Wednesday, July 31, 2002

July 2002


THE Non-League Paper Website reports that Hereford United have clinched the signing of Mark Benbow.

Director of Football Graham Turner is giving attacking midfielder Benbow the chance to make the grade at Conference level after returning from Australia.

Benbow, 24, began his career with League of Wales outfit Newtown and also played for Rhayader Town in the same league. In addition he turned out for city side Pegasus Juniors in the Hellenic League and in the Dr Martens League for Merthyr Tydfil, Worcester City, Bromsgrove Rovers and, last season, Redditch United before moving to Australia to play.

Turner has also recruited a left back from a Nationwide League club, although he wouldn't name him until his contract with his previous club expired on Sunday.

July 2nd:

ALL this week, Classic Gold Radio are giving away tickets to 'The Ultimate Tribute Show' at Hereford United Football Club.

The event, due to be staged on Saturday 13th July, is sponsored by Classic Gold and is expected to draw a big crowd.

If you want to be there, call the club on 01432 276666 for tickets or pop into either the club office or Classic Gold Shop in Broad Street, Hereford.

However, to win tickets, tune into Classic Gold on 954 or 1530 AM all this week.

Classic Gold will also be broadcasting the whole event live from Edgar Street on the evening.

July 3rd:

JON Wells' Hereford United fundraising cycle has been delayed once again.

His health prevented the go-ahead of the event in May, and it is now set to start on Friday, 12th July until Tuesday, 16th July (not June as I previously wrote!).

Those that which to sponsor Jon should send sponsorship monies to Jon Wells, c/o MWPC, 72 Commercial Road, Hereford, HR1 2BP.

HEREFORD United have confirmed the signings of three players as they continue their squad rebuilding process.

Andrew Tretton has signed from Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer and join John Grant and Michael Rose as incoming players.

Grant completed his switch after considering the contract offer made by the Edgar Street club, and joins from Crewe Alexandra.

Tretton, 25, was released by Shrewsbury Town at the end of last season and chose to link up with Hereford in preference to Nationwide Conference rivals Telford United. He has signed a two-year deal with Turner's side and will add strength in defence, alongside Ian Wright and Tony James. Formerly with Derby County and Chesterfield, defender Tretton scored six goals in 113 league matches for Shrewsbury.

He told the Shropshire Star: "In many respects I feel bad not signing for Telford as I was impressed with the set-up, but the added security of a two-year contract was too good to turn down as I'm getting married next year. I didn't want to be in the same position next summer," he said.

"It was a tough decision to make, but I have others to think of not just myself and it's important at my age with a mortgage to pay to do the right thing. Although I am disappointed not to be staying in the League, there will be better players than myself struggling to get a club in the Third Division next season.

Having tracked Tretton for some weeks, Telford boss Jake King is disappointed to miss out on a player he feels should be featuring in the Football League next month. "It's a blow for the club that Tretts has chosen Hereford, but I can't do anything about it," he said.

Former Chester defender Rose completes the trio, with the former Manchester United trainee having been released by Blues boss Mark Wright. Last season, he scored four goals in thirty four matches.

July 4th:

THE Hereford Times report progress in the development of the Edgar Street grid in Hereford.

Herefordshire Council have advertised the development area which could be a £100 million plan, and it will be posted in the European Journal, where all projects of such a scale are noted.

There has been much interest in the application, which includes a sizeable section of Hereford city including the football ground and cattle market. New buildings could include a police headquarters and arts academy. The cattle market is likely to move to an out-of-town location, subject to local protests.

Meanwhile, Graham Turner has confirmed that Hereford United will not be running a reserve team next season as only two teams finished last season's Central Conference. Also, the reserve team will be moving to a new location after being snubbed by both North Birmingham and Solihull colleges. It is thought that it may be located in Pershore, as previously reported on HU-FC.co.uk.

GRAHAM Turner feels that the signing of Andrew Tretton will give Hereford United more tactical options next season.

He told the Evening News: "Tretton has played over 100 games for Shrewsbury and it gives me the option of playing three central defenders.

Of the other signings, both John Grant and Michael Rose have particular qualities which attracted Turner. "Grant is very mobile and very quick, while Rose started 38 games for Chester last season, and is very skilful," he said.

Meanwhile, it is reported that Mark Benbow chose a trial for Hereford over a move to Bromsgrove Rovers. The midfielder was being tracked by Rovers bosses Gary Hackett and Jon Ford, but he opted to join Hereford.

July 5th:

HEREFORD United manager Graham Turner spoke to BBC Hereford & Worcester's Nicola Goodwin on Friday Sport.

Many thanks to the contributor who has sent a transcript of the interview.

NG: Hereford United players have returned to Edgar Street this week to start pre-season training. Manager Graham Turner was left with just six contracted players at the end of last season. He has begun a recruitment compaign. This week he has announced that another three players Andy Tretton, John Grant and Micheal Rose will be joining the club. Earlier today I popped over to Edgar Street to speak to Graham about his new signings just before the players went off on a rather nasty run.

GT: Yes and a lot more to come I hope. Its common knowledge that we only retained six players from last season. I have signed five more and we have several trialists in with us at the moment and I am hoping before the season starts, well before the season starts, we finish up with a squad of 17 or 18 players.I have been delighted with what we have signed so far.They all look good athleles, lean and mean, and I think we still need one or two other positions filled, a striker is one of the main targets, another mid-field player. But so far I am well pleased with what I have seen and the pre-season have got underway, we have had our first two days and there is a good spirit amongst them. It is nice to see so many new faces about the place. I think people do become stale in the same place year in year out and I am sure supporters will be looking forward to see these new players that we have got in.

NG: You named three new men earlier this week. Why did you decide to bring them to Edgar Street? What attracted you?

GT: Well it was a combination of things. In the case of Andy Tretton, he is an experienced central defender. It gives me an option now of changing the system and going with three central defenders, him and Tony James and Ian Wright. We will have alot of experience back there. Andy Tretton is a good central defender, a good defender who is not bad on the ball as well. We will expect him to a little bit, if we are playing three central defenders, a little bit constructive as well as being able to defend. In John Grant, a 20 year old striker, very quick, very mobile, a lot of potential, a lot of scope, comes very very highly recommended by the people who worked with him for several years at Crewe, particuarly Dario Gradi, who I think is well respected in the game has given him a high recommendation and so we've taken a chance with him. We have seen him play a couple of times and we know that he has got enough at 20 years of age to make an impact in the Conference. And young Michael Rose left back from Chester, again he is only a young lad, 19 years of age, started his career at Manchester United. And sometimes when you get released by a club the size of Manchester United where a player thinks he has got the world at his feet, it can have a devastating effect on them and although he had a season at Chester, and I think started about 38 games for Chester, he was not offered a new contract. I think the change of manager there disrupted things a little bit and so I think we have cashed in on the situation by obtaining his services here. I have got great hopes for Michael Rose, I think he is going to go on to be a very good player. Add to that Ben Smith and Jamie Pitman that we signed earlier, one or two players coming in on trial next week. One of interest who has been recommended to me by a former senior player out of Wolves, who is playing in the Premiership now. He has been released by a Premiership club, and the player said just have a look at him. He is a good player, he will do you a world of good as a midfield player. So we are going to have a look at him. Goalkeepers, I have several goalkeepers coming in on trial. It's good, there is a bit of buzz about the place at the moment and I think some of that is largely due to Richard O'Kelly who is taking part of the training. He is a keen, enthusiastic man and has got a good sense of humour and I think the players so far have responded very well to him. So, yes there is a buzz about the place, we are all upbeat and we cannot wait for the season to start.

NG: Pre-season must be more important now because of the amount of changes taking place in the squad.

GT: Well, there are two purposes for pre-season. You have got to get the players fit and you have got to get the pattern of playing in the team and with so many new faces in there we are going to have to work hard on our pattern of play and we have got to work hard on the team play and the practice matches will be important to us. It is not going to gel straight away, there is going to be misunderstandings between players and groups of players but all that should come together and we hope before the start of the season but it certainly takes a little bit of time when you have got so many new faces in for it to gel.

