Get the lowdown on the Glovers ahead of the new season
The penultimate entry into the Vital Watford season preview, it`s Yeovil Town…
Yeovil Town is a wonderful story. In the age of mega-bucks contracts and £85m transfer fees, the Glovers have worked their way from the bottom in what we can all agree is the ‘right` way; the organic way, for the first time in their history.
Under the stewardship of former Watford coach Gary Johnson – now in his second spell at Huish Park – the Glovers have done the seemingly impossible and won promotion into the second-highest professional league in England off the back of an average attendance of not much over 4000.
There`s obviously the meagre budget that Johnson has had to work his magic with to take into consideration too.
Yeovil have been shrewd in the transfer market down the years – as you have to be with a restrictive transfer budget – and have picked up other side`s cast-offs and moulded them into a squad which has earned the right to take on F.A Cup winners and Europa League competitors, Wigan Athletic next term.
It will be an enormous ask of Johnson to keep the Somerset side in the division, but the former Bristol City, Northampton Town and Peterborough United has worked miracles in this sleepy part of the south west before.
Yeovil will be the favourites to drop straight back down, but they`ll be the neutrals` choice too and there can be little pressure on Johnson and his troops as they go into what should be a memorable season.
In: Joel Grant (Wycombe Wanderers, free), Sam Hoskins (Southampton, free), Joe Jones (Leicester City, free), Kieffer Moore (Dorchester Town, undisclosed), Danny Seabourne (Southampton, free), Liam Davis (Oxford United, free), Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi (Northampton Town, free), Michael Ngoo (Liverpool, loan), Billy Clifford (Chelsea, loan) & Alan Tate (Swansea City, loan).
Out: Reuben Reid (Plymouth Argyle, loan).
Key Player – Alan Tate: Signed on a six-month loan deal from Premier League Swansea City, the hugely-experienced 30 year-old will be an integral part of the Glovers` backline.
If Yeovil are to pull off one of the shocks of the season by staying up, then keeping clean sheets will be the cornerstone of any success. Signing a top-flight defender on loan is a shrewd move therefore
Signed from Manchester United on a free in 2004 after two successful loan spells with the Swans, tate has gone on to make nearly 300 league appearances for the Welsh outfit. Tate spent part of last season out on-loan at Leeds United.
“In many ways I would love to see Yeovil stay up but I just cannot see anything but them going down.
“They did remarkably well to go up last season but they remind me a lot of what Scunthorpe did a few years ago and now they are in League Two. None of the players they have brought in have any Championship experience although they may be good prospects.
“Billy Clifford, Michael Ngoo and Sam Hoskins obviously have pedigree coming from bigger clubs but I don’t see that as being anywhere near good enough to keep Yeovil up. I’d love them to prove me wrong but I’m convinced they’ll go down.”