Update: Cooper confirmed as City boss
PUBLISHED: 14:27 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:17 26 October 2009
FORMER Hitchin, Luton Town and Exeter City utility player Dave Cooper has been named as WGC’s new manager. The 35-year-old succeeds Dave Lewis, who was placed in temporary charge of the Citizens following Howard Cowley’s shock resignation with just six league games
FORMER Hitchin, Luton Town and Exeter City utility player Dave Cooper has been named as WGC’s new manager. The 35-year-old succeeds Dave Lewis, who was placed in temporary charge of the Citizens following Howard Cowley’s shock resignation with just six league games to go.
Cooper joins the club having been Hitchin’s first team coach last season. As a player, David was a member of the Canaries’ 1995 FA Cup giant-killing team against Bristol Rovers.
He made more than 60 first team appearances for the Top Field club. Prior to that, he had enjoyed a four-year professional career in which he played for both the Hatters and Exeter City. The Citizens have struggled this year and Cooper believes player retention will be key to having a successful 2008-09 season. He said:
“There’s a lot of talent in the area, and I believe I am the man to take this club forward. “I think it’s vital that we get a stabilised squad, with a local core to the side, only then we will get the success on and off the field.” WGC have often relied on borrowing players from other clubs, or from youth academies, and numerous times this season have been unable to name substitutes due to player absence.
Yet Cooper is confident his contacts in the game will enable him to build up a strong and successful squad for next term. “My minimum aim is to finish in the top half next season, and then build from there,” said the WGC-born manager. “I think this club needs to be looked at long-term, and I have a few ideas on how to develop us both on and off the pitch.”
Unfortunately WGC will not be entering a reserve side into the league for next season due to the current ground-sharing arrangement with Hatfield Town. Cooper is in no doubt that in the long-term this is essential for the progression of the Herns Lane club.
He said: “I think it’s necessary to have a reserve team, and gives players more impetus to get involved. “It’s definitely my aim to have this set up as soon as possible. “I will also be trying to foster links with the local football teams in the area, as I’m in no doubt there’s a lot of good young talent out there, and we need that local youth element at the club.”
The new City boss has been impressed with what he has seen on the pitch towards the end of the season, and is looking forward to meeting the current crop of players as he looks to revive the spirits at the Herns Lane club. He will be assisted by Darren Gibb on the sidelines, and will be hoping his contacts in the game can bring some much needed success to the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side.
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