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Thursday, July 31, 2003

Ryan Green Signs

Ryan Green has signed a two year contract with the Bulls.

The ex-Wolves & Sheffield Wednesday full-back has been capped three times for Wales, and is indeed the youngest player to feature for the principality.

Meanwhile, the game finished this evening 1-0 to Birmingham. Terry's report is here.


Blues name strong squad

Hereford United will face a decent side when they play Birmingham City this evening, kick off 7.45pm.

Montenegro international Dragan Zilic will feature, as Brum boss Steve Bruce wants to watch the twenty-eight year-old triallist goalkeeper, who has five international caps.

Other first-teamers included are skilful midfielder Bryan Hughes, once of Wrexham, Senegalese international Ferdinand Coly, who is on-loan from Lens, and ex-Manchester United attacker Jovan Kirovski, who has international experience with the USA.

The squad in full is: Dragan Zilic, Peter Vaughan, Ferdinand Coly, Marcus Painter, Mathew Sadler, Mark Allen, Curtis Woodhouse, Sam Alsop, Jovan Kirovski, Andy Barrowman, Craig Fagan, James Dormand, Chad Shepperd, David Arrowsmith, Peter Till, Carl Motteram, Paul Longthorn, Bryan Hughes.


Keetch unhappy with proposals

Paul Keetch, MP for Hereford, has written to the Hereford Times about the Edgar Street Grid plans. In his letter he questions whether a huge supermarket on the site might lower the amount of funding that can be obtained from Advantage West Midlands.

"The development should not seek to try and establish a new shopping centre for Hereford," writes Keetch. "I believe that it should contain civic,sporting and cultural facilities that would complement, not complete with, the city's existing facilities."

The Herefordshire full council passed the proposals last week although the fate of the cattle market is not yet known.

It appears that the politicians are beginning to fall out about the plans for the area. The question of funding and a supermarket on the site could be discussed for months if not years. The longer the plans are held up simply makes the future of Hereford United less certain.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that there will be a minutes silence before Saturday's game for Dolly Davies, the well-known Bulls supporter who died recently.

Graham Turner commented: "She was a fantastic supporter and it is a sad loss to the club."


Brown pleased to be black and white

Attacker David Brown, who signed from Telford United in June, has missed most of pre-season through injury but is impressed with what he sees in Hereford United.

Speaking to HU-FC.co.uk, the ex-Manchester United youngster said: "The lads have done well in pre-season and scored a lot of goals so hopefully, when the season starts, we can carry that through.

Of his own injury, it was somewhat unexpected and a complete accident. "It was just a freak accident in training," he said. "I just fell over and Richard Teesdale fell on top of me and it was confirmed the day after that I'd cracked a bone in my collarbone so I don't think it was as bad as first thought and it seems to be healing pretty well.

"I can hopefully start training by the end of this week. I'm on a special programme at the minute where I can do certain things to build up my fitness but I'm hoping by the end of this week, I can join in fully again with the training."

At Telford last year, Brown netted sixteen goals and hopes to top that total this term. "I scored quite a few goals for Telford last year in a team that struggled and so you would think, with the players that we have at this club, I would score more goals," he commented. "I'm aiming to get more goals than I did last year and to get Hereford to the play-offs."

"I've played against Hereford three or four times now and they do create a lot of chances so that'll be good for me. Everyone at the club wants a play-off place, and the gaffer has strengthened the squad and there's no reason why we can't do better than last year."

Brown is unlikely to play any part in tonight's friendly match at Edgar Street, when the Bulls host Birmingham City, kick off 7.45pm. Steve Guinan should play some part as his recovery from knee surgery continues, while Danny Bertram is likely to feature having come off with a hamstring niggle in last Saturday's win at Bromyard.

Meanwhile, the club have revealed that over £2,500 was raised at last Sunday's annual Open Day.


Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Versatile Purdie just happy to be playing

One player who has really enjoyed the pre-season campaign is Rob Purdie, the Hereford United midfielder.

Despite playing in the centre of the park for most of last season, Purdie has impressed in his matches where he has positioned in attack, particularly when Steve Guinan and David Brown have been unavailable.

"I've been doing alright this pre-season," said the ex-Leicester City youngster. "I've been playing up-front, which is not unfamiliar to me as I played there with Leicester when I was younger, but I'm hoping to try and hold down a position more than I was last season. I think with the way the team's been playing, we've got a good chance this season to get into the promotion places."

"I feel most comfortable in centre midfield but if I play on either of the wings or up-front, I'm not bothered. I'm happy to play anywhere as long as I paly more games than I did last season."

Purdie notched just one goal for the Bulls in the Conference last term, in the 2-2 draw at Northwich Victoria, but already this pre-season, he has scored three. "It's a good boost to the confidence. I thought I should have had a few more but three in four games, I'm happy with that. Let's hope I can get a few more against Birmingham and Kidderminster."

The Bulls open the Conference campaign on August 9th, when they go to Tamworth, a game which Purdie reckons will be a tough one.

He told HU-FC.co.uk: "They're going to be up for it having just been promoted to the Conference. The main thing we've got to do is match them for enthusiasm. With the way we've been playing pre-season, I can't see why we can't walk away with three points."

Playing in the most competitive position for United, central midfielder Purdie knows he will be kept on his toes. "If you're playing centre midfield and all of a sudden, a triallist comes in, you have to up your workrate by 10% and that can only be good for the club and our promotion chances."

One player who has had a good pre-season is Rob Sawyers, despite failing to regularly play last term. He is highly rated by Purdie, who said: "In training all last season, he was a good player and has great feet. This pre-season, he's played well at left-back and centre midfield so that's another position that he'll be challenging for."

Meanwhile, the Hereford United youth team start their season on August 20th, as they play their first match in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Premier Division.

The Bulls start at home against Sutton Coldfield Town, before playing Nuneaton Borough a week later and then travelling to Bedworth United.


Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Triallist opts to go part-time

Graham Turner offered a contract to Shrewsbury Town's Pete Wilding, but he has chosen to move to Welshpool.

Thirty-four year-old Wilding was offered a twelve month deal at Edgar Street, but has opted to switch part-time with the Welsh Premiership side.

Wilding told the Shropshire Star: "I've weighed a few things up with my business and with working and playing part time and I've decided to join Welshpool."


Attacker to make Tamworth opener

Steve Guinan was Hereford's top scorer last season but has overcome knee surgery in the summer to be on the road to full fitness for the big kick-off against Tamworth.

"I got a few more minutes than I thought I would do at Bromyard," Guinan told HU-FC.co.uk. "It's nice to be involved and out there kicking a ball.

"In the last six weeks of the season, I was really struggling with it every game. I saw the specialist in the close season and he thought an injection was the way to go. That wasn't successful, so I had to have knee surgery and thankfully, it seems to have sorted out the problem.

"At the moment, I'm playing catch-up with the boys fitness-wise but I managed almost a half at Saturday, maybe more Thursday night and perhaps a full game against Kidderminster. I think by the time the ninth comes, I'll be not far off full fitness."

Last season, Guinan played in attack with various strikers, including John Grant and short-term signings Albano Correia and Chukki Eribenne. However, with the signings of David Brown and Danny Bertram, some stability should be brought to the United attack.

Guinan commented: "That can only benefit the club really. If me or John Grant were not performing well, then there were no other options but now, there are three forwards that will be battling for a place and that will keep everyone on their toes."

Another new signing is Jordan King, who was released by Telford at the end of last season. Despite his young age, he has had a trial with Everton and Guinan claims he will be a useful acquisition: "He's a good player, different to what we had last season but he likes to put his foot in. He's nice and steady on the ball and has chipped in with a few goals already this pre-season."

With players moving down the leagues, the Conference will be a stronger competition, explained Guinan. "There are a lot of players who I have played with in the Football League who are struggling to find a club now, and are looking at the Conference. The Conference will be the strongest it's ever been, and is almost level with the third division."

However, while other clubs also appear to be strengthening their squads, Guinan is adamant that United will improve on last season's final placing of sixth. "We've got to aim higher than last season. We've got to aim for play-offs, or above."

Meanwhile, our condolences go to the family of Dolly Davies, who has passed away at the age of eighty-five. Dolly was a committed Hereford supporter, watching the Bulls from the Len Weston Stand.


Monday, July 28, 2003

Dean Craven signs season-long deal

Dean Craven has sealed his move to Hereford United after putting pen to paper on a season-long deal.

