Following their relegation from the Championship last season, Yeovil Town have undergone a huge rebuild for the new season in League One. Having been unable to extend the services of goalkeeper Marek Stech, highly rated centre half Byron Webster and Bristol City’s newest recruit Luke Ayling, Gary Johnson had the mammoth task of creating a whole new back line able to compete at the clubs new level. With pre-season friendlies having already started, there has been news this week that under twelve months after signing for the Glovers, highly rated centre forward Adam Morgan is on his way out of Huish Park having not made the squad for friendlies against both Frome Town and Basingstoke Town.
The former Liverpool “starlet” has not had an easy time since signing from the Merseyside club, having made just 13 first team appearances, 10 of which have come from the substitutes bench. It has been suggested that Morgan may make a switch to Scottish football, however, he did make an appearance for fellow League One newcomers Chesterfield in a pre-season friendly against Shrewsbury Town in which the Spierietes came out on top 2- 0.
Town have welcomed eight new faces to the squad over the summer, including former Crewe Alexandra striker AJ – Leitch Smith. Veteran James Hayter also extended his contract for another year and whilst Kieffer Moore was impressing up front last season, former Saints striker Sam Hoskins will also be keen to make an impression. It seems Morgan’s chances of starting would have been few and far between.
With Morgan seemingly on his way, Gary Johnson has been busy recruiting a squad early on in the hope that they will gel quickly ready for a positive start to the 2014/2015 campaign. He has secured the services of goalkeepers Artur Krysiak, after four seasons with Exeter City, as well as fans favourite Chris Weale who already boasts 172 appearances, 1 goal and 2 promotions with the club.
Another former Glovers star also re joins the Somerset side, with left back Nathan Smith penning a two year deal having parted ways with Chesterfield, the side he left Yeovil for three seasons ago. Arguably the most experienced defender in the new side, he will be crucial to leading the back line. In terms of central defence, Gary Johnson beat Phil Brown’s Southend side to the signing of Jakub Sokolik who enjoyed a highly successful loan spell at the League Two Club. As well as this, former Birmingham City man Aaron Martin joined the League One newcomers and last week the Glovers secured a loan deal for Cardiff City defender Ben Nugent. Nugent will initially remain in Somerset until early 2015, after loan spells at both Brentford and Peterborough last season.
In a busy week for Yeovil Town, Bristol City finally completed the signature of former Glovers right back Luke Ayling. Due to the player being under 24, Town will be entitled to an undisclosed compensation fee. Although it was made clear it was not involved in the terms of Aylings move, a seemingly immediate deal was made for City right back Brendan Maloney to make the switch to Huish Park.
In terms of league experience, the new look squad boasts a fair amount and the signature of midfielder James Berrett from relegated Carlisle United is not dissimilar. He has made an impressive 160 appearances in League One and is known for his long range goals. This experience could be vital if Town are to challenge this season. Alongside him will be some familiar faces with Joe Edwards, Kevin Dawson and Sam Foley all starting the season with the club they helped get promoted in 2013.
Yeovil have started their pre-season campaign with unsurprising mediocrity after such a large turnover of players. Despite beating Southern League Side Frome Town comfortably 6 -1, 5 goals came in the second half suggesting the Glovers were far from comfortable initially. A trip to Basingstoke Town caused it’s own problems with Yeovil being held to a 1-1 draw, with Sam Hoskins opening the scoring only to be pegged back by a Manny Williams goal.
In terms of results, the Glovers would expect to dominate but with a brand new team and so much to learn throughout pre – season, no one will be too worried about friendlies, especially against tough non league opposition.
Before Yeovil kick off their campaign against Doncaster Rovers at Huish Park, they have friendly matches against Torquay United, Reading, Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, Plymouth Argyle and Dorchester Town to look forward to, when supporters will become more informed as to who the starting 11 will be come the 9th August.