Over the years there have been many former Yeovil Town players to go on to bigger and better things, especially the Glovers’ loan stars. Here’s a list of five players who the green and white faithful will have recognised as they watched Match of the Day this season.
5) Stephen Kingsley
Scottish defender Stephen Kingsley joined Yeovil Town in the second half of the 2014/15 season on loan from Swansea City. The left-back made a dozen appearances for both the Glovers and Crewe Alexandra, the club he joined after Yeovil on another loan deal.
In January 2016, Kingsley made his Swans debut in a 3 – 2 FA Cup defeat to Oxford United before making his first top flight appearance against Arsenal in a 2 – 1 victory at the Emirates.
Kingsley unfortunately netted an own-goal against West Ham, although the error wasn’t enough for him to lose his place in the side, as he took part in Swansea’s final day draw with Manchester City.
4) Ryan Mason
Midfielder Ryan Mason played for Yeovil on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in the 2009/10 season, with his highlights including scoring a stunning volley against Exeter City and netting a brace against Carlisle United.
More loan moves to Doncaster Rovers, Millwall, Lorient and Swindon Town followed, but he managed to break into the Spurs first team in the 2014/15 season. His contributions to the North London side this season, however, have been frequently criticised by fans.
Although still putting in passionate and committed performances, his runs in the side have become more sporadic. His ended his season by being substituted at half time in Tottenham’s 5 – 1 defeat to already relegated Newcastle on the final day.
3) Asmir Begovic
It’s been a long time since Asmir Begovic played at Huish Park, and the Bosnian goalkeeper has achieved a lot since Russell Slade signed him on loan from Portmsouth in 2008.
After impressing with the Glovers, he made his Premier League debut with Pompey, before transferring to Stoke City. He had a very successful time with the Potters, making over 150 appearances and even scoring a goal against Southampton.
Begovic signed for Chelsea for a fee of £8 million, with the unenviable task of filling Petr Cech’s boots. He has struggled to compete with the form of fellow Chelsea goalie Thibaut Courtois, who has established himself as the Blues’ number 1 ‘keeper and has limited Begovic to just 16 Premiership appearances.
2) Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend was handed his Football League debut by Yeovil boss Terry Skiverton in 2009, and the winger has since also made debuts for Leyton Orient, Milton Keynes Dons, Ipswich Town, Watford, Millwall, Leeds United, Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and, most recently, Newcastle United.
While all of his previous moves were loan spells from Tottenham, his transfer to Newcastle was a permanent one, ending a 16 year spell with Spurs. During his time in London, he scored three Premier League goals and gained 10 England caps.
For the Magpies, he has contributed four goals and has made 13 appearances so far. However, he won’t be making this list next year as Newcastle will be competing in the Championship after suffering Premier League relegation.
1) Wayne Hennessey
Welsh international goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey’s spell in Somerset came during Yeovil Town’s Championship season, when he made 12 appearances while on loan from Crystal Palace. His highlight would probably be a double save to deny a Simon Cox penalty in a memorable 3 – 1 win over Nottingham Forest.
His solid performances for the Glovers must have put him in the shop window because Crystal Palace paid a £1.6 million transfer fee for his services. After Julian Speroni was favoured for Palace last season, Hennessey has been an ever-present this campaign. He made a whopping 44 appearances, ironically keeping sub ‘keeper and fellow ex-Glover Alex McCarthy out of the side.
Hennessey capped an impressive season by earning a place in Wales’ Euro 2016 squad, and as such also wins a place as top of our list!
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