Monday, May 31, 2010

Palace Run Out Of Cash

Crystal Palace could be liquidated tomorrow after the Administrator confirmed he had no more cash left to run the business.

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who made 29 employees redundant on Friday, has set a 3pm deadline for the CPFC2010 consortium to finalise a deal to buy the club. They have agreed a deal but will not complete until they agree a purchase of the ground as well.

The state owned Bank of Scotland hold the key to the ground sale, and CPFC2010 have called on the Government to intervene in the situation. They are offering less for the ground than a property developer has offered, but with a clause entitling a further payment should the ground be sold later on. The two sides are disputing how much that further payment should be worth.

With the club's wage bill unpaid it needs cash urgently. As an Administrator, Guilfoyle cannot run up debts and will have to liquidate the club if no progress is made. Hundreds of Eagles fans gathered at Selhurst Park this afternoon to march and demonstate about the situation.

The Football League are unlikely to make any changes to the divisonal make-up if Palace folded. They told Grimsby last week no changes would be made if Stockport failed to meet their deadline to exit Administration.

News Round Up

Two current League Two managers are reported in the newspapers to be on the move. Crewe boss Dario Gradi is claimed to be wanted by Celtic to be technical director alongside rookie boss Neil Lennon, while Notts County have targeted Bradford boss Peter Taylor to be their new manager just weeks after he signed a new contract at Valley Parade.

Accrington assistant boss Jimmy Bell has warned the club that he and manager John Coleman will leave if their new contracts are not sorted out soon. Bell says the pair have been in discussions with the club for six months. Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler will cut his squad down to 20 or 21 players for the coming season from around 30 last term. He has also named his ex-Dover assistant Darren Hare as youth team manager at Priestfield and will also bring physio Paul Smith to the club.

Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore says he wants to cut his professional side down to 18, with 12 of his 25 contracted players out of contract this summer. Fleetwood signing Ian Craney says he turned down a League One side to sign for the Conference new-boys. York say they would like to sign Salisbury's Matt Tubbs, but his wages are far more than anyone at the club currently gets.

Colchester have named former Cheltenham boss John Ward as their new manager. He was assistant to previous boss Aidy Boothroyd, and will have current coach Joe Dunne as his no.2. Departing Northampton striker Adebayo Akinfenwa wants to play nearer his London home, but admits that three SPL sides have expressed an interest and he may end up there.

Shrewsbury striker Nathan Elder wants to be back playing before the end of the year. He had cruciate ligament surgery ten days ago, with doctors telling him he wouldn't play until 2011.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bulls 50/1 In New Bookies Lists

With today's play-off final deciding the 24 clubs in League Two next season several more bookies have priced up the market.

The Bulls, who are 20/1 with Skybet and Stan James, are a massive 50/1 with William Hill. Gillingham are best-priced favourites at 11/1 to make an instant return to League One, while Conference winners Stevenage are 18/1 and Oxford 20/1.

The full list (best prices):

11/1 Gillingham. 12/1 Northampton, Rotherham, Wycombe. 14/1 Bradford, Chesterfield. 16/1 Aldershot, Bury, Morecambe, Port Vale. 18/1 Southend, Stevenage. 20/1 Oxford, Shrewsbury, Crewe. 25/1 Burton. 33/1 Lincoln. 40/1 Accrington, Torquay. 50/1 Cheltenham, Stockport, Hereford. 66/1 Macclesfield. 100/1 Barnet.

In League One all four of the promoted clubs are expected to struggle. Notts County are the highest rated at a mid-table 33/1, but Rochdale are 80/1, Bournemouth 100/1 and Dagenham 125/1. Yeovil and Exeter are also expected to struggle, both being 100/1.

News Round Up

Luton are 9/4 favourites to win the Conference with the first bookmakers lists now released. Grimsby are 7/1 second favourites, with Darlington 12/1 alongside Rushden and York. Newport are 14/1 ahead of Welsh rivals Wrexham, who are a best priced 20/1 along with Kidderminster and the free spending Fleetwood. Neither Salisbury nor Forest Green are listed in any of the odds with Salisbury appealing against their expulsion.

Northampton manager Ian Sampson has named former Premier League starlet Francis Jeffers as a transfer target. The one-time Everton hotshot cost Arsenal £8million nine years ago, but has been a bit-player in his three years at Sheff Weds. Oxford will re-enter the League with a new sponsor after their shirt sponsors pulled out after ten years.

Barnet have named Michael Stone as their new first team coach, but they are yet to appoint a manager. Stone, 31, was no.2 at Rushden but failed to agree terms on a new deal there. He has had spells in youth coaching with Spurs and Nottm Forest. The Bees have confirmed the release of midfielder Nicky Deverdics after two seasons at Underhill. Barrow manager Dave Bayliss has told the press that Port Vale offered keeper Stuart Tomlinson less money than the Conference side did, but the player opted for League football.

Daggers Up To League One

Dagenham have won promotion to League One after beating Rotherham at Wembley in the play-off final.

Goals from Paul Benson, Danny Green, and Jon Nurse each gave the Daggers the lead but they were twice pegged back by Ryan Taylor goals. 32,054 were at Wembley to watch the game.

The result means that League Two is now complete with the Millers taking the 24th spot.

McCallum Scores For Canada

Bulls winger Gavin McCallum scored an injury time equaliser as Canada drew 1-1 with Venezuela in the early hours of this morning.

McCallum, making his senior team debut, came on as an 81st minute sub and headed home the equaliser from a free kick. Shrewsbury's Terry Dunfield and Gillingham's Simeon Jackson both started the match.

Footage of the goal can be seen on Youtube here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

News Round Up

The Football League have told Grimsby there will be no reprieve for them if Stockport fail to exit Administration in time. The 2015 group cancelled yesterday's announcement that they had bought the club after a late hitch, but issued a brief statement last night saying the problem had been resolved. The Administrator has 'signed off' the purchase agreement and the deal is now with the FL awaiting ratification.

Merthyr Tydfil will play next season at Taff's Well after their ground was sold to developers, and have withdrawn from the Southern League. They hope to enter the Western League and are getting the ground up to scratch, with a new club likely to be formed. Accrington say they will spend any transfer income on wages rather than transfer fees even if they get the £250,000 they want for Bobby Grant's move to Scunthorpe.

Port Vale have signed former Crewe keeper Stuart Tomlinson from Barrow on a free transfer. The 25 year old has agreed a one year deal. Torquay have sold 900 season tickets so far. Last season they sold 1200 at a reduced price. Torquay defender Kevin Nicholson has asked three people to be his best men at his wedding, two of them ex-Bulls in Tim Sills and Chris Hargreaves.

Kettering have slashed admission prices for the coming season. They will charge £10 adult admission around the ground, and £1 for kids, but prices will rise if they need Police at a game.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Swindon booked for pre-season

The Bulls have added the name of Swindon Town to the list of pre-season friendlies in advance of 2010/2011.

The match will take place at Edgar Street on the evening of Friday 16th July with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Swindon are due to play Millwall in the league 1 play-off final at Wembley this Saturday and could, therefore, be a Championship outfit by the end of the weekend. The Wiltshire Club have sold around 32,000 tickets for the match and have reportedly ditched their normal red strip in favour of white shirts. Good choice.

News Round Up

Port Vale have announced season ticket sales so far of 2,400 after offering discounted £249 adult tickets. They are hosting a free barbecue at the club on Saturday to entice further sales having sold 3,850 last term. Geoff Horsfield will remain as assistant boss at the club after agreeing a new deal. Torquay have signed Cambridge keeper Danny Potter on a one year deal. The 31 year old has spent the last three years as the U's no.1, making 128 appearances in total.

Morecambe have announced that keeper Barry Roche has signed a new two year contract with the club. Their former Christie Park home is almost entirely demolished just a week after the last game was played there. Pictures of the demolition can be seen on the Shrimps Voices forum here. Burton boss Paul Peschisolido has put a six figure price tag on striker Shaun Harrad. The under contract 22 year old scored 22 goals during the season, the vast majority in the last five months.

