Saturday, May 31, 2008

News Round Up

Bristol Rovers' redevelopment of their Memorial Stadium has hit another problem. The builders engaged to build student flats that will part-fund the project have pulled out. The club are in talks with another builder and hope to resolve the problems quickly.

Wrexham have revealed losses of £200,000 in their first season after Administration. The accounts to June 2007 showed the club still owed £3million. Crewe are waiting on a work permit after agreeing a £200,000 fee for Tranmere striker Calvin Zola. The Congo-born player has agreed terms on the deal.

Woking have named former Charlton striker Kim Grant as their new 'head coach'. He will be assisted by former Oxford defender Phil Gilchrist. Grant has spent the last three years playing in the Far East. Southend midfielder Mark Gower is a target for Swansea. The out of contract ex-Barnet man scored nine times in 42 appearances this season.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Talking Bull moves to Cyberspace

The independent Hereford United fanzine 'Talking Bull' is to continue...on the net. It was way back in 1989 that the first issue of 'Talking Bull' - the independent Hereford United Supporters Magazine - hit the streets. Just eight pages long Talking Bull existed "to give all Hereford United fans their say".

The fanzine was especially popular, and grew in size over the next 19 years reaching a mammoth 68 pages long in the early years of the new millennium.The 100th edition was published last month, however, times have now changed in the world as a whole and people have grown accustomed to instant responses to their views.We thought issue 100 was to be our last, but were hopeful that the fanzine could continue under another guise and medium...and so it's proved.

So here we are. 'Talking Bull' Lives On!

Chris Jones explains: "I think this is an excellent idea. With all that has happened in the past month, I think it would be a shame to let Talking Bull die when there is such an exciting (potentially!!) season ahead of us. The prospect of League One football at Edgar Street for the first time since 1978 is fantastic, and Talking Bull will be delighted to remain an outlet for Bulls fans views and comment from across the world. It's a great way for Bulls Exiles to keep in touch with all things Hereford United, and enjoy a bit of banter along the way. One of the main reasons for the demise of the printed version of TB is the rise of the internet, and so it's fitting that we are now embracing the technology and we would urge supporters that use it to get involved. Hopefully some of our former contributors will once again 'hit the keyboard' and stimulate plenty of discussion."

Initially all contributors have to do is email their articles, letters, comments etc to:

The articles stay on the web permanently as the site updates daily, and so will be archived alongside match reports, news, views etc. All the contributions will be a fundamental part of the site! And there's a dedicated 'Talking Bull' section too, and we'll be including all those 'Dear Talking Bull' letters. All profits will be donated to Hereford United Football Club and this will enable TB to carry on fundraising, selling merchandise, releasing newsletters on-line, sponsoring matches, players etc, etc. So, we look forward to receiving articles and content from contributors old and new.You never know the return of 'The Village Idiot', 'Talking Billy Bollox', 'Yokel', 'The Carrot Cruncher', 'Camels Corner', 'Olde Rosie' and 'Twickenham White' might just be coming your way soon. We look forward to all your views and ideas.

Change of Phone number at Edgar Street

The Official site is reporting that the Football Club has changed its contact numbers by adopting new 08442 numbers.

The main office number is 08442 761939 and the fax number is 08442 761982. The old 276666 number is discontinued with immediate effect.

08442 numbers are charged at 5p per minute, and are often used for 'revenue sharing' where the owner of the number receives a percentage of the cost dependent on the volume of calls.

New Balls Please

The Football League's official ball suppliers, Mitre, have shown their commitment to League One by producing 24 different club coloured balls for the coming season. The scheme operated in the Championship last year and is to be extended to include L1 in season 08/09.

Each club in League 1 will play with their own balls at home games and the deal is believed to include the rights to sell replica balls in Club shops.

News Round Up

Accrington have lost their main shirt sponsors after the company, Fraser Eagle, decided to cut costs. They will remain as name sponsors of the ground but the move leaves the club struggling to find a main sponsor for the new season. Crewe are chasing Tranmere's beanpole striker Calvin Zola, but face competition from a Turkish second division side.

Former Bulls loanee Chukki Eribenne has been released by Ebbsfleet. He scored ten times time season but started only 19 league game due to injury. He spent a month at Edgar Street in late 2002, earning semi-cult status for his enthusiastic - if misguided - approach. Brighton have signed defender Colin Hawkins on a two year deal. The released Coventry defender spent April on loan at Chesterfield.

Northwich don't appear to be learning any lessons. Just weeks after finally clearing their debts they have confirmed plans to go full time on gates of just 800, and tried to outbid Chester for striker Paul Taylor. Northampton have resigned striker Adebayo Akinfenwa on a new one year deal after interest from several other League One sides.

Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan has been cleared of fraud relating to the finance agreements on some high value vehicles. No evidence was offered on the charges with the Police apparently hitting a brick wall. Bristol Rovers have signed Crystal Palace full back Jeff Hughes after a successful loan spell.

Turner gains another award

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has won another award, this time winning the Western Daily Press Sports Personality for April. The paper recognised Turner's heroics as he led United to promotion from League Two with a shoe string budget

"The supporters have suffered a lot over the years and to go up again in our second season back in the Football League is terrific.", said Turner speaking to the Western Daily Press.

"The so-called experts were tipping us to be relegation fodder at the start of the season, but our players have gelled together and have a terrific team spirit. We have seen that again today. That is one thing you need in a club of our size, you've got to have spirit in the dressing room that can deal with things and we've got that."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Turner Hopes For Imminent Signings

Bulls boss Graham Turner is hoping one or two new signings may be sealed imminently but, as always, the names of those targets are not revealed.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester Turner said: "I'm reasonably close in one or two cases of getting something sorted out - that's provided nobody else comes in at the last minute.

"I do think we've made progress with one or two, but there's nothing definite at the moment. I've talked to the agents of one or two of our existing players and of quite a number of players we would like to join us.

"There's a lot of ground work being done - whether it comes to fruition over the next few weeks remains to be seen. But at the moment I believe we are looking at some good quality players."

Meanwhile, the club is urging anyone who does not intend to buy a season ticket to get club membership instead. Membership is £15 and gives priority sales for all-ticket matches and a 10% discount in the club shop.

Turner is also looking to fill one or two Saturdays in the pre-season schedule, with the Bulls yet to name a Saturday match: "I'm in desperate need now of a Saturday fixture just to get the players acclimatised to playing on a Saturday afternoon.

"But when the bigger clubs offer you a date you either take them or you don't and all of them so far have been mid-week."

Millers Leave Millmoor

Rotherham have finally confirmed they will leave Millmoor for Sheffield's Don Valley stadium next season.

The move comes after protracted talks with the ground's owner, and former club chairman, Ken Booth. Incoming owner Tony Stewart, who is still finalising takeover talks in an effort to avoid a points deduction for next season, confirmed the move to their official site:

"We have done all we could to allow this club to stay at Millmoor but I am not going to wallow in this, we are going to make sure that we make our time at Don Valley as exciting as it can be and trust that our supporters will back us through this period as they always have. We will work doubly hard with the Rotherham Borough Council, and other interested parties to ensure that the new Community Stadium becomes a reality as soon as possible.

"In the meantime we will now press ahead with plans for the coming season which have been held up by the discussions over Millmoor."

McCombe Joins Port Vale

Released defender John McCombe has signed for Port Vale on a two year deal.

The 23 year old was a surprise departure to most Bulls fans, and it was expected he would find employment quickly. The Valiants announced the deal with McCombe telling their official site:

"I am really looking forward to the challenge. I met the manager and he sold the club to me, with the style of football he wants the team to play and his ambitions for the club. Even though I am still young, I played a lot of games for Hereford last season and experienced promotion with them. I am a big, strong lad and hopefully I can help the team.

"I want to play first team football on a regular basis and play well enough to help the club win promotion and hopefully further my career."

