After a difficult couple of years, everyone connected to Penzance AFC will be hoping that this season sees the start of a revival at the club.
Although their reserve side enjoyed a solid campaign in the Trelawny League last season, the first team endured a tough time in the South West Peninsula League, losing 28 of their 32 games and conceding 102 goals as they finished one place and one point above bottom side St Dennis.
Much of last season was spent with experienced midfielder Kevin Lawrence in interim charge following Anthony Reynolds’ departure, with the returning former Mousehole Development duo of John McCallum and Adrian Ferrell now tasked with bringing the good times back to Penlee Park.
“We’re looking forward to getting a load of local lads together, so on and off the pitch we hope to bring the club together and put Penzance back where they should be, which is up with the top sides,” Ferrell told Cornwall Sports Media.
“It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to take a few years, but we’ve got plans. There’s great work going on off the pitch and that helps to put things right on the pitch usually. If you’ve got everything right at the back end of things, the rest of it will come together hopefully.”
On his and McCallum’s aims for this coming season, he added: “I suppose anything up around mid-table, we’d be very happy with that to start. At this point, if we could get up around mid-table then that would be a good season.”
McCallum and Ferrell have been using their contacts book to help build a new squad ahead of the upcoming season, with the pair raiding former club Mousehole for Ryan Andrews, Alex Ralph, Jack Ralph, Archie Reynolds, Silas Sullivan and Tyler Tonkin.
Also coming in are former Ludgvan duo Kameron Collins and Jacob Trudgeon, as well as youngster Jordan Daniell, with the trio all fulfilling the Magpies’ new ethos of locally-sourced players.
The club have also agreed a partnership with Western League outfit Helston Athletic, with the Magpies gaining access to players deemed surplus to requirements at Kellaway Park, while those who prosper at Penzance could head in the other direction.
“John and myself had a good meeting with Steve [Massey, Helston director of football] and it’s entirely up to us,” Ferrell said. “If he decides he’s got the players to let out, if we want them, we can have them. But it’s up to use if we want them or if we want to use them and it’s as simple as that – it can work for both sides.
“I know it’s caused a bit of a stir, but it’s great and players from our side – and there are players that could because they’ve done it for Mousehole, some of the boys that we’ve brought with us – can go and play at the standard that [Helston] play at. It could be a win-win.”
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First five matches
Sat, Aug 6: St Blazey (A) 3pm – League
Wed, Aug 10: Mullion (H) 7.30pm – League
Sat, Aug 13: St Dennis (H) 3pm – League
Sat, Aug 20: Godolphin Atlantic (H) 3pm – League
Wed, Aug 24: Newquay (A) 7.30pm – League
Last season at a glance
League: 16th in South West Peninsula League Premier West (P:32, W:4, D:0, L:28 – F:35, A:102)
Cornwall Senior Cup: First round – lost 3-1 at home to Bodmin Town
Walter C Parson League Cup: Second round – lost 6-0 at St Blazey
FA Vase: Did not enter
FA Cup: Did not enter
Managers: John McCallum & Adrian Ferrell
Chairman: Godfrey Adams
Ground: Penlee Park (Alexandra Pl, Penzance TR18 4NE)