A rough guide to... Yeovil Town

Cod Almighty | Article

by Rich Mills

1 August 2016

Since joining the Football League in 2003, Yeovil have been to the second flight and back.

How are you?

Yeovil’s not that big a place, half the size of Grimsby by population. As such Yeovil Town are the sort of team over which our fans might gloat that we are a far bigger club. But really we shouldn’t gloat, we should look and learn.

OK they’ve only been a League club since 2003, and weren’t affected by the ITV Digital fallout. But during that time the Glovers have done alright, bobbing up and down, even going as far as the second flight. Apart from last year’s success at Wembley our recent histories simply do not compare. And yes, I am including that win in the Copa de Ibiza.

What have you been up to?

Yeovil are a little out on a limb. The only League club in Somerset, they don’t really have any rivalries. Weymouth used to ruffle feathers back in the Glovers’ non-league days but they haven’t met in a competitive game for over 25 years.
Exeter City ought to fit the bill, being a short, pleasant drive away but the Grecians are more bothered about their Devon rivals Plymouth. Sorry lads, you’ll just have to enjoy the football without the added spice of a derby.

Grimsby have only played Yeovil twice in our history, winning one and losing one so we don’t even have a score to settle with them. Can we get upset that Phil Jevons signed for them after leaving Blundell Park? That Russell Slade left us for them? Nope, Yeovil Town are the club it’s hard to be upset about.

What kind of a season did you have?

After relegations in their previous two seasons, everybody associated with the Glovers will have been more than happy with a nineteenth place finish last year as by December they were bottom of the League and looked to be heading for a third relegation. Manager Paul Sturrock was shown the door, despite only taking the helm at the end of the previous season and Darren Way took over, leading them to safety with a handful of games to spare.

Way is a Yeovil man through and through, having spent three stints at the club as a player. Since retiring as a player in 2010, he has held a number of coaching and management roles.

How are you feeling?

This season the Glovers are doing much better than last, sitting comfortably in mid-table. Manager Way’s managerial way seems to be grinding out 1-0 wins. It’s what saved them last year and it seems to be the plan this season too. Each of their last three games has finished 1-0 to Yeovil.

There’s nobody in the current squad who has previously turned out for the Mariners but past alumni include Martin Gritton, Steve Mildenhall and Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala as well as Jevons.

Following a recommendation by his soul coach, left back Nathan Smith spent ten days meditating in India during the summer because he was bored of the usual party holidays. He did not meet any of our squad there. Smith is also a vegan but Town had a vegan footballer in 1984. You’re playing catchup, Glovers!

Where are you from?

As the club’s nickname suggests, Yeovil is famous for gloves, although there hasn’t been much of a glove making industry in donkeys’ years. More recently it’s been about the defence industry and a lot of the locals are employed making helicopters these days rather than mittens.

Huish Park was built in 1990 and has a similar capacity to Blundell Park but only half of it is seated. It’s unlikely we’ll get to stand on our visit though as the club tend to only open the terrace behind the goal for away fans if they’re anticipating a big crowd. We’ll have to content ourselves with admiring it from the seats.

You must be wondering if sacking Gary Johnson was a good idea?

Our current nemesis, Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson brought Yeovil all their notable successes. OK, they were bottom of the table when he was sacked. But in his first spell Yeovil won the FA Trophy in 2002; were Conference champions in 2003; and division four champions in 2005. In his second, Yeovil were promoted to the second flight in 2013 via the play-offs.

Gary Johnson is good at this sort of thing. Let’s hope Yeovil's chairman has his number saved, just in case.

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