Thursday, April 30, 2009

News Round Up

Stevenage beat Cambridge 3-1 in the opening bout of the Conference play-offs. The teams were still goalless when Boro were reduced to ten men for an innocuous looking aerial challenge, but beat the U's thanks to two goals from in-demand striker Steve Morison. Torquay play Histon tonight, with the second legs of both matches on Monday.

Accrington's 'lowest wage bill in the League' is now even lower. The previously claimed £900,000 a season budget has been cut by 25%. Notts County have released five players including veteran goal getter Jamie Forrester. Veteran Michael Johnson is also to retire, while a number of others are to be offered new terms.

Darlington have named assistant boss Martin Gray as their interim manager after Dave Penney joined Oldham on a two and a half year deal. Ebbsfleet will be operating on a budget of just £4,000 a week next season without additional funding. Their current wage bill is believed to be treble that at least.

Northwich may want to get their priorities right. Owner Jim Rushe has confirmed he has placed the £75,000 deposit on buying their stadium, which they hope to complete within a month - but the club remains under a transfer embargo for non-payment of players' wages. Bradford boss Stuart McCall will remain with the club after discussions with the club board.

Aldershot are the latest club to announce a reduction in their playing budget for the coming season.

Ryan Green 'To Be Released'

Unconfirmed reports suggest that ex-Bull Ryan Green is one of four out of contract players to be released by Bristol Rovers.

Fansite Vital Gas claims Green will be shown the door after an injury hit three seasons at the Memorial Ground. He left the Bulls after scoring the extra time winner in the Conference play-off final but has started less than half of the Gasheads' League matches in the last three seasons due to an assortment of injuries.

He missed nine months with an achilles injury most recently, whilst in November 2007 he received a broken jaw in a bar fight after apparently being set upon as the innocent party.

FL's Stockport Ruling Is A Joke

It's a rare day when I'd stand with Leeds and Luton fans in calling the Football League a joke - but they've managed it today.

In deducting Stockport ten points this season they have turned their own rules into a farce. Designed to punish clubs that overspend - a fact that Stockport cannot deny being guilty of due to their overwhelming debts - the League have turned themselves into a mockery in barely two and a half hours.

That is the time from the announcement of their Administration to the Football League's announcement on punishment. It took the League five days to put the correct people into a room to consider Southampton's plight, before taking a further 16 days to determine their punishment - and then leaving the penalty dependent on results.

So how can they do it so swiftly, and so definitely, in this case?

Southampton's Administrator accused the FL of having sufficient grey area in their rules for them to be bent in whichever direction the FL chose. While Southampton got the 'wrong' direction it appears Stockport got the 'right' course. And very quickly.

The creditor that forced Stockport into Administration is also party to one of the bids to take the club over. As a secured creditor, one of the few outside of football debts thesedays, they would hold financial sway over the conclusion of a CVA - a deal that would see Stockport incur no further penalty on top of the virtually pointless penalty they have received today.

Back in the summer of 2007 FL chairman Lord Malwhinney, commenting on the rules being tightened after the Leeds affair, said: "Clubs should suffer a sporting penalty as a consequence of going into administration, as this acts as a spur to better financial management."

Explain this 'penalty', Brian.

Di Matteo looks for Three Points

MK Dons, who are in the League One play-offs, are not coming to Edgar Street on Saturday for a draw but for a win says manager Roberto Di Matteo.

"We're not going to go into the game to play for a draw, we've never done that and we will never do that. We will going into the game and prepare as always and try to win the game," said Di Matteo.

He is also reported to be aware that the Bulls have a new manager after Graham Turner decided to step down.

"To have a manager that long at one club, it's amazing, I have to say it doesn't happen very often these days," continued Di Matteo.

"They've got a few loan players, very interesting and talented players who want to impress. (Steve) Guinan is in good form. We'll have to have to play our game and play well to get something out of the game."

Stockport Enter Administration

Stockport have today entered Administration after a creditor forced the move on the club.

Manchester based Administrators Leonard Curtis have been placed in charge with a spokesman for the company saying: "We are keen to work with the board to explore all possible solutions to ensure the club's future prospects are protected as far as possible. We are extremely hopeful that we will find a buyer for the club and are already aware of a number of expressions of interest.

"We are committed to working with the club's management team to resolve this situation as quickly as possible, balancing the needs of concerned creditors with the future of the club."

It is understood that a secured creditor, owed around £300,000, called time on their loan after lengthy negotiations with the club's board, stadium owners, and accountants Begbies Traynor, a specialist in football insolvency. The move means that the club will be docked 10 points, but that is now likely to happen next season with the penalty unlikely to affect their status this term.

On April 8th David Farms Ltd, who are owed £300,000 by the club, gave them 14 days to return the money. The loan was taken out last summer supposedly to cover short term losses, but remains outstanding. One director of David Farms is Caroline David, who holds a debenture on the club that would have enabled the forced move into Administration.

UPDATE 6pm: The Football League has announced that Stockport will have an immediate 10 point deduction. Whilst they will drop to 17th position in the League, they will not be relegated whatever happens on Saturday.

Hooper's Value Rises

Good strikers are usually in demand and former Hereford United loanee Gary Hooper appears to be no exception.

Depending on what article you read Hooper is being watched by several clubs at present.

The Daily Star has suggested that Coventry are leading the race to buy the Scunthorpe forward with an offer of around £2M.

The Sun reports that Fulham are interested and have valued Hooper at £1M.

Turner - A True Football Man

As one of English football's longest serving managers moves upstairs, Frank Gregan salutes a true football man and discusses the unique scenario which sees Hereford with a chairman who knows more about the game than his manager.

Last week, Graham Turner moved aside at Hereford bringing to an end a very impressive 31 year career in football management. During that time he has managed Shrewsbury, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and for the last 14 years Hereford United.

He won't be giving up the ghost completely however as he is the majority shareholder at Hereford and also the Chairman. John Trewick, who has been working alongside Turner as the first team coach has taken up the reins and will now be able to implement his own ideas as to how the club should be run.

It will be difficult for Graham Turner to step back and let Trewick get on and run things his way, but that is what he has to do. As has been proven on many occasions, football management by committee is a recipe for disaster. The young bull will be grateful for advice when he seeks it - unsolicited guidance leads to resentment.

But John Trewick needn't worry about Graham Turner's knowledge; this is a unique situation where the Chairman knows more about football than the manager. So Hereford have to prepare for life back in League Two. It's not long ago that they were a conference side but under Graham Turner's leadership the club found stability and success. One thing's for sure - as a Chairman nobody will be able to pull the wool over his eyes unlike the Chairman/manager I worked for.

"What a pro," he said to me in the dressing room at half time pointing to our star striker, "see that, he will only drink water at half time, no tea, see - that's because tea's diuretic." "No it's not," I replied, "it's because he was on the lash until 3 o'clock this morning, he's rehydrating - he's drunk!"

More On HFA Trialists

Alex Melbourne is a 19 year old full back from Wolves. Had a month long spell at Tamworth in January, making one start and two sub appearances with the fixtures decimated by postponements.

Gary Warren and Sam El-Abd are both central defenders from Team Bath, who are to dissolve their Conference side at the end of the season. Warren is 24 and Team Bath's captain, formerly with Mangotsfield with a trial at Bristol Rovers in 2006. El-Abd is 21 and has Conference experience with Crawley prior to joining Team Bath as a student.

James McPike is a 21 year old forward from Birmingham City. Most famous for being handed the keys to a £30,000 Mercedes by Oliver Kapo after being his boot boy, although Kapo took the car back when he left the club, he played at Edgar Street for Birmingham's youth side last summer. Both his brother and step-brother are apprentices at St Andrews.

Big Change for Turner

In his latest article for the Hereford Times, Graham Turner admits that 'sitting in the stand is going to take some getting used to'.

The game at Northampton last Saturday was a big change for the former Hereford United manager as he was able to have a glass of bitter before the game and lunch in the boardroom.

However he admits he kept pretty close to the action.

"I was as interested as everybody else when the teamsheets came around," said Turner.

"I had no idea what side John (Trewick) was going to pick."

And he commented on the result.

"I know John was bitterly disappointed with his opening game, but overall I felt we did well enough to take something out of the game."

