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News Archive > Sport > Clarke and Co hope to make positive impacts at Atlantic

Clarke and Co hope to make positive impacts at Atlantic

By Tom Howe 3rd February 2021

Clarke and Co hope to make positive impacts at Atlantic
Paul Clarke´s Godolphin Athletic haven´t experiences league action since their Boxing Day defeat at the hands of arch rivals Newquay

Manager Paul Clarke has reiterated his belief that Godolphin Atlantic possess enough quality to avoid relegation, should the South West Peninsula League (SWPL) season continue from March, writes Tom Howe.

Godolphin are bottom of the suspended SWPL Premier West standings, having not played since a 4-0 defeat at neighbours Newquay on Boxing Day.

No play is expected until at least March and, as the pandemic rumbles on, it is looking less and less likely that this option itself will actually come to fruition.

Other conclusions have been mooted, including this season following the last and being voided or, more radically, the two expunged campaigns being added together to create a final league table of sorts. 

“What I would like to see is the league say null and void,” Clarke told the Voice when asked for his preferred case. “Let’s allow clubs to play friendlies when we can play again. We can start the league again next year. That is what I would like to do, have a long pre-season and give clubs the opportunity to build.

“Look at this season, we have over 20 games to go. Yes we are bottom of the league and we were bottom when I took over but performances have improved and people can see that. Newquay was a real bad day for us, I get that, but in the games against Dobwalls and St Dennis we had improved massively. We have still got a lot of clubs, your Launcestons, Callingtons, Stickers and Wendrons, still to play.

“With the squad of players we have got, I’m pretty sure out of the 20 odd games we had left we would have scored enough points to have gotten us out of trouble, especially with the players we were talking to before we went into lockdown again.

“If we were still losing seven or eight nil and the team wasn’t improving then fair enough, but I think it would be very harsh on Godolphin if the league turned round and said let’s keep the table as it is.

“I don’t think they can do that for one minute to be honest. Accumulated points over two seasons? Well, that isn’t fair on a new squad and a new manager.” 

With decision time looming, Clarke revealed his concern for the future of grassroots football in the area, admitting he didn’t want the good work he and his colleagues had put in to improve the fortunes of Godolphin to go to waste.

“They have got to be realistic,” he said. “Financially, clubs like us can’t survive without people watching. Playing behind-closed-doors? Clubs are just going to fold because they can’t afford to do it.

“My players would play for nothing, I know they would. I’ll be honest with you, after the Newquay game, the players gave their packets back to the club. They said we didn’t perform, it wasn’t good enough and the club needs it more than we do so they gave it all back. Me and my management team, Adam Patterson and Josh Stockdale, have got a good thing going at that club. We have got a great response from the players, they are all committed and we had been getting 17 or 18 at training. The general feeling around the club is good and we want to take that forward.

“We want to have a reserve team next year and bring the youth back to the club. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it properly. We are not just there to be first team managers, we are there to be club ambassadors.”

By Tom Howe 3rd February 2021

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