Godolphin Atlantic have landed a major transfer coup having negotiated the long-awaited return of homegrown goalkeeper Shaun Semmens, writes Tom Howe.
Semmens broke into Godolphin’s first team more than a decade ago, then a fresh faced 16-year-old, and went on to establish himself as one of the top custodians in South West Peninsula League (SWPL) football.
The grandson of Margaret ‘Muff’ Ashwood and son of fellow club stalwarts Nigel and Tania Semmens, he played a major part in the Blues’ meteoric rise from the East Cornwall League, earning an SWPL Division One West winners medal in 2013 and a Walter C Parson League Cup in 2015.
Work commitments meant a move to the Bristol area in 2015, with Semmens training at local side Mangotsfield United before journeying back to Newquay for match days. A permanent transfer to the Mangoes was to follow in September 2016, prior to settling in at Larkhall Athletic from January 2017.
Godolphin have reacted quickly to snap up the fan favourite upon his move back to Newquay, with manager Adam Paterson, speaking exclusively to Cornwall Sports Media, saying: “We are delighted to have Shaun back. Since he left us he’s had many successful seasons playing at a higher level, most recently enjoying an FA Vase run with Larkhall. Shaun adds a great amount of experience and quality to the squad, along with an already established love for the club and the family we are building, which goes a very long way in football.
“Last season, at times, especially throughout the loss to Newquay on Boxing Day, we noticed that some players didn’t look as hungry as the opposition did to win the game. They didn’t have, at that point, the affinity with the club that would see them put their bodies on the line for it. That has changed and we saw that when we went on to beat Newquay 5-1 later in the season. Shaun further adds to that hunger and desire to win in a blue shirt.
“It’s quite a surprise that he has decided to play for us instead of remaining at a higher level with clubs in the Western League having shown interest in him. It shows that the work we are putting in and the project we have put together is attracting the right people to the club and people are willing us to be successful.
“Shaun is away travelling for the first few months of the season so, although he’ll be involved in pre-season, we will have to wait to see him in SWPL football again. He knows he’ll have to earn his spot in the team by working hard in training when he comes home, the same as anybody else but he’s very fired up to help steer the club back to the top.”
Having played six seasons in the Southern League, Semmens made a return to the Godolphin goal on two occasions last season, playing in the aforementioned 5-1 triumph at Newquay AFC and the 3-0 reverse at Liskeard Athletic that followed.
“I absolutely loved playing at Larkhall over the last six or seven years,” reflected Semmens, who will battle for the number one position with existing Godolphin gloveman Dan Peters. “I have some amazing memories and leave with great experiences.
“With moving back home I always knew the G was an option for me. Hearing about some of the promising things going on and the intent to push forward, it all sounded good and I just hope I can use some of my experience to help the G have a strong season.”