The twenty-four year-old left-sided player played for Bridgnorth last season, but is adamant that he can make the step-up to Conference football. "I think I'll just be trying to play, first and foremost, and get into the starting line-up," he told HU-FC.co.uk.

Craven has experience with Shrewsbury Town as a professional for two years, and was also on the books of West Bromwich Albion, where he was an apprentice.

Of United's chances this season, he commented: "We've got a good chance of pushing for the play-offs. If you get in the play-offs, it's a lottery."


Baker looking to go one better

Hereford United's number one Matt Baker knows he must be on top form this season, despite being the only goalkeeper at the club.

He told HU-FC.co.uk: "There is always competition for your place. Whether someone's here or not, there are plenty of other people out there willing to try and do your job so. I've just got to concentrate on doing my bit and hope it's good enough."

Graham Turner is actively looking for a new goalkeeper to back-up Baker, in case of injury or suspension. Last season, Baker played every Conference match and prevented Ken Griffiths from getting a look in, but Hereford have had a local lad, Adam Ding on trial.

"He's done really well," said Baker. "He fitted in really quickly and it's never easy as a goalkeeper coming in and having to learn everyone's names straight away to try and communicate with them. He's played two games, granted they've not been the best of opposition, but that's probably the best way to ease him into the team."

Last season was disappointing for the ex-Hull City stopper as United missed out on the play-offs. "We've had a long break to reflect on what happened last year and hopefully this season we'll finish one place higher," he said.

"We've got to be looking to get promoted. We've added to the squad and David Brown in a proven goalscorer. I know him from my days at Hull City and he's a top class finisher so coupled with Steve Guinan and Paul Parry, we've got a real attacking threat and we just need a right-back now to fill Matt Clarke's void."

In the right-back position, ex-Swindon Town man Nathan Edwards has played in the last couple of matches. Baker continued: "Nathan did quite well at right-back. Again, it's difficult to see what kind of level players are at if they're not playing against professional opposition and I'm sure if he gets a chance on Thursday or/and Saturday then he'll show what he's capable of. The defensive stability comes from last year. In Andy Tretton and Tony James, I don't think there are two better centre halves in the Conference - they're quick, strong and good in the air - and we have a great understanding at the back. Add Michael Rose, who's played for his country in every international this year, and I think we're looking pretty strong."

The Bulls play two more pre-season matches before they kick-off their Conference campaign at Tamworth on August 9th. United face Birmingham on Thursday, while two days later host Kidderminster Harriers in a Herefordshire-Worcestershire derby.

Baker said: "I think up to now, there's only really been the Wolves game that's been a really tough test, but I'm sure now we're further into pre-season and the big kick-off's approaching, and it'll be a really good test for us. Birmingham will hopefully bring a strong team and we can pit our wits against Premiership players which is always nice to do."


Sunday, July 27, 2003

Moon hopes for United contract

Hereford United triallist Danny Moon has not yet been offered a deal.

The defender, who played for Kington Town last season as well as featuring on the Hereford United substitutes bench for a spell, told HU-FC.co.uk: "It was good to get some experience and get ready for this season."

On a potential contract offer, he commented: "Hopefully soon, we will talk about one."

Moon started the match at Ludlow, which United won 13-1 on Thursday night, and he was pleased with the outcome. "It was good result which was good for our confidence at the start of the season," he said.

Meanwhile, today's Open Day was a success, with the new away kit (pictured right) being launched. See the pictures here.


Craven to sign tomorrow

Dean Craven has agreed a deal with Hereford United, and will sign tomorrow.

Speaking to HU-FC.co.uk at the open day, he said: "I've been nervous for a few of the games as I was on trial but I've enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next game. It's difficult to come into a club but I knew Richard O'Kelly, Tony James and Andy Tretton so it wasn't too bad."

"I'll be signing tomorrow until the end of the season so I'm looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, 16-1 is still the general price for Hereford to win the Conference this season. Ladbrooks, Sportingbet, Paddy Power and Bet 365 are all quoting this price.

Chester remain favourites at 9-2.


Open day today

It's the Hereford United Open Day today, and everyone is welcome.

The doors at Edgar Street open at 11am, where the new away strip will be unveiled, and you can meet the players and help raise money for Hereford United.

Come along and join in the fun!


Saturday, July 26, 2003

Bertram seals United deal

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has confirmed that Danny Bertram signed a contract at the club yesterday.

The nineteen year-old attacker, who was released by West Bromwich Albion in May, impressed in a trial, particularly after scoring five goals in Thursday's 13-1 win at Ludlow Town.

Turner said that today's 7-0 win over Bromyard Town was a more difficult match than was perhaps anticipated. "We were made to work for our goals," he said. "Our friendlies have been a mixed bag. We've scored goals in matches, which have been better than scoring in training sessions, and are looking quite fit."

The Bulls have two matches left to go before the big kick-off, with Birmingham City coming to Edgar Street next Thursday. "We are hoping for most of the Birmingham first team," continued Turner, whose side also play Kidderminster Harriers next Saturday.


Unbeaten run continues

Hereford United successful pre-season continued this afternoon when they overcame Bromyard Town 7-0. Rob Purdie scored two in the first half, and five goals after the break gave United a comfortable victory. Jordan King, Paul Parry, Nathan Edwards and Steve Guinan's double secured the victory for the Whites.

You can read Terry's report on the match by clicking here.


"I can be fit for the season" - Brown

David Brown, currently suffering from a broken collar-bone, has been talking to both BBC Hereford & Worcester and the Evening News about his former clubs and future hopes.

Brown started his football career at Manchester United where he spent three years learning his trade. "If you can't learn anything from playing with players of the quality of Eric Cantona you might as well hang up your boots, it was a fantastic experience," he said.

"They all had good attitudes and things I learned then I'm still trying to bring into my game now. I wanted to play first team football but it was clearly going to be difficult at Manchester so I decided I had to move and had three enjoyable years at Hull where we made the play-offs. "

Brown later switch from Hull City to Telford United, via Chester City and Torquay United, where he was spotted by Graham Turner.

"I'd played against Hereford three or four times and they've always been a team that plays good football which is something that I want from a team," he added. "I don't want to play for a team that hits long balls - that's not my game.

"I met Graham Turner, liked what he was saying and with the need for a fresh challenge felt this was the right move."

Of his hopes for the future, he said: "To do better than last year, both personally and for the club. I've enjoyed training so far. They are a good bunch of lads although quite a young squad. It's a good mix at the club so it's looking good for this year."

A pre-season training injury has set-back his chances of reaching the first team squad, but he is confident that his broken collarbone will not see him miss too much of the season. "It's a clean break and it's not too bad so hopefully I can be fit for the season," he continued. "At least I know what has happened to it and what I need to do to let it recover. Because it's a bone it just needs to heal so I've got to let nature take it's course and then I can get back in.

"There is never a good time but it's happened but at least I have got two weeks of pre-season behind me and I can do certain things to keep fit."


United ready for another local trip

Today, Hereford United make the trip to Bromyard Town in their fourth pre-season friendly, kick off 3pm.

Last season, the Bulls recorded a 12-0 victory over the county opponents, who ply their trade in the Express & Star West Midlands League Premier Division. After Thursday's 13-1 steam-rollering of Ludlow Town, the United faithful will be looking for more of the same from Graham Turner's men.

Bromyard Town's Delahay Meadow ground is situated outside the town itself, and the wrong side (from Hereford at least) of the bridge currently closed to traffic. As a result, an alternative route is recommended. From the A44 (from Leominster) or A465 (from Hereford), instead of taking the B4203 Stourport/Kidderminster Road, continue on the A44 eastbound towards Worcester. Continue past the junction for the B4220 on the right, and then take the next left to Bromyard Downs. Follow this road until the junction with the B4203, and then turn left for Bromyard instead of right for Stourport. The football club is on the left through iron gates, around a mile from the B4220 junction.

The Bulls hope to give Steve Guinan more match practice after he returned from injury on Thursday, but David Brown misses out once again.


Friday, July 25, 2003

Tesco want new site

Tesco are front runners to make a bid for a new store on the Edgar Street Grid site, to replace its existing store which is only 100 metres away but with poor access, according to local media.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are certainly interested in getting a greater presence in Hereford.”

It is understood that there have already been approaches by the UK supermarket group to the council.

Former leader of the council Terry James has been quoted as saying: "I think it is a very sad day for Hereford. We have seven supermarkets at present and all we are going to offer is another."

However if Tesco are chosen this will not add to the number as they will close the existing store in Bewell Street. Former Bulls director, and now deputy leader of Herefordshire Council George Hyde said: "This is the most exciting project Hereford has had in a long time."

