HELSTON Athletic will have a women’s team once again next season, the club has announced.

After a one-year hiatus last season, the team has been reformed with a new squad of players and will return to the Cornwall Women’s League.

The team will play their first training session at the club’s Kellaway Park ground on Sunday.

The new manager of the women’s team is set to be announced by the club after the first session.

The team disbanded abruptly in the summer of 2019 despite finishing second in the Cornwall Women’s League that year, with several players either heading off to university or wanting to take a break from football.

With manager Stuart Massey, who also guided the team to the Division 1 Cup title and the League Cup final in 2019, also having to step down due to increased work commitments, the decision was made to disband the team for a year.

Men’s first-team manager Steve Massey said: “We were in a position this time last year where we knew that because of the number of ladies that were going to university, because it was a young side that we had, and the seniors, who had been a big part of it as well, said that they were going to take a break, we were left with nine or ten players that we could really count on.

“I thought I don’t really want to get into the situation where on certain Sundays we can’t get a team and that looks bad, so basically we took a bit of a holiday.”

The side will re-join the Cornwall Women’s League and will also enter the Women’s FA Cup next season, which would mean the Blues could become one of a select group of Cornish teams to enter both the men’s and women’s FA Cup if Massey’s men’s side is able to enter next season’s competition.

AFC St Austell are believed to be the only Cornish side to have achieved the above after their women's team made their debut in the national competition last season, with the Lillywhites joining fellow Cornish clubs St Agnes and RNAS Culdrose in being eliminated in the preliminary round.

Even in the short year that the team has been away, the landscape at Kellaway Park has changed considerably, with the Blues emerging as the new powerhouse of Cornish football.

Massey’s first team led the way in the South West Peninsula League Premier West before it was declared null and void last season, while Martyn Daughtery and Stu Giles’ under-18s side continued to dominate in the county and enjoyed an historic run to the FA Youth Cup first round.

Such is the success elsewhere at the club, Massey is equally keen to ensure that the newly reformed women’s team is not just there to make up the numbers.

“We’re not looking to just fulfil fixtures,” he said. “We’re looking to compete at the top. I’m not going to say that we’re going to win it, but we want to compete and have a squad that is capable of competing, and certainly we feel that the ladies side will be.”

The reformation will also give Massey the opportunity to return to his old role as club linesman for the ladies’ team, which is something that he is very much looking forward to.

He said: “I have missed my running the line and I’ve said to them already that I can’t wait to get the flag back in my hand and run the line again for you!”