DONCASTER Rugby League Club supporters had to dig deep to bring former Super League star Paul Cooke to Keepmoat Stadium during the close season, the 31 year-old half-back is proving value for money.
Cooke had been out of the game for over a year before being persuaded to come out of retirement to help the South Yorkshire club try and win promotion back to the Championship by chief executive Carl Hall and team boss Tony Miller.
Having talked the former Hull, Hull KR and Wakefield star into making a comeback, the two men then set about trying to persuade fans and local businesses to help fund his contract, which also includes a part-time role with the club’s community department. “I said at the time that Paul could make the difference between promotion and just missing out,” said Miller. “Paul has done everything expected of him and more - both on and off the field - since he’s been here.”
Cooke said: “It’s proved a good move for me and I’m enjoying it here. We’ve made a good start to the season and we are where we want to be and it’s just a case of consolidating our position in the table. We’ll probably know more about our prospects after the next couple of games. We’ve got back-to-back games against teams who are just below us in the table starting with Sunday’s home game against Oldham and followed by a trip to Workington.
“If we could pick up six points from those games, and then beat North Wales at the end of the month, we’d go into our three-week break well placed and ready to kick on.”
The club look likely to be without loose-forward Grant Edwards for most, if not all, the rest of the season.
Although Edwards won’t know the full extent of his knee injury for another couple of weeks, he has been told by specialist that he hasn’t torn his cruciate ligament as first feared.
“Grant’s feeling a bit more upbeat though he still could be out for up to three months,” said Miller.