Last week's council cabinet meeting approved the idea of a supermarket on the site as it would bring much needed finance to the project. Tesco is bound to be favourite for the site but the council has said that it wants a fair and open competition to maximise the price.


Manager in good mood after Ludlow

Graham Turner was naturally upbeat after Hereford United thumped Ludlow Town 13-1 in last night's friendly match.

Talking to Trevor Owens of BBC Hereford & Worcester, Turner said: "If you could put on a session for finishing, then you couldn't have got anything better than that. I thuoght it was a really good work out, and we made it easy for ourselves by the tempo that we played at."

The team just kept going until the end, despite having the game wrapped up, and this pleased the boss. "Even into the ninetieth minute, we were still full of running, and that's the pleasing aspect of the group of players that we've got," continued Turner.

Danny Bertram, who scored five times, has been offered a deal and is expected to sign today after verbally agreeing to a deal. Turner commented of his performance at the Coors Stadium: "He got off to a great start, and it's done his confidence the world of good. He's only nineteen, and the one thing that impresses me is his willingness to work. He wants to make the runs, and that's the hallmark of his game."

With one striker likely to sign, it was good to have another returning from injury. Steve Guinan came on as a second half substitute after undergoing keyhole knee surgery in the summer, and Turner told the BBC: "He needs some football now, as he hasn't played an awful lot with the lads, either in games or training."

Only David Brown is currently likely to miss the start of the season, when United travel to Tamworth, but Turner remains hopeful that he will play some part. "The thoughts are that within seven to ten days he could be back in training again, so there's an outside chance he could be fit for the opening game of the season.

"It's a big boost for us," he stated.


Bertram signing should be sealed

Five-goal striker Danny Bertram is expected to sign for Hereford United today.

The youngster struck five times in last night's friendly win at Ludlow Town, and Graham Turner said that he was likely to confirm the signing this afternoon.

However, he told the Evening News: "You take nothing for granted in football."

Midfielder Rob Purdie expects to return after missing Thursday's match at Ludlow with a knock on the heel when United travel to Bromyard Town tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

Meanwhile, the club have announced that, due to an England European Championships qualifying match against Liechtenstein on the Saturday, Hereford United's match at Burton Albion has been switched to Friday 19th September 2003. The game has a 7:45pm kick-off, although the England game will not start until 8pm on the Saturday.


Players battle for contracts at Ludlow

Several triallists featured for Hereford United in last night's 13-1 win at Ludlow Town.

A local goalkeeper, Adam Ding just seventeen and finished last season as number one with Express & Star West Midlands League Premier Division club Ledbury Town after switching from Leominster Town. Featured in the Herefordshire FA youth squad for 2002/03, the stopper has played for the Hereford United side in the Midland Flootlit Youth League.

Dean Craven, who looked very lively last night, started his career as a West Bromwich Albion trainee. Age twenty four, Craven played the whole of last season with Midland Alliance club Bridgnorth Town after spells with hometown club Shrewsbury Town, where he made eleven Football League appearances; Merthyr Tydfil, Stafford Rangers and Newtown.

Danny Moon is another local player, having spent a spell at Edgar Street as a non-contract player. A sturdy defender, Moon impressed last night following spells in the county with both Pegasus Juniors and Kington Town.

Playing at right-back for the game, Nathan Edwards was a new name on the teamsheet. Formerly with Swindon Town, who released him after sixteen appearances in two seasons, Edwards is just twenty and has a simple but effective style which earned him many plaudits at the County Ground.

Finally, attacker Danny Bertram netted five goals in last night's victory. Released by West Bromwich Albion, Danny Carey-Bertram had a spell on-loan at Stafford Rangers last season under former United coach Phil Robinson. He was a regular in the Baggies reserve team last season, playing against the likes of Liverpool and Middlesbrough, against whom he scored. Age nineteen, Bertram spent three years at the Hawthorns and comes highly recommended by coach Gary Shelton.


Thursday, July 24, 2003

Big Win for Hereford

Hereford won 13-1 at Ludlow this evening, with triallist Danny Bertram scoring five.

Terry's report can be read here.


Ludlow friendly tonight

Hereford United travel to Ludlow this evening for another pre-season friendly. The game will kick off at 7.30pm after the official opening of the new Coors Stadium, which has cost in the region of £1m.

The Bulls are hoping that Steve Guinan, who has been recovering from knee surgery, will come on as a substitute.

Located in Bromfield Road, the ground is situated just off the A49 on the northern outskirts of Ludlow. Take the B4361 signposted Ludlow, and continue for a quarter of a mile, turning right into the lane leading to the ground. The Coors Stadium is on the left, after the school.

Meanwhile, it is being reported that Michael Husbands, the Aston Villa striker who spent several weeks on loan at Edgar Street last season, has been signed by Southend.

Also former Hereford United trialists Justin Rowe and John Daniels have been given one year deals at Telford.


Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Brown seeing specialist

David Brown is due to see a specialist today to assess the extent of the damage to his broken collarbone, reports the Evening News.

Last week Hereford United's new striker fractured the bone when Richard Teesdale collided with the 24-year-old whilst training. The following day came confirmation that it was broken and today he should be told how long he will be out for.

"It depends on how bad the break is but it could be anything from two to four weeks or even longer," said Brown.

Despite the injury, Brown hopes to be fit for the start of the Conference season.

"I've still got three weeks and I'm pretty fit having already done two weeks pre-season training and played in the Wolves match," he added.

Better news for Hereford fans came from the Yorkshire Post yesterday which suggested that Doncaster winger Andy Watson is being linked with Yeovil as a replacement for Michael McIndoe. There now seems little likelyhood that Paul Parry will be on Gary Johnson's shopping list at least for the time being.


Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Offers for trialists

Hereford United manager, Graham Turner, is reported to be considering making offers to three trialists before the end of the week. The trialists are believed to be Danny Bertram, Danny Craven, and Peter Wilding. He told BBC Hereford & Worcester today that he was confident that his team would soon be finalised.

"People who watched us play last night, irrespective of the players background that we are looking at, must have been impressed with the manner in which the trialists played, so we might well be offering contracts before the end of this week," said Turner.

It has already been reported that Wilding was likely to feature in the next friendly at Ludlow on Thursday, but this latest statement from the manager seems to confirm this intention.

Turner will be taking a gamble should he sign all three. Bertram, the striker, looks as though he will need some time to become a prolific goal-scorer. He has missed several reasonable chances so far but with Brown injured and a striker probably the hardest position to fill he may feel he has little option than to hold onto the youngster.

Craven, who has played at left-back, is a possible replacement for Michael Rose should Turner decide to play him in midfield. Although lacking height, he seems keen and not afraid to go into challenges.

Wilding, who has only played in last night's friendly, started as a right full-back in a 4-4-2 set-up and did not look that comfortable. Later he was switched inside and his experience was more obvious. But it has to be asked why Hereford needs to sign a 34 year-old when surely others are available, and whether he is an adequate replacement for Matt Clarke.

The other two on trial last night were locals Kevin Gwillam and Danny Moon. Both played for about twenty minutes and held their own. It should, however, be remembered that the game was against a West Bromwich side with an average age of no more than eighteen. The youngsters started well and looked fit and keen and maybe the result flattered the Hereford side a little but the goals will have given the Bulls confidence.

One disappointment was the performance of Jordan King, whose passing was not very accurate on the night. He was also quite lucky not to have been given a talking to by local referee, Andy Williams, after he appeared to have unfairly challenged a West Bromwich player.

Meanwhile, Ken Griffiths, who was understudy to Matt Baker last season, has been let down by Torquay with whom he was to have a three month trial. It now looks as though he will link up with Exeter so may play against Hereford in the Conference.


Turner pleased with performance

Following Hereford United's 5-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last night, Bulls manager Graham Turner said he was pleased with the work-out.

"Right on schedule, we're looking sharp, fit and strong," he said. "The passing and movement were excellent."

Hereford are next in action on Thursday night, when they travel to Ludlow Town to open the new Coors Stadium, which has been built thanks to a £1 million grant from the footballing authorities.


Monday, July 21, 2003

Hereford beat West Brom

Hereford won 5-0 against a young West Brom team this evening at Edgar Street in front of 1306 spectators.

Tony James commenced the scoring with a penalty after a defender had handled the ball in the area. Michael Rose made it two after a Danny Williams corner.

Ben Smith scored twice within a minute of coming on as a substitute and Danny Bertram made it five. More here.