Stevenage have been dealt a blow after winger Andy Drury turned down a new deal with the club and signed for Luton instead on a two year deal. Rotherham have sold over 15,000 tickets for the play-off final, with Dagenham closing in on 13,000. Barnet have released striker Jake Hyde, who was voted as their young player of the year this term. The 19 year old scored seven times in 20 starts and 19 sub appearances, but may get a reprieve when the new manager is appointed.

Accrington defender Darren Kempson has rejected a new contract with the club and is attracting interest from a number of League Two sides. Burton have confirmed they have offered transfer listed Brentford winger Cleveland Taylor a contract. Taylor spent the second half of the season on loan at the Pirelli Stadium. Barnet have confirmed that Albert Adomah has turned down their latest contract offer and will leave the club.

Former Barnet manager Ian Hendon has been named as Andy Hessenthaler's replacement at Dover. Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler has released eight of his new squad including former Bulls loanee James Walker. Bradford have made signing no.4 of the week with the capture of ex-Wycombe midfielder Tommy Doherty. The 31 year old spent the latter part of the season at Hungarian side Ferencvaros after falling out with Chairboys boss Gary Waddock.

Stockport's potential owners have cancelled this afternoon's press conference that was to annouce their completed ownership of the club 'due to serious and complicated legal issues surrounding the administration process'. They promise to update fans by Wednesday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carling Cup Details

Hereford United will once again be in the Carling Cup next season and will find out who they play in the first round on the morning of Wednesday 16th June 2010 at around 9.30am.

The round will take place in the week commencing August 9th, just a couple of days after the start of the new season.

The First Round draw will include 70 Football League clubs including Portsmouth who have just dropped out of the Premiership. The other two relegated teams, Burnley and Hull City, will join the competition the Second Round.

The draw will be both seeded and regionalised. With Hereford United finishing 16th in the 2009-10 League Two table, they will be unseeded, and so will play either a Championship side, or a team from the top half of League One in the First Round.

John Charles Winners Medal For Sale

A 1957-58 Italian league winner’s medal, awarded to Welsh international footballer John Charles, who later played for Hereford United, is to be sold at Bonhams, Chester as part of its sale of Sporting Memorabilia on 16 June. It is expected to fetch £8,000 – 10,000.

Charles, who was one of the first British professional players to be signed for an overseas team, joined Italian club Juventus F.C. in 1957 for a then record transfer fee of £65,000. In his five years at Juventus he scored 93 goals in 155 matches, and he was voted the best-ever foreign player to play for Juventus by the club’s fans.

The sale also features Geoff Hurst’s spare shirt (estimate £6,000 – 8,000) from the 1966 World Cup final, in which he scored three of the four goals in England’s 4-2 win over West Germany at the old Wembley, and made World Cup history as the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

Another important lot is a pair of Stanley Matthews boots (estimate £6,000 – 8,000) that he wore in a testimonial match played in his honour on April 28, 1965 at Stokes Victoria ground in front of 35,000 spectators. He had played his final game in February of the same year. The boots, which come with a note from Matthews stating “Yes, my old soccer boots”, were given to one of the players at the end of the game, who passed them to the vendor.

Other highlights include a 1951 FA Cup final winner’s medal presented to Newcastle’s Jack Fairbrother (£5,000 – 7,000); and a 1955 FA Cup final winner’s medal awarded to Newcastle Captain Jimmy Scoular (estimate £5,000 – 7,000), who had previously won First Division winner’s medals with Portsmouth in 1948/9 and 1949/50.

Swans To Visit Edgar Street

Swansea City's official site is reporting that their first team will travel to Edgar Street to face the Bulls in pre-season.

It is currently the Swans' opening pre-season fixture, coming on Tuesday July 13th, and is listed for a 7.30pm kick off. It is the Bulls first pre-season match announced.

Threlfall Signs Permanent Bantams Deal

Former Bulls loanee Robbie Threlfall is one of three players to sign for Bradford today.

The former Liverpool trainee had two spells at Edgar Street, and also took in Northampton and Stockport before arriving at Valley Parade on loan in February. He has signed a two year deal with the Bantams.

Also joining Bradford today are the giant ex-Wycombe defender Luke Oliver and former Plymouth trainee keeper Lloyd Saxton. Oliver also spent part of last season on loan with the Bantams, following Peter Taylor to the club, while Saxton, 20, is yet to make a first team appearance after coming through the ranks at Home Park.

Meanwhile another ex-Bull is being lined up for a move. Michael Rose, who spent the final few months of the season on loan at Norwich, is being lined up by Hartlepool. Current club Stockport are likely to let him go if, as claimed, Jim Gannon is reappointed as manager as the pair do not get along.

Bulls Up To Five With McQuilkin Signing

Hereford United have confirmed that James McQuilkin has signed a one year deal to stay with the club.

The 21 year old had a slow start to his Bulls career, but made himself a regular starter once Graham Turner took the helm. He is the fifth player to sign up for next season.

News Round Up

Crewe have invited trialist Jimmy McCarthy to join them for pre-season training. The 24 year old has been playing in the lower reaches of the Unibond league with Warrington. Accrington have given their players a deadline of next weekend to accept or reject their new deals. They have offered a contract to in-demand striker Billy Kee, but the player has hinted that they are unlikely to win the chase as their facilities are not good enough.

Stevenage are to sign released Scunthorpe winger Peter Gain on a one year deal. The 21 year old spent most of the season on loan at Gateshead, but has rejected a contract offer from them. Lincoln's Supporters Trust are attempting to raise the £20,000 cost of frost covers that are required by all clubs for the coming season. The club have warned that the money will come out of Chris Sutton's budget if they fail to cover the cost.

Cardiff's shareholders have agreed to the new investment into the club at today's EGM. Peter Ridsdale has now left the club, with the new investors expected to cover the £1.9million tax debt that sees them back in court on June 16th. Port Vale have signed released Bristol Rovers striker Sean Rigg on a two year deal. The 21 year old scored three times in 26 appearances during a five month loan at Vale Park.

Scunthorpe say they have turned down 'four or five' bids for Gary Hooper. Various newspapers are claiming that Wolves, Wigan, and Middlesboro are heading the hunt after the Iron previously denied Celtic had made a bid. Yeovil have arranged to play ten reserve games against Dorchester Town over the course of next season in place of a regular reserve league, which they exited last summer.

Bury striker Andy Bishop is a target of relegated Grimsby. The former York man started only 12 games in an injury hit season and is believed to be available due to financial constraints at Gigg Lane. Chesterfield have signed released Oldham midfielder Danny Whitaker on a two year deal. He worked with current Spireites boss John Sheridan at the Latics.

Pugh Bournemouth Bound

Speaking to the official site Graham Turner has said that Marc Pugh is likely to sign for Bournemouth.

The two clubs have been in talks over a fee for the player, with Turner saying the Cherries 'have made a very small offer which is far, far from acceptable' and that a tribunal is the likely outcome with negotiations stalled.

Turner Has Preferred Bidder

Speaking to the official site, Graham Turner says that he and Joan Fennessey have picked their preferred bidder for the club.

While still keeping names hidden Turner tells Bulls Player that all three interested parties have done due dilligence, but they have chosen their preferred candidate to take control of the club.

Before selling the club Turner hopes to have planning permission in place for the Blackfriars End. He believes the queries from the Highways Agency about the movement of the floodlights have been resolved. He intends to 'ring-fence' the funds to build the new stand so that any new owner cannot stop the development.

On contract news Turner notes that Gavin McCallum has been made an improved offer which the player is mulling over, while Richard Rose, Ryan Green, and Darren Jones are yet to officially respond to their offers.

Green Unhappy With Contract Offer

Ryan Green has told today's Hereford Times that he is unlikely to accept his new contract offer.

The Welshman is upset that he has been offered reduced terms for the coming season but tells them he wants to stay at the club. Graham Turner has confirmed to the paper that James McQuilkin has accepted his contract offer after negotiation and the deal is to be signed.

The paper carries no news on the share sale, stating that as they went to press there was no update.

