Saluting top man 'Skivvo' as he announces he's leaving the Glovers

Torbay Weekly

Staying for 23 years at one football club has always been rare enough but it's so unusual nowadays that it must take a special person to achieve it.

Terry Skiverton is nothing if not 'special'.

'Skivvo', as everyone at Yeovil Town knows him, has just announced that he's leaving the Glovers, my old club, and his appointment at a Football League team is expected soon.

He's been at Huish Park man-and-boy for all that time and, although he may have been a 'boy' when I arrived there from Latvia in 2001, he didn't stay that way for long.

He was a proper competitor from the first day I met him.

He had to become more professional, it's true, but when he did that, he turned into a fantastic centre-half and captain.

I'm told he also went in goal against Leyton Orient one day - Terry is an East End lad himself - when Steve Mildenhall was injured, after I'd left the first time.

He didn't let a goal in either, something he was very proud of.

His 380-odd games as a player included a couple of promotions and holding up the FA Trophy.

But the main thing for a footballer is to try and stay in the game and have two careers as it were, and Terry has gone on to be a coach and manager.

He was manager at the time I went back to Yeovil in 2012, and I think I was probably the only person who could have taken over then and have Terry accept me coming in over him.

I made him my assistant, and he gave it his all.

He was the heart and soul of that club for many years and, even now, his legacy is still there - he has two sons in the youth team, so there will be a Skiverton at Huish Park for some years to come.

We never had a cross word, at least until Torquay played Yeovil in the last couple years, and even that was more dugout-to-dugout stuff.

We both know how each other thinks, and we are both competitive.

Terry has still got many years of managership in him and, if he goes somewhere as assistant, I can guarantee his loyalty and ability as a coach.

'Skivvo' is a top man, as we say.

The past two weeks at Plainmoor without a game has been strange. We've got another blank Saturday coming up at the end of the month, and that's not something I enjoy.

But it has meant that we could do a lot of good work on the training pitch, reiterating our principles, so the boys are in no doubt about what we need to do over the second half of the season and how we're going to do it.

The proof of the pudding will come in the matches ahead, but I believe - and all the players believe - that we are going the right way.

There are clubs in the 'millionaire bracket' in every division, as we know even in the National League now.

We tend to sign players who often come with an ability but maybe not the mentality needed to win games regularly at all costs. But I enjoy improving them and drawing that mentality out of them.

I want to be able to ask each of them 'Do you think I would take you into a battle and believe that you'd look after me?'.

Finally this week, well done to our friends at Buckland Athletic for getting through to the last-16 of the FA Vase.

We know several of their young players from our own academy, and I'm told their 2-1 win over Egham Town last Saturday was well deserved.

I wish them the best of luck when they travel to Newport Pagnell Town in the fifth round next month.

We're off to Altrincham this Saturday with a score to settle - they beat us at Plainmoor on the first day of the season.

But more important, we need to turn our recent good form into a really good run, to give us a chance of reaching the play-offs.

I firmly believe, with the ability we've got and everyone back fully fit, that we can do it.