Saints begin search for new boss after Jack’s departure

Saints begin search for new boss after Jack’s departure

Manager Jack Barbery has departed from St Dennis. Photo Paul Willaims

By Gareth Davies

30th June 2021

St Dennis’ preparations for their 2020-21 South West Peninsula Premier West campaign have been thrown into disarray after popular manager Jack Barbery resigned from his role last week.

Barbery took over the reins at Boscawen Park in a joint managerial role with John Hodge during the 2016-17 season after spending time in charge at Clay Country rivals Roche.

The following campaign, 2017-18, Barbery was in sole charge of the Saints as the club firmly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the old South West Peninsula League Division One West.

In 2018-19, St Dennis finished fifth as they narrowly missed out on matching their highest ever finish of fourth, which was attained during 2015. Alongside their superb league endeavours, Saints were winners of the Cornwall Charity Cup after a 4-0 demolition of Illogan RBL in a final played at Blaise Park, with striker Jacob Rowe scoring a hat-trick.

Sadly, though, for Saints, they have struggled to hit those heights since and after winning promotion to step six in 2019 due to a restructure of the National League System, results on the pitch have been mixed.

Before 2019-20 was declared null and void due to the covid 19 pandemic, Saints won just five league games with Barbery coming close to quitting for personal reasons part way through the campaign. However, he decided to stay on and in January 2020, former Perranporth chief Lee Denton was installed as his co-boss and a number of new players also made the switch to Boscawen Park.

During last year’s aborted campaign, also owing to the covid-19 campaign, Saints started well and lowered the colours of Liskeard at Lux Park, before falling away as the leaves started to fall and they slipped to heavy away defeats at Wendron (6-2), Falmouth (8-1) and Saltash United (6-3).

This prompted the club to embark on an eye-catching recruitment drive which saw defenders Ed Timmons and Joe Cooper arrive from Porthleven and Falmouth Town respectively. Winger Kyle Marks joined from Bodmin Town while Luke Johnson also swapped Bickland Park for Boscawen.

Results did improve, but the second national lockdown in November and poor weather during December meant that the new-look Saints side only played four games after the clocks changed.

Then, with covid-19 cases causing a third lockdown, which ended 2020-21, supporters never really got to see what on paper looked like arguably the most talented St Dennis squad assembled in recent years, play more than a handful of games together.

During the longer than usual off season, Saints have lost nearly all of their bigname signings with Cooper moving to Penzance, Timmons to the big-build at St Blazey under Phil Lafferty and just last week, Marks also joined the Green and Blacks. A number of long-serving players have also expressed a desire to leave the club with Barbery’s resignation following last Wednesday.

Voice sources revealed that Barbery had informed the club of his intention to quit some days before, with what remains of Saints’ first team squad told at a training session. It is understood that the club spoke with Tony Mackellar and Jack Greenwood, who left Newquay and Wendron respectively this year, about replacing Barbery.

Mackellar quickly ruled himself out of the running whilst Greenwood did mull over Saints’ offer before also deciding not to take the reins. The club formally advertised the managerial vacancy on social media over the weekend as they step up their efforts to replace Barbery, with the successful candidate facing a huge job to lead Saints into calmer waters.