Thursday, May 31, 2007

Robins report good season tickets sales

Cheltenham Town are on course for excellent season tickets sales according to their offical website.

Their early bird campaign finished today and by mid-afternoon some 1370 tickets had been sold. They beleive sales are on-course to reach 1500, which would be the highest number they have ever sold.

Hereford United's season ticket sales started later than at Cheltenham with no early bird discounts except for under 16's. It is thought that sales have been slow despite the club putting out a statement saying that 'sales are going well'.

Meanwhile there has been excellent support for the 'Macmillan Renton Appeal' car park at the Hay-on-Wye festival which is being manned by supporters of Hereford United.

Takings have already passed last year's total. The festival ends on Sunday evening.

Bulls Arrange Pegasus Friendly

The Bulls have confirmed that they will play Pegasus in a game to mark the opening of their Old School Road ground.

The July 18th friendly is currently scheduled to be the first pre-season friendly, and the first confirmed 'away' match following the announcement of home matches with Cheltenham, West Brom, and Bristol City.

In a note on the Bulls' official website the club states that season tickets are 'going well' but, as in previous seasons, no actual figures of sales are mentioned.

News Round Up

Former Exeter chairman John Russell has received a 21 month sentence for fraudulent trading and obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. Deputy Mike Lewis was handed a 200 hour community service order.

In sentencing, the judge told them: "You wanted to be the club's financial saviour or white knight even though you knew that was quite impossible. The deception could be seen in your conduct at the club when you sent personal guarantees knowing you did not have the financial means to meet them."

Notts County have signed four more. Adam Tann, a defender from Leyton Orient, and Paul Mayo, a utility man from Lincoln, both rejected contracts with their current clubs while Hector Sam, a striker from Walsall, and Tim Sandercombe, a keeper from Plymouth, were both released by their clubs.

Dagenham have signed defender Magnus Okuonghae from Crawley on a free transfer. The 21 year old had three different Conference clubs last season, and has signed a two year deal. The club have also agreed terms with transfer listed Peterboro midfielder Shane Huke, who arrives on a free transfer.

Bury manager Chris Casper is another that will not reveal transfer targets after doing so last season: "I did mention who we were targeting last year and I look back and cringe at that. I was naive but I am learning all of the time. Two years into the job I won't be making that mistake again." Casper is in a similar position to Graham Turner, with just six on contract and none of the out of contract players having accepted their new offers.

Gasheads may play friendly at Edgar Street

Bristol Rovers have been invited to play a pre-season friendly at Edgar Street according to this morning's Hereford Times but no date has yet been agreed.

Also in the paper, Hereford United manager Graham Turner confirms the timetable for players to decide whether they will accept fresh offers from the club.

"Players have until June 19th to decide on offers we have made them," says Turner.

"We have actively been contacting, often through agents, a number of players, some of whom are out of the country on holiday at present."

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gulliver Glad To End "Nightmare"

Speaking to the Northants Evening Telegraph, ex-Bull Phil Gulliver described his time at Edgar Street as a "nightmare":

"I didn't settle at all with Hereford and I didn't enjoy my time there. Leaving last year was hard and I didn't particularly want to go. I felt I had to stay in the Football League but things never worked out.

"I wanted to come back and I'm glad to have put last season behind me. It was a nightmare. There was a slight problem when I missed pre-season because Hereford and Diamonds couldn't agree on terms of the transfer. That was sorted out but I couldn't get into the team at the start of the season.

"I then played about 25 games and I was captain. Then one day I wasn't even in the squad! After the end of January I hardly played and the gaffer (Graham Turner) never spoke to me. So it's good to be back here and I'm settled in the area."

Yesterday, Diamonds manager Garry Hill revealed that Gulliver had taken a pay cut to return to Nene Park and, with Gulliver seeming a second unhappy departure to surface from Edgar Street in a week, fans are becoming increasingly concerned about the status of several of the out of contract players that are considering offers.

News Round Up

Stockport have signed Irish u-21 international midfielder Gary Dicker for £40,000 from Dublin side UCD. The 20 year old spent six months of last season at Birmingham on loan. Dagenham are set to sign Stevenage striker Jon Nurse after agreeing terms with the club.

Barnet have signed 19 year old Max Porter from Conf South side Bishops Stortford, their third non-league raid of the summer. The midfielder is Bishop Stortford's current player of the year and joins for an undisclosed fee. Notts County have extended their deal with Nottingham Rugby Club for the oval ball exponents to continue sharing their Meadow Lane base.

Rotherham have lost the services of midfielder Eugen Bopp, who has opted to move to Crewe on a three year deal rather than sign a new deal at Millmoor. Ex-Bull Dean Smith has signed a new two year deal to continue as assistant manager at Leyton Orient.

Accrington have confirmed that ex-Bull David Brown and Leam Richardson have agreed one year extensions to their current deals, but that Andrew Mangan and Danny Ventre have both rejected new terms and have left the club. Tony Grant has agreed to a termination of his final years contract after injury problems.

Boston will have talks with the footballing authorities on Thursday in an attempt to resolve their future. The FA, Football League, and Conference will send representatives to a meeting also featuring the club and representatives of prospective owners Standing Alone in a bid to remove hurdles to the club's future operation.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gulliver Move Confirmed

Rushden have confirmed the signing of Phil Gulliver, with boss Garry Hill stating that the player has taken a pay cut to leave Edgar Street.

Gulliver has signed a 12 month deal, with Hill telling their official site: "I am really pleased to welcome Phil Gulliver back on board here at Nene Park and I know that the supporters will be celebrating having their one of their favourites returning to Rushden & Diamonds. Phil is here for the right reason - he wants to play for this special club. He has demonstrated his commitment by taking a pay cut to return, that is the type of player I want here, someone who really cares what Nene Park is all about."

Shews Sign Three

Shrewsbury have signed a trio of players after their play-off loss.

Goalkeeper Glynn Garner joins from Leyton Orient after rejecting a new deal with the League One club. Winger Marc Pugh joins from Bury, and defender Darren Kempson joins from Crewe. Pugh's transfer may be subject to a fee, with the other two coming for no cost.

Garner was Orient's no.1 for two years after joining from Bury, and has been named in Welsh senior squads in the past. Pugh was trailed by a string of clubs after several impressive performances in a single season while Kempson, a former Morecambe central defender, was released by Crewe after he was described as 12 months from League One football by Dario Gradi.

More Odds Released

With most of the bookmakers having now released odds, the Bulls are still rated low on the League Two list.

Ten of twelve bookmakers rate the Bulls as a 33/1 shot, with the other two at 40/1. In terms of the average odds offered, it places the Bulls at 18th in the list of 24 clubs, with Barnet again rated last of the pack with odds as high as 80/1.

Accrington, Morecambe, and Bury are all available at 66/1. Peterboro are outright favourites - and as low as 7/2 - across the board, with MK Dons the only other side to get odds under 10/1.

News Round Up

Crawley have appointed former Boston boss Steve Evans as manager on a two year deal. Assistant Paul Raynor will join him at the Broadfield Stadium. Accrington have signed goalkeeper Kenny Arthur on a 12 month deal. The 28 year old played nearly 300 games for Partick Thistle in ten years at the club but lost his first-choice status last season.

Shrewsbury have resigned full back Darren Moss from Crewe on a two year deal. The 26 year old cost Crewe £170,000 from the Shrews two years ago but was out of contract in the summer. The club have also released defender Sagi Burton, who has been linked with a move to the Bulls, and captain Richard Hope. Four more have been offered new deals, but keeper Ryan Esson has been told he can leave as another keeper is coming in.