Meanwhile BBC Sport has reported that Graham Turner was interested in Colchester defender Pat Baldwin earlier this season.

June 17th For Fixtures

Next season's fixtures will be released on June 17th.

As previously reported the season itself will begin on August 8th, with the Carling Cup starting three days later.

News Round Up

Darlington will be looking for a new manager, and probably the bulk of a new team, after Administration claimed it's first departure in manager Dave Penney who is expected to be named as Oldham boss later today. He won two promotions while with Doncaster, but failed to get the Quakers out of League Two twice on one of the largest budgets in the division - with the second attempt scuppered by their financial failure.

Danny Carey-Bertram scored one, and his woodwork-hitting shot made the other, as AFC Telford beat Alfreton 2-0 in the Conf North play-off first leg. Bristol Rovers have released striker Josh Klein-Davies after two seasons. The former Bristol City trainee scored only once in senior football, and spent most of this season out on loan without scoring.

Swindon Town have played down a move for former Premier League keeper Mark Bosnich who wants a move back to England after playing in his native Australia. Stockport have announced that there will be cutbacks to their youth policy as they look to save money to keep the club out of Administration. Their playing budget is also to be drastically cut for next season.

Only four of Kidderminster's squad that came close to the play-offs is under contract for next season - including manager Mark Yates and his assistant. Ex-Bull Andy Ferrell is one of the four but both 21 goal Matthew Barnes Homer, a former Bulls trialist five years ago, and 20 goal Justin Richards are out of contract. Bournemouth have two more interested parties in buying the club. Seven groups and individuals are now in the running for the club.

Accrington are to reduce guaranteed wages to players for next season, offering more of a bonus scheme after their wage bill suffered due to a number of injured players this term. It has previously been revealed that David Mannix was on only £80 a week basic during his time at the club, with appearance fees bumping it up to £300. Ex-Bull Tim Sills will wear a mask in Torquay's play-off match with Histon tomorrow after suffering a fractured cheekbone.

Chester's takeover is not 'dead and buried' but the deal will have to be renegotiated in the wake of their relegation according to owner Stephen Vaughan. The club will lose top scorer Ryan Lowe after he confirmed that he didn't want to play in the Conference, but he is one of the few players under contract for next season and is likely to command a fee. Leyton Orient manager Geraint Williams has signed a 12 month deal with the club after winning nine of his 16 games in charge.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Finance Scheme for buying Season Tickets

Hereford United have released full details of the Zebra Finance Scheme for spreading the cost of purchasing season tickets.

In essence a £270 season ticket can be purchased over ten months with a monthly payment of £29.54. However that equates to an APR of 21.9%

All the details are on the Official Site.

Dons to bring large following to Edgar Street

Although Hereford United have nothing to play for on Saturday, visitors MK Dons are still in contention for promotion to the Championship. 900 supporters are said to have already purchased tickets for the game which is all-ticket for the Dons.

Meanwhile former loanee at Edgar Street, Stephen Glesson, will not be in the Dons squad on Saturday. He has ankle ligament damage and will not play again this season.

Also missing on Saturday will be Sean O'Hanlon who has a knee injury.

News Round Up

Cheltenham have opted not to take their much deliberated council loan, believing their round of cost-cutting and new sponsorship of the ground will cover the gap. Bradford will hold talks with manager Stuart McCall after they confirmed they would be cutting the budget next season. McCall had said he would quit if they failed to make the play-offs, but fans have backed him to stay.

Notts County chairman John Armstrong-Holmes has survived his vote of no-confidence. 57% of voters backed him and fellow director Eric Kelly. Ex-Bull Jonathan Gould has joined Australian A-League side Wellington Phoenix as assistant coach. He has been with New Zealand Championship side Hawkes Bay United for the past few years. He will be joined at his new club by Tranmere striker Chris Greenacre.

Bury have agreed a two year extension to their groundshare deal with FC United of Manchester. The fan-based club wants to build it's own stadium by the end of the new deal, which earns Bury around £5,000 a match. Ex-Bull Jordan Fitzpatrick has agreed a new deal at Worcester. The financially stricken side have offered reduced terms to a number of players, and released five more including Hereford-born midfielder Jamie Price.

Weymouth chairman Ian Ridley has said the club needs to find £40,000 in the next month to pay the outstanding wages for the players that deserted the club in February, or they could face an FA ban on signing new players. The club may be forced into Administration over the summer to try to ease their debt burden.

Trewick – The search is on.

Following last night's HFA match at Westfields, Bulls manager John Trewick confirmed that he has already had a good number of fresh faces at training over the last week or so.

"We've looked at a couple from Team Bath as well as players from Birmingham and Wolves."

"There has been a mixture of youngsters and players who have had the benefit of first year contracts."

"One or two have showed signs of being worth a longer look."

"It's early days and we'll continue to assess players over the coming weeks, there's a lot to be done."

Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed rumours at Allpay Park that Richard Jackson has left the Edgar Street Club.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bulls Bow Out In HFA Semi-Final

A team made up of mainly fringe players, trialists and a clutch of first teamers failed to overcome a purposeful Westfields outfit in last nights game at Allpay Park. Whilst Manager John Trewick was in attendance, it was the track-suited Steve Guinan who stood in the technical area throughout the game.

The Bulls shaded the early exchanges, but their attempts to play a fast one touch game were hampered by a slightly unpredictable surface. This was emphasised a couple of times during the goalless first period when both Andy Williams and his strike partner, believed to be a former Birmingham City player, both suffered through bad bounces when well placed. United took the lead in the second half when trialist number 9 forced home from 12 yards following a period of pressure. The Bulls team appeared to fall into the trap of trying to compete with "Fields" pressure game instead of using movement and passing skills to outplay them. Late on, Westfields found an equaliser, which came from a free kick on the right. The ball was delivered into the danger area and no-one for the Bulls took control of the situation. The result was an almighty goalmouth scramble, which eventually saw Fields' Jamie Upcott stab home from close range.

Extra time produced no further score and the game went to penalties. Westfields 'keeper Jon Pugh thwarted The Bulls with a series of fine stops and the Midland Football Alliance team ran out 3-2 winners from the spot.

For The Bulls, there was another encouraging display from Craig Jones in the centre of midfield while the wide-right player looked full of pace and a will to win. Up front, the ex-Birmingham (?) player showed several good touches and looked lively for ninety minutes while young Joel Edwards, at fullback, did himself no harm. The centre-back pairing coped well with the towering Dan Hill but overall, they were out-battled by the enthusiastic Westfields team for whom former Bulls youth player Gareth Thomas was outstanding in defence. In fact, it was noted that Thomas' performance compared to that of a young former United stalwart John Layton who coincidently now manages Westfields.

Westfields will now meet Bromyard Town in the final in a week's time.

Update: In his report of the game in the Hereford Times Richard Prime has reported that 'Team Bath duo Gary Warren and Sam El-Abd – brother of the Brighton player – formed the central defensive duo while Alex Melbourne (Wolves) played on the right of midfield and James McPike (Birmingham City) led the attack.'

Westfields go through to HFA Final

Westfields are into the final of the HFA Senior Floodlit Cup after defeating Hereford United on penalties 3-2.

Report and comment to follow later.

Cobblers/Robins Lose

Northampton and Cheltenham both lost in tonight's League One matches.

The Cobblers lost to Saturday's opponents MK Dons 1-0, while the Robins were beaten 3-0 at Scunthorpe. The Iron face Tranmere on Saturday needing to draw to claim the final play-off spot. Should they lose it will be Tranmere that take the final spot.

For the Cobblers the loss means they will still require a point on Saturday to ensure safety. Their far superior goal difference should see them safe with a draw, while Brighton will likely need three points to survive the drop if Carlisle win their final match. Crewe will require both the Seagulls and Cumbrians to lose and make up four goals to escape the drop.

Extra Time at Wesfields

The game between Westfields and Hereford United has gone to extra time. The sides were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes in this evening's HFA Senior Floodlit Cup semi-final at the Allpay Stadium.

Trewick's side contained a mixture of League players, youngsters and a couple of trialists. One of them, believed to be striker James McPike from Birmingham, scored the only goal for the Bulls. Other trialists are said to include two defenders from Team Bath.

The game has gone to penalties. Score 1-1 after extra-time.