McCombe started half the League matches for the Bulls last season, but managed only six minutes on the pitch in the last six matches.

News Round Up

Grimsby have moved to quash rumours that manager Alan Buckley is about to quit on health grounds. Buckley said: "Perhaps someone saw me in Boots a couple of weeks ago and have put two and two together. I was buying some suntan lotion by the way." Port Vale have secured their 5,000 season ticket holder target for the coming season, meaning Adults will pay just £8 per game across the season. They had 2,000 season ticket holders last season.

Southend have officially transfer listed rumoured Bulls target Matt Harrold, along with two other forwards. He is joined on the list by Richie Foran, who spent time at Darlington last season, and Charlie MacDonald. The former Ebbsfleet striker scored only five times after a move last summer. The Blues are after Coventry striker Kevin Kyle, who is available on a free transfer.

Scunthorpe have released former Lincoln boss John Schofield from his coaching role, with him expected to take up a management role elsewhere. Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan has enquired about ex-Bull Stuart Fleetwood. He claims Brentford and Exeter are also interested. Peterboro have signed Wycombe full back Russell Martin on a free. The right back joins on a three year deal after rejecting new terms at Adams Park.

Wycombe have named Peter Taylor as their new boss. Former England u-21 boss Taylor left Stevenage after failing to get them promoted.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Edgar Street - A Special Place for Posh Fans

Alan Swann of the Peterborough Telegraph has said that Hereford United's Edgar Street is a special place in his review of League One grounds.

Hereford United:
Stadium: Edgar Street.
Capacity: 7,873.
What's it like? Horrible, tatty, small, but after last season it's a special place for Posh fans.
Verdict: Worth a trip for nostalgic reasons only.

However Edgar Street isn't the only ground he doesn't care for. Here's six more.

BRIGHTON: An ugly mess
CARLISLE: A dump that needs renovating
MILLWALL: For brave fans only and take the train

Robins Announce Bulls Friendly

Bristol City have announced a visit to Edgar Street on July 22nd as part of their pre-season fixtures.

Their official site announces the Tuesday evening date, which is likely to resolve confusion over the Southampton friendly date. The local press were originally informed that the Saints would visit on the 22nd, but that now appears to be the 29th.

The Robins' visit is the fourth confirmed home friendly, with the only trip so far being to Aggborough to face Kidderminster.

News Round Up

Leeds midfielder Alan Thompson has decided to retire at the age of 34. He won one England cap four years ago. Leeds have also released defender Darren Kenton after his short term deal expired. Shrewsbury will get a £500,000 windfall if Joe Hart makes his England debut tonight. He moved to Man City for £600,000 two years ago.

Stockport are aiming for the Championship but don't intend to reach it for five years, preferring steady building to other sides' overspending. Oldham have signed Rotherham's outcast striker Chris O'Grady for an undisclosed fee. He was the only player to decline a wage referral when the Millers went into Administration.

Peterboro's local paper has unkindly summed up Edgar Street: "Horrible, tatty, small, but after last season it's a special place for Posh fans. Worth a trip for nostalgic reasons only." MK Dons' injured defender Drissa Diallo has been prescribed the Nintendo Wii after arm surgery: "The varying diagonal movements utilised in gameplay are a lot closer to normal movements than most exercises we can give him."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

News Round Up

Ben Smith will be spending the summer bribing preview writers if the effort from Scunthorpe's official site is to be believed: "other key names in the squad are near-ever present goalkeeper Wayne Brown, formerly of Chester, and young midfielder Ben Smith, plucked from Weymouth." Smith turns 30 in November, even if he looks a youthful 29.

Aldershot have resigned goalkeeper Nikki Bull after confirming his departure last week. He has signed a two year deal. Oxford have had to cancel a pre-season friendly with QPR because the ground is being used for a wedding as the stadium is not owned by the club. The management company pre-booked the date, and the bride refused to change plans.

Crewe are chasing Derby keeper Ben Hinchliffe, who has been released. The 19 year old had another 12 months left at Pride Park, but has been paid off. Peterboro mouthpiece Barry Fry is claiming goalie Joe Lewis is worth £4million. They paid £400,000 for him six months ago.

Less Bulls miles in 08/09

Now that the make-up of League 1 is complete both team and fans can look forward to a slightly lower mileage total in the coming season.

The total of (one way) 3188 compares with 3336 in the season recently completed. Nearest will be trips to Cheltenham with the longest being Carlisle, beating the "Monkey Hangers" by just one mile. The longest trip in League 1 is between Brighton and Carlisle, which involves a 364-mile drive. Carlisle will cover the greatest distance over the season with round trips totalling around 11,000 miles!

Full list of estimated mileage: -

Brighton 186
Bristol (Chelt) 43
Carlisle 245
Cheltenham 43
Colchester 203
Crewe 107
Hartlepool 244
Huddersfield 171
Leeds 177
Leicester 98
Orient 160
Millwall 149
MK Dons 120
Northants 108
Oldham 148
Posh 141
Scunthorpe 174
Southend 186
Stockport 137
Swindon 65
Tranmere 111
Walsall 62
Weovil 110

Safe driving!

Bulls Offered At 50/1

With most bookies now offering odds for next season, the Bulls are available at 40/1 generally with 50/1 available.

Early movement in the lists have seen both MK Dons and Peterboro's odds shorten, while Huddersfield are also attracting interest at 20/1. Cheltenham are rank outsiders next season, available at 100/1 in places, with both Crewe and Stockport available at 66/1 while Yeovil and Walsall are rated lower than the Bulls in places.

The Bulls are 3000/1 for the FA Cup, but only 2500/1 for the Carling Cup.

In League Two Darlington are generally the favourites at 9/1 with Gillingham, Bradford, Chesterfield, Wycombe, and Bournemouth - who expect to start the season with a points deduction - all in the running. Exeter and Accrington are the 100/1 outsiders, with Dagenham, Chester, and Macclesfield 50/1 shots. Shrewsbury are 20/1 generally but available at 33/1, while Aldershot are rated between 16/1 and 40/1.

In the Conference, Stevenage are now the 6/1 favourites with Torquay at 8/1. Oxford and Wrexham are 9/1, with big spending Rushden at 10/1. Kidderminster are 25/1, Forest Green 33/1, with Altrincham 100/1 outsiders.

Monday, May 26, 2008

News Round Up

Alex Russell, a loan target of the Bulls back in January, is one of five released by Bristol City following their play-off final loss. The veteran midfielder is joined by forwards Enoch Showumni and Darren Byfield out the door, but former Bulls loanee Chris Weale has been offered a new deal. Chester have had a second offer for Vauxhall Motors striker Paul Taylor accepted.

Luton's former chairman Bill Tomkins is refusing to co-operate with the FA inquiry into irregular payments to players. He volunteered the information that got the FA started, but has now walked away from football claiming the FA want to make him a scapegoat. Stuart Fleetwood has confirmed holding talks with Charlton, Swansea, and Swindon, but will have two weeks holiday before confirming his destination.

Former Bulls loanee Matt Bailey has signed for Northwich. Following Torquay, Cambridge have made their General Manager and redundant to cut costs following play-off failure. The PR man is also on the way out as they cut costs, with the U's admitting they are still a long way off breaking even. Paul Parry has pulled out of the Wales squad due to personal reasons.

Kidderminster have confirmed that former Bulls goalie Chris Mackenzie has left Aggborough after his short term deal expired. Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore has signed a new two year deal at the club. Leeds have denied they are in talks to sell the club. A Canadian sports investment group was named on Saturday as being in talks.

Leicester will interview candidates for the manager's job this week. Ex-Derby boss Billy Davies and ex-Wycombe man Paul Lambert are the front runners. Huddersfield are to sign Keigan Parker from Blackpool on a two year deal. The 25 year old will join when his contract expires in July. Scunthorpe have signed winger Garry Thompson from Morecambe on a free, with the player signing a three year deal.

