Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tonight's Friendly is at 7.30pm

Tonight's friendly between Hereford United and Bolton Wanderers is a 7.30pm kick-off, not 7.45 as reported on some sites.

Admission is £10 for adults, and £5 for concessions.

VP AGM On Wednesday

The Vice Presidents Club will hold their AGM on Wednesday.

The meeting, open to current members, will unveil the range of benefits to members for the forthcoming season. Both David Keyte and Tim Russon are expected to be in attendence.

The meeting will start, in the VP club lounge, at 7.30pm.

HUISA Southend – Book your seats on Monday evening

The HUISA coach to Roots Hall will depart from Radford’s at 8.00 am on Saturday for the opening game of the 2011/2012 League 2 season.

The fare is £25 (members £23) and seats can be booked through the Club office (08442 761939) or in Radford’s before the final pre-season match against Bolton Wanderers on Monday evening (KO 7.30).

A full travel guide will be published on Tuesday.

Carling Cup Ticket Prices

Next Tuesday week, August 9th, Brentford Football Club are the visitors to Edgar Street for a first round Carling Cup-tie.

Seated Ticket prices are:

Adults £16

Concessions (65 and over) £13

Juniors (under 16) £5

Terrace Prices:

Adults £14

Concessions £10

Juniors £5

Hereford United supporters who have purchased a full season ticket can watch the game on production of Voucher A in their season ticket book.

The game kicks off at 7.45pm.

We're Idealistic says Wimbledon Chief

Newcomers to League Two, AFC Wimbledon, have achieved their rise through the leagues believing in 'core principles' and without going into a debt situation they can't control according to their chief executive Erik Samuelson.

The club was formed nine years ago after the 'original' Wimbledon upped sticks and moved to Milton Keynes. Since then the 'new' club has moved through five divisions and will play their first League Two game at home against Bristol Rovers next Saturday.

"We're idealistic," Samuelson told the Mail on Sunday.

"But what's the matter with some ideals with all that's going on around us? Let's live by them and see how far we can get.

"Anyone who doesn't fit the culture is gone pretty quickly. Our team now are all decent, respectable, worthy players who are good ambassadors and who play the right way and behave the right way. All of them. They're good people and I'm proud that they play for this club.

"One of the first things Terry Brown, our manager, tells new players is, 'We do things properly here. There are no brown envelopes, no expenses, no secret payments or anything else you might have come across at other points in your career. If you don't do things properly, you won't fit in here'.

There is some interesting background to their financial situation in the article.

They bought their stadium, Kingsmeadow, for £2.4M and then spent £1M improving it. In preparation for League Two, another £178,000 has been spent this summer and there are plans to spend a further £800,000 to cover a stand with 900 seats.

The club's mortgage is £1M of which £300K is owed to supporters.

This season wages will cost the club £1M. There will be 22 players earning an average of £45,000 each.

"I don't publish the precise (wage) budget details but I do say for all our players combined for the year that it's less than Yaya Toure earns in four weeks at Manchester City," says Samuelson.

The ambitious chief executive feels it won't be long before they are in the same league as MK Dons.

"My ambition is to have our own stadium in Wimbledon and when we do that to ring them up and ask, 'Why did you leave? We're just a bunch of fans who built a club and got in the League from nowhere. We built a stadium from nothing and you've pirated our club into Buckinghamshire. Why did you do it?' I've no idea what they'd say."

Hereford United will travel to AFC Wimbledon in just three weeks time on August 20th.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Judge us on Our League Results says Pitman

Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman, speaking to Bulls Player, has said that supporters must judge his team on their league results not on today's friendly.

"The result doesn't mean anything, the result is not the issue. The issue is that we are trying to prepare for next Saturday.

"Monday is a different kettle of fish. It will be a team that is looking to play the following Saturday.

"I've got to decide over the weekend what team I feel is right and what formation is right to into the game at Southend.

"Pre-season is about developing the younger players, trying to get them involved. And it trying to make sure we are right and ready for the following Saturday."

Pitman is hopeful that defender Stefan Stam may play some part against Bolton on Monday evening.

"Stefan had an injection to help his knee settle down. I'm hoping he will be available for at least 45 minutes on Monday.

"Bolton will be a tough test."

Disappointing Day at the Lawn

It was bad enough realising there would be no beef pies on offer at the Lawn this afternoon but one did hope to see a bit more beef on the pitch.

However in truth it was a disappointing afternoon for Hereford United and their 171 supporters with few positives to take from their friendly against a quite lively Forest Green side.

The two managers

And with just one 'new' trialist on show, it does appear that the 55% wage cap is causing manager Jamie Pitman recruitment problems.

That trialist was 18 year old goalkeeper James Wren who was formally with Walsall. He didn't have the best of days - he was at fault for two of the Grumpers goals - and on this performance would be unlikely to be offered a contract.

Two other trialists, Danny Williams and Albert Jarrett, pictured, came on during the second half. Jarrett may be worth another look on Monday.

Several players missed the game because of injuries. Particularily noticable by his continuing absence is defender Stefan Stam. Ryan Green partnered Janos Kovacs in the heart of defence until Michael Townsend was introduced early in the second half in place of Kovacs.

Townsend is suspended for the first League game of the season and Pitman must be praying that Stam will be fit for the match at Southend. If not it looks as though Green and Kovacs is the only possible combination unless Pitman can bring someone in.

One positive was the performance of new striker Yoann Arquin (pictured before the game). Whilst he is a some way off the finished product, he did show some potential and a bit of aggression which was sadly lacking in some others on the pitch.

No doubt the message from Edgar Street will be that this afternoon was only a friendly with the result not meaning much and the real warm-up will be against Bolton on Monday evening.

However Southend is only a week away.

Uninspiring Bulls crash at New Lawn

The penultimate pre-season game against Conference outfit Forest Green Rovers failed to excite the Bulls' fans who made the trip to Nailsworth this afternoon when United looked well short of being competitive as they conceded three goals without reply in a poor performance.

Manager Pitman named former Walsall youth keeper James Wren behind a four of Weir, Green, Kovacs and Heath with Purdie, Lunt, McQuilkin and Colbeck in midfield and Fleetwood and Arquin starting up top.

The hosts started brightly and Kovacs recovered from poor marking when he got a challenge in to deny Styche at the expense of a throw.  At the other end, good work by Arquin provided a chance for Colbeck but Bulman in the home goal palmed the wideman's crisp effort to safety.  Weir made a good challenge on the energetic Styche before Arquin took a knock that required attention from physio Rodgerson who looked a yard short of pace as he made his way to centrefield.

Purdie fails to convert

With a quarter of an hour on the clock, Purdie was hacked down in the box.  The Referee awarded the penalty but the normally reliable Purdie saw his spot-kick saved by the diving Bulman.  Rovers took the lead some seven minutes later when winger James Norwood got the better of Tyler Weir in the box and went on to squeeze the ball past Wren at the near post when the young keeper's partial save was not sufficient to stop the ball trickling over the line.

For The Bulls, Arquin was putting in plenty of effort and his movement looked like creating chances but the final balls from midfield were all to often short and inaccurate.  Fleetwood managed to get free and cross to McQuilkin but James' volley rose over the bar.

Kovacs tries to clear

For the remaining part of the half, the teams produced little by way of creativity with the narrow formation of The Bulls seemingly contributing to their inability to supply chances for the strikers although close to the interval a Lunt, Purdie, Fleetwood move ended with Arquin firing into the arms of Bulman.