Articles needed for Talking Bull

With the start of the new season looming large, the first issue of Talking Bull should be released at the first home game of the season but is short of articles, jokes, songs, etc.

Any contributions would be greatly appreciated, and can be sent to Talking Bull, PO Box 2000, Hereford, HR2 7WA or you can e-mail them to talkingbull@hufc.com.

If you have any comments regarding Talking Bull then please e-mail the editors at the above address.

In other supporters-related news, Hereford United followers have the chance to quiz Graham Turner over his plans for the new season at a fans forum, to be held on Monday 4th August.

The forum, set to be held in Legends bar, will follow the night's HUISA vs Hereford United match, which pits the fans of the club against the first-team squad.

Supporters can also meet the first-team squad and take part in activities at this summer's open day, which is to be held next Sunday, starting at 11am.


Sunday, July 20, 2003

McIndoe linked to Cardiff

Michael McIndoe is being linked to Cardiff City, after the former Hereford United player was transfer listed by Yeovil last week.

McIndoe is known to Cardiff City manager Lenny Lawrence from when he was coach at Luton - McIndoe was sacked from Luton before Graham Turner turned his career around. In an interview with HTV Wales, Lawrence said he may run the rule over transfer-listed Yeovil midfielder.

Lawrence said: "He is not someone who we are actively chasing, but I may take a look at him over the next few weeks."

Cardiff City, who are owned by Sam Hamman, would be able to pay a reasonable fee for McIndoe if discussions start. A percentage of any fee would be passed on to the Bulls. However in an interview with Radio Bristol, Yeovil manager Gary Johnson said: "There haven't been any enquries and he's sat at home waiting for a call.

"We need someone to come up quick with the right transfer fee so we can move him on and get on with our own stuff."

Meanwhile, Gethin Jones, who had a trial at Edgar Street last Monday, has not been given a squad number by Cardiff City and is understood not to have gone on their European tour. Jones, who has been at Ninian Park for three years, made one appearance for the Bluebirds as a substitute at Oldham Athletic last season. He was told by Lennie Lawrence that if he did not find a new club, he could make a return to Ninian Park.


Baggies reserves look for victory

West Bromwich Albion reserves are eager to bounce back from yesterday's 2-0 defeat to Nuneaton Borough when they visit Edgar Street to play Hereford United tomorrow, kick off 7.45pm.

The first team squad are on a pre-season tour of Denmark and play Midtjylland in their final match in the nation on Monday, so a reserve side will feature at Hereford.

The young side, managed by Gary Sheldon, were unable to break down a strong Nuneaton back-line, and also lost four players to injury. All are unlikely to play Edgar Street.

Sheldon told the official West Brom website: "It wasn’t a dirty game and we’ll just have to pull together now for Monday’s clash at Hereford United.”

Meanwhile, former Hereford United striker Steve Piearce has joined the police force, and will play for West Midlands Police in the ICIS Midland Combination next season.


Saturday, July 19, 2003

Bulls face fight for Wilding

The news that Peter Wilding is to have a trial with Hereford United means a potential battle for his signature.

Tamworth and three Welsh Premiership clubs have confirmed an interest in the thirty-four year-old, who is expected to play in next Monday's friendly against West Bromwich Albion.

As Shrewsbury's longest-serving player until he failed to agree a new contract at Gay Meadow, he was widely respected by their fans for his consistent performances. His new contract offer was not high enough considering his commitment to the club, as the basic wage remained the same but added incentives were offered.

Wilding said late last month: "I have asked for a slight rise but I have not asked for the earth and I'm certainly not holding the club to ransom.

"I'm not having a full attack on Jimmy Quinn because his hands might be tied but I'm disappointed with the club because I've given them 110 per cent commitment and they've thrown it back in my face and treated me like a soft touch."

Shrews boss Quinn responded by saying: "I don't know where he's coming from because it's not as if he's been offered a reduction, because of the incentives for things like keeping clean sheets and challenging for promotion he's been offered a better contract. It's all about timing, it's very difficult to give somebody a rise when you have just been relegated."

However, Wilding had taken two pay-cuts over the last two years to stay at the club, and felt the latest offer was the final straw. He has attracted interest from Telford, has spoken to Tamworth and will play in Hereford's friendly against West Brom on Monday.

Meanwhile, the official website has reported that as West Bromwich Albion are bringing a reserve team for the friendly match on Monday evening at Edgar Street, admission prices have been slashed to just £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.


Another striker wanted

The injury to David Brown has made the task of finding another striker that much more urgent. The former Telford United player cracked his collarbone on Wednesday following a training collision and could be out for up to six weeks.

Graham Turner, the Bulls manager, told the Evening News: "We would still hope to get Steve Guinan fit before the start of the season, while Rob Purdie has done well up front in the friendlies. We still need another striker so the situation has not massively changed."

Brown suffered his injury following what Turner described as an "innocuous" collision with team-mate Richard Teesdale.

Turner said: "He actually trained on but we eventually decided as a precaution to take him for an X-ray which revealed the crack, and he will be out for four to six weeks. It is a big blow at this stage. He had worked hard to get his fitness up, had blended in well with the other lads and had shaped up well against Wolves."

It is thought that he may miss at least the first three Conference games, against Tamworth, Forest Green Rovers and Morecambe.

Turner has tried a striker, Danny Bertram, believed to have been with Cheltenham, but it is not known if he will offer him a contract. Bertram scored his first goal for the Bulls against Grosvenor Park on Thursday evening.


Friday, July 18, 2003

Turner happy with Wolves game

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester about the Wolves friendly played last Monday, Graham Turner said that he was pleased with the game.

He told Nicola Goodwin: "Considering the side they sent over and being delighted that Dave Jones himself came over and watched the match and that there were quite a number of their first team players in there, the level of our performance was particularly pleasing.

"I thought in the main we dominated the match. We created most of the chances. There were some good individual performances and the team had a good shape. Our level of fitness looked quite good and considering we had a small squad available on the night, most of the players had to play the full ninety minutes, I think they came through it okay.

"So, all in all, there was a decent crowd, a nice atmosphere, plenty of applause for the players and I think that anybody who came down that did not enjoy that football match should not watch football. It was a real good game.

"They sent the sort of side they promised and I think it created that sort of interest that supporters-they want to come out, it's been very hot and I think it was a pleasant way to spend an evening watching football."


Bulls will get percentage

Graham Turner has confirmed that if Michael McIndoe is sold by Yeovil, Hereford United will receive a percentage of any transfer fee.

He told BBC Hereford and Worcester "We have got a percentage of any future fee for McIndoe. I understand he has gone on the transfer list there. Any contribution will be most welcome.

"I think he had a terrific season. I think he has been a real quality player at this level and it would not surprise me to see him move onto a good level of football, maybe even as high as First Division. So any transfer fee coming in for him, we will take our cut and it will be very welcome."

It was reported at the time of the transfer that United would receive 25% of any subsequent transfer fee.


Turner after players with proven record

Hereford United manager Graham Turner is confident of securing players with Football League experience, particularly after the injury that David Brown picked up in training this week.

The former Telford attacker is expected to miss most of August's Conference games. He has broken a bone in his shoulder after clashing with Richard Teesdale in training on Wednesday. Initially, he thought nothing of the knock but on Thursday morning, got up in great pain and went to hospital, where it was confirmed as broken.

Turner felt that biding his time was the best option in securing new signings. He told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "Some of them are already on trial and training with league clubs. It is always their priority that they want to stay in the league if they possibly can. Once they've been rejected by the league clubs, then they turn their attention to us.

"I've got one or two irons in the fire with players who have league experience," he continued. "If they don't get fixed up with the league clubs that their working with at the moment, then there's an opportunity for us to pinch in and try and get them."

Steve Guinan is expected to return for the friendly match against Ludlow Town next Thursday after undergoing surgery in the summer, while Ben Smith has an ankle knock but could feature on Monday when the Bulls take on West Brom. Jordan King made his debut last night, and was Hereford's man-of-the-match as they beat Grosvenor Park 4-0.


Thursday, July 17, 2003

Brown out for six weeks

Hereford United's summer signing David Brown has cracked a bone in his shoulder and will be out for at least six weeks. It is understood that he was involved in a training accident with Richard Teesdale yesterday and had his injury confirmed this morning.

This may mean that Brown could miss at least four Conference games for the Bulls.

Meanwhile, Hereford United defeated Grosvenor Park 4-0 earlier this evening. Danny Wiliams scored twice and trialist Danny Bertram got his first goal for the club. Mel Henry opened the scoring with an own goal.

