Mousehole 5-0 St Blazey
Pre-Season Friendly at Trungle Parc
Scorers: Callam Mconie (32), Hayden Turner (34), Tallan Mitchell (40), Tallan Mitchell (59), Sean Roberts (89)
Mousehole, recently promoted to the Western League, hosted their former South West Peninsula rivals in an entertaining encounter full of interest and endeavour, with 80 spectators at an immaculate Trungle Parc watching their first live football since last December.
Manager Jake Ash’s squad included mostly familiar faces, with two recent arrivals in winger Callam Mconie signed from Newquay and left-sided wing-back Kyle Fraser from Porthleven, together with Ethan Elwell goalkeeping understudy, but striker Mark Goldsworthy was absent through illness.
St Blazey, with a new management team under experienced manager Phil Lafferty and a re-shaped side containing some well-known names, are widely tipped to do well and challenge for the single promotion place available this season.
The game was uneventful for the first half hour, with plenty of tough tackling, but burst into life with three goals in eight minutes.
Mousehole took the lead when Callam Mconie swerved a left-footed free kick from 25 yards low inside the near post on 32 minutes, and then two minutes later Tallan Mitchell led a high press to present Hayden Turner with a goal from an angled shot for 2-0. The same pair combined in a neat one-two on the edge of the box for Tallan Mitchell to side foot low into the far corner on 40 minutes. At the other end Cory Harvey made a good low save from a 10-yard drive and Neil Slateford just missed the far angle for the visitors before the interval.
Just before the hour, Tallan Mitchell exploited the space 30 yards out to score his second goal with a low shot inside the post, but the visitors then came back into the game with some promising attacks and a couple of missed half-chances. Right at the end, Sean Roberts marked his comeback after a lengthy injury lay-off when he completed the scoring with a header following a fine left-sided break engineered by Jamie Devine.
Mousehole starting line-up: Cory Harvey, Billy Curtis, Mark Richards, Josh Otto, Kyle Fraser, Steve Burt, Tallan Mitchell, Andy Elcock, Callam Mconie, Hayden Turner, Josh Magin.
Substitutes used: Sean Roberts, Jamie Devine, Ethan Elwell (GK), Jude Boyd, Charlie Willis, Silas Sullivan
Next up in the pre-season schedule is the visit to Trungle Parc of Jason Blunt’s i2i Academy on Friday evening (9th July) with a 7pm kick off.
Tuesday 6th Home v St Blazey 7.30pm
Friday 9th Home v i2i Academy 7pm
Saturday 17th Home v Plymouth Parkway 3pm
Wednesday 21st Home v Exeter City 7pm
Saturday 24th Away v Larkhall Athletic 3pm
The PSF Programme
Mousehole’s First Team squad face an interesting and varied set of July friendlies as they prepare for life at the higher level in the Toolstation Western League at Step 5 of the National League System.
The details – including recent changes – are:
(The away match against Porthleven at Gala Parc originally scheduled for this Saturday, 3rd July, has been cancelled as the hosts are unable to fulfil the fixture)
Home – Trungle Parc
Tuesday 6th, 7.30pm
(The venue for this PSF has been reversed as St Blazey’s pitch is not yet ready)
Under new management and with a re-built team, St Blazey are looking to reclaim their former position as one of Cornwall’s premier clubs. Their recent high-profile signings will be keen to show their worth and use their experience to help challenge for the leading position in the SWPL-West in the forthcoming season, with only one team eligible for promotion to the Western League Premier.