The second period saw Purdie and Kovacs replaced by Townsend and trialist Albert Jarret.  Colbeck charged down the right and crossed low into the box but there was no-one there to convert and it was The Gumpers who struck to increase their lead on 56 minutes.  When attempting an unnecessary short clearance to a defender, the ball was intercepted by Styche who shot into the empty net.

It wasn't long before the third goal arrived.  James Rowe waltzed into the area from the left flank and his cross-shot found the far corner of the net.

Facey getting ahead of a defender

Pitman introduced Delroy Facey, Harry Pell, Danny Williams and youngsters McCarthey and Perkins for some Gloucestershire exorcise.  Pell showed decent energy and Big Delroy looked like a player who knew how to lead an attack but the overall team performance failed to produce much more than a couple of McQuilkin efforts that failed to threaten Bulman's goal.


This was not a particularly pretty affair and most Bulls' fans would have left wondering how the squad appears to have made so little progress since the end of 2010/11 when they were, at least, organised and purposeful.  The narrow formation in midfield allowed the home players to close down easily while they were quick to spread to ball to the wings in the own offensive moves.  Doubtless a couple of errors by the inexperienced keeper didn’t help the cause but the apparent lack of interest and will to win was less than impressive.

Lets hope for some major improvement on Monday and a shed-full more desire when the real business begins next weekend.

HEREFORD UNITED: Wren, Weir, Green, Kovacs, Heath, Colbeck, McQuilkin, Lunt, Purdie, Fleetwood, Arquin.

Subs: Pell, Townsend, Facey, Jarrett, Williams, McCarthy, Perkins.

Subs not used: Bartlett, Canham.

Trotter's Injury Blow

Hereford United's next opponents Bolton Wanderers were hit with a major injury blow this afternoon in their 3-1 away win at Newport County. Midfield Chung-Yong Lee left the field of play in the first-half after a late challenge left him with a suspected broken leg. The South Korean international was taken to nearby Royal Gwent Hospital for further tests.

Bolton visit Edgar Street on Monday evening for the Jamie Pitman testimonial match.

Bulls Felled In Forest

The Bulls lost today's friendly at Forest Green 3-0.

Teenage trialist keeper James Wren, who started the match with Adam Bartlett on the bench, allowed a shot to squirm from his grasp for the first before he gifted striker Reece Styche a second when his distribution let him down. Rob Purdie saw an early penalty saved.

Wren, previously on Walsall's books, was the only new trialist on show, with Danny Williams and Albert Jarrett both getting another chance to impress during the second half. Youth teamer Nathan Perkins also had some game time.

Still missing today were Nicky Featherstone, Stefan Stam, and Dan Connor. Featherstone is expecting results of a scan on Monday to determine the reasons for his injury.

Full report later.

News Round-Up

In the opening game of the Carling Cup, Crawley beat AFC Wimbledon 3-2 at the Broadfield Stadium. The two sides were playing a preliminary round as the two lowest-ranked teams, with the Wombles twice leading until Matt Tubbs' winner. The Red Devils also had Hope Akdan sent off late on, while ex-Bull Ben Smith made a brief sub appearance.

Aldershot have signed teenage midfielder Jake Taylor on a months loan. The Reading man has made a couple of first team appearances for the Royals. Bradford have signed Falkirk winger Jack Compton on loan until January. The 22 year old former West Brom trainee played 37 times for Falkirk last season, but is yet to make his Football League debut after dropping into non-league before his Scottish move.

Burton will sign Derby keeper Ross Atkins on loan for the season after impressing during his trial with the club. The teenager spent most of last season at Tamworth on loan. Oxford have signed former Northampton defender Liam Davis on a one year deal. The 24 year old spent three years with the Cobblers after starting out with Coventry.

Wimbledon are reported to be in talks with veteran forward Jason Euell about signing for the club. The 34 year old was released by Blackpool earlier in the summer, and made over 100 appearances for the original Wimbledon side in the 1990's. Despite their lack of forward options, Southend have allowed outcast striker Matt Patterson to join Gillingham on trial. He previously was on trial at Oxford but they declined the opportunity to sign him.

Burton have signed former Bulls loanee Danny Blanchett on a one year deal. The 24 year old played 39 times for Crewe last season but was released earlier in the summer. Bulls News passed the nine million hits mark overnight. The site has been averaging 2,300 unique users a day, accessing the site nearly three times each, during the usually quiet pre-season period.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Forest Green – Saturday

Forest Green Rovers v Hereford United
Saturday 30th July KO 3.00pm
The New Lawn
Smiths Way

The Bulls travel to Nailsworth tomorrow to take on old Conference foes Forest Green Rovers in a pre-season friendly.

Nailsworth is approximately 4 miles south of Stroud on the A46. Access to the A46 is either from junction 13 on the M5 (take the A419 to Stroud) or by joining the A46 from the A417 Gloucester to Cirencester road just before the climb to Birdlip. The A46 goes through the centre of Nailsworth. At the mini-roundabout, turn right into Spring Hill, which becomes Nympsfield Road. Continue up this road for about 900 yards to a roundabout where you will find the ground on your left. The journey, depending on route, is about 45/50 miles and you should allow an hour and fifteen minutes. Postcode is GL6 0FG.

Parking (£3) is available at the ground for up to 250 vehicles with free parking in the town centre although I don’t advise walking "the hill" unless you're fairly fit or completely mad.

Visiting fans are usually accommodated in the seated South Stand at one end of the ground. I haven't found any reference to admission prices but £8/10 will probably more than cover it.

The New Lawn facilities include The Green Man Inn that usually boasts at least one (sometimes more) real ale and very good pre-match food at reasonable prices. There are at least four boozers in the town with The Britannia and The Village Inn both receiving decent reviews.

Get the beer in Barry.

From the Archives - Meadows joins the Bulls

According to the PA, Billy Meadows joined Hereford United on July 29th 1970, 41 years ago today. In his first nine league games he scored eight goals and later scored a hat-trick against Kidderminster in the FA Cup.

Hereford pay Barnet £300 for centre forward Billy Meadows to replace John Charles in attack. Billy was one of the greatest goalscorers in Barnet's history, averaging a goal every two games in some 250 appearances for the Bees. He netted 78 when he first joined the club in 1968 but he soon became a Hereford United favourite.

In fact, Billy was a member of United's Southern League side that memorably beat Newcastle United 2-1 a match that established Barnet fan John Motson as a top BBC television commentator!

Ricky George, who scored Hereford's winner that day and played alongside Billy with both the Bees and the Bulls, recalled: “The night before, John Shrewsbury, Motty, Billy Meadows, and I went out for dinner. We returned to the Green Dragon hotel in Hereford at around 10.30 and bumped into Jackie Milburn [Newcastle's greatest centre forward, a star of the 1950s].

“He said ‘nice to meet you son, but if I was your manager I'd have you in bed by now’. I replied ‘if I come on tomorrow and score the winning goal, nobody will mind will they?” I lived in Barnet and a convoy of four cars drove back to Billy Meadows' house in London to watch Match of the Day over fish and chips and a few cans of lager.

“On the way we stopped for petrol. A very school-boyish Motty ran from his car and said ‘it’s just dawned on me that you've created history!’” Billy later returned to Barnet as player-manager and signed Jimmy Greaves, arguably England's greatest-ever goal-scorer, for the club along with other star names.

