Savage departs for Dorset after eight years in Duchy

Savage departs for Dorset after eight years in Duchy

Savage departs for Dorset after eight years in Duchy

Andy Savage during his time at Godolphin Atlantic.

12th May 2021

By Tom Howe

After confirming a return to Dorset due to work commitments, former Godolphin and Newquay reserves manager Andy Savage has reflected upon eight years spent in Cornish football.

In anticipation of swapping Bournemouth for Newquay in the spring of 2013, the ex-assistant manager at Poole Town reserves offered his experience to clubs via the Cornwall Football Forum.

Having received replies from both Godolphin and Newquay, Savage ultimately opted for the latter and travelled with Peppermints legend Trevor Mewton to his first game in the county, which came away at Ludgvan that April.

He took over as the club’s reserve team manager before enjoying brief spells in the set-up at Foxhole Stars, Perranporth and Padstow United. Early in the 2015-16 season, Savage took the reins at Godolphin, beginning a six-year association with the Sky Blues.

“There was a real good bunch of lads at Newquay,” he began when quizzed by the Voice. “There were young lads and some older too, the likes of Sheridan Sefton, Sam McKune and Vinny Cunliffe. The Combination League was a lot stronger then and it was enjoyable. I later took the job at Padstow where, again, there was a really good bunch of lads. We got off to a flier and won our first five games.

“While I was there, Tony Mackellar left Godolphin and I got a text asking if I would mind being added to their shortlist. I said of course, then I got a text two or three hours later being offered the job. It must have been a very short shortlist but you don’t turn Godolphin down. We had a great season, that season. It was good and strange all at the same time.

“It was a little bit daunting but the lads were brilliant with me and I got on really well with them. It was my first real big job down here. I remember my first game, anything that could have gone wrong did so, apart from the result. We were playing St Blazey and I was late turning up. We got locked out of the changing rooms at half-time, so I had to do the team talk in the dug out on a freezing night but we won 4-2.

“We had Shaun Semmens in goal, Ash Bradshaw on one side and Scott Flannigan on the other. Ollie Pinnell was there and Aaron Dilley. Jamie Shepherd came in and had the season of his life. We had Ross Fallens, Jamie Lowry, Phil Lowry, Kyle Brown, Tom Shepherd, Kayne Travaskis, Brodie Mitchell and Kieran Parker. It was a great squad.”

Having lost the Senior Cup final to AFC St Austell in 2015, Godolphin returned for another crack at Cornwall’s showpiece knockout competition 12 months later when Bodmin Town provided the opposition at Truro City’s Treyew Road.

Savage, whose hand was severely weakened by injury, suspension and other commitments, watched on as the Sky Blues succumbed to a record 7-0 defeat. However, just weeks later, Godolphin met Bodmin again in the League Cup final. With a stronger squad, they pushed their adversaries all the way before agonisingly falling short in extra-time.

With a wry smile, Savage remembered: “Scott was away on holiday, Phil was suspended and we had a whole host of injuries including Kayne. Callum Gadney was there, Jake Hartigan started up front and Tim Peacock came in and played. We would have had Lee Paxton too but he hadn’t played enough games that season and neither had Aidan Martin. You just don’t need that when you are playing one of the best Bodmin sides.

“The history books will say it is the biggest Senior Cup final defeat but we showed what we could do in the League Cup where we took them to extra-time with a full side. Ross won’t like me saying this but if he had scored that penalty in the 85th minute we would have won that final. It wasn’t just about Ross though, it was about all 11 players on the pitch.

“It was the two semi-finals against St Austell that were probably my highlights of the season. They were probably the favourites to win both cups at the time and had done so well in the FA Vase. We went on to beat them with two of the best performances you will have ever seen from Godolphin. It was a real team effort. They were really good times. I was due to leave Cornwall at the time and Jamie stepped in [at the end of that season]. I ended up staying though, and dropped down to play with the reserves. We won the league and got promoted the next season, winning the League Cup.

“I didn’t think I would play much football again at the best part of 40. We had a real good bunch and everyone turned up to have a good laugh on a Saturday. I’ve been at the club for about six years now, on and off, and I still don’t think it gets the respect it's due. What they have done, to go from nothing to the top level in Cornwall, should warrant more respect than it gets. They have good people there. They have had a hard few seasons but it will come good.”