Home – Trungle Parc
Friday 9th 7pm
Friday-night football is next on the list as a well-known face returns to Trungle Parc. The Yorkshire-based international academy is staffed by a group of ex-professionals including lead coach Jason Blunt who was Mousehole’s First Team manager and inaugural director of the club’s Academy in 2017. Recruits to the i2i Academy study for sports-related degrees at local Universities and train full-time in a professional-level programme. For more details see www.i2isoccerscademy.com
Home – Trungle Parc
Saturday 17th 3pm
After being promoted from the SWPL to the Western League Premier, Parkway have enjoyed two very impressive seasons at the higher level – albeit curtailed by COVID. Their record was good enough to benefit from the FA’s recent ‘upward movement’ re-structuring, and they start the 2021/22 season at Step 4 in the Southern League Division One South. With some changes to the visitors’ squad in preparation for the fresh challenge, this encounter will perhaps provide an indicator of the standard The Seagulls can expect this season.
Home – Trungle Parc
Wednesday 21st 7pm
(Please note change of date)
The Saints, a top-ten team in League Two over the last few seasons, are likely to bring a mix of first-team regulars, new recruits, academy talent and triallists to Trungle Parc for The Seagulls’ last home PSF before the start of their historic first season in the WLP. Expect a match full of technical and tactical skills, with both sides committed to a modern passing style of football.
Away – Plain Ham, Bath
Saturday 24th 3pm
The journey to Bath (a 400-mile round trip) provides not just a stern test for Mousehole against higher-league opposition, but also a foretaste of a few of the away-days to be faced as a consequence of promotion to the Western League. Larkhall are an established Southern League side – having been promoted from the WLP to Step 4 eight years ago. The Seagulls’ last PSF comes just a week away from their much-anticipated debut in the new League.
Admission prices for home PSFs are £4, with concessions £2 and ‘kids for a quid’.
COVID-related precautions will be in place at Trungle Parc, as displayed on notices.
The Western League have informed clubs of their first two fixtures for the official start of the season. For Mousehole, it’s:
Home v Wellington on Saturday 31st July; and
Away at Millbrook in the following midweek.
The full fixture list is expected to be announced early next week, with full details to be published here.
Mousehole have started their pre-season business with the signing of Kyle Fraser from Porthleven.
The 26-year old can operate as a left-sided defender or attacker, and adds versatility to manager Jake Ash’s squad as they prepare for their step up to a historic first-ever season in the Western League Premier.
The Helston-based youngster started his footballing education as a goal-scoring winger with Plymouth Argyle Academy. He later completed a mathematics degree at Quincy University, Illinois, USA, where his soccer skills won much acclaim and several honours. He’s currently putting his maths talents to good use as a trainee accountant.
Representing Cornwall at Under-18s level, Fraser drew this praise from Mousehole’s manager Jake Ash:
“He’s been on our radar for a while as another young, fit, hungry and ambitious player. I worked with Kyle in the West Cornwall District set-up and was always struck by his ability and attitude.
He has attracted lots of interest from other clubs but has always stayed loyal to Porthleven, and I like that. That said, when I spoke to him I was so impressed with his desire to be the best he can be and push on among our staff and players.
I should add a big thanks to Graham Blake at Porthleven – he didn’t want to lose Kyle but showed real class in allowing Kyle to train with us during April and May. “
Deryk Heywood, Mousehole’s Chairman, remembers Kyle Fraser well from his previous time as Chairman of Porthleven: “Kyle is a great competitor and has bags of natural enthusiasm, a perfect role model for The Seagulls. I’m confident he will step up to the challenge of playing at the higher level and give Jake great support”.
The Seagulls’ squad was boosted earlier in the year, with winger Callam Mconie switching from Newquay but not having the opportunity to make his debut because of the curtailment of the season. Top marksman Mark Goldsworthy had joined the club before Christmas but was able to play only two games for the same reason – with Jake Ash commenting: “Goldie still feels like a new signing, so I’m really pleased with the three we have already brought in as we look forward to next season. We are still targeting two more players to add to the existing squad, all of whom deserve their chance to play at the higher level”
In one of the most significant site improvements in their near-hundred year history, Mousehole AFC are to construct a new access road to their HQ at Trungle Parc. It will replace the current route through Paul village and avoid the rough-surfaced driveway which has been in use since the 1960s.
