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News Archive > Sport > Richards calls it a day at the G

Richards calls it a day at the G

By Tom Howe 27th September 2017

Richards calls it a day at the G
Kevin Richards, far left

GODOLPHIN Atlantic are looking for their fifth permanent manager in less than four seasons after Kevin Richards stood down, citing a lack of commitment from some of the players.

Richards was only appointed four months ago, taking over from previous boss Jamie Lowry, but now he and assistant Dave Leonard are moving on to pastures new.

Their decision leaves Godolphin on the hunt for another new manager, something that has become an all too regular occurrence at the South West Peninsula Premier Division club, who have coughed and spluttered down the league despite possessing a plethora of playing talent.

Admitting he was ‘really disappointed’ at departing, Camborne based Richards revealed to the NewquayVoice that he thought there ‘would be a lot more commitment from players within that league’.

He said: “We haven’t been able to put anywhere near our first team out so far and it got a little bit frustrating to be honest. From my point of view, I felt that I was putting a lot of commitment in and doing an awful lot of travelling and there were players a lot closer to Godolphin than I was that weren’t putting in the same commitment as I.

“It is always difficult when you make comments like that because everyone gets tarred with the same brush but I can assure you that there were players there that showed the utmost commitment to us and they know who they are. I have no qualms about making that comment to be honest because the players who have let us down over the last couple of weeks will also know who they are.

“I thought there would be a lot more commitment from players within that league, playing at that level and I quickly found out that there unfortunately isn’t. It is a shame and I am absolutely gutted to be honest. It was a great opportunity for me to step into that league and I thank Godolphin for giving me the opportunity to go in there. I am really disappointed that it didn’t work.

“We went to Plymouth Parkway last Wednesday and I had a text message as I was getting in my car to drive up there that two players were unavailable. That was happening week in, week out and it got to the point where I couldn’t do anything about it from the position I was in. I was having to rely on Jamie Lowry to bring in a couple of the under 18 lads who stepped in and helped us out on regular occasions.”

Richards, who ‘is not looking to get back into football management at the minute’, is the latest in a line of managers to leave the G Army. Tony Mackellar, now earning plaudits at neighbours Newquay AFC, led the team to League Cup glory in the 2014-2015 season after being hand picked to replace Derek Martin, who had overseen the team’s rise from junior football to the Peninsula League during his 12 years in charge.

However, Mackellar left by mutual agreement just a month into the following campaign with Andy Savage taking over the reigns. After presiding over a record 7-0 defeat to Bodmin Town in Godolphin’s second successive Cornwall Senior Cup final, Savage was replaced by Lowry who took charge for the 2016-17 campaign.

Leading the G to a 13th place finish in the league, Lowry stepped down and paved the way for Richards to take over. Richards, who enjoyed a trophy-laden near 40-year association, both as a player and manager, of home town club Porthleven, switched the south coast for the north but soon encountered problems with a host of long-term injuries suffered.

Local fans were also left sceptical after Plymouth based coaches Simon Westlake and Ben Washam joined the club, along with an influx of players from across the Tamar. The pair left the G earlier this month and most of the players, bar midfielder Dan O’Brian, exited with them.

Richards, who leaves Godolphin 16th in the table with seven points from as many games, continued: “I felt that the club were better than that and deserve better than that. I couldn’t give it to them I’m afraid. It needs somebody in and around that area, somebody local, to go in there and it does need a shake up. I think it is a club that have had a group of players for so long. They have been totally loyal and totally committed but one or two of them are thinking they need a fresh challenge.

“Hence Josh Harris and Craig Ainsley going to Newquay, those players made that decision. To have it thrown back at me on the Soccer Forum that players left because I didn’t give them the opportunity is a load of rubbish. I am really disappointed at the way it has finished but I have made some great friends and the club deserves somebody to come in and shake things up. That’s what it needs whether they like it or not.

“Another slagging I got was because we bought in so many players from Plymouth at the start of the season. Although, if you look at the team sheets you would see that those players from Plymouth saw us through the first five or six games of the season when other players weren’t available. More local players weren’t available.

“I feel like I have let Godolphin down by leaving but I had to do it. I was starting to lose enjoyment in it. I was looking forward to having a full squad of players that were totally commitment to Godolphin Atlantic Football Club and I didn’t find that. We were unlucky with injuries; Scott Flannigan getting injured in the first training session of the season, Connor Jamison coming across from Newquay hasn’t played a game yet, Ashley Bradshaw picked up a hamstring injury, Kayne Trevaskis has been out, Josh Harris had a hamstring injury.

“It was just one thing after another so we never got the opportunity to put anything near to our first team out and when we did get close to it, in the Callington game [which Godolphin won 4-0], we proved what we were capable of doing. That is the most frustrating thing about it really.”

Martin, now director of football at the club, said: “Kevin has taken the decision to leave the club. He felt that the level of commitment from some of the players did not match his expectations at this level of football and for that reason he took the decision to leave.

“It's a disappointment to lose him but we respect his decision and we will have to regroup and move on. Jamie Lowry and Jake Hartigan will take charge for the next two fixtures against Camelford and St Austell and we will re-evaluate the situation after that when I return from my holidays.

“On behalf of everyone connected with Godolphin Atlantic Football club I would like to thank Kevin and Dave for their endeavours since their arrival and and we all wish them well for the future.”

By Tom Howe 27th September 2017

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