Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saturday Morning In Addisons

Foyle To Delay Fans Forum Until Season Underway

Bulls boss Martin Foyle has asked HUISA to delay the usual Fans Forum until the season is well underway.

HUISA chairman Keith Dodd told Bulls News: "Martin's asked to delay the forum so that he has something new to tell the fans. He feels he's done so many pre-season interviews, and the fans already know half of the players, that there's not much left to say at present that hasn't already been said."

"He'd rather get into the season, through the first dozen games or so, and be able to discuss what's gone on and what's coming up."

Council To Discuss Merton Meadow Planning Application

Herefordshire Council is to discuss the Merton Meadow planning application next Wednesday according to the Hereford Journal.

The application has been submitted by the Bristol based Santuary Group who want to build 192 residential units including a sixty bedroom care home on the site, next to the Hereford United's football ground, which is currently used for car parking.

Peter Martin, Sanctuary’s Group Director for Development, recently commented on their plans.

"Communities are much more than just bricks and mortar and as a leading housing developer we are passionate about providing attractive environments in which people want to live and relax," he said.

"It’s an ethos we will be bringing to the new urban village we are developing in Hereford which will provide a mixture of quality, energy efficient homes and pleasant open public places.

"This is one of our most exciting projects and we look forward to working with the people of Hereford to make it happen."

Hartson Booked For Sportsman Dinner

John Hartson has been booked for the next Sportsman Dinner at Hereford United's Starlite Rooms. The event is set to take place on Friday November 29th.

Hartson had a long footballing career including spells at Arsenal, West Ham and Celtic. He also made 51 appearances for Wales.

More recently he suffered from testicular cancer which spread to his lungs and brain. And before his treatment even began, Hartson came close to death after contracting pneumonia.

Since his recovery he has written a book detailing the illness entitled 'Please Don't Go' and set up a cancer charity, The John Hartson foundation.

Currently he is a media pundit.

Sam Gwynne In Team Photo

Today's Hereford United team photo has Sam Gwynne in it which must imply that the former Westfields player is likely to sign some sort of a deal shortly.

Gwynne had recovered from injury to start last night's game against Westfields.

Update: The club have announced Gwynne's signing on non-contract terms. This is expected to enable him to continue to play for Westfields when not needed by the Bulls.

Barker Not Planning To Leave Southend

Bulls trialist Chris Barker says he has no plans to leave Southend.

The defender was a surprise inclusion for the Bulls against Wellington last week with Shrimpers' boss Phil Brown seeking to offload the 33 year old.

Brown can only sign 20 players with the club under another embargo and he was looking to cut the defender loose to make another signing, but the two parties have apparently failed to agree terms on the cancellation of the final 12 months of Barker's contract.

The player told the Echo he was disappointed to be left out of their training trip to Madrid: “It wasn’t nice not going to Madrid with the rest of the squad, but that was the gaffer’s choice and I’ve got to change his opinion on me. I will give 100 per cent to try to make that happen because I still believe I’m good enough.

“I’ve never hid away from anything in football so I’m certainly not going to now and if I have to wait my turn then so be it. I’ll keep giving my all in training and I still want to be able to finish off the thing I came to this club to do three years ago with Paul (Sturrock) and that’s to win promotion.”

Ex-Bull Jackson Signs For Bury

Former Bulls striker Marlon Jackson has signed for League Two Bury on a one year deal.

The 22 year old spent an injury plagued season at Edgar Street but he was effective on the pitch, scoring 7 times from 12 starts and 13 sub appearances. 

He is Bury's 17th signing of the summer after their financial crisis and subsequent takeover.

News Round-Up

Nuneaton have signed winger Mark Bell on non-contract terms. The former Oxford City man can play on either flank. Former Bulls loanee Lewis Young has signed a new short term deal with Championship newcomers Yeovil. The 23 year old started just twice last season in an injury plagued campaign.

Macclesfield have signed former Bradford defender Steve Williams for the coming season. The 26 year old ended last season on loan at Barrow after falling out of favour in his final two years at Valley Parade. Kidderminster have signed striker Joe Lolley for the coming season after a trial. The 20 year old was part of the GB University side and had been playing for Midland Combination side Littleton.

Macclesfield have added full back Danny Andrew and midfielder Paul Turnbull for the coming season. Andrew left Cheltenham earlier in the summer, while Turnbull was at Northampton. Nuneaton defender Simon Forsdick has been ruled out for the season with cruciate knee ligament damage. The 30 year old was a regular for the Boro last term.