No new trailists were on show and Gethin Jones who impressed on Monday was not in the squad but Jordan King did play and had a good game.

There was an attendance of 67 of which about a third were Hereford fans. Keith Hall's report, complete with statistics, can be found here.

HU-FC.co.uk would like to thank Keith for his help in compiling this article.


Supermarket option approved by council

Herefordshire Council has decided on 'option three' as the best redevelopment option for the Edgar Street Grid, it was revealed this afternoon.

A meeting of cabinet members chose the scheme which will include a new supermarket, which will help fund the re-opening of the canal basin, the construction of new civic buildings in Blueschool Street, a new multiplex cinema and the redevelopment of Edgar Street, home of Hereford United.

Meanwhile, Bulls supremo Graham Turner has commented ahead of tonight's match at Grosvenor Park.

"It will be the full squad plus a couple of trialists," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "We expect a tough game; they're a hard side. It will be a different sort of game (to Wolves) but one that we've got to be able to cope with. If we're going to do well in the Conference, there are such a wide variety of styles of play, and we've got to be able to cope with all of them."


Bulls offer trial to unattached Wilding

Hereford United are in the running to sign veteran midfielder Peter Wilding, after he failed to agree a new deal at Shrewsbury Town.

The thirty-four year-old player, who joined Shrewsbury for £10,000 from Telford in 1997, faces a choice between a move to Hereford and offers from Tamworth, Telford, Welshpool, Newtown and Cwmbran Town, report the Shropshire Star.

Player of the year at the Gay Meadow last season, Wilding said that Shrewsbury haven't been in touch for three weeks, but he has received an offer from Telford and will meet Tamworth boss Darren Gee tomorrow.

On Monday, he will train at Edgar Street before featuring in Monday night's friendly against West Bromwich Albion. Any contract offer is expected to be part time, however, as Wilding has commitments in the construction industry.

Meanwhile, the kick-off for tonight's friendly match at Grosvenor Park is confirmed as 7pm, not 7.15pm as reported elsewhere.


Wiggin adds support

Leominster MP Bill Wiggin has added his support to the Market Bill currently being steered through Parliament, reports the Hereford Times.

Wiggin had said he would delay or vote against the Bill as he was unhappy about the livestock market being moved to Burghill. However with the change of leadership at Hereford Council and the decision to look for another site for the market, Wiggin will now back the Bill.

"I have been given assurances that the council officials are reconsidering their list of potential sites in consulation with the Environment Agency and I hope that an annoucement will soon be made," he said.

Meanwhile, despite former leader Terry James saying that Hereford had already got enough supermarkets, it appears that the Council may favour Option Three of the four Edgar Street plans which includes a supermarket as this would bring a financial boost to the project. Proposals are being discussed today by the council cabinet.

Option Three has the football ground slightly moved so that it lies at an angle to the existing A49 Edgar Street road.


Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Venue change for pre-season friendly

Hereford United make the trip to Grosvenor Park of the Midland Alliance for their second pre-season outing tomorrow evening.

The match is scheduled to kick-off at 7.15pm, but Hereford United's official news forum has suggested that a 7pm kick-off could occur as there are no floodlights at Sedgemere Sports & Social Club, where the game is being played.

Grosvenor's home pitch at Blakenhall is not ready to stage a match after development through the summer, so Telford United's friendly was played at the Sedgemere ground on Monday night, where around two hundred people turned up to see John Grant score on his Bucks debut, as the Shropshire side won 3-0.

Steve Guinan is likely to miss out once again, but Jordan King and Ben Smith could feature for the Bulls after missing the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Monday.

To get to Grosvenor, exit the M42 at junction 6, and take the A45 west-bound for Birmingham city centre. After around six miles, take the A4040 for Yardley and Stechford at the roundabout. This road soon becomes dual carraigeway, and at the first roundabout, take Church Road and not Stoney Road (dual carraigeway). Take the sixth turn to the right, named Queens Road, then second right is Sedgemere Road. The ground is on the right.

Alternatively, take the B4128 from Birmingham city centre until you reach the B4040 ring road. Cross straight over, and take Queens Road (second on the right). Sedgemere road is the second right, with the ground on the right.

For those who are travelling, the map at multimap.com may be useful.


Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Draw pleases Wolves boss

Wolves boss Dave Jones was at Edgar Street last night as his side drew 1-1 in a pre-season match with Hereford United.

Ex-Bull Keith Downing, now reserve team coach at Molinuex, dictated affairs for the Premiership side while half the squad played at Bristol Rovers.

Jones said: "It was a matter of getting the legs and lungs going. Keith (Andrews) has been out for four months so 45 minutes was enough for him. If we’d have been feeling kinder then 20 minutes would have done but we let him carry on. Matt (Murray) was struggling a bit with his back, but he still looked sharp."

"I was hoping we’d see a level of competition and I think we got it. I knew it would be quite a tough game because it was Hereford’s first pre-season match and their players were wanting to impress the manager."

"It was very hot out there, so that was a good test of the players’ fitness. The most important thing is that we had picked up no injuries and so now we’ll get everybody in the pool today as we start preparing for Wednesday’s game."

Matt Murray, who played the whole match in goal for Wolves, commented: "It was nice to get a full game in. I had hoped for a quiet one as I felt a bit stiff leading up to the game but I certainly didn’t get it. They were pretty lively."

"It was very hot for the lads but it wasn’t too bad for me because I don’t have as much running around to do. All in all I’d say Hereford provided a good test for us and we were happy with the result."

Graham Turner, the United boss, was hopeful that Wolves would be successful in retaining their Premiership status at the first attempt after May's promotion.

"I'm pleased for Wolves because I know just how much hard work has gone on behind the scenes there," he said. "I just hope they can stay in the Premiership this season because the first year is the hardest."


Impressive start by Bulls

Last night's friendly with Wolves showed that the Bulls should be a force to be feared in the Conference this season.

Rob Purdie was judged to be man of the match. He looked fast and fit and his goal, provided by newcomer David Brown, must have left the Wolves defence wondering what had hit them.

Very close behind Purdie in the man of the match stakes must have been Michael Rose. He adapted well to new his role in the centre of the field. He had played in that position during the Semi-pro internationals in Wales last May and provided Turner can sort out a left back this looked an imaginative move.

David Brown, the striker brought in from Telford, had a reasonable game but was occasionally a little hesitant with his first touch. However his flick-on header which sent Purdie clear for his goal was very well done, as Brown had his back to Purdie and still managed to direct the ball straight into the attacker's path.

Of the trailists on show, full-back Gethin Jones impressed. He quickly got into the match and looked to read his game well. He looked pacy and not afraid to go into the tackle, and was able to head the ball and use both feet as well. Once of Cardiff, the defender featured just three times (all as a substitute) in 2000/01 after switching from League of Wales club Carmarthen Town, which is his home-town outfit. Aged just 21, Jones was released in May after Cardiff's promotion to Division One but was told that he would be welcomed back to Ninian Park had he not found another club. The early stages of 2002/03 were spent on-loan at Weymouth.

Other trailists included a forward known as Danny Bartram. He did not have enough time to show what he could do and hopefully will be given another chance to impress. Dean Craven came on as a left-sided player and again first impressions suggested he could do a job but again it must be hoped that he will play again.

Although not used, the reserve goalkeeper Lee Kendall has experience at various levels and most recently was Tony Pennock's understudy in the Welsh semi-professional squad that featuring in May's Four Nations Tournament. Kendall played in just one of the matches, when Wales lost 2-0 to Ireland, but was not to blame for either goal at his club ground, Haverfordwest County. Tony James missed that particular match, but Paul Parry featured. Born in Newport, Kendall has been on the books of Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Shrewsbury Town.

The other trialists were locals Kevin Gwilliam and Daniel Moon. Both had a spell on the pitch but Turner will need to look at a few more trialists before deciding who to sign.


Monday, July 14, 2003

McIndoe to leave Yeovil

The official Yeovil website has reported that Michael McIndoe has been transfer listed, two years after his move from Hereford United.

A statement released by the club said: "Unfortunately Michael McIndoe no longer wants to play at Yeovil Town Football Club. He believes it is time to move onto a higher standard. He is of the opinion that YTFC's current status is below his ability and thinks he should be playing first division football."

"We have reluctantly placed Michael on the transfer list and a fee will be required."

If McIndoe is sold, Hereford should receive 25% of any fee.