Grimsby have banked over £100,000 in season ticket sales, way ahead of the anticipated £50,000 at this stage. Notts County have failed to receive any offers for transfer listed forward Junior Mendes. The 30 year old scored just five times in 53 games last season, ending the campaign at Lincoln, but still has a year left on his deal.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Accy Set To Become Pub Team

Accrington Stanley could end up being a pub team, after the club confirmed plans to take over a local pub.

The Crown, after which the club's ground was originally named, is available for rent with Chief Executive Rob Heys telling the local press: "We are very interesting in taking over at the Crown. It is a great location and one that is already very popular with supporters.

"We are trying to improve facilities for fans at the stadium and this could be one way of increasing the service we provide while also bringing more money into the club. The pub would be a seven-days-a-week operation and would not be dependent on the football team."

The club plans to close the existing supporters bar at the ground and convert it into a sponsors area, leaving supporters with nowhere to drink.

More Travelling For Bulls

Bulls fans will travel nearly 500 more miles this season with the new faces to League Two being much more distant for Bulls fans than the departures.

The six incoming clubs total 1,936 miles in round trips over the coming season, with the departed sides seeing fans clock up just 1,484 miles. Bulls fans will be pleased to see the back of one of the longest trips, a near 500 mile round trip to Hartlepool, but see three of the more local grounds disappear off the itinerary.

It will be the first time in 25 years for a trip to Bradford for Bulls fans, having last made the journey in January 1982, while the Bulls have never played a League match at Brentford - the only meetings between the sides coming in the 1990/1 League Cup campaign.

No break for Trent

Hereford United full back Trent McClenahan could have been forgiven for wanting to take a break from football for the summer, but he faces more games, with the Australian Olympic Squad.

The Olyroos travel to Amman for a vital qualifying game against Jordan. With just one point needed for qualification to the third and final qualifying stage, McClenahan may face further games which could see him miss League Two ties in August to fufil his duty for his country.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

News Round Up

England won the Four Nations tournament in Scotland. They beat Scotland 3-0 on Friday, and beat Wales by the same score today. Wales, coached by Tony Pennock, ended up runners up and are due to host the tournament next summer.

Bristol Rovers' keeper Scott Shearer has agreed a move to Wycombe. The Scot spent most of the season on loan at Shrewsbury following a lengthy injury to Shrews no.1 Ryan Esson. Former Boston boss Steve Evans is expected to be installed as the new man at Crawley, according to BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

Tranmere have rejected Chester's bid for winger Kevin Ellison. The former Chester player is one of two Tranmere players being chased by new boss Bobby Williamson with goalkeeper John Achterberg having been released by the club on Friday after he failed a medical. Former Halifax chairman, and still current owner, Geoff Ralph is facing bankruptcy proceedings. The club is still searching for new owners and have had only Ralph as a serving Director since March.

Dagenham have released Paul Bruce and Tim Cole ahead of a first crack at the Football League. Cole had spent ten years with the club but struggled with injury recently. Bruce failed to feature at all in the second half of the season. Striker Shaun Batt has also been transfer listed.

Evans Quits Boston

Steve Evans and assistant Paul Raynor have quit their jobs at relegated Boston United.

The club had not paid either of them, or any of the staff, for over three months and the pair have decided to move on, according to a statement on the club's website, for the sake of their families.

Evans had claimed to have lent the club money in the past. Although he did not appear in the club's creditors list a company believed to be linked to Evans was on the list.

Evans managed the club for over 300 games in total, taking them from the Ryman League to the Football League. His two spells in charge were seperated by a 20 month ban for illegal payments to players. He was linked to the Chester job earlier in the month, but was believed to have turned down the opportunity after massive opposition from Chester fans.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bulls Slip Down Bookies Lists

With the League Two line-up complete, the bookies have started to issue odds for next season with the Bulls predicted to struggle.

Bet365 have put the Bulls as a 40/1 shot after rating the side as a 20/1 shot last season, moving the Bulls from joint 13th in the list to joint 20th. Dagenham (25/1) and Morecambe (40/1) are also expected to struggle with Accrington (50/1), Bury (66/1) and Barnet (80/1) below the Bulls in the list. Bury and Barnet occupy two of the bottom three places for the second season running.

Favourites are big spending Peterboro at 11/2, with MK Dons on 8/1. Shrewsbury are rated just 20/1 after their play-off final loss, alongside Chester.

It's interesting to note that, from last season's list, the sides promoted were ranked 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 7th with none of the play-off candidates rated over 16/1 generally.

The full list: Peterboro 11/2, Milton Keynes Dons 8/1, Wycombe 9/1, Lincoln City 12/1, Stockport 12/1, Bradford 12/1, Chesterfield 12/1, Brentford 16/1, Darlington 16/1, Rotherham 16/1, Macclesfield 16/1, Notts County 20/1, Grimsby 20/1, Chester 20/1, Rochdale 20/1, Shrewsbury 20/1, Dag & Red 25/1, Wrexham 25/1, Mansfield 33/1, Morecambe 40/1, Hereford 40/1, Accrington Stanley 50/1, Bury 66/1, Barnet 80/1.

Gas Power Into League One

Bristol Rovers beat Shrewsbury Town 3-1 in today's League Two play-off final at Wembley.

Shrewsbury, already without three of the side that won the play-off semi-finals, lost full back Luke Jones in the warm-up but took the lead after just three minutes through a Stuart Drummond header.

Rovers came back through a Richard Walker brace before half time, and finished the game off in second half injury time through Sammy Igoe who picked the ball up on the edge of his own box, ran on, and side-footed the ball home from 40 yards with Shrews' keeper Chris MacKenzie in the wrong box after going upfield for a late corner shortly after Marc Tierney was sent off for two bookings.

The 61,589 attendance is a League Two play-off record with Rovers, who finished 12 points behind MK Dons in the league table, taking nearly 40,000.

Rushden Wait On Gulliver Medical

Rushden have confirmed their intention to sign Phil Gulliver, subject to a medical.

The medical is believed to only be a formality with Gulliver expected to sign early next week along with Exeter midfielder Jon Challinor, who was widely believed to be heading for a League Two club. Challinor is also a former Diamonds player, having started his career there as a trainee before slipping down the non-league ladder.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Neighbours in Play-off Final

Two of Hereford United near-neighbours play each other in the League Two final at Wembley this afternoon.

Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury are the teams involved in the game. The winner will gain the last promotion place to League One.

Silence Is Golden For Richardson

Graham Turner's policy of silence until the ink is dry on contracts may be frustrating for fans, but another manager has admitted that he will now use the same policy.

Chesterfield's Lee Richardson, who is a comparative novice after just 12 games in charge, has admitted that his announcement to the press that he was after ex-Bulls loanee Neil MacKenzie cost him the services of the player:

"We lost him because his name was linked with a move to Saltergate through the media. I believe, thanks largely to that publicity, it alerted the other club and he ended up agreeing terms there.

"So until something is signed, sealed and delivered I will no longer me mentioning names. It is a cut-throat business at this time of the year and we are in competition with other clubs to bring in players."

MacKenzie Relishes Opportunity

Former Bulls keeper Chris MacKenzie is relishing the opportunity to step out at the new Wembley tomorrow.

Speaking to the Shrewsbury Chronicle MacKenzie, now 37 and also acting as the Shrews' goalkeeping coach, will deputise for Scott Shearer after Bristol Rovers refused permission for him to play:

"I had a quick chat with Scott on Monday and I do have some sympathy for him in all sincerity – I'm gutted for him. On the other side of it, I've played my part this season and it's an opportunity for me. I hope Scott is okay about it but I think he will be gutted on the day, as I was many years ago when it happened to me. But he's a good lad, a good character. He'll be among the players and he'll be very supportive.

