Saturday, June 30, 2012

News Round-Up

One Supporters Trust has relinquished control of a club as another takes over theirs. Brentford is in private hands again after the Trust there sold their 60% controlling stake to fan Matthew Bentham. Bentham, who is putting £1million a year into the Bees, now owns 96% of the club and is to build a new stadium two miles away from their current Griffin Park home.

Taking over their club is Wycombe's Supporters Trust, who has bought the club and ground for a nominal fee from owner Steve Hayes. The Trust will split the Adams Park ground and their training facility from the club itself in order to safeguard the property for the future, while operating the club on a break-even basis.

Newport have confirmed the signing of released Wimbledon midfielder Max Porter. The 25 year old ended the season on loan with the Exiles and has signed a one year deal. Aldershot are to put a 250 seat temporary stand on the blank end of their Recreation Ground home to meet Football League demands for 2,000 seats.

Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish has told the BBC the strength of Dartford and Dover means he is missing out on his transfer targets. Daish has made only one signing so far this summer, but has lost four of his squad to better offers. Wrexham have sold over 1,800 season tickets with their early bird sales period closing today. They say it is their best sales for 30 years.

Friday, June 29, 2012

13 In, 5 To Go?

With Martin Foyle telling fans at the Forum that he was aiming for a squad of 18, there are five spots remaining to be filled.

Sean Canham's agreement on a new deal, understood to be until the start of the January transfer window, means he is the thirteenth player to commit to the Bulls leaving five spots in the initial squad available.

Foyle has indicated that he is looking for a right back, right winger, and two further strikers, with the fifth position understood to be presently earmarked for a versatile player that seems increasingly unlikely to be Rob Purdie.

One possible signing for the right wing role is the recently departed Lincoln winger Simon Russell, who turned down a new deal at Sincil Bank just a day after Foyle was installed at Edgar Street. The 27 year old played for Foyle at York, including in their FA Trophy final in 2009, and has substantial Conference experience having racked up over 200 appearances for the likes of Kidderminster and Cambridge.

Up front, Foyle has already dismissed speculation that former Port Vale trainee Danny Glover is on his target list, while the Richard Brodie situation may not be decided until very late in pre-season once new Crawley boss Sean O'Driscoll has assessed his squad and decided on Brodie's future.

Porter Dying To Get Started

Bulls assistant manager Andy Porter has identified a training schedule for when the Bulls return to training.

Porter had the players in on Tuesday for a surprise 'bleep test' and fat measurements, with one or two assigned extra work before pre-season starts properly.

He and boss Martin Foyle took to their bikes to scout nearby hills: 

"Next week we start on the racecourse and then we'll go running up some hills that Martin and myself have selected. We went around looking at hills last week, but we were fortunate to be on the bikes and not running!

""I've been sitting behind a desk doing things, but that's not me, I like getting out on the pitch or running up hills, I like mixing with the players, getting to know them and trying to get the best out of them."

The full interview is on the Official Site here.

News Round-Up

Stockport have resigned defender James Tunnicliffe following his release from Wycombe. He returns to the club three years after being sold to Brighton for a six-figure sum. The 23 year old originally arrived at Edgeley Park aged 11, coming up through their recently disbanded youth ranks. Gateshead have signed released Crawley defender Glenn Wilson. The 26 year old was the Red Devils' longest serving player with over 150 appearances, but he was farmed out on loan for most of last season.

Macclesfield have reported their first operating profit in 12 years for the year ended June 2011. At their AGM last night it was revealed that two of the directors that quit the club in the wake of Steve King's appointment as manager have reversed their decisions. Wrexham expect to have broken even for the year ending June 2012, and predict a £200,000 loss for the coming season. The figures are much rosier that predicted when the Supporter Trust took over, with a good cup run and player sales boosting figures.

Former Bulls defender Keith Lowe has agreed a new two year deal with Cheltenham. The former Wolves man has racked up 79 appearance for the Robins since leaving Edgar Street two years ago. Former Bulls loanee Stephen Jennings has turned down a new two year deal with Motherwell and is expected to leave Scottish football. The former Tranmere man, 27, has helped the club into third place and European qualification.

Luton say they will expect a fee for striker Dan Walker after he rejected a second offer of a new deal. The out of contract 22 year old has started only twice for the Hatters in two years but has gained Conference experience in a series of loan spells. Tamworth boss Marcus Law says he has reached agreements to sign 'eight or nine' players as well as taking two loanees from an unnamed League One side. The former Kettering manager expects to lose midfielder Paul Green with the former Lincoln man currently in the US.

Port Vale's Administrator has announced that they have exchanged contracts with bidder Keith Ryder, and that the deal to sell the club now only needs Football League approval. Grimsby forward Michael Coulson has signed for York after rejecting a new deal with the Mariners. The former Barnsley striker netted eight times last season.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Harriers Chief Admits To Hard Financial Fight

Kidderminster chairman Mark Serrell says the Harriers simply cannot compete with the finances on offer from other Conference sides.

In an interview with the Express and Star, Serrell admitted losing several players due to the finances on offer from other sides. Mansfield have already taken two from Aggborough for substantial wage increases, while two others have gone to part-time sides for similar wages to what they received for full time deals in Worcestershire:

“The fact is that the club can’t compete as there’s a lot of money floating around, even at this level. It’s going to be hard and we are working with limited resources, we are relatively small in that respect.

“We have been able to increase the budget a little bit more, but it’s only small and the costs have gone up. We all want to go further but, realistically, we have massively over-achieved over the past couple of years.

“The pressure on our management team is can they do it again because, really, we shouldn’t be there. People don’t want to hear that, but that’s the truth.”

“Some of the players were offered extremely good money to go elsewhere and we were not able to meet those demands. Whether some of those players wanted to stay at Kidderminster Harriers, I don’t know, but we were not in the same ball park.

“I have no anomosity towards the players that have left because they have got to do the best for themselves. I have no problem with that, that’s the market economy and that’s football. When players do well, they will be made good offers by other clubs.”

