|Posted by Ben Barrett on July 30, 2013 at 12:35 PM|
DEFYING THE ODDS - PART ONE
With Yeovil Town about to emabark on their history making season in the Championship, BSW hands over the reigns to Alex Watts for a number of blogs about this up coming campaign.
In a section called "Watts Happening" we start with a look at just how the Glovers will "Defy the odds".
This afternoon’s [Tuesday 30/07] photo call at Huish Park is the sign that the curtain has been closed on Yeovil Town’s finest Football League hour, but with it, now begins arguably their most difficult.
Memories of last season will never been forgotten by Yeovil fans but they must now be put to one side as full focus turns towards the club’s maiden season in the Sky Bet Championship.
Most refreshingly, the majority of last season’s squad remain in South Somerset with the only disappointment coming from the club’s failure to secure another year’slong loan for giant defender, Dan Burn.
After finding his feet in League One, the paring of Burn and Byron Webster was one of the main catalysts for the Glovers rise up the League One table and proved formidable in our play-off campaign.
How we deal with the loss of Burn will go a long way to determining how we fare this year. In addition to this the club have, with best wishes, sent Richard Hinds, Gavin Williams and Dominic Blizzard on their way to new clubs while striker Reuben Reid has played his last game for the club after agreeing a season long loan to Plymouth Argyle.
Dan Burn, or should that be Dan Brum?
While work has been going on at the stadium over the summer; GJ, Skivo and Weasel have been working hard to prepare and refresh the club’s playing staff to form a competitive side in the Championship.
In the net, keeping Marek Stech despite rumoured interest is a huge positive.
The only change comes in the form of youngster Matt Cafer agreeing a six-month professional deal. However, his non-appearance in any of the club’s friendlies suggests this is going to prove a largely pointless venture.
The biggest changes have come at the back, with five new arrivals coming in. With Burn and Fulham deciding to go to pastures new, the additions of Dan Seaborne on a two-year contract and the experienced Alan Tate on a six-month loan from Swansea have filled the gaps.
In both the home friendlies, Seaborne has looked calm and solid at the back, fitting in with ease. He is used to the demands of the Championship and will be key if the Town are to stay up.
Similarly, the experience and know-how of Tate will be vital in guiding the younger players through. Tate arrives with a point to prove, having not played many games recently due to injury and the success of his parent club.
If Tate gets a run of continued games, his class will show.
Alan Tate - Swans loanee. (Pic Western Gazette)
The other two defensive recruits are slightly more of a gamble though. Seth Nana Ofuri Twusami has signed a short-term deal, despite failing to impress most Town fans on his trial. GJ has worked with him before and before his injuries, he had a good pedigree playing for numerous England youth sides.
Yeovil will be hoping he can get back to this although I have my doubts. The reaction of his team mates after his mistake had led to Swansea’s opening goal seemed to show how surprised they weren’t.
As if it had happened a few times in training before! It really has stuck in my mind the reaction some players showed.
On a similar deal, Joey Jones has joined from Leicester City. The young central defender is an interesting signing, potential a plenty but with no reserve team he’ll have little opportunity to develop you would think.
Finally at the back, Liam Davis, another familiar face to GJ, has arrived today on a two-year deal.The length of the deal shows the faith GJ has in the player, but the reviews from Oxford fans and the fact that he did not do enough to earn a deal at Birmingham City earlier this summer fails to fill me with enthusiasm, although I want to be proved wrong.
In midfield, the signing of Billy Clifford has been the most eye-catching on a six-month loan from Chelsea.
Against Swansea, playing at right back he was a huge positive and after a successful loan spell last time out with Colchester, the youngster looks more than ready to make the step up.
Winger Joel Grant has made his way from Wycombe on a two-year deal, after being their top scorer and highest assist provider last year.
An exciting, direct winger, Grant will prove a top signing if his work-rate defensively matches that of fellow wingers Sam Foley and Kevin Dawson.
Joel Grant - Wycombe's Wing Wonder
(Pic Western Morning News)
Finally in the middle, Sam Hoskins has joined from Southampton and in pre-season friendlies has been deployed as a left-winger. Although I would love to see him given a chance up front, he is the signing Iam most excited about.
The reviews he has received from his new team mates and manager constantly refer to his excellent natural ability. Hopefully, given suitable time to be Yeovil-ified, he can prove to be a top player.
Up top, the reliable and trusted partnership of Madden and Hayter remains but competition has arrived in the form of 6’6 Michael Ngoo on loan from Liverpool and Kieffer Moore from Dorchester.
These are both players with huge potential yet the real results will come if they can deliver these performances with consistency.
I have my doubts about Ngoo personally. In the Exeter friendly, he was outshone by the evergreen Sam Parkin who played the target man role perfectly while Ngoo spent his evening running down dead ends and turning into players.
Moore has made a huge step up and if he can make an impact then Yeovil will have a top player on their hands, but he needs to be given time and patience from all.
Moore to come from Kieffer
Overall the squad and new acquisitions in particular have a very “Gary’s Gambles” feel about them.
How well we fare in the Championship will really boil down to how many of these gambles pay off.
It’s going to be exciting regardless, but thankfully in GJ we trust.