Conference asks for Assurances from Wrexham

With reports that staff and the Revenue are owed money, pre-season fixtures cancelled and one of the owners talking about moving abroad, it's difficult to see whether Wrexham Football Club will be able to start the season, let alone finish it, without extra investment from somewhere.

And to top it all the Football Conference have contacted the North Wales club asking for assurances about its future.

"The Football Conference is concerned about on-going events at Wrexham Football Club and has requested, as a matter of urgency, that the club furnish full details of their position immediately."

Although it's reported that Glyndwr University is discussing plans which could see it buy into the Racecourse with the Wrexham Supporters Trust buying the football club, other recent 'offers' have come to nothing and one of those in charge, Geoff Moss, says the current owners have run out of money.

"Everyone is working hard behind the scenes to overcome the present difficulties," Moss told BBC Sport.

"Despite certain myths, the current owners do not have the available cash to cover this current shortfall, until a sale is complete."

Speculation that former Wales international Robbie Savage might be interested in investing have not been confirmed.

Wrexham are due to start their season on August 13th with a home game against Cambridge.

Shrimpers Back Down To One Striker

Southend are back down to a solitary striker for the opening day game with the Bulls after new signing Liam Dickinson was ruled out.

Boss Paul Sturrock admitted last night that the 25 year old had an ankle injury, and very little pre-season training, telling the BBC "It would be silly to make him play against Hereford because we don't want him to keep on picking up injuries."

The Shrimpers fielded central defender Bilel Moshni as a striker alongside veteran Neil Harris in last night's goalless draw with Norwich. Tunisian Moshni played a number of times last season as a makeshift striker due to injuries at Roots Hall.

News Round-Up

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt has stood down, with immediate effect, to spend more time on business interests and with his family. He will remain as a board member with Mike Lloyd taking charge on an interim basis. Wrexham fans raised £420 for an un-named member of the club's playing staff after Dean Saunders revealed the player was unable to pay for his daughter's birthday party this weekend after not being paid. Co-owner Geoff Moss says the club has a 'very overdue' tax bill of £45,000.

Rotherham have confirmed a completion date of July 11th, 2012, for their new stadium to be ready. Work started last month on the 12,000 capacity arena. Former Bulls loanee Jason Price scored for Barnet in their friendly with Sutton on Wednesday night. The 34 year old will also play for the Bees this weekend as he bids to earn a contract.

Southend's CEO Tara Brady says the playing squad at the club needs to be reduced. They currently have 29 contracted players, but the moneyman wants that number down to 22. Plymouth have confirmed the registration of 16 players so far after Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle allowed the club to register their new signings. They can sign four more under Administration rules.

Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle has followed Gary Simpson in criticising the drop to five substitutes. Buckle believes that the Pirates will now have to rely more heavily on the organisation of reserve matches. Crawley will wear a special gold npower badge on their shirts this season as the Football League identifies the various league champions. Brighton and Chesterfield will also have the variant on their shirts.

West Mercia Police say they forced a change in kick off for Telford's game with Luton due to an EDL protest due to take place half a mile from the ground on the same day. The match was first switched to a lunchtime kick-off but will now be 7.45pm on Saturday, August 13th. Stockport have confirmed the signing of former Bulls striker Nick Chadwick. He is the 13th player to commit to the Hatters for the coming season, with three more due to sign later today.

Bradford are to be taken to a FIFA tribunal over their signing of Falkirk striker Mark Stewart. The Bantams claim the 23 year old is available on a free due to his age, but Falkirk are claiming £290,000 for the player saying the rules dictate that Stewart was under the age rules when the transfer happened. Shrewsbury have signed defender Carl Regan on a one year deal. Manager Graham Turner says the former Bristol Rovers man is his final pre-season signing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Edgar comes Eighth in Mascot Grand National

Edgar the Bull came home in eighth position in the annual football mascot race held at Uttoxeter earlier this week.

This year was the inaugural Sunflower Sprint mascot race in aid of the Official Charity Partner of The Football League Help the Hospices and it was Notts County who were celebrating as Mr Magpie crossed the finish line first.

He was closely followed, at Uttoxeter Racecourse, by Billy Brewer, the Burton Albion mascot who finished in second place, cheered on by the whole of the Brewers squad.

The side were all at the racecourse to take part in proceedings and even sponsored a race in aid of their local hospice - St Giles'.

Nottingham Forest's mascot, Robin Hood finished third while last year's winner Rammie had to make do with sixth.

The event was the first of a year of fundraising initiatives for Help the Hospices, culminating in a dedicated week of action from 7 to 13 March 2011 where all 72 League clubs will stage a game in support of the charity.

After the race Edgar the Bull, Ellis Davey, told the press "It was a great experience."

Must do better at Forest Green says Pitman

Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman wasn't too pleased with his squad's performance against Telford last Tuesday evening and has pledged to do better at Forest Green on Saturday.

Pitman will have Ryan Green available but there are still doubts about defender Stefan Stam who has had an injection in a thigh injury. Definately out is midfielder Nicky Featherstone who has a foot problem.

"We were disappointed with the Telford result," Pitman told the Worcester News.

"You don’t want to lose games but it’s given us a bit of a wake-up call and given us something to learn from.

"That’s what pre-season is for and if you go through thinking everything’s hunky-dory then losing is hard to cope with.

"Forest Green will give us as tough a test as Telford did and we have got to be doing better in the game.

"What I need to do is make sure everyone has played enough football to make sure they are fit.

"We have got two games in three days coming up (the second being Bolton on Monday evening) and we will utilise the squad as much as possible so they are available for a week on Saturday."

News Round-Up

The Conference have asked Wrexham for 'full details' of their current position after the players walked out on Thursday and the club cancelled two friendlies after the wages were not paid. Rotherham have denied receiving a bid from Coventry for striker Adam Le Fondre, while Scunthorpe are said to have cooled their interest.

Northampton have signed Austrian teenagers Lumbardh Salihu and Marin Pozgain. Striker Salihu and midfielder Pozgain have both signed two year deals after impressing in trials. Burton have signed Port Vale striker Justin Richards on a free transfer. The 30 year old has signed a two year deal after scoring 14 times for the Valiants last term.

Oldham are reported to be on the verge of agreeing a deal to remain at Boundary Park with the council set to pass through plans next week to support the club's redevelopment of the ground with a £5.7million injection to buy ground and develop the stadium. The Latics had previously claimed they would leave within two years after failing to redevelop the ground due to covenants on surrounding areas.

Watch the Bulls for £9.50 at Wimbledon

Hereford United supporters who are considering going to the League Two game at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday August 20th might be interested in the latest £9.50 ticket offer in the Sun.

The offer is two adult tickets for £9.50 which is a reasonable saving even though one has to purchase four copies of the paper and save the tokens for the offer.

This is the only game involving the Bulls which is on offer at present.

More details and the first token will appear in Saturday's Sun.

Peake Praises Pitman

Colin Peake, operations director at Forest Green Rovers, feels that Jamie Pitman has that 'extra something'. The Hereford United manager was assistant manager at the Lawn before returning to Edgar Street.

"Jamie has special qualities," Peake told the FGR OS. "He's someone that people take to and listen to and it was clear right from the word go that he had that extra something about him.

"He's someone that demands only the very best from himself and those around him and when he was with us you could see a brilliant young manager in the making.

"I was delighted when he was given the chance by Hereford last season and the way he pulled them off the bottom proved he's a manager with a very big and bright future ahead of him.

"Like every other manager, he needs time and lots of support to win through."

Pitman will return to the Lawn on Saturday for a friendly between the two clubs.