Hatters Join League One

Stockport County are the 24th and final name in next season's League One after winning the League Two play-off final today.

Their 3-2 win over Rochdale ends a three year stay in League Two, with ex-Bulls Michael Rose and Stephen Gleeson both playing. Dale took a surprise lead, but they were 3-1 down with two thirds of the game gone before a superb Adam Rundle volley gave them late hope. The game was watched by 35,715.

Bookies Expect Bulls Struggle (Again)

The bookies are predicting a struggle against relegation for the Bulls, just like they did 12 months ago.

Leicester are 4/1 favourites in the first list to be compiled by BlueSq, with Leeds 9/2 second favourites. The Bulls are 40/1, along with Crewe, Bristol Rovers, Yeovil, and Hartlepool, with only Cheltenham behind them at 66/1.

Beaten play-off semi-finalists Carlisle and Southend are expected to challenge at 10/1 and 12/1 with relegated Colchester (11/1) and Scunthorpe (12/1). Peterboro are 14/1 seventh favourites, with MK Dons joint 8th at 16/1 along with Brighton and Tranmere.

Last summer, the Bulls were also a 40/1 shot with both relegated teams ahead of them in the betting at 25/1 and 33/1. The previous season they were 20/1 shots.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

News Round Up

Trent McClenahan's Olyroos lost their Intercontinental Cup final to Nigeria 2-0 in Malaysia. Darlington fans are increasingly concerned at strong rumours that their playing budget will be slashed next season by as much as 50%. Several of the out of contract high earners were offloaded last week, with only a pair of youth teamers having so far agreed new deals after a £1million playing budget last season overstretched their resources.

Lincoln hope to have manager Peter Jackson back in control next week after his cancer treatment. He has been missing since March after being diagnosed with throat cancer, but is said to have now regained his voice. The Non-League paper reports it's top 50 Non-League strikers, with ex-Bull Stuart Fleetwood at no.3. Halifax's Jon Shaw is no.1.

Scunthorpe are being linked to a string of strikers, the latest being out of contract Mansfield man Michael Boulding. Brighton have lost the services of reserve team boss Ian Chapman, who is apparently unhappy about an effective demotion with the return of Micky Adams.

Donny Win Play-Off

Doncaster won today's League One play-off 1-0 in another tense game at Wembley.

The result means Leeds United are the 23rd team confirmed for next season's League One campaign. James Hayter scored the only goal to send Donny, and former Bulls coach Richard O'Kelly into the Championship for the first time since the 1950's.

The final League One place will be decided tomorrow, with Stockport facing Rochdale. Graham Turner will be summarising the final for BBC Radio Five Live with pre match and half time comments.

Bulls Linked To Harrold

The Bulls are being linked with a move for Southend striker Matt Harrold.

Southend sources claim the 23 year old is being hunted by Huddersfield, Darlington, and the Bulls as he looks for regular first team action after two years as a bit player at Roots Hall.

The 6ft 1in forward has started only 25 League matches in two seasons following a successful year at Yeovil. He scored only three times in first team action this season and has not started a game since January.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

News Round Up

Leicester have inevitably sacked manager Ian Holloway. The former Plymouth and QPR man won only nine of 31 League games in charge. Ex-Wycombe boss Paul Lambert is already in the frame to take over, having been touted for the job as soon as he quit Adams Park. Whoever takes over will be their seventh 'permanent' manager in 18 months.

Accrington are hoping to sign former winger Gary Roberts, who is claimed to be available on a free from Ipswich. They received £220,000 for selling him to the Tractorboys in October 2006, but initial success did not continue and his is transfer listed with two years left on his current deal. Crewe are also interested after a successful loan spell. Aldershot have confirmed the departure of goalkeeper Nikki Bull, citing his wage demands as the main reason.

Bournemouth's Administrator has confirmed that he authorised the sale of starlet Sam Vokes to Wolves to fund the club through the summer. The £250,000 transfer fee will cover the running costs with no club sponsor, season ticket sales, or match income coming in. The protracted takeover is still expected to take another month, and could incur the wrath of the Football League if it continues past the League AGM.

Peterboro goalkeeper Joe Lewis has been called into the full England squad due to injuries. He will join them in their matches with the USA and Trinidad after impressing in the recent u-21 match with Wales. Torquay have axed their General Manager and his assistant to further cut costs at Plainmoor.

England won the Four Nations tournament with a 3-0 win over Wales in the deciding game. The only ex-Bull on duty was Graham Evans, with Scott Tynan an unused sub. Scotland beat Gibraltar 4-2 in the other match to finish third.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Turner makes two offers

Graham Turner has confirmed to BBC Hereford and Worcester that he has made two offers to players.

"We've made two cash offers, but one club has turned it down almost out of hand as they say it was nowhere near their valuation," he said.

"Another club is seriously considering it and over the next few days we'll know whether they'll accept our offer."

GT Needs Toumani Signing

Graham Turner has told the official site that he 'needs' Toumani Diagouraga to sign for the Bulls.

In a brief statement he said: "He's indicated that he's positive about this club, and I've spoken to his agent. Again it's one of those drawn out things that could go on for several weeks.

"Toumani was a good player for us last season and we need him signed up and done if we possibly can, so that's the aim at the moment."

Meanwhile, Watford have parted company with former Bulls coach Dick Bate as a cost-cutting measure. Bate spent two years at Vicarage Road after a brief spell as the technical director for Canada. He was a coach at Edgar Street initially for John Layton then Turner before leaving for a post with the FA.

News Round Up

The Football League has announced a new overseas rights deal from the 2009/10 season. The new deal, for £24million, is three times the worth of the previous agreement. York city council are to take over the football club's repayments to the Football Foundation. They will take over the £138,000 a year cost once auditors have confirmed the club's accounts are in order.

Ex-Bull Scott Tynan started for the England 'C' side as they beat Scotland 1-0 in the Four Nations tournament. Wales beat Gibraltar 6-2 in the other game, leaving Saturday's England-Wales match the title decider. Watford are set to offload striker Nathan Ellington as the cost cutting at Vicarage Road begins.

Cheltenham are to get a six figure sum invested into it by two existing shareholders after the club revealed 'significant' losses of £219,583 for the year to May 2007. They had a wage bill for the season of £1.5million, one of the smallest in League One, on average gates of 4358. Stockport boss Jim Gannon is refusing to speak to Sky in the build-up to the play-off final - because his satellite box has been on the blink for nine months!

Ex-Bull Mick Galloway has been named as the new boss at Hucknall Town. He joined them as a player in February after a spell at Cowdenbeath. Hucknall will play in the Conference North next season after dodging relegation due to Halifax's demise. Ex-Bull Danny Davidson has joined fellow ex-Bull Nicky Law at Alfreton after a spell at Solihull.

Wolves have won the race for Bournemouth wonderkid Sam Vokes. The 19 year old forward has signed a four year deal at Molineux after 12 goals in 30 starts for the relegated Cherries. Swindon have denied interest in Cheltenham striker Stephen Gillespie. Halifax have not appealed to the FA over their demotion from the Conference.

Peterboro have cancelled a deal to sell defender Adam Newton to Brentford for an undisclosed fee. The full back had agreed terms at Griffin Park but the Posh pulled the plug with concerns over finding a replacement with seven players still to offload. Shrewsbury striker Guy Madjo is to play for Cameroon in the Olympic football tournament.

Macclesfield have signed striker Simon Yeo after his release from Chester. He rejoins former Lincoln boss Keith Alexander, for whom he played nearly 100 games for at Sincil Bank. His last League goal was against the Bulls in October. Former Bulls loanee Phil Starbuck has been sacked as manager at Hednesford. He used 61 players in finishing 15 points short of the play-offs in the Unibond Premier.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

News Round Up

Walsall have named caretaker boss Jimmy Mullen as their new boss. The former Blackpool and Burnley chief was ex-boss Richard Money's assistant for the past season. The 55 year old took charge of the club's final two games of the season, resulting in one point from six. Millwall have confirmed their Academy will be reduced to a Centre of Excellence to reduce costs.

