Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pre-season 'Friendly' for Bulls

Hereford United will play Westfields in the final of the HFA Senior Invitation Cup at Edgar Street on Tuesday July 31st.

News Round-Up

Newport's move to Rodney Parade has been agreed and now awaits Conference approval. They have to have approval by 5pm for the move to take place for the coming season. Darlington have announced that they will play at Bishop Auckland next season rather than Shildon after concerns over safety at Shildon's Dean Street ground. Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park site is higher graded and would allow the Quakers to compete in the Evo-Stik League if they win their appeal against their current league placing.

Macclesfield's Supporters Trust reports that it's chief met with club owner Amar Alkhadi to discuss recent upheavals at the club. Alkhadi promised to channel sufficient funds into the club to challenge for promotion, and denied claims he was looking to sell their Moss Rose home. Dartford have won an "Observer Ethical Award" for their Princes Park home. The stadium has a grass roof, solar panelling, water recycling facilites, and bike racks.

Barrow have confirmed that they will be seeking a fee from Macclesfield for winger Jack Mackreth after the youngster turned down their improved offer for the coming season to move to Moss Rose. Alfreton have bought 500 seats from Kettering's former Rockingham Road home to install in their Impact Arena home.

Bath have made their Commercial Manager and Communications Manager redundant following their relegation from the Conference. They say the moves on the full-time posts are as a result of "the prevailing financial enviroment". Macclesfield have named Jon Harris as the club's new Chief Executive, moving up from the General Manager role he took up in October. He had held similar positions at Wrexham and Shrewsbury.

Foyle Confirms Featherstone Offer

In an interview with the Hereford Times, new Bulls boss Martin Foyle has confirmed that an offer has been made to Nicky Featherstone.

The Bulls would be due a fee if the 23 year old chose to move on from Edgar Street, with Foyle adding that both Kenny Lunt and Delroy Facey have 'options' on their current contracts to extend for the coming season. He also intends to speak to Rob Purdie.

Meanwhile, rumours have begun circulating over who may be Foyle's pick as his assistant. Two names that have surfaced are those of Andy Porter and Dean Glover.

The former Port Vale pair have both acted as Foyle's assistant in previous posts. Porter, 43, was his no.2 at York and was most recently coaching in the youth section at Stockport, while Glover, 48, had the role as assistant at Port Vale before succeeding Foyle in the hotseat.

Speculation over Glover has also linked the Bulls to his son, striker Danny, who was in the youth section during Foyle's reign at Vale Park. The "lethal weapon", 22, is a free agent after turning down non-contract terms with Nuneaton despite netting 21 times in Conf North last term. He is reported in the press to be in talks over a return to Worcester, where he scored 20 times the previous season.

Worcester boss Carl Heeley told the Worcester News: “There is an interest in trying to bring Danny back to the club. I have had a very constructive chat with him and, although he is looking to keep his options open, there’s a possibility he could return to Worcester."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Onwards and Upwards says HUISA Chairman

HUISA chairman Keith Dodd feels the appointment of Martin Foyle as the new manager at Edgar Street is 'very solid'

"I think he will do us a good job," Dodd told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"A risky appointment would have been exactly what we don't need.

"Foyle is someone to stabilise the situation, should know the players from his Bristol Rovers days and he lives in the Midlands.

"A good appointment overall."

Dodd feels it will be 'hard' to get out of the Conference.

"There's good players in the Conference

"I think the majority of genuine supporters are realistic - as long as we can be bordering on that play-off area.

"The one thing that has got to be improved is the home form."

Dodd hopes the club can move forward again.

"I think we have a good board here now. I think we have a good base of fans.

"The social club has been absolutely brilliant but we need to get everything right on the football pitch.

"Once we can do that then it's onwards and upwards."

Foyle Aims To Take Bulls Back To The League

Hereford United's new manager, Martin Foyle has been talking about his hopes for the Bulls.

"It's a club that can bounce back but it needs to stabilise, Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"It's been a hard time, but everybody who worked here last season gave it their best shot.

"Now I'm the next man in to try to calm it down a bit.

"The main attraction for me was the chance to build a club like we did at York and you can see where they are now - back in the Football League.

"It's a chance for me to get my hands dirty again and I can't wait."

The View From York

Well known York supporter, UKPhil, has given Bulls News his thoughts on this morning’s appointment of Martin Foyle.

The first thing to say is that Martin Foyle is a great bloke to work with, a Manager who is driven and focussed with extensive contacts within the game due to his own successful playing career and his time in management.

As Manager of York City, having taken over with the club in a disasterous state on the playing side, he stabilsed the club, managed to steer City away from relegation and even managed to guide a poor side to Wembley in the FA Trophy. It was the revenue from this Final that boosted his playing budget enough to bring in some better players to build his own side and the end result was that, in the following season, City made it all the way to the Play-Off Final against Oxford United.

We lost that final and I suspect, had we won it, Martin Foyle would still be in post as Manager of York City. We didn't, and in the following season Foyle resigned and still no-one knows why. It is suspected though that he felt the sale of Richard Brodie, who had scored 37 goals in the Play-Off season, right on deadline day had ruined any chance of promotion. Coupled with a "Play-Off hangover" a 5-0 hammering at Mansfield was the final straw.

Some fans were critical of Foyle's approach to games at times, often claiming he would big up the opposition too much and almost instill fear into his own side where no fear should have been present. He tried to keep expectations down whereas, on the flip side, Gary Mills our current boss has succeeded by keeping expectation high with a "no fear" approach.