Superman joins Oxford

Wayne 'superman' Brown has joined Oxford United. The former Hereford United stopper, now 34, has signed a one year deal with the club. He spent last season in South Africa.

"I'm really excited. I think it's a great move for me and hopefully for the club," Brown told Radio Oxford.

"I've got to say thanks to Chris [Wilder, Oxford manager] for giving me the chance."

"South Africa was a fantastic opportunity and I couldn't really turn it down. Not many people have gone over there and played.

"I had a great time there. The football could be great and some days it could be pretty awful but it was a life experience I will never forget."

Wrexham Players On Strike?

Wrexham's playing squad are reported to be on strike after the Conference side pulled out of a friendly match tonight.

Wrexham issued a statement at lunchtime telling fans that their scheduled match at Colwyn Bay was off due to 'internal issues at the Racecourse', with the local press reporting a spokesman for the players saying they would not play after being told their wages would not be paid. Saturday's trip to Vauxhall Motors has also been postponed.

Wrexham's owners had previously added to their earlier statement that they had run out of money, saying that the club and it's Rugby League counterpart had cost them £4.5million in the last two years. Crusaders withdrew their RL Super League application earlier in the week and are expected to go bust.

So far this close season the football club have paid an undisclosed fee for striker Danny Wright, as well as offering Jack Midson a better wage packet than Wimbledon could offer, despite being is such a poor financial state.

News Round-Up

Former Bulls loanee Tristan Plummer has signed for Portugese second division side Portimonense SC. The 21 year old has been without a club since leaving Bristol City last summer, but scored three times in five games with the Bulls in 2009. Former Bull Gavin McCallum has told the local press he wants to score 25 goals in the Conference next season for Lincoln.

Burton are claimed by their local press to have made a club record bid for Halifax striker Jamie Vardy. The Unibond club are already believed to have rejected a £50,000 offer from Stockport. The Brewers have signed Leicester defender Tom Parkes on a six month loan. The teenager had a trial at Crewe last week but they opted against signing him.

Goal-line technology has moved a step forward after Sepp Blatter backed moves to introduce a system. The International Football Association Board, which controls the laws of the game, will meet in March and will decide whether to implement a system. If they do, it could be in use by the start of the 2012/3 season. Former Bulls loanee Matthew Lund has signed a three month loan deal at Oldham. The Stoke trainee played twice for the Bulls last term.

The League Two play-off final last May was a financial disaster. The Old Trafford game saw less than 12,000 through the gates, with sources at Torquay claiming they will have earned less than £10,000 from the game rather than the usual six-figure income. Aldershot are to loan young pair Reece Connolly and Doug Bergqvist to Farnboro until the end of the year.

Shrewsbury have signed midfielder Matt Richards on a two year deal. The 26 year old former Ipswich man was released by Walsall earlier in the summer after two years at the Bescot Stadium. Kidderminster have reported a 30% rise in season ticket sales, with the total number sold approaching 700.

Gillingham have signed Argentinian keeper Paolo Gazzaniga on a two year deal. The 19 year old was previously in Valencia's youth setup. Former Bulls loanee John Eustace has signed a contract extension with Waford keeping him there until 2013. Gavin Mahon is also training with the club, but manager Sean Dyche says he is only there to get fit after a long term injury.

Accrington have signed Barnsley defender Kern Miller on a six month loan, and Scottish keeper Sean Murdoch on a one year deal. Miller, 20, previously had a loan spell at Lincoln while Murdoch, 24, has played 64 times for a trio of Scottish clubs before being released by Hamilton earlier in the summer. Plymouth have released their matchday prices. Adults will pay £20 admission, £15 for OAP's, and £7 for kids. They have withdrawn discounts on advance tickets.

Advance Southend Tickets Available

The Hereford United club office is now selling advance tickets for the opening day game at Southend.

The tickets offer up to a £2 discount on normal matchday prices. There are several price categories available:

  • Adult: £19 (£21)
  • Junior: £9 (£10) 9-16 year olds
  • Senior: £14 (£15) 60 years and over
  • Students: £13 (£14)
  • Young person: £13 aged 17-20 ID required. Not available on day of game.
  • Under 8: £4 (£5)
  • Family: £19 (£21) 1 adult and 1 junior.

Also, on the morning of the game, the London Bulls will be hosting a pre-match brunch with Tim Russon at Clarence Yard in Southend (
link). The meet costs £10 for members and £12 for non-members. Bookings need to be made by next Thursday, and can be made by contacting Shaun in the Club Office or emailing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shrimpers Sign Dickinson

Opening day opponents Southend have eased their striker problems by signing Liam Dickinson on a one year deal.

The Shrimpers faced opening the season with just one recognised striker fit, but will now pair veteran Neil Harris with the former Stockport County man. After bagging 21 goals in the 07/08 campaign, Dickinson's career has gone downhill almost as fast as it went up.

He cost Stockport just £2,000 in 2005 and left the Hatters for Derby for £750,000 three years later. He has followed it up, without playing for the Rams, with six-figure moves to first Brighton and then Barnsley in each following summer and was released in May after just four games for the Tykes, failing to score in any of the 21 games he played last term.

Also signing for the Shrimpers is defender Ryan Leonard and midfielder JP Kalala. Teenager Leonard was released by Plymouth earlier in the summer after just one substitute appearance for the first team. Kalala, 29, has played 160 games for four different English clubs since starting his career with French side Nice.

Meanwhile, former Bulls loanee James Walker has signed for Dover Athletic. The former Charlton and Southend man is on his fourth club since his loan spell at Edgar Street less than two years ago.

Wrexham Owner 'Out Of Money'

Wrexham's owners have issued a statement saying they have run out of money and can no longer fund the club.

In a late night statement yesterday the owners stated 'we have simply run out of money in a very difficult time for all businesses. We have lost millions of pounds running Wrexham Football Club, our own fault but fact.'

They say that the Supporters Trust are still six to eight weeks away from finalising a deal to take over the Conference side, and they are now speaking to two other interested parties who 'both have previous associations with the club' as a matter of urgency with no ability to continue to fund the club.

"Make Or Break" For Connor

Dan Connor's trip to Lilleshall this week is "make or break" according to Jamie Pitman.

The popular Irishman has spent 11 months on the sidelines after a freak hip injury and is yet to feature for the Bulls in pre-season. Pitman told the official site:

"He knows it's make or break time for him, he's doing everything he can along with the medical staff to make sure he gets himself back."

Meanwhile Telford have reported that 98 Bulls fans made the trip to the New Bucks Head last night. The total attendance was 635.

Jarrett To Remain On Trial

Bulls boss Jamie Pitman has told the official site that trialist Albert Jarrett will remain with the club on trial for the next week.

The Sierra Leone international is expected to take some part in Saturday's trip to Forest Green. He played an hour of last night's Telford match. Delroy Facey, who played with Jarrett at Lincoln last season, also spoke to the Hereford Times about the winger:

“He’s been out of football for a few months now, so it’s a matter of getting match fitness and, hopefully, he will come on in leaps and bounds and maybe the manager will look to offer him a contract.”

Also expected to feature in that game is Ryan Green, with Pitman adding that the Welshman was stuck on the wrong side of the Brynglas Tunnel accident that shut the M4 yesterday and unable to make last night's match.

News Round-Up

Dagenham keeper Tony Roberts has announced his immediate retirement from playing in order to take a full time coaching role at Arsenal. The 41 year old has coached part-time with the Gunners for the last four years, but was due to continue this season. He made over 500 appearances for the Daggers after retiring from the professional game with a finger injury 11 years ago. Arsenal youngster James Shea will join the Daggers on loan as Roberts' replacement.