"It's not ideal at all really but I can't sit at home and worry about that. It's been about seven weeks since I've played so it's not ideal preparation, but that's just the way things have worked out. I've just got to draw on all my experience and hopefully get through the day and do everybody proud.

"I am getting excited but I'm trying not to. I want to go there and win the football match. It will be a great day for supporters, family and friends, but really if we lose it will be the worst day in the world ever."

News Round Up

Wycombe have signed full back Craig Woodman following his release from Bristol City. The 24 year old played over 100 games for City after coming through the ranks. Oxford have frozen ticket prices following their failure to regain a League place. Discounts of up to £50 are available to early purchasers of season tickets.

Rotherham have signed striker Tom Cahill from Matlock Town. The 20 year old has just completed a law degree and scored 14 times last season in limited appearances due to his studies. MK Dons have lost the services of Martin Allen, who has agreed to take over at Leicester.

Ex-Bull Tony Capaldi has left Plymouth for Cardiff on a free transfer. The Northern Ireland international played 14 times for the Bulls in late 2001, sharing the Edgar Street pitch with Cardiff regular Paul Parry. Bristol Rovers have sold 3,500 replica shirts in the past week, generating around £100,000 in revenue.

Boston have yet to submit the necessary paperwork to Conference chiefs for their entry to the competition next season. The club stops being a Football League member on June 7th, but are yet to officially apply for membership of the rebadged BlueSquare Premier. All documents need to be submitted by the June 9th AGM, including details on the proposed takeover and CVA. Goalkeeper Alan Marriott now believes that the club may fold in two weeks.

Torquay have named Colin Lee as the new Chief Executive. Lee's first task will be to find a new manager, with Keith Curle top of the list of candidates. Alex Rowe becomes their sixth chairman in 12 months as a nine-strong consortium takes control of the club.

Dave netts £3150 for Renton Appeal

A Hereford United football fan has 'netted' £3150 for the Macmillan Renton Appeal.

Dave Gilbert organised an over 40's football tournament with brother Andy. The money was raised from teams entry fees, sponsors and a raffle. The day long event was held at Hereford Leisure Centre. At the presentation are from left Herefordshire Fundraising Manager Ron Davies, Emily Gilbert, Dave Gilbert and assistant fundraising manager Lynda Griffiths.(click on Andy Compton's picture to enlarge)

The Macmillan Renton Appeal is the charity supported by Bulls News.

This weekend and all next week Hereford United supporters are manning a car park close to the Hay Festival. The park is adjacent to the festival and designated by Macmillan banners.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Turner talks about contracts

Graham Turner has been telling BBC Hereford and Worcester about players contracts.

"They don't need to inform us until 19 June whether they are going to accept the offer, so in the meantime, you're not quite sure whether Travis, or Williams, Purdie, Beckwith or Connell are going to re-sign or go elsewhere.

"You have to have contingency plans to replace them, as well as the ones that we need to get in to strengthen the squad.

"We're looking at other players and, if they want to continue delaying things after 19 June, then we've got every right to withdraw the offer and sign somebody else.

"So it can work both ways, but obviously with regard to the players we have made offers to; we've done that because we want to keep them at the club."

Turner Accuses 'Stirrers'

Bulls' supremo Graham Turner has hit back at Andy Ferrell's comments to the Hereford Times, published this morning, and taken a swipe at 'stirrers' within the club.

The statement, on the official website, sets out Turner's reasons for not speaking to Ferrell directly, claiming: "I was not prepared to put myself out for a player who when asked to autograph a ball just before our last match for a Charity function, signed himself 'Bobby Robson'. That may be funny for the hard of thinking, but imagine the disappointment for some supporter having won or bought the ball on seeing someone had signed it Bobby Robson."

Turner also criticised some recent leaks of information from Edgar Street: "I am aware that there is a problem with someone using a website to stir up problems and in this case a player taking the opportunity to criticise through the Hereford Times. I cannot understand why Andy Ferrell was singled out for an interview, perhaps and maybe one or two others should think about events before 'going public'?"

Gulliver Departs For Rushden

Hereford United have confirmed that Phil Gulliver has left the club to join Rushden.

The central defender still had a year left on his contract, but failed to become a permanent fixture in the first team playing in just 31 of the 53 first team games.

His original transfer to the Bulls was delayed after Rushden asked for a fee for their then player of the year and League Two select XI member. Rushden dropped their request, noting that an undisclosed agreement had been reached and the player has returned to Nene Park on a free transfer.

The move leaves just six players on contract for next season.

Ferrell Talks To The HT

In today's Hereford Times departing midfielder Andy Ferrell speaks highly of the spirit within the club, but is disappointed at the way he was told of his departure.

"I made a lot of good friends at Hereford and there can be no club in the lower leagues which had a better team spirit. When the lads went out, we all went out together and even the loan players who came to the club fitted in really well. Hereford is a very good club to start your league career at and the team spirit was fantastic."

"I am very disappointed that after more than 70 games in two years with the club, Graham Turner did not tell me face to face or by phone personally. It would have been nice if someone from the club had picked the phone up.

"But I would never hold that against the club. I wish them all the best for the future and Joan Fennessy, in particular, was great and always there for me to talk to. Even if I had been offered a contract, I would have had to think hard about whether to accept it because at this stage in my career I am greedy for first-team football."

Ferrell hopes to stay in the League, and has returned to the North East while he looks for a new club. The full interview can be seen on the Hereford Times website.

News Round Up

Darlington have signed three more players for the coming season. In come former loan defenders Scott Wiseman from Hull, John Brackstone from Hartlepool, and winger Kevin McBride.

The man behind the proposed takeover of Boston has been revealed as Leeds-based property developer Simon Morris. Morris, who has been named by the Lincolnshire Echo has the head of Standing Alone, is currently one of the bidders for Leeds United. Meanwhile, a proposed meeting between Standing Alone and senior players was postponed.

The sale of Torquay has now been completed. The consortium led by local businessman Cris Boyce is expected to make a statement tomorrow about the managerial roles at the club. Peterboro have signed Spurs defender Charlie Lee to a three year deal. The reserve team captain was released last month.

Barnet have transfer listed defender Simon King after he rejected a new contract, with chairman Tony Kleanthous telling the press that the player had been made a substantial offer to stay beyond the current contract that expires at the end of the season.

Shrewsbury have announced Greenhous as their new shirt sponsors. The company, which used to operate the Vauxhall dealership near to Edgar Street, has signed a two year deal for a 'significant sum'.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

60,000 Expected For Play-Off Final

Over 60,000 fans are expected to see the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Saturday.

Bristol Rovers have sold all their 35,000 allocation and, after lengthy discussions over segregation issues, have been given an additional 5,000 seats. Shrewsbury have sold over 20,000 tickets so far and expect to come close to selling all their 25,000 allocation.

Both sides have selection problems with the Shrews seeing star midfielders Ben Davies and Dave Edwards miss out plus loan keeper Scott Shearer, who cannot play against his parent club. Rovers will be missing loan player Joe Jacobson after he exceeded the maximum allowed loan spell at the club.

The game is live on Sky Sports 3 on Saturday at 3pm, with Rovers currently the odds-on favourites for the tie.

Oxford 4/1 Favourites

Oxford have been installed as the 4/1 favourites to win the Blue Square Premier, formerly the Nationwide Conference.

FA Trophy winners Stevenage are 6/1, with Torquay (7/1) edging out local rivals Exeter (8/1) for third place. Boston are ninth in the list at 14/1.

Rank outsiders are Stafford Rangers and Farsley Celtic at 66/1. Farsley are in the top non-league flight for the first time ever but are not expected to make it a long stay as they are firm favourites for the drop.

News Round Up

Shrewsbury have dropped midfielder Dave Edwards from their play-off final squad, apparently over his decision to move elsewhere in the summer with manager Gary Peters questioning his commitment to the Shrewsbury cause.