Salisbury have signed defender Luke Ruddick to a new deal for the coming season. The 23 year old missed last season through injury. Also resigning for the Whites is striker Dan Fitchett, who was trialled by Southend after a strong season last term in Conf South.

Four More Bulls Sign On

The Bulls have announced the signings of four more players this morning.

Goalkeeper Rhys Evans, defender Daniel Leadbitter, and midfielders Frankie Artus and Kingsley James have all agreed deals at Edgar Street after lengthy trial spells.

Evans, 31, has turned out for ten League sides since coming through the ranks at Chelsea. Leadbitter, 22, joins after a two year spell at Torquay, having joined them from Newcastle's youth section.

Artus, 24, joins after a year with Grimsby, having previously played for Bristol City and Cheltenham. James, 21, spent two years with Port Vale after coming through Sheff Utd's ranks.

The Bulls' squad is now up to 18, with only one or two more expected to arrive ahead of the start of the season in 10 days time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It Wasn't Good Enough Said Foyle

Hereford United manager Martin Foyle wasn't at all happy with their performance in the HFA Senior Cup Final at Westfields last night. The Bulls lost the tie on penalties.

"It wasn't good enough," Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"There are a few who are carrying knocks.

"We decided to keep four or five out the way as well because they are carrying knocks.

"Was it a game too far? Not at all.

"Were we up for it? That's a question I've just asked them in there.

"Do they think they are just going to turn a game of football on?

"It's given me plenty to think about."

Pictures From Westfields

A few pictures from this evening's HFA Senior Cup game at Westfields.

Former Hereford United Keeper Dan Connor In The Westfields Dug-Out

Westfields Defender Clears
Striker Dan Walker Kept From the Ball By The Westfields Captain
Danny Pilkington
Jon Pugh Kept Josh O'Keefe's Effort Out
Rob Purdie

No Silverware For Disappointing Bulls

All Orange For The Bulls
Hereford United, in their new orange kit, failed to win their first cup game of the season when they lost out on penalties to Westfields at Allpay Park this evening.

The teams were level at full time and, as agreed beforehand, the game went straight to penalities with Westfields winning the shoot-out by 6 to 5.

Westfields took the lead after around 30 minutes. 

The Bulls won a free kick but Westfields broke well and from around 25 yards Dan Polan unleased a great strike which took a deflection off Sam Gwynne.

Jake Harris Scored Hereford's Goal
Five minutes later Hereford equalised when trialist Jake Harris, the former Newport County striker, poked the ball past Jon Pugh from close range.

Michael Rankine With Chris Sharp
The Bulls made several  changes at half-time including the introduction of striker Michael Rankine but couldn't breach the stubborn Westfields defence.

Close to the end Jon Pugh kept Westfields in the game with an excellent save.

So to penalties.

Josh O'Keefe converted Hereford's first, Youth Team 'Cory' the second, then Pilkington.

However Chris Bush blazed over. Then Rankine and Leadbitter scored. But Dom Collins missed and Westfields, who only missed one penalty, won the cup.

515 watched the game.

Afterwards Hereford United's manager Martin Foyle noted 'a little bit of arrogance on our side which is something I'm going to stamp out'.

He also felt Joel Edwards 'was outstanding tonight'. 

Starting XI:  Evans, Edwards, Collins, Graham, Gwynne, Pilkington, O'Keefe, Purdie, Harris, Walker, Sharp

Subs: McDonald, Rankine, Bush, 'Cory'.


Westfelds Win HFA Cup On Penalties

Westfields won the HFA Cup after beating the Bulls on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes.

Trialist striker Jake Harris, a former Newport County forward, netted for the Bulls.

Coventry CVA Deal Goes To Ultimatum

Coventry's second attempt at a CVA deal ended in stalemate today, with stadium owners ACL offering the club an ultimatum.

ACL told the meeting they were to begin High Court proceedings against Northampton over their deal allowing the Sky Blues to play at Sixfields, and demanded the club agree a new 10 year lease at the Ricoh Arena to get ACL's agreement on the CVA deal on offer.

ACL's offer appears surprisingly reasonable, with tiered pricing on each year depending on the League placing of the club that will see the Sky Blues would pay £150,000 rental at their current League One status. The sum would rise to £400,000 if they returned to the Championship, less than half the current terms, and there is even a further cut, to £100,000, if the club plunged into League Two.

However the whole offer from ACL hinges on club owners SISU pulling their moves to have a judicial review against the Council, who part-own the stadium company. For their part, ACL have refused to enter talks with SISU over a sale of ownership of the stadium.

The parties will reconvene on Friday, with the clock ticking ahead of Saturday's start to the Football League season. 

