PORTHLEVEN manager Graham Blake has reaffirmed his commitment to a long-term vision of developing young talent at the club.

Blake, who welcomed Fishermen icon Nigel Thwaites into the club's management team this week, has admitted that the club cannot afford to bring the county's top players to Gala Parc, given the financial muscle of other clubs in the South West Peninsula League.

The policy is shown with the new signings announced by the club on Wednesday night, with the youthful trio of striker Dan Quirke and defenders Isaac Dryburgh and Max Roberts committing to the club for the 2020/21 season.

Blake said: "Me and Thommo, and Nigel now obviously, have got a plan what we want and it is to develop. We haven't got the finances where we can just go out and get the top players at this level because they all want money, don't they?

"The way we can do it is with great facilities, a good coach and good managers.

READ MORE: Fishermen add youthful trio to squad

"We can't really go out and pay, so [if we're] bringing in the youth and developing them in the style that we want to play, you've got to think that in two or three years' time that we're going to have a great team who play to the style that we want them to play."

That development goal has been boosted by the news that Porthleven's reserve team has gained promotion to the St Piran League for the 2020/21 season.

Despite promotion and relegation largely being outlawed due to the non-league season being declared null and void due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fishermen were able to take promotion thanks to a vacancy opening up in the division above.

It means the reserve team will now be playing just one division below Blake's first team, which will further aid the progression pathway for the club's youngsters.

Those youngsters' journey with the club can now begin at youth level after Blake confirmed that the club will have an under-18s team this season, while also revealing that plans are in place to add another age group next year.

"The biggest thing for me as a manager is progression," he said. "I've been a reserve team manager as you well know, so I feel that I'm probably the best person with the experience to know what it's like to gift wrap players to the first team, and it's the biggest buzz you can have if you're a reserve team manager to be able to do that, because that's kind of your job.

"But now with the under-18s we've got down there, which starts this year and that we've brought in from Helston, which my lad actually plays for.

"You've got that progression now from kids' football at 16 and coming to under-18s, and if they're good enough they've got the chance to go straight into a half decent league in the St Piran League and then obviously into the first team.

"My biggest aim when I started at Porthleven was to start a pathway that we can progress. To make this club bigger you need youth.

"If you want people in the bar, you want grandparents, you want aunties, uncles, families pumping money in, they've got bums on seats on a Saturday.

"We start with the under-18s this year who play on a Sunday and next year hopefully we're going to look at going a little bit further with maybe an under-7s or something. We don't know yet, that's in the pipeline.

"It's a big thing when you haven't got massive amounts of money but you've got the opportunity for players to progress. I think that's another driving point for them."