Darlington have released six more players, making a total of nine leaving the play-off losers. Julian Joachim heads the list which also includes regular starters Clark Keltie and Mickey Cummings. Only three out of contract players have now been offered new deals, with Keltie expected to sign for Hartlepool. Leyton Orient are favourites to land in-demand striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, who is wanted by a string of League One sides.

Exeter have signed Wycombe full back Jack Obersteller. The 19 year old is one of seven released by the Chairboys. MK Dons' reserve keeper Nathan Abbey has signed a new one year deal at the club. Cheltenham captain John Finnegan will go under the knife for a second time to cure a heel problem. The 32 year old has been out since October and will not resume training until August.

Peterboro have completed the permanent signing of striker Scott Rendell from Cambridge United for an undisclosed sum. The 21 year old former Crawley man started just three games since his February loan move. Former Bulls trialist Chris Zebroski's agent has claimed Millwall have 'lacked sincerity' in their contract offer to him. The offer effectively blocks a free transfer move to an unnamed League side that was agreed in February as the Lions can now demand a fee.

Aldershot goalkeeper Nikki Bull's future is still up in the air. After confirming he would leave the club midway through the season, he changed his mind as the club won the Conference. After an initial rejected offer he accepted the club's second offer of a new deal and was all set to sign until the club withdrew the deal "because of financial reasons". A third, lesser, deal is now on the table.

Seven Subs In Carling Cup?

The Football League is close to agreeing to the naming of a substitutes bench of seven rather than five for next season's Carling Cup.

The Oldham Athletic official site is reporting that the move will come in as the Premier League moves to seven subs next season, with a view to the Football League following suit the season after. The top flight agreed their change in February, and want the cup competitions to follow suit.

Meanwhile, League One play-off final ticket sales have been suspended at Doncaster after touts and Leeds fans were openly bartering for tickets outside their Keepmoat Stadium. Leeds sold their 36,000 allocation before the general sale took place with season ticket holders and members claiming all the tickets yesterday, having been allowed to claim up to three extra tickets apiece, amid chaotic scenes at Elland Road that required Police attendance to keep order after some fans queued overnight to secure their Wembley place.

Doncaster will now only accept telephone, e-mail, and fax applications from people already on their supporter database having already sold over 20,000 tickets themselves. They had offered 6,000 of their allocation to Leeds, but the Football League refused to sanction it due to segregation problems.

Slow progress on ground redevelopment

Although Hereford United's promotion has spured some activity from those involved in the probable redevelopment of Edgar Street, little has yet emerged about any plans or timetable.

It appears that the Richardsons and their partners Carillion are sitting back waiting to see what whether any possible tenants might emerge and what support there might be from grants towards any project.

Hereford United's manager Graham Turner had a meeting with the Richardsons last week but as he says in his Hereford Times column there was not too much of an outcome. He also had a meeting with three presentatives from Herefordshire Council.

"We spent half-an-hour discussing the situation in the boardroom before having a walk around, with particular attention to the Blackfriars and Meadow Ends.

"I think they now realise how urgent our needs are, how without their co-operation nothing will get done and how exciting the prospects could be of the development incorporating commercial projects which could bring revenue into the club for many years to come.

"The next step will be for the council's representaives to hold talks with the Richardsons, ascertain where the common ground is and then make progress from there."

Elsewhere in the Hereford Times there is an article which suggests that a new river crossing close to the city is back on the agenda.

Council leader Roger Phillips said he was ready for fight to get a second river crossing.

Benjamin disappointed with release

Striker Trevor Benjamin is sorry to be leaving Hereford but says he has a few things lined up for next season.

"I loved my time at Hereford," Benjamin told the Hereford Times.

"I felt settled and very much at home. It's disappointing to be released but it happens in football.

"As a squad we expected the unexpected and the promotion was well deserved. We played well and beleived we could get promotion.

"I want to thank the fans who has been brilliant and the backroom staff who do a lot of work behind the scenes and don't always get enough credit."

Benjamin is about to go on holiday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

News Round Up

Darlington have released three of twelve out of contract players at the Darlington Arena. Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, John Brackstone, and Kevin Burgess have been deemed surplus to requirements. Chester have missed out on a second transfer target with Wrexham's Carl Tremarco opting to stay with the newly relegated side.

Port Vale's signing of Brentford's released PFA Team of the Year player Craig Pead is in doubt after Brentford dismissed their claims that he had signed. Pead is claimed to be 'keeping his options open'. Stockport captain Gareth Owen will wear a mask during the play-off final after being diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone.

Dagenham have released three following their narrow escape from relegation. Heading the departed list is former Conference hotshot Chris Moore. First out the door in the purge at Shrewsbury is likely to be defender Darren Kempson. The ex-Morecambe man is being chased by five League Two sides, with the Shrews wanting a fee.

Crewe's keeper worries may be slightly eased by the cash earned from reserve stopper Owain fon Williams. The Welsh u-21 man is wanted by a pair of Premiership clubs that should see a good six-figure fee come their way. Cambridge have released five after their play-off loss, including three of their top earners as rumours of financial problems at the Abbey Stadium continue.

Oldham have signed Gretna keeper Craig Fleming and Man Utd utility man Kieran Lee. Yeovil are to sign Everton striker Aidan Downes on a two year deal after a successful loan spell. Millwall have signed Man City forward Ashley Grimes. Ex-Bull Jamie Pitman has agreed a new deal at Forest Green. Simon Travis' future is in doubt after his Nuneaton side confirmed they would enter Administration later this week.

New Mayor of Hereford is Bulls Supporter

Kevin Wargen is the new Mayor of Hereford. He takes over from Chris Chappell.

Wargen has been a supporter of Hereford United for many years. He was chairman of HUISA, the Hereford United Independent Supporters Association, for a spell earlier this decade.

He is a Liberal Democrat councillor for Belmont.

"I am over the moon with Hereford United being promoted. Apart from my family they are the number one interest in my life," said Coun Wargen.

Four More Offered Deals

Hereford United have confirmed that four more of the current players have been offered new deals.

Dean Beckwith, Simon Johnson, Jack McLeod, and Trent McClenahan have been offered new deals to join those already with offers for next season. Last summer boss Graham Turner gave all the players offered deals a month to consider their options, but there is no confirmation of a date when the current offers need to be accepted by.

The latest offers leave no contracted players awaiting news of their fate for next season. Six players are contracted into next season, seven have deals on the table, and Luke Webb will remain on the payroll until his injury clears and he can be suitably assessed.

Assuming all the players offered deals accept, it will mean a squad of 14 to build on with only Toumani Diagouraga understood to have been offered terms to join the squad on a permanent basis.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

McClenahan waits for Offer from Hereford

Trent McClenahan hasn't received an offer from Hereford United manager Graham Turner and appears to be considering a move back to his homeland.

The Australian-born defender is currently with the Olyroos in the Malaysian Intercontinental Cup.

“When you’re at a bigger club I suppose you get noticed more and more publicity. In a sense maybe you do have to work harder and have to prove yourself a little bit more," McClenahan told

“Players go through different stages in their career. Along the way you just have to make sure you keep improving.

“It was fantastic to end last season winning promotion with Hereford. It was a massive thing back there. We had one of the smallest budgets in the division and had been one of the favourites for relegation. It was great to prove people wrong.

“So, yes I’m on a bit of a high still because of that. My contract there is up so I’m just waiting for them to contact me. It’s fair to say my options are open at this stage.

“I’ve been involved with the national team since the Under 20s and to be in the Under 23s is a great honour.

“Every game at international level is a shop window.

“Can I see myself in the A-League? Of course. I’m an Australian and I want to play in Australia one day.