The new 100-metre route will run directly to the club car park from the B3315 Penzance/Newlyn to Lands End road, just north of the hamlet of Sheffield.
The ambitious project, which has been granted full planning approval, will also involve an archaeological investigation of the access route, a significant tree-planting programme in collaboration with the Woodland Trust, and improved car parking at the ground.
Drawn up in partnership with the adjacent landowner, the plans include the construction of an agricultural building for his forestry and traditional willow-weaving enterprise, with the access site being gifted in exchange for a club scarf.
A fundraising campaign will shortly be launched to help finance the road-building costs, and the club hopes to complete the work in time to celebrate their centenary year in 2022.
Mousehole’s chairman Deryk Heywood has spearheaded the commitment to the new road, with a massive number of hours of work and dozens of site meetings, in order to bring the project to reality.
The Chairman is rightly enthusiastic about what it means for Mousehole AFC:
“A new access road has been talked about for the last 20 years, but it’s taken the last two years of seriously relentless work to get it over the line.”
“This is the latest in a series of continuous developments to bring the club up to a higher standard for everyone – and it’s one of the most important. It’s a momentous step forward, coinciding with the recent news of promotion to the Western League Premier for 2021/22, and the club’s forthcoming centenary in 2022.”
“The new road will make Trungle Parc easier to find and quicker to reach, and it will certainly provide a smoother ride than our ‘famous’ pot-holed driveway – especially now we have a three-fold increase in attendances at our home matches.”
“People driving to the football or to the adjacent camping site will no longer need to take the route through Paul: this can only be of benefit to those who live in the village.”
“We’re delighted that the Council commended several advantages of the scheme – including the reduction in traffic on the narrow lane through Paul village past local residents’ houses, and the club’s support for a traditional rural craft next door to the football ground.”
“I must pay tribute to a number of people whose interest and generosity helped make it all happen:
- Paul Seaton, local landowner and partner in the project;
- Laurence Associates, our planning agent and main club sponsor;
- John Pearson, local resident and club supporter, with his expertise on highways; and
- Celtic Turf for their donation of hardcore for the road foundations.”
“I would urge everyone to look out for details of our fundraising campaign which we’ll be announcing shortly.”
Mousehole AFC, who yesterday received FA confirmation of their promotion to the Western League Premier for the 2021/22 season, wish to pay tribute publicly to the work of the SWPL, which they joined as founder members in 2007.
Mousehole’s Chairman Deryk Heywood is full of praise for the SWPL and Secretary Phil Hiscox:
“My personal knowledge of League Secretary Phil Hiscox goes back a long way. He worked really hard to set up the SWPL in the first place.
Since then, he’s been a real figurehead. Not just a football man, but also a person you can trust to be available to respond to queries, offer advice in a knowledgeable and authoritative manner, and deal with issues in an even-handed way.
Phil is superbly efficient and considerate at organising fixtures – an unenviable job particularly during our often erratic winter weather.
We at Mousehole are particularly appreciative of Phil’s guidance and support during these last few weeks, as our “will-we?/won’t-we?” promotion prospects hung in the balance.
We regard the upward movement of five clubs as a positive reflection of the SWPL, with the League acting as a springboard and helping to fulfil the true purpose of the football pyramid.
We leave with our sincere thanks and fond memories, and wish “all the best” to the League and all its member clubs.”
Phil will probably be glad to see the back of me, as I’ve been pestering him on all sorts of things for years!”
A jubilant Mousehole AFC today (Tuesday) received official FA confirmation of their ‘upward movement’ from the South West Peninsula League to the Western League Premier Division for the 2021/22 season.
This follows the FA’s re-structuring of Steps 4 to 6 of the non-league system, in which Mousehole play at Step 6.
The FA’s decision was based on clubs’ points-per-game over the last two uncompleted seasons, together with their ground facilities and financial health.
The Western League Premier has until now included many clubs in the Bristol area, which would have created a major travel challenge for clubs from the deep South-West.