There is no doubt at all that Martin Foyle is a good Manager. His record at York speaks for itself, he knows the Conference inside out. I think if he can get Hereford United supporters behind him 100% for the off, and is given a proper chance by both board and fans, he will be able to put the Bulls in a position to challenge.

UKPhil is a longstanding fan at Bootham Crescent, not shy of giving an opinion on all things football, but most importantly, a genuine fan who tells it as it is. He works in the media department at York and covers their games for YCTV.

Keyte Impressed By Foyle's Conference Experience

Hereford United chairman David Keyte has said that he has been impressed with new manager Martin Foyle's experience at Conference level.

"We had been strongly advised by many people to appoint a manager who has Conference expeience," Keyte told the OS.

"Martin certainly has a wealth of experience as a player, coach,assistant manager and most importantly as manager.

"We'll be looking for him to draw on his experience and his contacts within the game to assemble a squad capable of challenging for promotion."

Foyle has said that he is pleased to have joined a family club.
"It's a family club. I think that is very important. I'm looking forward to it."
As regards putting a squad together:
"It's all about what players I can get to come to Hereford.

"The contacts I've got don't think that will be a problem."

A Profile of Martin Foyle

Below is a profile of Martin John Foyle who has been appointed as the new Hereford United manager.

49 year old Foyle was born in Salisbury on May 2nd 1963. He started his career as a trainee at Southampton under Lawrie McMenemy where he spent four years including a few months with Swedish club IFK Munkfors. He moved to Aldershot for £10,000 in August 1984. In nearly four seasons with the Shots he made 98 appearances and scored 35 goals.

In March 1987 he joined Oxford for £140,000 where he also stayed for four seasons in which he made 126 starts and scored 36 goals.

In June 1991 came his most expensive move. Port Vale paid £375,000 for his services and he repaid them over eight seasons with 296 appearances and 86 goals.

Continuing knee problems forced him to retire in 2000 but he stayed with Vale. Firstly he managed their youth team then in February 2004 the first team. However Vale had financial problems at the time and Foyle did well to keep the club in League One. Two better seasons followed although a visit to Edgar Street in December 2006 was one cup game best forgotten.

The Bulls humbled League One Port Vale 4-0 in today's FA Cup Round Two match at Edgar Street.

Another Luke Webb thunderbolt, a Rob Purdie double - a penalty and a deflected effort, plus a goal of the match effort from Andy Ferrell gave the Bulls a deserved win over a very demoralised Port Vale side that struggled to stop arguing between themselves in what is very likely manager Martin Foyle's last game in charge.

 After a poor start to the 07/08 season he left Vale by mutual consent in September 2007.

After a few months with Wrexham as a caretaker manager he moved to York in November 2008. 

He was in charge for two years during which time he took them to an FA Trophy Final and a Conference Play-off Final. He resigned in September 2010.

He was short-listed for the manager's job at Edgar Street after Simon Davey was sacked in October 2010.

Then followed two months with Bristol Rovers as first team coach.

But Foyle wanted to get back into managerment and applied for the then vacant job at Newport County. However he wasn't shortlisted 

In February 2012 he was appointed manager of Northwich Victoria on a short-term contract which ended last May.  

And this morning he has joined Hereford United.

Foyle Unwrapped As New Bulls Manager

Martin Foyle has been named as the new manager of Hereford United at today's press conference.

The former York and Port Vale boss will take charge of the Bulls for their return to the Conference after ending a short spell with Northwich at the start of the month.

Funeral of Nicky Munn This Afternoon

The funeral of Nicky Munn will take place at the Hereford Crematorium at 3.45pm this afternoon and afterwards at the Starlite Rooms at Edgar Street.

Her family have asked that any donations are given to the 

Nicky had supported Hereford United for many years and will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

News Round-Up

Macclesfield have signed winger Jack Mackreth from Barrow on a one year deal. The 20 year old had told the Cumbrian side he was going to sign the new deal offered to him last week, but changed his mind at the last minute. Darlington have now been told they cannot enter any of the FA Cup, Trophy, or Vase as the club did not exist when the April 1st deadline for entries for the coming season closed.

Nuneaton have made released Telford midfielder Jon Adams their first new signing of the summer. The 27 year old is the 11th player signed on for the Boro for the coming season. Swindon have defended themselves in the wake of the BBC report claiming they have apologised for Paolo Di Canio's abuse of loanee Jonathan Theoue, saying that quotes used has been taken out of context and that the player was trying to 'justify his own failings'.

The Football League AGM this week will discuss a return to seven substitutes and the use of artificial pitches. The BBC reports that a return to seven subs is likely to be voted in after several Championship clubs demanded the increase. Artificial pitches will also be considered, but it is unlikely to get the immediate go-ahead. The situation at Portsmouth will also be considered, with the club under pressure to prove they will have the finances in place to complete the coming season.

Wrexham midfielder Dean Keates has turned down a more lucrative offer to join a Football League club and taken a pay-cut to stay at the club. The 34 year old says he did not want to be away from his family. Former Bulls loanee Brian Smikle says he will be looking for a regular starting spot at his next club after being released by Cheltenham. The 26 year old started only three games this season after being a virtual ever-present the season before.

Paul Parry was voted as the second best player in Preston's season according to a poll done by the Lancashire Evening Post. 98% of fans called their season Terrible or Disappointing. Luton have released striker Danny Crow, and defenders Shane Blackett and Dan Gleeson as manager Paul Buckle rebuilds for a promotion charge next term.

Hyde are set to sign Chester midfielder Alex Brown as their first new face of the summer. The 27 year old was Chester's joint Player of the Year last term. Shrewsbury have signed Hereford-born midfielder Aaron Wildig following his release by Cardiff. The Shrews are also reported to be interested in Aldershot's former Bulls defender Darren Jones.