Full report to follow.

Update: If it is James McPike who is playing for the Bulls this evening, he has recently been with Solihull Moors. Since early March to April 16th he has scored six goals for the club who play in the Conference North.

Starting XI (to be confirmed): Veiga, Macleod, Trialist, Trialist, Joel Edwards, Trialist, O'Leary, Craig Jones, Done, Williams, McPike.

Easton On Trial At Mansfield

Released Bulls midfielder Clint Easton is to play a reserve match for Mansfield this afternoon.

The former Watford and Gillingham man will face Shrewsbury at Field Mill. The Stags will field a number of trialists in the match including striker Danny Bacon, who caused the Bulls a number of problems as they dipped out of the FA Trophy to Hucknall in 2005.

Stags manager David Holdsworth told the local press: "Clint is someone I have known for a long time from when I was at Watford. He is a good character, puts an excellent ball in and if I can tie him down then I will do. The good thing is he wants to play for me."

Edit - Slops won the game 0-2. Easton played in centre midfield for The Stags but was subbed at half-time.

Local Cup Action Tonight

Hereford United make the short trip to the Allpay Stadium this evening for a HFA Senior Floodlit Cup semi-final game against Westfields.

Bulls manager John Trewick is expected to name a side which will include a few youngsters and fringe players in the squad.

The game kicks off at 7.45pm.

Meanwhile there are just two League One matches this evening. One features MK Dons who are visiting Edgar Street on Saturday.

Northampton v MK Dons
Scunthorpe v Cheltenham

News Round Up

Oldham have announced that Joe Royle has rejected their offer to be their full time manager but will remain connected to the club. The veteran boss has failed to win any of his eight matches since taking over from John Sheridan. The latest betting allegations over the Grays-FGR match suggest that most of the bets were placed in the North West, and bookies faced a £1million payout on the 22-1 outcome. The Independent claims four more unnamed games are also being investigated.

Bournemouth's sale is expected to be concluded 'in weeks' after they secured their Football League status. Owner Paul Baker has five parties interested. Darlington's frontrunner Raj Singh has withdrawn his bid for the club, and will restructure it before resubmitting it. Ex-Bull Bobby Gould has ended his relationship with Weymouth. His agreement was only for the final five matches of the season.

Chester boss Mark Wright has accused the Football League of turning a blind eye to other clubs who broke wage rules while slapping a transfer embargo on Chester. Oxford boss Chris Wilder has said what a lot of people think, describing the Conference as a 'poxy league'.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pre-season Friendly against Bristol Rovers

Despite Hereford United having one more match in the current campaign, pre-season friendlies are already being arranged.

One of those will be at Edgar Street where Bristol Rovers will be the visitors. The date has not been confirmed as yet but could be on July 25th.

Meanwhile there is speculation that Andy Williams might be available to Hereford on loan from Rovers for the whole of next season.

Rovers Director of Football Lennie Lawrence told their AGM last night that no decision had been made about the future of Williams. He might return to Hereford for another loan spell suggested Lawrence. Another ex-Bull, Ryan Green, is one of a number of players out of contract with the Gasheads.

Walsall bottom of Pie Chart

According to a football fan who has tasted the pies in nearly all of the 92 top clubs, Walsall's are the worst.

Tom Dickinson from Hertfordshire has spent the season visiting football clubs all over the country in pursuit of pie research and has just three clubs left to visit.

The 22-year-old is writing a book of his experiences, entitled 92 Pies, and he hopes to provide some interesting comment on the state of football and pastry.

Of the 89 pies he has tried so far, the best he tasted was at Morecambe's Christie Park stadium. And the worst?

"That's got to be Walsall," he said. "It didn't have much heat or meat in the middle."

Dickinson, a Bolton supporter, said his research had cost him £3,000.

"All my money goes on petrol and football tickets. Some people travel the world after they leave university, but I’m doing Grimsby and Walsall.

"I’ve been in discussions with publishers, so hopefully I’ll be able to make the money back."

Supporters at lower league clubs have been praised by Dickinson.

"They definitely have much better pies and you also meet much more interesting people," he said.

There's no record of his views on the pies or the people at Edgar Street.

POTY To Be Presented Saturday

HUISA's Player of the Year award will be presented on Saturday.

Voting has now closed and the winner will be unveiled before kick-off of Saturday's game with MK Dons.

Bates To Referee Final Match

Staffordshire referee Tony Bates is to take charge of the Bulls' final match against MK Dons.

It will be his first appointment for a Bulls match this season after taking charge of two last term. He was in charge of the FA Cup match against Leeds at Edgar Street and for the League visit of Chesterfield. No Bulls players were booked in either match.

So far this season he has officiated in 37 matches, sending off three players and booking 63.

Divisional Sides Announced

At the PFA Awards last night, the following League One side was selected as the best in the division:

Joe Murphy (Scunthorpe), Neal Eardley (Oldham), Jack Hobbs (Leicester), Sean O'Hanlon, Dean Lewington (both MK Dons), Fabian Delph (Leeds), Matt Oakley (Leicester), Chris Taylor (Oldham), George Boyd (Peterborough), Rickie Lambert (Bristol Rovers), Matt Fryatt (Leicester)

In League Two both Ben Davies and Grant Holt were selected in the XI for Shrewsbury, while Wycombe had three players nominated.

News Round Up

The FA are to investigate the result of yesterday's game between Grays and Forest Green after bookies reported 'unusual' levels of bets on Grays to win after Forest Green led at half time - a result that happened with two goals in 50 seconds. Amongst those playing yesterday was Andrew Mangan, who was charged earlier this month over the Accrington-Bury betting probe. He scored the Gumpers opener from the penalty spot.

Port Vale boss Dean Glover had to be escorted out of Vale Park after their match on Saturday as around a hundred fans protested against his tenure at the club. His son, a player in the squad, also had to leave 'via an alternative route' to avoid the throng who had directed their anger at him on the pitch. The club are on course for their worst ever League Two season, but cannot afford to sack him.

Bournemouth are ready to offer a new deal to manager Eddie Howe after the side won 11 of 22 games to escape relegation. Owner Paul Baker says four new bidders have expressed serious interest in buying the club. Morecambe have dropped striker Rene Howe for club disciplinary reasons. He is on a season long loan from Peterboro. Ex-Bull Rob Purdie has been named Player of the Year by Darlington's supporters.

Notts County's internal warfare is to come to a head in a vote tomorrow night when the two Supporters Trust representatives on the club board face a vote of no-confidence. One of the two is Chairman of the football club. The club are facing a hefty loss this season after budgeting for gates 550 over their actual total.

Work will start on Southend's new stadium in the summer after the council passed the latest revisions to the plans. The Fossetts Farm site will house a 22,000 seater stadium, casino, and supermarket. Gresley Rovers have been forced to resign from the Unibond League due to debts believed to be worth several hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Burton Promoted To League Two

Burton have won promotion to League Two after Cambridge failed to beat Altrincham on the final day.

The Brewers lost 2-1 at Torquay to continue their dismal run of form that has seen just three points earned from the last 18, but it was sufficient in the end as Cambridge played out a goalless draw with Altrincham.

Kidderminster miss out on the play-offs after losing at home to Kettering, leaving Cambridge, Histon, Torquay, and Stevenage to battle it out for the remaining Football League spot. Oxford missed out on the play-offs by just four points, and had five deducted earlier in the season.

Three Out Of Four For The Bookies

The bookies were fairly accurate in their pre-season predictions on how the League One table would look at the end.

They correctly predicted that the Bulls, Cheltenham, and Crewe would be in the bottom four - but Stockport surprised them with a mid-table finish and deny them a clean sweep. At the top the perennial under-achievers Leeds were supposed to be joining Leicester in a two horse race, with Peterboro a plucky third and MK Dons fourth.

While the Hatters were outperforming expectations, play-off contenders Scunthorpe and Millwall were expected to be mid-table filler, but a number of clubs have clearly been disappointments. Colchester and Carlisle were both expected to be in, or very near, the play-offs, and Brighton were expecting a top half finish.

John Trewick's Barmy Army

He might have been in charge of the losing side but there were a number of positives for John Trewick from yesterday's match at Northampton just 52 weeks after that game at Brentford where the Bulls gained promotion to League One.