Bulls draw first match

Hereford United drew 1-1 with Wolves in tonight's pre-season friendly. Rob Purdie put United into the lead after fifteen minutes, with Adam Proudlock equalising early in the second period.

Terry's report is here.


Wolves 'names' included in friendly squad

Hereford United are likely to miss just Steve Guinan for tonight's pre-season friendly match against Wolves at Edgar Street, kick off 7.45pm.

Andy Tretton, Jordan King and Rob Purdie are all expected to be declared fit to play as Graham Turner aims to rotate his squad. Guinan is recovering from a knee operation, while it is anticipated that several trialists will feature.

The club have announced, through the official website, that season tickets are not valid for the pre-season matches, and it will cost adults £7 and children £3 to gain entry. Membership cards are available for £10 each from the main office.

Wolves have split their squad into two, with half playing at Edgar Street and the rest featuring in a friendly at Bristol Rovers. Dave Jones will manage their side, contrary to earlier suggestions, which is made up of first-team players and those from the reserve and youth sides.

'Names' including former Manchester United star Denis Irwin and ex-Sunderland player Alex Rae will feature at Edgar Street as will Mark Kennedy, once of Liverpool, Wimbledon and Manchester City, and a regular Irish international.

The Wolves squad to travel to Hereford is: Matthew Murray, Patrick Flynn, Paul Butler, Luke Bradley, Denis Irwin, Sammy Clingan, Alex Rae, Keith Andrews, Mark Kennedy, Adam Proudlock, Jimmi Lee Jones, Carl Ikeme, Michael Townsend, Kevin O’Connor, Matthew Watson, Leon Clarke, Lewis Gobern.


Sunday, July 13, 2003

All hands on deck for pre-season

After eleven weeks and two days, Hereford United restart their footballing activities as the 2003/04 pre-season friendlies get underway at Edgar Street tomorrow night.

The Bulls take on a Wolverhampton Wanderers XI, kick off 7.45pm, with the newly-promoted Premiership side splitting their squad into two as they also play Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Ground on the same night.

It is expected that Wolves boss Dave Jones will travel to Bristol, meaning their team at Edgar Street will be managed by Terry Connor, first team coach at Molineux.

Graham Turner, who managed Wolves between 1986 and 1994 and took them from Division Four to Division Two, is likely to miss Hereford striker Steve Guinan. Last season's top scorer is recovering from a knee operation, but defender Andy Tretton is likely to play after getting over a back injury picked up in training. New signing Jordan King and midfielder Rob Purdie are also doubts in a match expected to feature several trialists for the Bulls.


Saturday, July 12, 2003

Grant goes to Telford

John Grant released by Hereford United at the end of last season has been signed by Telford, reports the Shropshire Star.

Twenty-one-year-old striker Grant began his career at Crewe before being released in 2002 when he was snapped up by current Telford chief scout Ron Jukes for Hereford.

The pacy forward scored four goals for the Edgar Street outfit but after breaking his leg he found it difficult to claim a regular place in the team.

Delighted Telford manager Mick Jones said: "John is a big, strong striker who has got awesome power and bags of pace.

"He has been working in training with us over the last few days and has impressed us enough to give him a contract.

"The broken leg last season really set him back but he is fully over the injury now and we are hoping he will be able to rebuild his career with us," added the Bucks boss.

Jones refused to reveal the length of contract that Grant has signed.


Friday, July 11, 2003

Very few morals at times

Losing two trialists to Telford is a disappointment, Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Justin Rowe and John Daniels trained with the Bulls last season but switched to Telford earlier this week for a pre-season trial.

"One in particular used us during the summer and worked with Tony Ford. They were due to come in on the first day of pre-season with us and then phone calls made us realise they were going into Telford. So we can knock them on the head. That's gone. If they don't get a contract at Telford, if they are not good enough for Telford they are certainly not good enough for us.

"So as far as we are concerned those two people have gone out the window.

"It's disappointing but I've been in it long enough to know that it happens. So that's an episode that we've taken care of them, they trained with us last season. We've looked after them. That's an episode that's over now. You write it down to even more experience.

"There's no love lost in football and there's certainly very few morals at times."


2003-04 VP '200 Club' launched

Following a highly successful first season since its re-launch, the Hereford United Vice-Presidents "200 CLUB" has this week launched its 2003-04 competition.

A profit of over £500 was achieved last season, and this year its organisers are hoping to at least double that figure by attracting Hereford United supporters from all around the ground to take part in what is a very simple competition to enter.

Each supporter pays a one-off payment of £24 per entry, and is then automatically entered into a monthly draw in which the prizes are £50 for first, £25 for second and £10 for third. At the end of the season a Superdraw takes place in which one lucky winner collects a cheque for £500. You receive a membership card with confirmation of your draw number(s).

The idea proved popular last season, when predominantly it was targeted at Vice-Presidents and visitors to the various Hereford United web sites. This season, however, the net will be widened and organisers are hoping for maximum publicity to push the numbers up as far as possible.

If you would like more details and an entry form please email Jon Hale on jon.hale@tiscali.co.uk or ring (01684) 574800 (daytime).


Hard pitches causes knocks

The hard ground has caused several Hereford United players to miss some training according to BBC Hereford and Worcester. Graham Turner says that he is resting those affected so as they will be fit for the Wolves friendly on Monday.

Andy Tretton with a slight back, Jordan King and Rob Purdie are being monitored.

"It is a long process, the pre-season training. The idea is to be fit for the first match of the season not to kill them at the moment so we just take it easy on one or two who are feeling slight knocks," said the manager.


Thursday, July 10, 2003

We will be okay

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he hopes to have the bulk of his squad finalised within the next seven days. Talks are understood to be continuing with several players. Although a number of players are training with league clubs, that is no guarantee of contract offers he suggested.

"They (the players) are not all going to be fixed up where they are training at the moment, particually those with a bit of experience. All of them want to stay in the league if they can and if they have been invited to train for a couple of days with a league club that's what they are doing.

"But over the next week or so I'm convinced that we will bring our squad up to strength and come the ninth of August we will be okay," said Turner.


CVA to continue

Although there was an approach by Hereford United last year to try and clear the CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) with a 5p in the pound proposal which was rejected by the largest creditors, there has been no further progress to clear the CVA according to sources close to the club.

It had been suggested that the club might have raised their offer to 10p to try and get a settlement but HU-FC.co.uk has been told this afternoon that no such offer has been made.

The Supervisor of the CVA reported last February that the club and its joint venture partners,(Carillion and Richardson), are "continuing to pursue the issue of the developement of the company's trading premises. The success of the CVA and any further payments to the creditors are dependent upon the success or otherwise of the joint venture"

This arrangement is understood to be for ten years and if the venture is successful then the creditors would receive a further payment. The downside is that it looks as though the CVA and its restrictions on, for example, buying players could be around for some time to come.


Telford snatch trialists

Justin Rowe and John Daniels have decided to have trials at Telford according to to the Hereford Times. HU-FC.co.uk had understood that they could be involved with the Bulls squad against Wolves next Monday and the club had made arrangement for the two players to have spent their pre-season at Edgar Street but it appears that the pair have decided to opt for Telford.

It has to be asked whether Ron Jukes, ex Hereford United chief scout, who just after his move to Telford told HU-FC.co.uk that would keep his shareholding in the Bulls should now reconsider this decision as he appears to have been involved with the trialist's move.

Steve Guinan may miss the opening friendly as he is still recovering from knee surgery.

Admission prices for the home friendlies have been announced. Adults will pay £7 and concessions £3.


Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Chester still favourites to win Conference

There has been little change in the odds available to punters who fancy a flutter on next seasons Conference champions.

Skybet, Sportingbet, UK betting, Paddy Power, and Bet365 all have Chester as favourites to win at prices of either 4-1 or 9-2. Both Dagenham and Stevenage are also fancied mainly at 11-2 or 6-1 although UK betting puts the Daggers at 5-1.

Most companies rate Shrewsbury at around 8-1 and Morecambe at 9-1. Exeter can be had at 10-1.

Hereford United can now be had at odds of 14-1 on UK betting. The other companies have the Bulls at 16-1.Skybet were offering 20-1 against Hereford early in June.

These odds were available on-line today.