Pugh Rejects Cherries Extension

Former Bulls winger Marc Pugh has turned down an extension to his Bournemouth contract.

The 25 year old has one year left on his deal, with Cherries boss Paul Groves admitting to the BBC that he is minded to sell the winger rather than let him leave for free next summer:

"He told us he wants to keep his options open and he is perfectly entitled to do that. We are in a situation now where Marc could leave in a year's time for absolutely nothing, so it would make sense for us to listen to offers.

That said, any bid would have to be of significant value to the club for us to even entertain the idea of letting him go. We haven't received any formal offers yet for Marc but we are sure there are a number of clubs who have him on their radar."

Pugh left the Bulls for Dean Court two years ago in a deal that netted the Bulls a total of £100,000 and a 10% sell-on clause. He has scored 25 goals in 96 games for the Cherries and attracted interest from several Championship sides.

Mehew Wants Weir Decision

Gloucester boss David Mehew wants released Bulls utility man Tyler Weir to make a decision on his future.

The 21 year old is mulling over a number of offers for the coming season, with Mehew having told him he wants an answer by Monday night when the Tigers begin pre-season training.

Mehew has only made one signing this summer, and is only waiting on an answer from Weir. He told the Gloucester Citizen:

"We've made Tyler an offer and now we have to get to the stage where it needs to be sorted one way or another. He's had interest from other clubs but he has told us previously that he wants to sign for us – it's up to Tyler now."

Weir, who made only nine appearances for the Bulls, played a total of 46 times for the Tigers in two loan spells and ended last season at Worcester, who are also understood to have made a move for his services.

News Round-Up

Wrexham have reported season ticket sales of 1,354 up to the close of business yesterday. The Dragons are giving away free tickets to under 11's. Macclesfield boss Steve King says he has rejected an offer from Burton for out of contract midfielder Ross Draper. The 23 year old is out of contract at Moss Rose after three years with the Silkmen.

Nuneaton have signed midfielder Ben Ford from Kettering. The teenager graduated from the Poppies youth team last season as their financial troubles deepened, and he has turned down a three year contract offer from them to make the move. Worcester boss Carl Heeley has admitted that the club is fending off interest from top flight Conference sides for striker Danny Glover, following his release by Nuneaton.

New Lincoln signing Adam Smith says he turned down Aldershot to sign for the Imps, adding that he made the decision as he had played for David Holdsworth at Mansfield. Barnet have sacked their entire first team backroom staff from last season. Assistant boss Guiliano Grazioli and coach Michael Stone plus their physio and kitman have been axed.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally has told an employment tribunal that Marc McCammon's claims against the club were 'manufactured'. He says that one of the incidents cited by McCammon where he was sent to the NHS for an operation rather than private was normal for a player not in the manager's first team plans, and the club were right to fine the player two weeks wages when McCammon sought out his own private treatment.

Southport will trial former Burton striker James Ellison as they start pre-season. The former Liverpool trainee ended the season with the Sandgrounders but has not yet been offered a deal for next season after drifting in the game since his Brewers release. Former Bulls loanee Anwar Uddin has joined Conf South side Eastbourne for the coming season. The 30 year old ended last season at Sutton United after leaving Barnet in January.

Telford have signed central defender Michael Briscoe following his release from Kidderminster. The 28 year old has spent most of his career in the Conference and Conf North. Cambridge are set to sign midfielder Adriano Moke after having a bid accepted for him by League newcomers York. The Glenn Hoddle Academy graduate started only 11 of 28 appearances last season.

Former Bull Steve Guinan has signed a new one year deal with Kidderminster. Confirming the news on Twitter, Guinan told his followers he intends to retire at the end of the season. Rochdale will charge visiting supporters £20 each to get into Spotland for the coming season, with only seating on offer. Home fans can sit for £18, or stand for £15, as well as having some £20 tickets.

Harriers Love In

Bulls chairman David Keyte has told the Hereford Times that the Bulls have asked for Kidderminster to be their Boxing Day fixture - and the Harriers want the same.

He tells the paper that Martin Foyle is now away on a pre-arranged holiday so there is likely to be little further immediate news ahead of the start of pre-season training.

Meanwhile former loanee Lyle Taylor, the subject of a lot of speculation on the forums, has confirmed to his Twitter followers that he is yet to sign anywhere. The striker is in the process of moving house from Bournemouth back to his family home in London while he seeks a club.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Purdie Uncertainty Continues

The uncertainty surrounding Rob Purdie's status continues with the player confirming on Twitter that he is yet to sign a deal anywhere.

He told his Twitter followers 'For those asking I'm yet to sign for a club, but will let ppl know when I have done' while he made no further comment towards Bulls fans asking whether he was staying or leaving. 

However Bulls News does understand that he has rejected the club's latest offer and is expected to move on to one of two League sides, one of which is understood to be close to his Leeds base, without a stronger offer coming from the club.

Purdie's current Bulls deal expires on June 30th, along with the remainder of the out of contract players. Any player not signed up to another contract is entitled to up to a further months wages as a severance payment.

Everton Friendly Confirmed

The Bulls have finally confirmed the Everton friendly, which will take place on July 28th.

The game is against an Everton XI with their first team scheduled to be in Indonesia. It will kick off at 3pm.

Friday Night Football Likely This Season

Premier Sports, the providers of TV coverage for the Conference, expect to cover the bulk of their games on Friday nights this season.

Commenting on their official Twitter feed, they expect to be able to announce the first batch of televised fixtures - up to November - a week after Monday's fixture release - and that the majority of games will be moved from Saturday to Friday nights for broadcast.

Home clubs get £5,000 for a televised match, with the away side receiving £1,000.

Macc To Go For Pace And Width

Macclesfield boss Steve King intends to use pace and the new width of the Moss Rose pitch to attack teams this season.