Firstly the players appeared to have stepped up a gear from their display at Yeovil last Tuesday. Some, belatedly, might have realised that if they are to stand a chance of a new contract, they had better impress Trewick.

Secondly although supporters were not party to Trewick's pre-match talk, it did look as though the new manager had given certain players a little more licence. Particularily noticable was the performance of Richard Rose who appeared to be able to move forward from the defensive line even running with the ball at times. In the past some supporters have mentioned they thought Trewick to be too defensive minded. That did not look to be the case yesterday.

"You try to play to players strengths," Trewick told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I told them to go out and express themselves within the game plan. There is no reason why a centre-back, if he has space in front of him, shouldn't come out and start the game off. It's effective because people don't expect it.

Thirdly, whilst it may be sometime before Trewick becomes a legend supporters were soon singing John Trewick's Barmy Army. And it was good to see him respond with a Graham Turner-like wave.

All in all it did look as though Trewick was in charge. As for Turner, he was sat in the directors box some way away.

Meanwhile the Sixways stadium was one of the easiest to find of all the venues in League One that the Bulls visited this season. However its position on the edge of Northampton meant that there was little else in the immediate area.

It had the look of a concrete 90's type stadium but the atmosphere in the ground was quite good especially as the main stand to the left of the away supporters was fairly full.

Parking was close to the ground and there were refreshment kiosks both inside and outside the stadium.

One Up One Down

With Hereford Rugby Club clinching promotion yesterday and Hereford United Football Club being relegated the Gwynne brothers will be playing in different leagues next season.

Adam, who plays his rugby on the wing, will play at a higher level, whilst Sam, assuming he is retained by Hereford United, will be playing his football in League Two.

Sam played at right back for the Bulls yesterday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fine Likely For Too Many Loan Players

A fine is the likely outcome if the Bulls are charged for naming too many loan players in today's match.

The Bulls featured Peter Gulacsi (Liverpool), Josh Gowling (Carlisle), Marc Pugh (Shrewsbury), Jennison Myrie-Williams (Bristol City), and Andy Williams (Bristol Rovers) from the start, and had Febian Brandy (Man Utd) on the bench. Football League rules stipulate that only five can be named in the sixteen man squad regardless of how many enter the field of play at any point during the game.

Back in December 2006 Leeds were fined £2,000, with half the sum suspended, for naming six loan players in a match at Burnley a month earlier. As with the Bulls today they had one unused sub who was the sixth player, while last April Sheff Weds had two loan players as unused subs and received the same punishment. No side has received a points penalty for the offence, and any points deduction could only be made to the current season's totals under League rules.

While both the Bulls and Leeds lost their respective matches, Sheff Weds drew theirs with one of the loan players scoring their goal. Both Leeds and Sheff Weds were Championship clubs at the time of their offences.

Young Bulls Draw at Oxford

The final game of the season in the Youth Alliance for Hereford United was a trip to Woodstock to play Oxford United. Chris Chapman returned to right back after a six week lay off with a broken nose. Brendan Hackett started in place of the suspended Tyler Weir.

The Bulls made the best possible start when Aidan Thomas cut in from the right and curled a brilliant left foot shot into the top right hand corner of the Oxford goal. The game settled down into a battle between the two defences with both providing good protection for their respective keepers. The pace of Thomas was a constant treat to the home defence and his opposite number Woodley also looking lively. The game finished 1-0 at the break.

The second half started with the home side very much on the offensive and the Bulls struggled to get out of our half for the first ten minutes. They gradually settled down and forced more of the play in the opponents half. Chances were still at a premium although Matty Gwynne was the busier of the two keepers. Then in the twenty second minute Thomas out paced the home centre half to poke the ball into the bottom corner of the net with his much unfavoured right foot to score his seventh goal of the season.

A Zak Brimble corner was just taken off the head of skipper Jamie Cuthbertson to defy him a goal on his final appearance. The home side continued to push the Bulls back and with fifteen minutes remaining fired a goal into the roof of the net from a corner. The pressure became relentless as the Bulls panicked a little under the pressure. With five minutes remaining the home side scored to level the scores.

Final score 2-2.

As usual the young Bulls lose their second year players and say farewell to Mike Evans, Joel Edwards, Jamie Cuthbertson, and subs Jak Lewis and Chris Freddi. They did however finish the game with five under sixteen players on the pitch which bodes well for next season.

Team: Gwynne, Chapman, Edwards, Evans M. (Lewis 80) Cuthbertson, Brimble, Lee, Loftus, Thomas, Hackett (Loughman 68) Moreton Subs not used: Hunt, Freddi

Defeat marks start of Trewick era

John Trewick marked the start of his managerial reign at Hereford United with a narrow 2-1 defeat against Northampton Town. Andrew Holt put the hosts in front in the first-half before a rare Andy Williams goal levelled up proceedings early in the second period. Jason Crowe smashed in the decisive goal which puts Town in a good position to beat the drop and also ensures that Hereford will finish the season at rock bottom. 5518 were present at Sixfields, with 204 making the journey from Herefordshire.

Changes were made to the United line-up following the 2-2 draw at Yeovil on Tuesday with Joshua Gowling replacing Dean Beckwith in the heart of the defence. Toumani Diagouraga and Marc Pugh were also restored to the starting eleven with Craig Jones and Matt Done making way. Febian Brandy was named amongst the subs meaning that Hereford had six loanees in their squad, when regulations only allow five. Northampton beat Hereford 2-0 at Edgar Street in November, and goalscorer that day, Danny Jackman started whilst top goalscorer for Town, Adebayo Akinfenwa led the line.

Hereford made an encouraging start to the game and in truth, should have been a goal up with some early chances. Good work on the right from Jennison Myrie-Williams saw him skip inside Jackman before laying on the ball to Pugh, who from inside the box on the left, hit a left-footed shot over when he really should have hit the target. Neat football involving the forward partnership of Steve Guinan and Williams saw the latter shoot wide from again a decent position. At the other end, the point-blank reactions of the ever reliant Peter Gulacsi denied a close-range header from Mark Hughes after a corner had been put into the danger area. Chris Dunn took no chances with a Pugh free-kick from the left by tipping the ball over before Trewick made his first sub in his new role, replacing the ill Gowling with Beckwith. Excellent work down the left hand side from Pugh saw him neatly beat Hughes before pulling the ball back to Guinan, who ballooned a shot with his left-foot from close-range.

The hosts took the lead in the 29th minute when a cross from the right from Hughes went through a number of bodies before eventually falling at the feet of Holt, who from 8 yards out made no mistake with a powerful left-foot shot past Gulacsi. United responded positively with two similar moves; firstly a low corner from Myrie-Williams made its way to Pugh at the back-post who forced a smart save at his near post from Dunn whilst soon after, another corner from Myrie-Williams, this time deep again came to Pugh who smashed a right-foot shot towards the other post and hit the inside of the woodwork before the ball was cleared. Jackman curled a free-kick straight at Gulacsi before Jared Hodgkiss replaced the injured Chris Doig. The Bulls continued to threaten towards the end of the half with more corners as Myrie-Williams again delivered for Guinan this time who flicked the ball on for Richard Rose but his header was pushed over by Dunn. Luke Guttridge sent a rising shot over the bar whilst at the other end, Williams twisted and turned but could only shoot tamely goalwards towards the near post although Dunn took no risks pushing the ball behind.

Hereford made a perfect start to the second-half by scoring after just six minutes. Diagouraga played a ball to Myrie-Williams on the right and he cut inside to try his luck but his effort was blocked. It fell nicely though for Williams who was close by and hit a superb looping shot over the head of Dunn and into the far corner. Hereford had their tails up following the goal with Pugh and Williams linking up and the on loan Shrewsbury winger hit a right-foot shot a yard past the far post. Aleksander Prijovic replaced Guttridge as Stuart Gray looked for fresh options up front. The hosts managed some sustained pressure on Hereford with Hodgkiss believing he had scored but he was denied after a deflection off a Northampton man meant the offside flag went up. Holt rose at the back post above Gwynne to win an aerial dual but Gulacsi caught his effort before Pugh was replaced by Done on left-wing.