Meanwhile the share sale and general uncertainty is boosting visitors to Bulls News. While the close season usually sees visitor numbers drop the site has received, on average, visits from over 2,500 individual computers each day over the past week with each machine typically visiting the site twice a day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Turner keeps Supporters Guessing

Despite hopes expressed here and elsewhere that Hereford United chairman Graham Turner might have spoken about the sale of his shares in the club at some stage yesterday, nothing emerged from Edgar Street.

Supporters are eagerly expecting some clarification about the future of the Bulls. All the current uncertainty isn't helping plans for next season and beyond.

Maybe, there will be some definite news from Turner today.

News Round Up

Lincoln say they will not pay a transfer fee for winger Mustafa Carayol as they do not believe Torquay developed him. He signed for the Gulls on a free transfer from MK Dons two years ago, and the Imps have offered them a percentage of sell-on only. Torquay have offered former Accrington loanee striker Billy Kee a contract. The club say they have shown the player around Plainmoor and agreed the outline of a deal, but nothing is signed.

AFC Telford have named former England international Andy Sinton as their new boss. The 44 year old has spent the last five years as manager of Fleet Town, where he took them to three promotion play-offs. Conference new boys Fleetwood continue to splash the cash, signing released Huddersfield midfielder Ian Craney. He spent last season at Morecambe, but missed large chunks through injury.

Stockport's prospective owners met the players for the first time last Friday. The 2015 group hope to take control of the club this Friday, and have denied that they have lined up Jim Gannon to be manager. Aldershot have announced that defender Aaron Brown has turned down a contract with the club and signed for Leyton Orient instead.

Morecambe have signed released Chesterfield winger Adam Rundle on a two year deal. The former Rochdale man has more than 200 League appearances to his name. Former Aldershot keeper Nikki Bull is expected to sign for Wycombe after he rejected a new one year deal with Brentford. Former Bulls loanee Tony Capaldi has been released by Cardiff, one of five shown the door since their play-off failure.

Scunthorpe have confirmed receiving bids for ex-Bull Gary Hooper, but deny that Celtic are one of those to have tabled an offer.

Gradi Hints At Lunt Capture

Crewe boss Dario Gradi has hinted that he would like Kenny Lunt back at Crewe.

He says it might happen 'if he was available on a free transfer' but he would need to fit into Crewe's exisiting budget. Lunt would be on a free transfer if he opts not to accept the Bulls' reduced contract offer, which expires at the end of the month. Gradi told Crewe's official site:

"It is difficult to turn down very good players on a free transfer and Kenny would fall into that category if he was to become available again. I am sure Kenny would like to come back here but it doesn't always work out like that. We have had him back in the past and the likes of Neil Sorvel have done well for us when coming back.

"I would be stupid not to consider someone as good as Kenny but at the moment the playing budget is very tight and someone like him would have to be a luxury.

"I have Lee Bell back and want to play Westy back in the middle of midfield. I also have Luke Murphy who can play there as well, so another midfielder of that type isn't top of our priority list."

Park with Macmillan at Hay Festival

Whilst virtually every Hereford United supporter is awaiting news from Edgar Street about the sale of chairman Graham Turner's shares, a small group are also preparing for parking duties at the Hay Festival.

As in the past the aim is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Visitors driving to the Hay Festival are being encouraged to help with raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support by parking in the Macmillan Charity Car Park next to the festival site.

This is the 5th year that Bulls News has operated the Car Park, to date raising over £54,000 for Macmillan, and last year alone raising an incredible £20,000.

Macmillan Fundraising Manager Sarah Grout, said: “They put in an enormous amount of work to make this car park a successful fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support. It takes weeks of planning and the young parking stewards work long days. But the support and appreciation for the charity is very much in evidence and festivalgoers are generally delighted to donate in this way. “

Parking in the Macmillan Car Park costs £5 per day, £3 after 6pm, it is located adjacent to the Festival site on the left as you exit Hay on Wye towards Brecon.

Meanwhile one of the latest additions to the festival programme is a visit by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, on Sunday June 6th.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

At The Moment It's Probably Wednesday

Well it's Wednesday today and if Graham Turner's prediction - at the moment it's probably Wednesday - made last Friday is correct then Hereford United supporters will find out today who has bought his shares and perhaps also where Turner's next job might take him.

For the last week or so the name of Rob Bickerton has been linked with the purchase of Turner's share. Bickerton is the gent who used to be chairman of Macclesfield and then chief executive at Shrewsbury.

As for Turner a move to Shrewsbury keeps being suggested. A well-connected source told BN last night that an announcement would be made about a new manager at the Greenhous Meadow by the weekend.

However nothing is certain until it is confirmed.

New to League 2 in 2010/2011 – Priestfield

Gillingham Football Club trace their history back to 1893 with the formation of New Brompton FC when the local Gentry (if such a thing exists in Gillingham) purchased a plot of land, later to be known as Priestfield and started a club that would enter The Southern League in 1895.

In 1913, the name was changed to Gillingham and they became founder members of the Third Division of The Football League in 1920. Despite requiring five re-elections, they remained a League Club until 1938 when they were replaced by Ipswich Town. They returned to The Southern League and had considerable success before returning to the Football League when the old geographical Third Divisions were increased in membership in 1950. Promotion was achieved in 1964 and they survived in what is now League 1 until relegations in '71. The late eighties saw success under Keith Peacock but by the mid-nineties, the Club was in dire financial trouble, in administration and looking like going out of business until Paul Scally took over at the eleventh hour. Much has been achieved under the Chairmanship of Scally including a couple of Wembley appearances and the building of three new stands.

Last season saw them drop back into League 2 which resulted in the departure of manager Mark Stimson who is probably best remembered for leading The Gills to victory in the play-offs, a year earlier, over habitual failures Shrewsbury Town at Wembley.

For the coming season, they have re-appointed their former manager, player and fans favorite Andy Hessenthaler who had been busy guiding Dover to two promotions in three years.

Recent(ish) connections with The Bulls include players Guy Ipoua, Dean Beckwith, Richard Rose and Jon Wallis along with former physio, Wayne Jones.

Priestfield currently has a capacity of just under 11,500 and is all-seated with visiting supporters being housed in the temporary Brian Moore Stand at one end of the ground. This stand has no roof. Admission is expected to be around £22/23 for adults but only for tickets bought in advance – The Gills charge an extra £2/3 for "on the gate" admission!

The Medway area does have several attractive parts to it but unfortunately for Bulls' fans Gillingham is not one of them. On the plus side, we do get a chance to visit the "Will Adams" pub in the town center which has been included in the good book.

News Round Up

Morecambe have released senior pros Wayne Curtis and Fraser McLachlan and four youngsters after their play-off defeat. Curtis played over 300 times for the club, debuting in 1997. Bournemouth say they have a number of signings ready to unveil, but are awaiting Football League clearance as they remain under a partial embargo.

Barnet have confirmed that defender Ismail Yakubu has left the club after he was linked to a number of sides. They will not release a full retained list until a new boss is announced. Accrington say they want £250,000 for out of contract striker Bobby Grant after Scunthorpe were claimed to have signed him. Stanley say the Iron have offered 'a million miles' less than their asking price and the matter is likely to go to a tribunal.

Crewe are hoping for a six figure windfall after former striker Nicky Maynard was linked with a £4.5million move to Fulham. They hold a 20% sell-on clause. Rotherham have sold 11,000 tickets so far for their play-off final. Dagenham have sold 10,100. Southend have accepted a bid from Brentford, claimed to be £150,000, for want-away defender Simon Francis, and will benefit from any move Gary Hooper makes as they hold a sell-on clause that could be worth £350,000 according to the local press.

Canada were thumped 5-0 by Argentina last night. Of the English based players only Gillingham's Simeon Jackson played with others, including Gavin McCallum, linking up with the squad ahead of Saturday's match with Venezuela. Crewe keeper Adam Legzdins has turned down a new 12 month deal with the club as he does not want to be second choice to senior keeper Steve Phillips. He has made just eight senior appearances in two years with the club. Boss Dario Gradi has confirmed the club is interested in Peterboro defender Exodus Geohaghon.