Harry Donaghey, the Bulls work experience signing from Portsmouth in early 2006 who appeared for one days training, has signed for Tamworth in the Conference North. Exeter have agreed to sell full back Billy Jones to Crewe.

Mansfield have been told that they will not be able to start the new season if the council imposed restrictions on Field Mill are not lifted. The safety committee slashed the capacity of the ground by half, dropping it below the required 5,000 capacity for League football, following stewarding problems at the last home game of the season.

The England National Game XI beat Ireland 5-0 in their first Four Nations tournament game, with ex-Bulls Scott Tynan and John Grant on the bench. Wales, managed by Tony Pennock, beat Scotland 1-0. Bradford want Halifax assistant Wayne Jacobs as the new no.2 to Stuart McCall. Jacobs spent ten years as a player at Valley Parade, but Halifax are demanding compensation for his services. The club are also asking for £250,000 for 38 year old striker Dean Windass after confidently predicting that he would score 30 goals in League Two this coming season.

Boston have sent letters to ten office staff telling them to stay at home, with chairman Jim Rodwell saying that it was 'morally wrong' to expect the staff to continue working after three months without pay and no resolution to the problems in sight.

Mackenzie Signed By County

Notts County have announced the signing of former Bulls loanee Neil Mackenzie.

The Bulls were believed to have been one of a number of League Two sides chasing the signature of the released Scunthorpe midfielder, with Chesterfield also in the hunt. Mackenzie has signed a two year deal at Meadow Lane, and told the press:

"I just think this is a bigger club and the potential is bigger here. I have just won the title with Scunthorpe and want to be involved in challenging at that end of the table. I feel I am hitting the peak of my career at the moment and there is not much between League One and Two and this club is one of the biggest in those divisions."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Turner may want rain on his new seeds

Graham Turner has told the Worcester News about progress with the new grass seeds recently planted at Edgar Street.

"It has been totally re-seeded, the top inch or so has been taken off, there's been a lot of top-dressing put on, nearly 100 tonnes, so there has been a lot of work going on.

"Four days ago, the pitch was like a desert, there was barely a blade of grass on it.

"We're probably a fortnight to three weeks ahead of what we were this time last year."

Turner will need warm rain at times on Edgar Street if the seeds are to fully establish before pre-season matches begin.

Meanwhile Ryan Green, the former Hereford United player now with Play-off finalists Bristol Rovers, has mentioned his time at Hereford in a Western Mail article today.

"I settled at Hereford for three years and that was great," said Green.

"It was the first time I had been able to establish myself in a first team and really get on with playing.

"I played non-stop football and learned such a lot over those three years.

"Before that it seemed to be about 12, 13, 14 games a season and that was it. Scoring the goal that won the play-off (at Leicester) was fabulous."

No Hereford players at Hay Festival

Hereford United have no agreement for players to appear at the Hay on Wye Festival.

That's the message from Edgar Street this afternoon.

The Hay-on-Wye festival had approached Hereford United to ask if some players from the club would take part in an event featuring a new work by Dan Freedman, editor of the FA.

The Festival organisers thought the inclusion of a few players would have been good publicity for both the club and the festival especially as the event was aimed at the 9 to 12 age group and is sold out.

Mkandawire unlikely to stay at Edgar Street

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that former captain Tamika Mkandawire is unlikely to stay at Edgar Street.

Turner said that talks with Mkandawire, pictured, began shortly after Christmas but an improved offer was turned down by the defender.

"We made an offer at Christmas time which I would have thought was as high as anybody has ever been offered at this club. He declined that offer. It is obvious he is going to move on somewhere else," said Turner.

"Every effort was made, everything was put into place to try to get him to sign here but it looks as though we are going to lose Tam and he will be playing his football somewhere else next season."

Turner has also spoken of his fury at the recent £1,500 fine imposed by the FA. Hereford United were charged with failing to control their players after Dean Beckwith was sent off in the away game against Walsall.

"The charge was that we failed to control the players; four or five players went to the referee when he was sending off Dean Beckwith, so you can't deny it.

"We've pleaded guilty to the charge, pointed out our excellent disciplinary record and put it in their hands - we were hoping that justice would be done.

"I'm in the process of going through one or two other disciplinary hearings that have gone on; I think that Chester, who haven't had the best of records, were fined £1,000 for something similar.

"Wycombe, under the same charge, got fined £1,000 - we, with an absolutely brilliant disciplinary record over the past few seasons, got £1,500; I can't see the justice in that."

Slow Start To Season Ticket Sales

It is being reported to Bulls News that early Season Ticket sales have been slow, with ticket numbers showing only around 20 tickets being sold for the Meadow End in the first week.

Last summer over 100 tickets were sold on the first day, seeing the club bank £20,000 in the process. However this summer it appears that the poor end of season form, uncertainty over the playing squad, and disappointment over the levels of discounts has seen sales dip sharply.

The club are also yet to confirm match day prices and, with no 'early bird' discounts on offer, this appears to be delaying sales so that fans can assess the true savings on the tickets.

Bulls News Clocks Up 2 Million Hits

Bulls News has clocked up its second million of page hits in little more than a year.

It has taken just 379 days to double the total number of hits to the Bulls News site after the first million was recorded in just over 2 years. The site came into being after the closure of the website run by Terry Goodwin, who has gone on to commentate and present sport for BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Statistics show that just under 1,000 different people use the site each day, with Tuesdays the busiest day.

Boston And Crawley Struggle On

The continued existence of both Boston United and Crawley Town is still in doubt.

Boston's players are disgruntled after being mailed a request to arrive for pre-season training in July, without any mention of the existing wage issues. Prospective owners Standing Alone are still yet to identify themselves, while existing owners Lavaflow have failed to answer several requests for information from players.

Chief Executive Barrie Pierpoint is due to meet with Standing Alone, who appointed him on a short term contract, today and will meet three of the senior players tomorrow to try and get answers for the current situation.

Manager Steve Evans, who is backing his players call for answers, didn't help his cause with the squad after arriving at the club in a brand new Land Rover Discovery, despite also not being paid for three months according to reports.

Crawley, in the meantime, are believed to have lodged only £100,000 of the £500,000 required under the terms of their CVA. Administrators Begbies Traynor wrote to creditors stating that they were considering seizing a £1.4million flat that was placed as security by owners the Majeed brothers. The move comes despite the fact that the Conference accepted Crawley's membership for next season at a meeting on May 11th - the deadline for the CVA payment to be made.

Fry Wary Of Wage Cap

Peterboro Director of Football Barry Fry has spoken openly about the club's comings and goings.

Fry, who was a regular trader on the transfer market during his managerial days, has admitted interest in six of the eight transfer listed players from fellow League Two and Conference sides and is mindful of the wage cap rules that may prevent the club bringing more players in before some of those eight are offloaded.

Chester were forced to offload a string of players last August to avert the threat of a breach of the wage cap, with some of those discarded only signed earlier in the summer.

Peterboro are believed to be close to agreeing deals for out of contract Bristol Rovers defender Steve Foster and Shrewsbury midfielder Dave Edwards, but neither will agree to sign until after Saturday's play-off final at Wembley.

The Posh have already seen 12 new faces arrive since the start of the year, with the Peterboro Evening Telegraph reporting that three Premiership players were offered deals yesterday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Allen may walk away from Dons

Martin Allen is being tipped to become manager of Leicester City according to the BBC.

Currently manager at MK Dons, Allen failed to take his club to the League Two play-off final after being knocked out by Shrewsbury Town.

The BBC say that Leicester have been given permission by MK Dons to speak to Martin Allen with regards to the vacant managerial position.

"Chairman Milan Mandaric will hold talks with Allen later this week as part of the recruitment process."