SKYBET

Chester 4/1
Dagenham 5/1
Stevenage 5/1
Shrewsbury 8/1
Exeter 10/1
Morecambe 10/1
Halifax 16/1
Hereford 16/1
Telford 16/1
Aldershot 20/1
Scarborough 20/1
Tamworth 20/1


SPORTINGBET


Chester 9/2
Dagenham & Redbridge 11/2
Stevenage 6/1
Shrewsbury 8/1
Morecambe 9/1
Exeter 10/1
Aldershot 16/1
Halifax 16/1
Hereford 16/1
Scarborough 20/1
Tamworth 20/1
Telford 20/1


UKBETTING

Chester 4/1
Dagenham & Redbridge 5/1
Stevenage Borough 6/1
Morecambe 15/2
Shrewsbury 9/1
Exeter 10/1
Hereford 14/1
Aldershot 14/1
Halifax 16/1
Scarborough 16/1
Tamworth 20/1


PADDYPOWER

Chester 9 - 2
Stevenage 11 - 2
Dagenham 6 - 1
Shrewsbury 15 - 2
Exeter 9 - 1
Morecambe 10 - 1
Hereford 16 - 1
Scarborough 16 - 1
Halifax 16 - 1
Aldershot 16 - 1
Tamworth 20 - 1
Telford 20 - 1


BET365


Chester City 9/2
Stevenage Borough 11/2
Dagenham & Redbridge 6/1
Shrewsbury Town 9/1
Morecambe 10/1
Exeter City 10/1
Aldershot Town 14/1
Hereford United 16/1
Halifax Town 16/1
Telford United 16/1
Tamworth 20/1
Scarborough 20/1


Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Six days to Wolves friendly

The first friendly of the season is only six days away and with visitors Wolverhapton Wanderers expected to bring a team comprising a mixture of both experience and youth, it should be an enjoyable evening at Edgar Street next Monday. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Wolves have a busy pre-season schedule. As well as bringing a team to Hereford they are also due to play at Burton on the same evening.

This season will mark the return of Wolves to the Premiership and it is hoped that several of their big names will feature. New signing, Nigerian International Isaac Okoronkwo, could make his debut for the Wanderers after his arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk. Hopefully former Manchester United players Paul Ince and Denis Irwin could also make an appearence.

The Bulls are likely to have new several trialists on show but no names are available as yet. New signings David Brown and Jake King are expected to make their first appearances for the Bulls and both Justin Rowe and John Daniels from Grosvenor Park could be given an opportunity to impress.


New rule open to interpretation

The 65% of turnover that can be spent on wages appears to be open to whatever interpertation a club puts on it.

The Nationwide Conference top officials are not prepared to make public what clubs have been asked to do to conform to this new rule. Although they have sent details to clubs and answered a few questions from the press, they have not released the rules in full.

When asked what turnover meant, they suggested that the average of the last two seasons turnover would suffice. This could be quite unfair to a club that has not had the TV cameras at its ground or have not been able to take advantage of a transfer fee or simply had a poor year with low gates as a result.

Questionaires have been sent to clubs requesting financial details by the Conference and these questionaires will be checked on their return. But it is down to the individual clubs what they include as turnover. It is unclear if a donation to a club would count for example.

The Conference should spell out the rules for fans to see. Keeping them under wraps only makes supporters question whether they will be fairly applied.

Meanwhile the Evening News has suggested that Graham Turner may be interviewing two potential signings today.


Monday, July 07, 2003

Summer trips for Bulls' faithful

Hereford United have arranged three away pre-season friendlies this summer.

On Thursday 17th July, Hereford go to Grosvenor Park, who play in the Midland Alliance, and have close links with Hereford as players Justin Rowe and John Daniels are both training at Edgar Street during pre-season. Formerly known as Sutton Town, Grosvenor are based in Bloxwich, near Walsall, and last season finished in tenth place after promotion as champions from the Midland Combination in 2001/02.

To get to Grosvenor, exit the M6 at junction 10 and follow the 'Walsall Town Centre' route. Then take the A34 (after about three miles) to Bloxwich. The ground is on the A34 directly after the Four Crosses public house in Somerfield Road, and there is a clubhouse at their Red Lion ground. Grosvenor play in orange shirts with black trim.

A week later, on Thursday 24th, United make the trip to South Shropshire. Ludlow Town finished fifteenth in the Midland Alliance last season, five places below Grosvenor but have a rich history stretching back to 1890 and their most recent promotion came in 2000/01, when they moved up from the West Midlands League Premier Division. Ludlow have left their County Ground to move into their new home, the Corrs Stadium, after a spell playing at Shifnal Town. Hereford travel to Ludlow to officially open their new ground, which has cost around 1 million UKP. It is believed that all of the local community can use the facilities. The stadium is close to the by-pass and after the turning for Ludlow Racecourse - do not turn into the centre of town.

Ludlow's home colours are predominently red with black trim.

For a second consecutive year, Hereford make the short trip to Delahay Meadow, home of West Midlands League Premier Division club Bromyard Town. This time the match is played on a Saturday (July 26th), two days after the Ludlow game. The Herefordshire-based club finished in mid-table in the league last season as one of the county's poorer sides in a league that also boasts Westfields, Kington Town, Ledbury Town and Wellington.

Whether you enter the town on the A44 or A465, take the Stourport/Kidderminster B4203 road for half a mile. The ground is on the right through iron gates, adjacent to O'Malleys' Irish restaurant.


Sunday, July 06, 2003

FA Youth Cup

The draw for the Qualifying Rounds of the FA Youth Cup was made last week according to the Non-League Paper.

Hereford United's youth team have a home fixture against Cinderford Town in the first qualifying round. Should they win they will play either Yate Town or Worcester City again at home in the second qualifying round.

Further progress will mean an away tie against one of the following four clubs, Bournemouth, Wootton Bassett Town, Bitton or Christchurch.

Players have to be born on or after September 1st 1985 to qualify.


The Clout of the Conference

After the news that the Conference is planning a link with the Footballers Football Channel comes another deal designed to promote the Conference.

This tie-up is with a car manufacturer and if agreed will provide each Conference club with a free people carrier for the coming season.The Non-League Paper suggests that the sponsorship could be worth £2 million.

Conference chief executive, John Moules, has called it "one of the biggest car deals ever done"

Assuming it is finalised it gives the Conference even more commmercial clout and should take its reputation to a new high in the football world.


Saturday, July 05, 2003

65% rule worrying Turner

Squad Budgeting is still worrying Hereford United manager Graham Turner. He can't reconcile the spending by some clubs on players wages with the new measure in place. Only 65% of turnover is allowed for wages according to new Conference rules. Whether some clubs are finding ways around the regulations is open to debate.

"We know how strong the Conference is going to be," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I have been amazed with this squad budgeting that's going about the sort of players some of the clubs are signing. I can't even think that they are trying to get within the constraints of the squad budgeting. It has amazed me just the sort of players coming into the Conference.

"We have asked about the same players. We have talked to those players and the offers you get from other Conference clubs have been astonishing in some cases.

"I think the Conference is getting stronger by the season. It looks particularly strong with sides that perhaps struggled last season. Stevenage in particular has gone on signing players and I think they will be a very strong squad. Telford are throwing money at things. There are a lot of teams in there that are investing quite heavily in their squads so I think it is going to be a particularly strong Conference this coming season.

"But I do think we have got a lot of young players with a lot of talent, a good degree of fitness and I think we will be up there with a shout."


New players fitting in well

Graham Turner is especially pleased with the way the two new arrivals from Telford have fitted in.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester he said: "They have certainly shown enough ability in the games and fitness wise they are okay. Both from the same club so they knew each other before coming in but David Brown in particular has been working with us through the close season. He has been working on his weights so he has got to know one or two of our players."

During the interview Turner also commented that the Edgar Street pitch is looking "absolutely magnificent, season ticket sales are up and all those sorts of things are very encouraging".


Friday, July 04, 2003

Forum off after midnight

Just a quick reminder/apology, this forum will be down from Midnight to Saturday 8am at the latest to allow for a server change. Confguide and some others are also affected.


Players are looking good

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he is very pleased with the way the players are looking after their summer break.

"We have done a fair bit of running and then we went over to Gloucester University and took advantage of the facilities there. Terrific measuring equipment for endurance, for speed, for flexibility and some real experts there. We have put the players through the paces there and we have got a fair idea of the fitness levels compared to the end of the season and we will test them again in the not-to distant future.

"They are looking good, they are looking strong and full of enthusiasm. I've been ever so impressed with the way they have come back to it. I think it sometimes comes with a young group of players that they are so eager to start training and we have given them the pleasure of a ball out on the first couple of days of pre-season.

"Today, Friday we are having a real test for them around the circuits we have got. But it's good so far."