The sheer strength of Akinfenwa saw him hold off a challenge to blast over with a half-volley after a ball had been played into the danger area before the striker provided an assist for the decisive goal soon after. The ball was flicked on to Akinfenwa who held it up before passing to Crowe who hit a powerful shot from 20 yards which flew past Gulacsi at his near-post. Abdul Osman struck wide from outside the box before Leon Constantine replaced Akinfenwa and the sub set up the tricky Ikechi Anya whose pace took him past Rose but his shot was well blocked by Gulacsi. Towards the end of the game, a quick throw from Done allowed Williams to turn his man and dig out a cross from the by-line which found Guinan in the box but his header lacked power and Dunn held on. With that chance not taken, Town held on relatively comfortably although Osman tried to add a third but couldn't hit the target with a curling placed effort falling past the post.

On a sunny yet windy day in Northamptonshire, Hereford can be encouraged by the first game under Trewick. There was some neat passing and movement today and some good chances were created. It was particularly pleasing to see Williams scored his second goal of the game after being on a barren spell since October. Hereford play their final game of the season, and final game in League One for the time being, when MK Dons travel to Edgar Street next Saturday.

Hereford: Gulacsi, Gwynne, Rose, Gowling, Taylor, Myrie-Williams, Diagouraga, Smith, Pugh, Williams, Guinan.

Subs: Veiga, Beckwith, O'Leary, Done, Brandy.

Northampton: Dunn, Hughes, Doig, Watts, Jackman, Guttridge, Crowe, Osman, Holt, Akinfenwa, Anya.

Subs: Walker, Gilligan, Hodgkiss, Prijovic, Constantine.

Broadhurst has left Edgar Street

Karl Broadhurst is understood to have left Edgar Street.

Broadhurst, who when fit has captained Hereford United for most of the season, is beleived to have made his decision after talking to new manager John Trewick.

Gray Happy To Be Second Best

Northampton manager Stuart Gray, speaking to their official site, was happy to be second best as long as his side got the three points:

"We looked nervous and it probably wasn't one of our better performances but the main thing was for us to get the three points. Hereford started well and we just struggled to get a foothold in the game in the first half.

"In the second half we got our noses in front and full credit to the defence and Chris Dunn for keeping us in the game at times. The last thing I want is for my goalkeeper to get man of the match but Chris had another very good game.

"We made quite a few mistakes this afternoon and we looked a bit nervous but hopefully we will learn from that. We are all fighting for our livelihoods and we all want to keep this team in League One. There are no easy games in this league, we made a couple of mistakes this afternoon and got away with it whereas in other games we've been punished.

"Hereford will perhaps feel that they deserved to take something from the game but the result was the most important thing for us today."

Trewick Happy With Overall Performance

Bulls manager John Trewick spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester's Keith Hall after the game:

"I was quite happy with the performance. We controlled things - one hit the bar, scrambled off the line. Performance - I'm very pleased, but disappointed with the result.

"You try to play to players strengths, to go out and express themselves within the game plan. There's no reason for a centre back not to take the game forward. Both wide men contributed to creating good positions. All in all quite happy."

When asked if there was going to be a change in the passing philosophy, he added: "No. I believe in a certain way of playing, the quality of ball into the strikers was good. Well pleased with the pairing up front. delighted for Andy (Williams) with his goal."

And then he was asked whether Graham Turner had any input today: "The loss was totally down to me - Thank you! We discussed certain things, that I could take it until the end of the season. It was down to me today, it would have been nice to win, but it was more about the level of performance."

Stats From Sixfields

The Bulls were credited with 49% of posession to the Cobblers' 51%.

They had eight shots on target, and six off, to the host's eleven on and six off. The Bulls also forced more corners, 11 to 4. The foul count was 15 to the home side, and 13 for the Bulls. There were no bookings. There were only two offsides in the entire match, one for each side.

The gate was 5,518, with 204 Bulls.

Results Round Up

Cheltenham were finally relegated after drawing 1-1 with Carlisle, with today's results guaranteeing the Bulls last place in the table. Carlisle themselves need to win their final match to survive - and rely on Brighton, Hartlepool, or Northampton to drop points and - in some cases - at hatful of goals. The same can be said of Crewe, whose only real hope of survival is a Brighton defeat next week.

At the top Leicester are joined in the Championship by Peterboro who won 1-0 at Colchester. MK Dons' 1-0 loss at home to Walsall condemns them to the play-offs along with Millwall, 2-1 winners over Leyton Orient, and Leeds who beat Hartlepool 1-0. The final spot will be between Tranmere and Scunthorpe with the Iron holding a game in hand with both sides claiming draws this weekend.

In League Two Chester are all but out. Their only hope for survival is a win next Saturday with Grimsby losing with 20 goals changing hands in the difference column after they could only draw 2-2 at Aldershot. Bournemouth wrote themselves out of the picture with a 2-1 win over the Mariners. At the top Brentford will go up as Champions, with Wycombe to join them with a single point next week, while Exeter and Bury will fight it out for third. Shrewsbury need to rely on others dropping points after a goalless draw with Lincoln leaves them two points short of the play-offs.

In the Championship Southampton are relegated by on-field matters, and will start next season ten points short in League One pending legal action.

Entertaining Game But Result Is Cobblers

John Trewick's first match in charge of the Bulls ended in a 2-1 defeat at Northampton, but Bulls supporters will be encouraged by a much more attacking display.

Andy Williams' 30 yard chipped effort was the only goal the Bulls had to show despite regular spells of pressure but the whole performance may be in vain after the rookie boss committed a 'schoolboy error' in naming six loan players in the sixteen man squad against Football League rules, with five starting the match and Febian Brandy a non-playing sub. The club could now face disciplinary action over the mistake, but it is likely to do little to the eventual outcome of the season.

Full report later.

News Round Up

Cheltenham boss Martin Allen says his only job next season is to keep the club in the Football League. Speaking to the local press he believes the club will slip to a second sucessive relegation without major changes: "My job really is to make sure we stay up next season and secure this club's Football League status. There has been a history over the past 10 years of a lot of clubs playing in League One that are now playing in the Conference. It can happen pretty quickly if you don't have a major clear-out and make major changes."

Darlington's former Chairman George Houghton has blamed fans for two prospective buyers pulling out of talks to save the club, claiming that their negativity towards him in the wake of their Administration. He says the move was unavoidable as one of the club's loan providers itself went under, meaning the loan was called in immediately, and that director Raj Singh failed to cover the loan - a claim denied by Singh.

Rushden have named Justin Edinburgh as their permanent manager after a spell as caretaker boss. He has signed a rolling contract at Nene Park. Accrington have completed half the work to install additional seats at their ground to avoid being thrown out of the League. The remainder of the 800 seats will be fitted ahead of Friday's deadline. The Independent claim that betting suspect David Mannix was being paid just £80 a week by Accrington, with bonuses pushing the figure up to £300 if he played.

Ebbsfleet fans have voted towards a new contract with manager Liam Daish. A fans meeting in the week revealed that the gap in funding they are facing next season is effectively every penny of their wage bill such are the off-field costs of running the club.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Full Commentary from Northampton

BBC Hereford and Worcester will have full commentary on its 94.7FM frequency this afternoon from Northampton where Hereford United are the visitors.

Whilst the Bulls have nothing to play for in League terms, Northampton are not quite safe from relegation.

And it will be John Trewick's first game in charge so, hopefully, the players will try their best to make sure his mangerial career gets off to a winning start.

Keith Hall will cover the game for the station.

Meanwhile Director of Football Graham Turner has said that it's good that a couple of local players are starting games for the Bulls. Both Craig Jones and Sam Gwynne started at Yeovil last Tuesday.

"It would be great to think we could field a full side of local lads. It doesn't happen but it's nice to see one or two get the opportunity."

Today's League One Fixtures:

Cheltenham v Carlisle
Colchester v Peterborough
Hartlepool v Leeds
Huddersfield v Brighton
Millwall v Leyton Orient
MK Dons v Walsall
Northampton v Hereford
Oldham v Southend
Swindon v Bristol Rovers
Tranmere v Yeovil

Trewick Might Surprise Everyone

Simon Wright welcomes the appointment of John Trewick as the new Hereford United manager.

