Whitby Town's Cooke given confidence by bosses Haslam and Bullock

Whitby Town man Liam Cooke emerged from the shadows to impress for the club in the early weeks of the still-young 2020/21 season.

By Liam Ryder
Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 11:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 11:48 am
Liam Cooke (centre)
Liam Cooke (centre)

The midfielder, brother of Bradford City man Callum, spent the last campaign at Northern League Division One side Thornaby on dual-registration terms with the Blues.

After a number of pre-season trial spells, then-boss Chris Hardy took a gamble on Cooke by getting him on the books at the Towbar Express Stadium.

New bosses Lee Bullock and Nathan Haslam saw the potential in the youngster and he is now thriving with goals and assists for the Blues.

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His standout showing being a man of the match performance in October’s 3-3 draw at Radcliffe, the game which saw him grab a first competitive goal for the Blues.

He told The Whitby Gazette: “I had to work hard when I first signed for the club and going out on loan to Thornaby helped me improve my game.

“When I came back it all came down to manager’s opinion I think as when Chris (Hardy) left, Lee and Nathan put me in the team straight away against top of the table Warrington and that was my first start.

“They put that trust in me straight away so I wanted to show what I was capable of in that game and it filled me with confidence.

“I hit the ground running from there and I felt like I was playing well every game, so it’s really frustrating for me that things have turned out as they have.

“My standout game was the match at Radcliffe, especially as I got my first goal.

“The goal gave me loads of confidence and that showed in the entire performance that night.

“I cut inside and hit the post once and I did the same two minutes later so on another night it could have been a hat-trick which would have been perfect but that came on the back of the confidence that I kept on building.”

On the prospect of the Northern Premier League season being made null and void, Cooke added: “We all hoped that the season would be continued but with all that’s going on it seems inevitable.

“With more clubs happy to make it null and void than not, I think it would be the best move and hopefully we can start again in the summer with no disruptions.”