But that is about to change. Next season, eight of the WLP’s 20 clubs will be within easier reach for Mousehole, with Saltash, Helston and Millbrook also being promoted from Cornwall, alongside Ilfracombe from Devon who join Tavistock, Exmouth and Buckland already playing at that higher level.
At the same time, six clubs on the fringes of the Western League’s current geographical area have been moved sideways by the FA into the neighbouring Hellenic League.
The Seagulls have now risen three steps up the ‘League Ladder’ since the days of their 45-year membership of the Cornwall Combination League.
Jeff Richardson (who now manages the club’s website and social media platforms) and Darren Woodard (currently the football secretary) were joint-managers at the time the South West Peninsula League was formed in 2007. They recall:
“We’d had a couple of good seasons in the Combo, finishing runners-up in 2006/07. We applied to be founder members of the new higher-level SWPL, but with our facilities being a bit basic we only just about scraped through on ground grading. There was some local disquiet about spreading our wings across Cornwall rather than carrying on playing in the area. But despite that, we did quite well in our first season in the new League at Step 7, and finished up in 3rd place. Just how far the whole club has come since then is truly amazing!”
Renewed success came later when management duo Wayne Quinn and Mark Vercesi claimed a historic and record-breaking League title in 2015/16. At the time, the club lacked the resources to take promotion to Step 6 – the SWPL Premier then covering both Cornwall and Devon – but those on-field achievements had whetted the appetite for further success.
In 2016/17 the club devised a five-year plan, stimulated by locally-born business entrepreneur and former player Ezra Chapman. This included improving the facilities at Trungle Parc, supporting the objective of playing at the highest level possible, developing a Youth section to create a pathway through to the First team, appointing coaches committed to a passing style of football, and building a sustainable commercial model to support the overall strategy.
Under the Chairmanship firstly of Tim Richardson and subsequently Deryk Heywood, Trungle Parc has been transformed into one of the best football venues in the region; the finances of the club are in a healthy self-sufficient state; and some 250 youth players across the age range benefit from the coaching philosophy.
Deryk Heywood has been particularly active in spearheading the recent site improvements and securing sponsorship and advertising revenue from businesses in the local area and further afield. He says a huge amount of work has gone on, but there’s still more to do:
“We’ve got some important pieces of the jigsaw still to put in place, a couple of which will be announced shortly.”
“In the meantime, we can take a lot of satisfaction from having great facilities, floodlights, and the best possible playing surface thanks to Billy Jacka. In addition we can count on thriving campsite revenue thanks to Tim Richardson (who’s also got an eye for available grants), a steady stream of commercial sponsorship and advertising, sound financial oversight by former captain and longstanding club Treasurer/Accountant Mark Trevail, enthusiastic leadership of the Youth section by Matt James, and the tireless work of a dedicated Committee and volunteer squad – too numerous to mention by name – some of whom have been ‘Mousehole through-and-through’ for decades.”
“There’s a businesslike attitude and a professional feel about the place, an image that’s continuing to attract business supporters who want to be associated with success and the exposure this creates for them.”
“And of course that goes for the managers, coaches and players, who have provided an exceptional quality of winning football scarcely believable at this level. Put simply, without the First team’s playing record, we wouldn’t be going up. As a new chapter opens we all look forward to supporting them as they test themselves against the highest standards of football in the club’s history.”
“So, everyone, whatever role they have, deserves a share of the credit for our promotion. It brings some real meaning to our motto: The Seagulls – Flying All Together”.
Two years ago, Jake Ash took over as first team boss shortly after a previous FA re-structuring had elevated The Seagulls to Step 6, into the newly-configured SWPL Premier split into West and East Divisions.
In his first managerial role after retiring from an illustrious promotion and trophy-laden playing career at Truro City, Ash led the team to a commendable fourth place and then an outstanding table-topping position before each of those seasons was curtailed by the Covid pandemic.
