UNLUCKY TOZER FINALLY SMILING IN SOMERSET
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