Boss Hirst hopeful league can restart
10th February 2021
By Gareth Davies
Truro City under-18s chief Paul Hirst has spoken of his pleasant surprise that the DJM League, in which the Young Tigers compete, are aiming to restart again in the spring, writes Gareth Davies.
Hirst’s side, which were launched in the summer of 2020, currently sit top of their respective division having racked up four wins from as many games.
In their league matches, Truro have scored an impressive 30 goals and conceded just twice. However, it was in the FA Youth Cup where Hirst’s troops impressed most.
They claimed the scalps of Clevedon Town, Gloucester City and National League outfit Aldershot Town before bowing out in a controversial clash at Hampshire side Brockenhurst.
Truro are still in the Rathbone Cup and at one stage Hirst feared that might be the only competition his team would play in when football restarted, although he told the Voice that this shouldn’t be the case.
“I was expecting the league to just cancel the season but they are not going to make a decision until March 8,” he began.
“The league appreciate, across all the age groups, that there is a huge number of teams and players that participate in DJM football. They understand the impact not playing football, in one form or another, has on mental health. The league are therefore determined to try, depending on what the science says, to resurrect the season and that is positive news.”
If Truro, who play home matches at Callywith College in Bodmin, are given the green light to resume, Hirst has revealed that this decision will almost certainly receive universal backing from his team.
“I think we, as a club, are keen to play football and not write it off,” he added. “We would need a couple of week’s notice to start the season and maybe, instead of playing all clubs home and away, there would only be one game.
“Cup matches could also be introduced and we can play weekends and with the nights getting lighter, in mid-week too.
“And if I were to do a poll of all our players, coaches and parents; I would be extremely surprised if it wasn’t 100 per cent in favour of playing football again.”
Looking back at a difficult first season running the side for reasons very much out of Truro’s control, Hirst revealed he was quietly satisfied with the progress his side has made, although the cup exit at Brockenhurst still does stick in his craw somewhat.
He mused: “It has tended to be the better the club we have played against this season, when we were the underdog, we then play exceptionally well. I’m not sure if it’s complacency when we play against teams that we know we should beat and perhaps I’m doing the players a disservice, but games like the defeat at Brockenhurst still stick in our throats.
“We should never have lost, but we did and that’s just the way it is. Overall, we have had lots of plaudits from everybody we have met, which is credit to players, for the way they conducted themselves and the style of football.
“The fact we video the games and the players can look back at Clevedon, Gloucester and Aldershot shows how good we played. In effect, a lot of our players are playing a year up with the exception of a couple lads who are playing two years up.
“We are very pleased with how things have gone but it is just frustrating that the season has been stop-start. Hopefully we will get a start again, touchwood, in late March and we can finish this season off and prepare for next.”