Penzance will revive a long-standing tradition when welcoming Upton Park for the first home friendly of the new campaign tonight (7pm kick-off). The touring side join an impressive list of clubs from the capital to drop in. In the past Tottenham Hotspur, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Brentford, Clapton, West Ham United, Barnet, Corinthian Casuals and Walthamstow Avenue have all graced the Penlee Park turf.
Fittingly, Upton Park’s own existence is a nod to history. The team was formed to revive the legacy of two previous clubs of the same name that were operational over one hundred years ago. The original Upton Park staged one of the first four FA Cup ties, losing 0-3 to Clapham Rovers at West Ham Park in 1871.
The current incarnation has been making history of its own. It contested the last ever game staged at West Ham’s old Boleyn Ground, a friendly against The Royal Engineers in May 2016 and, more recently, reached the final of the Generation Cup playing Crystal Palace at St George’s Park.
“We are a representative team combining young talent from the East London area plus good local players,” explains club chairman Jon Hunter. “In the 1890s, Upton Park toured the West Country and the Channel Islands, so we are retracing their steps. We have played Guernsey and Jersey, and last summer we toured Naples playing Serie D team Agropili and a rep team from Versuvius.”
The visitors travelled down over the weekend, trained at Penlee Park last night and also take on Mousehole. Manager Billy Jenkins will choose from a squad comprising of Junior Ysumblie, Matt Kenny, Zak Moss, Matt Rutherford, Exauce Buanga, Cian Connolly, Dhilan Kullar, Henry Langley, Jake Moss, Joffe Bradley, Lewis McGillicuddy, Joseph Akinsanmi, Samba Madjana, Tao Felstead (captain), Finlay Dorrell, Troy Walters, Tyrese Okello, and Peter McGillicuddy
Penzance, meanwhile, will be looking to build on a promising 3-1 victory in the opening friendly away to Helston ten days ago. For his first home match in charge, manager Ashley Waters names new signings Gary Matthews, Michael Fitchett, Ollie Butler and Oscar Massey in a squad that also includes Will Trenoweth, Mikey Flores, Frazer Cadman, Alfie Turner, Mark Vercesi, Alfie Hicks, Archie Reynolds, Silas Sullivan, Tyler Tonkin, Kam Collins, Rolandos Samnauskas, Liam Andrew, Kevin Lawrence, Jordan Daniell, Obinna Abuka, Jacob Trudgeon, Dylan Walter and Kai Baxter.
Admission is just £5 (£3 for concessions) and drinks and refreshments will be available from the Black & White Cafe inside the ground, and the Jewson Bar and. A 12 page matchday programme will be available.
See you there!