Helston Athletic forward Kai Cornish has transferred to local rivals Falmouth Town as both clubs prepare for promotion to the Southern League.

Last season saw the two clubs battling for the top spot in the Western League, which was ultimately won by Athletic, Town coming in runners up.

However, a win against Clevedon Town in the play-offs saw the Ambers also promoted to the Southern League Division One South (step 4).

It appears that competitiveness shows no signs of dwindling, with Town poaching Cornish as manager Andrew Westgarth’s first signing of the new season.

Speaking to falmouthtownafc.co.uk, Cornish said: “The club has a great history and it’s got a great fan base. Having played against them quite a few times in big occasions over the last few seasons it’s exciting to have their support for the season.

“When I spoke to Westy, I felt this was the right place for me to develop my game and help the team achieve its goals.

“As a winger, I think I can bring a lot of pace and creativity to the team. I love taking on defenders and creating opportunities. I’m also committed to tracking back and helping out defensively, so I aim to contribute on both ends of the pitch.

“I hope to help the team establish ourselves in the Southern League and to hopefully lift some silverware in the process.”

First team manager Westgarth said he was excited to see what Cornish could bring to the squad.

“Kai is a player I have tracked and admired for a number of years and shown interest in but for whatever reason a move has never materialised,” he told falmouthtownafc.co.uk “He fits the profile perfectly for us. A local lad, great age, an eye for goal. Hopefully he can continue where he left off at Helston and be a real success at Falmouth Town.”

In other changes to the Town line-up next season, midfielder Jacob Grange has decided to leave the club.

Grange joined Falmouth Town in 2023 from Truro City Reserves and during his time with the Ambers he made 41 appearances, scored seven goals and helped them win the Cornwall Senior Cup and promotion to the Southern League.

The club said: “We would like to thank Jacob for his efforts and wish him well for the future.”

Former Town striker Jack Bray-Evans is also on the move again. Having joined Town from Newquay in October 2021, going on to win the ‘Golden Boot’ in their treble-winning season that saw them win the league, the League Cup and the Senior Cup, Bray-Evans moved to Mousehole in December 2022.

Now, however, the striker has confirmed a return to his home town club of Newquay, with the club announcing “He’s home” and Town wishing: “All the best JBE.”

Meanwhile Athletic have already announced the departures of three key players in last season’s campaign, Rikki Shepherd, Curtis Damerell and Tom Payne, while announcing the signing of Reece Thomson from Plymouth Parkway, winger Will Sullivan and striker George Newton.

They have now also announced a management addition in the form of Simon Parnell.

UEFA B qualified, he has former links to Plymouth Argyle and has most recently been part of the development squad coaching staff for Plymouth Argyle Ladies.

Athletic said: “A great addition to an already proven and successful leadership team.

“To clarify Simon’s leadership role he will be supporting Matt Cusack and Dan Harrison as we look to establish ourselves as a NLS Step 4 club / team.”