So today was my first visit to Yeovil’s ground at Sherbone. I set off from home in Ealing early to go Earl’s Court and pick up, l’Equipe and France Football before getting on the train to Basingstoke where I met Patrick and off we went to Sherbone.
Being French my English geography knowledge is very limited. I actually had no clue how far Sherborne was. So we went on the M3 then the A303 and ended up in a massive traffic jam near Stonehenge. You do wonder why they have a double lane merging in that single lane in a very busy area. We probably got stuck about half an hour on a small section before finally moving forward.
We arrived at the ground which is situated on top of a hill. It is not far from the train station but quite a climb actually, very good for fitness work. What I find nice with Yeovil is they are very good on and off the pitch. A lot of work is done to make it a very pleasant day out for the fans.
We made our way to the club shop at the entrance, had a look at the replica shirts available then went to the bar where we were greated by Yeovil Town’s Chairman David Mills. We went to the main room and met more people from the club and someone from the FA who was scouting a couple of Yeovil players. Quite interesting to hear him and his views on players and what they are looking for. After a few drinks and biscuits we went to the pitch to watch the game.
The first thing you see is that there is a little slope that leads you to believe that there is a certain advantage to be used. Funnily enough, it did not happen and the team playing uphill played better in both halves. What I also noticed is the grass was cut high but it did not seem to impact much on the players.
So it was really a game of two halves, the 1st half was dominated by Yeovil. They were very good in possession, created many chances from open and set pieces but managed to be 1-0 up only at half time which proved to be costly. We went to back to the half time tea, sandwiches etc and arrived late for the 2nd half and Aston Villa had already scored. I shouldn’t have eaten my prawn sandwich lol
The second half was all Aston Villa, I guess fatigue hit the Yeovil girls who played on Thursday night a tough game at Bristol and came back with an excellent 0-0 draw. Villa were well on top and created many chances but could only manage one goal overall.
The game ended with a 1-1 draw which was a fair result for both teams.
We went back for another tea and biscuit sessions before going to the lounge where you can come and discuss the game with all the Yeovil players who are available for a chat after the game as part of the “fans bill of right” implemented by Yeovil.
This is a great initiative and I certainly made the most of it by having a quick chat with the manager Sarah Lawler. I am always interested to hear some managers views on the game in general and what they try to achieve.
I am lucky enough to get press passes at certain games U19& U17 Euros, Champions League etc and being able to ask questions and get interesting answers.
So I have to mention here that I really enjoy watching Yeovil Town LFC play. As far as I am concern they play the most attractive football in England ( women’s football of course) . I am lucky or crazy enough to watch around 70 to 80 games per year and I have to say, I really like the Glovers football philosophy.
They remind me of the men’s team I support in France which is FC Nantes in Brittany ( nicknamed the Canaries like Norwich). We were lucky at Nantes to have great coaches like Jose Arribas, Coco Suaudeau and Reynald Denoueix ( check them on wikipedia) and also check youtube for Nantes 94-95, Loko v PSG or Jose Toure v PSG coupe de France to see some of the football we used to see.
We all have an idea on how football should be played, some like teams to get stuck in, some like them to park the bus, some like direct football etc.
Being French I have been raised with the idea of romantic attacking football by the team that reached the 1982 and 1986 world cup semi-final.
The same attacking philosophy and intentions have always been part of the game at Nantes ” jeu a la nantaise” and I certainly believe that it is the right way to play football.
It means having a pass and move game, having quick ball circulation, offering solutions to the ball holders, always being on the move.
Being creative and have a team that works as a unit to make efficient and beautiful football. Playing that way is quite tiring actually and it certainly brought reward in the 1st half and when the energy level went down to tiredness, the whole machine seem to slow down. To me it explains the difficult second half where passing went a bit ashtray and there were no solutions for the ball holder.
At the recent Reading v Yeovil game played at the Madjeski, I had a great view at the top of the stand on the halfway line. Alhtough the game ended with a Reading win and it confirmed what I had seen in previous Yeovil games about the great passing philosophy in the team.
So full credit to the girls and the coaching staff, it makes very enjoyable viewing for me and I will certainly come back to Sherborne.