Torquay are bucking the trend and reintroducing their reserve side for the coming season. Despite their recent financial revelations they say the move will have no significant financial impact after two organisations agreed to sponsor the side.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lionel Listed By Terriers

Lionel Ainsworth is one of eight players transfer listed by Huddersfield.

The tricky winger started just 11 games in a season and a half after he had his second spell at Edgar Street cut short so Watford could sell him to the Terriers. He ended this season on loan at Brentford, but was excluded from their plans after disrespecting the management there.

It was reported shortly after that Terriers boss Lee Clark had sent him away from the club to consider his future before returning for pre-season but it appears that his future has already been decided.

Amongst the other seven to be transfer listed is former Shrewsbury loan defender Joe Skarz, while Morecambe loan striker Phil Jevons is one of five to be released by the Yorkshire side.

Meanwhile former Bulls keeper Darren Randolph is claimed to be interesting Burnley. The Lancashire Telegraph says the Irish u21 man, with a year left on his Addicks contract, is on the hit list for the freshly relegated club.

Bickerton linked with Hereford United

Of all the names recently linked to a possible purchase of Graham Turner's shares in Hereford United, the name of Rob Bickerton continues to be mentioned.

Bickerton was chairman of Macclesfield Town but joined Shrewsbury Town in January 2008 after seven years with the Silkmen.

"My background and experience, other than building my own businesses up, is that I've been in football for the last 7 years," explained Bickerton when he joined Shrewsbury.

"The first two of those were as finance director and that other 5 were as chairman of Macclesfield Town football club and within football it is perceived that at Macclesfield I did a good job.

"During my time there Macclesfield over achieved with one of the smallest budgets in the league by reaching the play-offs and the Northern final of the LDV. The time was right to move on from Macclesfield as there was someone who was keen to become the chairman there.

"I will be responsible for things which are business related and my natural background is running a business and what I have at Shrewsbury is full profit and loss responsibility."

However Bickerton didn't have a long stay at Shrewsbury. He left just 18 months after being appointed and at the time had no comment to make other than to confirm he had left.

"Rob has left by mutual agreement and we will not be making further comment other than to thank him for his efforts during his time with us," said Shrews chairman Roland Wycherley as reported by the Shropshire Star.

"This is an important stage in the club’s development, so the board will take this opportunity to conduct a thorough review of all off-pitch operations and staffing. I have asked club director Derek Passant and former chief executive Steve Wellbeloved to conduct this review and report back to me and they will start work on this immediately.

"It is now two years since we moved to the new stadium and it is vitally important that we maintain momentum and develop the business so that it provides the necessary resources to succeed on the pitch."

Whether Bickerton has made an offer for Turner's share remains to be confirmed.

However whilst he was at Macclesfield as chairman the club was owned by Amar and Bashar Alkadhi, two Iraqi-born businessmen. This fact might suggest that if Bickerton is involved in any bid for Turner's shares he may need the help of others to finance any offer.

News Round Up

Andy Williams says the opportunity of regular first team football made him choose Yeovil over Bristol Rovers, telling the Evening Post: "Rovers could only offer me a one-year extension and a wage reduction, which obviously wasn't ideal. If I stayed there then I think I would have been in the same situation I was last season, which would have been starting most of the games on the bench. I'm nearly 24 and I need to be playing a bit more regularly." As the Pirates offered him a wage reduction, there was no fee involved in the move.

Shrewsbury will join Accrington in the South West Challenge this summer. Also in the 12 team tournament are Doncaster, Leyton Orient, and Kilmarnock. Crewe have not made a move for Peterboro defender Exodus Geoghaghon, with the defender saying the Posh are expecting a fee. Kidderminster have expressed an interest in signing him.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally has told new boss Andy Hessenthaler he wants nothing but promotion back to League One at the first attempt, telling the BBC: "He buys into the package that anything less than promotion is failure." Chesterfield have signed released Walsall midfielder Dwayne Mattis on a two year deal. He made his name at Bury before a £50,000 move to the Championship with Barnsley.

Ex-Bull Marcus Browning has been released by Bath City following their promotion to the Conference top flight. Salisbury have confirmed they are to appeal the Conference's decision to kick them out of the competition. They have also confirmed that they have cleared all debts in full as per the competition requirements, albeit two weeks after the deadline set.

Shrewsbury have announced their ground will be known as the Greenhous Meadow next season after an 'overwhelming' win in a fans vote. The club have given no breakdown on the actual voting. Cheltenham have been snubbed by former loanee Medy Elito, who has opted to stay at Colchester and fight for a place there.

The Conference are introducing a rule for next season forcing clubs who only offer seating to visiting supporters to charge them the cheapest admission price in the ground.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scoreboard Celebrates Tenth Birthday

It's something that is taken for granted these days but ten years ago the revelation that Hereford United was to install an Electronic Scoreboard at Edgar Street was something of a surprise for the cash striken club.

A life-long Hereford United fan has left money to the club in his will, but for a specific purpose. An electronic scoreboard is to be purchased, and it has been promised by the club that it will be up in time for next season. The board will probably be placed at the Blackfriars End, so it will be in full view of the United fans at Meadow End and Main Stand, reported at the time.

It later emerged that the life-long Hereford United supporter, Anthony Tindell, who lived in the city had left the money to the Nationwide Conference club with the request to have a scoreboard erected.

However his bequest didn't quite cover the cost of the scoreboard and its installation so the club funded the shortfall.

Meanwhile it's not clear whether the scoreboard will remain in its current position after the Blackfriars End is redeveloped.

Chairman Graham Turner has said that Hereford United supporters will be able to watch games from the new stand but, if they do, they won't be able to keep up with scores from elsewhere unless the board is moved.

And if it is moved some other Hereford United fans won't be able to see it.

Shame really, as after the new stand is built the scoreboard is still probably the second most modern piece of kit at the ground.

Hooper on the move?

It’s beginning to look like former Bulls striker Gary Hooper may be close to a big money move away from Scunthorpe.

Hooper finished the 09/10 season with an impressive 19 Championship goals to come third in the divisions top scorers despite playing in an Iron side that struggled to retain their status.

The Glanford Park boss, Ian Adkins, appears to be already on the lookout for a replacement having held initial talks with Rochdale hitman Chris Dagnell and the 20-goal League 2 man is keen on the move. "I just want to play at the highest level I can play and Scunthorpe are in the Championship, which is a pretty high level. It's a big step up if I do get the chance to go there, but I'm sure it would be a good move for me" Dagnell told the Scunthorpe Telegraph.

Hooper has been linked to a number of Clubs including Leeds United who seem resigned to losing Jermaine Beckford.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Two Year Deal for Willo

Following the news that Andy Williams is moving to Yeovil, the Western Daily Press have revealed some more details of the transfer.

It appears the former Hereford United striker was offered a new one year deal at Bristol Rovers but on lower terms than the previous one. He was one of a number of players told they would have to accept a pay cut if they wanted to stay.

Yeovil 'are believed to have offered him similar terms to those he was on last season' and were prepared to make it a two year deal.

Harvey settles with FGR

Former Hereford United player Jimmy Harvey has settled his depute with Forest Green Rovers.

Here's part of a statement that has appeared on the Forest Green Rovers website:

An Employment Tribunal claim for Unfair Dismissal and Breach of Contract brought by Jim Harvey (former Manager) against Forest Green Rovers Football Club (the “Club) has been settled ahead of the tribunal listed for hearing on 17th and 18th May 2010.

The claim related to the dismissal of Mr Harvey prior to the commencement of the 2009/2010 season.

The Club, without admission of liability, has agreed a settlement with Mr Harvey. The settlement includes payment to Mr Harvey of compensation, the issue of this joint press release and an agreed reference.

Both parties regret the events of last summer, especially given the Club’s recent relegation from the Blue Square Premier League, and the Club regrets any unintentional damage to Mr Harvey’s reputation as a result of his dismissal.