Speaking to the Macclesfield Express about his new arrivals, King said:

"The three outfield players I’ve signed so far are super-quick, and that’s what I want out wide and up top. I’ve asked for the pitch to be widened, so that we can make full use of them. It’s at its absolute maximum now and if we can isolate our quick players and their defenders, then we’ll be doing okay.”
The three outfield players I’ve signed so far are super-quick, and that’s what I want out wide and up top. “I’ve asked for the pitch to be widened, so that we can make full use of them. It’s at its absolute maximum now and if we can isolate our quick players and their defenders, then we’ll be doing okay.”

Read more at:
The three outfield players I’ve signed so far are super-quick, and that’s what I want out wide and up top. “I’ve asked for the pitch to be widened, so that we can make full use of them. It’s at its absolute maximum now and if we can isolate our quick players and their defenders, then we’ll be doing okay.”

Read more at:

King followed up the signings of full back Ryan Jackson, and wingers Jack Macreth and Peter Winn, with the arrival of one-time Bulls trialist Matthew Barnes-Homer today. He also told the paper he had rejected offers from Conference sides for contracted pair Colin Daniel and Ross Draper.

Meanwhile, Kidderminster are reported to be signing Ricky Shakes from Ebbsfleet, with Fleet boss Liam Daish saying the lure of full time football convinced the 27 year old former Swindon winger to make the move.

FA Confirm FA Cup Dates

The Bulls' FA Cup campaign will begin on the weekend of October 20th, the FA have confirmed.

That is the date of the Fourth Qualifying Round that the Bulls will enter the tournament at. The First Round is two weeks later with the Second Round on December 1st, and Third Round on January 5th.

The final is listed for May 11th, the day before the Conference play-off final and a week after the FA Trophy final.

Canham Signs New Deal

Bulls boss Martin Foyle has handed striker Sean Canham a new short term deal.

The former Exeter and Notts County man was frozen out under Jamie Pitman, but returns to Edgar Street to prove a point with Foyle telling the official site:
"I feel sorry for Sean, I think he had a rough deal, he was put out to the limelight to get slaughtered a little bit, sent off to train with the kids, but that was the previous management's decision."

"He could easily have walked away, but he's come here on a short term deal for less than half his wages, not many players do that so I think he deserves a pat on the back, not many players would do that, he actually wants to play here, he wants to be at this club.

"He got a bit of stick from supporters but I think that was because he was publicly slaughted by the management a little bit becuase of his high wages, but it was the club who gave him the deal in the first place. That wasn't Sean's fault."

Canham scored 17 times in 50 Conference games during a series of loan spells over the last three years, including nine goals for relegated Bath during the second half of last season. The 27 year old was one of a number of Bulls players at Edgar Street yesterday to undergo a pre-pre-season fitness test.

News Round-Up

Macclesfield are to sign striker Matthew Barnes-Homer, according to his current side Ă–stersund. The Swedish side say they signed the former Luton and Kidderminster man on the understanding he could leave if an English side came in for him. Rotherham say they have agreed to allow transfer listed pair Jamie Annerson and Ryan Cresswell to talk over loan deals with Conference sides. Cresswell also has two League teams interested in his services.

On the opening day of Marc McCammon's tribunal against Gillingham the player claimed that he, and two other black players, were forced to attend a physio session at the club during a snowy day when white players were excused. McCammon says he confronted then manager Andy Hessenthaler about the discrimination, with the club sacking McCammon for racism and agressive conduct shortly afterwards. The club deny all the claims, with McCammon reported to have earned £2,500 a week at the time.

Eastleigh have confirmed that they have signed Newport striker Craig McAllister on a two year deal. The 31 year old ended last season on loan at Luton but scored only one goal in 43 games during the season. Braintree have signed Histon winger Daniel Sparkes for the coming season. The 20 year old has been a regular first teamer with the Cambridgeshire outfit for the last two years.

Barrow boss Dave Bayliss says he has agreed to sign two loan players from an unnamed League side, with the local press suggesting the side is either Burnley or Carlisle. Ex-Bull Alan Connell is one of four players transfer listed at Swindon following their promotion to League One. Also on the list is former York and Forest Green midfielder Jonathan Smith.

Stockport have handed striker Danny Hattersley a new contract after he netted six times in eight games after signing from Lancaster City towards the end of last season. The 20 year old has signed a two year deal. Luton boss Paul Buckle has tied full back Jake Howells to the club with a new three year deal. Despite being just 20 year old he has been a regular for the Hatters for four years and had been reported to be interesting a number of League sides.

Ebbsfleet striker Liam Enver-Marum has rejected a new deal at the club and signed a short term contract with League One side Stevenage. The 24 year old scored 13 times last season.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mackenzie Joins Evesham All-Bulls Coaching Team

Former Bulls youth teamer and loanee Neil Mackenzie has signed up at Evesham for the coming season as player-coach.

The 36 year old quit full time football in March 2011, pitching up at Evesham as a non-contract player last December. He joins former Bulls Matt Clarke and Rob Elmes on the coaching staff at the new Jubilee Stadium.

The Bulls will visit the new ground on July 17th.

Mansfield Bag Two More

Mansfield have signed full backs Andy Owens and Lee Beevers to boost their defence.

Left Back Owens, 22, arrives after rejecting a new deal at Southport, while Right Back Beevers, 28, rejected a new deal at Walsall to sign for the Stags.

Owens was due to sign for Cambridge, but Southport's insistence on a significant compensation fee appears to have scuppered that deal, while Beevers also rejected an approach from Inverness to drop into the Conference.

Bulls News understands that Beevers' right back slot at Walsall will be filled by a former Bull.

Six Days To The Fixture Release

Fixtures for the coming Conference season are released on Monday morning.

The whole fixture process is done by Conference General Manager Dennis Strudwick. With clubs getting the chance to nominate local Premier and Football League sides whose fixtures they want to avoid, the whole process cannot start until after their fixtures have been released.

Strudwick then takes into account club submissions for their longest and shortest journeys - hoping to place the longest trips on Saturdays where there is no prospect of a cancellation due to cup fixtures, and putting the shortest journeys as the popular Bank Holiday games.

