Since Yeovil Town’s first summer signing was announced, not a day has gone past without some sort of excitement at Huish Park. Whether it’s one of the 15 new faces checking in, new contracts for existing players, or more recently the latest pre-season friendlies, the excitement has definitely been building as the Glovers prepare for the new season.
After successive relegations it would be easy for us Town fans to remain downbeat as we look ahead to a year in the lowest division in the Football League, but Paul Sturrock has made clear that one of the main things on his agenda is to get rid of the losing mentality within the club. As I watched my first friendly of the pre-season against Bournemouth (a poorly timed holiday and my job meant I wasn’t able to travel to any of the three previous games), it was clear to me that there was a much more positive attitude on display.
As it turned out Bournemouth beat us 3-0 in a victory that was more than comfortable for the Cherries with Yeovil hardly getting on the ball, so you may be wondering what I found so positive about it. Well, it’s worth remembering that Bournemouth are now a Premier League team and, as hard as it is to comprehend considering we were above them in the football pyramid not too long ago, they were merely making their divisional supremacy count.
For me, the positivity was shown in the effort and the energy shown from Sturrock’s men. New signing Iffy Allen may not have had too much time on the ball, but he was still busting a gut to run down the wings. Vice-captain Nathan Smith may have been left chasing the Bournemouth wingers throughout most of the game, but he still showed resilience and produced some great challenges, slide tackles and blocks. In his second Yeovil spell, Matt Dolan may not have provided a match-winning moment, but he still showed some promise through a couple of dangerous shots.
I know there will be some people who won’t have been impressed by the Bournemouth match but for a glass-half-full person like myself, it’s the promise that the Glovers showed that makes me hopeful for a successful season in League Two. And with two local derbies against Exeter City and Bristol Rovers, as well as a classic cup match against QPR in the first month of the season, there are plenty of opportunities for glory early on!
The new signings I’m tipping for success include Dolan, who is sure to already be a fans favourite having been part of the squad that won promotion at Wembley. Mark Beck could also be a hit as the powerful forward won everything in the air during the Bournemouth match, a useful attribute in League Two. It’s not hard to imagine Shaun Jeffers latching onto one of Beck’s flick ons more than once next season; the former Newport County striker is looking to restart his career with Yeovil and you can see how hungry he is for goals. He’s already hit the back of the net twice in pre-season against Callington Town and Torquay United, which will do wonders for his confidence.
Finally, I have to mention the fantastic work that’s going on at Yeovil Town Ladies. The Lady Glovers are currently third in their league, and have recently set a record in that league by beating Watford Ladies 7-1 at Sherborne. With all the excitement that’s been happening with the men’s team it would be easy to overlook this, but to say they deserve our support as well would be an understatement.
All in all, it’s safe to say that the future’s bright for the green and white!
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