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Ashley Yeoman first to sign new contract with Torquay United

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

Torquay United's Ashley Yeoman

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Striker Ashley Yeoman has become the first Torquay United player to sign a new contract with the Gulls, penning the one-year deal offered by manager Chris Hargreaves earlier this week.

The Kingsbridge-born forward, the first graduate of the youth scheme that United relaunched in 2008, struggled to force his way into the Plainmoor first team during his first four years as a pro.

But he was pushed up the pecking-order of a goal-shy attack by Hargreaves in the closing weeks of last season.

Yeoman, 22, scored twice in successive away wins at Exeter City and Mansfield Town, bringing his senior career tally to five goals from six starts, plus 20 substitute appearances.

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Hargreaves had hinted strongly he would offer Yeoman a new deal before he confirmed it this week, and the player said: “It’s good to get it all signed, so I can have a holiday knowing exactly what I’m coming back to.

“I do believe I have improved as a player, and I’ve always been confident that I can score goals, but I’m sure the manager is trying to sign other players, so there will be plenty of competition for places.

“Everyone starts pre-season on a level playing field, and I’ll be concentrating on coming back in good shape.”

Hargreaves has transfer-listed two under-contract forwards, Karl Hawley and Elliot Benyon, so transforming his striking roster is clearly a top priority.

Hargreaves has also offered new deals to goalkeepers Michael Poke and Martin Rice, long-serving captain Lee Mansell, fellow midfielder Damon Lathrope and winger Niall Thompson (six months), while left-back Tom Cruise has been invitated to prove his fitness in pre-season.

Eight under-contract players have been placed on the transfer list – Benyon, Hawley, Dale Tonge, Aaron Downes, Jordan Chapell, Nathan Craig, Ben Harding and Shaun Cooper.

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