Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Williams Could Leave Bristol City

The new manager of Bristol City has started a clear-out as he's been told to cut the wage bill. Fringe players will be sold or allowed to leave on a free.

Steve Coppell, who took over from Gary Johnson, has already dispatched Jamie McCombe, brother of John who used to be a Bull, to Huddersfeld.

Brian Wilson has moved to Colchester. And chief scout Pete Johnson, a brother to Gary, has moved to Peterborough in a similar post.

There is some uncertainty whether former Bull Gavin Williams will remain with the club. He was sent out on loan to Yeovil late last season. As yet there is no mention of a move to the Somerset club, who have ex-Bull Andy Williams in their squad this season after he moved from Bristol Rovers.

Update July 4th: There is speculation that Williams has spoken to Hereford United.

Kovacs Likes Davey Vision

Janos Kovacs has spoken to BBC Hereford & Worcester about signing up for Simon Davey's vision of the Bulls:

"Davey is a very experienced manager. He's trying to do the same things at Hereford United as he did at Barnsley in the Championship. Who knows, maybe one day we can play in the same level. He's trying to build a good football club not just a squad, looking forward not just for a couple of months and that's why I signed a two-year contract.

"I'm quite physical and I'm sure I can give 120% in all the games."

The 24 year old Budapest born central defender originally came to England as a teenager with Chesterfield before moving to Lincoln. He has played against the Bulls twice, both in the 07/08 season, helping the Spireites to a 4-0 Sky televised win in Jan 08, before the rematch a month later saw the Bulls win 2-0.

FL Survey 2010 Results

The Football League Survey for 2010 has published its results today.

Amongst the views aired are that, long before last weekend's goal line issues, 83% of fans wanted technology to be used more in football to assist the referee, while 56% want restrictions on player salaries.

The full 70 page document can be seen, in PDF format, here.

The only specifically Bulls related stat in the published results is that 396 Bulls fans completed the survey.

Meanwhile, Southend's financial state had been dug into by the Southend Echo. The paper says chairman Ron Martin's 29 companies have a combined debt of £22million, and that land associated with their long awaited new ground is actually registered to offshore companies operating from tax havens.

The paper adds that £7million of the £20million sale of Roots Hall has already been spent, and Sainsburys will gain control of the club if it defaults on any of its loans.

Purcell Joins Cobblers

Irish striker Tadgh Purcell has signed a deal with Northampton.

With his former Darlington boss moving to Edgar Street, rumours surfaced linking him with a move to the Bulls. Last week he was claimed to be signing for Rochdale but has joined the Cobblers on a two year deal after nine goals in 22 games for the Quakers.

Also on the move from the Conference to League Two is striker Jake Speight, with Bradford paying £25,000 for the services of the Mansfield forward. The 17 goal striker, who spent the bulk of last season on the bench, has signed a two year deal.

Players Start Training Tomorrow

July 1st sees the Bulls return to pre-season training with Simon Davey taking the helm.

He has eight contracted players at present, with another handful expected to commit to the club before the weekend. The only new face to so far be revealed is that of defender Janos Kovacs, with Richard Rose's future still unclear but seemingly - as time passes - less likely to be at Edgar Street.

Although he has not spoken in depth of his pre-season planning, Davey intended to use pre-season at Darlington to concentrate on fitness, with new assistant Andy Fensome largely taking over Tony Ford's role in co-ordinating the fitness regimes:

"We will use computer technology, as well as our own eyes and ears to get the players to the standards we will set. We will use a mix of things as we need to understand the players in detail. We will be constantly studying their fitness levels, and to do that we'll be using a mixture of computer technology and detailed scouting."

Time Changes Everything

Time, it seems, is enough to change history in football given the comments surrounding the two most recent Bulls managers.

New arrival Simon Davey was never Darlington's first choice to be manager according to ranting chairman Raj Singh: "Davey was our number two choice. We wanted Mark Cooper but he’d been promised a job elsewhere which didn’t materialise."

You'd think he'd be happy given he's got what he wanted, at the third time of asking, but he speaks to the Northern Echo like he's opening up a vineyard: “We were convinced we had the right man in Simon Davey but now I’ve got no time for him whatsoever."

Meanwhile, just up the A49, John Trewick insists he wasn't sacked from Edgar Street, telling the BBC: "Sacked is a harsh word. At the time we agreed amicably it was the right move. We've worked together successfully over six years, with two promotions, and we were never going to fall out."

The original club statement didn't see it as amicable: 'In a meeting this morning with Chairman Graham Turner, John Trewick was informed that he was to be relieved of his duties as Hereford United manager. During the meeting John was given the reason why Graham felt it was necessary to resume management control of the playing staff at this time.'

News Round Up

Gillingham are expected to receive a bid from Peterboro for striker Simeon Jackson according to Barry Fry. Burton are to negotiate a deal with a company to supply physio services to the club after losing their physio to Tranmere. The Brewers expect to lose winger Cleveland Taylor after their transfer target opened talks with SPL side St Johnstone, but they expect to sign Liverpool Academy forward James Ellison by the end of the week.

Morecambe have named veteran central defender Jim Bentley as first team player-coach for the coming season. He coached their reserves last season. Rotherham and Burton are chasing released Walsall midfielder Mark Bradley. The 22 year old made his Welsh international debut this summer. Darlington chief executive Graham Fordy admits to 'personal embarrasment' over the loss of two managers in two weeks. He says chairman Raj Singh is 'very uptight'.

Torquay are to reappoint physio Damien Davey for the third time. He rejected a deal to stay with the club last summer, but his two replacements since have proved ineffective. Oxford have ended the contract of striker Jamie Cook early to allow him to join Crawley. Accrington hope to break even this season without funding from millionaire shareholder Ilyas Khan.

Torquay are to sign midfielder Lloyd Macklin following his release from Swindon. He had a month long loan spell at Plainmoor last season. Oxford have signed central defender Jake Wright on a permanent three year contract from Brighton after he spent the latter half of last season at the Kassam Stadium. He was another of Chris Wilder's Halifax team, but has very limited League experience.

Crawley have completed the signing of Salisbury striker Matt Tubbs - with the fee reported to be £70,000 by the Non League Paper. York are reported to have offered £55,000 for the player, with Bournemouth the only League side interested. Torquay vice chairman Paul Bristow has died after being taken ill overnight. The £15million lottery winner, 59, was one of the main backers of the club since their 2008 takeover.

Former Macclesfield keeper Jon Brain, who was released by the Silkmen after indicating his wage demands, has signed for Walsall.

Jamie Pitman to stay at HUFC.

All the indications are that JP is to stay on at Edgar Street in his roll as physiotherapist and matchday "sponge-man". Pitman will be the only remaining member of the footballing staff as Manager, Simon Davey, assembles his backroom team.

Bulls News understands that Pitman will work under a fully qualified supervisor to enable The Club to comply with Football League requirements.

The former midfielder spent two spells with the Club as a player joining The Bulls back in early 1996. He missed most of the relegation season but stayed for the first season in The Conference before moving on to Weovil Town and then Woking.

Pitman returned to Edgar Street in 2002/03 scoring a brace in his first game against Farnborough. He missed only a handful of games in the next two season and played his last game for The Bulls in the Conference Play-Off final at Leicester before being released and joining up with leading Gloucestershire club, Forest Green.

He made his return to Edgar Street in August 2008 replacing the departed Wayne Jones.

Fans Forums and Open Day "on the agenda"

Speaking to Bulls News yesterday, The Bulls new Directors confirmed that it is intended to hold a Fan’s forum not just in Hereford but also in Leominster, Ledbury and possibly others. An Open Day was also being planned but an exact date is yet to be agreed because of the busy list of pre-season friendlies although the Sunday after the Neath game is a possibility being considered.

David Keyte confirmed he has already spoken to HUISA Chairman Keith Dodd about re-establishing the relationship with the supporters and hopes that all groups can now pull together in the same direction. Keyte also recalled the local branches that used to operate in the surrounding towns and would like to see them reformed.

Tim Russon said "We got a torch out and had a look inside the old Supporters Club. A lot depends on funding but it’s a shame to see it unused. We cannot look any further at the moment because the ground development and pre-season activities have to take priority."

They did not dismiss the possibility of it re-opening as a supporters bar in the future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Viner to interview Ketye and Davey

Highly regarded Independent journalist and Herefordshire resident Brian Viner is set to interview David Ketye and Simon Davey in Leominster later next month.

The function is set to take place at the Rankin Club on July 21st.

New Hereford United chairman Ketye has said he wants to take the club to the supporters and this function is just one of a number of events expected to be arranged over the next few months.

In other club news this morning, the new 'regime' at Edgar Street have said they are well-aware of two particular points put forward by supporters when visiting the ground - catering and toilets.

As regards the catering, the club are bound by deals agreed by former chairman Graham Turner, but changes are likely to be made when the deals end.

