Cornish Pirates are going full steam ahead to be playing at the new Stadium for Cornwall in Truro three years from now – but they will not be abandoning their current home at the Mennaye Field.
This summer Pirates have laid new playing and training pitches at the Mennaye and chairman Paul Durkin says that even when the new 6,000-capacity ground dream becomes reality they will still be using their current home in Penzance as a training and administrative base.
As well as investing heavily in team-building this summer, Pirates are also about to start work on the construction of new changing rooms at the Mennaye.
Durkin said: “When I came on the board three years ago we talked about the journey we wanted to make which would take us to the Premiership. We knew it was going to be a long, tough journey and it was going to have two strands.
“One was getting Truro ready and that’s ongoing and the other was that we needed to build a squad that would take us there.
“A lot of hard work has been put into keeping the core of our squad together over the last couple of years and Gav and Paves (joint coaches Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver) have put a lot of hard work into that.
“They recognise that we have to build and do what we call layering our squad to put us in a position where we are ready to go forward and what you see is a step up this year.”
Chris Stirling, who left Yorkshire Carnegie in the fall-out from their financial woes, returned to Cornwall for a second stint with the Pirates and, with the financial backing of club owner and long-time benefactor Dicky Evans, he has strengthened the squad.
“With the number of new players who have come in, there’s a buzz about what can happen this year,” said Durkin. “This is the next step and there will be another after that. Dicky has been instrumental and the investment is there.
“We’ve also been looking to see what is the future of the club here in Penzance and we’re going to maintain this as our training place and administration centre going forward.
“I know the history of this proud club and we will honour those roots and remain here and put in new changing rooms as well.”
Durkin added: “The ambitions remain the same. We want to be in the Premiership as soon as we possibly can. Chris Stirling has come in and he is going to galvanise all of that.”
MIKE SINCLAIR / Photo: Getty Images
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