Commenting on how the players keep fit during their break Turner continued: "During the summer we have worked a lot on power work, some thing you can't do too much of in the season especially when you are playing two games a week. Today we have a dietician in who takes body fat content tests and we will see how that compares with the back end of last season. For a smaller club I think we do things as right as we possibly can given the financial constraints."

Moving onto current number of players Turner admitted he is still looking for additions. "The disappointment is that I've not finalised any moves to bring anybody in to the club. We have spoken to a number. I've missed out again on several players who have decided to go to clubs near to their homes, but we have got a number of people coming in on a trial basis next week and we have had a couple of goalkeepers come in and work with us.

"I've every confidence that we will get our squad sorted out. I think there are still a number of decent players available who still have not got fixed up so we will get them sorted out in the next week or two.

"You talk to people say Nottingham way or a bit further afield than that and it's the distance. They don't want to move home, they don't want the travelling every day so they finish up signing for a more local club to them. It's a disappointment to me. Sometimes it shows a little bit of lack of ambition for the younger players but these things happen and we will sort it out."


Turner wants to settle the squad

The Hereford United players started pre-season training on Tuesday and yesterday the squad went to Gloucester University for fitness tests.

But the squad still has only 14 players signed up and Graham Turner says it would be to everyone's advantage to add four more players.

"I would certainly like to get things settled as quickly as possible because we need to work with players in order to get a nice team pattern," said Turner talking to BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning.


Thursday, July 03, 2003

Exeter face CVA

Exeter City football club are facing the prospect of a CVA, Creditors Voluntary Agreement,very similar to that of Hereford United.

The Grecians owe more than £2 million to six major creditors and their approval for a CVA must be won by August 5th when Exeter are due back in the High Court to face a winding up order.

The six creditors include construction company Mowlem,the Football Foundation and the Inland Revenue.

Insolvency expert Stephen Allinson, who is a director of Yeovil Town and helped them out of financial problems six years ago, told the Exeter Echo Sport that the reaction of the main creditors to a possible CVA was "sensible".

"I am confident that we (Exeter) will be playing football next season" he said.

However there is much work to be done before then and even if agreement is reached Exeter could be penalised by the Conference with up to a 12 point deduction.

Allinson and the fans now in charge at St James's Park have to persuade creditors responsible for 75% of the debt to sign up to a CVA.

There is talk that the debt could be cut by up to 90% but it is thought that as the Inland Revenue is owed around £200,000 they will resist such a low repayment. However as they are only owed about 10% of the total debt they could be outvoted should the other main creditors agree to such a small payment.

Mowlem, the construction company who built a new stand, are owed £600,000 and as they are a public company will have to consider their shareholders before agreeing to a CVA.

Once again it looks like bad management at a football club has led to the situation of a debt so large as it cannot be coped with.

Not unlike the situation when Peter Hill was chairman at Hereford. At least Exeter are unlikely to be saddled with having to pay all the debt as Hill agreed to do.


Forum downtime expected

The Independent Hereford United Forum will be offline for a while overnight on the 4th/5th July.

This is because the server is being physically moved to Telecity, and will effect all confguide.com forums, as well as the confguide.com website.

However, things should swiftly return to normal when the update has been concluded.


Accounts to be sped up


Graham Turner, the Bulls manager, has told the Hereford Times that he hoped that the annual meeting for the year ended May 31st 2003 could be held this year.

"We have straightened out the accounts for the last financial year and we aim to hold the AGM in the next two to three months," he said.

It is thought that the 65% rule regarding players wages has made United bring forward the publication of accounts and by doing so will avoid any potential fine for missing the deadline from Companies House.

The loss in the year to May 2002 could have been nullified if 'other operating income' had been as high as in the previous year. Other operating income comprises donations received and rental franchise income.

In 2002 there was nothing received from what is described as the 'Development Association'. The VP (Vice-Presidents) Club also failed to match its help in 2001 by over £3,000 and sundry income was down by £23,000.

The income received from franchises which probably means Legends and snack bars was down by £2500.

Meanwhile Phil Cleeton is to become the next chairman of the VP Club. He replaces Richard Howard who has been in the post for four years. The club has 55 paid-up members.


Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Market not going to Burghill

Ex-Bulls director George Hyde, now deputy leader of Herefordshire Council, has said that the authority is not going to move the livestock market to Burghill.

Hyde has said that the new administration realised that the choice was controversial and so "we are convinced that it must be possible to find a more suitable location".

The announcement has been greeted by Burghill councillor Sally Robertson. However with the Market Bill before Parliment and discussions on the Edgar Street Grid in progress the Council will have to come up with an alternative site quickly.

Meanwhile training restarted for the Bulls yesterday. Graham Turner was quoted by local press as saying: "It was a good session. It was a combination of some running, weights and ball work which the players appreciated with the Wolves game coming up."

It is believed that several trialists were present as well as the two new signings David Brown and Jordan King.


Poor attendances

The detailed trading figures for Hereford United show how poor attendances were in the year to May 31 2002.

Compared with the previous season gate money, both from home and away games, dropped from £263,110 to £221,174. That figure does not tell the whole story as it is necessary to add back the share of home gate receipts that go to the league and to visitors. This shows that £15,918 was sent out, much less than £35,123 in 2000/2001.

Putting the two figures together and adding in season ticket sales and membership (£53,069) shows that the nett receipts went down by £19,802. This drop is close to the overall loss of the club for the season. Attendances in the season just ended rose by close to 500 per game which should mean that receipts are back up around £300,000 plus season ticket receipts. This is before the share to the league and visitors goes out.

The total attendance at home matches for 2001/2002 was about 38,000 which includes the Wrexham cup-tie. By dividing this number into the gate receipts it shows the average admission receipt is £6.80p

When attendances decrease so do programme sales. They were down by £6,358 to £24,025. It looks as though less than one in three supporters buy a programme when coming to Edgar Street.

Another disappointment was the sharp drop in club shop sales down from £40,999 to £18,878. However this may be explained by no new home kit in that season.


Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Keen to prove a point

The Hereford United manager Graham Turner is continuing to search for new players and is reported to be very happy with the fourteen he already has on the books. The Bulls squad are back at Edgar Street for pre-season training this week, and Turner says he's confident they will have benefited from the experience of playing together as a unit last season.

The United boss thinks that last seasons champions showed the merits of fielding a squad largely made up of younger players, all of whom are keen to prove a point.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester, Turner said: "If you look through the Yeovil side, they did ever so well and I know that hurts our supporters whenever they are mentioned. I thought they set a new standard in the Conference last season with their fitness, with their determination and the quality of play. And you look through their side and it was generally a young side. There were not too many old heads in their team.

"I think when we look through our side, we have got a sprinkling there of people like Steve Guinan and Andy Tretton. But in the main they are a fairly young eager bunch and I would think that will pay dividends for us."


Trend is positive

The annual accounts of Hereford United have just been released to the public and although they show a loss of £21,670 in the year to May 31st 2002, compared with a loss of £108,913 in the year to May 2001, the trend is positive and suggests that the year just ended could show a profit of perhaps £50,000.

The loss could have been nullified if 'other operating income' had been as high as in the previous year.

Other operating income comprises donations received and rental franchise income and was down by £33,009. This is a worrying drop and not fully explained in the accounts.

In 2002 nothing was received from what is described as the 'Development Association'. The VP (Vice-Presidents) Club also failed to match its help in 2001 by over £3,000 and sundry income was down by £23,000. It is not known what sundry income comprises.

The income received from franchises which we take to mean Legends and snack bars was also down by £2,500. However with greater attendances last season it is thought that this income could increase in the near future.

Several other factors have contributed to the loss. As HU-FC.co.uk reported last month the directors have received higher payments. In the previous year they only allowed themselves £49,783, but this year their emoluments came to £110,333. It is well known that they struggled to find enough money to pay themselves in 2000/2001, so the increase can be partly put down to catching up.

Costs were kept well in check with the cost of sales down by £8,153 and administrative expenses down by £35,519.

The payment to Formsole for the lease of the land and the buildings, normally £9700, has been waived. HU-FC.co.uk reported on this subject last April.

Staff costs which includes directors pay have increased by £19,153. As the average number cost of players on the books dropped from 24 to 19 and the money to pay them dropped by about £42,000, their wages may have been a little higher than in 2000/2001.

Income included £27,500 for transfer fees. This would refer to Gavin Williams moving to Yeovil.

Overall the accounts are satisfactory in most respects and the directors should be thanked for keeping the club's finances in check. How many other football clubs in the Conference and in leagues above have recorded a small loss or even a profit recently?