Improvements to the toilets are on the radar, however whilst there will be new facilities when the new Blackfriars Stand is built, other areas may have to wait a little longer for new toilets.

One other possible change is a move of the main office well away from the near-by public toilets. Chairman Ketye is currently considering a plan to use the players entrance instead.

All Change At Edgar Street

Who would have thought just twelve months ago that Hereford United would have new 'owners', a new manager and a new assistant manager before the start of the 2010/11 season. Well they have.

The last of the 'old guard' finally left the club yesterday. Former director and club secretary Joan Fennessy, who kindly stayed on for a few weeks to help with the 'takeover', can now take things easier.

Tony Ford, the fitness coach at Edgar Street, had been expected to retire (he is 71) but, as reported earlier, has decided to join up with Graham Turner at Shrewsbury.

Ford, who as an English weightlifter won a gold medal at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games in the light heavyweight class, joined the Bulls after four years with Aston Villa.

Meanwhile Steve Thomas, who many will know as the West Mercia police constable often seen at both home and away games, has become Hereford United's new safety officer. He replaces Len Dyke who retired at the end of last season.

Finally speculation that Darlington's latest former manager Ryan Kidd is to join Hereford United is incorrect.

Keyte dons his businessman’s hat

One thing that has been noticed is the fact that too many games at Hereford United last season were without the support of full matchday sponsors in the Hospitality areas.

Chairman, David Keyte, said "We're looking to improve the matchday experience for the sponsors with the possibility of bringing in hosts who will have had time at Edgar Street to add to the fans' day and make it a more memorable time for them.

"Player sponsorship is also a great way for fans to show their attachment to The Club and it would be terrific if we could get every player linked to a business or a specific fan.

"I like the idea of performance related rewards and I'm looking at introducing structures that are linked to the attendances. The more success, the bigger the gates. The bigger the gates a better the rewards.

"We have a Manager who, in my opinion, needs to succeed. He tasted success briefly at Barnsley with the FA Cup run but found that difficult to maintain because he was competing in a League where he was out-budgeted by a lot of the opposition Clubs. He had raised expectations to a level that could not be sustained indefinitely. Darlington may well have offered him a chance to succeed again but The Football League is where he will ultimately be judged and he has that opportunity here.

"I believe it could be a case of the right man in the right place at the right time."

Meanwhile, Tim Russon has confirmed that they hope to make an announcement very soon regarding the sponsorship packages for the coming season.

"Having only around two-thirds of home matches fully sponsored is something we need to address. We're giving the facilities a revamp and are looking at the possibilities of offering packages that will enable supporters to mix deals that include perimeter board advertising, matchday hospitality and other benefits."

Plymouth Make Friendly Visit

League One newcomers Plymouth Argyle are to visit Edgar Street on July 28th.

The Home Park outfit were relegated from the Championship in May, and appointed Peter Reid as their new manager in the past week.

The current list of friendlies reads:

  • A: Ledbury Town - Saturday 10th July, 3pm
  • H: Swansea City - Tuesday 13th July 2010, 7.30pm
  • H: Swindon Town - Friday 16th July 2010, 7.45pm
  • A: AFC Telford - Tuesday 20th July, 7.30pm
  • A: Lydbrook Athletic - Thursday 22nd July, 7pm
  • H: Plymouth Argyle - Weds 28th July, TBC
  • A: Neath FC - Saturday 31st July, Noon

Meanwhile former Bulls loanee James Walker is on trial with Carling Cup opponents Colchester. The former Southend forward is expected to stay with them for at least the next two weeks. Another former Bulls loanee, Charlton keeper Darren Randolph, is expected to sign a contract with Motherwell. The Europa League qualifiers will not have to pay a fee for the 23 year old as he is crossing a border.

Trewick And Ford Go Sloppy

Former Bulls boss John Trewick and fitness coach Tony Ford have followed Graham Turner up the A49 to Shrewsbury.

Speaking to the BBC about Trewick, Turner said: "We worked together for six years at Hereford and got a couple of promotions in that time. His knowledge of football is first class and he's a good coach."

Trewick will be Turner's no.2, and hopefully eventual successor, while Ford will continue his fitness work. The club's existing physio department will remain in place.

News Round Up

Southend's Supporters Trust has issued a statement this morning declaring their concern at the financial state of the club. They intend to seek urgent talks with the club with a transfer embargo in place and four players quitting the club in the past week. Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says he is "not being snobbish, I’m just being realistic." when he says "We’ll be playing teams who give 90 minutes of effort and play it their way. We have to deal with those sort of situations."

Cheltenham want to resign Irish winger JJ Melligan winger, who is currently with Ian Foster's Dundalk, and former loanee Frankie Artus but long serving defender Shane Duff is 'off the radar'. Melligan, who was with Leyton Orient until January, played 135 times for the Robins in three seasons to 2007. Lincoln boss Chris Sutton still wants another winger and a striker, but he admits he is pushing the limits of his budget after bringing in five new signings.

Crewe have finally confirmed the signing of keeper Steve Phillips on a two year deal. He is expected to be fit in September after a shoulder operation. Bury have made their first signing of the summer by apparently beating Shrewsbury to the signing of Huddersfield full back Joe Skarz. The youngster has signed a two year deal with the Shakers.

Burton physio Steve Walker has quit the club and joined Tranmere, where he replaces Les Parry as the veteran takes up the managerial role full time. Accrington boss John Coleman has had a rant at striker John Miles for quitting the club by text message. Miles, the fourth of last season's front line to refuse a new deal, signed for Fleetwood with Coleman saying they offered better money.

Bournemouth are the subject of a £6.5million takeover offer from a pair of Russian businessmen. The pair want to make the club 'Chelsea by the sea' after buying the club for £2million and the ground for £4.5million. The club's current board have rejected the deal, saying it is not for sale. Lincoln have signed released Barnet winger Albert Jarrett on a one year contract.

Bury have made their second signing of the day with Grimsby midfielder Peter Sweeney joining the club on a two year deal. The Glaswegian former Scotland u21 man has spent time with Stoke and Leeds during his nomadic career. Cheltenham have decided to dispense with the services of assistant manager John Schofield. The former Lincoln manager arrived at the club under Martin Allen but Mark Yates has decided to review his backroom staff.

Aldershot have withdrawn their contract offer to full back Andy Sandell after the player failed to respond to the deal. He spent nearly two years at the club, making 63 appearances. Macclesfield have signed former Aldershot midfielder Lewis Chalmers on a one year deal. Ex-Bull Michael Rose has signed a two year deal to leave Stockport for Swindon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cooper set to manage Darlington

Former Tamworth manager Mark Cooper looks set to take the vacant post at Darlington. The appointment could be announced tomorrow.

Cooper will take over from Ryan Kidd who was in charge for little more than a week.

Kidd was appointed manager after Simon Davey resigned to join Hereford United.

Cooper, who is understood to have applied for the Hereford vacancy after John Trewick quit, had a short spell in charge of Peterborough last season after Darren Ferguson moved to Preston North End.

A Profile of Janos Kovacs

Below is a profile, mainly sourced from Wikipedia, of defender Janos Kovacs, who signed a two year deal with Hereford United earlier today.

Born in Budapest, Hungary on Sepetember 11th 1985, Janos Kovács joined Chesterfield from MTK Hungária on a two-year contract in August 2005 after receiving international clearance following a trial with the club.

Bar for a short loan spell with York City in Spring 2007, Kovacs spent three seasons with Chesterfield making 55 league appearances including 41 in the 2007/08 season.

Two of those appearances were against Hereford United. The first at Chesterfield on January 21st 2008. That game which the Bulls lost 4-0 was shown on Sky. The second was at Edgar Street on February 16th 2008 when the Bulls won 2-0. Late that season Kovacs was voted second in the Chesterfield player of the year award.

He was offered a new contract but decided to move to Lincoln in June 2008 for a fee of £17,500 which was fixed by a tribunal. He went on to make 66 appearances for the Imps before being placed on the transfer list last January.

On 26 January 2010 Kovács' contract with Lincoln was cancelled by mutual consent, and he subsequently signed for Conference National side Luton Town on a five-month contract. Luton fought off competition from Southend United and Barnet, as well as Hungarian side Ferencváros to secure Kovács' signature.

Kovács made 17 appearances during his time at Luton. However after his contract expired earlier this month, he signed for Hereford United on a free transfer.

News Round Up

Cheltenham have completed the signing of released Bulls defender Keith Lowe on an initial one year deal. The former Wolves trainee managed just 17 League starts for the Bulls last season. Torquay are the preferred destination of Peterboro striker Scott Rendell, and the Gulls are still trying to conclude a deal. Rendell says he has turned down most of the other offers made to him this summer.

