PORTHLEVEN co-manager Graham Blake admits that he feels for former club Helston Athletic after the Blues were denied the chance to secure their maiden South West Peninsula League Premier crown following the decision to null and void the season.

The FA announced the decision to bring the 2019/20 season of steps 3 to 6 of English non-league football to an end and expunge all results on Thursday afternoon, with Helston one of several clubs leading their respective divisions until that point.

All football in England was suspended on March 20 in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, but with the country currently in lockdown, a resumption was unlikely any time soon and the decision was made to end the campaign.

READ MORE: South West Peninsula League season declared null and void

Steve Massey’s side were enjoying a SWPL record of 24 consecutive league wins as they moved to the top of the SWPL Premier West, but that will now count for nothing.

As well as the league title, the chance of promotion to the Western League for the first time will also have to wait a year, with the Blues and title rivals Saltash United the favourites to snap up the two places on offer.

Speaking to the Packet shortly after the FA’s announcement, former Helston player and reserve-team manager Blake was full of sympathy for the club he left to join his current side last summer.

“I’ve been at Helston a long, long time and I feel for them a little bit because I know how long it’s taken Helston to get to where they are,” he said.

“I feel for Helston, I feel for Saltash and I feel for Mousehole a little bit, they were a challenger and they could have gone on a good run.

“From my point of view it doesn’t really matter to me so much as the Porthleven manager, but with my feelings towards Helston and for my past I do feel for them a little bit."

COMMENT: I have huge sympathy for those denied league titles and promotion

He added: “I feel for them and Saltash because they were probably going to have a really good battle, a good ding-dong until the end of the season. If I was one of them, I’d be gutted, but there’s more things to worry about than this, isn’t there?

“[Saltash assistant manager Dane Bunney] put it as it should be, [saying on Twitter] ‘Look, I’m not interested about football at this moment in time’, and he’s right. We’ve got better things to worry about, but we haven’t got anything more to think about so we’re going to talk about it aren’t we?!”

With Blake’s Porthleven side sat comfortably in eighth place in the SWPL Premier West and out of all cups, the decision to null and void the season does not affect the trajectory of their season, but he believes that he and fellow co-manager Jamie Thomson have come a long way during the now non-existent campaign.

“Me and Thommo have learned a hell of a lot,” he said. “I’ve learned so much. I’ve managed for a period of time but Thommo hasn’t and he’s probably learned more than myself, but this is my first season at this level. I know I can go into next season with a different mindset and probably more competitive for the good of it.”