Doncaster RLFC: Cooke’s 2015 recruitment gathers pace

Doncaster RLFC's Paul Cooke.
Doncaster RLFC's Paul Cooke.

Paul Cooke’s team-building plans for the 2015 Championship campaign are gathering pace.

Cooke, who signed a new contract himself a few weeks ago, says a number of the current squad will be remaining at the club and he has not ruled out more being offered a new deal.

“We’ve spoken in-house to those players (who have not been approached) about why we’ve not done any more business than we’ve done and the reasons for that,” he said.

“But they remain in our plans because they are at the club for a reason.

“While we are obviously going to lose a couple – we’ve obviously recently let Michael Butterfield go and Grant Edwards retired earlier in the season - none of the players who haven’t been offered a new deal for 2015 are out of the reckoning.

“They’ve all got an opportunity to prove themselves, whether they are playing or not, to be good people to have around the place.”

In addition to the players he has signed, Cooke has also identified other players he would like to bring to the club.

“Obviously a lot depends on where we finish in the table and the prize money we pick up,” he said.

“But, as I say, we have got some business done from within and outside the club and we’ll announce details as and when we feel is the right time.

“It’s going to be a very tough league next season with two full-time clubs (Bradford and London) coming down from Super League and several of the current Championship sides also planning to go full-time.

“I’m putting together what I feel will be a stronger squad, though you might expect me to say that seeing as I am the one who is doing it.

“But while we are planning for 2015 there is still a job to do this season and that is what we are focusing our efforts on.

“We’ve had a good season so far and we want to go out on a high and not a whimper – not least because we want to carry some momentum into pre-season and beyond.”