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Canterbury City appoint former Hythe Town, Ashford United and Faversham midfielder Dave Cook as assistant boss

By Mark Stokes

Dave Cook has joined his father Clive as part of Canterbury City’s new coaching team.

The 35-year-old former Ashford, Hythe and Faversham midfielder has been named as the Southern Counties East League club’s player-assistant manager.

It is his first job in coaching and sees him working alongside coach John Ovard, physio Jordan Taylor, and long-serving goalkeeping coach Ada Gower.

Dave Cook, who has joined his dad Clive as part of Canterbury City's coaching team Picture: Alan Langley
Dave Cook, who has joined his dad Clive as part of Canterbury City's coaching team Picture: Alan Langley

Cook senior was appointed City boss last week and is delighted with the quality of his backroom team.

He says the plan is for his son to play as and when needed.

He said: “Dave’s been through a lot with his body, through football.

“He still wants to play every game but feels he can’t play to his full potential.

“He eventually wants to be a manager and this is a great opportunity for him to learn the ropes without too much pressure.

“I’m his dad but he calls me gaffer or Clive and I call him Cookie.

“That’s not planned, it’s just how it is and I think it’s the best way.

“He’s brilliant in the dressing room, players love him and I know he wants to make the most of this opportunity.”

Ovard was one of a couple of coaches Cook spoke to and has previously worked at Ashford.

Cook explained: “He’s a really good coach. It was his personality and his will to win that I liked.

“He’s dedicated to the job, he dots all the i’s and crosses all the t’s.”

Physio Taylor, who is studying for a masters in sports therapy, worked with Cook at Hythe, while goalkeeping coach Gower – himself a former City boss – has been at the club for more than a decade.

Cook met with several members of last season’s playing squad at Faversham on Monday and admitted he appreciated being given the chance to speak to them.

He revealed that he has a gentleman’s agreement with four of the players to stay and remains optimistic that others will follow.

Cook said: “Some players turned up, some did not because they still have a problem with what happened (the sacking of his predecessor Ben Smith) which is fair enough.

“I expected it to be a bit volatile because things haven’t quite died down but it was a very good meeting and I respect those boys who turned up.

“It’s very easy to hide behind social media and phones, but I was pleased that those who came gave me a chance to put my ideas across and some of them seemed to like what they heard.”

Cook says he is continuing to talk to other potential signings and admits he has been surprised by the quality of some who have been in touch with him.

He added: “Business wise I’m very happy at the moment.

“I’ve got players coming out of my ears, players who want to play for me again which tells me that in the past I’ve done the right job.

“I’ve had some who have shocked me and I’ve said ‘Yes I’ll talk to you but if it’s about money I probably can’t match what other clubs are paying at the moment’.”

Cook described City as a sleeping giant and says he hopes fans will put the troubles of the last few weeks behind them to support him and the team.

He added: “I’m hoping I can get the supporters back onside, what happened has done a bit of damage but I hope they give me the opportunity.

“I hope they will like it when they see the sort of players I’m trying to bring in and the type of football we want to play.”

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