Bradford are expected to sign Liverpool keeper Martin Hansen on loan. The Dane, 21, has been at Anfield for the last five years but is yet to make his senior debut. Macclesfield manager Gary Simpson has called the cut in the number of substitutes 'ludicrous', claiming it will limit the ability of side to cultivate their youngsters.

Swindon are expected to trial striker Wilko Risser after the Namibian scored for Southend in a trial on Monday night. The Football League have signed a new five year global rights distribution deal with Pitch International. The global rights were previously split between several companies but will now have a single reseller in a bid to extend coverage and income from the current 96 countries that see coverage.

In a web chat with fans, Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray says that anything less than promotion for the club would be considered a failure. Barnet have signed full back Danny Senda on a one year deal. The 30 year old missed nearly two and a half years through injury before short terms deals at Torquay and Bristol Rovers last season.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bucks Head and shoulders above Bulls

Hereford United went down 3-1 to Conference outfit AFC Telford at the New Bucks Head this evening. The hosts found themselves 2-0 up at the break, following a Sean Newton penalty, and a wonder free-kick from Nathan Rooney. After the break, Telford continued to impress and added a third when Andy Brown tapped in, before Delroy Facey notched a consolation strike for the lacklustre Bulls.

United were without Ryan Green, with Rob Purdie filling in at right-back. Former Lincoln and Barnet winger Albert Jarrett trialled for Hereford on the left-hand side, whilst Danny Williams was preferred to Joe Colbeck on the right. Telford included two former Bulls in Ryan Valentine and Craig King; Dan Preston, who spent two loan spells with Hereford over the past two seasons, had to be content with a place amongst the subs.

Within two minutes of the start, Telford found themselves with a golden opportunity to take the lead, following an extremely harsh handball decision against Janos Kovacs. Newton stepped up and sent Adam Bartlett the wrong way to hand the Bucks the lead. James Reid, who was a thorn in Hereford's defence all night, cleared the cross-bar with a long-range effort. The tricky left-footer split the Bulls back-line to send Adam Proudlock through on goal, but the former Stockport striker blasted an effort at Bartlett, who pushed it over the bar. Following an awful Ronaldo-esque attempt at one end from Williams, Telford's Rooney tried his luck with a 30 yard set-piece. The ball was touched to him, and he smashed it in to the top corner with Bartlett helpless. Namesake Wayne would have been proud of that one!

Colbeck replaced the ineffective Williams at the break, but still it was the home side who continued to threaten. Brown found room from the right and nearly found the back of the net with a curling effort which dropped narrowly wide. After a half-decent Hereford penalty appeal for handball was turned down, Telford broke at speed down the left, with Reid picking out King, who heheaded just past the post. Yoann Arquin replaced a frustrated Stuart Fleetwood, who had failed to get into the game throughout, whilst James McQuilkin took to the field with Harry Pell making way. Yet, the changes had little effect as Telford added a third. Again, Reid was involved, delightfully racing away from Joe Heath and Jarrett, before lashing a low shot goalwards which Bartlett could only parry up into the air leaving Brown the simple task of tapping in.

Facey pressured a defender into a weak back pass, narrowly beating the 'keeper to the ball but under pressure, fired just over with a left-foot shot. At the other end, Tyler Weir, who had just replaced Jarrett, was skinned by King, withe young attacker smashing the post with a right-foot drive from the angle. Hereford pressed though for the final fifteen minutes, with Colbeck shooting wildly over after a neat pass by Arquin. Bartlett was on hand to deny Newton's sweet chipped effort, after he was superbly spotted by Reid.

Arguably the move of the game went to Hereford though; Kenny Lunt's cross-field pass was superbly touched on to Weir by Colbeck, and the Hereford youngster's half-volley struck the post, before Facey drilled in the rebound. That goal gave Hereford some impetus, with Arquin nicking the ball off the defender but failing to find a finish, with 'keeper Ryan Young denying him. Kyle McCarthy replaced Heath with ten minutes to go as Hereford showed their greater fitness levels. An awful decision to try and run it out of his own box by a Telford player saw him slip, but Colbeck couldn't punish him as he blasted over from 12 yards. Purdie's strike from outside the box, after a short pass by Lunt, was straight at Young, whilst a glided header by Arquin from a Facey cross failed to threaten.

It was a frustrating, and ultimately, poor, performance by Hereford, in front of a travelling contingent of 98. Signs of some neat interchanges were evident, but unfortunately, the defensive pairing of Michael Townsend and Kovacs still seem intent of blasting the ball up towards the sky. The greatest attacking threat that Hereford offered was when some pace was introduced, with Colbeck looking lively. Telford on the other hand looked a very decent Conference outfit; Valentine had an impressive game against his former employers, whilst Reid looked a class above that level, at least. Jamie Pitman, slighty tounge in cheek, shouted to one frustrated supporter at half-time, "Cheer up, for f**ks sake", and he's got a point, it's only pre-season, August 6th will be the time to properly judge the team.

Hereford: Bartlett, Purdie, Kovacs, Townsend, Heath, Williams, Pell, Lunt, Jarrett, Fleetwood, Facey.

Subs: Hoult, McCarthy, Weir, Colbeck, McQuilkin, Arquin.

Telford: Young, Valentine, Newton, Whitehead, Killock, King, Trainer, Rooney, Reid, Proudlock, Browmn.

Subs: Salmon, L Evans, Davies, Meechan, Pitt, Johnson, Adams, Samuels, Lawrie, Farrell, L Reid, Richards.

Jamie Pitman with first-team coach Richard Sneekes

Telford's main stand.

Bulls Downed By Telford

The Bulls lost tonight's friendly at Telford 3-1 to the Conference newcomers.

Delroy Facey scored a late consolation for the Bulls, with the hosts earning an early lead after a disputed penalty, while a screaming free kick added a second before half time.

Next up is Forest Green on Saturday with the Bulls looking for a stronger display.

Trialist Jarrett In Bulls Team

The Bulls have named winger Albert Jarrett in their starting XI for the match with Telford tonight.

The Sierra Leone international, 26, left Lincoln by mutual consent in March after a dismal time under new manager Steve Tilson. He was highly regarded by Imps fans in the initial stages of the season, but faded badly as the pitch conditions deteriorated.

Also in the Bulls side tonight is existing trialist Danny Williams, but Ryan Green joins Nicky Featherstone, Dan Connor, and Stefan Stam on the absentees list.

Ex-Bulls On Duty At Telford

There will be several ex-Bulls on duty for AFC Telford when the Bulls play them tonight.

Boss Andy Sinton has signed three this summer as well as trialling a fourth. Former Birmingham trainee Daniel Preston joined former Edgar Street team mates Craig King and Ryan Valentine at the New Bucks Head, confirming his signing last week.

Also joining them is former backup keeper Lee Evans. The podigy of former Bulls keeper coach Bernard Day is unlikely to make an appearance tonight after playing in last night's friendly match with Rushall Olympic. Sinton has indicated he has another keeper with League and Conference experience to look at for tonight.

News Round-Up

New Swindon arrival, Dutch winger Etienne Esajas, is expected to miss the start of the season after picking up a shoulder injury in their Monday friendly with Cirencester. Forest Green are trialling Football Manager 'legend' Cherno Samba. The 25 year old has most recently been playing in Finland and Greece.