Shrewsbury will not be signing former loanee Joe Skarz according to the local press. He was made available for transfer by current club Huddersfield. Stevenage have signed Wycombe midfielder John Mousinho on a two year deal after he rejected a new deal at Adams Park. The 24 year old has played over 100 League games for the Chairboys and Brentford.

Accrington's proposed £1.2million refurbishment of their Crown Ground has hit the buffers after funding was lost. Government budget cuts mean the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative will fund no new projects. Plan B, to purchase a temporary stand from Blackpool, has also been deemed too costly. Plans to put a roof on the away terrace has now been scrapped, and the club plan to tarmac sufficient space to make temporary terracing to meet FL guidelines.

Northampton winger Liam Davies has signed a new 12 month deal with the club. Lincoln have upped matchday prices by £1 for the coming season. They will operate a two category price structure depending on the opposition, and early bird pricing meaning that standard Adult tickets will range from £14 to £19. Rotherham have signed defender Tom Newey from Bury on a two year deal.

Bury striker Andy Morrell is another leaving Gigg Lane, turning down a player-coach role to sign a two year deal with Wrexham. The Shakers have just seven players signed up for next season currently, with only four regulars from last term. Accrington forward John Miles has turned down a new deal with the club to sign for Fleetwood. Also joining the big spending club is Grimsby's Paul Linwood, who agreed a termination on two more years at Blundell Park to return to the North West.

Aldershot striker Kirk Hudson has turned down their offer and signed for Brentford on a two year deal. Also expected to join the Bees is Wycombe full back Craig Woodman. Gillingham do not expect striker Simeon Jackson to sign a new deal with the club and the coming season will be his last at the club - if he stays that long.

Young Bulls to Play Rushden in Midlands Cup

Hereford United's under 18's have received a bye in the first round of the Midlands Youth Cup.

They will play Rushden and Diamonds away in the second round on a date to be confirmed but before the end of November.

Kovacs Is Davey's First Signing

Hefty Hungarian Central Defender Janos Kovacs has been named as the Bulls first signing under new boss Simon Davey.

The 6ft 4in 24 year old ended the season at Luton after spells with Chesterfield and Lincoln, who paid the Spireites £17,500 for his services after poaching him out of contract.

He has signed a two year deal, turning down an extension to his stay at Luton in the process. Luton boss Richard Money told their official site: "Janos made it clear to us that if a chance arose to play football in the Football League then he would like to take it.

"Obviously Hereford can offer him such an opportunity and I would like to thank him for his efforts during his time with us and wish him all the best with his new club."

Another Darlo Resignation?

The Northern Echo is reporting that newly appointed manager Ryan Kidd is understood to have resigned his position just ten days after taking over from Simon Davey.

Chairman Raj Singh is reported to have said "He's told me he's having second thoughts about the job."

"I need to speak to him today" said Singh when asked of the rumours were true.

Kidd is believed to have signed a two-year contract to become The Club's fourth manager in just 16 months.

Posters on the "Darlo Uncovered" fans forum are now beginning to question if there is a common reason for two managers to depart in quick succession with the suggestion that Simon Davey's departure might not have been entirely down to a desire to come to Hereford.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

News Round Up

Port Vale boss Micky Adams is claimed to be a target of Leicester after their boss Nigel Pearson was tipped to join Hull. Bury are claimed to have signed Grimsby midfielder Peter Sweeney after he left the Mariners on Friday. Lincoln are claimed to be chasing Bulls flop Leon Constantine, and plan to partner him with Gavin McCallum rather than play the Canadian on the wing.

Histon's youth team manager has quit the club, saying 'I feel the club is really on a downward spiral'. Southend's departing winger Damian Scannell is reported to be on the verge of signing for Dagenham. Burton boss Paul Peschisolido doesn't know if ex-Bull Richard Jackson will be fit for the new season due to a back injury. They will also be missing fellow defender Ryan Austin for the opening weeks of the season.

New Northampton signing, ex-Bull Nathaniel Wedderburn, says they were the only firm offer he had after leaving Stoke.

Talking Bull and Another 100 Fanzines

Back in 1996 when the World Cup was in progress the Independent produced a list of fanzines including Hereford United's Talking Bull. Here's the list.

Brian Moore's Head Looks Exactly Like The London Planetarium (Gillingham).

It's Half Past Four And We're 2-0 Down (Dundee).

Iffy Haircut - The Journal (Mansfield Town).

(What's The Story) Southend Glory (Southend United).

Tripe 'n' Trotters (Bolton Wanderers).

Gwladys Sings The Blues (Everton).

Claggan Gold (Fort William).

The Tea Party (Stockport County).

Our Days Are Numbered (Liverpool).

Bert Trautmann's Helmet (Manchester City).

Talk Of The Tyne (Newcastle United).

Garibaldi (Nottingham Forest).

A Kick Up The Rs (QPR).

War Of The Monster Trucks (Sheffield Wednesday).

Spur Of The Moment (Tottenham Hotspur).

Tenants Extra (Wimbledon).

Wake Up Blue (Birmingham City).

Hey Big Spender (Derby County).

Flair's Back In Fashion (England).

Sing When We're Fishing (Grimsby Town).

A Slice Of Kilner Pie (Huddersfield Town).

A Load Of Cobbolds (Ipswich Town).

Where's The Money Gone? (Leicester City).

Mad As A Hatter (Luton Town).

No-one Likes Us (Millwall).

I Can Drive A Tractor (Norwich City).

January 3, 1988 (Portsmouth).

The Memoirs Of Seth Bottomley (Port Vale).

Heaven 11 (Reading).

Greasy Chip Buttie (Sheffield United).

The Oatcake (Stoke City).

An Easy One For Norman (Sunderland).

Give Us An R (Tranmere Rovers).

Grorty Dick (West Bromwich Albion).

Trumpton Times (Bristol Rovers).

Not The 8502 (Bournemouth).

Our Flag's Been To Wembley (Braintree Town).

The Tommy Cook Report (Brighton & Hove Albion).

A Load Of Bull (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Who Ate All The Pies? (Burnley).

So, Jack Ashurst, Where's My Shirt? (Carlisle United).

The Crooked Spireite (Chesterfield).

Super Dario Land (Crewe Alexandra).

Flickin 'n' Kickin (Notts County).

Raging Bull (Oxford United).

The Mighty Shrew (Shrewsbury Town).

A Lot 2 Answer 4 (Swansea City).

Randy Robin (Swindon Town).

Blazing Saddlers (Walsall).

The Sheeping Giant (Wrexham).

The Adams Family (Wycombe Wanderers).

The Peterborough Effect (Peterborough United).

Where Were You At The Shay? (Bury).

The Abbey Rabbit (Cambridge United).

O Bluebird Of Happiness (Cardiff City).

The Water In Majorca (West Ham United).

There's Only One F In Fulham (Fulham).

There's A Good Time Coming (Exeter City).

Mission Impossible (Darlington).

Monkey Business (Hartlepool United).

Into The O Zone (Leyton Orient).

Deranged Ferret (Lincoln City).

What A Load Of Cobblers (Northampton Town).

Pie Muncher (Preston North End).

Exceedingly Good Pies (Rochdale).

The Seadog Bites Back (Scarborough).

The Latic Fanatic (Wigan Athletic).

Where's The Bar? (Independent mag for non-League clubs).

On Suicide Bridge (Abingdon Town).

Only The Lonely (Airdrie).

On A Life Support Machine (Caledonian Thistle).

Up The Arse (Arsenal).

Can I Bring My Dog? (Dundee United).

Hibees Here Hibees There (Hibernian).

Nay Need To Lose The Heid (Motherwell).

Sick In The Basin (Partick Thistle).

Strangers On Rangers (Rangers).

Not The View (Celtic).

Dial M For Merthyr (Merthyr Tydfil).

Linesman You're Rubbish (Aberystwyth).

Hoops Upside You're Head (Shamrock Rovers).

Revenge Of The Killer Penguin (Bath City).

Simon's Haircut (Farnborough).

The Keeper Looks Like Elvis (Kidderminster Harriers).

Peter Hicks' Wig (St Austell).

Loadsamoney (Blackburn Rovers).

Cockney Rebel (Chelsea).

The Square Ball (Leeds United).

Walking Down The Warwick Road (Manchester United).

Fly Me To The Moon (Middlesbrough).

Eastern Eagles (Crystal Palace).

The Horn (Watford).

City Gent (Bradford City).

There's Villa's Ground (Barnet).

Rub Of The Greens (Plymouth Argyle).

Heroes And Villains (Aston Villa).

Hello Albert (Chester City).

Talking Bull (Hereford United).

In Dublin's Fair City (Coventry City).

Moulin Rouge (Rotherham United).

Beesotted (Brentford).

Now in 2010, how many are still printing?

Another Season, Same Problem, No Money

Continuing our series about the Graham Turner era at Edgar Street, today it is the 2000/2001 season.