Meanwhile, Stuart McCall have finally been confirmed as the new Bradford City manager. The 43 year old former Everton and Rangers midfielder played over 400 times for the club in two seperate spells. Caretaker boss David Wetherall will revert to a playing role for next season.

Conference Play-off Ref started at Edgar Street

The young referee who was the man in the middle at the Conference play-off final yesterday had his first League game at Edgar Street.

22 year old Michael Oliver took charge of the Hereford United/Grimsby Town game on March 10th and became the youngster ever referee in Football League history. Yesterday he became the youngster referee to take charge of a game at Wembley.

Michael is the son of another referee, Clive Oliver, who has also been at Edgar Street.

Lotto winner behind Torquay takeover

After a day when all the Torquay talk was about how long Leroy Rosenior was in the manager's hotseat, it has emerged this evening that a Lotto millonaire winner is behind the takeover of the club.

Although the takeover is led by local businessman Cris Boyce, it is being part funded by Paul Bristow.

Bristow and his wife scopped £15 million on the National Lottery in 2004.

Meanwhile Boston United, the other club relegated from Division Two, still owes its players thousands of pounds in wages and defender Paul Ellender has suggested player may not turn up for pre-season training.

"We all received letters in the post the other day telling us to report back for pre-season training on July 5," Ellender told the Lincolnshire Echo.

"Now I see the club have planned pre-season games. I can't understand that when we haven't been paid and with the future of the club so uncertain."

News Round Up

Accrington have announced the signings of John Miles and Paul Carden. Striker Miles arrives after rejecting a new deal at Macclesfield where he scored five times in 32 games. Midfielder Carden rejected new terms at Burton to return to the Football League after leaving Peterboro last October. Club captain Peter Cavanagh has agreed a one year extension to his contract.

Shrewsbury have signed Northampton midfielder David Hunt on a two year deal. The 24 year old rejected a one year offer at Sixfields. MK Dons have released seven after their play-off failure.Jamie Smith, Adolfo Baines, Lee Harper, Gary Smith, Nicky Rizzo, Ben Chorley and Ben Harding have all been axed, with under contract striker Scott Taylor also being allowed to leave on a free transfer. One time Bulls target Dominic Blizzard has signed a two year deal with the club after making his loan spell a permanent move from Watford, while three others have been offered new deals.

Wrexham have signed Michael Proctor from Hartlepool on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell. The 26 year old striker or winger scored twice in nine games to help the Dragons escape relegation and has signed a three year deal.

Lincoln have released five player including striker Martin Gritton, who spent the second half of the season on loan at Mansfield, and keeper Simon Rayner, who was with Torquay for three months. Seven other have been offered new deals.

Ex-Bulls Watch

Former Bulls pair Paul Harrison and Chris Lane have been released by Southport. Harrison was the keeper that came on for Wayne Brown on the opening day of the season as Glyn Thompson was injured, while full back Lane played 60 times for the Bulls in a two and a half year stay until January 2001.

Former goalkeeper Tony Elliott is poised to quit as assistant boss at Workington to seek a coaching position with a bigger club. Elliott, who made 75 league appearances over four years, splits his time between the Reds, his goalkeeper coaching school, and work with the Cumberland FA but has informed boss Tommy Cassidy that he may not be at the club next season.

Chris Hargreaves intends to carry on playing after being axed by Oxford at the age of 35. The former Bulls midfielder told the Oxford Mail: "If it was down to money then I could have gone to another club ages ago. I'm devastated, though, that I couldn't leave on a high note. I still feel I have a lot to offer the game. I want to carry on playing as long as I can at the highest possible level."

Hargreaves rejected a January move to Kidderminster, but is in talks with a number of clubs.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Torquay Sold To Lee?

The BBC are reporting that Leroy Rosenior was sacked as Torquay manager just ten minutes after officially taking over.

Director of Football Colin Lee is now believed to be behind a takeover of the club that will see him reinstated as manager, with Rosenior serving the shortest ever period as manager ever seen at a professional club.

Torquay had earlier announced Cris Boyce as the leader of the consortium to take Mike Bateson's 51% majority shareholding but, within six hours of the announcement, Rosenior was reported to have been forced out with the BBC reporting that Lee had taken over the club in a move that echoed Graham Turner's purchase of the Bulls nearly ten years ago.

Update: Director Debbie Hancox, daughter of Mike Bateson, has denied that Rosenior has been dismissed but he has told BBC News 24 that, as far as he is concerned, he is no longer at the club.

Morecambe for a day.

After leaving Edgar Street at around 9.15 am two minibuses full of Bulls fans made a three and a bit hour journey to the new Wembley to watch this years Conference Play-Off Final. The stadium is certainly impressive but somehow lacks the atmosphere of the old version and the rumours of expensive refreshments are well founded….I commend to you The Green Man in Dagmor Avenue just 500 yards from the stadium!

The first half saw Exeter take the lead when Bentley slipped to allow Challinor to cross for Phillips to head home however, it was Morecambe who bossed the half and could easily have gone in two goals up. As it was, their equaliser just before the break was at least some reward. The second half provided the opportunity for Exeter to take the ascendancy and, indeed, they had long periods of pressure without reward before Danny Carlton fired Morecambe into the League with a 20 yarder just eight minutes from the end.

Of the two ex Bulls on show, Craig Stanley was the one who impressed the most with his box-to-box performance and some nice distribution. Adam Stansfield simply did not get the sort of service that made him a regular scorer in his time at Edgar Street.

The gate of 40,043 included 50 to 60 Bulls fans along with Messrs Beckwith and Mawson.

Morecambe win thrilling Conference play-off

Morecambe won this afternoon's Conference play-off final in a game which was so much more entertaining than that offered at Wembley yesterday.

Exeter took the lead on eight minutes with a goal by Lee Phillips, who was replaced by ex-Hereford United striker Adam Stansfield later in the half after a recurrance of a hamstring injury.

Morecambe, with ex-Bull Craig Stanley (pictured) in mid-field, equalised close to half-time through Thompson.

Then in the second half Danny Carlton scored the winner for the Shrimps.

Late in the game Exeter had a player sent off for a head butt on Stanley.

So Morecambe and Dagenham and Redbridge replace Torquay and Boston in League Two and Craig Stanley could be playing League football.

Willis Moves To Pitmen

Former Bulls loanee Scott Willis has joined Unibond Premier side Hednesford Town after his release by AFC Telford.

Willis joins another former Bulls loanee at Keys Park, with manager Phil Starbuck having played six times for the Bulls in a loan spell from Nottm Forest during the 1989/90 season.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

News Round Up

Macclesfield have released six fringe players after a poor season, with 14 more being offered new deals to join the six currently on contract at Moss Rose. Darlington have cancelled a proposed Chinese summer tour and will instead host Premiership new boys Sunderland in a friendly.

Ex-Bull John Grant has been added to the England National Game squad for the coming tournament in Scotland. Grant joins fellow ex-Bull Scott Tynan in the squad, which has seen Anwar Uddin withdraw. Brentford have signed Grays midfielder Glenn Poole on a two year deal but they seem set to lose star striker Jo Kuffour after he rejected a new contract offer.

Bradford have axed four more out of contract players, and expect to name Stuart McCall as their new manager next week. Xavier Barrau, Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Richard Edghill and Steven Schumacher have all been released to bring the total of released players to ten. Chesterfield have given a first professional contract to Josh Law, son of ex-Bull Nicky.

Conference play-off final tomorow

The Conference play-off final takes place tomorrow at Wembley between Exeter City and Morecambe and both sides will have former Hereford United players in their squads.

Adam Stansfield for Exeter and Craig Stanley for Morecambe are no strangers to play-off finals. Both played for Hereford last year in the play-off final against Halifax at Leicester's Walkers Stadium.