Crewe will not be offering a contract to former Bulls trainee Mat Bailey. Dario Gradi told the club's official site the 25 year old was not pushing himself hard enough to be a challenger for the first team. He has been replaced at Gresty Road by trialist defender Chris Hogg, with the 26 year old looking to return to England after spells with Inverness and Hibs. Rotherham are reported to have turned down the chance to sign striker Liam Dickinson after he trained with the Millers.

Opening day opponents Southend fielded a pair of trialist strikers in a hastily arranged friendly last night as they attempt to solve their forward problems. Former Portsmouth man Vincent Pericard was reported to be not fit enough by manager Paul Sturrock while Wilko Risser, brother of recent Swindon arrival Oliver, was also tried in the match.

Wrexham's takeover rumbles on with strong claims that the club may fail to meet July's wage bill. The Supporters Trust has urged the current owners to continue to fund the club while the deal is finalised, but manager Dean Saunders has already admitted to using his own money to buy some equipment. Meanwhile Crusaders, the co-tenants of the Racecourse, have pulled out of the rugby Super League next season.

Burton boss Paul Peschisolido has called his side's performance in losing 4-0 to Tamworth at the weekend 'humiliating'. The Brewers fielded different sides in each half, losing both 2-0. Former Bulls keeper Chris Mackenzie has rejoined Corby for the third time after leaving Alfreton. Now 39, Mackenzie started his career with the Steelmen in 1993.

Dagenham have signed former Bulls trialist Sam Williams after his release by Yeovil. The former Aston Villa trainee forward scored just six goals in 77 games for the Glovers. Accrington have denied they are planning to play their Carling Cup match with Scunthorpe at Burnley as their pitch will not be ready. Stanley are yet to play a home friendly this summer after £30,000 of pitch work to rectify their surface, and switched a planned game with Blackburn to Morecambe.

Monday, July 25, 2011

News Round-Up

Grimsby have signed Rochdale striker Anthony Elding for an undisclosed fee after his rejection of a move to Plymouth. The former Stevenage man has signed a one year deal. Dagenham have signed striker Jake Reed on a two year deal. The 20 year old scored a hat-trick for Great Yarmouth in a friendly match with the Daggers last week.

Rotherham are reported to have rejected a £500,000 bid from Coventry for striker Adam Le Fondre. The Daily Star claims the Millers are asking for £1.5million for the former Rochdale man. Shrewsbury's teenage striker Tom Bradshaw is facing several months on the sidelines after damaging a knee in their friendly with Wolves. They fear cruciate ligament damage and are awaiting results of a scan.

Port Vale fan group North London Valiants have formally rejected the board's offer of a seat on the board, with the group claiming they were told to find new funding of £50,000 and were also threatened with legal action by the club. NLV called the board's offer 'hollow and disingenuous'. The club have responded with surprise, claiming that the rejection is a 'political gesture'. Swindon have confirmed the signing of released Charlton midfielder Alan McCormack on a two year deal.

Football industry magazine FC Business has launched a campaign to get the alcohol ban on football ground terraces and seating lifted. They wrote to football clubs asking for their views and every one of 40 reponses received so far wanted the ban lifted. Cheltenham have signed youngsters Harry Hooman and Bagasan Graham on one year deals. The pair were released by Shrewsbury and QPR respectively.

Westfields Take HFA Cup

Westfields won the HFA Cup after beating a Hereford United XI 3-2 at Allpay Park.

New signing Yoann Arquin netted both Bulls goals as he joined James McQuilkin, and youngsters Tyler Weir and Kyle McCarthy as the only members of the first team to take part in the game. The quartet all started the game after being second half subs on Saturday.

In the Westfields line-up was released Bulls midfielder Sam Gwynne, who has signed for the club for the coming season. Also on parade were fellow ex-Bulls Craig Jones and Aidan Thomas along with a couple of former members of the Bulls youth side.

AFC Telford – Tuesday

The Bulls continue their pre-season matches with a visit to AFC Telford's New Bucks Head Stadium on Tuesday evening.  Kick off is scheduled for 7.45 pm according to the AFCT official site.  Admission prices are believed to be £8 for adults, £5 for concessions including 14-18 year olds and £1 for under 14's.

The history of Telford goes back to 1872 when the Wellington Parish Institute made their initial plans to run a football team.  By 1879, the "PCI" had changed their name to Wellington Town and staked their claim as the top Shropshire side by winning The Shropshire Senior Cup in 1881.  The Club progressed to The Birmingham League and later joined the Southern League where they became regular visitors to Edgar Street.

The Club changed its name to Telford United in 1969 following the designation of Telford as a new town.  The turn of the millennium saw start of the building project for the New Bucks Head stadium but this was eventually to see The Club fall into financial difficulties when the Chairman's business empire collapsed leaving the Club facing liquidation.  A supporters’ trust was created and became to sole owners of a new club, AFC Telford United that started life in the Unibond Northern Premier League.

AFC Telford will compete in The Blue Square Premier for season 2011/12.

DIRECTIONS – From Hereford, take the A49 north towards Slopshire and at the junction with the A5, take the fourth exit for Telford.  Continue following signs for Telford and join the M54.  Leave the M54 at junction taking the A5223 towards Wellington and straight over the first roundabout (Retail Park).  At the second roundabout, go straight on following the B5057 then left at the third roundabout (Furrows Garage) into Haybridge Road.  Continue over a railway bridge then first right and then left into the Telford Club car park.  You should allow at least an hour and a half for a journey of around 65 miles.  Postcode is TF1 2TU. 

There are a couple of decent boozers a short walk from the ground.  From the car park, walk round the ground to the main entrance and out onto the main road (Watling Street).  Turn right and follow the road for about 400 yards.  The Cock Hotel and the Swan Hotel are just twenty yards apart.  The Cock was the West Midlands CAMRA POTY in 2009.


Trialist Arquin Signs Bulls Deal

Trialist striker Yoann Arquin has signed a deal with the Bulls.

The 23 year old Frenchman has spent the last few weeks trialling at Edgar Street, playing in three friendlies and scoring twice.

He becomes the 19th player under contract at Edgar Street.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

News Round-Up

Another new rule coming out of last week's Football League AGM is that the League will now impose a 1% tax on transfers to help fund youth football. They estimate the tax will raise £600,000 a year to fund youth development at League sides. Oxford have loaned striker Matt Green to Mansfield until the end of the year. The former Cardiff man scored only once in 40 games for the U's and Cheltenham last term.

Torquay have confirmed the signing of striker Taiwo Atieno on a one year deal. The former Stevenage man has spent the last two weeks on trial at Plainmoor. Southend midfielder Anthony Grant is claimed to be set for a move to one of a number of Championship sides. The former Chelsea trainee is in the final year of his contract after three seasons at Roots Hall.

Former Bulls loanee Robbie Threlfall is one of two players transfer listed by Bradford. The former Liverpool youngster and midfielder Lewis Hunt were both left out of the Bantams' friendly match with Huddersfield with Peter Jackson confirming afterwards they were both free to leave. Threlfall, now 22, played 12 times in two injury-hit spells at Edgar Street, and is claimed by many Bantams fans to be one of their highest earners.

Pitch – "The best it's ever been"

The opportunity to walk across the Edgar Street playing surface at this afternoon's Open Day was enough to prove that the work carried out by the new ground staff has been a resounding success.

Manager, Jamie Pitman, said "this is the best I've seen it in all my time here and we've spent less money this year than in previous close seasons." 