HUISA AGM Venue Is VP Club

HUISA's AGM will be held in the VP Club lounge, starting at Noon on August 10th.

The AGM is for HUISA members only. The AGM will conclude by 1pm. 

McQuilkin Has A Point To Prove

Former Bulls midfielder James McQuilkin says he has a point to prove after signing for Walsall.

The 24 year old told the Express and Star: “I definitely have a point to prove. I just want to play as much football as possible, that’s what I love to do.

“Hopefully, I will get the chance here and prove myself. I’m confident in myself. I think I can fit into the squad and bring something new. There will be some big challenges ahead in League One but I’m raring to go.”

“I’m delighted to have signed for a club like this."

McQuilkin made 78 appearances across three League Two seasons with the Bulls, but played only 10 times last term in the Conference.

Bulls Confirm Rankine Deal

The Bulls have confirmed the signing of striker Michael Rankine for the coming season.

Rankine will wear no.15 for the Bulls, with boss Martin Foyle telling the official site that he needs to get the former York and Aldershot man fit to be fully effective.

He is the 14th player to be confirmed as contracted to the Bulls, with a contract offer put to Frankie Artus, and three further players expected to sign in the next day or two.

Barker In Southend Limbo

Bulls trialist Chris Barker is back playing with Southend despite having been told he can leave the club.

The 33 year old triggered a contract extension based on appearances last term but manager Phil Brown confirmed he had been told he was free to go, telling the Southend Echo last week: “I’ve had a conversation with Chris and explained how we’re moving in a different direction now and that it may be best for him to move on. He’s been hanging on to the other players’ coat-tails during pre-season and that’s testament to how hard he works.

“He’s a great lad but we’ll see how he gets on with Hereford and take things from there. If he’s still with us by the time we get back from Madrid then he could still have a future with us. But we’ll know more about that situation in the next 48 hours.”

Barker returned to the Shrimpers shortly after that interview and was fielded in last night's match against West Ham, playing the full 90 minutes, with Brown's squad down to barebones due to injuries and a transfer embargo.

Any return for Barker to Edgar Street is likely to hinge on how much of his current wages the Shrimpers are prepared to pay up to allow a move into the Bulls' much stricter wage structure.

News Round-Up

Defender Junior N'Tame has rejected Wrexham's offer of a deal. Boss Andy Morrell says he is to continue speaking to the Cameroonian using goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi as a go-between. The Dragon are also trialling former Bury midfielder Mark Carrington, with the 26 year old having been trialling with Southend but seeking a club closer to his Manchester home.

Nuneaton have revealed the names of a number of trialists at the club. Midfielder Aman Verma was previously trialling with Luton, while winger Mark Bell played for Bedford and Oxford City last term. Omar Recci is a former Shrewsbury trainee, while keeper James Belshaw was part of the GB University side that won silver in the recent World University Games.

Former Macclesfield forward Matthew Barnes-Homer was a trialist for Forest Green as they lost to a second-string Yeovil side 5-3 last night. Southport have signed utility man David Fitzpatrick. The 23 year old worked with manager Alan Wright at Northwich, and has recently been playing for Evo-Stik side New Mills.

Luton boss John Still believes his side is becoming the 'full package' after they beat his former side Dagenham 3-0 in a friendly at the weekend. Still has played down a move for striker Andre Gray by Peterboro. Both Barry Fry and chairman Darragh MacAnthony have been seen at pre-season games, with MacAnthony saying he had a bid in excess of £1m for Bradford striker Nahki Wells rejected.

Dartford have signed striker Adam Birchall on a long term loan from Gillingham. The 28 year old rejoins the Darts after a loan spell last term.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Westfields This Evening

Hereford United play their first Cup game of the season when they pop over to Westfields this evening (kick-off 7.30pm) for the final of the Herefordshire Football Association Senior Cup.

The Bulls are expected to put out a strong side given they only have one more pre-season match after tonight. That's against a Cardiff City XI next Saturday at Edgar Street.

Like the Bulls, Westfields have had a busy pre-season. Last Saturday they draw with Worcester 1-1.

"It was a great game, end to end," said Westfields Chief Executive Andrew Morris.

"Westfields have set themselves up nicely for the visit of Hereford United."

Recently three Westfields players have trialled with the Bulls.

Late last season Craig Jones was the first but he wasn't offered a contract.

Earlier this month Sam Gwynne and Joel Edwards were invited to join pre-season training at Edgar Street.