July 6th:

MARTIN Watson is raising money for the football club through a print cartridge amnesty.

Empty print cartridges should be sent to HUFC Print Cartridges, c/o MWPC, 72 Commercial Road, Hereford, HR1 2BP, or dropped into the shop.

BOLSA claims a cash reward for each empty inkjet cartridge that is submitted. Current rates are up to £3.25 for each empty black inkjet cartridge and up to £2.75 for each empty colour inkjet cartridge. Although your contributions might seem minimal, please remember...... every little helps!

July 7th:

GRENVILLE Smith, the Hereford United director behind next week's Tribute Night, has been talking to Trevor Owens from BBC Hereford & Worcester. Highlights of the interview are below.

GS: They (the past Tribute Nights) has been a tremendous success and this will be our third one. The first one we had about 400 people here and last year we had over 1000 so obviously it is going to be another big one. I have increased the artists this year so we are looking forward to a tremendous night out again.I look for special acts and I think we have to have Abba topping the bill again. Everyone likes Abba and I have got Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears complete with dancers, Robbie Williams and a band, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, so I think there is something for everyone. With six hours of live entertainment, it should be very popular and the tickets are going very well.

TO: Any club at this level has got to do more of this kind of thing. You can not rely on 21 home games and a couple of cup ties every year.

GS: I think this is going to be as good as two home matches for us. We are kicking off at 6pm on Saturday July 13. It will open with one of the girls and there will be a big dance floor for later. And also there will be more food stalls so there should be plenty to eat and drink. We have learnt from previous events and so this year it should be the biggest Tribute event in the West Midlands. Hopefully as we have not had much of a summer yet I hope the summer is going to start in July and we benefit from it on Saturday. The cost of the tickets are £15 each or £40 for two adults and two children, £10 for concessions. They are available from the club offices. Either ring Edgar Street on 01432276666 or pick them up from the office.

HU-FC.co.uk wishes the event every success and with the long range weather forecast for next weekend looking promising it should be a good night.

ACCORDING to today's Non-League Paper, the Hereford United matchday programme is to cost £2 this season.

It will remain in its current thirty two page colour format. Several other clubs are reported to have increased the price of their programmes but most are bigger. Only Chester City, Forest Green Rovers, Farnborough Town and Telford United are said to be planning such small programmes for £2. Other charges at Hereford have been frozen, meaning that the various family ticket packages are still in place and concession rates have remained unchanged for two seasons.

Also featuring in the paper this week is a large picture of Rembrandt the bull being led around Edgar Street by its lady handler.

The feature asks "how did your club get its moniker?"

It continues: "Then there are the Bulls of Hereford United and their particually famous bovine, Rembrandt. The 600-tonne (surely 600 kilo - ed) brown and white Herefordshire bull makes the Conference side the only club in England to boast a living mascot. Rembrandt was sidelined due to the foot and mouth crisis last year, but played a starring role on television during the clubs 1999-2000 FA Cup run, along with the revival of the fans prayer to a swede. In this FA Cup rirual, six fans pass the root vegetable down the pitch and try to score. They messed up at Swindon last season and lost 3-2!"

July 8th:

GRAHAM Turner is delighted to have taken one step outside the boardroom as he looks to revive the fortunes of Hereford United, writes BBC Online's Pete Oliver.

Turner is back in charge of first-team affairs at Edgar Street after a spell "upstairs" as the club's chairman. And while the vastly experienced former Aston Villa, Wolves and Shrewsbury boss will still have to wear that hat as well, he admits that back in the dug-out is where he wants to be.

Speaking to Oliver, Turner said: "I've always been a football man and I've not totally enjoyed the other roles, although I've got to continue with them for the time being. I've certainly enjoyed the start of pre-season training."

Turner moved in at Hereford as the club's director of football in August 1995. He couldn't stop them tumbling out of the League following last-day heartbreak against Brighton two years later. Since then, the Bulls have struggled to make a significant impact in the Nationwide Conference amid a background of financial problems.

"All the clubs that have come down and been in financial difficulties is because of their time as League clubs. There are debts we've brought down with us. We've all been the same," Turner added.

Those problems haven't gone away with a £1m debt due to be paid to a property development company next May.

"We've got 10 months of concern," admitted the manager/chairman, who had relinquished the former role to try and stabilise the club off the field. But at least Hereford are starting to look ahead with positive intent and since replacing Phil Robinson at the helm again Turner has signed five new players.

Andrew Tretton, John Grant, Ben Smith, Michael Rose and Jamie Pitman have been added to the remnants of last season's squad. That gives Turner 11 players with another "six or seven" due in before the season starts.

He said: "There's been a big turn-around. We flirted with relegation last season and supporters sometimes want to see some new faces.

"We felt it was appropriate, and finances played a part in it too. It's nice to see some new faces around the place. People can get stale in the same environment. We certainly want to make sure we're not down there again, if at all possible.

"That's led to one or two changes and we're looking forward to the new season."

Turner is too long in the tooth to make any rash predictions about the coming campaign. But like Chester, Scarborough, Doncaster and Halifax there's only one thing that Hereford want.

"We want to return to the League - that's the aim of us all," said Turner. "Having two places for promotion makes a difference for everyone.

"You hope, but there are some very strong sides in the Conference, who are well organised clubs. We know what we are competing against and there are probably eight or 10 who are seriously expecting to maintain a challenge."

Meanwhile, Hereford are joint 12th favourites to win this season's FA Trophy. Surrey Racing quote Yeovil Town are 5.1 favourites, with the Bulls on par with the likes of Southport, Canvey Island and Margate.

HEREFORD United's away fixture against Burton Albion has been moved from Saturday 12th October 2002.

The Bulls' trip to Eton Park is now scheduled for Friday 11th October, kick off 7.45pm.

The original date clashed with the Slovakia vs England Euro 2004 qualifying match, as well as other international encounters.

July 9th:

HEREFORD United mascot Billy the Bull is organising ready for the new season, and he has released the following statement:

Here is a list of my new ideas for the forth coming season please and your comments as appropriate

1. I will be available for player sponsorship this season (as I still may get a game) the cost of this will be £85 payable to the club. No business or logo deals this year as it causes too much hassle.

2. I have had a Canadian Flag donated which will carry my logo and the word's "Hereford Till I Die" This will be on display in the Meadowend during games and I would ask fans to sign it if they see it.

3. I want a catchy signature tune for when I come out on the field so please post any idea's

4. Ideas needed for places and costumes I can pose in for a 2003 Calendar. I have had some great drawings of myself from some school children but would appreciate any of your ideas.

5. As players shirts are carrying squad names and numbers I am suggesting that I be "Billy" and number "72"

6. I will also be carrying a section in BillyNews on Hereford Old Boys", keeping fans informed on what they are up to etc, So please list any you would like to know about and who they now play for.

7. Jokes, funny pictures, Birthdays, special occasions etc are all things that can go in Billy News so let me have your ideas.

8. Each week I will choose a fan before the game to run an item called "Fans Profile" If you are chosen for this you will receive a free "Billy T Bull" badge.

If you wish to contact Billy, you can do so via email at billytbull@hotmail.com.

BULLS ClubCall (09068 121645) are reporting that Hereford United have two new triallists who will join them for pre-season training.

Ipswich Town reserve team midfielder Ashley Nicholls and Danny Williams of Chesterfield will both link up with Graham Turner's men before the season begins in view of a permanent deal.

An experienced midfielder is also in talks with Turner, but his name has not yet been revealed.

July 10th:

JON Wells has had to reschedule his west-east bike ride again, but this time he's definitely going ahead with it - and it starts tomorrow.

Jon will ride across Britain from St David's Head in Pembrokeshire to Lowestoft in East Anglia to raise money for the new Supporters Trust.

