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Cook flies Robins' nest for dream role

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: July 10, 2009

Mike Cook flies Robins' nest for dream role at Professional Football Association

Mike Cook

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Cheltenham Town's Community Programme Officer Mike Cook has landed a dream job with the Professional Football Association.

Cook, who is based near Stroud, will take up the new role of PFA South West Regional Coach Educator later this month after a decade with the Robins.

He succeeds Guy Whittingham, who joined Portsmouth as development coach earlier this year.

Cook's primary responsibility will be to deliver coach education courses to young scholarship players at professional clubs across the South West, including Southampton, Reading and Cheltenham Town.

He will also be expected to identify potential stars of the future, reporting directly to England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce.

"It's a high profile position and I have worked my tail off to get it, but it still seems too good to be true," a delighted Cook said.

"Cheltenham have been fantastic and have said I can go whenever I want with their blessing because it's such a great opportunity.

"The PFA's head office is in Bow Lane, London, but I will work from home and drive around to the clubs delivering the courses.

"I am looking forward to doing a good job and it can lead to so many good things, so the world is my oyster."

Cook has a wealth of knowledge and a long list of coaching and teaching qualifications, as well as playing experience with clubs such as Coventry City, Cambridge United and Wycombe Wanderers, where he played under current Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill.

A spinal injury curtailed his promising career at the age of 22 and he prepared himself for a life in coaching from an early age.

Cook has his UEFA A Licence and enjoyed a spell as manager of Cinderford Town.

He joined Cheltenham's Football in the Community scheme in November 1999 and has helped it develop into a thriving programme.

Cook's former assistant Olly Roberts will take over at the helm and he will be supported by Abbie Sadler, who oversees the ladies section of the programme.

"Olly has assisted me for the last 18 months and he is well capable of stepping up to take over," Cook added.

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    Flamer, woking  |  July 11 2009, 3:24PM

    Mike was the best boss I ever had, loved all the atmosphere amongest the staff, learnt so much and especially loved the high quality tracksuits and training kit, virtually never took mine off the week we got it. Thanks Mike

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    graham, Cheltenhams voice of the North  |  July 10 2009, 6:55PM

    Good luck in your new job its great at least the backroom staff can move onto better things. Whereas the players leaving us now appear to be getting conference experience in preparation for when CTFC get relegated next season. Long live Spencer and can we afford a walking frame for Allsopp.

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    Mark, here  |  July 10 2009, 2:34PM

    Good luck Cooky, you deserve it

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    Shirtnine, gloucester  |  July 10 2009, 1:51PM

    What a achievement for such a great guy,brings back fond memories of Bedworth.

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    steve benbow, on the beat  |  July 10 2009, 1:29PM

    this surely has to rank as one of cookie's best days however it can be knowhere near as good as the time he scored in front of the kop!

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    martin, cheltenham  |  July 10 2009, 8:49AM

    firstly well done mike - fully deserved. anyone who can work with some of the people mike has done over the years and make a success deserves this opportunity. Cook's former assistant Olly Roberts will take over at the helm "Olly has assisted me for the last 18 months and he is well capable of stepping up to take over," Cook added. the things people will say to get away form a job is unbelievable at times but i am a little concerned/suprised about one comment -

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    Tarquin, Voice of CTFC  |  July 10 2009, 8:17AM

    Mike do us a favour and recommend Spencer to Stuart Pearce!!!!!!!!!

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