Unfortunately for Gwynne he's been side-lined with an injury for part of the time.  He started against Wellington last Tuesday but was later subbed. However Joel Edwards has featured in several friendlies and last week agreed a one year deal with the Bulls.

"We've lost our two full-backs which is a big blow," explained Morris.

Joel Edwards
"Joel Edwards has signed at Hereford. Great move for him and he deserves it.

"He's a super full-back and he's played exceptionally well for Westfields.

"And the right back, Sam Gwynne, who has played for us the last two seasons, is also on trial at Hereford.

"He hasn't been offered a contract yet but I'm sure he'll be pleased to do the honours with Hereford if offered it."

It will cost £7 for adults and £4 for concessions to watch the game.

Last year the two teams met in the same cup final with the Bulls winning the game 2-0. Sam Clucas scored both goals.

Bulls XI Beaten By Monmouth

A Hereford United XI were defeated by two goals to nil at Monmouth this evening.

The u18 side will play their next game at Ludlow tomorrow night against their AFC Ludlow counterparts.

News Round-Up

Halifax have a break-even figure of 1,600 for the coming season. Director Bobby Ham told the Yorkshire Post that the club had increased their budget by 25% from last season but would not risk moving to full-time status until they knew what sort of income they could expect at this level. Former Bull Sam Winnall has signed a one year deal with Scunthorpe with the option of a second year.

Former Bull James McQuilkin has signed a one year deal at Walsall. The 24 year old has been on trial with the Saddlers for most of the last month. Newport beat a reserve Aston Villa side 5-2 yesterday, but came under criticism after charging up to £17 for the friendly that saw none of the Premier League side's squad having any top flight experience after assurances from the Exiles that they would send a stronger squad.

Coventry fans have started a 'tie a Sky Blue ribbon' campaign to continue their protests against owners SISU. Several public monuments in the city have had ribbons tied to them, with a club employee confirming to the local press that they have sold less than 300 season tickets so far despite slashing prices. 

Macclesfield have signed striker Scott Boden on a one year deal. The 23 year old spent the last five years with Chesterfield, and scored three times in 13 games on loan at Alfreton last term. Barnet have released goalkeeper Sam Cowler by mutual consent. The 20 year old played only three times last season and has left in search of regular games.

Three Signings Expected To Be Confirmed

It's expected that Hereford United manager Martin Foyle will confirm three more signings later this week, that's in addition to the two announced last Saturday of Michael Rankine and Frankie Artus.

All three players have been at Edgar Street during most or part of pre-season. They are Kingsley James, Rhys Evans and Danny Leadbitter.

It's understood they can't sign until their Football League contracts finish on Wednesday, July 31st.

Midfielder James, who came to Hereford on loan last season, has been released by Port Vale.

Goal-keeper Evans, released by Exeter, was once a trainee with Chelsea.

Right-back Leadbitter, a former Newcastle trainee, was with Torquay last season.

Bulls Await Tribunal Decisions

Hereford United are awaiting tribunal decisions for compensation fees payable for two former players.

Recently Sam Clucas and Ryan Bowman moved to Mansfield and York respectively.

Both were under 24 and had been offered new contracts by the Bulls but decided to leave Edgar Street.

It's expected the tribunals will take place in August.

Below are some of the FL rules about tribunals.

In setting compensation fees, the PFCC (Professional Football Compensation Committee) take into account the costs of training and development, the player's age and playing record, the length of time he was registered with his former club, the terms offered by both clubs, the status of the two clubs and the interest shown by other clubs in acquiring the registration of the player.
In accordance with the rules of the Premier League and The Football League, and in agreement with The Professional Footballers' Association, the Professional Football Compensation Committee (PFCC) is responsible for setting the compensation fee for players Under 24 where the club formerly holding his registration and the club next holding his registration fail to reach an agreement regarding compensation for training and development.
The PFCC comprises of an independent Chairman, an appointee from The Football League, an appointee of The Professional Footballers' Association and an appointee of the League Managers' Association.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Young Bulls At Monmouth Tomorrow

Hereford United will send a youth team to Monmouth tomorrow for a pre-season friendly.

The game is set to kick-off at 6.30pm. Post code for the ground is believed to be NP25 3EG. Admission is £3 for adults.

Monmouth manager Steve Jenkins has a part-time coaching post with the youth section at Edgar Street.

Purdie Enjoying His Extra Responsibility

Rob Purdie now wears two hats at Edgar Street. Whilst he remains an important member of the playing squad he has taken on some fitness work at the club.

Purdie was asked about the extra responsibility he now has.

"It's longer days, it's probably a bit more like a proper job to be fair," he told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I'm really enjoying it.