The schedule is now:
Thursday - St David's to Llandovery
Friday - Llandovery to Hereford
Saturday - Hereford to Banbury
Sunday - Banbury to Cambridge
Monday - Cambridge to Lowestoft

That's around 330 miles at 60-70 miles per day

He has decided that he might use Saturday as a rest day at home in which case he'll be setting out from Hereford on Sunday morning and finishing Tuesday instead. If anyone feels like joining in from Edgar Street for a few hours ride (to a pub for lunch might appeal!) then let him know via HU-FC.co.uk at bikeride@hu-fc.co.uk - and he'll confirm on here whether it'll be on Saturday or Sunday morning. Please remember to include a phone number with all emails.

Getting on for £500 pounds has been pledged so far, which is great, but more sponsorship would really help to get the new Trust off to a flying start, so please feel free to make a pledge, you can make a bank transfer to:

HUFC Bike Ride
LloydsTSB Bracknell Branch
Sort Code 77-49-07
A/C No. 78898660

or send a cheque payable to "HUFC Bike Ride" to MWPC, 72 Commercial Road, Hereford HR1 2BP

HU-FC.co.uk wishes Jon the best of luck with his efforts.

July 11th:

IT is with great pleasure I announce that HU-FC.co.uk received its 200,000th visitor today.

The landmark comes almost three years since the site when live in its preview form on 15th July 1999, and also marks a change in direction for the website.

Over the past few weeks, I have been considering the future of the website and the constraints placed upon me as a result of running it. It has become increasingly difficult to find the time to devote to the daily updates required.

However, various changes will occur over the next few weeks which will reduce the amount of time that I devote to the site but maintain the service provided, namely through the introduction of new members and an improved news server.

Whilst I anticipate some early teething problems, hopefully they will be ironed out and HU-FC.co.uk will continue with more regular updates - the main factor limiting our news output will be the articles (if we can't get the information, we can't publish it!).

Other sections of the site will also change over the next few weeks and HU-FC.co.uk will remain live and active through the 2002/03 season.

Many thanks to everyone that has emailed me with supportive comments over the past few weeks, and to you, the visitors, that make the site worthwhile.

JON Wells' bike ride from west to east Britain is going well on its first day.

Wells was in Haverfordwest at around lunchtime today and is following the A40 through Carmarthen to reach Llandovery tonight.

Also, Wells will be interviewed on BBC Hereford & Worcester this evening about the ride and the newly formed supporters' trust, for which he is raising money.

The cycling will continue tomorrow, as Wells aims to be in Hereford by nightfall.

July 12th:

JON Wells' bike ride from west to east Britain is progressing well.

Today, Jon crossed the English-Welsh border in Cusop, near Hay-on-Wye, before taking the Golden Valley road to Hereford.

He had previously been put behind schedule by rain storms in the Brecon Beacons but still had time to stop off at HU-FC.co.uk headquarters to give us an update on proceeding.

The gruelling ride doesn't obviously look to be taking its toll yet, and you can still sponsor him by sending cheques to:

HUFC Bike Ride, c/o MWPC, 72 Commercial Road, Hereford.

Jon is pictured (left) looking tanned and confident of completing the ride, which should end on Monday evening.

July 13th:

GRAHAM Turner, the Hereford United manager, told BBC Hereford & Worcester's Trevor Owens yesterday that he has been encouraged by pre-season training.

"The new lads have knitted in well with the six that were left from last season," he said. "The quality of training has been excellent, I have been very pleased with what I've seen. Richard O Kelly as physio/coach has settled in very well and the players have taken to him.

"The disappointment for me is that we have not increased our squad to perhaps fifteen or sixteen by now, we have had three rejections this week; two senior players, one a younger goal keeper and have all said the same thing. The Club's okay, we've trained, we'd like to come but the distance to travel is just too great. One of them was David Kelly, Republic of Ireland International, played for a lot of clubs, came in and had three or four days training with us and looked the part, he was impressed and I think the final day by the time he had driven back home, a couple of hours sat in the car after training his knees stiffened up a little bit, and he felt the distance travelling four or five times a week would have been too great for him; so those rejections have been disappointing - but it happens and we move on to the next ones now and I've got several senior players, experienced players to see next week and hope that we can persuade them to come. But certainly I'm very optimistic that by the time the serious business starts we're well into the games a couple of weeks before the season starts we'll have our squad ready assembled. We have got several triallists in now, one boy from Ipswich, two from Chesterfield, one from West Brom. We're having a good look at those pre-season, so there is a possibility that they might be offered contracts in a variety of positions.

"Players, experienced ones married with perhaps a couple of kids at school do not want to move house. If we had by-passes and motorway systems this far out we would be okay but you know having done that journey up the A49 several times recently to Wrexham I can sypathsise with them, get stuck behind a few lorries and tractors and it gets frustrating. I can understand the feelings that two hour travel before training and back after training is too much. Disappointed but we move on to the next one.

"It ( having so many new faces ) is and you sense that about the place. The six I think that we kept have been pleased to see one or two new faces coming in, have been pleased with Richards work and all in all it is going very well. We are probably a week behind Tranmere whom we play next Friday night in terms of training. They start their season a week earlier, but next week we start thinking about getting onto the full pitch and looking at the pattern of play and so on and hope that we get some semblence of order for next weeks match against Tranmere but that does not particularly worry me. We have still got nearly five weeks before we start the real action and that five weeks will be put to good use. We will continue with the fitness training but more importantly we will get the team-play in operation."

Meanwhile, there is a good forecast for tonight's Tribute Night at Edgar Street. The fun starts at 6pm and tickets are available on 01432 276666. If you can't get to the 'gig', you can listen live on Classic Gold 954/1530AM with Rich Edwards from 6pm.

HEREFORD United have announced another pre season friendly on Thursday, August 8th, at Bromyard Town.

The game will kick off at 7.45pm.

Bulls boss Graham Turner said of triallist Ashley Nicholls that he was recommended by Mark Venus, the Wolves and Ipswich defender. "Nicholls comes highly recommended by Venus at Ipswich so we are going to be having a good look at him," said Turner in today's Evening News.

"At the moment we've got a number of players drifting in and out that we are taking a look at and we need to bring the squad up to 17 or 18 but they can't all be senior players -- we need one or two younger players."

"We've been doing plenty of ball work in preparation for the first friendly," he said of team tactics.

July 14th:

CLASSIC Gold Radio are looking for a new Hereford United reporter for the 2002/03 season.

Whilst the station already cover home matches, they have a vacancy for away fixture coverage following a recent departure.

The work is voluntary, but does include a pass to away press facilities and allows one to gain experience of reporting. It will also keep the name of the club in public view, and is a superb form of free promotion.

Anyone with a love of the club and the commitment neccessary is asked to contact Rupert Allison, head of sport, on rma@quista.net, or through terry@hu-fc.co.uk.

HEREFORD United have missed out on the signing of Wrexham midfielder Wayne Phillips.

Phillips was released by Wrexham at the end of last season but the former Wales 'B' internation is likely to join Bangor City.

He chose the League of Wales club as the travelling distance to Hereford was too great, underlining Graham Turner's claim that geographical isolation has seen Hereford miss out on possible signings.

Also, rumours that the Bulls were to sign Tony Daley and Neil Grayson are unfounded. Daley has hung up his boots at the age of thirty four and Grayson has linked up with Forest Green Rovers.

OVER a thousand people turned out to the third annual Ultimate Tribute night at Edgar Street last night, held to raise funds for Hereford United.

Blazing sunshine adorned the acts who imitated Tina Turner, Abba, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue.

United chairman Graham Turner attended with his wife and the event was both enjoyable and successful.

One person who attended was particularly impressed by Paul Reason's tribute to Robbie Williams.

July 15th:

YET another player has rejected a move to Hereford United.

Wrexham 'keeper David Walsh turned down an interest from Hereford boss Graham Turner, despite being recently released from the Racecourse.

The twenty three year old also spent the latter part of last season on loan at League of Wales side Rhyl, gaining crucial first team experience.

Walsh is on-trial at Shrewsbury Town, but is also being tracked by Rushden & Diamonds and Tranmere Rovers.