Each team also nominates their preferred Boxing Day and New Years fixtures, adds in dates when their local county cups are played, and offers up any dates their ground is unavailable (in the event of ground sharing).

Strudwick, a former Accountant and Building Society manager who has held his role with the Conference since 2007, completes the entire 1,476 match list for the three Conference divisions in two weeks from the June 18th release of the League fixtures. By hand.

News Round-Up

Luton have made former Gillingham defender Garry Richards their fifth signing of the summer. The 26 year old has signed a two year deal after his release from Priestfield, where he spent four years but saw the end of last season blighted by an ankle injury. Mansfield boss Paul Cox says he has identified 'X factor strikers' but will not waste the money handed to him by chairman John Radford as they seek a Football League return.

Newport have given transfer listed striker Craig McAllister permission to speak to a club over a move, with the local press reporting that the club is Conf South side Eastleigh. The Exiles want to move the forward on to free up funds for more signings. Gillingham face an employment tribunal starting today, with former striker Marc McCammon claiming racial discrimination against the club. It is expected to last four days.

The local press say Port Vale bidder Keith Ryder has received the missing documentation from the local council to complete his bid, and that the takeover is now expected to be completed by the end of the month. Wrexham boss Andy Morrell says he has had no contact from out of contract striker Mathias Pogba over his contract offer. His brother Paul, currently at Man Utd, is expected to move to Italy this summer with Morrell concerned that Mathias may follow suit. The 21 year old Frenchman scored 12 times last term.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Len Weston Stand...

...before it was there.

O'Kelly Set To Raid Released Bulls

Bulls News understands that former manager Richard O'Kelly has targeted at least two of the departed Bulls squad to take on at Walsall.

The Saddlers are in a poor financial position as they struggle to maintain their League One position on attendances more suited to League Two. They are reported to have offered Conference-level wages to some of their existing squad for the coming season, leaving their fans in a state of resignation as to their prospects for the coming season and the bookies ranking them right at the foot of their odds lists.

Among those O'Kelly is eyeing up is striker Yoann Arquin. The Frenchman impressed O'Kelly with his ability with the coach believing he can tame the forward that made a name for himself in the nightclubs as much as on the pitch during the back end of last season.

Player Movement Expected This Week

More player movement is expected at Edgar Street this week as the existing squad return to Hereford to prepare for pre-season training.

An announcement on Rob Purdie's future is expected soon with it understood that he has at least two League sides interested in his services.

Boss Martin Foyle is also still to reveal the name of the third player he confirmed to fans he had signed by last Monday's fans forum. Foyle confirmed to those attending that he was still chasing a right back, right winger, and three forwards.

One possible target for the Bulls is Torquay forward Chris McPhee. The former Kidderminster man is on the transfer list with manager Martin Ling acknowledging this morning that he had received 'four or five' offers from Conference sides for the 29 year old. 

Ling expects a deal to be done in the form of a six month loan, with the likes of the Bulls and Harriers expected to be preferred destinations for a player who is reluctant to leave his current South West base.

News Round-Up

Histon manager David Livermore has quit the club to take up a coaching role at Millwall. The Conf South side are still to formulate a budget for the coming season with finances tight, and Livermore had seen a string of players leave as a result. Grimsby have signed defender Sam Hatton following his release by Wimbledon. The 24 year old right back played 40 times last season and has signed a two year deal with the Mariners. 

Barrow have missed out on transfer target Kris Gate after the released Gateshead midfielder opted to sign for Conf North side Harrogate instead. Torquay boss Martin Ling has blasted transfer listed winger Lloyd Macklin over his lack of progress. Ling says the 20 year old has been a bright prospect for the last five years but has flattered to deceive, adding 'the problem is with Lloyd and not the people working with him.'

Bradford have released defender Guy Branston after reaching a settlement on the remaining year of his deal. The 33 year old played only 18 games for the Bantams last term after being frozen out under Phil Parkinson. He has subsequently joined Aldershot on a one year deal. Nuneaton have named recently departed Mansfield assistant boss Micky Moore as their new no.2 to Kevin Wilkin. The teacher will assume the role on a part time basis.

Barrow boss Dave Bayliss says he will give a trial in pre-season to released Macclesfiled defender Paul Morgan. The 33 year old had an injury his season last term. Port Vale Administrator Bob Young has raised fans' fears that the takeover of the club is set to collapse after telling BBC Stoke that there is a second bid for the club that could yet be revived. The club remain under a transfer embargo until their situation is resolved.

Portsmouth's CVA proposal has been approved by creditors at a meeting this lunchtime. The Supporters Trust will also have the opportunity to present their proposals to creditors, but both their bid and the other from former owner Balram Chanrai depend on further significant cuts to the wage bill. The new Darlington club will be known as Darlington 1883, the year the original club was formed. 

Conf South side Truro City are reported to be £700,000 in debt. The club faced the High Court this morning to see a winding up order for a £51,000 tax demand dismissed after they paid it, only for four other companies to apply to be substituted onto the petition. The club have 28 days to respond to the new demands. Nuneaton have signed defender Gavin Cowan following his release by Gainsborough. It will be the 31 year old former Shrewsbury man's fourth spell with the club.

Mansfield have added Eastwood Town assistant manager Richard Cooper to their backroom staff. The 32 year old former York defender has been with the Badgers since 2005.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bulls at Kiev

Saturday, June 23, 2012

England-Italy Live In Starlite Rooms

Sunday's Euro2012 Quarter Final between England and Italy is live in both the Starlite Rooms and Addisons, kick off 7.45pm.

In addition to £2.50 pint offers, starting at 5pm, and free sausage and chips, the club are also having a free raffle with loads of prizes. The game will be shown on the giant screen in the Starlite Rooms as well as the screens in Addisons.

From the Archives - Turner Looks For Players

This week current Hereford United manager Martin Foyle has brought in two new players to Edgar Street but admitted it was not easy to find the right players at wages the club can afford.