"It's something I'm quite passionate about, the fitness side.

"I don't have anything to do with the team selection which is good for me because I'm still playing. That's still my main role here.

"But I speak to them (the management team) about the way we are going to set out the week, what sessions I can do.

"It's kind of a foot in the door. It's a chance for me and I'm really looking forward to it."

Why did Purdie return to Edgar Street?

"I had some interest from a couple of League clubs but this fitness role is right for me.

"I look at Hereford now and I'll probably stay here after my career.

"I'm looking for the next four or five years, my football, my personnel training to build up and then I can move into another career probably here in Hereford."

Purdie feels that despite a lot of new faces there's a good spirit in the dressing room at present.

"I think team spirit and a good dressing room can get you an extra 10, 15 points a season.

"When I was here for my first spell for five years we had it every season.

"We didn't quite have it when we lost our League status but I think we have it here this season.

"We're a bunch of young lads getting on well together and they've got a great attitude and they want to learn.

"It's a good recipe for, hopefully, doing well."

So what's Purdie been doing this summer?

"I had long boring days, I went to the gym a lot and did a lot of course work

"It's strange when I say in my summer I did this and others haven't even had their holidays.

"I was off for nine weeks and it was cloudy and then we come back to run around a football pitch every day and it's thirty degrees!"

And as for targets for the season?

"I want to play in as many games as I can, I want to be as effective as I can on the pitch. I'd like to chip in with a few goals.

"First and foremost I'm a player.

"But apart from that I'd like to increase my confidence in fitness work, try and work the lads and hopefully look back and I think I helped the lads do this and that.

"It's a bit different for me, it's a bit broader but I'm really looking forward to it."

News Round-Up

Former Bulls defender Michael Townsend played the final half hour for Conf North side Hednesford Town in their friendly match yesterday. Mansfield boss Paul Cox has said there has been no contact from Nottm Forest following press speculation linking Sam Clucas to a £500,000 move to the City Ground.

Former Bulls striker Tim Sills has signed for Southern League side Bashley. The 33 year old left Conf South Basingstoke earlier in the summer. Aldershot say they are close to completing the sale of the club after discussions with the Conference. They are currently resolving a few issues brought up by officials and have asked fans to be patient.

Luton boss John Still says he has no interest in signing former Bull Moses Ashikodi and that he only played him in a game last week to give his own strikers a rest. Southport have signed full back Matty Challoner for the coming season after a successful trial. Grimsby have signed goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge on a one year deal after he left Cambridge earlier in the week.

Share Issue Will Go Ahead Says Preedy

The proposed share issue for Hereford United will go ahead. That's the firm view of director Dave Preedy who hopes supporters as well as shareholders will take the opportunity to own part of the club.

"The percentage we were short to get through the share issue (at last Monday's meeting) was quite close and we need now to convert those people around," Preedy told BN.

"Because we have got to have the share issue, it's not rocket science.

"I know I could go out there now and talk to a few lads I know and there's ten grand's worth of shares waiting to be bought.

"People want to buy shares."

Preedy is very grateful to those supporters who have raised money to help the club recently but admits the club can't go asking the same people for money all the time.

"We've got to break the mould about how this club is funded and the only way to break the mould is by issuing more shares.

"I think everybody is agreed what we need so we are changing the wording of the draft and doing it properly.

"The board is taking legal advice on Monday.

"We've got to get it through because there is no plan B.

"It can't be the same people all the time because there comes a time when there is no more money.

"I've put in what my wife and I can afford."

Preedy feels the club is doing well at present.

"On the field we are looking better, we seems to have a stronger squad, people seem to be more upbeat this season.

"Off the field we've got the Starlite Rooms which are doing fantastic business. We have two weddings today. Weddings they drink, drink is profit. They are spending money at our bar.

"There is more to it than football. We've got to make this a place where we can accomodate everybody.

"The Starlite Rooms are saving this club.

"People said it would be a gamble but it was never a gamble for me."

Preedy wanted to re-build the old Sportsman Club when Graham Turner was chairman but was told no.

"Then David (Keyte) approached me and I came back for the Starlite Rooms. Then you get dragged into everything!"

Preedy admits he is lucky because he was able to put a substantial amount of money into the Starlite Rooms.

"I put in what I could afford but the man who puts in a tenner because that's all he can afford - we're all fans of the same club and that's why I want the share issue to work.

"I want that one lad to buy his ten pounds worth of shares and I also want the lad to spend ten thousand on shares.

