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Clive Cook admits he turned down other jobs before becoming Canterbury City manager

By Mark Stokes

Clive Cook admits he is elated to be back in football after becoming Canterbury City's new manager.

Cook was unveiled as Ben Smith's successor by the Southern Counties East League side on Tuesday morning.

The role is his first since leaving Hythe Town after two-and-a-half years as manager there in January 2018.

Clive Cook admits he is elated to be back in football Picture: John Westhrop
Clive Cook admits he is elated to be back in football Picture: John Westhrop

Cook revealed he had considered several posts since but none had seemed quite right.

The 60-year-old, who guided Hythe to the Bostik South East play-offs in 2015/16, explained: "When I spoke to the chairman (Tim Clark) he was excellent, we both wanted the same things, his vision was the same as mine.

"You've got to feel good about what you're going to do and this one seemed to fit with me.

"I've had others that haven't, but this felt right, I want do do something that feels like a work in progress.

"I went for some positions which I didn't get which is fair enough but I've already had plenty of calls from people saying it's great to have you back.

"One particular manager said 'welcome back to the mad world' and he's right.

"When you're a manager you are always under pressure, but when you're not involved you miss it.

"I'm elated, it's exciting being involved again and I'm looking forward to the challenge but I need to get my head around how much it has changed.

"I've seen so much football in the last six months, I've tried to keep an eye out for players, and been to training sessions to see what other people are putting on.

"It just feels good to be back and managing a side. I love the camaraderie you get with players, you laugh with them, you cry with them."

Cook says he's aware of the acrimonious circumstances in which his predecessor left – sacked following comments made in a newspaper – but he says he is unconcerned by what has gone on before.

He explained: "I'm aware what happened but it's nothing to do with me.

"Things like this happen in football, it's how you conduct yourself in those sort of situations.

"You might not agree with the decision, but they're your bosses (the chairman and board) they run it and they do what they think is best for the club and the supporters.

"Once things settle down I'm hoping the players will give me a chance because I want the players who are there to stay.

"I know some of them will have loyalty to the previous manager but I'm going in with an open mind.

"I'm obviously going to try and bring in players who will improve the squad but I've seen the team play and they have some top players.

"They had a fantastic run in the Vase, but no disrespect they probably underachieved a bit in the league last season (when they were ninth) and that's your bread and butter.

"I hope they'll give me a little bit of their time to listen to what I have to say.

"Hopefully they will buy into it, if they don't then they are free to leave. I'm not in it to make enemies."

Cook expects to name his backroom team by the weekend but confirmed that long-serving goalkeeping coach Ada Gower will be staying on.

He also said he will probably work with a squad of 16 to 18 players.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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