Pre-season started with changes in the boardroom, Solicitors Tristran Richmond-Sterry and Sam Lodh resigned and accountant Hugh Brooks was appointed.

Turner was busy signing players. Michael McIndoe from Luton was one and Phil Robinson formerly from Stoke became player/coach. And he spent a lot of time trying to bring Steve Bull to Edgar Street.

"I'll be delighted if it comes off," said Turner. "It'll be a fairly loose arrangement. He knows me well enough and I know him well enough and if I can help him out on the first steps of a coaching and managerial career, then, as I say, I'd be delighted."

However striker Leroy May had left by mutual consent. It was later revealed that he had missed six of the first seven training sessions.

Turner was reported to be interested in Cardiff's Dai Thomas until it was revealed that he had been involved in Euro 2000 violence with English fans.

In early August keeper Matt Baker came on trial and later signed. And on August 9th in the last but one pre-season friendly the Bulls defeated Leicester 1-0. A young Trevor Benjamin played for the Foxes.

The first Conference league game of the season against Southport was drawn 0-0. However the Bulls were unbeaten in their first eight games and by mid-September were 2nd in the table.

Early in October Turner told the Independent how he couldn't compete with some other Conference chairmen.

"I couldn't afford to fund the club," he said. "Our income comes from football and other fund-raising activities."

"We still have ambitions to get back into the League, and to do so it's vital that we remain full-time. We have 14 full-time pros, of whom nine are 21 or under, and four part-timers. Our wage bill is smaller than a number of fully part-time clubs in this league."

With the Bulls playing well gates increased. Some 3,393 watched the 2-2 home draw with Yeovil, and around 1,000 supporters travelled to Rushden the following Saturday.

Then came the news that veteran Jimmy Quinn was to join the Bulls. He didn't last long.

There was no cup run that season as a trip to a wet and windy Woking ended in a 1-0 defeat.

"We enjoyed a tremendous run last year in the Cup, and it would be nice to get somewhere near emulating that. But to get to the glamorous ties you have to get through the awkward ones, and this will certainly be a tricky tie for us," said Turner before the game.

"To go out of the FA Cup was a big disappointment. It hurt me and hurt the players and is a disaster in terms of interest and in terms of finances", he said afterwards.

After the Woking defeat form improved with a run of two wins and two draws including a 4-2 away win at Scarborough. The Bulls were still in 4th position in Mid-February.

Off the pitch a memrobila sale was held at the Green Dragon in Hereford.

"I think the final figure will be about £7,500," said Turner. "We're delighted with the response - it was a good day. It helps to keep the club ticking along. The gate on Saturday was below the amount we'd budgeted for by about 600 and that's a big drop in the cash flow."

Meanwhile Turner appeared fed up with striker Steve Piearce.

"He's been banished from the club at the moment," said Turner. "It's been a succession of injuries since he's been with us. On Monday I told the coaches to treat him as if in cotton wool in training because we knew we needed a front man as Robin Elmes was unavailable. At the moment I don't know how the situation will be resolved."

Defender Chris Lane was sold to Southport for £12,500 in early January. Supporters were not happy. And at Northwich the following day Turner struggled to pick a squad so named Steve Bull on the bench. His debut was short as he had to be subbed after just 14 minutes with a hamstring problem.

"Not unexpectedly there was a backlash to the sale of Chris Lane," said Turner. "There was a great deal of criticism flying about with even a suggestion that we may be better to let the club fold which is quite ludicrous.

"It seems that when football business decisions are taken rational thinking goes out of the window. Let me make it quite clear once again that I nor our board of directors wish to sell players. We have this dream that we can restore this club to a place in the Football League and financial stability. However, faced with threats of a court action or failure of the company voluntary arrangement and subsequent closing of the club, we are occasionally forced to do things that are unpalatable."

The following home game was against Hayes. Although the Bulls won 3-2 many supporters stayed away.

"We have won and have had a good run at home the past month, but the worrying thing is the attendance," said Turner. "The gate of 1368 is not enough to pay the wages. Yet we are fourth in the table and probably having our best Conference season. So I don't really know what more we can do to attract more through the turnstiles."

Turner was unhappy with some posts on the club forum.

"We feel that our Web Site Forum has on occasion been used as a vehicle in an attempt to divide the Club, particularly the relationship between the board and HUISA where unfounded, undeserved comments and criticism of voluntary members of that committee are unacceptable."

In February Michael McIndoe was sold to Yeovil for £25,000 and a sell-on clause.

"Without income from transfers we would go out of business, it's as simple as that," said Turner. "Obviously we are sorry to lose McIndoe, but we have made it clear it would be unavoidable that we transfer players because of our financial situation. It's part and parcel of football trading. We have had to do it to keep the club alive for the last five years."

On the pitch Steve Bull scored his first goal for the Bulls in the home game against Nuneaton which was drawn 1-1. But after that game it was all downhill with just one point from the next six games. Then a surprise win against Rushden rallied the players and fans, but the next four League games were drawn.

There was some consolation. A useful run in the FA Trophy saw the Bulls in the semi-final drawn against Forest Green Rovers.

A couple of weeks before the Trophy defeat Turner spoke to the Mirror.

"The daft thing I did was taking on the chairmanship! It's difficult to compete, there's no one investing in us and we're up against many Conference clubs who have benefactors - like Telford and Rushden. My enjoyment comes from the football side and the non-enjoyment is on the administration side. I'd rather be talking to players than grovelling to the VAT or tax man. But we've kept the club in business."

At the time foot and mouth was making life difficult in Herefordshire. The county FA banned football to try and help stop the spread of the disease but Hereford United decided to carry on as usual.

The first leg of the Trophy game was drawn 2-2 with Rob Elmes scoring both goals for the Bulls. However the Bulls lost the second leg at Edgar Street 4-1 in front of a decent gate of 4175. Turner wasn't pleased and neither were a section of the fans who demonstrated outside the players entrance.

"It was a crushing blow for us," said Turner. "But we've done our crying over the weekend and we have to get back to work now. We would probably have earned £100,000 if we'd got to the final, but we are out, we have had a good run and we had no complaints on the day. We need to start putting our game right now."

The Bulls lost their next game, away at Dover, but the following Saturday pulled off a shock by defeating Rushden and Diamonds 3-1.

A Fans Forum was held after the Dover game and Turner was pressed to appoint a new manager.

"If it's the overwhelming feeling that it's time for me to go then I will step aside gladly," said Turner.

"If the feeling is it's time for a change then I need to be told in the correct manner. There's no point kicking the door down, just come and say the supporters have had enough."

The lowest attendance ever recorded for a League/Conference game came about on April 18th. Kingstonian were the visitors, the game was drawn 0-0 and just 867 watched.

Turner noted "I appreciate the fact that they turned up."

On May 1st, the Bulls travelled to Yeovil on a warm Spring evening and came away 3-2 winners which ended the home sides promotion hopes. Ian Rodgerson scored the winner in injury time.

But despite there being eight goals, the Bulls lost 5-3 at Boston on the last day of the season.

After a great start, the season went down hill. In truth Turner once again had to sell players to try and balance the books. But then as form dipped gates dropped and some supporters started to question whether Turner could both be chairman and manager of Hereford United.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rednapp after Hereford Born Wickham

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is reported to be about to offer Ipswich Town £8M for Hereford born striker Connor Wickham.

Ipswich have already turned down a £5M from Spurs for the 'prolific' 17 tear old who only signed his first professional contract last March.

Meanwhile reports that Cheltenham manger Mark Yates could be interested in former Bull Alan Connell has been dismissed.

"Connell is a player who we have spoken about, but he is not on my radar at the moment," Yates said.

Lincoln could be interested in him. However they also have been linked with another former Bull Leon Constantine.

Finally Graham Turner has questioned why Shrewsbury Town have so many injuries.

"I have had a look at the medical records over the last 12 months and, whether it be mis-fortune of whatever, there have been a considerable amount of injuries," he told the Shropshire Star

"There were six hernia operations (including youth team players) in one season and a number of back problems, and we have to look closely at the reasons why."

News Round Up

Wycombe have followed up their signing of Brentford defender Danny Foster with the capture of teammate Ben Strevens. The one-time Bulls target was, along with Foster, one of three Dagenham players to join the Bees last summer. Cheltenham have been linked to ex-Bull Alan Connell, who is a free agent after not being offered a new deal with Bournemouth.

Crawley are claimed by York boss Martin Foyle to be signing Salisbury striker Matt Tubbs. He says the transfer fee is £35,000 and 'fantastic wages', comments that will go against previously reported comments that Crawley will have a 'bottom three' budget for the coming season. Accrington are claimed to have offered former midfielder Romauld Boco a one year deal. He ended last season at Burton.

