HELSTON Athletic will be aiming to become the first club to retain the Dave Gardner Memorial Trophy when they take to the field at Penzance on Friday evening.

The four-team tournament, which also features Falmouth Town and Penzance, has a little added spice this year after Blues boss Steve Massey signed three Town players last month.

“Falmouth Town’s chairman was upset that we had signed them and the text that he sent me was not nice, which was disappointing,” said Steve.

“They then signed players from Penryn, but that is how football works, it’s nothing personal.”

Ed Timmons, Rob Wearne and Tom Whipp made the move to Kellaway Park, but Timmons and Wearne have already moved on to Bodmin and St Austell respectively.

“Some people were saying that they left because of false promises from me, but I didn’t promise them anything and I find it disrespectful that I’m made out to be dishonest,” added Massey, who was delighted with his side’s 7-1 win over Holsworthy on Saturday.

Last night they were due to host Mousehole before visiting Penlee Park for the trophy opener on Friday (7pm).

They then entertain Porthleven on Tuesday (7pm), before hosting the finals day on Saturday, August 5, when they will play Falmouth at 5pm after Penzance have played Porthleven at 2pm.

“We have a squad of around 20 or 21 at the moment but having lads like Tom Russell and Jamie Thirkle involved is like having two new players from last year.

“Hopefully we’ve re-ignited a few fires in their bellies, some of them are like different players from last season.

“We’ve found a system that suits us which is really full of energy and an enthusiasm to do well.”

Porthleven entertain Falmouth Town on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off.

They will have several new signings on parade after a busy close season for new boss Alan Carey (see story above).