even though we are professional its all a good laugh…

G - …everyone knows when to have a laugh and when to be serious.

K - Anything someone does everybody takes the mickey out of, like Roys hair! (Both laugh) or Jonnos new haircut - terrible.

What about Darren Way he needs his haircut?

K - No comment (laughing)

On the subject of haircuts the Mullets on display in Germany got us thinking. If you had to have a mullet would it be; a Rudi Voller curly one, or a Chris Waddle shaven on sides long at the back?

K – I would say Rudi Voller…anything apart from Roy O’Brien’s hair – terrible mullet!

As well as the mullets the fans have also been impressed by the huge numbers of Dogs in Antwerp, they almost seem to be a fashion accessory – What’s your favourite dog?

K – Yeah I’ve noticed that everyone that walks has got a dog – I didn’t really think about it till you said it. My mum and dad have got a Staffordshire bull terrier, so it’s got to be a staff.

G – Yeah, I’m with Gally on that one.

 

WALES

 

Had any stick from the England semi-pro boys?

G - Yeah, but not about the result they were all taking the mickey out of the pitch at Merthyr (Gav and Kevin’s home town), its usually brilliant, yet when they played England it was terrible.  We had go at some people they let us down!

Kev, tell us about the Under 21s?

K - Its great experience for me I’ve got 9 caps. We’ve only won 1 since I’ve played and I think its 1 in 27 in total. You play against the best young players in the world, like Italy they had players from Roma that sort of thing.

Is there much interaction with the full squad?

K - Cause you stay at the same hotel you get to know them. I’m good friends with Gary Speed from my time at Newcastle. There are a few from Merthyr as well Mark Pembridge, Steve Jenkins, and Jason Bowen, I always mix with them. You mix with all the big players as well like Giggsy and Bellamy.

You mentioned Gary Speed at Newcastle, have you got any other friends still from your time there?

K - My best mate up there was Shoala Ameobi, I still speak to him all the time and I saw him in the summer, he’s brilliant. I speak to a few of the young lads trying to get in the first team like Brian Kerr, Cauldwell now on loan at Coventry, I’ll still keep in touch with them. The boy who scored the 2 goals for Burscough last season Wright, he was at Newcastle with me and I still speak to him.

Gav, you may not have mixed in such famous circles but you came 2nd in the Goal of the season a couple of season ago?

G - Trevor Sinclair won it but I came second with my goal for Hereford v Swindon. Gally said it’s the best goal he has ever seen.

K laughing - No I really do, he’s got it on video and every time I go to his house he puts it on – its broke cause he puts it on so much!

 

FREE TIME

 

Do you play Championship Manager after training?

K – Yeah, all the time .

G  laughing - But he’s shit at it.

K laughing – No, I must say I’m very good at it as I’m Man Utd and they’ve got the best team.

Have you ever bought yourself?

K - I haven’t actually cause I’m crap on it…

G - Yeah but he always cheats and put all his marks up to 20 out of 20!

Are you ever Yeovil?

K - I was but got relegated in the first season!

What about ISS on the Playstation?

K – I’m good at that as well, Gav thinks he’s great but I’ve battered him every single time and he’s crap. We should have a match in front of everyone to prove it.

G laughing – We are both good, if any fan wants to bring it on in a doubles match let them we’ll batter anyone!

 

TOP PLAYERS

 

If Yeovil could sign anyone who would you want to play with?

K - Alan Shearer no doubt, he’s unbelievable. I don’t think many people believe me when I say it but every single day in training he never misses the target he always scores. Probably Ronaldo and Henry as well, any one of them 3 would be nice…

G laughing  …any good forward really!

K - I was gonna say Gav until he said that, cheers!

G – Zidane, he just walks about doing tricks and that, it would be brilliant.

 

Who’s the best player you’ve ever played on the same pitch as?

K – Eric Cantona, when I was in the reserves at Newcastle. He was outrageous, the best player I’ve ever seen. You’ve got your Maradonna’s and your Cryuff’s but in my time he’s the best, he was just immense, so good it was scary.

G - Roy Keane when Hereford played Man Utd in a friendly, it was only a friendly but he was brilliant.

 

THIS SEASON

 

Kev, You looking forward to going back to Rovers?