It was little different this weekend ten years ago after Graham Turner kept just six players from the previous season. He also noted the problems in trying to match wages available elsewhere.

HEREFORD United director of football Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that offers have been made to players as he hopes to bolster an eight-man squad.

"There's still the priorities that we need a left back, a central midfield player and we need a striker," he said. "We need the squad strengthening as well. We've worked hard on strikers; a left back that we thought was going to come in, the club is asking a fee for him. Midfield player we've made offers to. We have a number of offers out to players but they want to see whether they stay in the league and it's almost a period of inactivity as far as clubs are concerned right at the moment. The league clubs have their list of priorities but are keeping others stringing along. They get their first and second choice, and the third and fourth choices are discarded and that's when they might make their minds up."

The players that Turner is after could be out of his reach, he explains.

"There's no doubt about it, we've lost one or two to league clubs and one or two to other Conference clubs and whilst there's many financial difficulties in the league with clubs going into administration and crying poverty, there doesn't seem to be any shortage of money in the Conference. Player are coming back to me and saying they can get better deals at other places and we've lost one or two that I would have liked to have brought in. It's still early yet, and players are still being paid by league clubs. The day their pay stops, the day they'll rush into doing something and we should have our full squad of players within the next week or two."

Offers have been made, and John Grant of Crewe is expected to sign within the next few days.

"We have made a definite offer to a boy called John Grant from Crewe Alexandra. He was on-loan at Northwich last season. He comes very highly recommended and we saw him play for Northwich last season. He's very quick and very mobile, just under six foot and he has accepted but right at the moment, he hasn't actually put pen to paper and sent the contract back. There's a striker, but I still need a number one striker. We've been looking at big lads; one boy Paul Tait I thought we were a long way down the line with him but we lost him to Bristol Rovers. These are the sort of calibre of players that we start off with and if they get better offers, we have to set our sights a little bit lower."

Of the new signings made already, Turner thought Ben Smith has great potential. "Unfortunately, Ben has a series of injuries whilst at Southend and never made any sort of impact," said Turner. "At Yeovil, he was a very, very good midfield player whether being the playmaker or getting forward. I thought it was an opportunity to get him."

"Jamie Pitman made an approach to me," he explained. "He still lives and works in the city and asked if we were interested. I looked at Jamie's record and how well he's done in the Conference at different times and thought it's worth taking a chance with him. He's an experienced player and has played in a variety of positions and I'm sure he's capable of doing a good job with us."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Patience Required says Foyle

Martin Foyle has said that Hereford United are not desperate to get a striker signed despite missing out on Richard Brodie.

"We'll see what is available," Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We've made enough phone calls, probably more than anybody else, to get the right ones who want to come and play for Hereford and in our pay structure.

"The players I've spoken to have all got better deals on the table.

"I know I might have to wait a week or two because they might not get something. They (the clubs) might go and get somebody else.

"I'm going to have to be patient in that top line, I've got no choice.

"We'll wait and see but we're not desparate."

Mutch Moves To Cardiff

Jordan Mutch, who had a spell on loan with Hereford United, has joined Cardiff City from Birmingham for a fee in excess of £1M.

The 20 year old mid-fielder has signed a three year deal with the Bluebirds. 

Mutch came to Edgar Street in late November 2009 on a Football League Youth Loan deal which meant he could play for Birmingham youth and reserve teams if Hereford hadn't got a fixture on that day. 

His first game for the Bulls was against Colchester in the FA Cup. A few days later he made his League debut in a 3-1 away win at Northampton.

...and another.

Bulls 10/1 To Win Promotion

With the Bulls 25/1 to win the Conference, the first bookie to offer odds has put the Bulls at 10/1 to win promotion.

Corals offer the odds, half what they offer for the Bulls to top the table, with Luton 11/8 favourites to be a League Two side in 12 months time. Mansfield are 11/5 with Wrexham 13/5, Forest Green 7/2, and Grimsby 4/1.

News Round-Up

Gateshead have signed defender Chris Bush following his release from Wimbledon. The 20 year old former Brentford trainee started 16 times in League Two last season after being a loanee in the first half of their promotion season. Meanwhile, 'Heed' goalkeeper coach Chris Porter has signed on to play for Darlington in the coming season. The 32 year old has occasionally been named on the bench in the Conference over the last two years.

Newport chairman Chris Blight says the club needs an average attendance of 2,000 to cover the cost of playing at Rodney Parade, although their rent for the stadium is similar to their old ground. They attracted just 1,358 to Spytty Park last term after budgeting for 1,900 crowds. Port Vale bidder Keith Ryder says a delay in confirming details of a covenant held on the ground by the local council is holding up completion of his purchase of the club. He says he aims to complete before the end of the month.

Mansfield boss Paul Cox has appointed club captain Adam Murray as his new assistant after Mickey Moore opted to return to teaching. 30 year old Murray is in his third spell with the club. Darlington fans are voting on their choice of name for the club after they were told they could not be called 'Darlington FC'. Among the choices on an online poll are 'Locomotive Darlington', 'Darlington CFC' (Community Football Club), and various combinations involving AFC and the 1883 date of the original club's inception.

At a fans forum last night, Lincoln boss David Holdsworth told fans that a safe mid-table position was his aim for the coming season. The Imps will face a tribunal over their signing of defender Andy Boyce from Gainsborough, whose chairman Peter Swann has called the Imps' offer for the 22 year old 'a little bit of a slur'.The North West Counties league reports that the Widnes FC side, chaired by Mark Wright and managed by Stephen Vaughan jnr, has withdrawn it's application to join the league after the FA raised concerns with the club at a meeting.

Ebbsfleet have signed midfielder Liam Bellamy from Brentford. The 20 year old had a loan spell with the Fleet last season, scoring once in 11 games. Oxford have reported a loss of £300,000 for the 10/11 season after having to pay the stadium owner nearly the entirety of that loss in backdated service charges. They say that, without that one-off cost, the club would have made a slight profit.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Who, where and when?