“Whether it’s right now, in five years or 10 years, I don’t know. You just want to choose the best option open to you.”

Asked what his teammates know about Hereford McClenahan commented:

“I can tell you how many of the players would know where Hereford is on a map. A big zero. None of them.”

League 1 Chatter

LEEDS UNITED chairman Ken Bates admits he's cocky about his team's chances of beating Doncaster Rovers in Sunday's League One Play Off final.

It is a change of tune from when his side was beaten at home by Carlisle in the first leg, only to recover to win in the second and go through to Wembley. He said: "I wouldn't want to sound over-confident, but in my own way I'm quietly cocky. I'd expect it to be a very difficult game, but we're going into it on the back of a classy performance at Carlisle. I've got a lot of faith in Gary McAllister and his squad.”

Bet he's glad Lionel doesn’t play for Donny!

CHELTENHAM TOWN could be about to lose one of their players as sources close to Swindon are reporting a keen interest in striker Stephen Gillespie. The former Bristol City player found the net on 14 occasions in 35 starts for The Robins last season. Swindon boss Maurice Malpas had stated that he was looking at bringing another striker into the club and is on record as saying that his target is currently at a League 1 Club.

CREWE could very soon find themselves missing a couple of 'keepers with current first choice stopper, Ben Williams rumoured to be on the move and his expected replacement, 21 year old Welshman Owain Fon Williams, attracting the attention of Blackburn, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Cardiff. Williams, who has yet to make a League appearance, has rejected a new deal at Gresty Road but will command a fee due to his age.

Another youngster said to have caught the eye of higher clubs is BOURNEMOUTH's 18 year old striker Sam Vokes. The Newcastle Chronicle are reporting that "knee high to a grasshopper" Dennis Wise is an admirer and that it would be a "done deal" were it not for the south coast club's administration difficulties. However, Wolves boss, Mick McCarthy, is said to be trying to snatch the player from under the nose of the 1972 FA Cup third round losers.

News Round Up

Ex-Bull Phil Gulliver has signed a new deal at Rushden for a further year. The 25 year old played 40 times in his first season at Nene Park after choosing to end his Edgar Street stint early. Cheltenham have transfer listed Lee Ridley and Aaron Legister. Ridley spent the latter part of the season at Lincoln and still has two years left on his contract after failing to settle in the area.

Macclesfield have released keeper Tommy Lee, who is currently on loan at Rochdale. The 22 year old former Man Utd trainee is expected to play at Wembley for Dale this weekend. Boston have exited the CVA that cost them their League place after reaching agreement over a payment plan. The deal hinges on the redevelopment of parts of York Street for housing.

England's 'C' squad, the non-league side, beat Gibraltar 1-0 in the opening Four Nations tournament match. Wales drew 1-1 with Scotland thanks to a goal from ex-Bull Graham Evans. Peterboro have confirmed seven players are transfer listed at the club. They say they need to offload them in order to bring in new faces despite having a £1.5million a year sponsorship deal from their owner swelling their wage budget.

Bristol Rovers will entertain Dutch side ADO Den Haag in their first match at Whaddon Road. The Pirates are interested in released Coventry striker Wayne Andrews. The 30 year old lasted just 20 minutes of a loan spell with them in March and is yet to recover from the cruciate ligament injury picked up in that game.

Lambert Quits Wycombe

Paul Lambert has quit as manager of Wycombe after failing to win promotion for the side.

Lambert spent two seasons in charge of the Chairboys, taking them to a Carling Cup semi-final last season before this season's play-off loss. Wycombe have started the search for a new manager.

League 1 Gossip

Rumours continue regarding a possible move to Crewe for former Bull Stuart Fleetwood despite interest being reported from other clubs. The Club's first team coach, Steve "of course I’m the boss" Holland, says he has identified a striker that he believes is good enough to go straight into the first team next season. The Crewe Official Site is reporting that Holland remains hopeful that a deal can be struck with the unnamed player’s club as a transfer fee would be involved. Crewe had to rely on other club’s results at the end of the season to retain their League 1 status and are said to be considering changes in all areas of the field.

Huddersfield boss Stan "The Man" Ternent claims he will not be rushed into making any signings. Ternent joined the club in April and wasted no time in getting Andy Booth, Matt Glennon, Joe Skarz and James Berrett to sign new deals at the Galpharm Stadium. He told the club's official website: "We will be making signings, but we won't be rushing into anything because it's obviously crucial we get the right people on board. "There are plenty of players seeking clubs but there's no point bringing someone in for the sake of it. We've been busy identifying potential targets, but some of the people concerned are away on holiday."

Orient skipper Stephen Purches, the former Bournemouth teammate of Bulls' Karl Broadhurst, is sure they can put a disappointing second half of the season behind them and push for promotion in 08/09. "We'll learn from our mistakes last season and come back stronger next year." "We all want to progress and play at the highest standard we can so there's always that drive to do well."

Millwall are reported to have signed Cardiff striker Warren Feeney to a two-year deal following discussions with Kenny "whose coat is that" Jacket. The 27 year-old, who spent four months of last season on-loan at League One champions Swansea City, has made just 5 starts for the Bluebirds since his move from Luton Town last summer. The Belfast-born forward netted 5 times in just 10 appearances for The Swans, before an ankle injury forced him to return to Ninian Park in December.Formerly with Bournemouth, Feeney has made 24 appearances for the Northern Ireland national side, scoring 3 goals since making his debut in 2002.

More importantly, Millwall have rubbished claims that Babyshambles singer, QPR fan and Kate Moss medical advisor Pete Doherty was kicked out of The Den following a charity football match. A report claimed Doherty, whose team lost in the final to dance act Faithless, was thrown out for his behavior after the tournament. But a statement on the Lions' official website read: "Contrary to a newspaper report, Pete Doherty would be more than welcome back at The Den following his first-ever visit to the ground on Saturday." It is not known if Millwall are looking for a "shot in the arm" for their flagging attendances.

Monday, May 19, 2008

News Round Up

Ex-Bull Richard Teesdale has joined Chasetown after being released by AFC Telford. Brighton coach Ian Chapman has quit following Mickey Adams' appointment as manager. Millwall veteran striker Neil Harris will sign a new one year deal at the New Den, but the club face an EGM on takeover proposals.

Southend have released five following their play-off failure. Heading the list in long serving midfielder Kevin Maher after ten years, and 450 games, at the club. Charlton striker James Walker joins for a small fee after a loan spell, while five more are offered new deals. Halifax have seen the pair of Supporters Trust representatives resign from the club board as the Trust and Consortium grow further apart.

Chester have appointed Huw Griffiths as their new assistant manager. The 32 year old previously held a similar post at Southport after cutting his playing career short. Accrington are lining up a summer friendly with Chinese side Chengdu Blades, the side owned by Sheff Utd. Shrewsbury are to have a four day training camp in Spain in mid-July.

Crewe are back in pre-season training after just 17 days off. The players are in two days a week while most sides are not back for another month. Bournemouth's takeover should be clearer in the next couple of days with the Administrator due to make an announcement. He has denied press speculation linking Harry Redknapp to a buyout, saying he has not spoken to him about it.

So Long, Big Trev

Trevor Benjamin's departure is surprising, but not quite as surprising as that of John McCombe.

The cases for Marcus Palmer and Jordan Fitzpatrick were, probably, fairly done and dusted. They were signed to a newly promoted Conference side returning to League Two after a long absence and, two years down the line, had not made an impression of any note on the first team since. Both will probably get opportunities at the Conference South level, maybe higher, and should flourish in a good footballing side with the education they have received.

Ryan Esson, despite a decent debut, was always likely to be looking for a no.1 spot somewhere rather than one as second fiddle like he had played for the last two months. The same can be - quite obviously - said of Mike Ingham.

