Penryn Athletic are continuing preparations for their first season ever in the South West Peninsula League (SWPL). Athletic who play at Kernick Park were promoted at the end of the last season following a restructure of the leagues by the Football Association. 

The promotion means that they will be able to compete with other local sides in the league. In an interview with the packet, Penryn Manager Harry Pope said he was excited about the prospect of the local derbies. He said: “A derby for us over the last three years has been Falmouth Town reserves which have been some cracking derbies don’t get me wrong but this is the one I wanted Falmouth Town first team and we have drawn them in the cup this year as well so I am buzzing about that. 

“We’ve got Wendron as well another local rival we have played their reserves over the last few years so it is going to be good to test ourselves against their first team and that’s our first home game on Tuesday August 10 so we are very much looking forward to them.”

A new division for Athletic brings different challenges as well as tougher opposition but despite this Pope says these factors will not change his sides style of play: “For the last four/five years the teams I have been in charge we have been up there challenging for titles I am not expecting quite the same ambition at the start of the season from the side so it will be different how we approach games. 
“But the way we are as a team we try to get on the front foot and go out to try to win games we will never put a message across to the boys saying we are going to lose lets just do a bit of damage control we are going to be going up there to compete. The approach will be slightly different but we will have the mentality to go and win games.” Said Pope.
Pre season has been difficult for a number of sides, it has been a common occurrence across the division that teams have had to pull out of games due to players not being available because of isolation. Despite this Penryn have had a successful start to the campaign only losing one match: “I have been very impressed (with the pre season results so far), we played Camelford a couple of works ago and only lost to them in the last minute and we had a bare 11. A day before kick off we had a full squad but as the day came around six players had to isolate and I had to get one of the reserves to fill the team. The team that went out put in a good shift and we were unlucky to lose the game, maybe a lack of fitness and naivety cost us.”Said Pope

“All the boys work hard throughout pre season because I make them work hard but there is definitely a bit extra about the boys at the moment. It has not the been the best pre season with the covid restrictions, one week I’ll have 16 players the next I’ll have six because of people isolating. So it has not been easy but the boys have the bit between their teeth this year and we have been doing some five kilometre running competitions to improve fitness so there is definitely a buzz about the place.” Pope added. 

Penryn begin their SWPL season away to Launceston on Saturday August 7 before hosting Wendron on Tuesday August 10. 
Penryn and Falmouth Town will face off for the first time on Wednesday September 8 in the first round of the Walter C Parson Cup.