Hereford United historian Ron Parrott has given BN some information on the above photo and kindly allowed us to publish images of three pennants that were presented to United during the tour:

 It was taken during United's close season tour of Rhodesia in 1967/68 and headed by John Charles. Harold Rumsey was the tour manager, with Charlie Thompson being team trainer and also giving up his own free time to help coach the Rhodesian youngsters.


The United touring side, which included guest players Ivor & Len Allchurch and another former international, Willie Humphries, played 14 matches during the tour, winning 12, including a double over Rhodesia's national side,  and drawing the other two games to remain unbeaten. They scored 66 goals against 14 and made friends wherever they went. 

They also beat a Rhodesian National League XI 1-0 but the outstanding success was when they hammered Rhodesia's league and cup winners Salisbury Tornados 7-0 and with the sun on his back, John Charles netted five of these! The Gentle Giant only played in eight of the tour games but was still the team's top marksman with 17 goals followed by Brian Punter with 11 and Albert Derrick and Ivor Allchurch with nine apiece.

Goalkeeper Lyn Davies revealed another side of his football make-up when he substituted at centre forward against Wankie FC (Real name!!) and netted four times in an 8-0 slaughter.

Purdie has a Decision to Make says Foyle

Rob Purdie is understood to be considering a second offer from Martin Foyle to stay with Hereford United.

Purdie turned down an initial offer to stay but Foyle hopes he will agree to his latest offer.

"Rob has been super," Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"He has been up front throughout and is a very honest lad and I have no problems with that.

"He is speaking to one or two League clubs and if they put something concrete in front of him, it could turn his head.

"If they haven't, then he has a decision to make.

"But I would like to include Rob in some capacity staff-wise either this year or in future years.

"He has got that quality of character about him and players respect that so I think you have got to use it."

Connor backs Hanford to be Top Keeper

Hereford United's goalkeeping coach Dan Connor has said that he thinks Dan Hanford could be a top Goalkeeper.

Hanford joined the Bulls last season from the Glen Hoddle academy but has yet to feature for his new club.

"Potentially, he can be better than both Adam Bartlett and Dave Cornell," Connor told the Hereford Times.

"He's only 21 years old but has a lot of the main attributes to be a top goalkeeper.

"Dan can kick the ball and he's very agile. 

"I wouldn't be surprised to see him start the 2012/13 season.

"His ability is better than Adam Bartlett's and it's as good, if not better, than Dave Cornell's."

Connor will also be working with Kyle Moore from Plymouth who is a 16 year old apprentice.

Luton Win Shaw Chase

Luton have won the chase for in-demand striker Jon Shaw, bagging the former Gateshead man on a two year deal.

The 28 year old was the Conference's third top scorer last term with 28 goals in 43 games, including netting in each of the opening six matches and back-to-back hat-tricks against York and Hayes.

He joins recent signing Scott Rendell, Andre Gray - who completed a permanent move earlier in the summer, ex-Bull Stuart Fleetwood, and Aaron O'Connor vying for the forward berths at Kenilworth Road.

Purkiss Says Thanks And Goodbye

Bulls out of contract full back Ben Purkiss has told his Twitter followers that he is not returning to the club following negotiations.

The former Oxford man was reported at the Fans Forum to have held talks with boss Martin Foyle, but has this lunchtime reported that he will be seeking pastures new:

"Unfortunately I will not be able to return to Hereford United this coming season. I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone at the club for being so welcoming. I wish I'd have had the opportunity to sign sooner. Would like to thank the Chairman, Lee, the office staff, Gary Peters, Jamie Pitman, Houlty, Sneeks, the ROK, Ross, the players and the fans. Such a genuine club. Thank you for your support.

You're in the best possible hands. Foyle is excellent and knows the league inside out. Porter complements him perfectly- an excellent coach."

Purkiss, 28, made 15 appearances for the Bulls after signing a short term deal following his Oxford release. He has been linked with Mansfield, and is also rumoured to have had interest from Grimsby.

England-Italy Live In Starlite Rooms

Sunday's Euro2012 Quarter Final between England and Italy is live in both the Starlite Rooms and Addisons, kick off 7.45pm.

In addition to £2.50 pint offers and a free curry, the club are also having a free raffle with loads of prizes. The game will be shown on the giant screen in the Starlite Rooms as well as the screens in Addisons.

Meanwhile, the club are looking for "Talent Identifiers" to spot young footballers for the club's youth sides. Details of the voluntary positions are here. The official site is also looking for youngsters with an eye on a future in journalist to join them and do match reports for the Saturday morning youth games. Details here.

M&M discontinue Sponsorship at Edgar Street

M&M, the Leominster based discount clothing group have decided to stop their sponsorship of Hereford United.

"I had asked M&M to let me know by June 1st whether they wished to continue and they have confirmed that they are not going to," chairman David Keyte told the Hereford Times. 

"While it is disappointing, we have several people that we are talking to to replace them."

Meanwhile Bulls News will continue to support the club. A deal has been agreed for BN to have two perimeter boards this coming season.

News Round-Up

Bury have played down press reports claiming that talks have been held with Rangers about the Scottish club buying the League One outfit and moving into the English league, saying that the club are open to investment but only if they remain at Gigg Lane as Bury. Luton have signed released Wycombe striker Scott Rendell on a two year deal. The 25 year old ended last season on loan at Oxford, scoring three times in 18 games, but made his name in the Conference with Cambridge. 

Wrexham and Newport will not take part in the Welsh Cup this season after the FAW withdrew invites to compete. The pair featured in last season's competition for the first time in 17 years, but the FAW failed to snare either Cardiff or Swansea after UEFA refused to allow English league sides to compete in Europe through the cup. Lincoln have signed winger Adam Smith following his release from Mansfield. The former York winger had two loan spells with Aldershot last season.