Meanwhile, triallist Ashley Nicholls has impressed Graham Turner during his first week of training at Hereford United.

The twenty year old, released by Ipswich Town, is equally as comfortable in midfield and attack.

SO what can be gleamed from Graham Turner's recent interviews and other news from Edgar Street?

One thing is certain, GT sounds very upbeat about the new season. Given that the club still has massive debts that are due to be paid back next May; the squad is still short of five or six players; no accounts have yet been published for the year before last let alone last season (GT did suggest that last year the club more or less broke even) and only three months ago both GT and JF (Joan Fennessy) both said they wanted to resign, there seems to be an air of optimism coming from the club. What, if anything, has happened?

Publicly, all that has been revealed is that two individuals may have agreed to bankroll the club for this season. Obviously this must be a great weight off GT's mind but this alone can not totally explain his attitude.

Council leader Terry James has continued to suggest that his vision for the Edgar Street area should come to fruition one day and that this redevelopment should assist the club both financially and with better facililies.

The Supporters Trust is in the process of being set-up and whilst it may be some time before they can have much influence in the board-room; the very fact that a Trust is on route must bring hope to the club for a more secure future.

As far as is known it seems that the size of the squad is unlikely to be as high as last season and with less reserve activity expenses should be no more than last season, perhaps slightly less as the wage bill should not be quite as high.

Perhaps one comment from GT is very relevant. Part of last season he said that he had to spend up to 80% of his time in the boardroom and only 20% of his time with the team. This season his hopes are for that time split to be reversed. He is much happier in a track-suit than in an office. The inference must be that the running of the club is going to be much easier; after all GT is still chairman so needs to be in charge. But has something happened? Could it be that some kind of deal has already been done that will keep the club afloat whilst the council and the developers sort their plans out? Has the May 2003 loans deadline been put back?

Whatever the reason for the optimism, GT seems confident that Hereford United are in for a good season.

July 16th:

HEREFORD United's first choice and only goalkeeper is on trial at Leyton Orient.

Matt Baker has a clause in his contract allowing him to talk to Football League teams as they play at a higher level in the English pyramid.

The move explains why Graham Turner is eager to sign a new goalkeeper before the start of the season, as cover and insurance should Baker exit Edgar Street.

He played a trial game for Orient last night but they lost 1-0 to Grays Athletic. However, assistant boss Martin Ling told leytonorient.com: "Matt Baker made two good saves in the first half and didn't do anything wrong."

Manager Paul Brush has been forced to look at Baker after the Home Office's refusal to allow Donovan Ricketts a work permit.

"We've had to cast our net elsewhere and Matt was recommended to us by Paul Hyde after playing well for Hereford against Dover last season," Brush explained. "He's young and tall and he started at Hull but didn't really break through there and although he's contracted at Hereford he's allowed to trial at League clubs.

"He'll play tonight and train tomorrow but then he's got to go back to Hereford and on Friday he will be playing for them against Tranmere. There have been lots of keepers pushed our way but we're giving Matt this chance to impress."

IT appears that Hereford United are not out of the running for Wrexham 'keeper David Walsh after all.

Despite being on trial at Shrewsbury Town, Walsh told the Shropshire Star: "Hereford United have been in touch and I've been in contact with Brian Talbot from Rushden and Diamonds.

"Eric Nixon also wants me to go and do some training with Tranmere. I'm not going to rush though, I'll just wait and see what happens."

Walsh, though, is likely to play for Shrewsbury in clashes against Shifnal and Everton.

"He's a good shot stopper and controls the defence well. We'll be having another look at him next week and see what goes from there," said Shrews boss Kevin Ratcliffe. "The only problem he had was with the flight of the ball coming over the top of defenders, but that's something that comes with games and getting to know the defenders."

Meanwhile, ex-Hereford attacker Danny Davidson has linked up with Stafford Rangers, under the management of Phil Robinson, whilst John Shirley is thought to be having trials with both Canvey Island and Worcester City.

July 18th:

HEREFORD United triallist Ashley Nicholls appears to be agreeing terms with Darlington.

The Ipswich Town midfielder has been on-trial at the third division side this week and will make his debut in the Quakers' pre-season friendly with Newcastle.

Nicholls struggled while at Ipswich, going on loan to Canvey Island.

Talking to the Evening Gazette, Darlo boss Tommy Taylor said "I'll be trying to tie up deals before Friday's match with Newcastle. Hereford wanted Nicholls, but he has said he wants to join us. He looks a very good prospect. He can play in the middle or on either flank, and has a good engine as well as being a clever player."

GRAHAM Turner hopes to employ a three-man central defensive system for Hereford United's upcoming friendly matches at Edgar Street against Tranmere Rovers (Friday, 7.45pm) and Swindon Town (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

Ian Wright, Tony James and newcomer Andy Tretton will form the basis of the defence, with the two wing-backs being able to proceed forward.

He told the Hereford Times: "The arrival of Andy Tretton gives us an opportunity to play with three central defenders, allowing our full-backs to move forward.

"Although it's very early in our pre-season programme, the matches will allow us to assess problems which might arise from using a new system."

Goalkeeper Matt Baker will play after a trial at Leyton Orient, and former Aberystwyth Town winger Rhodri Giggs, the brother of Manchester United and Wales star Ryan Giggs, is also expected to line up for the Bulls as a trialist against Second Division Tranmere. Former Ipswich Town trainee Ashley Nicholls and ex-Chesterfield midfielder Daniel Williams could also feature for Hereford.

July 19th:

HEREFORD United start their pre-season campaign tonight as Tranmere Rovers visit Edgar Street, kick off 7.45pm.

United Manager, Graham Turner, will use the game against the second division side from Birkenhead to test out several triallists who have been training with the squad over the past week.

Rhodri Giggs, the younger brother of Manchester United star Ryan, is expected to line-up on the wing tonight and ex-Chesterfield defender Danny Williams could also start. However, striker Ashley Nicholls will not figure after travelling to Third Division Darlington to discuss a contract following his release from Ipswich Town. Turner has also offered former Ipswich Town midfielder Nicholls a contract and is waiting on the youngster to make a decision.

The game is a bit too early for the Bulls but will generate much-needed income. Graham Turner told the Evening News: "You can't always chose your dates and we would have preferred to get some other games under our belts. However it is about fitness and gives us the chance to experiment with different formations."

Turner is set to change his defensive formation with new signing Andy Tretton from Shrewsbury Town linking up for the first time with captain Ian Wright and Tony James in a three-man rearguard. "Andy's arrival gives us the chance to play with three at the back and see how it looks during the first part of pre-season," he said.

"We know we can play 4-4-2 but we've two strong wing-backs in the shape of Matt Clarke and Michael Rose who have got power and pace and get down the flanks."

Fans will also get the chance to view the other new signings, including attacker John Grant, midfielders Jamie Pitman and Ben Smith, and also defender Michael Rose.

Goalkeeper Matt Baker is likely to start despite having a trial spell with Leyton Orient this week, and Turner doesn't think that the young 'keeper will make the move to Brisbane Road.

Tranmere boss Dave Watson is expected to field virtually two sides at Edgar Street tonight.

There will be more trialists in the side as Rovers look to solve their goalkeeping problems, while midfielders Neil Gibson and Michael Blackwood will both be given another taste of the action while Shane Nicholson will get his first run out in a Rovers shirt as he's given forty five minutes of the action. Two players not travelling tonight are Jason Koumas (calf) and Gareth Roberts (shin) who both took knocks in the matches earlier this week.

Prices for tonights match are as follows:- Seating - Adults £8 Concessions £4; Terracing - Adults £6 Concessions £3.

Meanwhile, Telford United look likely to capture the signature of veteran striker David Kelly. He rejected an approach from Hereford last week, sighting travelling distances as the main reason.

HEREFORD United 0 - 2 Tranmere Rovers (report by Terry Goodwin)

The first pre-season friendly resulted in defeat for Hereford United, 2-0 at home against Tranmere Rovers of Division Two.