Macclesfield have sold defender Elliott Hewitt to Ipswich for an undisclosed fee. The 18 year old has signed a three year deal with the Tractorboys.

From the Archive - Dodge training to become a Physio

Hereford United physio Ian Rodgerson had a football career spanning the best part of twenty years but before he retired from the game, he decided he would like to become a physiotherapist. Here's a look back at an interview he gave to the Sports Argus which was published thirteen years ago today.

 May 29th 1999:

INJURIES are an occupational hazard for a footballer.

Now Ian Rodgerson intends to make an occupation out of injuries by becoming a fully qualified physiotherapist reports the Sports Argus.

The 33-year-old Hereford United defender has already passed the basic and intermediate stages and next week starts work on the diploma part of the Football Association's treatment of injuries course at Lilleshall..

It's a cerebral challenge, rather than usual full-back's challenge, and one he's looking forward to.

As he admits, he has been on the other side of the fence often enough.

In a career which started in 1984-85 when he joined Hereford from Pegasus Juniors. Rodgerson has been sidelined with pulls, breaks, twists to fill a text book.

"I've had most injuries going while I've been playing so I should know half of the symptoms from personal experience," smiled the player, whose League career has also taken in spells with Cardiff, Sunderland and Blues.

Having decided to further his knowledge, Rodgerson has been indebted to former Blues physio Paul Heath for his tuition.

And he has already been passing on some of his newly acquired skills with Hereford. Graham Turner has asked him to look after the rehabilitation programme of crocked players, while Keith Downing's exit to Wolves enabled him to have a backroom role coaching the YT players.

"I've always been interested in sporting injuries - probably because I've had a few myself," said Rodgerson.

"I'm coming to the age now where I have to look to the future.

"I would like to stay in football. I'm not sure I've got the nerves to be a manager. But I could myself as a physio."

Having got through the first two stages, studying part-time at North Birmingham College with Heath, Rodgerson, now takes the diploma over an intensive 10-day period at Lilleshall from Monday.

"It's pretty detailed stuff and of course all the names of the muscles have Greek names so it's a real education. But I'm really enjoying it!" he added.

"With the diploma, I'll be qualified to work in the League."

The next time Rodgerson goes down with an injury, now he'll know exactly what he has done!

Bulls Call Weds Press Conference To Name Boss

The Bulls have called a 10.30am press conference on Wednesday to name the new manager.

Speculation has continued all week as to the identity of those interviewed for the post, with the likes of Jimmy Harvey, Martin Foyle, Dave Penney, Gary Lowe, and Richard Money all being claimed to have applied for the post.

The Bulls News twitter account has received several reports that at least two of those names had 'definitely' got the job.

Kiddy Look Forward To Derby Match

Kidderminster assistant boss Gary Whild says he is looking forward to having a proper derby match with the Bulls.

He told their official site: "We're disappointed for them to be coming out of the League because they have worked tirelessly to sustain it, but from a local point of view and from the perspective of the supporters, it's a game to look forward to. 

"It is always good to have a local derby in the calendar. You'd expect bumper crowds home and away and we've been fortunate in that supporters have always been good to us since we've been here in creating a good atmosphere. When we do meet Hereford it'll be a great buzz."

Meanwhile, Grimsby joint manager Paul Hurst believes that both the Bulls and Macclesfield will provide tough competition this season. He told the local press: 

"Hereford and Macclesfield both lost managers in going down so that hasn't helped their early plans this summer. If Macclesfield can keep their better players then they will be difficult to play against as they always have been. And Hereford only went down on the last day and showed good form to take it to the wire so they will be tough as well."

News Round-Up

Woking have sold forward Paris Cowan-Hall to Plymouth for an undisclosed fee. The former Portsmouth trainee, 21, turned down a new deal at Kingfield Stadium after 17 goals last season. The Cards have also sold teenage striker Ola Sogbanmu to Carshalton for a small fee. Darlington have been told they will be unlikely to be able to call themselves 'Darlington FC' next season as they are no longer that club.

Luton have lost the services of defender Curtis Osano after he opted to join AFC Wimbledon when his contract expired. The 25 year old former Reading trainee had signed for Luton last summer on a six month deal, before having it extended to the end of the season. Newport are continuing talks over a move to Rodney Parade, with a Conference-imposed deadline of Thursday to finalise plans.

Bradford have confirmed press reports that Rotherham boss Steve Evans is the subject of a complaint that he exposed himself to a female member of staff in the aftermath of the stormy Bradford-Crawley match. The FA are investigating. Ex-Bull Jon Wallis is one of eleven players to agree to new deals to remain at Conference newcomers Dartford for the coming season. Two more are still considering deals, with another pair mulling over offers of pre-season trials, while three have left the club due to work commitments.

The BBC say that Swindon have admitted in a solicitors letter that boss Paolo Di Canio did make abusive comments to loan striker Jonathan Tehoue relating to his skin colour, but that he "in no sense intended the reference to be a racial slur". The FA investigation is ongoing. Woking boss Garry Hill says Macclesfield 'offered a lot of money' to forward Loick Pires before he opted to sign for the Cards instead, adding that Peterboro were also interested in the player.

Walsall boss Dean Smith has confirmed that Richard O'Kelly is in his sights to become his no.2 at the Bescot Stadium. O'Kelly took up the role in October before leaving for the Bulls, with his temporary successor Neil Woods not interested in the vacancy long-term. Crawley boss Sean O'Driscoll is still also chasing O'Kelly. Former Bulls striker Moses Ashikodi has been released by York following the expiry of his contract. The former Millwall man managed only three starts after arriving at the club in November.

