Grounds for optimism as Pirates unveil new plans
THE Cornish Pirates have moved to end speculation regarding their long-term ambitions by announcing a new three-year plan which will include a re-development of their current home at the Mennaye Field.
A delay in building the proposed Stadium for Cornwall at Threemilestone near Truro checked the club's plans at the end of last season and was a key factor in the departure of High Performance Manager Chris Stirling and several players.
Cornish Pirates CEO Rod Coward comments in a statement issued to outline the new plan for the club that they remain committed to the Stadium project and believe that it will become a reality.
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The aim is now for the Pirates to remain competitive in both the RFU Championship and British & Irish Cup whilst looking to retain the vast majority of the current playing squad.
Contract negotiations are already underway with several members of the playing squad along with further recruitment plans. The Pirates are also looking to further strengthen their ties with Exeter Chiefs and other Premiership clubs to make further use of the player dual-registration and loan systems.
No firm plans for the upgrading of the 3,500 capacity Mennaye Field have been revealed as yet with the club currently working on financing the re-development.
Pirates head coach Ian Davies explained that he is happy with the announcement and is looking forward to "enjoying the challenge".
He explained: "It gives us a purpose and provides security for players and staff. The first question players ask when we are trying to sign them is what does the future hold for the Cornish Pirates?
"Now we can focus on the next three years and put everything in place for the big push.
"That said, nothing has really changed because we have always focused on trying to achieve a top four Championship finish as well as doing well in the B&I Cup."
He added: "We have always been looking to move forward but have kept quiet about the new plan until we were in a position to substantiate it."
Davies revealed that he will remain as head coach after taking over last April but is not sure if he will be handed a bigger playing squad next season. Injuries to key players have again made team selection tough this season but he explained: "As for getting a bigger squad I really don't know. The dual-registration system has worked quite well for us this year."
More Pirates, page 102.