The Bulls fielded a host of triallists and new signings, who did well in their first warm-up game, but an extra week of training and additional match practice gave Tranmere the edge. They netted both of their goals in the first-half.

Unfortunately, the game was a typical pre-season friendly played at a slow pace, which was not helped by the humid conditions. A further dampener was put on proceedings in the last fifteen minutes as a torrential downpour soaked the players.

United lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with Matt Baker in goal following a trial with Leyton Orient. New signing Andrew Tretton joined Ian Wright and Tony James in the defence, with Matt Clarke and Michael Rose playing in wing-back positions. In midfield, Ben Smith, Jamie Pitman and Danny Williams supported the attacking two of Paul Parry and triallist David McNiven, the former York City and Hamilton Academicals player.

On the bench, Richard Teasdale, Mark Benbow, Rhodri Giggs, John Grant, Josh Perry and Joel Armstrong all featured, with Armstrong taking over on the hour from Baker in goal. A youngster from Chesterfield, Armstrong has experience from loan spells at Bradford Park Avenue and Ilkeston Town.

The first goal came after twenty nine winutes when Mickey Mellon knocked over a cross from the right wing for Simon Howarth, the former Coventry City and Cardiff City striker, to head home from close range. The goal came after a relatively even half hour as Hereford went close through McNiven, Rose and Parry. In fact, the display from the Bulls was rather impressive considering it was the first time that the team had played together.

Six minutes before the break, Tranmere made it 2-0. A mistake by Jamie Pitman allowed Iain Hulme through, and the Canadian under twenty internation hit a long range effort past the helpless Baker.

The second period saw few chances from either side. Howarth and Andy Parkinson went close for Tranmere, whilst a Michael Rose shot late on almost snached Hereford a consolation, but substitute goalkeeper Danny Harrison was equal to the effort.

All in all, the result was not a relevant one. It was the first time the Hereford team had played together and largely, they were equal to a settled Tranmere side. However, the Bulls still look lacklustre in attack and if the issue is not addressed, it will let them down again this season.

Hereford United: Matt Baker (substituted), Matt Clarke (substituted), Michael Rose, Andrew Tretton, Ian Wright (captain, substituted), Tony James, Jamie Pitman, Ben Smith (substituted), David McNiven (substituted), Danny Williams, Paul Parry (substituted)
Subs: Richard Teasdale (brought on), Mark Benbow (brought on), Rhodri Giggs (brought on), John Grant (brought on), Josh Perry (brought on), Joel Armstrong (brought on)

Man of the Match: Jamie Pitman
Attendance: 867
Referee: Mr. A. Williams (Hereford)

July 20th:

GRAHAM Turner is eager to boost the size of his Hereford United squad by about half a dozen players before the season starts.

"I'm looking to add another six to the squad but I'm in no hurry and am not worried that we have not got the numbers up yet," he told the Evening News, despite having several rejections.

Those that interest Turner include Rhodri Giggs, brother of Manchester United's Ryan, and former Wrexham goalkeeper David Walsh.

July 21st:

ANY hopes that Hereford United would sign Ipswich Town youngster Ashley Nicholls have been stubbed out completely, as he has agreed a move to Darlington.

The third division side confirmed the move before this weekend's friendly against Newcastle United's academy side, which the Quakers emerged 1-0 victors.

However, Hereford presented a host of other triallists in Friday night's game at Edgar Street, where Tranmere Rovers won 2-0.

After the match, Tranmere boss Dave Watson told Liverpool's Daily Post: "We came to life once we went in front. Simon Haworth and Iain Hume scored excellent goals and defensively I was pleased with the way we played. It was interesting to see Graham Allen and Shane Nicholson operating as full-backs with Ian Sharps and Kevin Gray in the middle.

"And of course we've still got Gareth Roberts and Jason Koumas to come back. Hereford gave us a good work out. I thought they played well."

Of the Bulls triallists, Josh Perry is from West Bromich Albion's reserve team. A striker, Perry is eighteen and was a prolific scorer for both the reserve and youth sides at the Hawthorns. Joel Armstrong was Chesterfield's third choice goalkeeper last season and is just twenty years old, whilst Danny Williams was another Chesterfield player, released from his midfield role this summer.

Richard Teesdale is a defender from Walsall, having been released after he completed a three year traineeship at the Bescot in May. David McNiven is a twenty three year old striker who played for Hamilton Academicals last season. He has also had spells with Oldham Athletic, Scarborough, Southport, York City and Chester City and is currently being sought by Stranraer.

Rhodri Giggs has a chequered past playing for the likes of Aberystwyth Town in the League of Wales. The twenty five year old is a pacy left winger with good striking ability. In 2000/01, Giggs played 35 times for Bangor City, scoring four goals in the process and last season, he featured in four league matches for Abersytwyth before moving back to the Cheshire Leagues. Meanwhile, Mark Benbow is a local lad who has played for a host of clubs either side of the border, and also in Australia.

It appears that Scott Voice, the injury-hit striker, is on the sidelines again and will miss Tuesday night's friendly against Swindon Town.

July 23rd:

MATT Baker is likely to start tonight's friendly match at Edgar Street against Swindon Town, kick off 7.45pm.

The Hereford United stopper will remain between the sticks despite the signing of teenage 'keeper Kenneth Griffiths from Torquay United.

However, the signing will boost the squad tremendously, according to Hereford boss Graham Turner.

"He's got the right physique for a keeper and has got bags of potential," he told the Evening News of Griffiths.

Griffiths had been on-trial at Filbert Street with Leicester City and Turner continued: "Leicester were very complimentary about him and I expect him to challenge for a place."

In tonight's match, triallists Rhodri Giggs, Josh Perry, Richard Teesdale and David McNivan could all feature again.

"They will be a fair test, as Tranmere were, and I'll be looking for improvements fitness wise," said Turner of tonight's opponents Swindon. "I thought for the first half-an-hour against Tranmere the passing and movement was good, as indeed was the defending and they didn't have a chance until they scored."

Striker Scott Voice saw a specialist at Oswestry yesterday in a bid to solve a groin problem that has dogged him since he arrived as a full-time professional from Bilston Town. He is not expected to feature tonight.

Meanwhile, former Hereford midfielder Scott Goodwin is to play for Halesowen Town tonight. The Yeltz face Midland Combination Premier Division club Leamington at the New Windmill Ground.

HEREFORD United 2 - 3 Swindon Town (report by Terry Goodwin)

Hereford United went down to a disappointing last minute friendly defeat thanks to a suspect goal from Swindon Town's Danny Invincible.

The Bulls named three triallists in their starting eleven, with Alex Jones at left wing-back, former Stockport County attacker David Smith up front, and Danny Williams in midfield. A handful of potential signings were also named on the bench, along with former Torquay United 'keeper Kenneth Smith who signed for the club yesterday.

Swindon were a shadow of the team that beat United at the County Ground in the FA Cup last December, with several triallists also lining up for the Robins. Only a handful of the players from last season remain, with manager Andy King under much pressure to improve the squad.

The early running was by the away side as Stefan Miglioranzi was allowed to run by Ben Smith, but his effort was cleared away by the Bulls' defensive unit.

After eight minutes, Paul Parry wasted a good chance when Alex Jones sent over a cross, but the Welshman headed over the crossbar or Craig Farr in the Town goal. Parry turned provider two minutes later, but Ben Smith was deemed to be in an offside position as he shot at the goalkeeper.

Sixteen minutes were on the clock when Parry beat off the challenge of Matt Heywood and broke into the box. When looking for support, Alex Jones appeared to be pulled back by a Swindon defender but no penalty was awarded. At the other end, an angled acute shot from Sam Parkin beat Hereford stopper Matt Baker, but bounced off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety.