Mansfield are to hold a Westlife concert at Field Mill in an attempt to bridge their funding gap after their drop into the Conference. Director Steve Hymas says the club are being propped up by the board to the tune of £10,000 a week.

More from the Press Conference

One of the topics covered in yesterday's press conference at Edgar Street was the hope of chairman David Keyte to get the local community behind Hereford United. He said he had met chief club sponsors Cargill with that aim.

"I've had a very positive first meeting with Cargill, our main sponsors," said Keyte. "A community feel to the discussion. A lot of synergy there.

"We want to take Hereford United back to the people of Herefordshire and the surrounding counties.

"If I'm honest over the last three weeks has proved that to be more right than I realised as there does seem to be a little bit of a gap over the past two or three years for whatever reason.

"We're past that now. We're on the right track.

"Even to the extent that, don't pin me to this, perhaps that new grandstand should be a family stand. Mums and Dads come along with their little ones.

"We've covered a hell of a lot of ground during our first three weeks."

Vice-chairman Tim Russon added that he hoped supporters could get closer to the club and the manager, Simon Davey, who is a real personality

"It's important that the manager can go out and talk to the people, talk to the fans with the aim of identifying with them.

"We'll be having a fans forum before the start of the season.

"We want to open the doors and talk to people."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Singh's Sour Grapes

Darlington chairman Raj Singh has issued a statement on their OS about the move of their ex-manager Simon Davey to Hereford United.

"I'm absolutely infuriated," said Singh. "I've said nothing since we discovered he would end up at Hereford on Tuesday but I've listened to what they've all had to say today and they're just insulting my intelligence.

"The rumours about Davey going to Hereford surfaced just under a fortnight ago, on Monday June 14, and as the saying goes, there's no smoke without fire.

"These rumours suddenly emanated from the Hereford end while Davey was in the States and uncontactable, and yet he wasn't being linked with any of the other 91 league clubs, so it begs the question, why Hereford?

"Then David Keyte makes a statement saying they will appoint their manager in 10 days, which suggests they knew exactly who it was going to be.

"Low and behold, 10 days after Davey has emailed me his original resignation, Hereford announce him as their new manager.

"The supposed States job was a smokescreen for this whole charade and for Davey to think everyone at Darlington FC believes it is an insult to the club and our fans.

"It seemed convenient that nobody, his agent and his friend of 10 years, our manager Ryan Kidd, could not even get hold of him, but I don't believe that, either.

"Davey was not big enough to speak to me direct and that's the most disappointing thing in all of this.

"It's difficult to sit on the fence in these situations when someone is blatantly taking you for a ride, but I'm absolutely livid.

"It just goes to show that Hereford United and Simon Davey cannot be trusted. They are not honourable people and don't do their business in the right way.

"I can sleep at night knowing that I do my business properly. I certainly don't consider making illegal approaches.

"I've been asked about taking the legal route but in my view it isn't worth it. Unfortunately these seedy deals do go on in football.

"We'll maintain our approach to the way we do our business and be grateful we've had a lucky escape with a manager whose word I can't take at face value.

"I just hope Hereford's fans don't pin their hopes on what Davey has had to say too much. I found it ironic that a lot of his comments today mirrored what he said when he joined us in April.

"He's walked away from one job since then, resigning by email, and has apparently turned another down after accepting it before going on to say 'all the right things' at another club.

"Having just taken over at Hereford after a turbulent time for their fans, I'd suggest Keyte rethinks the way he goes about his business, despite his comments today insisting he's done nothing wrong.

"I'd never want anything bad to happen to another club simply for the sake of their fans, but with the chairman and manager they have in charge now, I wish them all the very best of luck."

Davey chose Hereford over America

To choose football in Hereford as opposed to America couldn't have been an easy decision for new Bulls manager Simon Davey.

"I had a fantastic offer to go and work in America," Davey told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"But when I got off the flight I had a telephone call so I sat down with the Hereford new ownership and they offered me a chance to manage a club of this statue with these ambitions and that outweighed my prospect of going to America.

"America was a new challenge but it wasn't a tough decision. For a club going forward with a new ownership and wanting to be ambitious, there was only one thing I was going to do and that was take the Hereford job.

"David and Tim are ambitious, it's a fresh start for the football club and to bring a new manager in is a fresh start for me as well."

With Ambition, With Hunger Comes Success

New manager Simon Davey Is hopeful that at some stage Hereford United could return to League One.

"I'm not going to be silly to say we are going to get promotion this year but we want to win every football match," Davey told BBC Hereford and Worcester earlier today.

"With ambition, with hunger comes success and I think if we all start off on the right track, whether it be supporters, the board of management or the players, we can all pull in the same direction.

"I want to get into League One and for me this club matches that ambition."

Other points from the interview included some information about potential signings and Davey's liking for two year deals.

"I've got an agreement with two players already that they are coming so it's just a matter of when they get back off holiday or when they can get into the Hereford area to sign the contracts. Probably by the end of play today I'll have two done, maybe not signed on the dotted line and registered until next week.

"The contracts I've offered already are two year deals."

Asked about Richard Rose, Davey revealed he had spoken to him yesterday.

"I am due to speak to him again on Monday but he has an offer from another club and that club is in a higher division," he said.

"So it would be understandable if he did decide to move on.

"But we have to make sure we are in the ball park with him to see if he can stay at the football club.

"If he does decide to move on then we'll make sure we recruit equal or better."

Southend Trip Moved

The Bulls trip to Southend has been moved to Friday night, according to the Shrimpers official site.

The game has been brought forward a day to Friday March 18th with a 7.45pm kick off.

It is unclear why the match has been moved as the Saturday date is not an international weekend, with the England-Wales European Championship match set for the weekend after when the Bulls face Crewe at home, although it is one of three Shrimpers home games to be switched to a Friday.

Bulls 10/1 For Promotion

The Bulls are a best-priced 10/1 with Corals to win promotion from League Two in the coming season.

There has been little movement in the win market, with Gillingham still slight favourites and Bradford, Rotherham, and Wycombe close behind. The Bulls remain available at 60/1. The biggest mover is Southend, who have slipped from 18/1 to 28/1 on the back of a string of senior players quitting the club and ongoing rumours about their financial state. Bury have also slipped, from 16/1 to 20/1 after losing a couple of key players in the past two weeks.

In the Conference Luton are now a best-priced 15/8 to win the title, with eight different sides - including Forest Green - priced at 100/1 or more.

News Round Up

Yesterday's round up might as well have been called the Southend round up, and it doesn't stop just yet. Winger Damian Scannell has rejected a new deal with the club and is expected to join a League One side shortly, leaving the Shrimpers with just nine contracted players and a transfer embargo. They're also dispensing with the services of physio John Stannard, reportedly for financial reasons, and promoting their youth team physio to handle the first team.

Wycombe midfielder John Mousinho has rejected a new deal with the club and will leave Adams Park. The Chairboys have 17 players signed up including two new signings, but could be selling defender Craig Woodman after Brentford expressed an interest. Released Bradford striker Michael Boulding is considering a number of offers from League One and Two sides and will make a decision next week.

Barnet midfielder John O'Flynn is being chased by both Gillingham and Lincoln. He has an offer on the table from the Bees, but can leave on a free as he is 27. Cheltenham have played down reports that they are chasing Mansfield striker Jake Speight, after the demand for a fee put the player beyond their budget.

Shrewsbury have announced a freeze on matchday ticket prices, retaining a £2 additional cost for tickets bought on the day meaning the cheapest adult ticket bought on the day is £18. Wycombe have signed Brentford defender Danny Foster on a free transfer after a disappointing season at Griffin Park. He had previously spent five years at Dagenham.

Stockport's local council are to be the club's main sponsor for the coming season in a deal worth around £60,000. Macclesfield have reported a loss of £182,000 for the 2008/9 season. A club statement says the loss was in line with expectations.

Club Shocked At Gap With Fans

At the Press Conference today, the new board members said they had met with sponsors Cargill.

They said the club and company had synergy in wanting to build a community spirit, with the new duo expressing their surprise at just how wide the gap between the club and it's support had got in the last couple of years from the feedback they had received over the last three weeks.

On the new Blackfriars stand, they called the conditions placed on the building as nothing to worry about. They reiterated the expectation of the stand being completed for the start of the 2011/12 season, saying that the demolition and build had to be done right especially with asbestos being found and that corners would not be cut.

They expect that the stand would not be ready for Shrewsbury's visit to Edgar Street at the end of April, but did hint that the stand could become a Family stand to enhance the club's community aspects.

Davey Wants 20 Players In His Locker

Speaking at today's Press Conference Simon Davey said he would not rule out paying transfer fees for the right players.

He told the assembled press he had a budget and any signings would fit into it. He said he would scour the continent for signings, saying some British players price themselves out of the market. He has spoken to 15/16 players in the past three days, and hopes to have two signings by the end of Friday with more players due in for talks next week.