Stansfield was on the bench for Exeter's semi-final second leg game against Oxford but came on and scored. However manager Paul Tisdale has five strikers to choose from and he may well decide to use 'two pairs' of strikers in the final one of which may be Stansfield and Richard Logan.

Stanley, who has featured in the vast majority of games this season for Morecambe, moved to the Shrimps afer failing to agree a new contract with Graham Turner.

"It was a hard time but I hope it proves to be the right decision and I go up with Morecambe," he told the Sun.

Last season Hereford met Morecambe in the semi-finals and it took a Guy Ipoua goal at Edgar Street to ensure the Bulls reached the final.

In the second half(of extra time), Twiss forced Brown into another good low save, shooting from the left early on, before Ipoua (pictured) produced the magic. He raced on to, yes actually ran, a long ball and managed to beat two defenders to the ball and knock it on for himself with his head, before it bounced at a perfect height for him to smash stunningly, from around twelve yards out to the right of the box, into the far top corner of the net, causing scenes of mayhem in the stands among the Hereford fans in a crowd of 6,278 (including 528 away fans).

A number of Hereford United supporters are making the trip to Wembley to see tomorrow's game.

Three less local derbies next season

Whatever the result of the League Two play-off final, there will be three less local derbies for Hereford United next season.

Already the Bulls have lost two money-spinning home games with both Swindon and Walsall gaining automatic promotion to League One.

Now with either Bristol Rovers or Shrewsbury Town moving up a League, another 'local' game will not take place.

The 'new' teams in League Two for next season are, from League One, Chesterfield, Bradford, Rotherham and Brentford. None of these sides are expected to bring large numbers of supporters to Edgar Street.

From the Conference, Dagenham and Redbridge are another side unlikely to bring many fans with them. However should Exeter defeat Morecambe in the Conference play-off final, the Grecians should bring a decent following to Edgar Street whereas Morecambe probably will not.

In essence because of the different teams in League Two next season the Bulls could lose gate receipts of around £25,000. That income has to be made up somewhere else or costs pruned.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shrewsbury to play Bristol Rovers at Wembley

Shrewsbury Town will play Bristol Rovers in the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

Town defeated MK Dons 2-1 this evening in their second-leg semi-final game. The teams draw 0-0 at the Gay Meadow in the first leg.

Meanwhile another West Country team could get to Wembley. Yeovil's League One playoff game against Blackpool has gone to extra-time.

UPDATE 10.15pm: Yeovil will meet either Blackpool or Oldham at Wembley. The Somerset team defeated Notts Forest 5-2 this evening after losing the first leg 2-0.

It must be a record that so many 'western' based teams, Shrewsbury, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil, are in the play-off finals.

And whilst Yeovil aren't there just yet, who would have thought at the start of the season that they might swap places with Leeds United?

Edgar Street Grid Document out for Consulation

From next Thursday, Hereford United supporters will be able to give their views on all aspects of the Edgar Street Grid.

A consultation document entitled The Edgar Street Grid Design Framework Supplementary Planning Document has been produced and is to be made available to the public.

A seminar has been arranged at the Courtyard Centre for the Arts in Hereford on Wednesday, May 30 from 10am until 12.15pm to discuss the design document and a public exhibition is also being staged in the Maylords Shopping Centre between June 4 and 9 when planning officers from Herefordshire Council will be available to help with any queries.

Andrew Ashcroft, head of planning services at Herefordshire Council, spoke to Dash24:

"I am urging all county residents to get involved in this important consultation.

"There will be some who will welcome this positive change to the northern area of the city while others will find it more challenging to accept.

"Whatever your views, please take the time to comment on the design aspects which will shape future developments in the area."

Boston Penalty Confirmed

Boston's ten point deduction for entering Administration will be imposed in the current season.

Football League chiefs issued a statement confirming the deduction: "The Football League can confirm that Boston United have been deducted ten points from their points tally for 2006/07. This 'Sporting Sanction' takes effect from April 25th, the date on which the club effectively obtained the approval of creditors for a Company Voluntary Arrangement."

The FL will, however, seek changes to the rules during their June AGM after seeing both Boston and Leeds use 'loopholes' to effectively escape punishment.

Bulls Fined £1,500

The Bulls have been fined £1,500 for failing to control their players in the match at Walsall in early April.

The club admitted the charge quickly, with the charge believed to be related to the players surrounding the referee when Dean Beckwith was sent off. The fine is in line to that received by Chester and Shrewsbury following their guilt over two charges each which saw them fined £3,000.

In other news, two ex-Bulls have agreed new contracts for the coming season. Nicky Nicolau and Brian Smikle with stay with Barnet and Kidderminster respectively after agreeing new 12 month deals.

Bulls Top Fair Play Table

The Bulls have been confirmed as the winners of the Fair Play league for League Two this season.

The club amassed just 41 points with 33, 1 point, yellow cards and 4, 2 point, red cards. Second in the table were Bristol Rovers, on 53 points. Accrington were bottom having amassed 120 points, with over 100 yellow cards and nine red cards.

Wycombe's Anthony Grant was the bad boy of the division, earning 18 points, with Jason Lee's 17 yellow cards putting him second.

News Round Up

Oxford boss Jim Smith will continue in the job after discussions with his chairman. The 66 year old is expecting to operate a smaller budget for next season, but without the restraints of several players still on Football League wages. Aldershot have named Gary Waddock as their new manager. The former QPR boss has signed a two year deal.

Torquay have confirmed Leroy Rosenior as their new head coach. It is his second spell in charge of the side after a four year stint that ended in early 2006. Accrington have lost the services of midfielder Andy Todd after he opted to join Rotherham on a two year deal. Todd scored ten goals and played in every League Two game last season.

Brentford have released eight after their drop into League Two. Neil Shipperley and Lloyd Owusu head the list, but the Bees have signed John Mackie following his release by Leyton Orient. Wrexham have signed former loan keeper Anthony Williams on a two year deal. The former Carlisle man helped them avoid relegation on the final day.

Barnet have released striker Oliver Allen despite the youngster scoring four times in seven starts. The son of Spurs legend Clive left Birmingham during the season.

Money for Sponsorship in Conference

Grays Athletic have just announced a new sponsorship deal which is as good if not better than the recent Sun Valley deal at Hereford United.

Grays Athletic Football Club is pleased to announce that they have secured a six figure, three year sponsorship deal with Galliard Homes Limited and Fairview New Homes Limited.

Considering that Grays are in a lower League than Hereford and have average gates of 1,077 for last season, it looks an excellent deal.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gasheads are going to Wembley

Bristol Rovers are going to Wembley after they defeated Lincoln in the second leg of their League Two play-off games this evening.

Rovers won the first leg 2-1 and the second 5-3.

Former Hereford United player Ryan Green was in the Bristol team.

Rovers will find out who they will play in the final tomorrow when MK Dons play Shrewsbury. Their first meeting was goal-less.

It is the fifth time running Lincoln have failed to progress in the League Two play-offs.

McClenahan plays for Australia

Hereford United's Trent McClenahan played for Australia's Olyroos in their 3-1 defeat of Iran yesterday.

McClenahan was mentioned in some match reports as being involved in a 'superb build-up' which led to his sides third goal. He played the full ninety minutes.

Australia are second in their section and just need a point in their final group match against Jordan in Amman on June 6.

Chesterfield chase Mackenzie

Lee Richardson, manager of Chesterfield football club, has told local press that he is interested in signing Neil Mackenkie, who has been released by Scunthorpe.

Mackenkie, a 6ft 1in midfielder, had a successful loan spell at Hereford United, during the winter.

"I have a eight or nine targets and I'm hoping to land five or six of them. Neil is one of those targets," said Richardson.