Hereford appeared an improved team throughout the game, as good passing and solid tackling provided a strong backbone to their performance. David Smith, Michael Rose and Ben Smith united as a solid midfield unit which soaked up much of the pressure from their opponents, and created chances at the other end of the field. When the ball was allowed through, Matt Baker was impressive in that his agility meant save after safe, although a couple of moments of anxiety occurred as the goalkeeper exited his area to challenge attackers from Swindon.

With half an hour on the clock, Hereford took the lead. Former Swindon Town midfielder Jamie Pitman made the most of a goalmouth scramble when his shot was parried by the goalkeeper, and a looping header from ten years out gave Farr no chance and Pitman his first goal since returning to Edgar Street.

Ben Smith created a couple of efforts as the half fizzled out, but it was the introduction of John Grant for Paul Parry in attack that really livened things up for Hereford. Four minutes into the second period, a ball was swung over the top by Pitman for Grant to knock just wide of the far post. However, just a couple of minutes later, Matt Baker made a grave mistake. He attempted to tackle Danny Invincible outside the box, but failed, and the Swindon attacker cut inside from the left. The ball was passed to Eric Sabin, who tapped the ball into the net with relative ease. Swindon were level.

Invincible looked to put Town in the lead on fifty seven minutes when connecting onto a Kevin Halliday cross, but a great reflex save from Baker ended his hopes. Seconds later, Michael Rose picked up the ball in midfield and launched a dipping shot from all of thirty five yards which dipped over Farr in the Swindon goal. The new Hereford signing ensured a swerving shot was created out of nothing to catch Swindon out, and give United the lead. He repeated the same feat two minutes afterwards, but it was just off-target.

With two thirds of the game gone, John Grant was played in on the left and hit a dipping shot onto the crossbar as Danny Williams, John Grant and substitute Rhodri Giggs all created openings in the final third of the field, and worked well together. Hereford were only prevented from another goal when veteran defender Alan Reeves scooped a cross-cum-shot off the line, much to the away side's relief.

Four minutes were left and Hereford lead 2-1. By full-time, it was 2-3. Firstly, Sam Parkin hit an angled shot goalwards which Baker did well to tip away, but it flew over him and went in off the post. Then, with two minutes of added time played, Danny Invincible secured a Swindon last-gasp victory with another goal, despite more than a hint of an offside flag from the linesman.

All in all, the game was a good workout for the Bulls who will be disappointed not to have won. The team looked a good unit and whilst there are some weaknesses, it was a great improvement to the performance against Tranmere last weekend.

Hereford United: Matt Baker (off, 77 minutes), Jamie Pitman, Alex Jones (off, 68 minutes), Andrew Tretton (off, 53 minutes), Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Michael Rose, Ben Smith (off, 77 minutes), David Smith (off, 81 minutes), Danny Williams, Paul Parry (off, half time)
Subs: Richard Teasdale (on, 53 minutes), Mark Benbow (on, 77 minutes), Rhodri Giggs (on, 68 minutes), John Grant (on, half time), Nick Henry (on 81 minutes), Ken Griffiths (on, 77 minutes)
Scorers: Jamie Pitman (30 minutes) Michael Rose (58 minutes)
Man of the Match: Michael Rose
Attendance: 778
Referee: Mr. S. Moggs (Hereford)

July 24th:

HEREFORD United are joint fourteenth favourites to win the Nationwide Conference this season, according to Surrey Sports.

Also at 33/1 are Nuneaton Borough, whilst the rank outsiders are Gravesend & Northfleet, Leigh RMI and Telford United, all at 66/1. Yeovil Town are 3/1 favourites, with Dagenham & Redbridge, Chester City and Doncaster Rovers all seemingly in with a good chance.

In the FA Trophy, the top four teams are favourites against, with Hereford quoted at 25/1 along with Canvey Island, Forest Green Rovers, Margate, Northwich Victoria, Nuneaton Borough and Southport. This places Hereford as joint 12th favourites.

Meanwhile, following Hereford United's 3-2 defeat to Swindon Town in the friendly encounter at Edgar Street, winning boss Andy King told thisiswiltshire.co.uk: He said: “It was another good workout and I’m pleased we have won for the third match in a row. But I was disappointed with the way we played in the second half. For periods of the game the opposition were better than us and that doesn’t make me happy. However, we showed spirit, refused to lie down and I have no doubt there are goals in this side.”

“We are still not totally fit and it’s not as if we were playing opposition who were going to wilt in the last 20 minutes. They are a full time outfit. I gather we played them in the FA Cup last season and they gave us a tough match. But whatever the opposition in pre-season there is nothing like winning football matches.

“I want us to become a difficult side to beat. Against Hereford, make no mistake, we got lucky and scored three goals but as I said, winning is a very positive habit. We need to play to our strengths more and in the second half we started playing too much tip-tap football. So although it wasn’t a great performance it was another chance to build up match fitness.”

July 25th:

ENJOY a day of family fun at the Hereford United Open Day on Sunday, 4th August.

Come along and celebrate the launch of the new home kit as it is dropped in - by parachute!

The fun starts at 11.30am, with car boots open from 10.30am (entry £5 per boot).

Test your football skills, take part in the penalty shootout, freekick wall and measure the strength of your shot electronically. Furthermore, there are prizes on offer and a behind the scenes tour of the stadium.

You can buy the new kit and old training wear. Also featuring are other attractions, such as face painting, bouncy castle, splat the rat, grab a stick, bottle stall, fitness session, cake stall, coconut shy, wheel of fortune, fish tank game and more...!

Entrance is just £1 for adults and 50p for children and that alone must be worth the main attraction - Graham Turner in the stocks ready for your sponges! Enjoy!

HEREFORD United have offered an improved deal to ex-Tranmere Rovers and Wolves attacker David Kelly.

The Bulls also face competition from Telford United for his signature, whose boss Jake King told the Shropshire Star: "David has had an improved offer from Hereford and the ball is in his hands,

"He's a good professional, extremely fit with fantastic feet and his finishing is terrific."

A striker, though, that will not be joining Hereford is David McNiven. McNiven played a trial game for the Bulls last Friday night as they went down 2-0 against Tranmere, and ex-Bull Jimmy Quinn has captured his signature for Northwich Victoria.

The squad as it stands at the moment, has much promise after two games together, according to the Hereford United coaches Richard O'Kelly and Graham Turner. O'Kelly told BBC Hereford & Worcester that he's pleased with the progress the side has made during the pre-season campaign but feels there's more to come from the squad. Tuesday night's game against Swindon showed "genuine signs of improvement" from Friday's defeat to Tranmere.

However, the new three-man defensive system is still finding its feet, says boss Turner.

"The three central defenders (Ian Wright, Andrew Tretton and Tony James) are still coming to terms with the new system and, at times, a true level of understanding has not been there," he told today's Hereford Times. "But, to be fair, we have just played against two very good teams and they have been good workouts for us."

Paul Parry, withdrawn at half-time against Swindon following a knock, should be fit for the trip to Bromsgrove Rovers next Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm, while striker John Grant is suffering from a foot injury.

Goalkeeper Kenny Griffiths, signed on a one-year contract from Torquay United earlier this week, could also feature once again.

July 26th:

REPORTS have suggested that David Kelly has not signed for either Hereford United or Telford United - but for Irish League side Derry City.

“You think you’ve got someone and then it doesn’t happen,” Telford boss Jake King told strictlyconference.com. “David has trained with us for two weeks and hopefully he’ll be back here training again throughout the season because he’s only flying over there for games.

“He’s been good for our young strikers, we’ve enjoyed having him here and he’s enjoyed it with us and hopefully he’ll keep popping in.”

However, the Shropshire Star suggests a different story with Kelly to give an answer on his future within the next few days.

The thirty six year old attacker told Jake King that he would reveal his future "by Monday," said King.

"It goes without saying that he'd be a great signing," said King. "He's 36 - but so is Teddy Sheringham - and he's extremely fit, without an ounce of fat on him. He'd help bring our strikers and youngsters along and he's still got terrific skill and finishing ability."

Meanwhile, Katy Jaekel's sponsored Three Counties Sponsored bike ride is now going to take place on August 26 (Bank Holiday Monday). More details will be announced soon.