K - I cant wait there’s a lot of stuff that went on there a lot of things people don’t know about, like I said in my Western Gazzete interviews a lot of crap went on and I’d rather forget it. It’s football and it happens, and yes I am looking forward to going back (grinning)

G - Game I’m looking forward to the most is Swansea away being a Cardiff fan…

K - …the away one is round Christmas time. I had the Swansea game when I was at Rovers at the same time last year. All my friends play for Swansea including my best friend Andrew Mumford, but I like Cardiff cause I used to play for them as a kid. I’m not like Gav, he’s a proper fan but all the lads at Cardiff are brilliant like Robbie Earnshaw. Sam Hammnan (Cardiff’s enigmatic Chairman) always stays at the hotel when Wales plays an international – he’s mad he really is. I did the ‘ayatollah’ celebration {the Cardiff fans celebration in honour of their Chairman) last season because my agent used to play for Swansea so we took the mickey out of him.

G laughing - That could be the goal celebration at Swansea.

K laughing - Right in front of the north bank that would be interesting.   

 

How do you think we could this season?

G – A top 7 finish hopefully but even if we finish in the top half we would still had had a successful season.

K – We’ve set our standards so high we will be disappointed if we don’t get into the top half at least, especially with players like Macca and Plucky with their sort personality.

 

Thanks again to Gav and Kev and if anyone thinks they are as half as good as myself at ISS Pro Evolution 2 email us at ontovictoryfanzine@yahoo.co.uk and we may be able to put the lads to test in the future.

 

60 - 61 YTFC TV

 

OTV can exclusively reveal that YTFC have followed in the footsteps of Man Utd’s MUTV by launching YTTV, a new 24-hour digital channel devoted to Yeovil Town FC. DAN BRITTON carried a highly illegal midnight raid on the new station’s headquarters in order to bring you a copy of the schedule for the opening weekend.

SATURDAY

7.00am It’s a Knockout

Documentary featuring YTFC’s historic FA Cup exploits.

11.30am The Terry and Gary Show

The skipper and the gaffer host their daily chat show. (Not to be confused with the Terry and Gabby Show, the zero-rating Channel 5 show.)

12.30pm Home & Away

Long running soap.  Kevin Gall rounds off a fine display with a goal.

1.00pm Dream Team

Terry Skiverton reprises his role as the first team coach of Harchester Utd.  In this latest episode Skivo stands in the background.

1.30pm Doctors

Soap.  Gilesy and Skivo get a progress check on their road to fitness.  Meanwhile Mac decides it may be time for a change.

2.00pm Dream Team

Next instalment of the Sky One football soap. Terry points from the dugout while looking perplexed.

2.30pm Home & Away

Long running soap.  Kevin Gall rounds off a fine display with another goal.

 

3.00pm The Match

Live coverage of today’s game.

6.00pm (I Think) I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here

The successful reality show returns with Michael McIndoe and Anthony Tonkin.

7.00pm You’ve Been Framed

Documentary on the transfer saga of Michael McIndoe.  With Den Stevos.

7.30pm Big Brother

The team mates announce their nominations for eviction from Huish Park.

8.00pm Take the High Road

The continuing story of Michael McIndoe.

8.30pm Pop Idol

Featuring karaoke coverage from the FA Trophy victory ride home (as seen in Skivo and Jono’s Trophy Adventure) and Kirk Jackson’s welcome to YTFC.

9.00pm Only Fools & Horses

Repeat of  the Christmas 2002 episode.  Starring Abdelhalim Elkholti as Gary and Rob Cousins as Trigger.  Gary is kidnapped from France in the back of a lorry and brought to England, where he is greeted by a cockney he can’t understand.

10.00pm Seven

Film. Saturday night offering starring Adam Stansfield.

1.00am – 7.am The Match Extra

Highlights, reaction and analysis of today’s game.

 

SUNDAY

7.00am 100 Year War

Documentary charting YTFC’s 108-year battle to gain entry to the Football League.  Like the original 100 year war, it didn’t lasted 100 years, but that sounds better.

11.30am Dream Team

Soap. In his biggest storyline yet Skivo tells the lads it’s time for training.

