Mousehole AFC confirm they have submitted an application for promotion from Division 1 West to the Premier Division of the South West Peninsula League.
The club were founder members of the SWP League 10 years ago, after playing since 1962 in the Cornwall Combination League, and have been continuous members of the West Division at Step 7 since then.
Already the geographically most western-based team in the West Division, promotion would involve the club in greater travelling distances into Devon, whereas at present the longest journeys are to Plymouth and West Devon.
Mousehole won the West Division title comfortably in 2015/16 but had already decided not to apply for promotion that season because of the need for further development of the club’s infrastructure and finances.
This season The Seagulls are in the top six in the West Division table, with an impressive run of form that has seen only one defeat since the end of September, together with a 100% home record. Of the 14 remaining League fixtures, nine are at home and five away.
To be eligible for promotion from Step 7, the team needs to finish in the top-three and ahead of its fellow promotion applicants, and the club needs to demonstrate it can make improvements to the ground and facilities to meet Step 6 standards.
Explaining Mousehole’s decision to apply for promotion, Chairman Tim Richardson said: “The club’s ambition is to play at the highest possible level and we launched a plan last summer to achieve just that, but in a sustainable manner. A great deal of work has already taken place to strengthen the club’s infrastructure, and we have a schedule of works to bring the ground up to Step 6 requirements, as well as a process to put the necessary finances in place. On the playing side we have a superb management and coaching set-up and an ideal blend of youth and experience, including players who have stayed loyal to the club in recent times, some of the best local players who have chosen to join us, and a promising crop of youngsters coming through the junior teams: they all deserve the chance to test themselves and develop their abilities at a higher level.”
Now into his sixth season as Chairman of The Seagulls, Richardson continued: “Our supporters – many of whom have been associated with the club in various roles for several decades – will relish seeing their team competing with some of the best non-league teams in the south-west. On the travelling side, some people might think we are too far away ‘on the edge of the map’, and of course there will be some longer journeys…..but we already do a lot of miles, so we can cope with the extra distances (right now, we’re looking into replacing our team bus, which will help!). Looking at it another way, our location might give us a bit of an advantage when far-away clubs have to visit us! So, after 10 years in the West Division, and with the superb support of the newly-established Endorsed Academy, we’re ready for the challenge of stepping up, in the belief that standing still is not an option, and you only improve by setting yourself higher standards.”