The Football League say they are still waiting on Port Vale bidder Keith Ryder to submit the documentation they asked for to accept his deal. They asked for more details at the League's AGM more than three weeks ago. Luton chief executive Gary Sweet has confirmed that the Hatters offered winger Robbie Willmott a wage reduction to stay at Kenilworth Road, which is why the player is available on a free transfer.

Kidderminster have released keeper Tony Breeden after first choice Danny Lewis regained full fitness. The non-contract keeper played 28 times for the Harriers last season but, with two keepers already signed on, they couldn't afford to retain the services of Breeden. Darlington have lost their appeal against their league placing for the coming season. They will also not be allowed to call themselves "Darlington FC".

Oxford are charging up to £23 for a standard matchday ticket at the Kassam Stadium for the coming season. They will retain their advance ticket discount of £2.50. Macclesfield are reported have have failed with an attempt to sign Hayes and Yeading forward Danny Wishart. The youngster, who can also play full back, netted five times in 39 games last season.

Brodie staying at Crawley

Striker Richard Brodie is to stay at Crawley despite interest from Hereford United. Manager Sean O'Driscoll has him given the chance to prove himself.

"Two or three people have rung me about Richard because he went out on loan last season," said O'Driscoll. 

"There have been clubs interested, including Hereford.

"The manager there, Martin Foyle, probably got the best out of him when he was at York and he's asked to be kept informed.

"I spoke to Richard just to inform him that I expected everybody to turn up for pre-season and if that changed he'd be the first to know.

"He has indicated he would like to give it a go in the new division and it's only fair to let him have the chance."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tisdale On Player Contracts

Exeter manager, Paul Tisdale has spoken of his intensions to bide his time before signing players for next season. The Grecians find themselves back in League 2 following an unsuccessful excursion into League 1.

Much like at HUFC, Tisdale has seen his player budget cut as a result of relegation.

"The fact of the matter is we can't afford to pay what we paid last year for our players."

Tisdale also says the market for free agent players is stagnant at the moment.

"I think it's going to be a long summer of waiting," he added. "A lot of other clubs are in the same boat as us and holding their nerve, paying only what they can afford.

"I think there are a lot of players out there at the moment who are disappointed by the offers on the table.

"There are a lot of players who are waiting to find a better deal and a lot of clubs who are standing firm, not prepared to give a better deal.

"Ultimately, I'm going to get the best value I can and we're not going to spend more than we can afford."

From the Archives - Bittner's Unfair Red Card

James Bittner, who has joined Hereford United today, used to keep goal for Exeter City. On January 1st 2004 he was sent off in a Conference game against Hereford. However the red card was later rescinded.

Exeter City goalkeeper James Bittner has hit out at referee Mr. Chapman, who sent him off in yesterday's game against Hereford United at St. James' Park.

Bittner was red-carded for a deliberate handball outside the penalty box, but he responded by rubbishing the decision.

He told BBC Radio Devon: "It's a joke - I was a yard inside the area. The ball was definitely inside. It's been costly for us."

"All the Hereford players were telling the referee it hadn't gone outside the box but he went ahead and made a decision that changed the entire match," he continued in the Express & Echo. "It ruined it for the fans as well. I was in disbelief when he showed me the red card. Obviously, I will appeal because this is a huge blow for me personally and the team. I thought the red card on Boxing Day was harsh but this is ten times worse. I still can't quite believe it happened."

City manager Eamonn Dolan added: "You can accept one key decision going against you, but every one in the game is hard to stomach. But you can't ask any more from our players."

"He must be a Hereford fan. It's the only logical explanation and that is my true feeling on it all.

"We try to leave referees alone and that is what you get. I am just dumbfounded. This is a devastating blow and one that is hard to stomach."

Bittner left the field to an ovation, and one of those applauding him was United stopper Matt Baker. "I don't know if he handled it outside or not but that surely cannot be a sending off offence," he said. "The officials seem to want to hammer goalkeepers and this decision was particularly harsh. But James is big enough to get over this disappointment."

Bittner joins Bulls

Goalkeeper James Bittner has joined Hereford United from Forest Green Rovers on a one year deal. He follows Luke Graham in making the move to Edgar Street from the New Lawn.

"Both James and Luke are well respected as footballers and are fondly thought of by supporters, staff and players alike," said FGR chairman Dale Vince. 

"James in particular was vital in ensuring we survived in the league the season before last and we wish them both success at Hereford."

Bulls' manager Martin Foyle has welcomed Bittner to Edgar Street.

"James is an excellent goalkeeper, it'll provide a bit of competition in that area with Dan [Hanford]," Foyle told the OS. 

"He's a goalkeeper that has been around the Conference. He has a fantastic attitude and I know that he wants to be here.  He's a good age with great experience and I think he will do very, very well for us.

"We've done two cracking deals with Forest Green Rovers"

This from the Forest Green OS:

James Bittner, 30, spent two years at Forest Green Rovers and played an integral part in keeping Rovers up in his first season at The New Lawn – winning the hearts of the Green Army by scooping the supporters' Player-of-the-Season accolade

But he found game-time harder to come by last term after Sam Russell was signed during the January transfer window – making 20 league appearances in 2011/12.

The former Fulham, Swindon Town, Queens Park Rangers, Bournemouth, Exeter City, Torquay United and Salisbury City stopper, made 66 league appearances in all for Rovers.

Volunteers Wanted At Edgar Street

The Bulls are looking for volunteers to help tidy up the stadium over the summer.

Tasks on the list include painting, cleaning seats, and helping the club's staff get the stadium ready for the new season. There is also a need for a welder for various jobs around the stadium on a 'casual' paid basis.

Anyone that can help is asked to ring Terry Emmett on 08442 761939.

Conditions will have improved since this video of workers demolishing the old Edgar Street grandstand in 1968 was made:

Meanwhile, the club is also looking for people to house triallists over the pre-season to cut down on hotel bills. Anyone with a spare room that wishes to get involved can ring the club on 08442 761939.

Pre-season friendlies against Everton and Birmingham

Hereford United have announced that they will play both Everton and Birmingham in pre-season friendlies.