12.00pm The Politics Show

Jeremy Vine interviews Nick Crittenden about his conversion from a right winger to a left winger and back again, and again…

1.00pm Tom White and the Seven Dwarfs

Tom White takes the lead role in this pantomime.  Also stars Gary Johnson, Darren Way, Andy Lindegaard and Lee Johnson.

2.30pm YTFC Chart Show

Music show featuring performances by Lisa Stansfield and They Might Be Giants (starring Hugo Rodrigues and the Jolly Green Giant).

3.00pm The Great Escape

Feature film charting Jamie Gosling’s recent transfer from Bath City.

6.00pm Strike It Plucky

Game show.

6.30pm Groundforce

The team check on the progress of the Huish Park pitch.  With Charlie Dimmock, or is it Ray Parlour?

7.00pm Casualty

A trip to Dorchester sees Adam Stansfield go off injured.

8.00pm Footballer’s Mothers

A change to the original schedule, replacing Footballer’s Wives – well, they’re nearly all too young to have wives.

9.00pm Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

Drama.  In a special episode for Bristol Rovers fans, the loveable brickies provide the opposition to YTFC so that Kevin Gall can score.  (He only scores against brickies, plumbers and plasterers you know!).

10.00pm 3

The popular BBC drama 24 is back, this time with a new name to reflect the change in Abdou Elkholti’s squad number.

11.00pm Crimewatch

Nick Ross and Fiona Bruce investigate the frequent disappearance of Hereford’s best players to Somerset.

12.00am Late night fax in

Graham Roberts hosts YTTV’s late night interactive show.  The master of the fax machine will no doubt receive messages by the sack.

1.00am – 7.00am News

All the latest news straight from the club’s official website, www.ytfc.net.  The remaining 5 hours and 59 minutes after you realise there is no news on the site will be taken up by last season’s highlights.

 

62 The Last Word

 

So, the rollercoaster ride of the football league has just begun and it is hard to explain how I feel about it. The professionalism that has been shown by Gary and the boys (he who moved to Donny not included) to get us to this point has been nothing less than astonishing and I thank them for it. Even during the recent Carling Cup defeat at Luton it was evident that the team would not give up and roll over. The reaction to this was great support from the fans singing to the final whistle. This is what happens when your can prove yourself to the fans and earn their respect. 
 
This earning of respect and trust has to come on and off the field from the club to the fans. While there have been times in our recent history that the fans have not felt this respect from the club, I do feel that times are changing. Off the field, over the last year or so, I have noticed that many of the wishes of the fans are being heard. Two great examples would be the voting on the shirts and the club crest. This dialogue with the fans may not be perfect at the moment, however it is improving all the time, which we should be thankful for. 
 
I know that there are areas of concern that keep cropping up in conversation between all Yeovil fans that I meet and talk to. The supporters’ bar at Huish Park is one that is always close to the top of the list. With the recent addition of the marquee it is evident that the club is making some strides toward providing a place for fans to congregate before and after matches. It may not be a perfect solution however the alternative could have been so much worse.
 
Another area of concern is the state of the www.ytfc.net which without a doubt needs more than a little overhaul. It is true to say in this day in age, a website is a very public face of a football club and where so many gain information. At this point I think that it is only providing a very basic service that has been bettered by Ciderspace. While this is by no means a competition, it highlights the work that needs to be done. With promotion to the football league there was the option to join the Premium TV network of sites that is commonplace to most clubs. It is my understanding that Yeovil decided not to take up this option. So I am left to trust that the site will be radically overhauled independently. With this in mind I was encouraged to see the site has been upgraded to now allow limited purchases from the club shop. This is certainly a step in the right direction, and it is with little progressions like this that I feel that the future will be rosy one. 
 

I completely understand the main aim for the season is cementing our place in the football league. Finances will be pushed into more football areas of the club rather than bars and websites, which is quite right considering the circumstances. So I find myself having to be patient for these improvements to be made. Some years ago I might not have been so understanding, but recent success has led to greater trust in the powers that be at YTFC. The promises that have been made to us have been met (if not a little extended to get there), so I see no reason why these other off the field matters should not join suit. As long as communication between the club and the fans is a priority on these topics, I’m sure that they will be resolved in time. We may just have to grin and bare it for a little while longer.