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Canterbury City: Clive Cook confirms first six signings

ByCameron Hogwood

Clive Cook has confirmed the first six new signings of his Canterbury City managerial tenure.

The former Hythe boss now considers his squad just one player away from completion, with a batch of more new arrivals expected to be announced next week.

Deals have been completed with keeper Joe Mant, Callum Emptage, Jordan Wright, Jack Healey, Liam King and Clark Woodcock.

Clive Cook. Picture by: Matthew Walker
Clive Cook. Picture by: Matthew Walker

Cook said: “I’m done barring one, I’ve left the door open for one.

“I’ve added Joe Mant who was at Horsham last year. He’s an excellent young goalkeeper who was with me at Hythe. He’s very trusted and I’m over the moon to get him.

“Then there is Callum Emptage, who was the skipper at East Grinstead. He’s an ex-Gills professional and was with me at Hythe as well, he’s a tremendous signing.

“Also Jordan Wright who played at Whitstable last year and has previously been at Faversham and Ashford, I’m really excited to have him.

“We’ve got Jack Healey, a centre-half from Corinthian who prides himself on clean sheets and then Liam King from Faversham who plays as a forward just behind the front two, he’s a massive talent.

“One of the most exciting players I’ve got on board is Clark Woodcock who has come from Ashford.

“When I was out of management I watched him a lot and he ticked all my boxes. I had him top of my list to get and I’m really excited to have him.

“I feel he’s got something there that I can potentially move on and make something of, that’s my dream and goal with him and every player. He’s the right age and I’ve seen something in him to believe that there is more to come.

“This year he needs to settle down into the side and play a full season, hopefully by the end of the year he will have developed into a very good player.”

Jordan Wright in action for Whitstable
Jordan Wright in action for Whitstable

With more new faces due to be unveiled, Cook is also preparing to welcome a group of trialists for City’s pre-season.

He added: “That’s just the start (of the signings). There’s more to come.

“I’ve got 17 spots done with one more to fill. I’m excited to work with this group of players, they’re a good bunch of lads that have bought into things both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

“I’ve kept three from the previous squad and one is coming back to do pre-season which I’m over the moon about. It’s been hard work, it’s tough out there. I’ve had a few disappointments I won’t lie, but that’s pre-season. I’m very pleased with the business we’ve done.

“Everybody is buzzing. I’ve had players come back saying ‘I haven’t felt like this about pre-season for years’.

“I’ve got five trialists coming for pre-season as well so I’ll probably have a group of about 25.

“There’s one in there I’m very excited about, he’s got massive pedigree.

“I quite like the idea that it’s my squad and my management team’s squad. I’m really excited to have been given this opportunity to put Canterbury on the map and that’s what I intend to do. I love this kind of project.”

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