Former Bulls loanee Brian Smikle is one of three to be released from Cheltenham following their play-off loss. The former West Brom trainee is joined at the exit by winger Josh Low, who will play part time while studying law next season, and youngster Theo Lewis. Defender Danny Andrew is also transfer listed after ending the season on loan at Mansfield. Keith Lowe is one of eight to be offered a new deal.

Newport midfielder Sam Foley has signed for Yeovil on a one year deal. The former Kidderminster man was out of contract with the Exiles after being their ten goal top scorer this season. Braintree midfielder Jai Reason has quit the club in favour of Conf South side Eastleigh in a bid to play regularly as a central midfielder.

More Events At Edgar Street

There are several more events on at Hereford United over the coming long Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

On Saturday, Addisons will be screening the final warm-up match for England's Euro 2012 campaign when they face Belgium at Wembley (5.15pm kick off).

On Sunday, The Starlite Rooms host a Diamond Jubilee Party featuring music from The Time Bandits. Tickets cost £5, with details from Mark on 07882 666180.

On Monday, AC/DC tribute band High Voltage are in the Starlite Rooms. Tickets are £10 and available from Nilam Music, or by calling 07523 284741.

The following weekend, Saturday June 9th, the Starlite Rooms are hosting another Dinner, Dance, and Cabaret with entertainment from Comedian and Ventriloquist Paul Levent, and Singer Amy Lee. Tickets are £20, available directly from the club (08442 761939).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bulls Close To Deal With New Manager

Hereford United are expected to agree a deal with a new manager later tomorrow.

Chairman David Keyte has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that 'they hope to have everything settled by tomorrow evening'.

If all goes according to plan he will be introduced at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile Keyte confirmed that a copy of the draft contract has been forwarded to the LMA (League Managers Association).

Bulls News Euro 2012 Competition

With around six weeks till the start of pre-season friendlies, Hereford United fans may be lacking their football fix (although some may enjoy this break after the season just gone!). To help those in need though, Bulls News has set its own Fantasy Football league for the upcoming European Championships. The winner will receive a new Hereford United shirt and the runner up will receive a shirt from the season just gone.

To enter the league, follow this link , create a team and then join the Bulls News League. The league pin is 110856 and the mini league password is hereford.

Can you beat other Hereford fans and win the prize?

Any problems entering then contact me via my Twitter acount

Best of luck!

No Disrespect, But...

Luton Town's chief executive Gary Sweet thinks Luton are too big for the Conference, whilst handing a backhanded compliment to the Bulls.

He told the local press: “No disrespect to the Conference, because it’s a good place for a club to come and rehabilitate and recover, but with a big club like this, we are out of sorts and out of shape for this league. 

“The Conference isn’t great at dealing with very large clubs like Luton. Look at the two clubs coming down – no disrespect to them – but they won’t struggle as much as Plymouth would have done.

“It’s really about us.

“When we took the business out of administration four years ago it took two to three years to really get rid of the chaos – it was in a real mess. I think this last year is the first that we’ve really begun to professionally develop as a business, but that’s about us.

“When there’s a million pounds difference between League Two and the Conference, it would have been easier to do it in League Two, I can assure you.”

News Round-Up

Plymouth have confirmed Carl Fletcher as their permanent manager on a 12 month rolling contract. The 32 year old says he will now quit playing to concentrate on managerial duties, with keeper Romain Larrieu continuing as his assistant. Crewe beat Cheltenham 2-0 in yesterday's League Two play-off final to win promotion with goals from Nick Powell and Byron Moore.

Grimsby have frozen ticket prices at Blundell Park for the fourth year running, but it will still cost £18 for an Adult to get in to see a game. The club's Supporters Trust is to take over the running of matchday bars in a bid to  improve the 'matchday experience'. Mathieu Manset scored his first goal for Shanghai Shenhua as they notched their first win of the season on Friday by beating Guizhou 2-1.

Former Darlington owner Raj Singh has accused DFC 1883, the new fan-led club, of a 'massive cock-up' over the transfer of the football share. They are set to appeal to the FA over their placing for next season. Gateshead have lost the services of striker Jon Shaw after he rejected a new, improved, deal to stay at the club. The 28 year old scored 35 times last season and is expected to move into the Football League.

Neath have been wound up in the High Court after failing to pay off a debt owed to Barclays Bank. The move was almost inevitable after they were refused a licence to play in the Welsh Premier next season.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Conference Club Guide – Part 4

Southport (The Sandgrounders)
Ground – Haig Avenue (Capacity 6008)
Manager – Liam Watson (Ex Preston NE, Marine, Runcorn, Accrington)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1290
Finishing position – 7th

Stockport County (The Hatters)
Ground – Edgeley Park (Capacity 10841)
Manager – Jim Gannon (Ex Sheff Utd, Stockport, Crewe, Notts County)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 3646
Finishing position – 16th

Tamworth (The Lambs)
Ground – The Lamb Ground (Capacity 4195)
Manager – Marcus Law (Ex Bristol Rovers, Stafford, Sacramento Knights)
Average attendance 2011/12 - 1097
Finishing position – 18th

Telford United (The Bucks)
Ground – The New Bucks Head (Capacity 6300)
Manager – Andy Sinton (Ex Brentford, QPR, Spurs, Sheff Wed, Wolves)
Average attendance 2011/12 - 2264
Finishing position – 20th

Woking (The Cardinals, The Cards)
Ground – Kingfield (Capacity 6036)
Manager – Garry Hill (Ex Daggers, Hornchurch, Weymouth, Rushden)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1833
Finishing position – Promoted from Conf South (Champions)

Wrexham (The Dragons, The Robins, The Goats)
Ground – Racecourse Ground (Capacity 15500)
Player-Manager – Andy Morrell (Ex Coventry, Blackpool, Bury)
Average attendance 2011/12 - 3806
Finishing position – 2nd

Quartet Quit Mansfield Board

It's not just the Bulls with an unhappy board member quitting - Mansfield have had four walk out today.