His ideal squad is a fit, strong side that can play attacking football. He is happy with the seven players he has inherited, and will build the squad to around 20 and look to the loan market to cover for injuries.

It was also noted that Richard Rose was still mulling over his contract offer, but he had an offer from another club.

No Carling Cup TV money for Bulls

It has been announced that that live TV games for the first round of this season’s Carling Cup competition will come from Stevenage and Chesterfield.

The first of the two televised matches will come from Stevenage's Broadhall Way ground on Monday August 9th as they face Portsmouth followed by Middlesbrough’s visit to Chesterfield's new B2Net Stadium the day after. Both kick-offs are scheduled for 19.45.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lowe might become a Robin

Keith Lowe, who was released by Hereford United last month, may sign for Cheltenham.

Lowe made 25 starts for the Bulls but appeared to fall out of favour towards the end of last season when Graham Turner started running the team after John Trewick was sacked.

Mark Yates, the Cheltenham boss, knows Lowe well having signed him whilst at Kidderminster.

Two 'Events' At Hereford Today

Whilst most Hereford United supporters will be following events at Edgar Street where new manager Simon Davey is to be presented to the press at 10am, another event just a couple of miles away will also have an effect on the club.

At 2pm there will be a 'synchronised turf cutting ceremony' next to the Roman Road where construction of Hereford's new livestock market is about to begin.

"The creation of the new livestock market is key to unlocking a huge area of land in Hereford's city centre and safeguarding our important farming heritage and economy for the future. It's taken us a number of years to get to this stage so I'm delighted that work is finally underway," said Councillor Roger Phillips.

However with Government cut-backs it's becoming uncertain how quickly the 'hugh area of land' will be developed. It may be used as an extra car park for football fans and others for some years to come as the future of the Edgar Street Grid scheme is in some doubt.

New for 2010/2011 – The B2Net Stadium

Bull's fans travelling to Chesterfield on Saturday 21st August will need a fresh set of directions this season. No longer will The Spireites be occupying their traditional home at Saltergate's Recreation Ground. Instead, they will be at the new B2Net stadium in the Whittington Moor area of the town.

The new stadium has a capacity of around 10,600 and in common with most modern builds is all-seated. It has been built on the site of the old Dema Glassworks with the good news being that it is not in the middle of nowhere and is well served by local Pubs and food outlets.

All four stands have been sponsored with visiting fans expected to be housed in the Printability (North) Stand. Other stands include conference and banqueting rooms with a multi-sports and community room and sports injury clinic being found in the East Stand.

The build project started in July 2009 and will be ready for the opening match against the mighty Bees of Barnet on 7th August 2010. Image from

Former Loanees Leave Old Trafford

Two young Manchester United players who have had spells with Hereford United are set to be released by the Premiership club.

Febian Brandy and Sam Hewson both played for the Bulls.

Pint-sized striker Brandy joined the Bulls in February 2009 and stayed until May. He made 14 league starts and scored four goals, against Cheltenham, Leeds, Leyton Orient and Hartlepool.

Hewson joined the Bulls in January 2009 and also stayed until May. However he only made 9 starts because of injury. He scored three goals, two against Cheltenham and one at Stockport.

EPL Interview with Simon Davey

Recently Hereford United's manager Simon Davey was in the USA working with Paul Scholes of Manchester United at a coaching school. Whilst there both gave an interview to EPL.

Davey had not been confirmed as the new Bulls manager when the interview was recorded but he talks about his life in football starting with Swansea City, why he had to quit playing and meeting David Beckham.

He started talking about America.

"I've done a lot of work in America at the Mid West soccer acadamy with Tony Sharp and we managed to pull together Paul Scholes. Paul has been fanastic working with the kids everyday.

"It's good for me as a manager in England to come out and put my name to something of good stature.

"I was born in Swansea and I was an apprentice and played from the age of 16 at Swansea. Spent five seasons with them and the moved to Carlisle. Spent three seasons there and then on to Preston.

"I had a good career, although nowhere near as good as Paul, but I did okay. Unfortunately I finished through injury. Just 27 years old I found myself with a back injury so I took up the coaching route."

The whole interview can be found at

Davey's part starts after around seven minutes.

Plans for Blackfriars End Approved

Herefordshire Council have approved the planning application for the Blackfriars End of the Edgar Street ground.

The application was for : Demolition of existing Blackfriars covered terraces, replacement of new all seated stand. Demolition of existing floodlight towers and replacement with new floodlight masts. Creation of new emergency vehicle access onto Blackfriars Street.

It was approved yesterday but with some conditions which, as yet, are not known.

News Round Up

Accrington have been hit by a transfer embargo as they are late filing their 2009 accounts, breaching rules brought in at the recent AGM. They are unable to complete any of the three signings they have recently announced, but hope to have the accounts completed in the next two weeks. Gillingham have confirmed the signing of veteran midfielder Nicky Southall as player/coach.

Southend have cancelled the contracts of midfielder Alan McCormack and defender Adam Barrett after requests from the players. A club statement infers that the pair needed to be moved on to comply with the squad budgeting rules in place in League Two. The pair were both regulars for the club over the past few seasons. Macclesfield say it is 50/50 whether teenager John Rooney stays with the club. He has attracted a number of Championship sides interest.

Cheltenham and Stevenage are claimed to be chasing Mansfield striker Jake Speight, 24, who scored 17 goals, but only started 15 games with 18 sub appearances, last term. He had a two year spell with Bury, scoring just twice, after being a trainee at Sheff Utd. Ex-Bull Jon Wallis has signed a new one year deal at Dover. Celtic have dropped out of the race to sign Gary Hooper after he was reported to be unwilling to move to Scotland. Middlesboro are favourites to land the 22 year old.

Weymouth's fall from grace has been underlined by last night's AGM that showed their 2008/9 wage bill amounted to over £600,000. Next season, manager Ian Hutchinson will have just £70,000 to spend including his own and coaching staff wages. Preston have had their winding up order dismissed after Trevor Hemmings effectively bought the club but, in the interim, the club failed to pay their May tax bill and now owe a further £435,000.

Peterboro have denied press speculation linking them to former Bulls loanee Tony Capaldi. Southend chairman Ron Martin has been arrested and bailed until August after an alleged sexual assault at his home. In a statement issued on the club website, he claims the complainant is their cleaner who helped him up after a fall he suffered as he recently had a knee operation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

TV Money Kept Bulls In Business

Continuing with our look back at Graham Turner's time with Hereford United, today's article is about the 1999/2000 season.

Pre-season several new faces joined the Bulls including Rob Elmes, Steve Piearce and Paul Sturgess.

It seemed that any move away from Edgar Street was now unlikely.

"We are all optimistic that something can be worked out and it is appearing now that the club's future could be at Edgar Street," said Turner.

"If we can get everything sorted out it would be ideal to stay at Edgar Street, but there is a lot of work still to be done.

"Repayments of loans to the developers are required by May 2003. But if things are moving on then I am sure that the future of the club could be safeguarded."

August started off with a painting Sunday followed by an open day a week later at which over £40,000 was raised for the club including sales of new kit.

However behind the scenes director Mike Hancock was reported to be upset by Turner's 'one man controlled operation' and so has sold 2276 shares to HUISA for £4,000. Their chairman Richard Tomkins noted "We believe the club should be community based and that its shares should not just be in the hands of a few directors."

The first Conference League game, away at Sutton, was drawn 1-1 as was the following Tuesday's home game against Nuneaton.

"We've got two draws but there's plenty of work ahead," said Turner. "There's room for improvement."

Meanwhile youngster Paul Parry caught glandular fever and it was feared he could be out for up to six months.

September started with a 5-3 victory over Doncaster, and later in the month a 4-0 win over Rushden and Diamonds. On October 2nd another eight goal game, this time against Scarborough, with the scores level at the end. This draw pushed the Bulls up to sixth place in the league.

"I'm baffled why we aren't getting more fans to watch. There's plenty of entertainment at Edgar Street," said Turner. "Twelve months ago we could not score goals and I have to admit the standard was quite poor. This season the goals have been flying in but maybe that novelty of playing in the Conference has worn off. It's success that brings people in."

Off the pitch it was reported that a settlement had been made with former manager John Layton.

"In total it will have cost the club in excess of £20,000 and a considerable amount of time," said Turner. "Perhaps the saddest part about it is that the £10,000 settlement figure to John Layton may well be taken to settle his legal bill and he will finish up with nothing."

At the end of the month the Bulls put York out of the FA Cup. Leroy May was the scorer.

"That beats taking your clothes off for a living - nothing compares with scoring goals," May quipped.

November started with news that Sky would cover Hereford's second round FA Cup game against Hartlepool. The £75,000 was most welcome. And Brentford sent Hereford £40,000to cancel out Gavin Mahon's sell on clause.