The Club, in issuing this joint statement, wish Mr Harvey and his family the best for the future and thank him for his contribution to the Club. The Club wishes to place on public record its thanks to Mr Harvey for the style of attractive football he brought to match days at the New Lawn.

Mr Harvey commented, “I am pleased that this matter is now resolved. I would like to thank the supporters and those players who played under me. I enjoyed my time at the Club and will take away fond memories of the Club’s highest ever finish and two significant FA Cup runs. I was disappointed that the Club was relegated this year and I wish them a speedy return to the top flight of non-league football”.

Graham Turner and Shrewsbury Town

This morning the Shropshire Star has commented that Graham Turner has been strongly linked with a potential return to Shrewsbury – where he was revered as both player and manager during the late 1970s and early 1980s – in some role.

62 year old Turner is hoping that he will have sold his shares in Hereford United in the next week or so and then after a holiday will decide what he might like to do.

There's little doubt that any return to Shrewsbury will be welcomed by many of their supporters especially the older ones who remember him taking the club to eighth position in what is now the Championship during the 1983/84 season. It was the first time the club had been promoted to the second tier of English football.

Turner joined Shrewsbury as a player from Chester for a fee of £30,000 in 1973 and made 355 appearances for the club.

He was appointed player-manager in November 1978 and took them to the top of the Third Division in his first season.

Twice he took the club to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Eventually he was head-hunted by Aston Villa and joined them in the summer of 1984.

Turner is recognised as the most successful manager Shrewsbury have ever had.

Former manager Jake King feels Turner would be the ideal choice.

"For a start, Graham would be the fans’ favourite which is important," said King.

"He had great times with the club in the past by getting them to what is the Championship now and keeping them there.

"His record speaks for itself and he knows the lower Leagues inside out.

"He has done well at Hereford and been there a long time, and I would imagine — with the new ground — that the finances at Shrewsbury would be better than there."

Howver there is some doubt how good the finances are at Shrewsbury which may be why Turner is cautious.

"I think one or two clubs that are perhaps on the fringe of financial difficulties see me going in there and doing a bit of fire-fighting and pulling around the finances," said Turner.

"I'm not sure if I want to go through all that again."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gills Name Hessenthaler

Gillingham have reappointed Andy Hessenthaler as manager of the club nearly six years after his first stint ended.

He led the club to two mid-table Championship finishes during his first spell, departing as fortunes faded. The 44 year old played over 300 games for the club across nearly ten years, and remains their oldest player having been deployed a few weeks after his 40th birthday.

He will be joined at the club by Mark Robson as his assistant. He was first team coach under previous boss Mark Stimson, but was sacked last week as part of the clearout.

In other managerial news Chester have named their first boss. Neil Young, who just took Colwyn Bay to promotion from the Unibond League Division 1, has joined the club. He will be assisted by Gary Jones, the Chester-born ex-Nottm Forest and Tranmere striker.

Willo Joins Yeovil

Andy Williams has joined Yeovil from Bristol Rovers. The former Hereford United striker has agreed terms subject to a medical.

He will link up with his new club when pre-season training starts on July 1st.

It is not known, as yet, whether a transfer fee has been paid by the Glovers.

Rovers manager Paul Trollope had offered Willo a new one year deal but it appears the 23 year old thought he might get more chances to play first team football with Yeovil.

Interest in Turner from Other Clubs

In his interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning Graham Turner was fairly tight-lipped about where he might go after he leaves Edgar Street.

"First a holiday that will set me up, then we'll take stock of the situation where I go, what I'll do," said Turner

"I've had several phone-calls, being an experienced manager for quite some time. I think one or two clubs that are perhaps on the fringe of financial difficulties see me going in there and doing a bit of fire-fighting and pulling around the finances.

"I'm not sure if I want to go through all that again. But there have been several phone-calls.

"I think it would be difficult not being in sole charge and getting my own way but going back to being a purely football man certainly would help."

FL Crowds Pass 17million Mark

Total attendance at Football League matches passed 17 million for the first time in 50 years according to a press release.

The 1,656 matches totalled 17.1million, beating the 1959/60 total and up 4.4% on 08/09 with the average gate at a match now over 10,000. In the Championship gates were just under 10 million, keeping it the fourth most attended league in Europe ahead of both the Italian and French top flights. League One crowds were up 21% to average over 9,000.

In League two the average gate was 3,853, a slight fall on last season.

Important to get Share Sale Settled says Turner

Hereford United chairman Graham Turner has said that progress is being made with his sale of shares in the club.

"We feel we are making progress as we are talking to several parties at the moment," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"It is not all about price but there is considerable interest from these parties, they are getting serious about things, and it could be another seven to ten days and it could be all settled.

"It has dragged on a little bit as the due diligence that people have to do is a long drawn out affair.

"Others have appeared on the scene a little bit later than the first group.

"But it is important we get it settled as the new people have obviously got to appoint a manager and have got to bring in new players.

"In the mean time I will carry on with the work in terms of bringing in any players I think are suitable for the club.

"Right at the moment there are three (groups) still interested.

"If things do go according to plan I can see almost a decision in a weeks time."

News Round Up

Accrington have released striker Gary King and midfielder John Mullin. Twelve other existing players have been offered contracts, while a deal has also been offered to former loanee Billy Kee. Kris Taylor has signed his one year contract extension at Port Vale. Burton have lost out on the services of former loan keeper Artur Krysiak after Exeter announced his signing.

Crewe have signed midfielder Lee Bell from Macclesfield on a two year deal. He turned down a new contract with the Silkmen. The Railwaymen are expected to start the season with a loan keeper after Steve Phillips' surgery on a shoulder injury produced complications that will delay his recovery past the start of next season. Local press have linked Dagenham boss John Still to the managerial job at Colchester, with Aidy Boothroyd leaving for Coventry yesterday.

Wrexham have signed Aldershot defender Chris Blackburn after he was released by the club. The Shots intend to produce a full list of released players later today. Wycombe have lost the services of striker Alex Revell after he opted to stay in League One and sign a deal with Leyton Orient. The Chairboys are claimed to be interested in Jamie Cureton and Bury's Ryan Lowe.

Former Bulls target Ben Strevens has been transfer listed by Brentford. They are expecting a fee for the former Dagenham man. Histon have named notorious former Cambridge manager John Beck as their new boss. He was previously a coach at the club before departing due to cost-cutting by the previous regime. Farsley are the latest side to suffer a hefty demotion due to their financial state. They will drop three divisions this summer into the NCEL.

Rushden's dressing room is said to be split after newspaper claims that Paul Terry, brother of John, had followed in the family footsteps and slept with the girlfriend of one of his teammates. Oxford have signed former Luton man Asa Hall on a two year deal, but released five including ex-Bull Chris Hargreaves. Also joining the U's are Peterboro winger Alfie Potter, who spent last season at the Kassam, and York full back Ben Purkiss. Potter has cost an undisclosed fee.

Aldershot have released six players including ex-Bull John Grant and former Shrews striker Omer Riza. They have offered deals to eight existing players plus loanee Dean Morgan, who has been released by MK Dons.

Pugh linked with Leeds

Hereford United winger Marc Pugh has again been linked with Leeds despite the probability that Bournemouth appears to be a more realistic destination for the 23 year old who has turned down a two year deal at Edgar Street.

The Lancashire Telegraph is the latest paper to suggest he might join Leeds.

Meanwhile Micheal Rose could be a target for Hartlepool if he is not offered a deal at Norwich.

The former Hereford United defender joined the Canaries on loan from Stockport County last March and made 12 appearances for them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bulls to Support School Workshops

Hereford United's Football in the Community squad are to be involved with a fortnight of workshops, games and lessons with a safety theme at Hereford Racecourse.

More than 1800 ten and eleven year olds from 74 primary schools are expected at the event which is organised this year by Herefordshire Council’s healthy schools team in partnership with the police, red cross, fire service, heartstart, school nursing service, trading standards and Herefordshire Housing, amongst others.

As children prepare to embark on their secondary education, the event prepares them for some of the issues they may face over the next few years as they grow from being children to young people. For example, alcohol and drug awareness, road safety, personal safety, valuing difference and diversity and danger in the home, are just some of the sessions they will attend.

