HELSTON Athletic manager Steve Massey has insisted that recent departures from his squad have been “best for the football club”.

The Blues boss has seen a handful of first-team players leave the club over the last few weeks, with goalkeeper Jason Robertson stepping down from first-team duties before right-back Ed Timmons, now of St Dennis, left Helston for a short spell at rivals Porthleven.

Midfielder Neil Slateford then swapped Kellaway Park for Saltash United’s Kimberley Stadium at the start of lockdown before striker Mark Goldsworthy signed for Mousehole and defender Liam Short joined Ilfracombe Town last week.

Massey said: “Outside our circle, outside this club people are going to be surprised. They’ll think, ‘Cor blimey, what’s happening there?’ Particularly on the back of three or four of the players going.

“But inside our group and inside here it is not a surprise and it is the best for the football club.”

The most notable departure was that of striker Goldsworthy, who swapped the blue shirt of Helston for the green shirt of South West Peninsula League Premier West rivals Mousehole last week.

The 29-year-old forward called time on his latest spell at Kellaway Park, during which he scored roughly a goal a game, in favour of a move to the Seagulls, who currently lead the SWPL Premier West by six points.

It was far from a harmonious end to the striker’s time with the Blues, with Goldsworthy making himself unavailable for Helston’s FA Vase match at St Blazey on October 31, only to later be seen watching rivals Falmouth Town’s tie at home to Abingdon United that same afternoon.

That sparked rumours that Goldsworthy was set for a move to Town, leading Massey to assume that the imminent seven-day approach for his striker was going to be from the Bickland Park side rather than Mousehole.

Massey spoke to the forward, who has scored more than 300 goals in the SWPL, after Mousehole’s approach came in to inform him of the move and discuss it, but Goldsworthy later opted to join the Seagulls.

“I want to put it on the record that he’s been superb for me,” Massey said. “He has been excellent. I don’t make anyone [the captain] just as a whim or just to pacify anybody. I thought he did a great job.

“When he’s at it and he’s on form and everybody’s singing his praises and he’s going for it he’s great, there’s nobody better at scoring goals.

“In the end I think it was a case that the club is bigger than any individual and for the benefit of the ongoing success of our side I think sometimes players have to move on.”

Massey is yet to decide who will replace Goldsworthy as Helston captain but told the Packet that three names were in consideration for the role.

“There are a number of leaders at the club and we are going to need them,” Massey said.

“There are a couple of boys that I am pondering over to be perfectly honest. As they did when Goldie was skipper, I knew that regardless of whether they were wearing the armband, they would go out and act like skippers anyway and lead us.”

Massey also confirmed that work was going on behind the scenes to bring in “at least one or possibly two players” at some stage in the near future, but he was in no rush to bring any new faces in for the Blues’ trip to Wadebridge Town on December 5, which is set to be their first match after lockdown ends on December 2.

The Blues boss added that defender Josh Storey was back doing individual training and aiming for a return to action in mid-December, with brothers Scott and Ryan Beattie on a similar schedule, while defender Tom Hands, a recent signing from Mousehole, is in conention to make his first-team debut against the Bridgers.