"We need to hit everybody because everybody can help. And when you become a shareholder it's more your club. And that will help bring the club closer to the community."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pictures From Torquay Friendly

A few more pictures from this afternoon's friendly against Torquay.

Josh O'Keefe Waiting For A Corner

The Hereford Bench

Striker Dan Walker 
Get Your Knee Off My Back
And Your Hand Off My Leg
Chris Bush

The Ego Has Landed

Barnet boss Edgar Davids will wear the no.1 shirt for the club this season - and insists his players call him "Mr Davids" even on the pitch during games.

Speaking to the Times Series, goalkeeper Graham Stack said he was to continue wearing no.29, the number he wore last season, after speaking to Davids: “Edgar Davids has asked to wear number one, he asked me what number I want and I said I didn’t mind."

The paper also quotes Davids: "Yes, that is my number for the season. I am going to start this trend.” 

Davids, 40, played the majority of the Bees' 4-1 loss to MK Dons on Saturday wearing the no.1 shirt, with the franchise club's players commenting on the Bees' players being forced to address their manager formally during the game. The paper later confirmed he has ordered them to address him as "Mr Davids" during matches.

Bowman opens York account

York City drew with a Sheffield United side at Bootham Crescent this afternoon with former Bull Ryan Bowman netting the equaliser.

The Blades struck first with Bowman, a second half substitute, pouncing on a loose ball in the box to drive home from 12 yards midway through the second period.

A few comments from the York forum: -

Pinball in their box culminating in Bowman (who did well when he came on) banging in to level it.”

“I reckon Bowman may be our best signing.”

Bowman has good first touch both in the air/ground”

“Bowman's appears to have everything a striker needs.”

“Have to say my favourite forward is Bowman, who was excellent today, controlled the ball better than anyone, made it stick up top when isolated. “

Bowman the most impressive up the middle.

Take note Mr Tribunal Chairman.

Learn From Friendlies Says Preedy

Hereford United director Dave Preedy wasn't too upset that the Bulls lost today's friendly against Torquay provided they learn from the game.

"They are a week ahead of us fitness wise and that showed in the last ten or fifteen minutes," Preedy told BN.

"We had lot of opportunities first half, their keeper made three good saves.

"There wasn't a massive divide between us and them, you can see that in all the teams we've played.

"But we need to score goals, we want to see goals.

"I would rather lose a game like this and learn from it.

"Wellington last Tuesday was a nice little test but you learn more from these games.

"You've got to learn from the mistakes you make in the friendlies so when you get to the big day, August 10th, it's right.

"I think we've got the making of a good squad and buzz around the town seem to agree.

"People seem to be very upbeat."

Preedy then spoke about Michael Rankin whose signing was announced just minutes after this interview.

"The buzz around the ground is we would like him.

"A lot are comparing him with Delroy Facey but I think he's better than that because Del's centre of gravity was a lot lower!

"I think there's touch of the Guy Ipoua about him. I know Guy wasn't mobile but Guy had something about him.

"This lad works his socks off, he's a big lad.

"Wants it, gets up well. I like him."

Praise for Edgar Street pitch

Speaking after this afternoon’s game, Bulls' fullback Danny Leadbitter said "the pitch is top rate.  The ball runs true and it will be better when we can get a bit more water on it to speed up the surface".

A couple of Torquay players were also overheard to say that the pitch was "much better than ours".

The Bulls' groundsman, Ian Pritchard, noted that it was "probably a bit harder than they’d like but it's early for the grass growth and I'm keen not to use too much water while the root structure is establishing".

"I'm pleased with how our work has gone and with two weeks to go before the big kick-off I'm confident that we'll start the season with a surface as good as any in this league."

Young Bulls triumph at Forest Green

Hereford United’s youth team defeated their Forest Green counterparts 4-1in this morning’s 10.30 kick off in Gloucestershire.

A Cory Williams hat-trick together with one from Jarod Bowen took the young Bulls to a comfortable victory.

Bulls pipped by Torquay

The only goal of the game scored in the second period gave Torquay a somewhat flattering victory at Edgar Street this afternoon.

Captain Luke Graham Followed By Keeper Rhys Evans
Rhys Evans started between the sticks with Leadbitter, Luke Graham, McDonald and Bush forming an impressive back four.  Pilkington, O’Keefe, Kingsley James and Rob Purdie lined up in the central division with Michael Rankin and Dan Walker up top.

Bush and Pilkington combined well on the left to create an early opportunity for Walker but his shot was blocked before a Pilkington free kick from out wide saw Rankine’s effort turned away for a corner.