The Mansfield Chad reports that Steve Hymas, Andy Saunders, Steve Middleton, and Darren Bland have quit the board, with a statement from the quartet expressing their frustration:

“In recent months our input has not been welcomed or has been ignored and, therefore, we wish to disassociate ourselves from recent activity at the football club.

“The role of directors is to ensure correct or best practice in the boardroom, management and accountability at the football club and, in our opinion, this has not been the case in recent months.

Hymas was previously the club's main sponsor and also acted as Head of Youth, while Saunders and Middleton initially came in as part of the four man consortium that bought the club in 2008. 

Their departures leave owner John Radford and his girlfriend, Carolyn Still, and two other executive directors on the board, along with the fans representative. Still has hit the headlines for her past, and she was arrested during the club's play-off match with York after remonstrating with Police.

The Club are yet to make a response. Hymas claimed earlier this week that they had not been consulted on the season ticket prices that had infuriated fans, a claim later denied by Still.

News Round-Up

Darlington are pinning their hopes on an administrative cock-up after former chairman Raj Singh claimed he had signed the 'football share' from the old company over the the new, fan led, club. The Quakers were dropped down as low as the NPL as the FA stated the transfer had not happened. The club have named Martin Gray as their new manager for the coming season. Today's The People is claiming that Rotherham boss Steve Evans exposed himself to a female staff member in the wake of the Crawley-Bradford match that saw a string of players sent off.

Woking have signed Welling captain Jack Parkinson, their second capture from the Conf South play-off final losers. Midfielder Parkinson, like striker capture Loick Pires, will be subject to a transfer fee due to his age. The PFA want racist abuse to be a sackable offence for its members. They are seeking Premier League and Football League approval to have racism classed under the gross misconduct clauses in contracts.

Macclesfield are reported to be set to sell defender Elliott Hewitt to Ipswich Town. The teenager missed the end of the season due to injury but is expected to have talks with the Tractorboys next week. The Non-League Paper released it's Team of the Season today. It features three players each from promoted York and Fleetwood, with Kidderminster's Lee Vaughan the only one of the XI not to play for a top 5 side.

Burton have named Paul Molesworth as their new scout. He was a regular visitor to Edgar Street while with Bristol Rovers and Swindon over the past few years. Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous has told today's NLP that he wants four up/four down through all divisions of the Football League, including the drop to the Conference. A proposal to increase promotion places will be discussed at the League AGM.

Conference Club Guide – Part 3

Lincoln City (The Imps)
Ground – Sincil Bank (Capacity 10120)
Manager – David Holdsworth (Ex Watford, Sheff Utd, Birmingham, Bolton)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 2347
Finishing position – 17th

Luton Town (The Hatters)
Ground – Kenilworth Road (Capacity 10226)
Manager – Paul Buckle (Ex Brentford, Torquay, Exeter, Northampton, Colchester)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 6111
Finishing position – 5th (Lost in play-off Final to York)

Macclesfield Towm (The Silkmen)
Ground – The Moss Rose (Capacity 6355)
Manager – Steve King (Ex Lewes, Farnboro)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 2227
Finishing position – Relegated from League 2 (24th)

Mansfield Town (The Stags)
Ground – Fieldmill (Capacity 7574)
Manager – Paul Cox (Ex Notts County, Kettering, Halifax, Hucknall)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 2682
Finishing position – 3rd

Newport County AFC (The Exiles, The Ironsides)
Ground – Newport Stadium (Poss move to Rodney Parade)
Manager – Justin Edinburgh (Ex Southend, Spurs, Portsmouth)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1350
Finishing position – 19th

Nuneaton Town (The Boro)
Ground – Liberty Way
Manager – Kevin Wilkin (Ex Cambridge City, Northampton, Rushden)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 778
Finishing position – Promoted from Conf North via play-offs (5th)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bulls Available At 20/1 For Conf Win

With six bookmakers now offering odds on the Conference next season, the Bulls are as low as 10/1 fifth favourites to win the title.

Ladbrokes offer the shortest odds on the Bulls, with BetVictor offering 20/1 as the longest on offer. The other four bookies all offer 14/1.

Luton remain favourites but have drifted slightly from 3/1 to 7/2, with Mansfield 11/2 and Wrexham 7/1. Lincoln have gone from 25/1 to 40/1 despite a string of early signings.

At the far end of the betting, both Hyde and Telford are 500/1 outsiders, with Tamworth, Nuneaton, Dartford, and Ebbsfleet all 250/1.

Bartlett Set For Gateshead Departure

A large hire van was seen outside of Adam Bartlett's house this morning, virtually confirming strong rumours that he is set to depart Edgar Street.

Gateshead is his expected destination with fans on their "Heed Army" forum expecting an announcement shortly. It is understood the move was requested for family reasons.

Bartlett, 26, started his career with Newcastle after being born in the area, and turned down a move to Gateshead in favour of joining the Bulls in the summer of 2009 from Kidderminster. He has played a total of 127 times for the Bulls in three seasons, being a virtual ever-present in his first two years.

