Yeovil Town preview

Last updated : 18 July 2003 By

Brentford continue their build up for the new season with a visit to Huish Park this Saturday, for a friendly against current Nationwide Conference champions, Yeovil Town.

The Somerset based club finally realised their long held ambition of league status last April, after many years of trying and a number of near misses.

Indeed such was the Cider men’s form during the 2002/03 campaign, the Glovers lost only three league games, the title was wrapped up with virtually a month to go, with their success build around an extremely strong and competitive squad and a fanatical support which saw the club average 4, 741 last term.

Glovers' captain
Kirk Jackson with 24 league goals provided much of the strike power, captain and ex-Wycombe Wanderers defender, Terry Skiverton the experience, and together with goalkeeper Chris Weale, the spine of the team was outstanding.

All of the squad performed admirably but other players who shone last term include Kevin Gall who netted 13 times in the league, midfielder, Darren Way and left winger, Michael McIndoe. Combined with the shrewd management of Gary Johnson, Yeovil Town
proved an irresistible force during their last Nationwide Conference campaign.

After being founder members of the conference in 1979, (then known as the Alliance Premier League), Yeovil Town initially struggled to hold their own, primarily as a result of a failure to attract part-time players to the West Country, but after returning to the non-league elite in 1997 the Somerset side set about wining a much coveted place in the football league.

Following steady progression which saw them finish 5th and 7th in seasons 1998/99 and 1999/2000 respectively, the turn of the century resulted in a more concerted push for a place in the Nationwide Third Division.

The Glovers narrowly failed to hold off the challenge of Brian Talbot’s Rushden & Diamonds in the 2000/01 campaign having led the table for almost four months, a loss of form that was ultimately to cost Colin Addison his managerial role.

Johnson, the former Latvian international manager, arrived in the summer of 2001 and immediately started to install a winning mentality at the club, and, as well as achieving a third place finish in his first season behind eventual champions, Boston United, the Glovers won the FA Trophy at Villa Park in May 2002, courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Stevenage Borough at Villa Park.

Prior to their recent league success,
Yeovil Town had always been associated with a number of notable FA Cup giant killing acts.

Their highest registered attendance of 16, 318 was recorded as long ago as 1949, when the Cider men defeated the then First Division Sunderland 2-1. Brentford themselves became victims in 1972, Fulham in 1984 and more recently, Northampton Town and Colchester United have both failed to knock out supposedly inferior opposition.

Part of Yeovil Town's cup success was put down to their famous sloping ground at the Huish, but in 1990 the Glovers moved to a brand new purpose built complex (Huish Park), which has been further improved over the last couple of years and will now surely rank amongst one of the most impressive stadia in the Third Division.

This weekend promises to be a stern test for Wally Downes’ young guns, and, even though the manager feels that the importance of pre-season has diminished somewhat these days as players are naturally fitter, with a number of trialists trying to impress the likeable Londoner, it should make for an interesting and exciting fixture.

So with pre-season now firmly underway, why not take a look at the Bee Hive’s travel directions and plan to have yourself a pleasant day out in the west country.