For Torquay, Chapel broke from midfield but Leadbitter was quickly across to cover.  Kingsley James was lectured for little more than a firm tackle yet when Torquay’s Thompson deliberately handballed and then kicked the ball away nothing was said.

Dan Walker’s low cross was smothered at the near post by keeper Martin Rice and Pilkington ballooned over from 12 yards before Kevin Nicholson’s cross was hooked clear by the returning Luke Graham.  Chris Bush produced a trademark long throw from the left that was laid off by Walker and O’Keefe’s shot from 20 yards was pushed round the post by Rice.  Pilkington took the flag kick and with Rankine causing mayhem in the 6-yard box, the ball fell to Walker at the back post but his effort was scuffed wide.

Dan Walker Failed To Score When Well Placed
Fullback Dale Tonge swung a cross in from the right and Thompson headed over when well placed.  When The Bulls broke upfield, Rankine was distinctly unimpressed not to be awarded a foul when Downes was climbing all over him.

Josh O'Keefe Gives A Torquay Player The Look Whilst Michael Rankine Gets More Physical
As the half drew to a close, Purdie broke through the central area to release Pillkington and his low cross was swept goalward by Rankine only for Rice to acrobatically tip over the bar.

HT Bulls 0  Torquay 0

The Bulls returned unchanged for the start of the second period and Rankine forced an early throw deep in the Torquay half but it came to nothing.  Dan Walker cut in from the left but his low shot from 20 yards was deflected clear.  O’Keefe was upended following a mazy run but, sadly, Pilkington’s free kick sailed high over the bar.

The visitors made several sorties upfield but all were comfortably dealt with by the impressive Bulls’ defence until the referee bought a dubious fall in the box by Elliot Benyon.  Chasing a through ball, the Gulls’ frontman headed for Rhys Evans rather than following the direction of the ball, tucked his foot under the outstretched Evans and took the traditional tumble to the ground.  There was some joy forthcoming however when Billy Boden, himself being guilty if similarly duping the referee on an earlier Stratospheric day at Torquay a couple of seasons ago, saw his spot kick saved by Evans.

There followed a raft of changes by both sides that served to disrupt the flow and focus of the came.  Torquay scored the only goal shortly after when a corner from the left was headed in powerfully by Aaron Downes.

Rice Rose Well To Keep Out A Shot From Substitute Jon Brown
Chris Sharp, who had replaced Rankine, glanced a header well wide from Joel Edwards’ accurate cross and when Purdie was chopped down near the penalty box, Jon Brown’s effort was tipped over by Rice.

Jon Brown
FT Bulls 0  Torquay 1

Att: - 556 including 47 in the away enclosure.

This was another good workout against higher graded opposition, which will have helped fitness and Martin Foyle’s assessment process.  Michael Rankine again impressed winning his aerial battle and showing well as a target man.  His hold up play and link work was a good as we’ve seen so far.

Dom Collins
The defence looks well settled and continued in good form following the introduction of Dom Collins and Joel Edwards while the midfield kept shape and showed an ability in change positions without disruption to the system.

Rankine apart, we still look a bit short of threat in the striking area but with two weeks to go and possibly a couple more players to arrive it’s maybe too soon the panic about the goalscoring.

Next Saturday provides the test of Cardiff City at the traditional kick-off time of 3.00pm as Martin Foyle wraps up his pre-season preparations before start of the Skrill Premier on Saturday 10th August.

See you next week.

Starting XI: Evans, Bush, Graham, McDonald, Leadbitter, James, Purdie, Pilkington, O'Keefe, Walker, Rankine.

Subs: : Sharp, Collins, Edwards, Brown, Lloyd-Weston, Murphy. 

Much Better Said Foyle

Martin Foyle With Andy Porter In The Dug-Out This Afternoon
Martin Foyle was pleased with the performance of his squad in this afternoon's pre-season friendly against Torquay, which the Bulls lost 1-0.

"We had three games where you find your feet but today I wanted to raise the bar a little bit," Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"A little bit of not agression but closing people down, and winning challenges.

"I thought it was a good game until around the 65th minute and then we probably tired a little bit."

However the Bulls failed to score.

"I think we've got to be a little bit more clinical. I think we got tied up in that final third.

"Where are we in terms of League football, I wouldn't say we are a million miles apart."

Foyle was probably pleased this was a friendly when Kingsley James was spoken to after a reckless challenge. He might have been carded in a league game.

"You can't do things like that.

"That's why they are false because we could have been down to ten men."

Foyle noted that the service to the strikers wasn't as good as in the game against Bristol Rovers.

"We are that Monday, delivering balls into the box, attacking it."