Mackenzie, who comes from Birmingham, began his career with Stoke and he has also played for Cambridge, Kidderminster, Blackpool, Mansfield and Macclesfield.

FL Gates On 47 Year High

The Football League recorded its highest admission figures for 47 years during the 2006/07 season.

More than 16.4million fans saw League football this season, with the Championship being the 4th best supported league in Europe with over 10million through the turnstiles. Over 2.2million saw League Two football, down 1.5% on the previous season but still a higher average attendance that the Dutch second tier and all third teir leagues in Europe.

Chester Release Two

Chester have released Alex Meechan and Dave Artell in a bid to free up wages to attract new players.

Meechan, the former Forest Green midfielder, failed to impress since joining in January while Artell, one of the few bright performers in an otherwise poor season at the Deva, was offered a new deal two weeks ago but has now seen that offer withdrawn following the new managers appointment.

Chester struggled against the wage cap all season and Bobby Williamson will have to clear out players in order to attract new faces including the experienced goalkeeper that Mark Wright failed to find last summer. More players are expected to depart but the existing senior players have all got at least a year left on their contracts and will be costly to remove.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Luton chairman admits making illegal payments.

The former Luton Town chairman Bill Tomlins has admitted making illegal payments to middle men whilst his manager Mike Newall was claiming that corruption was rife in football.

In a long article in today's Daily Mail written by Bob Graham, Tomlins says he made '13 separate illegal payments to seven named agents, amounting to more than £150,000, and disguised with cheques signed from an account outside the main club finances but not declared to the football authorities.'

Luton could face sanctions from the FA over the illegal payments by Tomkins who has agreed a £650,000 golden handshake for leaving the club before he was pushed.

The paper says that 'Tomlins, a former second-hand car dealer, was interviewed in Luton’s boardroom by two investigators from the FA’s Financial Regulation Department in March and his taped confession runs to 37 pages.'

He tried to justify the payments by saying Newell had made it impossible for the club to deal with agents because of constant rows over their commissions for signing players from other clubs or renegotiating existing contracts with players.

Tomlins claimed one agent became so frightened of Newell that he rang the chairman and told him: "Bill, forget it, for 15 grand I ain’t ******* gonna have that — you know, I don’t need it."

Recalling one row, Tomlins told the FA: "He [Newell] said to one agent, when I was in the room: 'You’re a ******* parasite, I’m coming round your house, finding out where you live and I’m gonna rip your ******* head off'."

Tomlins described his former manager as "a bloody maniac". He added: "You know, that man is evil. He was a nasty boy around the club — a bully."

He told how Newell had bitterly argued against selling one of his top players, Kevin Nicholls, to Leeds United for £700,000 in July last year, shouting: "I ******* run the football side. This is my ******* job not yours."

The article goes on to list all the payments admitted by Tomkins and then revealed that the payments came from a bank account, controlled by Jayten Ltd, which Newall would not know about.

Tomkins then revealed how agents work.

"The way the agents work is talk about the deal, get the deal done, then they hit you about the fee."

Luton declared the details of official transactions and legitamate payments to agents but as the example shows other payments were made.

In one of the unauthorised deals — to Imageview for the Edwards signing in 2005 — Luton officially declared a £51,000 payment to the agent.

But what was not declared were four other payments totalling a further £45,000 that were paid out by Tomlins, using Jayten accounts.

They were never declared to the football authorities — or to the main board of directors at the club.

When Mitchell queried an invoice with Tomlins he was told: "Silly sods — they’ve sent it to the wrong company. I’ll deal with it."

Also in the article Cherry Newbery, the Luton club secretary, has spoken of what was going on. She compiled a 'private dossier of dodgy deals' and contacted the FA with her evidence.

The Daily Mail says that their revelations will 'vindicate Newell' who is due back at the FA inquiry into football bungs. They say that Newall was dismissed after asking 'uncomfortable questions' of the board.

And the FA said that once they had 'all the necessary information we will decide what further action to take.'

Hereford United manager Graham Turner may have some sympathy with Mike Newall. Turner is known not to like agents and their role in football.

"A lot of agents are despised in football," Turner once said.

Sheldon joins Tamworth

Former Hereford United player Gareth Sheldon has joined Tamworth.

Sheldon, now 27, came to Edgar Street at the start of last season after being released by Kidderminster but failed to impress Graham Turner and left by mutual agreement at the end of February. He made ten appearances for the Bulls scoring once in the Mansfield home game.

After leaving Hereford he trained with Nuneaton for a week or so but then joined Halesowen.

Another friendly confirmed by Bulls

Hereford United will entertain newly promoted Championship side Bristol City at Edgar Street on Saturday July 21st.

This fixture brings the number of pre-season friendlies up to four.

Telford Release Ex-Bull

AFC Telford have released former Bull Scott Willis after their promotion to the Conference North.

The club have also agreed terms with another former Bulls, Richard Teesdale, but only on non-contract terms after his contract expired. Telford claimed their Conference North place after a play-off final victory over Witton Albion. After just three years, they are now just one step below where the former Telford United club folded.

Meanwhile, Chris Hargreaves has been released by Oxford. The former Bull is one of seven to be released following their failure to secure promotion at the first attempt, with the bulk of the players being the higher earners.

Farnborough Slip Down Leagues

Farnborough Town have finally folded after several years battling against financial problems, but the club has already been rescued and will carry on lower down the pyramid.

The former Conference club has struggled for years, with boardroom battles and funding problems causing on-field worries since Graham Westley departed the club following their match with Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2003.

The club were placed in liquidation on Friday after a CVA was rejected, but immediately bought out by new owners. The new club will slip from the Conference South to the British Gas Southern League Division One South and West, two stages lower.

News Round Up

York have released nine players following their play-off failure. 13 have been offered new deals, including star midfielder Emmanuel Panther. Torquay have told head coach Keith Curle to apply for the managers job if he wants it. The club have announced a press conference for tomorrow to make 'major announcements', with Leroy Rosenior emerging as favourite for the managers job.

Chester are to prune their squad so that new manager Bobby Williamson can bring in new faces under the wage cap. First out the door is striker Drewe Broughton, who had 12 months remaining but has negotiated a released. Also definitely departing is former assistant manager Graham Barrow, also agreeing a settlement on his remaining 12 months despite hinting at doing a youth coaching role.

Bristol Rovers have offered professional contracts to seven graduates of their Centre of Excellence and the scheme run in conjunction with Filton College. Cambridge United have signed former Canvey hotshot Lee Boylan on a free transfer. Boylan broke goalscoring records in the Ryman League but scored just three in 16 games for Grays last season.

Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has been fined £350 and given a four game touchline ban for headbutting Exeter winger Lee Elam during a game in February. The club have released five players, including ex-Bull Jake Sedgemoor and Luke Reynolds. Reynolds burst onto the Conference scene last year, causing problems with his no-nonsence style in a match at Edgar Street, but failed to cement his place in the side.

Scott Tynan has been called into the final England National Game XI squad for the Four Nations tournament. The former Bulls loanee is currently without a club after being released by Rushden. The exodus of Boston players is expected shortly with Francis Green issuing a come and get me plea to any Football League club, adding that the bulk of their remaining 15 professionals are looking for other clubs after not being paid for 3 months.

Cardiff have released 12 players at the end of their contracts, and placed three more on the transfer list. The released players is mostly young professionals who failed to make a significant impact on the first team.

Confusion over Student Season Tickets

Students wishing to purchase season tickets at Hereford United are being asked to produce an up-to-date ID card as evidence.

However since ID cards tend to be issued at the beginning of the academic year, usually late September, students may need to take other evidence to Edgar Street if they wish to purchase a concessionary ticket.