"They took turf samples that showed a good root structure so the effort has been about getting rid of the uneven under-surface and thickening the grass"

Kenny Lunt confirmed that there had been a great improvement: - "a football pitch can be made to look good by growing a lush grass but if the surface under the grass is bumpy then it's something that the fans don’t see." 

"A bobbling ball or an uneven bounce can be the thing that wins or loses a match."  There won't be many better surfaces than this one."

Asked about the narrowing of the pitch, Jamie Pitman said that there were some footballing reasons behind the decision but a major factor was the desire to make the full width of the match visible from all spectator areas. 

"I've always been aware that there were points in both the stands and under the Cargill where it wasn't possible to see the whole pitch."

“Hopefully these changes will help make the matchday experience better for the fans."

Open Day Success

Chairman David Keyte declared this afternoons Edgar Street Open Day a great success.

"We've all enjoyed the day, it's been a great opportunity for the Management and players to meet and chat to the fans away from the pressures of the normal matchday environment."

Hundreds of fans were queuing from the C Block turnstile right back to the corner of the Meadowend as the clock ticked towards the 2.00pm start time. The players started the proceedings with a short on-pitch training session before a period of squad photos followed by a lengthy session of individual photos and chats with fans.

Pitman Gives Injury Update

Speaking to Bulls Player after the match, Jamie Pitman says there are no new injury worries after yesterday's game.

He said Nicky Featherstone missed the game with a foot injury while Stefan Stam had a sore knee. Both are hoped to be available for the start of the season.

On Dan Connor, he added that the keeper will be off to Lilleshall this week to do further work. It is now 11 months since the Irishman picked up a freak hip injury getting out of his car.

Hughton Praises Blues Fans

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton praised his side's support from their fans after yesterday's game.

Despite a large group of late arrivals opting to break their way into the ground, and a trio of idiots chancing life and limb on the rickety roof of the Meadow End, the game passed off without major incident with Hughton's blunt Blues failing to give the large away support anything to over-excite them.

Hughton told the press after the game: "The support was magnificent, seeing Blues fans packing out a whole stand away from home was really good to see and they got right behind their team throughout. That level of backing is really appreciated."

Reports suggest that, prior to the game, the club were informed by the Championship side and Police that only around 500 Birmingham supporters were expected to make the trip. Around a thousand more turned up unannounced, leaving the 800 capacity away section woefully inadequate.

The last time the Blues travelled to Edgar Street, in 2008, the total attendance was just 553.

Open Day At 2pm

The Bulls' Open Day starts at 2pm today.

There will be stalls, a barbecue, and a chance to watch the players training. The new away kit will also be on sale. Admission is £2 for adults and £1 for kids.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bulls and Blues stalemate

Hereford United continued their season preperations with a 0-0 home draw against Championship outfit Birmingham. A bumper attendance of 2,848, boosted by an excellent following from the Midlands saw a fairly entertaining encounter, with both sides playing the majority of their football on the floor.

Sporting a fairly narrow formation, United made the early inroads and had arguably the best chance of the match within the opening few minutes. Ryan Green's boot forward was touched down by Delroy Facey to Stuart Fleetwood, who played a through ball back to Facey; the Grenada international outmuscled and outpaced his defensive marker but dragged a shot just past the far post. Liam Ridgewell smashed a long-range strike into the advertising boards, whilst Keith Fahey could only find the arms of Adam Bartlett when presented with an opportunity 18 yards out. At the other end, Harry Pell's follow up effort, after a Joe Colbeck cross was blocked, ended up over the stand. Chris Hughton's men ended the half stronger, with Fahey again testing Bartlett, before the away team had their best chance of the half. A cross from the evergreen Stephen Carr found its way to Michel six yards out but his effort was excellently blocked by Ryan Green. In the final minute, former Bulls' loanee Jordon Mutch blazed over from an acute angle.

As is often the case with pre-season friendlies, the second half was littered with subs which effected the rhythm of the game. Jamie Pitman introduced six of his seven options on the bench, with only Russell Hoult failing to make an appearence. Rob Purdie's last ditch tackle denied the Blues a clear effort on goal, whilst the tricky Chris Burke's intentionally sliced strike was pushed away by Bartlett. Second half sub James McQuilkin tried his luck from 30 yards, after Colbeck had set him up but he failed to trouble Colin Doyle, whilst Purdie's diagonol burst from right-back saw him go past a number of challenges before failing to keep his composure at the vital moment, flashing a powerful strike off-target. Akwasi Asante escaped the challenge of Janos Kovacs to race away down the left-wing before dragging back for Burke, but the former Cardiff man failed to hit the target. French trialist Yoann Arquin struck early but over after again Colbeck provided an opportunity, before in the final moments, Mutch stung the palms of Bartlett having latched on to a through ball by Michel, and Fahey nodded wide after meeting a deep cross by Nathan Redmond.

It was a useful workout for both teams, and Pitman should be pleased with the final result. United were well drilled throughout, especially defensively, but lacked a little bit of width at times. Kovacs looked assured at the back, despite his transfer listing, whilst Joe Heath and Ryan Green also made good impressions. The striking partnership of Facey and Fleetwood showed promise at stages, especially the link-up for the early chance. The Edgar Street pitch, albeit a little smaller this season, was in top condition, which is more than can be said for the potholes outside the ground! Next up for Hereford is a trip to Westfields in the County Cup on Monday evening.

Hereford: Bartlett, Green, Townsend (Williams), Kovacs, Heath (McCarthy), Lunt (McQuilkin), Pell (Weir), Colbeck, Purdie, Fleetwood (John), Facey (Arquin).

Subs not used: Hoult

Birmingham: Doyle, Carr, Caldwell, Ridgewell (Valles), Dann (Davies), Murphy, Michel, Burke (Redmond), Mutch, Fahey (Gomis), Rooney (Asante).

Subs not used: Kerr, Ozturk, Jervis.

Arquin Named As Trialist Striker

Today's teamsheet named Yoann Arquin as the French striker current on trial with the Bulls.

The former Paris St Germain trainee, 23, is currently plying his trade in the French amateur leagues with Red Star 93. He had a trial with Swindon last summer before trying his luck with MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Bulls Claim Brum Draw

The Bulls played out a creditable goalless draw with Birmingham City at Edgar Street today.

Debuting the new black away kit, the Bulls had more defending to do than the cash strapped Blues, but the performed well against the Championship side.

Full report later.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ex-Bull Watch

Wayne Brown is in talks with Oxford over a player-coach role, according to Sky Sports.

Now 34, Brown had told his Twitter followers he was planning a series of goalkeeper coaching schools after returning from South Africa but is now claimed to be on the verge of agreeing a deal with the U's to become no.2 and coach to first choice keeper Ryan Clarke.

Meanwhile, Toumani Diagouraga is expected to miss Brentford's trip to Edgar Street in the Carling Cup after damaging knee ligaments in Tuesday's friendly match with Hampton and Richmond. The 24 year old Frenchman faces at least two months on the sidelines after catching his studs in the turf in a 'freak accident'.

He may be out longer with a specialist due to assess the injury next week after further tests.

All Bulls Expected To Be On Parade

The Bulls are expected to report a clean bill of health when they face Birmingham tomorrow.

Although James McQuilkin, Stefan Stam, and Nicky Featherstone sat out the Spanish game, the trio are all reported to be back in training and are likely to feature against the Championship side. A number of trialists are expected to also be on show but it appears unlikely that Jamie Pitman will want them named on the day.