The Cup day duly arrived and the Bulls did the business, A 1-0 win, Elmes scoring with a header, and a third round tie against Leicester City. This time highlights of the game were broadcast by the BBC and a certain John Motson returned to Edgar Street.

Turner was pleased with the tie against Leicester.

"It's just what we needed," he said. "I'm particularly pleased for the supporters because they've stuck with us through hard times. They've seen us relegated, then have to sell a lot of our better players to survive."

The game was a 0-0 draw watched by 7795 fans.

"The money from the replay will be useful," Turner said talking to Leicester manager Martin O'Neil after the tie. "That's why we can afford the wine! The tie should be yours now."

The replay took place eleven days later at Filbert Street and the Bulls put on a creditable performance but went out 2-1.

League form dipped somewhat after the Cup defeat and by mid-January the Bulls were in 14th position. However an unbeaten run of eleven games pushed them back to to 3rd position by mid-March.

Turner agreed extended contracts to three of his youngsters, Paul Parry, Gavin Williams and Tony James.

"I'm pleased we have settled the issue of contracts now," he said. "They have signed with the proviso that if a club comes in with the right offer we wouldn't stand in their way. I think that's only a matter of time."

In Mid-March the latest accounts showed the club has lost £162,074. The TV money had kept the Bulls in business.

And a poor run of results towards the end of the season meant the Bulls finished eight in the Conference. Several players with injuries didn't help and a bust-up with Paul Fewings at Telford meant he didn't play again.

Finally striker Rob Elmes signed a new deal.

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

News Round Up

Accrington have agreed an initial six figure fee with Scunthorpe for departed striker Bobby Grant. The total could be £260,000 depending on a series of clauses. Grant came through the youth ranks at the Crown Ground, spending three seasons there as a pro. Gillingham are claimed to be set to sign veteran midfielder Nicky Southall, who left the club for Dover last summer. The 38 year old has over 300 Gills appearances to his name, but their budget limitations may scupper a move.

Cheltenham boss Mark Yates has admitted an interest in former Bristol Rovers defender Steve Elliott, but his wage demands are too high for the club. They are also chasing former loanee Frankie Artus. Two other unnamed League One sides have expressed an interest in Toumani Diagouraga after Brentford stalled their interest over the fee asked by Peterboro.

Histon chief executive Alan Soraff has quit the club 'for personal reasons'. The club remains subject to rumours of Administration, rumours denied by Soraff only last week. Rhyl claim that HSBC cost them their Welsh Premier League place after the bank withdrew their overdraft and left the club unable to meet a tax demand. Fans want the club to quit the Welsh system and join the English pyramid.

Crewe have offered fans a 10% discount on their season tickets if the club can sell 3,000. They sold around 2,400 last term. Rob Purdie has been declared fit to start pre-season training after he missed all of last season for Oldham. Burton boss Paul Peschisolido has told Peterboro he will not pay Barry Fry's 'crazy valuation' of striker Scott Rendell.

Rotherham have confirmed the signing of Leyton Orient defender Luke Ashworth. The 20 year old arrives on a free transfer with a one year deal after starting only seven League matches in 18 months at Brisbane Road. He will miss the first game of the new season as he is suspended after being sent off on the last day last term. Wycombe have signed Aldershot defender Dave Winfield on a two year contract. They will have to pay compensation for the 22 year old.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meeting the Local Community

One of the 'measures' new Hereford United chairman David Keyte has talked about is closer ties with the local community, something which previous chairman Graham Turner appeared to neglect in his later years at Edgar Street.

An initative by Lincoln City might be worth considering.

Today and tomorrow, they will be at the Lincolnshire Show. Their mascot, Poacher the Imp, will be handing out goody bags. Also the Football Club's sport and education trust will be on hand with their 'speed tunnel' which measures the accuracy of shots. The idea is to look out for stars of the future.

Manager Chris Sutton will also put in an appearance.

Last weekend the Three Counties Show took place at Malvern. 98,000 people attended the event. Would that be the kind of event worth considering?

Purcell could be first Davey Signing

Speculation is growing that one of Simon Davey's first signing could be striker Tadhg Purcell, picture from Wikipedia, who was with Davey at Darlington last season.

Purcell is a 25 year old Irish born striker who spent much of his early career with firstly Kilkenny City and then from 2006 with Shamrock Rovers. He can also play on the right wing.

He signed for Darlington in January 2010 and went on to score 9 goals in 22 appearances.

Purcell said he wanted to leave Darlington just after the end of last season but was not put on the club's release list. However he turned down a new deal.

Last April Purcell was in the Darlington team that lost to visitors Hereford. Marc Pugh scored the only goal of the game.

More about the First Floodlights

Recently BN has published a couple of articles about the first floodlights at Edgar Street, the home of Hereford United.

There had been some discussion about which game was the first to be played under the 'new' floodlights back in 1953.

Ron Parrott, the Hereford United historian, is currently writing a book on the club and he has kindly allowed BN to print a couple of paragraphs about the floodlights.

Installation of the floodlights has been going well and preparations are well in hand for the grand opening. Southampton, Hereford’s first choice of opponents for the occasion have been suffering heavy injuries and are also involved in a dog-fight to avoid relegation to the Third Division and unfortunately, are forced to pull out of the fixture but promise to send their first team down next season. The Board decide therefore, to stage the Herefordshire Senior Cup replay with Merthyr Tydfil to mark the formal opening of the lights and the date is set for Thursday 5th (March 1953). The lights will be the most up to date of their kind in the country and will consist of four steel towers rising 60 ft. above the ground, situated well outside each corner of the playing field. Each tower is embedded in concrete to a depth of 7 ft. and will carry a battery of nine 1,500 watt floodlamps, being installed by the MEB.

With excitement growing amongst players and supporters alike, the scene is really set. Sadly, Mother Nature takes a hand and Edgar Street is shrouded in fog all day long and as darkness descends, it becomes obvious that football is out of the question. The fixture is rearranged for the following Thursday but it’s decided to go ahead with the Reserves game against Walsall on the Tuesday anyway, to act as a trial and correct any teething problems with the lights.

The Reserves beat Walsall under the Edgar Street lights on Tuesday 10th and Gordon Fox has the honour of scoring the first ever floodlit goal. There are no technical hitches and the only disappointment is that the fixture attracts no larger a crowd than may have been expected for a normal Birmingham League match. Perhaps they’re saving themselves for the grand opening two days later. This obviously proves to be the case as 7,508 turn up for the Merthyr game and witness a feast of good football, with United triumphing 3-1 with goals from Allen, Bowen and Farquhar, leaving fans cheering long after the final whistle.

News Round Up

Gillingham are reported to have rejected a £500,000 bid from Norwich for striker Simeon Jackson. The club are rumoured to be asking £1.5million for the Canadian. Cheltenham defender Shane Duff, who has spent ten years with the club, has turned down a new contract. The 29 year old has an offer from abroad but is still open to talks. The Robins have signed former loanee Danny Andrew after his release from Peterboro.

Bury appear set to keep striker Andy Bishop after they told Grimsby they would want a fee for the former Conference hot shot. Aldershot have signed teenager Jack Randall on a one year contract. The forward was released by Crystal Palace earlier in the summer. Barnet have agreed a new contract with midfielder Mark Hughes, but Kenny Gillet has rejected his improved offer.

Southend teenager Justin Hazell has rejected a new deal with the club in favour of part-time football with Braintree as he wants a career outside the game. Oxford's transfer listed midfielder Jamie Cook is wanted by Rushden. Crewe are to complete a loan deal for Chelsea goalkeeper Rhys Taylor after the Premier side agreed to let him play in the Carling Cup. The Railwaymen need that as senior keeper Steve Phillips won't be fit for the First Round match.

Aldershot midfielder Scott Donnolly has agreed a deal to sign for Swansea. Accrington are to sign Australian keeper Alex Cisak after his release from Leicester. The 21 year old Polish born stopper has played at u20 level for the Socceroos, but has not played a first team game in England.

Keyte – "Overwhelmed by response"

Speaking to Bulls News this afternoon, Bulls' Chairman David Keyte said he has been inundated with messages of goodwill since taking over the reins with Tim Russon.

"The response has been incredible and it's been a very hectic couple of weeks."

"We've had letters of support from all over the County and beyond including from local Clubs like Westfields and Pegasus…it's all very encouraging."

"We just haven't had time to reply but we'll get round to it as things start to settle down. Perhaps through your website I could just say thank you to all and the letters are really appreciated."

"We've covered a lot of ground already but there is so much to do. Now we have our football management team in place we can start to look at other issues. The appointment of Simon and Andy will free us up to deal with the commercial matters. It was a process that just needed to take the time it did. We had an impressive list of applicants including one from the Subuteo Champion of London who offered to come with his own three-handed backroom staff!"