Big Trev arrived with raised eyebrows - not only from a contingent of the Bulls faithful but a string of League Two pundits. They claimed it was a nothing signing, a non-replacement for the likes of Alan Connell and Andy Williams. For the much travelled striker it was club 17 for the side who liked 17th place so much.

But he only started 15 League games all season despite his 11 goals. A telling number despite his ability to win free kicks and penalties by dragging a series of defenders into the right place before crumbling like an ancient monument. Graham Turner is well known to like a player that is 100% fit and - unfortunately - a near three months of inaction from Benjamin probably did for his chances of a new deal.

John McCombe's departure was the surprise, the biggest so far at least, for one that came with such pre-season optimism from Turner: "He comes highly recommended from our people in the North West, also the people at Huddersfield. One or two felt he was unlucky not to be offered a new contract."

Given the no.5 shirt, he was expected to have a big impression during the season but his impact was in fits and starts. It took two months for him to break the Beckwith-Broadhurst partnership, but he admirably held his own after a mildly shaky start for three months before being dumped prior to Christmas.

Regular, and generally solid, performances through February and March left many expecting him to be the next central defender to be moulded but a sudden disappearance from first team matters saw only one start and a brief end of season sub appearance in the last seven games.

Good luck to all six of them. Just don't score against us.

More 'Awards' For The Bulls

More awards have come the way of the Bulls, from the slightly less prestigious Notts County Mad site.

It named Graham Turner as manager of the season for his work with 'Little Hereford': "You would have expected MK Dons and Peterborough United to be in the mix this year but to see Hereford up fighting for the title is a true sign of the great work Turner has done this season. To have led the Bulls to the play-offs would have been deemed an over-achievment by many last summer, but to earn 'top three' status is a truly remarkable triumph."

Lionel Ainsworth was named 'The one that got away', while the Bulls were named the most improved team after earning the 'Nothing' award last time round: "The Bulls were maybe harshly labelled the 'nothing' team of League Two by NCM last season, failing to score in their final ten games of the season. Well, they managed to muster a third-placed finish this season to prove their critics, including myself, wrong. Graham Turner has done a fine job and deserves all the credit. Good luck in League One!"

The 'Nothing' award this season went to Accrington, while Barnet were named as over achievers, and the site's very own County named as under achievers in the full article that can be seen here.

League 2 Play-Off Chatter

Rochdale have appealed the red card issued to former Morecambe midfielder David Perkins. The hearing is set for tomorrow with Dale saying they have provided the best possible representation in an attempt to get the card rescinded.

Meanwhile, the Spotlands club have so far filled 45 coaches for their trip to Weobley Stadium and have commissioned a supply of commemorative shirts for sale to fans prior the final.

For their part, Stockport have produced a special T-shirt, which is selling in hundreds at £10 each through the club shop. Queues for tickets were today said to be extending to over an hour and a half. Problems exist regarding coaches with all available having been already filled. The club are trying to find additional coaches from outside of the immediate area.

Don't you just miss the fun of the Play-offs.

Benjamin leaves Bulls

Much travelled striker Trevor Benjamin is leaving Hereford United according to the club.

Also moving on are youngsters Marcus Palmer and Jordan Fitzpatrick and recently recruited goalkeeper Ryan Esson.

Benjamin will now be looking for his seventeen club. He may have to take a pay cut as he was believed to be one of the highest paid players at Edgar Street this season.

This season he made 15 League starts for the Bulls and six FA Cup starts. In all he scored eleven goals. Recently he missed several games with an eye problem.

Jennings offered new deal at Tranmere

Steve Jennings has been offered a new contract at Tranmere by manager Ronnie Moore. However speculation continues that he may not agree a new deal and look for a new club.

Mid-fielder Jennings played eleven times for the Bulls whilst on loan from Tranmere during the latter part of the 2006/07 season.

According to recent reports in the North West press, Tranmere are operating with losses of around £1million a season and may have to reduce their expenditure on players.

McClenahan assists Olyroos to Victory

Hereford United defender Trent McClenahan was instrumental in the first goal for the Olyroos in their 2-1 win over Chile in the Intercontinental Cup - Malaysia 2008 last night.

The Olyroos will now play in the semi-finals.

According to

Against the run of play, in the 25th minute, Under 23 midfielder Trent McClenahan broke free down the right sideline and placed a deep cross into the box which was met by Matt Simon, who atoned for his previous miss, with a well-timed finish to give his team the vital one-goal lead.

"Promised Land" Still Claims Victims

Torquay are offloading their saleable assets after they failed to gain promotion back to the League at the first attempt, making them another victim of the chase for the 'promised land' of the Football League.

The financial situation at Plainmoor is said to be poor with striker Lee Phillips, first out the door in a £17,500 move to Rushden after a similar move from Exeter 12 months ago, telling the Non-League Paper: "They needed to sell their most saleable assets and I was the one sold".

Ex-Bull Tim Sills, who has just collected the Goal of the Season award in the Conference, is also on Rushden's shopping list while several other high earners are expected to be offloaded. Cambridge are also believed to be in difficulties following failure of their play-off campaign, and may be forced to offload players to balance the books.

Rushden themselves are gearing up for an expensive tilt at the title with the captures of Phillips and Daryl Clare, while they also made a £100,000 bid for Stevenage striker Steve Morison.

News Round Up

Crewe are on the lookout for two keepers with first choice Ben Williams rejecting a new deal and reserve Owain fon Williams expected to rejected his new offer in favour of regular football elsewhere. The Railwaymen are expected to have a pre-season Bulgarian trip after they were invited by the owner of FC Maritsa. Hartlepool are chasing former England striker Michael Bridges after he was frozen out at Hull. Winger James Brown is again being linked to Norwich.

Halifax's fans trust is to press ahead with moves to form a new club with the consortium silent on their plans. Both sides have expressed interest in forming a new club but have had no talks together. The supporters trust is to meet with the council over the future of the Shay, with a view to playing there next season. Bradford have been told by Watford that young keeper Scott Loach is not going out on loan next season.

Barnet's ground development has been held up as the site needs extra power to it - and contractors EON are dragging their heels over even giving the club a quote for the work. Recent floodlight failures are down to power needs exceeding the current capacity, but EON have taken over six months to offer even a rough quote for the work. Chesterfield have signed Port Vale captain Paul Harsley on a two year deal.

Chester's £30,000 bid for Vauxhall Motors striker Paul Taylor has been rejected. Peterboro are considering an offer from Brentford for full back Adam Newton. The 27 year old is not first choice, but is not one of the six contracted players the club want to get rid of. Ex-Bull Ian Foster is to leave the physio job at Kidderminster to take up a similar position at Galway United.

Walsall's appointment of a new manager has been further delayed by the emergence of a sixth candidate. The shortlist of five were interviewed last week, but a sixth name has just unexpectedly approached the club and chairman Jeff Bonser will meet him later in the week. Northampton have slapped a £1million valuation on wanted goalkeeper Mark Bunn. The 23 year old is being chased by several Championship clubs.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Exeter Back In The League

Exeter City are back in the league after a 1-0 win over Cambridge United in today's final at Wembley.

Defender Rob Edwards, the player-coach, scored the only goal with a far post header midway through the first half. Adam Stansfield played the bulk of the game before being given hefty applause for his performance while being subbed but neither of the other ex-Bulls, Bertrand Cozic and Mark Beesley, made it onto the pitch from the bench.

Stansfield at Wembley for Conference Final

Adam Stansfield is expected to lead Exeter's attack against Cambridge United this afternoon in the Conference play-off final at Wembley. It will be the second season running he has played at the new stadium.

The former Hereford United striker is quite used to play-off games as he played for the Bulls against Halifax two seasons ago and last year for the Grecians against Morecambe.

Back in 2001 when with Yeovil he played in the Trophy Final at Villa Park and scored in their 2-0 win against Stevenage.

In 2005 whilst with Hereford he played in the Conference semi-final games against Stevenage which the Bulls lost on aggregate.