His departure will leave the untested, but highly rated, rookie Dan Hanford as the only keeper at the club.

Conference Club Guide – Part 2

Forest Green Rovers (The Little Club on The Hill)
Ground – The New Lawn (Capacity 5147)
Manager – Dave Hockaday (Ex Blackpool, Swindon, Hull, Slop)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1035
Finishing position – 10th

Gateshead (The Heed)
Ground – Gateshead International Stadium (Capacity 11800)
Manager – Ian Bogie (Ex Newcastle, Preston NE, Millwall, Orient, Port Vale)
Average attedndance 2011/12 – 843
Finishing position – 8th

Grimsby Town (The Mariners)
Ground – Blundell Park (Capacity 10033)
Joint Managers – Rob Scott and Paul Hurst (Previously joint managers at Boston)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 3308
Finishing position – 11th

Hyde FC (The Tigers)
Ground – Ewen Fields (Capacity 4073 of which 530 are seated)
Manager – Scott McNiven (Ex Oldham, Oxford, Mansfield, Chester)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 645
Finishing position – Promoted from Conference North

Kidderminster (The Harriers)
Ground – Aggborough (Capacity 6250 of which 3140 are seated)
Manager Steve Burr (Stafford Rangers, Macclesfield, Hednesford, Nuneaton)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 2095
Finishing position – 6th

Keyte 'impressed' with applicants for manager

David Keyte has said that he is 'impressed' with the applicants for the vacant post of manager of Hereford United.

"We know we can get a good manager out of that line-up," Keyte told the Hereford Times yesterday.

"It's now down to three, probably two.

"Now it's down to weighing up the usual strengths and weaknesses."

It's expected that an annoucement regarding the new manager will be made early next week.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Conference Club Guide – Part 1

Alfreton Town (The Reds)
Ground – North Street (Capacity 3600 of which 1500 are seasted)
Manager – Nicky Law (Ex Barnsley, Blackpool, Plymouth, Notts County, Rotherham, Chesterfield and HUFC)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1063
Finishing position – 15th

Barrow AFC (The Bluebirds)
Ground – Holker Street (Capacity 5000 of which 1000 are seated)
Manager – David Bayliss (Ex Rochdale, Luton, Wrexham, Lancaster and Barrow)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1260
Finishing position – 13th

Braintree Town FC (The Iron)
Ground – Cressing Road (Capacity 4151 of which 553 are seated)
Manager – Alan Devonshire (Ex West Ham, Watford)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 896
Finishing position – 12th

Cambridge United (The U’s)
Ground – Abbey Stadium (Capacity 10847 of which 4948 are seated)
Manager – Jez George (Previously managed Cambridge Regional College, a youth development team)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 2433
Finishing position – 9th

Dartford FC (The Darts)
Ground – Princes Park (Capacity 4100 of which 642 are seated)
Manager – Tony Burman (Dartford)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1411
Finishing position – Promoted from Conf South (2nd)

Ebbsfleet United (The Fleet)
Ground - Stonebridge Road (Capacity 5011 of which 500 are seated)
Manager – Liam Daish (Ex Portsmouth, Cambridge United, Birmingham City, Coventry)
Average attendance 2011/12 – 1017
Finishing position – 14th

VP Club AGM - June 7th

The Hereford United Vice Presidents Club AGM will take place on Thursday, June 7th starting at 7.30pm.

The meeting will see members discuss plans for the VP Club for the coming season with representatives of the club board. Notices for the meeting should be landing on member's doormats shortly.

Three Weeks Left For Discounted Season Tickets

The period for early-bird season ticket sales ends in just three weeks.

Adult Bulls fans can pay as little as £9.36 per match for their 23 game season ticket with two free cup matches (One FA Cup and One FA Trophy) also on offer if the Bulls are drawn at home.

In a price comparison done by the savethemightyimps blog, the Bulls tickets are very competitive compared to the remainder of the division. So far, only part-timers Hyde are offering deals that are more than £1 a game better than the Bulls' deal.

Local rivals Forest Green and Kidderminster are both more expensive for season tickets, with the Gumpers up to £50 more expensive than at Edgar Street.

Top priced clubs are Luton, Macclesfield, and Cambridge, who are charging regular fans up to £3 per game more to watch their sides.

Key Dates For The Season

The following are some of the key dates for the 2012/13 Conference season.

  • The fixture list will be released on Monday July 2nd.
  • The season will start on August 11th, with Conf North and South starting a week later.
  • The normal season will finish on Saturday April 20th, with the Play-off final on Sunday, May 12th.
  • The FA Cup campaign will start in October with the Fourth Qualifying Round, while the FA Trophy begins in December with it's final on May 4th at Wembley.

High Court Dismisses Football Creditors Bid

The Football League have issued a press release saying that a judge has dismissed the taxman's claim to have the Football Creditors rule declared unlawful, but HMRC have the right to appeal the judgement.

The statement reads, in part:

At a hearing in the High Court today, Mr. Justice David Richards dismissed the latest attempt by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to have the so-called 'Football Creditors' rule declared unlawful.

This decision follows a five-day trial in November and December 2011. HMRC have been ordered to pay the costs incurred by The Football League in defending these proceedings.

HMRC have been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
A Football League spokesman said: "The judgment confirms that The Football League's rules and insolvency policy do not breach the principles of existing insolvency law.

"We recognise that some regard the application of these rules as being imperfect. However, they remain an essential part of football's approach to handling insolvent clubs within the wider context of competitive league football.

"The judgment recognises that a league has the right to insist upon insolvent clubs meeting their financial obligations to the rest of the game as a condition of continued membership."

The full statement can be seen here.