Also, if you wish to play in the HUISA team against Hereford United on August 12th, please send bids to HUISA, PO Box 1999, Hereford with your name, address, phone number and selected position. Bids should be in by the 7th of August.

July 28th:

RUMOURS are suggesting that attacking player Rhodri Giggs has left Edgar Street.

The ex-Aberystwyth Town and Bangor City midfielder was on-trial at Hereford United and hoping to secure a permanent deal, but it appears that his spell has been cut short.

However, it is thought that Danny Williams and several other triallists will be viewed again by Bulls boss Graham Turner in Tuesday's friendly match at Bromsgrove Rovers, kick off 7.45pm.

Meanwhile, a new voice will be reporting on Hereford United away matches for Classic Gold 954/1530AM this season. The person appointed, Keith Hall, is well known at Edgar Street and should prove to be a great asset to the sports team at the radio station. As from next Saturday, Hereford fan Andy Holmes will be presenting the programme on a regular basis with John Williamson still providing home coverage.

Furthermore, Trevor Owens, another Hereford United supporter, will continue to present BBC Hereford & Worcester sport for the new season.

July 29th:

SPORTINGBET.com have released their Nationwide Conference odds for the new season.

Hereford United are 25/1 to win the championship, joint eleventh favourites with Halifax Town. Yeovil Town are quoted at 3/1, with Dagenham & Redbridge 9/2. At the other end of the stakes, both Leigh RMI and Gravesend & Northfleet are 66/1.

Surrey Sports still quote Hereford at 33/1 to win the Conference, 4/1 to be relegated and Graham Turner is 7/1 to be the first manager to be sacked. In the goalscoring stakes, Hereford's John Grant is at 40/1 and Paul Parry at 66/1 to finish top Conference striker this season.

The Bulls have missed out on the signing of David Kelly, who has indeed moved to Derry City in Ireland. He also rejected the move to Telford United.
Ex-Hereford United midfielder Andy Reece has been appointed as player-coach of Grosvener Park. The former Walsall and Bristol Rovers midfielder linked up with the newly promoted Midland Alliance side, who were promoted from the Combination last season. Reece quit Hereford in 1995 and has since played for West Midlands Police whilst serving in the force. Grosvenor Park boss Andy Biddle said: "Andy will also sign as a player and should prove one of the best passers of the ball at this level."

July 30th:

KATY Jaekel will be doing a solo Three Counties sponsored bike ride from Hereford to Worcester to Gloucester to Hereford on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.

All proceeds from the ride will be donated to help the club. Sponsorship can be on an amount per mile basis (the trip should be approximately ninety miles) or as a total amount. Sponsorship can be provided by downloading and submitting the sponsorship form or by direct donation to The K.L. Jaekel sponsorship bank account at Sort Code 40-47-75, Account Number 53032477. Completed sponsorship forms should be submitted to BOLSA, c/o MWPC, 72 Commercial Road, Hereford, HR1 2BP.

Katy is also auctioning the opportunity to sponsor her T-shirt. The winning bidder's logo will be printed on the front and back of her T-shirt. To bid for this opportunity please fill in the relevant part of the form and send it to BOLSA, c/o/ MWPC, 72 Commercial Road, Hereford, HR1 2BP.

HEREFORD United have secured two new signings for the 2002/03 season, boosting their squad size to fourteen.

Danny Williams, the former Chesterfield midfielder, has impressed during a trial spell and signed a one year full-time contract at Edgar Street.

"He's got a good pedigree and has done well in training and the two games he has played," said Bulls boss Graham Turner to the Evening News.

Also joining is Robert Purdie, a youngster from Leicester City who played several reserve games for Hereford last season. The Official Website report that he has also secured a one-year deal.

Rhodri Giggs' spell at Edgar Street, though, has come to an end but tonight's team at Bromsgrove Rovers will contain some triallists. Josh Perry, Richard Teesdale and Michael Garrity will feature at the Victoria Ground in tonight's match, kick off 7.45pm.

BROMSGROVE Rovers 1 - 2 Hereford United (report by Tim Ward)

Hereford recorded their first win at the third time of asking, at the expense of Bromsgrove Rovers, 2-1 in front of 316.

The starting line up saw six different names from the line up against Swindon, with Clarke, Griffiths, Teasdale, Perry, Garrity and Purdie replacing Baker, Wright, Pitman, Jones, Smith and Parry.

The game got off to a quick start with Josh Perry, the ex-WBA striker, shooting wide from sixteen yards when well placed. Soon after, Rovers took the lead when a nice passing move resulting in a shot well saved by Griffiths, but unfortunately the ball fell straight to defender Kevin Banner who tapped home.

It took time for Hereford to recover, and when they did Purdie, the new signing from Leicester City, had a shot saved. Before Steve Guigan, in the 14th minute, (previously called David Smith against Swindon!) slotted home, after an excellent chest down, to level up the score. He then almost repeated this feat only four minutes later, but this time Rovers’ keeper Chris Taylor made a good save.

Then it was Perry’s turn to force the keeper into a saved with a header at the back post, before a storming run by Rose down the left wing saw him put in an excellent cross to Guigan at the back post. Guigan could not finish off the good work slicing wide, in the 30th minute.

In the last ten minutes of the first half Perry twice and Danny Williams forced the Rovers’ keeper into three more saves.

The second half did not have the same amount of chances, Bromsgrove had two chances which were both fired wide. In the middle of the chances Hereford made four changes with Grant, Smith, Pitman and Parry coming on and it was Grant who got the winning goal. Richard Teasdale’s battling run down the right wing saw an excellent cross to the back post for Grant to smack into an empty net, and he also had the final chance of the match as he shot over when eighteen yards out.

The downside to the night was when midfielder Ben Smith was brought off with a suspected dislocated shoulder, and was taken away in an ambulance.

This wasn’t as impressive as the other friendly performances so far, but with all the trialists playing it was hard for the team to play fluently. Now for Bristol City on Saturday...

Hereford United: Ken Griffiths, Matt Clarke, Michael Rose (off, 63 minutes), Andrew Tretton, Richard Teasdale, Tony James (captain), Danny Williams, Robert Purdey (off, 63 minutes), Steve Guinan, Josh Perry (off, 63 minutes), Michael Garrity (off, 63 minutes)
Subs: Ian Wright, Mark Benbow (on, 71 minutes), Matt Baker, Paul Parry (on, 63 minutes), Ben Smith (on, 63 minutes, off, 71 minutes), Jamie Pitman (on, 63 minutes), John Grant (on, 63 minutes)
Scorers: Steve Guinan (15 minutes) John Grant (77 minutes)
Man of the Match: Tony James
Attendance: 316
Referee: Mr. A. Smith (Worcestershire)

July 31st:

THE Bulls beat Bromsgrove Rovers 2-1 in a friendly match yesterday evening, courtesy of goals from trialist Steve Guigan and substitute John Grant.

Hereford boss Graham Turner sat in the main stand for most of the game, but told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "We had some good chances in the first half but it petered out in the second. When you make a couple of changes, people tend to lose their way a little but it was a good workout. It was an opportunity for me to have a look at one or two players who are on-trial with us. All in all, it was a decent workout.

"The pitch was better because of the downpour which slickened it up a bit and I think the lads enjoyed playing out there."

Following his side's defeat, joint Rovers boss Gary Hackett told the Evening News: "It was a very good game of football, a good workout and I was pleased with our shape."

Meanwhile, the first Talking Bull of the new season will be released on the opening day, August 17th.

However, editors Keith Hall and Peter Povall still need your articles, jokes, songs and anything else you care to submit for inclusion. Please e-mail them to peter.povall@virgin.net or write to Talking Bull, PO Box 2000, Hereford, HR2 7WA.

The deadline is this Saturday, August 10th.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Back the Bulls
Hereford United vs Bristol City - Saturday at 3pm. Go along and support your team.