Torquay were given a penalty when Rhys Evans was adjudged to have brought down a Torquay player. However the goalkeeper kept it out.

"It's the refs pre-season as well, he's probably a little bit rusty as well!"

Foyle Agrees Deals With Artus And Rankine

Bulls boss Martin Foyle has told BBC Hereford and Worcester he has agreed deals with trialists Frankie Artus and Michael Rankine.

Midfielder Artus missed today's game, but the former Cheltenham and Grimsby man, 24, has agreed terms along with striker Rankine, 28, who worked with Foyle at York and left Aldershot in the summer after loan spells with Grimsby and York.

Foyle told the station that Chris Barker had returned to Southend, where he remains under contract.

Bittner Signs Month Long Newport Deal

Former Bulls keeper James Bittner has joined Newport on a short term deal, the Exiles have announced.

The 31 year old reported to his Twitter followers last week he had started work on a building site, but agreed a month long deal with the Exiles as cover for first choice Lenny Pidgley, who has missed much of pre-season for personal reasons.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gelling Time For Foyle

Martin Foyle is still looking to finalise his squad for the start of the Conference season which kicks-off in two weeks time.

He says he needs several more players to fill the squad and tomorrow's friendly against Torquay United (1pm) will give him a chance to look at six or seven trialists.

And, as he told BBC Hereford and Worcester, bringing in players is only part of the work.

"I've got to gell them," said Foyle.

"It's not as though we've got the same squad as last year and you come straight back into pre-season. You're kicking on.

"There's a lot, a lot of work to be done behind the scenes.

"We're more than capable of doing it, we can't panic bringing these last three of four in because we've got to get the right people into the club."

Sponsor Deal "Comparable" To BlueSq Deal

The new three year Conference sponsorship deal is 'comparable' to the previous deal with defunct bookies BlueSq.

Conference director Colin Peake told the BBC: "We've confirmed to member clubs that we will shortly be circulating the financial benefits. We can confirm it is comparable to previous title sponsorships."

There were fears earlier in the week that the best offer on the table was for half the sum BlueSq had paid.

HUISA AGM August 10th

The HUISA AGM will take place at the ground at 12.00 prompt on Saturday 10th August 2013, venue to be confirmed.

Any members wishing to add anything to the agenda are asked to contact HUISA on, to include their membership details and number.

Gulls To Field Trialist Pair

Torquay will field at least a pair of trialists in tomorrow's match at Edgar Street.

Ex-Birmingham pair Krystian Pearce and Jack Deaman will turn out in the Gulls' defence. Pearce, 23, spent the last two seasons with Notts County, and played against the Bulls for Scunthorpe as a teenager, while Deaman, 20, had a non-playing loan spell at Cheltenham last term.

A move for fellow defender Shaun Cooper has collapsed over finances, with the Gulls unable to afford the experienced ex-Bournemouth man, while boss Alan Knill will be unable to bring in his planned striker signings until after the weekend.

Knill says he will not risk goalkeeper Michael Poke tomorrow, and winger Courtney Cameron will also miss the game with a calf problem.

The Bulls' main injury doubt is Sam Gwynne, who took a heavy knock during the win over Wellington on Tuesday. Luke Graham is expected to make his first appearance in pre-season after five games for the GB Universities side, while trialist striker Michael Rankine is likely to feature again in a bid to win a deal.

Supporters Trust Statement

The following is a statement from the Supporters Trust:

The Working Group of the Supporters Trust would like to make a statement in response to the comments made by David Keyte as published on the official site this morning.

At last night's Working Group meeting, plans were discussed on a number of events and ideas that would bring much needed income to the club. The group also discussed the Trust's Aims and Objectives, none of which reflect the view George Webb had expressed in his text message.

The Working Group accepted George's resignation on Tuesday following a brief text message exchange between George and the chairman of HUISA, Keith Dodd. George offered his resignation following concerns from some of his fellow Working Group members, and senior figures at the club were made aware of George's resignation on that day. 

As discussed at last night's meeting, the Trust will be seeking a meeting with the club's Board to outline their Aims and Objectives and discuss how the two parties can assist each other.

Williams Happy With Part Time Woking Role

Former Bull Gavin Williams says he turned down full-time offers to take a part-time role with Woking.

Now 33, Williams turned down Football League sides to split his time between work and family life, telling Get Surrey: “I had a couple of offers to stay in the League but with Woking being part-time it was perfect, it means I can split my week in half between football and spending time with my son.”

Williams was approached to join the Cards by coach Steve Thompson, who was at Yeovil during Williams' first spell there ten years ago.