Running from Tuesday 8th June to Friday 18th, sessions take place from 9.30am-2.30pm every day with an hour for lunch. This year’s event will include lots of lunchtime activities in the spirit of Change4Life, the national programme which aims to get people eating better, moving more and living longer. Hereford United will be there with their football in the community squad, Halo Leisure is bringing dance mats and the Whitecross gym bus will be available for children and staff to work out on. For those who fancy something a bit different, cheering leading sessions are being organised.

Partner organisations will have exhibitions up providing information and lots of freebies for children and staff to collect.

To prepare for the event, the council’s healthy schools team will be getting curriculum packs out to schools with suggested activities and discussion topics leading up the event.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is a big partnership activity bringing organisations together to provide an exciting fortnight for the county’s year six children.

“The Crucial Crew event is a great way of getting across some key messages in a fun way – children are encouraged to participate in discussions and debates, ask questions and understand some of the pressures they may face over the next few years.

“We want all our children to grow into self confident individuals who will be able to make well informed decisions for themselves, but know where to go to if they need help.”

The event takes place over a fortnight in order to accommodate all those wishing to attend, although each pupil will spend one day there.

LMA Puts Average Job At 1.4 Years

The League Managers Associations says the average manager now lasts just 1.4 years - the lowest ever figure.

Managers now last an average of 511 days in their jobs, down by 25 days on last season. In League Two the average boss lasted less than a season with both Notts County and Darlington having three different permanent managers through the season.

51 of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions changed their boss during the 2009/10 season, 36 of those managers were dismissed including 12 first-time bosses.

Diagouraga Fee "Ridiculous"

Brentford won't be signing ex-Bull Toumani Diagouraga this summer thanks to the price tag.

Peterboro have named their price for the Frenchman, with Bees boss Andy Scott telling the Hounslow Chronicle: "Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's going to happen with Toumani. Peterborough are asking for a ridiculous amount of cash for him.

"It's disappointing, but he's their player and it's their prerogative to put a price tag on him. But we don't agree with it and won't be held to ransom."

He was rumoured to have cost the Posh a fee around £200,000 when he moved from Edgar Street last summer, although the terms of the transfer were never disclosed.

Conference To Expel Salisbury

The Conference are to expel Salisbury after they fell foul of Administration rules.

Conference rules state that all creditors must be paid in full by the second Saturday in May, regardless of whether a CVA for a lesser amount has been agreed or not. Their demotion from the Conference will mean Forest Green will earn a reprieve.

However it is unlikely to end there. The actual decision will be confirmed at the Conference AGM in three weeks with both Salisbury and Northwich, who are in a similar position in Conf North, considering their legal positions. The Vics have already said they will appeal to the FA and take the matter to arbitration if they are not sucessful.

The harsh punishment is along the lines of that called for by some Football League chairmen. Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn told the press last week he wanted all sides entering Administration to be automatically demoted two divisions.

Meanwhile Grays have been told they will be put in the Essex Senior League, five divisions below the Conference, after they resigned their membership.

News Round Up

Northampton have withdrawn the contract offer to striker Adebayo Akinfenwa after the player asked for more time to consider his options. He is understood to be in talks with a League One side. Macclesfield have resigned Richard Butcher following his release from Lincoln. He had a two month loan spell at the club this season, and has agreed a two year deal.

Lincoln have announced that they have agreed a two year deal with Torquay winger Mustafa Carayol, and they are now negotiating a fee for the out of contract 20 year old. Further to yesterday's news, Torquay have confirmed that they will be paying Colin Lee until next May after he signed a contract extension last October. In the last published accounts he was paid £100,000 including a promotion bonus. A strongly worded LMA statement claims Lee had nothing to do with the losses at the club.

Port Vale striker Marc Richards has signed a new two year contract at the club after shunning a number of League One and SPL sides. Lincoln are expected to beat Bury to the signature of ex-Port Vale keeper Joe Anyon. Histon have confirmed that Alan Lewer has left the club after he refused to apply for the job he held.

Gillingham managerial target Andy Hessenthaler has quit Dover after talks with their chairman. He is expected to be installed at the Priestfield in the next few days. Southend are the latest side to ditch their reserve team, pulling out of the Combination league they came bottom of last term. They deny the move is for financial reasons. Lincoln have released striker Lennel John-Lewis by mutual consent after agreeing a termination to his contract.

Sonko moves to Cyprus

Eddie Sonko is reported to have moved to a second division club in Cyprus known as APEP.

The 30 year old midfielder has not been offered a new contract with Hereford United.

Meanwhile former Hereford United striker Andy Williams looks likely to agree a new contract at Bristol Rovers.

"We have been pleased with the progress he has made and would like him here for next season. We are having more talks and will hopefully know either way by the end of the week," said manager Paul Trollope.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Superman Considers Move To South Africa

Former Hereford United goalkeeper 'Superman' Wayne Brown is off to South Africa to see if he could continue his career there after being released by Bury.

"I have known for a while that I might not be staying at the club and have been looking elsewhere," Brown told the Bury Times.

"I am travelling to South Africa at the end of the month and I am going to see if I like it out there.

"If not, I am sure there are a few clubs in the Football League that will be interested in me.

"I hope I can keep playing for another seven or eight years, and it would be nice if I could combine that with some coaching too. That is certainly something I am looking at."


Bury manager Alan Knill looks to be under pressure to reduce wage costs.

"Wayne is one of our top earners so we have to weigh up if we wish to re-sign him. That would cost us the same money and we have a young goalkeeper coming through on x-amount of pounds, so there is a saving there," Knill told the Manchester Evening News.

"It is a way of recouping the money. We wanted the best goalkeeper and that is why we got Wayne.

"He had been promoted with Hereford and we got him. But Cameron (Belford) has done well and the difference in wages is vast so we think that we can save money and bring on a young goalkeeper."

Cherries Chase Pugh

Marc Pugh, the Hereford United winger who has not agreed new terms with the club, is being linked to Bournemouth according to the press on the South Coast.

Pugh scored three times in the Bulls two games against the Cherries last season and his performance was noted by their manager Eddie Howe.

The paper also suggests that Leeds United are also thought to be watching Pugh.

Howe 'politely' declined to comment about Pugh last night to the Daily Echo.

Rotherham to meet Dagenham at Wembley

Rotherham will play Dagenham in the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

They defeated Aldershot 2-0 in the second leg of their play-off semi-final at the Don Valley stadium this evening. Adam Le Fondre and Kevin Ellison scored the goals.

Whilst in theory Dagenham are not yet through to the final, they defeated Morecambe 6-0 in their first leg game so it will take some sort of a miracle for the Daggers not to progress.

Their second leg game takes place tomorrow evening at Morecambe.

Hereford Garage Owner supports Help for Heros

A Hereford Garage owner has helped a sale of West Bromwich players shirts raise nearly £5,000 for the Help for Heros charity.

Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion jointly raised £9,249.71 for Help for Heroes following an online signed shirt auction designed to raise funds for the forces charity.

Each of the 16 West Brom shirts were underwritten, to the value of £250, by Mark Abraham, owner of 'The Car Centre' in Hereford, ensuring a minimum of £4,000 was added to the overall total.

"We are delighted the shirts we donated have raised so much money for such a vitally important charity," said Albion Chief Executive, Mark Jenkins.

"And Mark Abraham deserves a special mention for his overwhelming generosity in helping such a worthy cause."

Weir Makes It Four

Tyler Weir has signed his new one year contract, the club have confirmed.

It now means that there are four Bulls signed on for next season, with Weir joining Mathieu Manset, Ryan Valentine, and Adam Bartlett in being contracted to the club.

Meanwhile suggestions in the Shropshire press that Ossie Ardiles has applied for the vacant managerial post at Shrewsbury has been dismissed as 'embarrasing' by the man himself. He told the BBC: "It's a bit embarrassing, but it's not at all true.

"It seems someone has put my name on a CV, but I can categorically deny I have applied for the job."

