11 February 2012

Cody Cooke staking a claim

Source: Cornish Soccer. Link here > Cornish Soccer

Article written by Tom Howe, pictures by Steve Rogers.

Former Cornwall youth midfielder Cody Cooke has cemented a place in the squad of Blue Square Bet South outfit Truro City.

Cody in action in the Torquay friendly vs Truro City

The UCP Marjon student joined the club in December 2010 after impressing while playing regularly at Penryn Athletic. A pocket of Cornish football fans said at the time that Cooke’s talent could be wasted at Truro City and he would have been better off playing for a top Peninsula League club.

However, Cooke believes the chance was too good to turn down, saying: “The main factor for me joining Truro was the level of football. I was happy at Penryn but I had higher ambitions and I wanted to try and play the highest standard of football I could, so as soon as the opportunity came to join Truro I had to jump at the chance.”


Cody Cooke and Arran Pugh at Weston Super Mare 

Chances were slow in coming Cooke’s way and Penryn put in a seven day transfer request three months after the transfer, with fellow former club Falmouth Town rumoured to be interested.
Cooke said: “I heard that a few clubs were interested when I first came to the club, however I didn’t speak to any. I had not long been at Truro so there was no way I would have left the club.”

The commitment began paying off as Cooke became a regular at youth and reserve level during 2010-11, with promotion to the first team the following season. On only his second start for Truro City, the infamous away game at Sutton United on December 20th, he scored two goals. It’s a match that will live long in the memory; “That night at Sutton was a great night, it was great for me to get a couple of goals but it was more the occasion and the team effort that meant more.”

Lee Hodges’ squad was depleted by injury and suspension leaving only a 12 man squad-two of whom were reserves promoted on the same day. Cooke reminisced: “We only had one on the bench and were down to the bare bones; we were massively the underdogs so to go up there and get a result was great. The lads really stuck together that night and were so unfortunate to not get all three points after conceding a last minute free kick.”
Truro City have been very successful under Kevin Heaney’s ownership with five promotions in eight years and an FA Vase crown at Wembley to boot. However, on 25th August 2011, a winding-up petition was issued by HM Revenue & Customs over unpaid taxes. A shadow was cast over the club during the following months, with rumours surrounding Heaney’s involvement with a Plymouth Argyle buy-out and unpaid wages not helping the situation.

Heaney was confident from the start that a deal could be reached, and it was, on the 16th January the full six figure debt was paid two hours before the all-important hearing.

For a young lad at the club these must have been hard times, but Cooke was consistent in his belief that the clubs fortunes would change. He said: “We have had some hard times but I always believed in the strength of the club to pull through the tough times. I think we are onwards and upwards now. Hopefully we can get a few wins under our belt and climb back up the table a few places and secure a good position.”

Experienced football league player Lee Hodges is cutting his management teeth at Truro and has done a superb job steadying the ship in awkward times. Cooke is full of praise for his manager, saying: “Hodgey has been great. He’s a great manager and an experienced player who has clear intentions and ambitions for the club. As a player he has helped me loads. He’s put me in at some tough games and had faith in me which is all I can ask. I have also learnt a lot off of him as a player which has helped my development.”

The promising midfielder has now made six starts and four sub appearances for The White Tigers this season scoring two goals.

With the aim of stabilising the club in the Blue Square Bet South this season, next could see Cooke come into his own and cement a place as the engine of City’s midfield.
By Tom Howe.
(Tom Howe, is currently a Level 2 student at University College Falmouth studying BA (Hons) Journalism.)

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