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Dave Deacon

Mousehole’s Leeds United day

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Close to 600 people attended Mousehole’s Trungle Parc in Paul on Sunday for a celebration day to mark the launch of the club’s new Academy and Youth Development Programme and the re-opening of the refurbished pitch and facilities.


Spectators were treated to six hours of football which started off in wind-swept rainy conditions with a series of mini-games played by The Seagulls’ newly-created youth teams.  The centrepiece of the afternoon was a full-scale game between Mousehole’s First team and Leeds United’s youngsters, during which the weather helpfully relented.  And the day’s events concluded in bright sunshine with a 7-a-side ‘legends’ tournament between Mousehole, Leeds United, Cornish Veterans and RNLI.


Arriving on Saturday, the Leeds squad held an open coaching session in the afternoon at Mounts Bay Academy and were invited on to the Penlee Lifeboat in Newlyn Harbour on Sunday morning


The visitors’ talented teenagers, playing in their club’s traditional all-white colours and in front of a large contingent of Leeds supporters travelling down for the weekend from Yorkshire as well as many located in the south west, won the match 5-1 with an impressive exhibition of ball control, passing, movement and athleticism. 


But they did not have it all their own way.  After falling behind 3-0 within 15 minutes, Mousehole started to play the confident football they are capable of and came close on several occasions before conceding a penalty just before half time.  The biggest cheer of the afternoon came on 80 minutes for the hosts’ solitary goal when Yeshe Briar’s superb cross from the right was nodded down by Matt McIlroy for Paolo Sousa to touch in from close range.  A further Leeds goal in the last minute put paid to any chance of Mousehole ‘winning’ the second half.  The game proved to be very competitive and a useful test for the young Mousehole squad, who had unfortunately lost Liam Andrew with a broken nose after an accidental collision during the warm up. 


A Leeds United team then made it a ‘double’, with ‘legends’ goalkeeper Neil Sullivan picking up the trophy after his side won all their games in the round-robin 7-a-side tournament.


In their programme notes, Mousehole AFC advisor Ezra Chapman wrote:  “How incredible that Leeds United agreed to send their talented starlets – as well as some of their ‘legends’ - all the way down here to mark a milestone in our club’s journey.  We have a 5-year plan to develop the club in a sustainable manner: on the playing side by focussing on youth and nurturing talent through modern coaching methods, and by improving the club’s infrastructure both in terms of facilities and commercial opportunities”.


Visitors to Trungle Parc were impressed with the new pitch – refurbished during the summer with an £80k grant from Sport England and the National Lottery – and the new 70-seater stand, contemporary-style ‘dugouts’ and re-painted clubhouse exterior.


Mousehole Chairman Tim Richardson paid tribute to the dedicated group of club volunteers who helped organise the day, and to all the players who participated, adding:  “Today’s big event – which has required a huge amount of planning (and learning!) – shows what a club like ours can do.  This could be the start of similar things in the future, as plans are already in place for more big-name guests visiting over the next 12 months.”


*Sunday’s ‘souvenir’ programme is available to purchase by contacting mouseholefootballprogramme@outlook.com.

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Couldn't make the day but what a great advert for local football. 

I bet there is a lot of jealous Cornish club after what mousehole have done with this day. 

Well done to all at mousehole.

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