independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Cooke wants to lead Drogs into new home

DROGHEDA United boss Mick Cooke says he'd love to finish his managerial career with Drogheda United - in the club's proposed new stadium.

The Boynesiders are expected to reveal detailed plans for a new stadium in the coming weeks, and Cooke said he's looking forward to viewing the plans which would see the club vacate Hunky Dorys Park.

'It's great news,' he reflected on Tuesday. 'I was around when Tallaght Stadium was supposed to come on stream and that ended up taking 10 years, but I believe this is near and I would like to think that I'd still be Drogheda manager when it's finished.

'My record shows that I had four years at Rovers and six at Monaghan, so I'm not one to jump ship and I'm very happy with Drogheda.

'We're a club in the ascendancy and my dream would be to remain with Drogheda, and then for Robbie Horgan to step in and take the club from there, but you never know I might do a Mick O'Dwyer and manage until I'm 75!'

Cooke said he hadn't yet agreed terms with any players, apart from Gavin Brennan, Derek Prendergast, Gabriel Sava and Brian Gannon.

The manager was on Pro Licence duty on Tuesday and assistant manager Robbie Horgan was due to have talks with some players.

Cooke, who will be back at the helm by Friday, admitted that there's a lot of competition from other clubs.

'Players want to pick and choose and there's plenty of options, with new managers coming in at Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk and Limerick will spend a bit of money.

'Some other clubs are paying more money than us and that is a problem, but we have a few things to offer ourselves - European and Setanta Cup football, good training facilities and medical staff.

'The likes of Shamrock Rovers and St Pat's will have big squads and you're trying to tell players that they might not get a game with them, but if they come to us they will play.'

Meanwhile, Cooke has been confirmed as one of the nominees - alongside the likes of GAA greats Jim McGuinness and Brian Cody - for the RTE Manager of the Year Award. -Drogheda have been confirmed as one of the unseeded clubs for the Setanta Sports Cup 2013, the draw for which will take place on Thursday December 6th at Stormont.

Their first-round match - which will take place over two legs on Monday February 11th and 18th - will be against one of the seven other unseeded teams, namely Cliftonville, Glentoran, St Patrick's Athletic, Portadown, Shamrock Rovers, Coleraine and Cork City. The second leg date is subject to Irish Cup replays, with Tuesday February 26th set as the alternative night.

The four first-round winners will join seeded clubs Sligo Rovers, Linfield, Derry City and defending champions Crusaders in the quarter-finals.

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