Keyte understandably was reluctant to name any of the other applicants for the manager's post but didn't confirm or deny that Dennis Bergkamp was on the list.

"I'm sure Simon has a list of players he wants to bring to Edgar Street and hopefully it won't be long before we can make a few more announcements."

The Chairman is looking forward to the friendly games and in particular to the Swansea game which was, of course, one of Simon Davey's early Clubs as a player.

"I'd like to see a decent crowd here on July 13th as we start our build-up to what is going to be an exciting season for all of us."

Fensome played against The Bulls

Hereford United's assistant manager Andy Fensome last played at Edgar Street on March 23rd 2002 and then only for ten minutes.

At that time he was with Morecambe and they were the visitors on that early spring afternoon.

After 83 minutes Fensome came on as a sub for Paul McGuire. His appearance didn't change the result of the game as the Shrimps were 2-0 ahead by then.

Fensome was in the same Morecambe side that had Craig Mawson in goal and Dave Perkins in midfield. Mawson moved to Hereford a season later and Perkins has popped up at various clubs over the last eight seasons. And their manager was former Hereford United player Jimmy Harvey.

In the away fixture earlier that season Fensome started the game and nearly scored.

Defender Andy Fensome hit a thirty yard effort destined for goal, but the agile Baker tipped it around the post

Later in the game he was booked for a professional foul.

Davey To Chase Signings

New Bulls boss Simon Davey will spend the next three days meeting players to assemble his new squad.

With Friday's press conference still going ahead, Davey will spend the three days before then travelling the motorway network to secure his opening signings.

He inherits a squad of just seven, with one contract offer to Richard Rose still outstanding. His targets will include at least two central defenders, a pair of wingers, and a couple of strikers as well as a second goalkeeper and backup in other areas.

Chairman David Keyte told the official site they had interviewed nine people in less than three weeks, and that Davey was their main candidate: "We had several good people come for the job but Simon stood out. He is a man on a mission - he tasted the best of times with Barnsley by taking them to Wembley and he wants more, he wants the chance to prove himself as one of the top managers and coaches in the game and lucky for us he sees Hereford as the next big challenge."

Davey expressed to the site his football philosophy: "My football philosophy is to play attacking football. We all want to win but I want to win in style and the Hereford board have told me their biggest wish is to see exciting football at Edgar Street - they want to entertain the fans.

"I've already got several targets in mind and now it's a question of doing deals and shaping a team for the future."

Andy Fensome - A Short Profile

Below is a short profile on Andy Fensome who has joined Hereford United as assistant to new manager Simon Davey. (Details from several sources)

Andrew Fensome (born in Northampton on 18 February 1969) is an English former footballer.

Northampton born defender Andy Fensome was a former Norwich City trainee who was released in 1989 before he was able to break into their first team. After an uneventful spell on loan to Newcastle, his next port of call was Cambridge United for whom he made an impressive 126 league appearances. This prompted Preston North End to sign him for a £7,500 fee in October 1993 and he made 93 league appearances for the Lancashire side. He scored one goal whilst there to add to his solitary strike for Cambridge. In the 1994/95 season he was named as the club's Player of the Year.

Released by Preston in the summer of 1996, he joined Rochdale for whom he made 40 appearances in his inaugural season at Spotland.

Rochdale released Fensome in the summer of 1998 and he joined Barrow of the Vauxhall Conference where he partnered Mark Seagraves in defence. His place at Barrow was threatened due to the club's perilous financial position. Chairman Stephen Vaughan resigned following the start of a fraud squad investigation into the club's recent share issue in October. Vaughan's share holding and the freehold of the stadium have been put up for sale. The complete playing squad was transfer listed after a FA Umbro Trophy defeat at Hucknall Town only added to their woes.

Fensome moved on to play for Morecambe, making over 150 appearances for them before being released in May 2002 - the club wishing to free up the wage bill to bring in some new faces. He then joined neighbours Lancaster City in the middle of July 2002.

He currently resides in Preston and was a coach for the Preston North End Centre of Excellence until he appointment at Edgar Street.

New Hereford Manager is Simon Davey

Hereford United have confirmed that their new manager is Simon Davey who was recently with Darlington.

He has signed a two year deal.

Andy Fensome is to be his assistant. He and Davey worked together at Preston.

Below is a profile of Simon Davey originally published on BN two weeks ago:

Simon Davey was born in Swansea in 1970.

In 1987, Davey made his League debut for Swansea City at the age of 16 against Torquay United and became the second youngest player ever to play for the Swans. Davey went on to make 58 appearances, scoring 5 goals in 4 years, as a midfielder. During this 4-year period he earned a Welsh Cup Winners medal and also gained European experience, playing in the Cup Winners Cup against Monaco, the French Cup winners, and Panathanaikos, the Greek champions.

In August 1992, he went from Swansea to Carlisle United on a free transfer. Within a few games, at the age of 22, he took over as team captain and led the club for a further 2 years and 5 months. In the 1993–94 season he played every game earning recognition amongst his fellow professionals by being selected for the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Team of the Season, an award voted for by all the professional players in the Football League. He also challenged for the title of leading scorer, eventually finishing second to David Reeves with a tally of 13. Carlisle United supporters voted one of these goals, a 35-yard free-kick against Shrewsbury Town, as their second best goal of all time. Davey went onto make 132 appearances for the club and scored a total of 23 goals. In February 1995 Davey was sold to Preston North End for £125,000. At the end of that season, Carlisle won the Division Three Championship and although Davey had already left the club he had played the minimum requirement of 26 games to qualify for a Championship medal.

At Preston, Davey earned a consecutive championship medal when Preston North End won the divisional title, Davey made his full home league debut in midfield alongside a youngster on loan from Manchester United who arrived to make his league debut too, David Beckham. They played 5 games together, Beckham scored his first league goal when the novice asked Davey if he could have a go at a free-kick Davey was planning to take; Davey stepped aside and let him have it. Davey went onto to score 22 times in 122 games for Preston and was named in the PFA Team of the Season in 1995. While with the club, he also made 11 loan appearances for Darlington. Davey's playing career was cut short at the age of 27 following a back injury while training with a medicine ball.

After retiring, Preston manager David Moyes gave Davey a chance at coaching with the club and within a short time Davey was in charge of Preston's Youth Academy, later moving to the Youth Academy at Barnsley. As part of his coaching education, he gained the UEFA C Licence, the UEFA B Licence, the UEFA A Licence and the UEFA Pro Licence in 2005 as well as the Academy Managers licence and the UEFA Youth Licence.

Davey was appointed caretaker manager of Barnsley in November 2006, following Andy Ritchie's dismissal. After a successful start he was given the job on a permanent basis at the end of the year, and later led the club to a successful fight against relegation at the end of the 2006–07 season. He later signed a four-year contract in December 2007 after an impressive start to the following season. Two months later, he led the club to a shock FA Cup win at Liverpool and 3 weeks after that, led them to victory over Chelsea to take the club into the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley Stadium for the first time in 96 years, before losing to Cardiff City. Davey successfully kept Barnsley in the Championship for 3 consecutive seasons.

The 2009/10 season didn't start well for Davey as by August 29th Barnsley were bottom of the table with just one point from five games and the club reacted swiftly after this defeat, during which the manager was booed by some home supporters.

"It is with regret that Barnsley Football Club and first-team manager Simon Davey have tonight mutually agreed to part company," the club said in a statement. "We would like to place on record our sincere thanks for all the hard work Simon has put in during his 2.5-year tenure as manager and wish him every success in the future."

And this from the Guardian:

Simon Davey was dismissed by Barnsley on Saturday, shortly after conducting a press conference following the 3-1 home defeat by Reading which left his side stuck to the foot of the Championship. It seems like no time since Davey was flavour of the month after leading Barnsley to FA Cup victories at Liverpool and at home against Chelsea in 2007-08 before finally losing to Cardiff in the semi-finals.

Back then we applauded the Welshman for his collection of every conceivable coaching badge, pointed to the fact that he was mentored by Everton's David Moyes and praised his imagination in beating Barnsley's budgetary restrictions by signing an eclectic collection of players on loans and free transfers from all corners of the globe. Even better, Oakwell once again boasted the sort of sweet passing football that had persuaded locals to make "it's just like watching Brazil" the team's anthem. Nothing lasts for ever though, and one point from five games duly did for Davey. Let's hope someone somewhere gives him a second chance to prove he was no nine-day wonder.

On 1 April 2010, Davey was appointed manager of League Two club Darlington, following the dismissal of Steve Staunton.

"It's an opportunity to get the club going again and get the fans back onside," Davey told BBC Tees.

"I'm really looking forward to the task, it's a fantastic stadium and it's a pleasure to come into work everyday."

Recently Davey has been helping Paul Scholes of Manchester United at a soccer school in the USA.