Focus on: Matthew Cook

Nicky John

Nicky John

Monday, 20 Jan 2014, 09:30

Sgorio reporter, Nicky John has been getting to know some of the players and managers within the Welsh Premier League to get an insight into what makes them tick!

This week Nicky chats to newly appointed Newtown captain, Matthew Cook.

First, congratulations on your recent appointment as captain of the Robins! You must be delighted?!
Yes, I’m really happy to have been given the armband and looking forward to representing the club for the second half of the season.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish AJ (Andy Jones) all the best at Airbus as he was a fantastic leader for the club.

There’s been another big change at Newtown this season too. How are the players settling under Chris Hughes, and how difficult was it to say goodbye to Bernie McNally?!
It was difficult to say goodbye to Bernie as he was a true gent and he had built the side from scratch but these things happen in football.

The players have settled in fine with Chris and he has brought a real knowledge of the players/teams in the league something which we lacked slightly under Bernie.

What’s pleased you most about the way things have gone so far this season?
The thing that has pleased me the most this season is our defensive displays.

In previous seasons we have conceded quite a few goals but this season every player has worked together and has taken pride in a clean sheet.

What has been your personal highlight?
My personal highlight so far is securing a top six finish. It is the first time that I have finished in the top six and is a credit to the hard work put in by all the players and staff.

Who would of thought we would be the third club to secure a top six position, especially after the first four or five games?

What do you do when you’re not playing football?
I currently work as a team leader for a bank, and can confirm that I’ve yet to receive one of the bankers bonuses that has been mentioned in the papers!

What was the first football match you attended as a fan, and what do you remember of it?!
To be honest I didn’t really attend football matches as a child as my family weren’t really into football, or sports in general.

The first game I attended as a fan was Liverpool vs Celtic in the Uefa Cup where both fans were singing You’ll Never Walk Alone at the same time.

The atmosphere was electric!!

Do you have any strange superstitions or rituals on match day?!
I have a couple – but not too strange I hope!

I always pack my bag the same way with all the contents in the same place, and I tend to wear number four to warm up even though I have a squad number of eight, and I always do my left shin pad first.

Who is the biggest character in the Newtown dressing room?!
I would have to say Callum Wright, he’s always dishing out the banter and has a decent sense of humour.

Who works hardest in training?!
Craig Williams never misses a training session and is probably the hardest worker.

Max Penk on the other hand is the worst trainer and tries the least.

What about opposition? Which WPL player(s) have impressed you so far this season?
Matty Williams was a different class for TNS when we played them away from home.

Also Kyle Bassett has played well against us, and has also played well when I ‘ve seen him on Sgorio.

What’s your favourite away trip, and why?!
I would have to say Aberystwyth as it is a local derby with usually a good crowd.

Down the years I have got some really good results there as well.

Who is your football hero?
Steven Gerrard, as a Liverpool fan and fellow midfielder he has been a class act since making his first appearance.

I just wish I was half as good!!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
My stepfather is Bermudian, his ancestor ‘Hezekiah Frith’ was actually a pirate!! I think that’s pretty random.