I spent Friday afternoon slogging in Birmingham Central Library to research a new book project. One of the matches I was interested in was Albion's 3-2 defeat of the Cup holders Manchester United in the 77-78 FA Cup. One of the Baggies main man that night was Tucka who was described as "maturing into such a thoughtful schemer".

A couple of weeks later, another newspaper carried an interview with him being called up for England(presumably the U21's). It was a reminder just how good a player he was -and versatile too playing anywhere across the middle or at left back. He made a big impression on me in the early 1980's.

I freely admit to being biased. I really like Tucka. He's always been approachable and very helpful to me at the Hawthorns and subsequently. He's down to earth, honest and highly supportive of his charges. Equally, he doesn't put up with any old rubbish and is willing to fight his corner on a point of principle even at the expense of his own career. There were several conflicts of this nature at the Hawthorns. I don't have acomplete picture and confidences are involved so I can't say much more other than John has a track record of sticking to his guns. He's long wanted to be a manager of adults so this offer will be too good to turn down. It's a bigger chance to get noticed, to come out from theshadows. And could he sensibly turn down Turner? The alternative is to introduce a new manager to the club who probably would not want Tucka on the scene. To me, it's take the job or lose a job. Question is though is just a shifting of the Titanic deckchairs?

If GT controls the purse strings and instinctively has always made the final decision on purchases, will he honestly let Tucka have his own way? It's easy to imagine some diagreements down the line as Tucka is not a Yes man. Let us hope that the lines of responsibility are thrashed out in some detail before next season starts. Perhaps a more equal relationship is just what United need? Anybody can get stale in a job and I thought last October that GT really didn't need such an unequal struggle at his age.

I'm up for it and I reckon everyone might be pleasantly surprised.

I Thought His Brains Had Gone

In his Independent column this morning, Neil Warnock comments on Graham Turner's decision to quit as manager at Edgar Street.

Turner has done a classic job

A word, though, for Graham Turner who's stepped down at Hereford after doing a fantastic job. I remember thinking his brains must have gone when he went there. I thought he would last two minutes, instead he did 14 years, even becoming owner-chairman and keeping the club alive.

Crewe On Edge After Hatters Reverse

Crewe are on the brink of relegation after losing 4-3 at local rivals Stockport in one of two League One matches tonight.

The result leaves the Railwaymen level on points with both Carlisle and Northampton, but with 19 goals to make up to escape the drop zone. A Cobblers win against John Trewick's first pick as Bulls boss will almost guarantee their relegation whilst confirming Cheltenham to the drop.

In the other match Leicester drew 2-2 with Scunthorpe in front of a near sell-out crowd celebrating promotion. Scunthorpe are now level on games and matches with Tranmere, with the two sides sitting either side of the play-off line with the Iron three goals better off.

In the other match of the night, York beat Weymouth 2-1 to send the Terras down. The four sides to be relegated from the Conference are now known, barring the usual random acts of spite inflicted by the Conference board.

News Round Up

Cheltenham have sold naming rights to their stadium to a local firm. Their Whaddon Road ground will now be known as The Abbey Business Stadium for five years for a five figure sum. For reference, Accrington's naming rights were worth £15,000 a year, but the name sponsors put a total of £75,000 a season in for shirt sponsorship as well.

Peterboro chairman Darragh MacAnthony has had another whine about transfer fees, saying his side were quoted more for some players. The builder and flogger of foreign sheds reckons he was quoted £750,000 for Anthony Pilkington just before he moved from Stockport to Huddersfield for £450,000.

Millwall have denied making a bid for Stevenage striker Steve Morison. Bristol Rovers will sell Rickie Lambert 'for the right price'. Walsall have sold 16 year old striker Richard Peniket to Fulham for a five figure fee after he rejected a scholarship with the Saddlers. Chris Weale's goal against the Bulls is up for Sky's goal of the week award, against efforts from Barcelona, Arsenal, and Man Utd.

Notts County have announced a loss of £88,000 for last season. The club have acknowledged talking to potential investors to enable them to progress back up the League ladder. Darlington have confirmed that they will not use loan players Liam Hatch or Danny Carlton again as they cannot afford to pay them. Manager Dave Penney has also admitted that he may not be at the club next season after wages were deferred for a third sucessive month.

Turner staying at Edgar Street

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he is staying at Edgar Street despite his recent statement that he might like to manage another team.

"I have never spoken to any other club. I've totally devoted my time, and a lot of that time to making sure this club has been in business, successful, stable and that will continue.

"Right at this moment, despite conjecture about that, I have not spoken to any other club, nor have I any intention of doing so."

Trewick - Total Charge of Team Affairs

Hereford United's director of football, Graham Turner, has promised to do all he can to help new manager John Trewick.

"It's a good time for John to be taking over as we have quite a few players out of contract," Turner told the Official Website.

"What we have got to do is to give John ever opportunity.

"I'm not going to be totally divorced from the playing side. I'll go and watch the odd match, the odd player and maybe turn up at the training ground.

"John will take total charge of team affairs, that needs to be made clear.

"I'm still here. We'll still talk about the game. We'll still ananlyse it afterwards. And anything I can do to help the cause will be done.

"John fancied a manager's role somewhere, sometime before he finishes his career.

"This gives him an opportunity now with a stable club"

Trewick to take charge at Northampton

John Trewick is to take charge of Hereford United at Northampton tomorrow. He will also be in charge for the last game of the season against MK Dons next Saturday.

Hereford United have formally announced that Trewick has agreed to become the next manager of the Bulls. The formalities were completed earlier this morning.

Trewick is said to be looking for a new coach who is expected to be Steve Guinan.

Northampton Predictions

Hereford United play their final League One away game this weekend at Sixfields against Northampton Town and the race for the Prediction League winner looks to be heading to the wire.

To enter, please send in your final score and attendance predictions to . The deadline for this game is at 2.30pm on Saturday. Remember to include your username.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Injuries hit Cobblers

With Hereford United already relegated, there is a risk Northampton Town could still join them especially if they don't take any points from their game against the Bulls tomorrow at Sixfields.

Both squads are short of fit players.

For Northampton Paul Rodgers and Giles Coke are ruled out for the season, while Adebayo Akinfenwa and Jason Crowe are doubts for tomorrow.

"We have got a few walking wounded at the moment but with just three games left we maybe need a few players to battle through," said the Cobblers boss Stuart Gray.

"Bayo has had an injection in his back to hopefully relieve the tension in his hamstring so we will have to leave a decision on him until the last minute.

"Jason Crowe picked up a foot injury on Tuesday night which we've had scanned but we are still waiting for the results on that.

"Liam Davis hasn't fractured his foot, it's just severe bruising. That will obviously still be sore but if he comes through training okay he will come into contention.

"The news isn't so good on Paul Rodgers though, a scan has shown that it looks like it's a problem with his cartilage.

"That will probably rule him out for the rest of the season and Giles Coke has had quite a heavy bleed in his calf so he probably won't play again this season either."

As for Hereford United it is hoped that Toumani Diagouraga, Febian Brandy and Richard Jackson will all be available after illness forced them out of contention for last Tuesday's game at Yeovil. Less likely to play are Karl Broadhurst and Josh Gowling.

"Graham Turner did fantastically well last season to get Hereford promoted, they have obviously struggled a bit this season but that just goes to show how difficult a league this is," said Gray.

"They will come here tomorrow with the pressure off and we need to make sure that we don't start the game sloppily and play the game at a high tempo."

Watch Hereford Score Two Goals

It hasn't happened too many times this season but on Tuesday evening at Yeovil two goals were scored by Hereford United.

To watch the goals and the Yeovil equaliser scored by keeper Chris Weale, click the Virgin Media link on the left.

News Round Up

Chester have suspended star midfielder Damien Mozika after 'a number of breaches of club discipline' which included refusing to play in last week's loss to Bournemouth despite being fit. He is also claimed by supporters to have damaged club property. Oldham keeper Mark Crossley will leave the club in the summer, but will continue playing after receiving an 'interesting offer' from another club. The 39 year old is also goalkeeper coach at the club.

Ex-Bull Danny Thomas is one of ten players facing the axe at Macclesfield after their freefalling second half of the season. Darlington's Supporters Trust has backed a bid for the club by vice chairman Raj Singh. A trust statement calls his plan 'realistic'. Shrewsbury boss Paul Simpson will face a BBC Radio Shropshire live phone-in at 6pm tomorrow.