Watch England In Addisons

Saturday night's England friendly will be screened live in Addisons, with discount pints on offer.

The 7.45pm kick off will see Carlsberg, Tetley, Stowfords, and Strongbow discounted to £2.50 for the duration of the match. Hereford's own Butty Bach will be just £2.

A selection of mixed rolls will also be available for £1.

Addisons is also showing the League One play-off final on Saturday afternoon. The 3pm kick off sees Huddersfield take on Sheff Utd, while on Sunday Cheltenham take on Crewe in the League Two final, also at 3pm.

News Round-Up

Woking have signed Welling striker Loick Pires, with the 22 year old having scored 20 times in two years at Welling. The Cards have also agreed new deals with three existing players including veteran Kevin Betsy. Nuneaton are set to lose the services of 21 goal striker Danny Glover, with the former Port Vale man saying he was only offered non-contract terms for the coming season. He had scored 20 times for Worcester the season before.

Lewes say their budget for the coming season will be £2,000 a week, down £1,200 on last season. The Ryman League side aim to be self-sufficient this season after heavy losses in recent seasons that have seen them drop down from the Conference. Macclesfield are to hold a draw of season ticket holders, with the winning ticket holder being given the chance to name the away end next season.

The FA Leagues Committee meets today to decide the final listings for next season's non-league divisions. The Conference have confirmed that they have received Kettering's resignation, while Darlington will also find out where they will restart. Former Bulls loanee Paul Downing has been released by West Brom. The 20 year old made a total of 38 appearances in loan spells away from the Hawthorns but never played in the Baggies' first team.

Former Luton manager Gary Brabin has been cleared of assaulting two stewards during a Hatters match at York. He was found guilty of a public order offence and has to pay a total of £1315 in fines and costs. Alfreton have lost the services of striker Nathan Jarman after the 17 goal man turned down a new deal to sign for Chester instead. The former Grimsby man was the Reds' top scorer last season.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Carrying The Olympic Torch was Fantastic says Rob

Hereford United supporter Rob Powell was one of the select few who carried the olympic torch through the city earlier today.

Later he was interviewed by Peter Allen for BBC Five Live.

"It was absolutely fantastic," said Rob.

"I couldn't believe how the crowds were cheering.

"There must have been thousands there - somebody said twenty five thousand in the City of Hereford."

Allen asked Rob how he had been nominated.

"I've raised a lot of money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, my wife has got MS. I've run a few marathons, raised about £50,000."

Allen - "Did you manage to run"?

Rob - "I'm sixty now so I've got to take my time.

Allen - "Sixty is nothing"

Rob - "You've got to savour the moment. It lasts for about three minutes I think.  You can't rush these things.

"There were just hundreds of friends. But unfortunately I missed my wife. She was sitting in her chair on the one corner and I missed her.

"There's so much bad news around at the moment, to see people's smiling faces as you go through the town, it lifts everybody's spirits.

"If anybody wants to donate to the MS society that's great."

News Round-Up

Kettering are to bypass Conf North/South and drop straight into the Southern League after deciding to put themselves into a CVA. Acting chairman George Rolls told fans last night that the club was in no position to cover it's debts, so would enter an arrangement to pay 20p/£. However the former Weymouth chief then told fans the club would retain a full time playing staff and £5,000 a week playing budget.

Dartford manager Tony Burman says the club will not overspend trying to compete in the Conference. It will be the club's first tilt at the fifth tier since going bust in the early 1990's. Kidderminster winger Dave Hankin has signed for Chester. The out of contract player had been negotiating a new deal at Aggborough.

York striker Jason Walker has apolgised for caving in to 'peer pressure' after being seen holding a "RIP Luton" sign during York's play-off win celebrating parade. The former Luton player says he was drunk. Lincoln boss David Holdsworth has told out of contract Mansfield winger Adam Smith that he has to lower his wage demands to fit into the Imps' new budget for the season. Imps defender Tom Miller is reported to be in talks with Dagenham.

Cambridge have signed striker Tom Elliott on a two year deal from Stockport. The 21 year old former Leeds trainee was offered an improved contract to stay at Edgeley Park but turned it down. Stockport have put the naming rights for the stadium up for sale in a bid to raise further funds for the club. The Hatters are to also rename the main stand after former manager Danny Bergara.

Nuneaton have lost the services of assistant manager Ken Gillard after he opted to take up a job with Crystal Palace's youth department. The former Northampton player helped manager Kevin Wilkin win three promotions in four seasons. Braintree midfielder Jai Reason has rejected the club's offer of a new deal, saying that he wants assurances on what position he will play. The 22 year old former Cambridge man wants to play central midfield more often after playing out wide regularly last term.

The Football League's new three year highlights package with the BBC is reported to no longer include highlights on the BBC website of each match. There is currently no word on where such highlights will end up. Mansfield fans have launched a protest over the prices of season tickets for the coming season. Under 11's will have to pay £75 instead of £25, while Under 16's prices have gone from £90 to £230.

Newport have extended talks over a proposed ground move to Rodney Parade into next week, with the various parties acknowledging that they are close to an agreement. The four way talks involve two rugby sides, the football club, and the stadium's holding company. Lincoln have signed Gainsborough defender Andrew Boyce on a one year deal. The 22 year old former Doncaster trainee will be subject to a fee due to his age, with the clubs still negotiating.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Keyte looks for Short Term Loans

Hereford United chairman David Keyte has said that he would welcome anyone prepared to help out with the clubs current financial problems.

"We are looking to move on with the development of the two ends of the ground but, in the meantime, would be pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in helping out financially, even in the way of short-term loans," Keyte told the Hereford Times.