Third Time Lucky for Hereford

Hereford recorded their first win at the third time of asking, at the expense of Bromsgrove Rovers, 2-1 in front of 316. The starting line up saw six different names from the line up against Swindon, with Clarke, Griffiths, Teasdale, Perry, Garrity and Purdie replacing Baker, Wright, Pitman, Jones, Smith and Parry.


The game got off to a quick start with Josh Perry, the ex-WBA striker, shooting wide from 16 yards when well placed. Soon after Rovers took the lead when a nice passing move resulted in a shot well saved by Griffiths, but unfortunately the ball fell straight to another Bromsgrove player who tapped home.


It took time for Hereford to recover, and when they did Purdie, the new signing from Leicester City, had a shot saved. Before Guigan, in the 14th minute, (previously called David Smith against Swindon!!!) slotted home, after an excellent chest down, to level up the score. He then also repeated this feat only 4 minutes later, but this time Rovers’ keeper made a good save.


Then it was Perry’s turn to force the keeper into a saved with a header at the back post, before a storming run by Rose down the left wing saw him put in an excellent cross to Guigan at the back post. Guigan could not finish off the good work slicing wide, in the 30th minute.


In the last ten minutes of the first half Perry twice and Danny Williams forced the Rovers’ keeper into three more saves.


The second half did not have the same amount of chances, Bromsgrove had two chances which were both fired wide. In the middle of the chances Hereford made 4 changes with Grant, Smith, Pitman and Parry coming on and it was Grant who got the winning goal. Richard Teasdale’s battling run down the right wing saw an excellent cross to the back post for Grant to smack into an empty net, and he also had the final chance of the match as he shot over when 18 yards out.


This wasn’t as impressive as the other friendly performances so far, but with all the trialists playing it was hard for the team to play fluidly. Now for Bristol City on Saturday.....
Bulls sign two
Hereford United have secured two new signings for the 2002/03 season, boosting their squad size to fourteen.

Danny Williams, the former Chesterfield midfielder, has impressed during a trial spell and signed a one year full-time contract at Edgar Street.

"He's got a good pedigree and has done well in training and the two games he has played," said Bulls boss Graham Turner to the Evening News.

Also joining is Robert Purdey, a youngster from Leicester City who played several reserve games for Hereford last season. The Official Website report that he has also secured a one-year deal.

Rhodri Giggs' spell at Edgar Street, though, has come to an end but tonight's team at Bromsgrove Rovers will contain some triallist. Josh Perry, Richard Teesdale and Michael Garrity will feature at the Victoria Ground in tonight's match, kick off 7.45pm.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Bulls on-tour
Hereford United travel to Bromsgrove Rovers on Tuesday night, kick off 7.45pm. Go along and support your team.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Changes at Classic Gold
A new voice will be reporting on Hereford United away matches for Classic Gold this season. The person appointed is well known and often heard at Edgar Street and should prove to be a great asset to the sports team at the radio station.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

For the best Hereford United pre-season friendly coverage...
Keep logged to HU-FC.co.uk - the Independent Hereford United Online Resource.
United still after Kelly
Hereford United have offered an improved deal to ex-Tranmere Rovers and Wolves attacker David Kelly.

The Bulls also face competition from Telford United for his signature, whose boss Jake King told the Shropshire Star: "David has had an improved offer from Hereford and the ball is in his hands,

"He's a good professional, extremely fit with fantastic feet and his finishing is terrific."

A striker, though, that will not be joining Hereford is David McNiven. McNiven played a trial game for the Bulls last Friday night as they went down 2-0 against Tranmere, and ex-Bull Jimmy Quinn has captured his signature for Northwich Victoria.

The squad as it stands at the moment, has much promise after two games together, according to the Hereford United coaches Richard O'Kelly and Graham Turner. O'Kelly told BBC Hereford & Worcester that he's pleased with the progress the side has made during the pre-season campaign but feels there's more to come from the squad. Tuesday night's game against Swindon showed "genuine signs of improvement" from Friday's defeat to Tranmere.

However, the new three-man defensive system is still finding its feet, says boss Turner.

"The three central defenders (Ian Wright, Andrew Tretton and Tony Hames) are still coming to terms with the new system and, at times, a true level of understanding has not been there," he told today's Hereford Times. "But, to be fair, we have just played against two very good teams and they have been good workouts for us."

Paul Parry, withdrawn at half-time against Swindon following a knock, should be fit for the trip to Bromsgrove Rovers next Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm, while striker John Grant is suffering from a foot injury.

Goalkeeper Kenny Griffiths, signed on a one-year contract from Torquay United earlier this week, could also feature once again.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

For the best Hereford United pre-season friendly coverage...
Keep logged to HU-FC.co.uk - the Independent Hereford United Online Resource.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Turner looks at new system
Graham Turner hopes to employ a three-man central defensive system for Hereford United's upcoming friendly matches at Edgar Street against Tranmere Rovers (Friday, 7.45pm) and Swindon Town (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

Ian Wright, Tony James and newcomer Andy Tretton will form the basis of the defence, with the two wing-backs being able to proceed forward.

He told the Hereford Times: "The arrival of Andy Tretton gives us an opportunity to play with three central defenders, allowing our full-backs to move forward.

"Although it's very early in our pre-season programme, the matches will allow us to assess problems which might arise from using a new system."

Goalkeeper Matt Baker will play after a trial at Leyton Orient, and former Aberystwyth Town winger Rhodri Giggs, the brother of Manchester United and Wales star Ryan Giggs, is also expected to line up for the Bulls as a trialist against Second Division Tranmere. Former Ipswich Town trainee Ashley Nicholls and ex-Chesterfield midfielder Daniel Williams could also feature for Hereford.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Walsh move not off?
It appears that Hereford United are not out of the running for Wrexham 'keeper David Walsh after all.

Despite being on trial at Shrewsbury Town, Walsh told the Shropshire Star: "Hereford United have been in touch and I've been in contact with Brian Talbot from Rushden and Diamonds.

"Eric Nixon also wants me to go and do some training with Tranmere. I'm not going to rush though, I'll just wait and see what happens."

Walsh, though, is likely to play for Shrewsbury in clashes against Shifnal and Everton.

"He's a good shot stopper and controls the defence well. We'll be having another look at him next week and see what goes from there," said Shrews boss Kevin Ratcliffe. "The only problem he had was with the flight of the ball coming over the top of defenders, but that's something that comes with games and getting to know the defenders."

Monday, July 15, 2002

Follow the Bulls...
All around the Conference with HU-FC.co.uk - the Independent Hereford United Online Resource.

Friday, July 12, 2002

TRIBUTE NIGHT
With dry weather forecast the Tribute Night looks set to be a great success. Tickets still available from Edgar Street.

Monday, July 08, 2002

We'll keep you posted...
...on the future of HU-FC.co.uk - your independent Hereford United online resource.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

TURNER UPBEAT
Graham Turner was featured in an article in today's NLP."I am back in a tracksuit- and loving it," he said. " I spent the last season on the administrative side and it was no fun. Once a manager always a manager and I could not wait for the start of pre-season training. The adrenaline is flowing again knowing we are preparing for one of the most crucial seasons in the clubs history."

Monday, July 01, 2002

We'll keep you posted...
...on the future of HU-FC.co.uk - your independent Hereford United online resource.
Bulls snap up Benbow
Conference club Hereford United, who are having to virtually re-build their squad for the new season, have added another newcomer to add to Crewe striker John Grant, according to thenon-leaguepaper.com

Director of Football Graham Turner is giving attacking midfielder Mark Benbow the chance to make the grade at Conference level after returning from Australia.

Benbow, 24, began his career with League of Wales outfit Newtown and also played for Rhayader Town in the same league.
In addition he turned out for the Bulls' former groundsharers Pegasus Juniors in the Hellenic League and in the Dr Martens League for Merthyr Tydfil, Worcester City, Bromsgrove Rovers and, last season, Redditch United before moving to Australia to play.

Turner has also recruited a left back from a Nationwide League club, although he wouldn't name him until his contract with his previous club expired on Sunday.