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Cook adds spice

NEW boy Paul Cook would love to finish his career by taking Accrington Stanley into the Football League.


NEW boy Paul Cook would love to finish his career by taking Accrington Stanley into the Football League.

The 36-year-old is John Coleman's top signing this summer and a lot is expected of the former Wolves, Tranmere, Stockport, Coventry and Burnley player. And the experienced midfielder, who has 550 league games under his belt, is as ambitious as ever - and has set his sights on helping to rewrite the Stanley history books.

"I had three good years at Burnley but it would be great for me to finish my career by taking Accrington back into the League," admitted Cook.

"That would mean a lot to me and I know it would mean a lot to the area. I must admit I know very little about the Conference. I spent two good seasons in the Premier League with Coventry but I am really a First Division player, that is the level I have played at for most of my career.

"I could perhaps have gone out and found another League club when I was released from Turf Moor but it was my choice to come to Accrington. I know there will be some pressure on me but at the end of the day, I am playing for Accrington Stanley like the rest of the team and I am no different to them. There is pressure in any job and you have just got to get on with it."

The Liverpudlian is quick to play down any achievements in his career and just wants to be "one of the lads".

"The lads are great, it does help that I have coached here at pre-seasons a couple of times," admitted Cook. "I think they are learning that I am a bit of a comic! But I am just one of them now. I knew Lutel (James) from playing in the Football League when he was at Bury. But the lads like Rocky (Robbie Williams) and Smithy (Jonathan Smith) have been outstanding at the back from what I have seen in pre-season. And Rory (Prendergast) has done well. There is a level of optimism at the club and everyone here is ambitious."

Cook admits he has known the manager and his assistant Jimmy Bell "for years and years" but their friendship won't come into the manager/player relationship.

"At the end of the day, he is the manager and I know my place even though sometimes I think I am the gaffer! He knows how he wants the team to play and wants to succeed. I am part of that team and that is that. Accrington is a great club, the chairman is very hands on and it is a friendly club. I just hope we do well."


Stuart Pike
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