Family man hoping settled life brings on-pitch reward

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By Western Gazette - North Dorset | Thursday, August 16, 2012, 08:00

DEFENDER Byron Webster hopes a settled life off the pitch will be reflected with strong performances for Yeovil Town during games.

The imposing centre half teamed up with manager Gary Johnson for the second summer running during pre-season, having first signed for the boss at Northampton Town in June 2011.

However, the switch to Huish Park represents the first time Leeds-born Webster has played for a southern club.

Keen to maintain home comforts, the 25-year-old has brought his young family to Somerset with him, moving to a village near Yeovil with his partner and child. Webster said he had settled quickly in his new surroundings and was ready for his current happiness to show with consistency in npower League One.

"All is good," he said. My wife and our little kid are down now, we have found a house and we are settled in.

"In my personal life everything is good and hopefully that shows now on the pitch. When you are happy at home, you are happy at work.

"I have moved out of Yeovil as I like to stay away. When I am in Yeovil at work I give it my 100 per cent focus but when I am away I like to have my family time."

Webster started his career with York City, making his senior debut in the Blue Square Bet Premier. However, two years, 22 appearances and one goal later - the only time he has netted in his career - he was contemplating his future in the game.

An unlikely move to the Czech Republic top flight and FK Siad Most allowed Webster to rediscover his passion for football. He was soon back on English shores with Doncaster Rovers, but with injury hampering an enjoyable spell in South Yorkshire he found himself on the move again, this time to the Cobblers.

Webster said Johnson's return was key to his transfer a year before the end of his Northampton deal and encouraged supporters to get behind the new look Glovers as they enter the 2012-13 campaign.

He said: "That is the reason I am here. I obviously have worked with the gaffer before, I know what he is like and he knows what I am like so it is about hopefully staying injury free and kicking on.

"The fans' welcome has been brilliant and I can have no complaints at all. They get behind the team and are positive, which is what you want because sooner or later we will probably go through a blip and that is when you really need the support because they are massive for us.

"They need to stick with us whatever it is and we will graft whatever happens. There are some big teams out there and we need to go out like we did against Stoke (1-1) and not be afraid of who they are, we need to play our own game.

"The welcome has been good and you want to have the fans on your side – you never want to be hated – so the welcome is positive."

Yeovil start their League One fixtures at home to relegated Coventry City on Saturday, before travelling to Brentford next Tuesday. Portsmouth, Doncaster Roves, MK Dons and Sheffield United will also lock horns with the Glovers within the opening ten games of the season.

But buoyed by pre-season victories against Poole Town, Plymouth Argyle, Dorchester Town, Llanelli and Newport County - as well as a draw with Premier League Stoke City - Webster is in confident mood.

He said: "Pre-season was good and it was testing you, which is what you want, you do not want to come up against easy opponents.

"We are at the business end where your fitness levels are there, it is all about testing yourself and pushing yourself now.

"We have watched back the videos of our summer games and picked up the things that we need to improve on, as well as the positives that have come out. It is a happy camp and dressing room at the minute.

"Winning breeds confidence and it is easy to keep a roll going than to start a roll, if you understand what I mean. You do not want to be heading into the league campaign losing games.

"Loads of managers and players will say if you lose a friendly it does not matter but, whereas nobody says you go to lose a game, this place shows that by winning everybody is happy and everybody is buzzing. We go into the season confident.

"The start of the season is always funny. You say these are teams that are tipped for promotion but a lot of players have come and gone from these clubs.

"You could look at it as a good thing, maybe, that we are playing these teams early because perhaps they are not so settled or players are coming in getting to know the surroundings.

"We have been lucky here as the gaffer got in all of his players for the start of pre-season.

"A lot of the bigger teams are still doing their business now so you can only play or beat the teams in front of you and that is what we will try and do.

"All of the games have been a test and as we saw when we played Poole there were good reasons for playing the lower league teams.

"I am sure the gaffer, (tehnical coach) Darren (Way) and (assistant manager) Terry (Skiverton) did not go out there and say we would play anyone, willy-nilly, there was a reason for playing them all."

Webster missed the end of Yeovil's pre-season tour of South Wales with bruised ribs, sustained earlier in the summer but aggravated at Llanelli.

Still sore, he returned to face Stoke at Huish Park before starting against Exeter City and making his competitive debut in the Capital One Cup versus Colchester United on Tuesday night.

His rib injury in Wales failed to stop him from participating in the white water rafting team-building exercise at Cardiff's International Centre and added that he hoped the injury that required a precautionary scan was now behind him.

"They are settling down a wee bit, there are no cracks and are a little bit sore but they are okay now," said Webster. "I got knocked in the game against Plymouth and they settled down a little bit but the games have come thick and fast from there.

"I got hit in the chest against Stoke and that tested them but they are settling down now and I am taking precautions so they are okay.

"We went away to Wales which was good and as a squad we have got stronger and we have done team bonding exercises, which have all helped.

"We enter the season winning as well so that obviously breeds confidence and everybody is really happy.

"It is always good to get away as a team and the banter was flying around with the white water rafting.

"There were some funny things happening and it was good."



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