Helston Athletic have agreed a player partnership with South West Peninsula League West (SWPL) outfit Penzance FC.

The agreement between the two sides will see players dual sign between the clubs allowing younger players or members of the squad who don't feature in Helston's starting 11 every week to get game time and develop in the step six division, rather than play further down the pyramid in Helston's reserve sides.

The partnership can also see players from Penzance head in the other direction to play for Helston.

Steve Massey, Helston Athletic's Director of Football said: "Our reserve team is too far away from our first team at the moment. We want our reserve team to be playing in the South West Peninsula League, that can only happen if we are in the Southern league.

"We are going to have a tie with Penzance, so for particularly our young local lads will dual sign to give them game time because they need to be playing. We have some really talented boys coming through, 16-18 years-old. They are really excited about it. 

"It is going to be great for Penzance too, at the moment their player pathway stops at the SWPL, now it can go on to Western League and on from there. Boys from the two clubs will dual sign for each other.

"Some of our better boys from the St Piran side will have the opportunity to go and play in the SWPL which will be great for us for them to have some sterner tests. We have been talking about it for the last month.

"It is going to be a win win for both clubs, both sets of players. It can only enhance their development as players by playing in a higher and better standard. We will have a pathway for those boys who want to go on. I am really excited and I know they are excited. Matt Cusack is behind it, it's good for our lads."

Penzance finished 16th in the SWPL last season in what wasn't a memorable campaign for the Penlee Park outfit. The side are now under the management of new duo  John McCullam and Adrian Ferrell, who have been brought in from Mousehole Development.

McCullam believed the agreement could only benefit both sides, he said:"From our perspective we think it is a great venture. We have two fantastic clubs, Helston and Penzance. Two giants of the Cornish game. The quality between the leagues from where their firsts are at, where Penzance are at and where their second team are at are quite big steps. To be making that difference in between them can only be a good thing for both clubs. 

"If we need one or two players and Steve's got one or two from the first team squad then they can come to us, or if we have players pushing from our team, and I'm sure there are then they can go to Steve.

"We have players I feel they could benefit Helston in their squad. I think it can only be a good thing at the end of the day."
Penzance  begin their SWPL season away to St Blazey on Saturday, August 6 after Penryn Athletic withdrew from the league earlier in the week.

Helston Athletic start their season in  the way their last campaign ended with a game against Bridgwater United. Kick off at Kellaway Park at 3pm on Saturday, July 30.