The chairman has to submit a budget to the Conference chiefs by mid-June. Clubs have to balance the books as part of the new rules.

Meanwhile Keyte has said that there are over 40 applicants for the vacant manager's job but the board have narrowed the number down to around six.

"All the ones we are seeing have good experience of the Conference and, although there will be three of us on the interview panel, I'm tending personally to favour an experienced hand rather than a younger manager." 

Supporters to Carry the Olympic Torch

At least two Hereford United supporters are to carry the olympic torch this morning as it continues its journey through Herefordshire.

Rob Powell will carry it through Hereford and Sarah Davies through Lugwardine.
The torch is due at Lugwardine at 10.55 and expected to arrive at Hereford at 11.06. 

Here are their details as provided by their respective nominators. 

Rob has served as chairman of the Hereford and District Branch MS Society. He has raised over £50000 for the branch by running the London Marathon in 2001 and 2003 and the New York Marathon 2001. He encouraged 10 friends to join him doing the Great North Run in 2002. He cycled from Lands End to John O'groats in 2004 and in 2006 cycle 1500 miles around all Premiership and League 2 football clubs. He looks after his wife who has MS.

"My sister is a true inspiration to me and many young people of Herefordshire. She is 28 and works at a local Children's Nursery. A year or so ago she won an Award from the Girl Guides for her dedication over a number of years as a guide leader. The most extraordinary thing is that she's done so much whilst dealing with the fact that she has not got any arms. She was born this way. Never has she ever complained about her situation, she's simply got on with and made the best of it. For so many people with such a disability it would have been easy to sit back and not find work, not learn how to drive, not volunteer. But my sister - she did and continues to. She's brilliant and deserves all the credit she gets.

Update - A third Bulls fan, Phil Hales from Llandrindod Wells, is running in Bartestree, while Rob Powell has told us he is running from Commercial Street to Broad Street (Maylords to Green Dragon) at around 12.34pm.

Marry In Haste, Repent At Leisure

The departure of Tim Russon from the Bulls board ends his 'marriage' with David Keyte.

The pair had no knowledge of each other until they seperately approached the club when it was put up for sale in April 2010. At their debut press conference in June 2010, Keyte told the assembled pack: 

"We got together in the last two months. We'd come at it from seperate angles. Joan Fennessey put us together. Delighted with the early workings. 

"I might be the hard nose businessman, quiet but determined, but I think we've got a nice marriage here that Tim is the communication/TV guy that can get things moving to the community."

The pair were welcomed by Bulls fans, and the openness of the duo well received. A fleet of fans forums were held, the unpopular caterers were axed, and younger fans encouraged back to the club with a new club mascot and 'guards of honour' from local schools.

However their partnership was soon tested when fans called for Simon Davey's head after a disasterous on-field start. In that instance the board made a swift decision but, as time wore on, when a second such decision was needed over Jamie Pitman, towards the end of 2011, the duo were split and no action was taken when the majority of fans wanted to see the axe wielded again.

Russon's statement last night spoke of his 'deep unhappiness' at the situation within the club. Divorce was probably the right answer.

It is understood that he still retains his shareholding in the club, the second largest behind Keyte. Deciding who should take on that responsibility is as big a decision as any during his time with the club.

News Round-Up

Macclesfield's Supporters Trust has issued a statement saying that the club's entire board bar the majority owners, the Al Khadi brothers, had quit the club, adding that the Trust was "concerned about the long term agenda of the owners". The Trust will seek answers from the brothers, warning that they will consider "actions and protests" if they do not receive satisfactory responses. Torquay have transfer listed former Bulls target Chris McPhee and winger Lloyd Macklin. Devon-based McPhee, 29, turned down the Bulls when leaving Kidderminster and is reported to be interesting Newport.

Barrow say that eight of the nine players offered new deals have agreed to them. The Cumbrian side has frozen season ticket prices for the coming season, charging £275 for an adult terrace ticket with no early bird discount. Mansfield have agreed new deals with seven of their out of contract players, and released six more. Three others are considering new terms. 

Luton claim their play-off failure will cost the club £1million in lost revenue. Chief Executive Gary Sweet says the club's owners will continue to fund losses but that cuts may have to be made. Alfreton have signed teenager Daniel Meadows following his release from Nottm Forest. The 19 year old midfielder spent the final month of the season on loan at the Impact Arena. Seven others have agreed new deals including captain Darran Kempson, while three players have been released.

Lincoln have signed keeper Paul Farman following his release from Gateshead. The England C man played eight times for the Imps on loan last season. Ebbsfleet have named Jessica McQueen as their new Chairman after the previous incumbent stood down for health reasons. Mrs McQueen earned 93% of the vote in a poll of MyFC members, and has been on the club's board as a MyFC representative for the last four years.

Six On Bulls Shortlist

There are six names on the shortlist to be the next manager of the Bulls, according to David Keyte.

The official site reports that the club hope to name the new man by June 1st, a week on Friday, after interviews start later this week. It is not known exactly who the six names are, but the likes of Jimmy Harvey, Martin Foyle, and Gary Lowe have been touted on the forums.

O'Kelly 'would be a good fit at Crawley'

Crawley Town's new manager Sean O'Driscoll still appears to be thinking about giving his former assistant Richard O'Kelly a job.

O'Kelly was recently offered the chance to manager Hereford United on a long term basis but, for whatever reason, decided not to take up the opportunity.

"Richard has been with me at Bournemouth and Doncaster and has a really good reputation throughout the game," said O'Driscoll.

"He is somebody who would be a really good fit for Crawley."