Southampton Hit By 10 Point Deduction

Southampton will be relegated to League One after the Football League decided to impose a ten point penalty.

The penalty will apply this season if they finish outside the relegation zone, but will come into force next season if they are relegated on results alone. They are currently four points short of safety and anything other than a win on Saturday will effectively relegate them.

The League have decided that the finances of their parent company and the club itself are inextricably linked, and that the club is liable for the deduction under financial rules.

Financial Implications of Relegation

In his weekly column in the Hereford Times, Graham Turner has been spelling out the implications of relegation to League Two.

Wary of the credit crunch, the Hereford United manager has already announced a cut in season ticket prices but he admits there may be other areas where income might drop.

"We have to take into consideration, with the recession on, the number of companies that are struggling or indeed have gone out of business totally," said Turner.

"Companies may be reluctant to take out sponsorship, advertising boards or programme adverts and therefore the prices have been looked at closely.

"Again, where we feel the need to reduce costs to businesses, that will also be put in place.

"There have been moves by the Football League to introduce salary-capping throughout all three divisions. But that so far has not materialised.

"However, in League 2 there is a salary cap for playing squads of 55% of turnover.

"So in the next week or so, we shall be sitting down to assess our budget for next season.

"Our estimated turnover will have to take into account the loss of some central funding, although that will not be massively substantial. In terms of the central funding that goes to League clubs, 80% goes to Championship clubs, 12% goes to League 1 clubs and 8% goes to League 2 clubs.

"Overall there will be a reduction in our turnover and so we will have to assess closely the number of players that we can bring in to fill the squad and how much we can afford to pay them."

Extra Game for Bulls

Hereford United will make the short trip to Westfields next Tuesday evening for the semi-final of the HFA Senior Floodlit Cup.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

In other news Hereford United have a new e-mail address:

Trewick Expects To Accept Manager Job

Speaking to the Hereford Times, John Trewick expects to accept the manager's job at Edgar Street:

"There are of course details to be discussed, but I don’t see there being any problems in taking the job on, I am looking forward to it. I have been in the managerial seat before but it is different when you are the one the buck stops with.

"I don't see much changing but I shall be the one who picks the team and who will have the final say now on some things which I have not had before. Graham is looking to step away from the cut and thrust of things but as director of football he will be there to support me and I shall try to use his experience."

Trewick has had brief managerial spells as caretaker boss at both West Brom and Derby County.

Preview: Northampton vs Bulls

The Bulls travel to Northampton on Saturday for the final away match of the League One season.

A Northampton win would relegate Cheltenham, and history says that could well be the outcome on Saturday. The Bulls have won only one of seven encounters with the Cobblers since Graham Turner took charge, with the reverse fixture in November ending up as a 2-0 loss at Edgar Street while the last trip to Sixfields saw future Bull Neil Grayson's goal give the home side victory just over 12 years ago.

With the Cobblers facing both MK Dons and Leeds they will be hoping for all three points against a Bulls side with nothing to lose. Their financial problems have limited their capabilities this season, and they have again struggled again to make an impression. Top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa has 13 goals with defender Danny Jackman, who curled home a free kick at Edgar Street, second with eight.

The Bulls go to Sixfields with no pressure. One of the better displays for some weeks at Yeovil generated some hope for next season, and Steve Guinan's 15 goal haul puts him joint tenth on the League One scorers list. The starting XI will, again, be determined by those fit rather than experimenting ahead of contract offers for next season.

Northampton Town vs Hereford United, Sixfields, Saturday 25th April, 3.00pm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CV to Manage at Higher Level

Five Live's League Football expert Mark Clement has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that Graham Turner has the CV to manage at a higher level should he want to.

In an interview broadcast this morning Clem reminded listeners that 14 years was a long time to be with one club.

"The current life-span of a football league manager is about 15 months.

"I've got the impression that maybe Hereford would not be his last venture.

"He's done an extroardinarily good job by restoring the club to the Football League.

"But he is still a pup in management terms albeit one with a huge amount of experience. 30 years, 5 promotions, 1500 matches that's a hell of a CV.

"The interesting line in his statement is that Hereford may not be his last club. I think that is a hint that Graham might just fancy a crack somewhere else."

Reminded by Howard Bentham that Turner 'owns' the club, Clem thought it complicated any move to another club.

"It's extraordinary circumstances because he owns the club.

"It could signal external investment, someone coming to take the club off his hands, unless he puts in some sort of management structure off the field in place that would allow him to keep his shareholding but move on and do a job elsewhere.

"With the greatest respect to the size of Hereford, he probably deserves a chance at a slightly bigger club.

"He would be a very very decent serious candidate. He's got a brilliant reputation throughout the industry."

Turner's Time in charge at Edgar Street

Paul Fletcher has a look at Turner's decision to stand down as manager of Hereford United.

Turner, 61, is the man currently separating Sir Alex Ferguson from Arsene Wenger on the list of longest-serving managers - esteemed company indeed for the man who has been in charge at Edgar Street since August 1995.

The Bulls have already been relegated straight back to League Two and Turner has most magnanimously fallen on his sword. Turner is also owner, chairman and director of football at Hereford. It rather removes the need to wonder whether he jumped before he was pushed.

Turner will remain at the club in his other capacities - which left me a little bemused to read the following quote from the veteran ex-Wolves, Aston Villa and Shrewsbury boss: "I sincerely hope this will not be my last managerial post."

If Turner does get offered a job elsewhere that would surely cause complications over his role(s) at Hereford. Alternatively, it might just make John Trewick think twice before accepting the promotion he has been offered from first-team coach to manager.

It is also worth pointing out that Turner always faced a very difficult task in keeping the Bulls up. He built his promotion last season by working the loan system to its very maximum. Some felt it was brilliant management, others an abuse, but nobody could argue it was not successful for a club that operates on a modest budget in a competitive marketplace. He was voted the League Two Manager of the Year by the League Managers Association.

And on top of that it would be wrong not to mention the years of lengthy service Turner has given to Hereford. Perhaps time will tell that now is the right point for him to streamline his roles at the club.

Assuming nobody else gets the bullet over the remaining two weeks of the regular season, Turner will become the 30th managerial departure from a Football League club since the season began last August. There are 72 Football League clubs. I make that 42% of the managers who started the season are no longer at that particular club.

Hardly a stable profession.

(Part of a longer article from BBC Sport)

Northampton Travel

Northampton Town v Hereford United
Football League 1
Saturday 25th April 2009 KO 3.00 pm.
Sixfields Stadium
Upton Way
Phone 01604 683700

The Bulls travel to Sixfields on Saturday for the final away game of a disappointing season. The Cobblers were formed in 1897 and joined The Football League in 1920 following time in The Southern League. For many years their home was at the old three sided County ground which older Bulls may remember from our FA Cup giant-killing days. In the mid-nineties they moved to the new custom-built Sixfields, which is owned by the local council and provides an all-seated capacity of just less than 8000. Visiting fans are accommodated in the South (Paul Cox Panel and Paint) Stand, which has room for 800 fans. Tickets are "pay on the day" and are believed to be priced at Adults £19, Over 60's and students £15, U16's £12 and U7's FOC (with an adult?). Tickets are usually sold from a "Portacabin" behind the away end.

Coaches - HUISA departs Legends at 10.00 am with a fare of £15. Bookings through the Club office (08442 761939).

FUNBUS - departs Legends at 10.30 with an expected fare of £11/12. Contact Oxo or Chesh.

BY CAR - Travel to Worcester and join the M5 north before joining the M42 at M5 J4A. Continue on the M42 remembering to bear left at J3A. At J7A, join the M6 south and then the M1 south (sign London Town). Leave the M6 at J16 then at the roundabout, take the first exit onto the A45/A4500 (sign Northampton West). Follow this road through the first major roundabout and then at the roundabout at the junction of the A5076, take the third exit (sign Ring Road – M1 South) into Upton Road. At the next roundabout, take the first exit and the second at the next. Sixfields will be clearly visible. Distance is around 110 miles and you should allow two hours and a half with Saturday shopping and matchday traffic expected to be busy around the approaches to the ground. There are a couple of sizable car parks at the stadium (£3?). You are advised to avoid parking on other properties in the surrounding Leisure complex as some operate a clamping scheme. Postcode is NN5 5QA.

