Cooke signals interest in vacant Cork and Derry posts

Drogheda United boss in ‘very strange situation’

 Mick Cooke: “I came here with a plan in my mind but it’s been cut short.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Mick Cooke: “I came here with a plan in my mind but it’s been cut short.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho


Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke has declared a firm interest in the vacant Cork and Derry jobs.

The 62-year-old Dubliner said he would happily relocate to either city for next season if offered charge of a club capable of challenging for the title.

“Certainly,” said Cooke. “They’re two massive clubs and I’d love to get a big club to manage. I think with my experience and all I’ve done in the league I’d be well capable of managing any club.”

Cooke finds himself in the remarkable position of making his availability known just days before Drogheda United head to Lansdowne Road to take on Sligo Rovers in the Ford-sponsored FAI Cup final; the Louth club’s third such occasion of the season.

The former Monaghan United boss insists he is unsure what prompted his employers to withdraw the offer of a new deal. But he appears to accept that Sunday will be his last day in charge despite having done well at the club.

“I’ve found it a very strange situation to be in because it’s obviously going on for a hell of a long time but . . . I’ll just move on.”

Derry and Cork, he said, have the potential to offer opportunities he would jump at. The likes of Shelbourne, who will decide on Johnny McDonnell’s future and their wider plans for next season this evening, could be another possibility, with Cooke confident that he has something to offer in the right circumstances.

“It depends now on what clubs want,” he said.

Family support

“You could be offered anything in the premier division and it mightn’t be right for me but [moving wouldn’t be a problem], I’ve nothing to hold me down . . . my children are grown up and my wife will give me the full backing anywhere I go in football as she has done since the day we met.

“I came in here with a plan in my mind and it’s been cut short,” he said. “But I think the last two years have proved what I’m capable of doing in the management side of things – that I’m a success, which isn’t always about winning things. It’s about achieving what you can achieve with the resources that you’ve got.”