Torquay Axe Lee As Losses Mount

Torquay appear to be on the verge of a financial crisis after making their Chief Executive redundant to cut costs.

Colin Lee, the former Wolves boss, has been put on gardening leave for his notice period with the club saying they will lose in the region of £600,000 for the current season. A club statement says:

"In the circumstances the Club needs to take urgent action to reduce its overheads as it is operating well beyond its financial means."

The losses mean the club will have leaked over £1million over the past two seasons with Lee at the financial helm. They are likely to slash their playing budget for the coming season as a result of the losses.

News Round Up

Grimsby have ditched 'head of recruitment' John Deehan just two months after he took the role. Lincoln appear to be on the verge of losing keeper Rob Burch after Notts County made him a contract offer. The Imps are themselves chasing Torquay winger Mustafa Carayol, who is said to have rejected a new deal at Plainmoor. Bradford are in talks to make Luke Oliver's loan spell at the club permanent.

Crewe have confirmed the sales of John Brayford and James Bailey to Derby for an initial fee of just over £1million. The pair also have additional clauses and a 15% sell-on deal. The Railwaymen are said to be chasing Macclesfield midfielder Lee Bell, who was released by them three seasons ago, and Cheltenham defender Michael Townsend. Boss Dario Gradi won't be splashing huge amounts of cash this summer, saying the club needs £600-700,000 a season in transfer profits to break even. Burton will receive some of the Brayford fee as part of the 20% sell-on clause they hold.

Oxford are expected to complete a permanent deal for Torquay striker Matt Green, who spent the past season at the Kassam Stadium on loan from the Gulls. Wycombe are chasing former Exeter defender Matt Gill, who is available from Norwich. Stevenage have signed Ebbsfleet defender Darius Charles on a two year deal for a fee to be decided. They have also signed five of their promotion winning squad to new two year deals.

Forest Green have confirmed that Dave Hockaday has agreed a new contract with the club. Accrington will continue to host Burnley's reserve side for the coming season, but they will play fewer games there after pitch problems this term. Peterboro mouthpiece Barry Fry has confirmed that defender Exodus Geohaghon is having talks with an unnamed League Two side. Northampton midfielder Andy Holt has rejected a new two year deal with the club and Adebayo Akinfenwa also looks set to leave. The rotund striker had been asked to make a decision on his contract offer by today (Wednesday) but has failed to commit to Sixfields. "We wanted to reach a quick decision and now we have one so we move on" said Cobblers manager Ian Sampson.

Bristol Rovers have named former Oxford boss Darren Patterson as their new assistant boss. He has been head of youth at the Memorial Ground for the past year. Hartlepool's winding up order against Billingham Town has been adjourned for further evidence to be submitted. The non-league side are saying the original agreement is invalid as it was signed by someone that had no authorisation.

Pugh could leave Edgar Street

Disappointing news from the club this morning with the revelation that top scorer Marc Pugh could leave Edgar Street.

It is reported that Pugh has been offered a two year contract but has rejected it.

Pugh joined Hereford United on loan from Shrewsbury in March 2009. He is 23 years old and started his career as a trainee at Burnley.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ajdarevic Released By Foxes

Leicester have released former Bulls loanee Astrit Ajdarevic, one of seven players to be let go by the club.

The Kosovan Swede managed just one game at Edgar Street, a 16 minute sub appearance against Barnet, with injury preventing him from appearing in other matches of his month long spell.

Others released by the Foxes include striker Billy Kee, who scored nine goals on loan at Accrington, and winger Levi Porter, who was a big prospect at the club until a knee injury cost him most of the 07/08 season.

Meanwhile the Foxes have announced losses of £6million in escaping League One last season.

No Great Surprises

There are no great surprises in this season's retained list.

Graham Turner told the BBC a month ago: "If we put a list on the table of who deserves an offer of a new contract I think there would be a concensus that would probably finish up with the same list". That would appear to be the case.

Leon Constantine's departure comes as little surprise after a frustrating season. He started only two of Turner's 12 games in charge and failed to score in his last 17 games for the Bulls. He leaves Edgar Street with 30 starts, 10 sub appearances, and eight goals.

Matt Done was one who split fan support. He was able to change games, coming off the bench on the opening day to provide two goals and an unlikely draw at Morecambe, but never seemed to be able to turn it into a 90 minute performance. The last player to have cost the Bulls a fee leaves after 34 starts, and 30 sub appearances with a solitary goal over his two seasons.

Keith Lowe arrived as Kidderminster's best player but ended the season warming the bench. Seemed to want more time on the ball than he was allowed in League Two. His record reads 22 starts, and three sub appearances, with one goal.

Edrissa Sonko failed to make his mark on the side, starting just seven of 38 games he was at the club for. Seemed only to be retained in the later months to act as Mathieu Manset's translator. He leaves Edgar Street after 7 starts, and six sub appearances.

Chris Adamson was a puzzling signing from the start, with many wondering what the Conf North keeper with limited League experience could bring to the coaching staff. In the end the answer was not a lot. He managed one start as John Trewick threw another bizarre XI into battle. He leaves after 71 minutes of action, and one red card.

Sam Gwynne's departure means Richard Rose is now the longest serving player. He made his debut in a Conference win over Stevenage four years ago as a 17 year old, but he was to wait over a year for another appearance as his lack of timing in the tackle was considered dangerous. Probably needs a full season somewhere to really become the player he has promised. Gwynne leaves after five years as man and boy, with 52 starts, 21 sub appearances, and one goal.

Craig Jones is another that really needs games to progress, something he is not going to get with no reserve side at Edgar Street. Came on in leaps and bounds in loan spells at Bromsgrove and Redditch but injury seemed to halt his progress as he got a foot in the door. Made just three starts, one against Portsmouth, and two sub appearances in the past two seasons.

Joel Edwards was the only pro at the club never to get a game last term.

Bulls Release Eight

The Bulls have confirmed their retained list with eight players departing.

Those players are Matt Done, Keith Lowe, Craig Jones, Sam Gwynne, Edrissa Sonko, Joel Edwards, Leon Constantine, Chris Adamson.

The official site also confirms that one additional contract offer, to Tyler Weir, has been made.

Happy Birthday Addo

Former Bulls player and Manager Colin Addison celebrates his seventieth birthday today.

Addison was born in Taunton, Somerset on the 18th May 1940 but was brought up in York where he signed his first professional contact with York City in 1957. Happy to play in midfield or up front, Addison scored 28 goals from 87 performances before being transferred to Nottingham Forest for £12,000 in 1961. Five years and 62 goals later he moved on to Arsenal for £45,000 but his stay at Highbury was short-lived and just a year later he found himself on the move again, this time to Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane.

In October 1971, Addison arrived at Edgar Street as successor to the legendary John Charles inheriting a group of players that he led through what is often said to be the most famous non-league FA Cup runs of all time. Two second round replays against Northampton Town saw an eventual victory at the neutral ground of West Bromwich Albion’s Hawthorns before the third round clash with top-flight Newcastle at St James Park on 24th January ‘72.

Addison’s Hereford United took an early lead through Brian Owen before The Magpies fought back to lead 2-1. The United player manager then forced a replay at Edgar Street when he hit a 25-yard equaliser. The much-delayed third round replay was finally played on 5th February, the day other remaining FA Cup teams were playing their fourth round ties. The match famously ended 2-1 to Hereford with goals coming from Ronnie Radford and Ricky George. The BBC covered the game with 26 year-old rookie commentator John Motson. The following weekend, Newcastle defeated Manchester United by two goals to nil at Old Trafford in what is now The Premiership.

At the end of the season, Hereford were elected to the Football League and Addison continued as manager until 1974 despite giving up his playing career a year earlier. He moved to South Africa to manage Durban City before returning to England as assistant to Ronnie Fenton at Notts County. A brief stint at Newport was followed by anther assistants post, this time at West Brom under Big Ron Atkinson. Addison then spent a couple of seasons in charge at Derby County before returning for another spell at Newport. Three years at Somerton Park preceded an overseas appointment in the Middle East with Al-Ahli (Doha) before he joined Celta Vigo in Spain where he got them promoted to La Liga. A further spell at The Hawthorns with Big Ron ended when the pair packed their bags and joined Athletico Madrid. Atkinson lasted just two months in the post and his departure saw Addison assume control until the end of the season. Addison then moved to Cadiz before re-joining Hereford United during the 90/91 season but his second spell at Edgar Street was less successful. He is later credited with spells at Al Arabi, Ajax, Merthyr, Scarborough, Yeovil, Swansea City, Forest Green and Barry Town before most recently working as a pundit for BBC Wales.