“Having been in first place before everything came to a standstill, we felt we were in a great position to achieve the objectives the group had decided upon at the start of the season. Because of that, we are ready for the challenge of competing at the higher level. I have no doubt whatsoever that this group of players has the togetherness, mentality and skills to do very well at Step 5.”
”Yes, there’ll be extra journey miles and time, but all the players are here because they want to push themselves and be the best they can be. I’ve experienced the travelling before with Truro City, and if you approach it the right way it can be something enjoyable which adds to the team and the collective.”
“As a coaching team – myself, Adam Fletcher, Andy Graham and Gareth O’Neill – we will continue to reinforce our playing and personal philosophy, which underpins all the work the club does both on and off the pitch.”
Other points about the Western League
The League has been sponsored by Toolstation since 2005
Several Cornwall clubs have previously had notable success in the WLP: Falmouth Town were champions four years in a row from 1974/75; Saltash United in 1984/85, 1986/87 and 1988/89; and Liskeard Athletic in 1987/88
Truro City won Western League Division One in their first season in 2006/07 and were Premier Division champions the year after
Step 5 clubs are eligible to enter both the FA cup and the FA Vase
The Western League has its own Cup competition for member clubs: the Les Phillips Cup
The 20-club composition of the WLP for 2021/22 is, in alphabetical order:
Summary of FA’s re-structuring objectives
One additional League at Step 4 and two at Step 5, reduction at Step 6 from 20 to 17
107 clubs in total benefitting from ‘upward movement’
Many clubs moved laterally into geographically convenient Leagues at the same Step
Six of last season’s WLP clubs moved to the Hellenic League: Bradford Town, Chipping Sodbury Town, Cribbs, Hallen, Roman Glass St George, Westbury United
No clubs relegated
Steps 1 to 6 to operate as a ‘pure pyramid’ with automatic promotion and relegation
The former Step 7 Leagues to operate as “feeder leagues” to Step 6
A large number of Step 7 clubs moved upwards to Step 6 for 2021/22 to fill vacancies: locally, Penryn Athletic moved up from St Piran (West) to SWPL (west)
Cornish youngster Jude Boyd is set to leave Mousehole AFC after being awarded a football scholarship at San Jose University in California.
The Redruth-based 19-year old joined Mousehole in June 2020 after being released by Plymouth Argyle, and featured as an attacking winger in 15 of The Seagulls’ 16 first-team fixtures in the recently curtailed 2020/21 season.
Speaking of his new opportunity, Boyd commented:
“Although I’m obviously excited about America, I am really sad my time at Mousehole has come to an end. I can’t thank the staff and club enough as I honestly couldn’t have had a better experience at any other club. It has been amazing and I will be watching and supporting the boys from afar next season, and I know they are going to kick on again.”
Mousehole manager Jake Ash, who coached Jude Boyd for West Cornwall Schools under-14 and under-15 squads, was full of praise for the youngster:“He’s always had an abundance of natural skill, but he’s really developed his all-round game in senior football during his time with us. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and has fitted so well into our style and mentality as a group. I am immensely fond of him, on and off the pitch, and I can’t wait to follow his journey in America.”
Mousehole have started early preparations for the 2021/22 season by capturing winger Callam Mconie from Newquay.
The 23-year old is described as an exciting left-footer who was previously a team-mate of current Seagulls’ top scorer Hayden Turner, and the two were also fellow sports science students at Hartpury University.
Mconie has also played at a higher level, having been on the books of Gloucestershire club Cinderford Town (Southern League, step 4) and Hereford club Westfields (Hellenic League, step 5). Mousehole’s Director of Football Adam Fletcher commented: “We’ve been tracking him for quite a while and every time we’ve seen him play he’s made a big impression and impact. When he came on as a second-half substitute for Newquay in our win there last year he very nearly turned the game round for them. He’s clearly a skilful, positive-thinking and forward-running player who will make a big contribution to our continuing progress.”