TEAM PREVIEW: Yeovil Town – Nick Crittenden wants a fast start to season

 

Last season just went from bad to worse for Yeovil Town. After the heights of the Championship, Yeovil struggled to deal with relegation on a club level and sunk straight back down to League Two over the summer. A whole eleven’s worth of players have arrived over the summer and it’s up to Paul Sturrock to put everything together quickly so Yeovil have a chance of a return to League One.

Last Season: League One (24th)

Manager: Paul Sturrock

 

Squad

GKs: Arthur Krysiak, Chris Weale
DFs: Ben Tozer, Nathan Smith, Stephen Arthurworrey, Jakub Sokolik, Ryan Dickson, Omar Sowunmi, Alex Lacey
MFs: Matthew Dolan, Kevin Dawson, Marc Laird, Jack Compton, Jordan Gibbons, Simon Gillett, Iffy Allen, Wes Fogden
FWs: Ryan Bird, Shaun Jeffers, Jamie Burrows, Mark Beck

 

Transfers

In: Jack Compton (Hartlepool United), Ryan Dickson (Crawley Town), Matthew Dolan (Bradford City), Jordan Gibbons (QPR), Shaun Jeffers (Newport County), Marc Laid (Tranmere Rovers), Omar Sowunmi (Ipswich Town), Ben Tozer (Northampton Town), Jamie Burrows (Rangers), Ryan Bird (Cambridge United), Wes Fogden (Portsmouth), Alex Lacey (Luton Town), Mark Beck (Carlisle United), Iffy Allen (Barnet), Stephen Arthurworrey (Fulham – Loan)

Out: AJ Leitch-Smith (Port Vale), Fergus Bell (Released), Liam Davis (Released), Craig Eastmond (Released), Joe Edwards (Colchester United), Sam Foley (Port Vale), Joel Grant (Released), James Hayter (Havant & Waterlooville), Sam Hoskins (Northampton Town), Kieffer Moore (Released), Nathan Ralph (Newport County), Gareth Stewart (Retired), Seth Nana Twumasi (Newport County), Gozie Ugwu (Released), Adam Morgan (Accrington Stanley), Alex Smith (Released), James Berrett (York City)

 

First Six: Exeter City (A), Bristol Rovers (H), York City (A), Luton Town (H), Oxford United (A), Morecambe (H)

Likely Lineup: (3-5-2) Krysiak – Lacey, Arthurworrey, Smith – Compton, Dawson, Laird, Fogden, Dickson – Bird, Allen

 

 

A word from…Nick Crittenden

On his time at the club I was fortunate enough to play in and around the time the club were most successful. The club turned full-time in 2001 I think and since that point the club has gone from strength to strength.

It continued all the way to the Championship but obviously things have gone a little bit flat with two relegations but I know the fans hold those times in high regard, it was an incredible period.

On a winning mentality You can start to feel invincible, yeah. It’s never happened to me again but even if we went 1 or 2-0 down you were confident you’d get back in the game, it was just a feeling with the team and the fans, we were pretty unbeatable back then.

I’ve been in football another 10-15 years since then and never been through anything like that since. The chairman might not agree but the club were kind of overachieving in the Championship, the club has taken a hit lately but there’s still an optimism around the club that they can reach those heights again.

On the lows You can have that losing mentality too, this year it’s a whole new group of players, a new manager came in just to stop that losing mentality, a lot of the players coming in won’t have that now but runs in football only last for so long, in a couple of years you can be back down where you were 10 years ago.

I think the first five or six games of this season are going to be massive, get the home fans back on side again, get the players enjoying their football again and generate a bit of a buzz around the place. I think the club had one of the worst home records last season so it needs to be addressed.

On summer recruitment I think the club has got a good blend of experienced players Paul Sturrock knows well and he’s brought in a few young lads too. There’s a new winger from Barnet [Iffy Allen] who looks very exciting, he’ll get his wingers involved and he’ll get balls in the box. Jack Compton and players like that will be very important this year.

It’s difficult to put a whole new team together over the summer, the players are getting to know each other as people and also how each other plays. But it can benefit you as well as hinder you, they can go out and express themselves but I know they’ve been working a lot on shape in training to try and work out what everyone’s strengths are.

 

The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: Despite being in League One last year, it’s difficult to see Yeovil achieving promotion this year given the huge turnover where the playing staff is concerned. Sturrock will need time to mould his new side and this year has to be a consolidation year for Yeovil to push on again in the near future.

Key Player: Kevin Dawson – Despite seemingly being let go when the club released its retained list back in May, Dawson signed a new two-year deal which will be a huge relief to the club and fans. Dawson has been at the heart of Yeovil’s midfield for a couple of years now and his signing may be the most important of the summer.

One to Watch: Iffy Allen – The 21-year-old didn’t make a regular break into Barnet’s side outside the football league but by all accounts has impressed Yeovil during pre-season. With plenty of pace and an unknown quantity about him, Allen could be one to keep a look out for.

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