In 2006 Stansfield lead the attack against Halifax in the Conference play-off final at the Walkers Stadium. The Bulls won this game and so returned to the Football League.

Stansfield left Hereford and then joined Exeter in June 2006.

In 2007 Exeter lost out to Morecambe 2-1.

This afternoon will be his second play-off final game for the Grecians.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Theo And Lionel To Get Hornets Chance

The chances of Theo Robinson returning to Edgar Street are slim, with boss Aidy Boothroyd expected to trim his squad for next season.

Failure to return to the Premiership at the first attempt will see budgets cut at Vicarage Road, with Boothroyd admitting that he'll have to look to the flourishing youngsters in his extended squad: "I've got to look at the squad, see what needs adjusting and maybe be a bit more ruthless.

"I need to have an assessment of players we have got and see where we can raise some money and perhaps give youth its head. We've got Tamas, Theo, Al Bangura, O'Toole, Ainsworth and Loach. They have all got a really good chance."

Robinson, whose contract was initially to have run out this summer but is believed to have been extended, has spent the bulk of the last two seasons out on loan scoring 13 times in 18 games in the Ryman Premier before bagging 16 goals in stepping up three divisions to the Bulls.

Lionel Ainsworth played in just ten of 34 games following his switch to Vicarage Road, not once starting and finishing the same game, after featuring in 19 of 21 games with the Bulls.

Stockport to play Rochdale in Final

Stockport County defeated Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) this evening and so will play Rochdale in the League Two play-off final on Bank Holiday Monday at Wembley.

It is likely that the two ex-Hereford United players Michael Rose and Stephen Gleeson will start for Stockport in the final as they did this afternoon.

Gleeson was subbed midway through the second period.

News Round Up

MK Dons have released five players following their promotion. Gareth Edds, Drewe Broughton and Matt Carbon are joined out the door by two youngsters. Several others, including veterans Colin Cameron and Keith Gallen, are negotiating new deals. Luke Webb's younger brother Joshua has signed his first professional contract at Weymouth after leaving Reading's youth academy.

Peterboro have sold over 3,000 season tickets already for the coming season. They are aiming to increase their average gate by 1,600 to 7,500 this season - with a 10,000 target in the Championship. Mansfield want to sell transfer listed defender Alex John Baptiste on the cheap ahead of their proposed sale. The £200,000 rated man has allegedly been touted round for a £70,000 fee on orders of owner Keith Haslam, who appears to want to cash in before he cashes out on the club.

Harry's not Parry's Day

Paul Parry and Tony Capeldi were on the wrong end of a 1-0 victory for Portsmouth in this afternoon's FA Cup final.

However the two ex-Hereford United players can look back on the day knowing that Cardiff City had gone to Wembley as the outsiders and until Kanu capitalised on an Enckelman mistake, close on half time, had been equal to all Portsmouth had thrown at them.

Parry might have put the Bluebirds ahead in the 12th minute but his shot was well blocked by keeper David James.

But as the game went on Harry's team took command of the game and finished deserved winners.

It is thought that this is the first time two players who had been at Edgar Street together had gone on to play for the same team in an FA Cup final.

No Wembley for Purdie

Former Hereford United player Rob Purdie will not be playing at Wembley this season.

Darlington went out of the League Two play-offs as they were defeated on penalties by Rochdale after the teams were level on aggregate at the end of extra-time.

Purdie scored with his penalty kick but Jason Kennedy's was saved by Dale keeper Tommy Lee.

Rochdale's David Perkins was sent off early in the second period of extra time and may miss the final against either Stockport or Wycombe.

Parry and Capaldi expected to start for Cardiff

Two former Hereford United players are expected to start for Cardiff City this afternoon in the FA Cup final game against Portsmouth at Wembley.

Paul Parry and Tony Capaldi has been regulars in the Bluebirds squad and whilst Parry has missed a few games recently both should feature.

If Cardiff win the game it will be the first time the Cup has left England for over 80 years.

However the politics of football should be put to one side today. What happens on the pitch is what really matters.

Meanwhile several other former Hereford United players will be in action today in the League Two play-off second leg games.

Rob Purdie should start for Darlington against Rochdale. Because of injury problems he may play at left back.

Both Michael Rose and Stephen Gleeson are expected to be in the Stockport line-up against Wycombe.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Turner's Award upsets Ince Supporters

Last Sunday Graham Turner was awarded the League Two manager of the season. However Steve Kutner, who is Paul Ince's agent, thinks the MK Dons manager should have received the award.

"I consider it sinister that every manager who won a league title — from the Premier all the way through — was named LMA manager of the year, except Paul," Kutner told the Sun,

"He has done an incredible job at MK Dons this season, winning League Two having spent very little on players.

"I have nothing against Graham and I’m sure he’s done a first-class job.

"I just can’t understand how Paul could have been overlooked for this award given the season he’s had. I’d like someone to explain it to me."

So how does the voting work?

"The votes are cast by each manager in the individual leagues for one of their peers," said LMA chief executive, Richard Bevan.

There is little doubt that Turner's award was partly due to the recognition that he was working on a very tight budget as opposed to some other managers in League Two.

However others such as Luther Blisset, a former English striker, see it from a different angle.

"Paul has the ability to become the first black English manager in the Premier League," said Blisset.

"If he had won, it would have sent out a very encouraging message to young black coaches."

Turner spoke about his award earlier this week.

"It's a reflection on the whole club and how hard everybody's worked to conclude a successful season. I think that's reflected in the award that we received," he told the Worcester News.

"I have got to have some sympathy with Paul, who did the double, but, in the end, I think resources have been taken into consideration and that's held sway. But I was absolutely delighted, among some distinguished guests, to receive the award."

League One Taking Shape

With Doncaster comprehensively defeating Southend 5-1 this evening, there are only two gaps remaining in the Leaque One line-up for the coming season. But it will be another week or so before the final teams are known.

The League One play-off final will be an all Yorkshire affair as Doncaster will meet Leeds at Wembley.

And by later tomorrow it will be known which teams will be in the League Two play-off final as the two second leg games take place - one either side of the FA Cup final.

Meanwhile Gary Hooper, who played on loan for Hereford United recently, did not feature for Southend this evening.

Another Tribute to Hereford United

This week Hereford United and Graham Turner have received tributes from both Isreal and New Zealand. Now Martin Hill, a Newcastle supporter living in the USA, has written a glowing article entitled Hereford United - Punching Above Their Weight.

Not since the 1972 FA cup have people outside of the Wye Valley uttered the words Hereford United.

As a Newcastle fan myself i'm fully aware (albeit ten years before I was born) of Hereford's cup exploits in the third round and that 'goal' by Ronny Radford to level the scores at 1-1. In the 103rd minute, Herefords sole substitute Ricky George sends 16,000 fans and a 26 year old John Motson (his first ever commentary) into raptures as he knocks Newcastle out!

36 years later and the good times have returned to Edgar Street.

Two promotions in three seasons has seen Hereford jump from the conference to League 1 and now the joys of games against Leicester City and hopefully Leeds United.

On the back of a FA cup run last season which saw Hereford reach the 4th round for the first time loosing to eventual finalists Cardiff City, the Meadow end fans now have major cause to be over the moon.

Full credit to The MK Dons (Paul Ince) and Peterborough United (Darren Ferguson) for being heads and tails above the rest of the league as they cemented their places in League 1 with weeks rather than games remaining. But with the money available to Ince and the goal scoring abilities of Aaron McLean at Peterborough it's no surprise to see these two teams being promoted in 1st and 2nd.

Hereford on a shoestring budget, a new team with loan players and free agents in most positions and a Manager (Graham Turner) who also boasts the titles of Chairman, Director of Football and club owner would admit a mid-table finish to be more than acceptable.