Yesterday the club said:

Following enquiries about the price of Season Tickets for students, the club are pleased to confirm that students will be offered tickets at Concession prices.

Students will be offered season tickets for the 2007/2008 season at the following concession prices, but valid ID (NUS Card) must be for the coming year.

It looks as though the club haven't thought through this potential problem and may need to clarify the details or run the risk of students deciding not to purchase tickets.

UPDATE: Wednesday evening: Hereford United have responded to comments about student season tickets with a revised statement:

Please Note: Students applying for a concessionary season tickets must be able to provide evidence of them becoming, or carrying on being, a student for the next academic year 2007/08. i.e. Letter of acceptance to College or University or similar.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Friendly Match Announced

The website is reporting that the Bulls will entertain Cheltenham Town in a friendly on Saturday, August 4th.

The match is likely to be the final friendly prior to the season starting on August 11th but, like in previous seasons, fans have had to rely on other sources rather than the club for the information first.

Cheltenham visited Edgar Street as the last pre-season opponents last summer, with an entertaining game ending 3-3 in front of just under 1,000 spectators.

Update: A second friendly has also been announced according to Hereford United. This one will be against West Brom and will take place at Edgar Street on Friday July 27th with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Players offered new contracts

Below is a list of Hereford United players who have been offered new contracts:

Simon Travis
Tamika Mkandawire
Rob Purdie
Alan Connell
Sam Gwynne
Andy Williams
Marcus Palmer
Jordan Fitzpatrick
Dean Beckwith

Released List Announced

The Bulls have officially announced their retained list, with five players not being offered contracts for next season.

Glyn Thompson, Martin Giles, Danny Thomas, Stuart Fleetwood, and Andy Ferrell are all named on the list, though all the names were known to fans for several days.

Thompson struggled with injury that prevented his debut for the Bulls for several months and leaving him unable to make an impression on Bulls fans while Giles is a surprise release after a good first half to the season but, as with other players that struggle with long injuries, Graham Turner has obviously sided with caution yet again.

Danny Thomas was expected to be offered a deal after being a regular for the last three months of the season, but has been released after negotiations apparently broke down. Fleetwood had a good 12 months in a Bulls shirt but failed to make any sort of impression during 2007 and, after a poor spell on loan at Accrington, barely even made the bench in the remaining Bulls games despite the obvious lack of goals.

Ferrell's departure on loan to Kidderminster effectively signalled the end of his Bulls career, but his chance to shine at Kiddy was cut short through injury. The combative midfielder's performances won as many admirers as critics during his 65 appearances with the club.

The five join Jon Wallis, Alex Jeannin, and Gareth Sheldon in departing the Bulls. There are now just six of the players from last summer's play-off final remaining at the club, with only one under contract.

News Round Up

Darlington have added Scunthorpe player of the year Stephen Foster to their defence for next season. Foster, who played for manager Dave Penney at Doncaster, has signed a two year deal and will become captain of the side.

Swindon fans have overwhelmingly opposed moves to allow Bristol Rovers to share the County Ground. 86% of supporters objected to the move, mainly citing recent crowd trouble between the sides as the main reason. Cheltenham are believed to be the only other side currently negotiating with the Pirates.

Grimsby banked £10,000 in season ticket sales on their first day yesterday. Hartlepool's Danny Wilson has picked up the League Managers Association manager of the year award. Accrington have come to terms on the release of midfielder Tony Grant, who has struggled with injury since arriving at the club, from the remaining year of his contract.

Torquay have released ten players following their demotion to the Conference. Ex-Bulls defender Mark Robinson is one of those, but has been invited back for pre-season training if he fails to fix himself up elsewhere. AFC Wimbledon have named former Aldershot boss Terry Brown as their new manager. Former boss Dave Anderson was sacked after the club failed in their play-off bid to get into the Conference South.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rochdale Raise Ticket Prices

Rochdale have raised their ticket prices for the coming season, only the second League Two club to do so and their first rise in three years.

Terrace admission has risen by £1, but Stand prices have risen by £2. Season tickets have also risen slightly but heavy discounts are available for early birds with seven free games effectively included in the ticket compared to just three with the Bulls, who are virtually the only side to not offer early bird discount across the board.

Rochdale follow Grimsby in announcing a rise, with most sides keeping prices frozen for the coming season, but they are giving free admission to under 7's for the coming season, with other child tickets all priced under £100.

Shrews held by Dons

In what was described as a poor game, Shrewsbury Town were held 0-0 by MK Dons this evening in their League Two play-off first leg game.

It was the last game to be played by Shrewsbury at the Gay Meadow before they move to their new stadium on the south side of the town.

Galloway joins Cowdenbeath

Mick Galloway, who once played for the Bulls, has joined Cowdenbeath.

Galloway, a midfielder, recently retired and went into managemnent but he been persuaded to return to the playing side of the game.

Now 32, Galloway came to Edgar Street on loan from Carlisle in the 2002/3 season. He then moved to Gretna.

Supporters wait for match day prices

Although season tickets go on sale tomorrow, some Hereford United supporters are waiting to see what prices the club will charge on match days before deciding whether to go ahead and buy a season ticket.

It had been thought that match day prices would have been announced before the season tickets went on sale but that hasn't happened.

Add to that the confusion over the price of children's season tickets.

A child can purchase a season ticket in the Meadow End for for £100. Yet if that child is under 10 it may be cheaper to purchase early bird tickets on a match to match basis as last season these tickets cost £3. And on a few occasions children were let in for free.

The pricing system isn't very clear and there are too many unknowns at present. Season ticket purchases may be put on hold until the club clarifies the pricing.

Last year match day prices were released on June 2nd some ten days before season tickets went on sale.

White Praises Constable

Former Bulls striker Steve White has backed Kidderminster striker James Constable to return to the League after his two goal effort in the FA Trophy final.

White, who scored 44 times in 76 appearances for the Bulls, signed Constable for Chippenham Town after spotting him playing for Cirencester's reserve side prior to his spell at Walsall, and told the Swindon Advertiser: "If Kidderminster will let him go this summer I am sure someone will take the gamble on him and give him another chance in the football league."

"He has to have done himself a lot favours with that performance. Goalscorers are not easy to come by and James is a natural goalscorer. He showed brilliant movement for his first goal and then his second goal was a great strike after a strong run. He will get another chance at a higher level, I have no doubt about that.

"I don’t know the ins and outs of his contract but I would certainly watch this space if I were Swindon, or any other club in the lower leagues. I signed him for Chippenham after just watching him for 15 minutes. He showed that change of pace, strength and aggression that showed me he had a chance."

A view of Wembley

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting the new Wembley Stadium in London to watch the FA Carlsberg Trophy Final between Kidderminster Harriers and Stevenage Borough. The arch looked spectacular and was visible from far away. The new Bobby Moore statue attracted a lot of interest from both sets of supporters before the game as both soaked up the pre-match atmosphere.

The ground itself was spectacular. With just over 53,000 spectators present for the match, Wembley was just over half full, but the roar when goals went in or when the players came out on to the field was something to remember. However, the atmosphere less than I expected, perhaps due to the large numbers of "Fairweather supporters" from both Kiddy and Stevenage.

Like many Kidderminster fans, we parked in Hillingdon station and took the tube to Wembley station. Very simple, and saves the bother of parking anywhere near the ground. The game ended 3-2 to Stevenage with a late winner from Steve Morison. Jubilation for their supporters whilst Kiddy fans went home disappointed after leading by two goals at the break. However, they'll take good memories back to the West Midlands of their cup final at Wembley. Perhaps next season, Hereford will have the chance to play at the magnificent venue, be it in the Football League Trophy or fingers crossed, in the play-offs. One thing is for sure though, lets hope Hereford aren't playing in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley ever!