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What The Players Say

By: Richard Lord
Date: 23/04/2001

Grimsby Town's latest addition to their front line Luke Cornwall, recently spoke to Grimsby Evening Telegraph's Stuart Rowson. The Transfer Deadline Day loan signing spoke of his arrival to Blundell Park and his short football career so far.

"When I first came I thought I'd be in every so often and I never thought he'd (Lennie Lawrence) just throw me in," said Cornwall of his surprise inclusion in the squad. "I had four starts and I wasn't scoring. I think I needed a rest" continued the 22-year old.

"It doesn't mean anything that I scored," reminisced Cornwall of his brace last week against Tranmere. "What matters is that I have to keep going and improve to be considered, and that we stay up."

"I didn't think a first division club would come in for me and I definitely didn't think I'd come and the manager would throw me in. I thought I'd have to wait. It was a shock because I'm only a younger player, but it helps you learn quicker. I could have gone second or third division but it's good the manager believed in me."

"It's been hard here considering I was going to be a substitute in the Reserves for every game at Fulham. It was more about confidence and I feel I've got better. I just wanted to see what First Division football was like. At the moment I just want to get experience and see what happens after that."

As a junior, Cornwall had short spells with Luton and Chelsea before finally settling for third division Fulham.

"I went to Luton for a bit but nothing happened and I didn't know what to do then. Fulham came in for me and they were in the third division and, after being at Chelsea, I wasn't sure if I wanted to play."

"I was thinking about going back to Sixth Form and doing leisure and tourism, but then the YT came up. When I first went to Fulham they didn't have anything. We had to bring home our own kit and wash it. We had to do loads of jobs in the Academy and it was real hard work, even the pitch wasn't very good."

"Then Keegan came in and Al Fayed started to pump a bit of money, not a lot at first, but we got sponsored by Adidas and things like that. I knew the club was starting to go places once Keegan came in and everyone knew there would be players coming in."

"I made my debut under Kevin Keegan and scored. I played a couple of games in Division Two and then that was it. I didn't really play under Paul Bracewell and then Jean Tigana came in and gave everyone a chance."

Unfortunately for the Lanbeth-born striker, a profession in football looks increasingly more likely to lie away from Craven Cottage. Luis Saha, Luis Boa Morte, Barry Hayles, Peter Moller, Karlheinz Riedle and Paul Peschisolido all lie ahead of Cornwall in the pecking order at Fulham, but the young striker believes the likes of these players have helped him develop.

"The top players at Fulham have helped me and you can always watch people like Saha and take bits out of his game and better yourself. The players who have been brought in are all tow-footed and you learn all the time from those" Concluded Cornwall.


After being given a rest in the last couple of weeks, Grimsby Town manager Lennie Lawrence feels that Dutch midfielder Menno Willems is ready and raring to go once more. "He's just got tired but he's back and he looks sharp" spoke the manager of the former Vitesse Arnhem player.

The 23-year old had recently endured what has been a tiring experience off the field as he became a father for the first time. Add on the long hard season he played back in Holland, along with his performances for the Mariners, Willem's energy had been totally exhausted.

"There's been some outside factors like his wife having a baby and whether Stacy and Pouton can keep it up is another question."

"He did well but he got tired and had to come out. Most of them have had to do that and there's only four or five of them who've played the lot" added the Gaffer.

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