TRAINS - from Hereford leave at 07.40, 08.40, 09.36 and 10.40 with a change at Birmingham New Street. Journey time is just under 3 hours. The return train leaves Northampton at 19.17 and arrives in The Shire at 22.34 again, via Brum.

REFRESHMENTS - The Leisure complex offers all the usual plastic food outlets and the nearest "proper" chip shop appears to be on Main Road in Duston Village. From the ground, go back up Upton Road and straight over the A4500 roundabout then take the first left. The Duston Village Chippy is about 400ish yards.

ALEHOUSES - What do you expect? It’s a pretend community with pretend Pubs, which mainly serve pretend beer. Among the nearest are the Sports Bar which is part of a bowling establishment, The Sixfields Tavern which takes exception to away shirts, the Magic Tower which takes exception to visiting fans of most descriptions and a TGI Friday which also fails to fill me with much excitement. Away from the ground, The Cricketers Arms in Hervey Street has received decent reviews as has The King Billy in Commercial Street. One boozer that has caught my eye is the Malt Shovel Tavern at 121 Bridge Street. This includes the local Frog Island Brewery products along with Tetleys and London Pride on hand pump. The Romany Hotel on Trinity Avenue has reportedly got eight or nine pumps mainly from localish micros along with Westons!

Trewick, Trewick...give us a wave ;)

News Round Up

Swindon will dispense with the services of coach Ady Williams at the end of the season after he was convicted of assault earlier in the month. Bournemouth have sold out their crunch relegation match with Grimsby on Saturday. Both could be celebrating at the end of the game with Chester in need of a win to keep their place in the Football League.

Chester owner Stephen Vaughan has denied interest in buying Darlington. He confirmed that former Quakers chairman George Houghton had approached him to join a consortium once his long delayed sale of Chester is complete. The FA have given Accrington pair Peter Cavanagh and Robbie Williams an extra two weeks to enter a plea on their betting charges.

Huddersfield veteran Andy Booth will retire at the end of the season after over 600 games and 182 goals over the last 19 years. Woking have appointed coach Graham Baker as their permanent manager despite losing their Conference status last night. The club is to seek five people to put £20,000 each into the club to take over from departing benefactor Chris Ingram.

Of course, Woking's demotion depends on the usual Conference end of season shenanigans. These have started today with Kings Lynn being told they will be demoted from Conf North due to ground issues.

The Future of Turner at Edgar Street

This morning's announcement by Graham Turner that he is to step down as manager of Hereford United has opened up a debate as to his future at Edgar Street.

Turner's words that he would like to manage at some stage in the future, not the first time he has mentioned this, have given rise to speculation that he might be planning a move away from the club he has managed for 14 years.

I will continue in the role of Director of Football, which will be much more of an administrative position and as Chairman.

I sincerely hope that this will not be my last managerial post.
said Turner.

One respected HUFC 'watcher' is Trevor Owens, sports editor of BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"For the last decade or so Graham Turner has never been able to focus solely on his job as manager as he has always been doubling up as chairman and trying to balance the books," said Owens.

"And if your first love is being the tracksuit manager on the training ground, and Graham Turner has often told me he comes into that category, then you wouldn't really be human were you not to think wouldn't it be great to go to work and only have to focus on winning Saturday's match."

Robinson Comments On Turner's Decision

Former Hereford United coach Phil Robinson has commented on Graham Turner's decision to stand down as manager of Hereford United.

Robinson took over as 'manager' from Turner for a short spell in 2002 after Turner decided to concentrate on off-pitch matters.

"I am a little bit surprised he is stepping down. But also I know how much work goes in to keeping a club the size of Hereford afloat and running and financially stable," Robinson told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"Combining the both must be an incredibly difficult job and he's done that for so long now.

"I know he will still have an involvement as director of football with the signings and comings and goings and the running of the football club in terms of football.

"But maybe the combination of the two, and the amount of time he has been doing it, has been catching up."

Dodd Laments "Sad Day For Hereford United"

HUISA Chairman Keith Dodd has spoken to BBC Hereford and Worcester about Graham Turner's decision to step down:

"Surprise and bitter disappointment. I've always supported Graham 100% throughout the entire time he's been with the club. I think he's a decent honest man and a great football man and I think it's a sad day for Hereford United.

"I understand he's staying as Chairman. I haven't had the chance to speak to him at the moment but I think it's a bad day for the club."

A Profile of John Trewick

John Trewick, who looks likely to become manager at Hereford United next season, was born on June 3rd 1957 in Bedlington

He started his career at West Bromwich Albion and played nearly 100 league games for the club during the late 1970s. He also played six times in the UEFA Cup during the 1978-79 season, scoring one goal against Galatasaray.

During West Bromwich's visit to China he entered football history by, in reply to a question about the Great Wall, remarking "Impressive, isn't it? But once you've seen one wall, you've seen them all!". Trewick maintains the TV documentary gave the wrong impression and he was merely joking.

He moved to Newcastle United in 1980 for £250,000, which was a club record fee at the time for the Magpies. His time at Newcastle was somewhat affected by injury, although he enjoyed a successful loan spell at Oxford United, whom he later joined on a free transfer in 1984. Trewick played in every league game for Oxford during 1984-85. The following season he was part of the team that won the League Cup, then known as the Milk Cup.

He later played for non-league Bromsgrove Rovers, and during the 1989-90 season, Hartlepool United. After finishing his playing career in non-league football with Barnet and Gateshead, he moved into coaching. He coached at West Bromwich Albion from 1993, moving to Derby County in 2001. After leaving Derby he worked as a coaching educator before joining Hereford United in June 2004, following the departure of former West Brom colleague Richard O'Kelly.

In his five seasons to date, Trewick has overseen considerable success on the field. The team finished second in the Conference in his first year with the club, but were beaten in the play-offs. His second season saw the Bulls go one better and gain promotion to League Two, where in his third year they eventually finished 16th.

The 2007-08 season saw Hereford consistently place in the top five of League Two, and they secured automatic promotion with a match to spare. However this season they have found the going very tough will be relegated back to League Two.

Trewick has also been an unused substitute for Hereford on occasions, particularly in minor cup competitions when numbers have been short. He was also named on the bench for a Conference match away at Southport.

(Profile adapted from Wikipedia)

Contracts in about Ten Days

Graham Turner has said that he expects the club to offer new contracts to those players whom he would like to see with Hereford United next season.

"There is going to be a recruitment drive through the close season. One or two targets have already been identified. We have to look at others," Turner told the OS.

"I'm not sure how many of the current squad will be with us next season.

"We haven't drawn up a short list of whom we are going to offer contracts to but this will be done in the next ten days or so."

Turner Quits As Manager

Graham Turner will quit as manager of Hereford United at the end of the season, but will retain his 'administrative' role as Director Of Football and Chairman of the club.

In a statement on the official site, Turner says the manager's job has been offered to coach John Trewick: "I sincerely hope that this will not be my last managerial post but at present I am totally committed to providing the new team manager with the necessary resources for success and to ensuring that all the hard work that has gone into the Club over recent seasons will continue, providing the Club with a prosperous long term future.

"The position of team manager will be offered to present First Team Coach John Trewick. He is a very experienced and respected football man who is capable of having an impact on the players and giving the Club the impetus to put us into contention for a quick return to League One."

Club Shop Sale Today

Just a reminder that the 'up to 80% off' Hereford United club shop clearance sale started this morning at 9am.

Many items are reduced.

The shop will be open until 9pm this evening.

Update: 1.00pm

The club shop was steady with customers browsing through the many bargains. These include home shirts for just £10, away shirts for £5, bargain buckets containing items at just £1 and many more.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Great Saves by Gulacsi

Yeovil captain Terry Skiverton had plenty of praise for Bulls goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi after the Liverpool youngster keep Hereford United in the game.

"We should have won," said Skiverton.

"We put them under so much pressure in the second half but the goals just wouldn't come. There were some great saves by the keeper but we had the chances to score half a dozen.

"We are now on 50 and we've got two hard matches - away to Tranmere and home to Colchester - so there is still work to do."