The game against an Everton XI will take place on Saturday July 28th and the one against Birmingham on August 4th, both at 3pm. 

Those two fixtures complete the pre-season list:

July 14th: Yeovil Home 3pm
July 17th: Evesham Away 7.45pm
July 21st:  Worcester Away 3pm
July 24th: Gloucester Home 7.45pm
July 28th: Everton XI Home 3pm
July 31st: Westfields Away 7pm
Aug 4th: Birmingham Home 3pm

UPDATE 2.30pm: Hereford United have dropped their original article which said: Hereford United confirm home friendlies against Everton and Birmingham.

"Gary Peters has done a great job in arranging fixtures, we've got Everton and Birmingham, two excellent games and hopefully a financial boost for the club," said manager Martin Foyle.

They now say that they 'await confirmation'. 

Defender Graham Signs For Bulls

Defender Luke Graham has signed for the Bulls after reaching a settlement on his contract at Forest Green.

The 26 year old comes to Edgar Street with extensive Conference experience with the likes of the Gumpers, Mansfield, York, and Luton. 6ft 2in Graham worked with boss Martin Foyle at York, with Foyle telling the official site: 

"I feel like I've got a good deal really, he was still under contract at Forest Green Rovers, but they came to an agreement on his contract and I've picked him up at the other side."

News Round-Up

Newport have signed released Luton striker Danny Crow on a one year deal. The 26 year old scored nine times in 31 games last season. Exiles boss Justin Edinburgh has denied rumours linking them to Lee Trundle. Kidderminster have signed winger Danny Pilkington. The 22 year old spent last season at York, starting only ten games, having come through Stockport's youth ranks.

Southport say they missed on on new Mansfield signing Godfrey Poku as the Stags were offering full time football. Boss Liam Watson says that want-away defender Andy Owen will cost another club £100,000. The out of contract England 'C' man has said he will not sign a new contract with the club. Forest Green owner Dale Vince wants to turn part of his company's new headquarters into a hostel for footballers. Vince wants up to a dozen players to be housed in the Stroud site.

Kidderminster are still waiting on clearance from the Home Office for striker Jamille Matt. The youngster was found to not hold a British passport when he was called up by England 'C' and has not played since due to technically being an illegal immigrant. They hope to have him back before the start of the new season. Luton say they have had a £50,000 offer for Forest Green's Yan Klukowski rejected.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Colbeck joins Grimsby

Joe Colbeck has joined Grimsby. The former Hereford United winger put pen to paper yesterday.

Colbeck joined the Bulls in late July 2010 on a 'free' from Oldham and became a regular in the starting eleven scoring five goals in his first season.

He missed nearly three months of his second season with injury and only scored one goal  in 30 appearances.

That goal came at Crawley in the last away match of the season which the Bulls won 3-0.

Colbeck was a Simon Davey signing and is unlikely to earn as much money with the Mariners.

"I've been down at Hereford for a few years now and I wanted to come back nearer to my roots," said Colbeck.

"I came to the end of my contract after a good couple of years there."

He has since tweeted the following:

"Good luck to hufc this season,  the fans and the club were great with me"  

Mansfield Sign Luton Duo

Mansfield have announced the signings of Luton duo George Pilkington and Godfrey Poku.

The pair were out of contract at Kenilworth Road with Poku rejecting new terms last week. Defender Pilkington, 30, had spent the last three years with the Hatters, winning a number of awards at the club. Midfielder Poku, 21, spent the first half of last season on loan at Southport being being a bit-part player during the second half of the campaign with the Hatters.

The Hatters are currently favourites to win the Conference title at 4/1 but have been drifting in the market with a string of high-profile departures. Mansfield are currently 5/1 second favourites.

A brief statement from Luton says they learned of the moves from the announcement on the Mansfield website, and that they were waiting on a response to their contract offer to Pilkington.

Meanwhile, Luton have also released striker Amari Morgan-Smith. The 23 year old scored nine times in 20 games during an injury hit season and is also a reported target for Mansfield.

Season Ticket Sales Far Beyond Expectations

Season ticket sales are far beyond expectations at Edgar Street, with fans backing the club following the drop to the Conference.

At last night's Fans Forum it was reported that 633 season tickets had been sold. The figure represents around 85% of last season's total figure with nearly two months to go before the season starts. It is more than 200 over the target figure the club had budgeted for ahead of the close of the Early Bird period last Friday, with fans queueing out of the door on Friday afternoon to beat the deadline.

Season ticket sales continue and remain good value compared to buying individual match tickets. Renewing Season Ticket holders can see up to 25 matches next season for as little as £10.40 a game, while new applicants can get access for £11 a game - £5 less than the matchday price.

There is also a finance option which is also cheaper than buying on the day. The 10 installment option, even with interest, can save ticket holders up to £120 over the cost of paying each game - at least six 'free' games.

Full details of the current prices and finance offers here.

Open Day July 22nd

One of the pieces of news coming out of last night's Fans Forum was that the annual Open Day would be on Sunday, July 22nd.

Boss Martin Foyle told supporters that his players would be doing an open training session around 11am with various other activities planned. The day would end with the Fans vs Legends game kicking off at 3pm.

Two more names have been added to the Legends squad. Ian Wright and Tony James will return to Edgar Street to resume their partnership in the centre of defence. The pair played close to 400 games for the Bulls between them.

Details of the latest bidding for places on the fans team are here.

O'Kelly Named As Walsall Assistant Boss

Former Bulls manager Richard O'Kelly has returned to Walsall as assistant manager to Dean Smith.

The 55 year old returns to the Bescot Stadium just three months after leaving for his short stint at Edgar Street. Smith told the club's official site:

"There were a number of applicants for the role but Richard was the man I wanted. I'm delighted to have secured my first-choice and I'm delighted that Richard sees Walsall as his first-choice.

"He had offers from Hereford United and Crawley Town but turned them down to join us, which is pleasing. He's a real football man with passion and enthusiasm. He is an excellent coach and he'll be a valuable asset here."