Have a good one Colin.

News Round Up

The Conference and other leagues have announced proposed line-ups for their divisions next season. Northwich are left out of the 66 clubs completely, while Worcester earn a reprieve and have been transferred to Conf North alongside Forest Green. The Gumpers miss out on a local derby with Gloucester as the Tigers are in the South section. Grays are also missing from the list entirely, with the Ryman league saying they never received all the paperwork in time and have not been informed where they intend to play.

Tamworth are to charge more for some matches than the Bulls next season after introducing a tiered pricing system. They will charge the likes of Luton and Wrexham £16 to sit at their Lamb Ground, but will charge £4 less for the less attractive fixtures. Crewe have confirmed they are in talks with Derby over the sale of John Brayford and James Bailey.

Monday, May 17, 2010

From the Archives - New Deal For Elmo

May is usually the month when existing players at clubs learn their fate. Are they to be released or offered a new contract?

Ten years ago part-timer Robin Elmes had just finished his first season with Hereford United after being scouted by Ron Jukes from Halesowen. He was offered a fresh deal by manager Graham Turner and was pleased to accept.

Elmo scored 15 goals in his first season with the Bulls, joint top scorer with Paul Fewings who had just left Edgar Street after a falling-out with Turner. However Elmo wasn't always a striker.

"I don't think I was seen as a goalscorer as such when I signed for Hereford," said Elmes. "I was seen more as a target-man and a nuisance to defenders.

"The goals really have been a bonus and to finish with my highest tally of goals at any level has been great.

"But next season I feel I can go on and do better. Though I'm 30, I'm still learning. I had not played in this position until 18 months ago at Halesowen and it's a question of the more you play the better you get."

Graham Turner isn't known for offering players more than one year deals so when Elmes signed a two year contract it appeared he was well thought of by Turner especially as he continued his day job as a school teacher.

"I was more than happy to sign a new deal," Elmes continued. "I don't think we are that far away from being a top-three side.

"Hereford is an excellent club, well run and very professional under Mr Turner. Everything is geared up to success and to get back into the Football League."

Last season there was the FA Cup run which included a goal for Elmo against Hartlepool and a third round tie against Leicester.

"I wouldn't want to swap the FA Cup for anything," said Elmes.

"It gave us a lot of confidence and we took that into the league form. After the Leicester replay, we went unbeaten for 13 games. We know we can get results against anybody and now we want to prove that in the Conference next season."

Stevenage Rebrand

Stevenage Borough have rebranded for their Football League entry.

The club will drop the Borough part of their name as they enter the League, citing the club's original name when it was formed in 1894 - only that club went bust some time ago.

The current Stevenage was formed in 1976 after the, then, Stevenage Athletic went bust. They added the Borough monicker in 1980 after the local council handed them current ground Broadhall Way after fully refurbishing it. Current chairman Phil Wallace says the club is returning to it's roots, telling their official site that they are, apparently, embarrassed by the name:

"Looking to the future, the directors do not believe the connotation of the word Borough in the name should be carried into the Football League. It’s served us well as a non-league club in the climb up the non-league pyramid and we shall always be ‘The Boro’ in recognition of our roots, but now it’s time to look to the future."

The move comes after fans voted for 'the Boro' to be their nickname. Both the FA and Football League are reported to have accepted the name change.

News Round Up

Lincoln have announced the signing of released Walsall midfielder Josh O'Keefe on a two year deal. The former Blackburn trainee played 13 times for the Saddlers last term. Dover chairman Jim Parmeter is to meet Gillingham counterpart Paul Scally over the future of current Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler, who has been linked with the vacancy at the Gills. He was previously in charge at the Gills for four years until 2004.

Hartlepool's winding up order against Billingham Town reaches court tomorrow. Oldham are drawing up a managerial shortlist with the weekend press claiming that Ossie Ardiles and Nicky Butt have applied for the job. Shrewsbury striker Dave Hibbert is claimed by Sky Sports to have agreed a three year deal with Peterboro. Both Rotherham and Lincoln are claimed to be interested in Darlington's want-away striker Tadgh Purcell.

Northwich have vowed to fight their impending demotion from Conf North on financial grounds. They will appeal the matter with the FA, and will then take it to arbitration if required. Salisbury are in a similar position, but the Conference say they are 'hopeful' they will meet the terms. If Salisbury were demoted, it would likely save Forest Green from relegation. News of a retirement of one of the faces of the Bulls Confernence era, with former Forest Green keeper Steve Perrin quitting at the age of 39. The portly stopper had just helped Bath to win promotion.

Exeter will not be following up their loan of ex-Bull Stuart Fleetwood, with boss Paul Tisdale telling the press: "As far as I am concerned his time has finished with us and I haven't spoken to him". Former Torquay loan keeper Michael Poke, who has spent a large chunk of the last two years with the Gulls, is one of 13 released by Southampton. Birmingham have formally released keeper Artur Krysiak, and he is now expected to complete a permanent move to Burton.

A national newspaper claims Wycombe winger Matt Phillips is the subject of a £450,000 bid from Preston. Cheltenham have signed former Bulls loanee Brian Smikle from Kidderminster. Dagenham have taken on former Barnet keeper Lee Harrison as a goalkeeper coach, where the 38 year old Harrison will be coaching the 40 year old Tony Roberts - who holds a coaching role with Arsenal.

Port Vale will not be signing loan striker Craig Davies from Brighton as they cannot afford him. Oxford are expected to sign winger Alfie Potter on a permanent deal from Peterboro after he scored in yesterday's play-off final. Chester are expected to be placed in the North West Counties League, a step below the Unibond and the ninth tier of the league structure. The local council have secured the fixtures and fittings of the Deva Stadium from the Administrators of the previous club.

Wickham prepares for Europe

Hereford born Connor Wickham, who has just been given April's Football League young player of the month award, is preparing to go to the European under 17's Championship which starts in Liechtenstein tomorrow.

The 6ft 3in striker has progressed this season under the guidence of Ipswich manager Roy Keane. Last month he scored three times for their first team.

England play group games against the Czech Republic tomorrow, Greece on Friday and Turkey next Monday. The top two qualify for the semi-finals and the final takes place on May 30. The squad is managed by John Peacock.

"He’s a very level-headed young man," Peacock told the Times.

"I think he’s at the right club and Roy’s done a really good job with him, steadily developing him. He’s a goalscorer but he’s matured a lot in his build-up play.

"Physically he’s a real specimen of a young man so it’s no surprise he’s dealing with the physical demands of Championship football. He’s had a lot of accolades this year but he’s dealt with it all in a very mature manner. Within this peer group, he’s just one of the 18. That can only be of benefit to the team."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oxford Back In The Football League

Oxford United are a Football League club again after beating York in the Conference play-off final.

The 3-1 scoreline means the U's return to League status after four years, having lost their place at the same time as the Bulls were promoted. The two sides have only ever met in League action during one season, 1977/8 with the various promotions and relegations meaning they have not met since apart from cup action.

Ex-Bull Chris Hargreaves missed the game through injury, but Michael Ingham played the full game for York.

Daggers Take Giant Final Step

Dagenham are likely to be one of the two sides contesting the League Two play-off final after demolishing Morecambe 6-0 today.

Josh Scott scored four, with Paul Benson adding the other two, to see the Daggers made overwhelming favourites to make the Wembley final. They are now 5/6 favourites to win the play-offs with Rotherham, who hold a 1-0 lead over Aldershot, 6/4. Morecambe are 350/1 to stage a staggering comeback.

The second legs are on Wednesday and Thursday night.