All season long players have been competing with the 'big boys'. Theo Robinson and Toumani Diagouraga on loan from Watford have been stand out performers all season and the early season magic of Lionel Ainsworth saw Hereford show they were more than capable of competing at the top end of the table.

Lionel Ainsworth had soon made big impressions and was quickly snapped up by Watford who inturn let Hereford keep Robinson and Diagouraga until the end of the season.

After the departure of Ainsworth, fans felt the team had lost their most potent attacking threat and were waiting for the inevitable drop off in performance. Turner (incidentally the 2nd longest serving manager in English football behind Sir Alex Ferguson) prevented any such drop as Trevor Benjamin and Steve Guinan found a bit of form.

In steps Sherjill McDonald a product of the Ajax youth academy and currently of Premiership new boys West Brom.

For one month Hereford look unbeatable as McDonald finds the net six times in seven games during his emergency loan. No sooner had he become a fan favourite and he was back off to West Brom as Turner was unable to stretch the loan time of a quality player.

Time for expected drop number two. Now though there is more faith amongst fans for the team rather than the odd star player and the backing from League 1's best fans pushed United to the top of the league. Then came the drop...

Mk Dons and Peterborough soon re-establish their positions at the top as Hereford drop points and all of a sudden are looking closely over their backs as Rochdale, Darlington and Stockport close in for the third automatic promotion slot.

This was to be Hereford's season and with one game left a win at Brentford and a loss for Stockport against Barnet see's the Bulls return to the third tier of English football for the first time in 30 years.

Credit to the players for maintaining their levels of football for the entire season, but for me the major credit lies at the feet of Mr. Hereford United Graham Turner!

During his 12 and a half years at the club he has purchased just 2 players for a total of £40,000. He's saved the club from financial ruin, stuck with them through thick and thin, and unleashed some footballing gems in Paul Parry and Gavin Mahon.

Quite simply Graham Turner has put his entire life into Hereford United and taken a David into a world of Goliaths!

No Devon Tournament for Bulls

Hereford United will not be taking part in a pre-season tournament in North Devon after all. Manager Graham Turner admitted he had been interested in the event but circumstances had changed.

"It looked quite an attractive proposition," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I was due to go down to inspect the facilities down there before finally confirming we would be part of it.

"But things have changed with the offers of fixtures from Championship and Premiership clubs and so we have accepterd them rather than go down to Devon."

Turner confirms enquiries about McCombe

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that one or two clubs have already shown interest in defender John McCombe who will not be offered a new deal at Edgar Street.

"He'll get another club and I think one or two have already enquired about him," said the Hereford United manager.

"Things move on in football and as a manager you have to have that streak where sentiment is set aside."

Turner also spoke about Luke Webb who is recovering from a hip operation.

"Luke Webb stays with us until he has recovered from his operation and then, when he's fully fit, we're obliged to continue with his contract until he is recovered.

"We will then have a look at him and see how he looks then."

Turner confirmed pre-season games away at Kidderminster on July 14th, and at home
against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion and possibly Bristol City.

"I'm just waiting for Bristol City to come back to me and firm up a date for them to come to Edgar Street.

"I'm hoping that we can get a game in, but obviously they've been busy with other things at the moment and they have not really yet got into planning their pre-season."

News Round Up

Rotherham's Administrator is to apply to the courts for more time to arrange a CVA. The existing timescale runs out this week. Bristol Rovers have confirmed interest in striker Richard Walker, a loan target for the Bulls last season, with Bury confirming interest.

Worcester City and Redditch United have both moved from Conference North to South after four more northern sides were relegated from the Conference. Leicester have released six and offered six new one year deals. Included in the Foxes departures are former Scotland keeper Rab Douglas and former Premiership man Jamie Clapham.

Colchester have offered £100,000 for Nottm Forest defender Matt Lockwood. The U's are also planning an emergency game or two at Ipswich's Portman Road ground if their new Cuckoo Farm stadium does not make the start of the season. Chester have offered £30,000 for Vauxhall Motors striker Paul Taylor. Forest Green have lost captain Michael Brough to Torquay on a free transfer.

Ex-Bull Jake Sedgemore has been released by Altrincham. He played twice for the Bulls in September 2001. Carlisle have released three and made Kevin Gall available on a free transfer following their play-off failure last night. Macclesfield have released five including one-time Bulls target Jamie Tolley. The midfielder was named as a target in the summer of 2006 before joining the Silkmen for a five figure fee.

Shrewsbury have named their first two signings in 19 year old forward Stephen Hindmarch from Carlisle, and Gretna's 32 year old ex-Carlisle midfielder Paul Murray. Mansfield have released seven including wanted man Matt Hamshaw, but have offered new terms to Mickey Boulding and his brother.

Accrington have signed released Shrews defender Colin Murdock on a years contract. Scunthorpe are leading the chase for Morecambe winger Garry Thompson ahead of MK Dons and Bradford.

GT Confirms Departed Pair

Graham Turner has confirmed the departures of Michael Ingham and John McCombe in the latest interview on the official site.

Ingham has joined York, wanting first team football, with Turner's best wishes while McCombe is released while Turner "thanked him for his services."

Wayne Brown, Richard Rose, and Sam Gwynne have all received offers, while Luke Webb has an opportunity to recover from injury to prove himself. More players will be made offers prior to the weekend.

Turner also responded to the reaction to his Town Hall speech that left fans questioning if he was departing: "Definitely going, but when is another matter. What I was trying to say was that the one thing constant about a football club is the supporters."

Turner had begun looking for new players, but would continue with the policy of 'living within our means' - pointing to the loss of Tamika Mkandawire last summer: "Absolute stalwart. We lose him, and improve!"

On the Watford pair, Turner revealed that the 'first option' given on Toumani Diagouraga during the Lionel Ainsworth transfer would mean money if he did not sign a permanent deal at Edgar Street. He also hoped Theo Robinson could stay another year, and the same for the other loanees.

Turner still hopes for a Bristol City friendly, but Aston Villa look likely to go to the Intertoto Cup rather than come to Edgar Street.

The full video, in Apple Quicktime format, is here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bulls will have to travel to Carlisle

Hereford United will have to make the long trip to Carlisle this coming season after Leeds defeated them 2-0 (3-2 on aggregate) in this evening's League One play-off game.

Leeds will face either Doncaster or Southend, who play tomorrow, in the League One play-off final.

The last time the Bulls played at Carlisle was in October 2004. Youngster Ben Scott was in goal following Jonathan Gould's return to Preston. The following Friday Craig Mawson joined the Bulls.

Carlisle won that game 3-1.

Long Wait For Summer Signings

It was a long wait for summer signings this time last year, with a month between the season end and the first arrival and nearly another month before the second new face arrived.

Summer 2007 arrivals:

  • June 12th Steve Guinan signs for the Bulls.
  • July 4th Karl Broadhurst, John McCombe, and Kris Taylor arrive.
  • July 18th Clint Easton signs two year deal.
  • July 31st Lionel Ainsworth signs contract.
  • August 1st Trevor Benjamin signs and plays in the Wolves friendly.
  • August 6th Chris Weale confirmed as month long loan signing.
  • August 8th Simon Johnson signs two month deal.
  • August 10th Toumani Diagouraga and Theo Robinson sign loan deals until the end of the year.
  • August 11th Season starts with 0-0 draw and a squad of 20.

Other events of note from last summer:

  • May 24th Phil Gulliver leaves for Rushden despite being under contract.
  • May 26th Bookies expect Bulls to finish in bottom six as prices are released.
  • June 29th Tim Sills leaves for Torquay despite being under contract.
  • July 5th Andy Williams officially signs for Bristol Rovers for a 'six figure fee'.
  • July 21st Heavy rain forces cancellation of Bristol City friendly.
  • July 26th Squad numbers are announced with only 14 signed players.
  • July 27th Sherjill Macdonald scores his first goal at Edgar Street, for West Brom reserves.