UN­LUCKY TOZER FI­NALLY SMIL­ING IN SOM­ER­SET

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Paddy von Behr

BY HIS own ad­mis­sion Yeovil Town was not a dream des­ti­na­tion last sum­mer – but Ben Tozer is learn­ing to love the charms of Som­er­set.

The Plymouth-born de­fender had just com­pleted his fifth sea­son with Northamp­ton Town, the club that had be­come a sec­ond home.

Tozer met fi­ancée So­phie in the Mid­lands and set­tled into a com­fort­able rou­tine, un­til his release from the Cob­blers.

Yeovil came call­ing and a per­sis­tent knee prob­lem en­sured the 25-year-old wouldn’t make his de­but un­til this month, but Tozer is pleased to re­port that all is well in the south west.

“I was at Northamp­ton for nearly five years and I had set­tled down,” he said. “I loved it there and I found my fi­ancée in Northamp­ton and her fam­ily are from around there.

“I’m from Plymouth and I al­ways thought ‘I’m go­ing to set­tle there when I’m old’, but now it has kind of swung the other way.

“We have moved to Taun­ton and set­tled in nicely. It is a great lit­tle club.

“I know they went up to the Cham­pi­onship and you ex­pect them to be big but I think it is one of the small­est towns in the Foot­ball League – but it has got all the foun­da­tions to be a stable club and that’s what this sea­son is all about.

“I thought So­phie would really miss home, be­ing away for the first time, but she is just get­ting on with it.We are older now and we al­ways ex­pected this kind of thing to hap­pen.

“I would go home to her ev­ery day and you don’t want to be down – you kind of pick each other up.”

Tozer ad­mits he did need his fair share of pick­ing up, as an in­jury – ini­tially ex­pected to keep him out just a few weeks – meant the for­mer New­cas­tle United man would have to wait pa­tiently for a run-out.

That wait fi­nally ended at Maid­stone three weeks ago in the FA Cup and he has been a reg­u­lar ever since in a Glovers side that looks to be turn­ing a cor­ner.

“It seemed like for­ever,” said Tozer. “I signed at the be­gin­ning of July so I have lit­er­ally gone from then un­til the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber – when I thought it would be the end of Septem­ber – just look­ing at the gym walls.

“It can be quite de­press­ing, be­ing in­jured. I’m just glad I have come through it. I had an in­jury at New­cas­tle, which was the same in the other knee but I have never had any other in­juries un­til this knee de­cided to play up as well.

“Your body can’t get where your mind wants to. I am only 25 but I understand what 35-yearolds are go­ing through. I have got to try and get up to full speed and it can be quite frus­trat­ing.”

At last, Tozer has been able to get back into the swing of things and he has been do­ing so in the Yeovil mid­field.

Tra­di­tion­ally a ver­sa­tile de­fender, he has been sta­tioned in front of the back four by boss Paul Stur­rock – who also man­aged the mid­fielder at Swin­don in 2007 – and it is a role Tozer is en­joy­ing.

“I know what the man­ager is all about and he knows pretty much what I’m all about,” he added.

“When I came to talk to him in the sum­mer, he talked about play­ing in front of the de­fence. I played there quite a few times at Northamp­ton and it is a po­si­tion that I’m al­ways learn­ing. I quite enjoy the dis­tance I have to cover and get­ting for­ward and hav­ing a few chances.

“Hope­fully I can just stay in that one po­si­tion. It is not a full sea­son be­cause we are a third of the way through al­ready but it would be nice to have the re­main­der of the sea­son in the same po­si­tion be­cause it would be the first time I have ever done that.”

WAIT­ING GAME: Ben Tozer in ac­tion for Yeovil and, inset, dur­ing his Northamp­ton days

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