On the Birmingham side, two former Bulls loanees are expected to play some part in the game. Jordon Mutch and Jake Jervis both had loan spells at Edgar Street in the 2009/10 season, with Jervis returning in January this year.

Admission for the match, for both seating and terracing, is £10 for Adults, £5 concessions, and £1 for under 16's.

Pitman 8/1 To Be First Departure

The latest betting in League Two has seen Victor Chandler issue odds on the first manager to leave his job.

Jamie Pitman is fifth favourite on the list at 8/1 along with Northampton's Gary Johnson, with Plymouth boss Peter Reid heading the table at 3/1. Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson is next on 5/1, with Accrington's John Coleman and Cheltenham's Mark Yates on 7/1.

Shrewsbury's Graham Turner is considered to have one of the safest jobs, with the veteran a 25/1 outsider along with the likes of Crewe's Dario Gradi and new Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle.

Pitman is 18/1 to pick up the first Manager of the Month award, with League newboys Crawley (Steve Evans) and Wimbledon (Terry Brown) 8/1 favourites ahead of Paulo Di Canio and Andy Scott.

Victor Chandler have also issued odds on the Bulls being 'Top Central Team'. They are rated 5/1 outsiders of the group of four with Shrewsbury 13/8, Port Vale 2/1, and Crewe 7/2.

Extra bookies are also offering odds on Top Goalscorer, with Stuart Fleetwood available at 40/1 with Corals after Skybet opened with a 20/1 offer. Delroy Facey is still available at 100/1.

Ailing Blues Visit On Saturday

Birmingham City are the visitors for tomorrow's first pre-season game at Edgar Street.

The Blues are expected to bring a strong squad, but quite what names that squad contains depends entirely on who is left at St Andrews to board the bus. Since their relegation from the Premier League they have embarked on a somewhat panicked fire sale as they look to shore up their rickety financial state.

The latest out of the door is midfielder Barry Ferguson, with the Blues earning at least £12million from their summer sales so far. Even keeper Ben Foster is likely to be offloaded to ease the wage bill despite him expressing a desire to remain at the club. New boss Chris Hughton has had little say in the sales, and has been unable to make any signings since his arrival at the club a month ago.

Saturday's squad could well be light up front. Strikers Nikola Zigic, Cameron Jerome, and Marlon King are all injured and unlikely to even start the season, while winger Jean Beausejour has been given extra time off after playing in the Copa America.

News Round-Up

In addition to yesterday's reduction in subs, the Football League have also voted to extend the rule on home-grown players, making it six rather than four players in the matchday squad that must have spent three years before their 21st birthday in the English system. Only three of the Bulls squad fail the test. Lincoln's board have survived their EGM no-confidence vote. Only 21% of voters backed the motion, with all the existing board members retaining their places.

Bristol Rovers have told midfielder Charlie Reece he can leave the club on a free. The 22 year old made 23 appearances in four years, and is midway through a two year contract. Southend have opened talks with former Yeovil midfielder Jean-Paul Kalala. He ended last season with Bristol Rovers after a January move from Huish Park.

There are raised eyebrows over Gillingham's AGM, where the club are set to vote on plans buy back their Priestfield stadium for £1million just three years after selling it to RBS for £10million. When asked about the deal by the Guardian chairman Paul Scally, who presides over a £15million debt at the club, refused to comment. Their AGM is also set to be their last, with another vote on the day to remove the need for future AGMs.

Plymouth have failed to sign striker Anthony Elding after rejected the move for personal reasons. He is now believed to be speaking to a trio of Conference sides. Bradford have confirmed the signing of trialist Nahki Wells on a one year deal. The 21 year old Bermudan spent the second half of last season with Carlisle, but made only three appearances.

Former Bulls striker Mark Beesley has joined Evo-Stik Premier side Burscough for the coming season. The 30 year old was born in the village. Southend have confirmed they have ended talks with trialist Rohan Ricketts, claiming they never made him a firm offer. They denied the failure to agree a deal was due to finances, but down to the player's fitness.

New Gillingham striker Adam Birchall will miss several months after scans showed cruicate ligament damage to his knee that will need an operation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Young Bulls Get Pegasus Draw

A Bulls side containing a mix of youngsters and trialists drew 2-2 at Pegasus Juniors tonight.

With Sean Canham the veteran of the bunch, the old man netted twice from close range with the young Bulls defence conceding a pair of second half penalties to let the hosts claim a draw.

Bulls Name Pegasus Squad

The Bulls have named a 20 man squad that will face Pegasus tonight.

Of the 20 only Sean Canham, Tyler Weir, and first year pro Kyle McCarthy will be widely know to Bulls fans. The remainder of the squad are reported to be youth teamers and trialists.

Bulls boss Jamie Pitman is reported by those who travelled to Spain to have said he will be in attendance tonight.

There is parking available tonight on the old wire mill site, but fans are asked to respect the local businesses and not block access to their businesses or private car parks.

Clubs Vote To Reduce Subs Bench

Football League clubs have voted to cut the number of available substitutes this season from seven to five.

An EGM in Leicester today has voted in favour of the reduction with a statement reading: "This was felt to be a sensible and prudent step given the financial challenges facing many football clubs and the commitment made earlier this summer to adopt UEFA's Financial Fair Play framework."

Clubs will still name seven subs in the Carling and FA Cups, but for League matches and the Johnstones Paint Trophy the number will drop to five.

News Round-Up

Southend trialist Rohan Ricketts says he wants a 'fair deal' to sign for the club after claims he was holding out for a huge contract beyond the club's means. The former Spurs man says he will look elsewhere if he cannot agree a deal by the weekend. Cheltenham are reported to be about to sign released Bristol Rovers forward Daryl Duffy. The 27 year old has cost six-figure transfer fees three times in his career, but started only two games last season due to injury. The Robins are also claimed to be set to sign Huddersfield striker James Spencer, who ended last season at Morecambe, on loan.

Crawley are reported to be trialling Ipswich utility man Shane O'Connor. The 20 year old was previously reported to have rejected a loan move to the Bulls last November. Swindon have signed winger Etienne Esajas after a trial. The 26 year old Dutchman previously had three years at Sheff Weds, where he made only 32 starts before spending last season in the Dutch second tier.

Oxford have ended their interest in Southend striker Matt Patterson after a trial period. The 21 year old has been told he has no future at Roots Hall. Torquay's plans to build a new grandstand, starting next month, have been delayed after a contractual dispute led to the club ditching the contractors scheduled to build the new structure. They will now put the project back out for tender. They still hope to have the stand ready by the new year.

Plymouth are to give Rochdale striker Anthony Elding a medical today ahead of signing the former Stevenage man. Northampton are to run a leaflet drop to 40,000 homes in the Rushden area in a continued bid to lure fans of the failed club. Port Vale are to reintroduce their discounts to season tickets after disappointing sales caused by the Black&Gold campaign against the current board.

Former Bulls defender Tom Smith has joined Cornwall Combination side Illogan RBL. Bradford have signed goalkeeper coach Tim Dittmer to a playing contract in case of emergencies. The 25 year old, previously a coach with Liverpool's Academy side, has played over 200 times in Conf North. Swindon are to sign Irish midfielder Alan McCormack after he agreed a settlement to his Charlton contract. The 27 year old has barely played since Chris Powell became manager of the Addicks.

Wimbledon have less than 300 tickets left for their first Football League fixture with Bristol Rovers. The game is also live on Sky.