Happy Cooke targets debut

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DONCASTER Rugby League Club’s big name signing Paul Cooke is on course to make his debut for the Championship One club in their opening game of the 2012 season at Gateshead on Sunday week in their Northern Rail Cup pool game.

The former Super League star, who has been out of the game for 12 months prior to joining the Dons earlier this month, is training with his new team-mates three nights a week as well as doing sessions on his own in Hull on another two days in a bid to make the big kick-off.

“I’m happy with how things have been going,” said the 30-year-old half-back told The Star.

Cooke, who played for both Hull clubs and Wakefield, is also pleased with how the Dons have looked in all three of their pre-season games.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the squad have looked in the warm-up games,” said the 6’ 4” stand-off.

“That was particularly the case against Sheffield Eagles, who were Championship runners-up last season. We ran them very close.

“We are making steady progress but we’ve got to maintain and build upon it.

“If we take in what head coach Tony Miller is asking for both in the coaching sessions and video analysis then we shouldn’t be too far away.

“I’ve not seen any of the other Championship One teams though I’ll be looking to do a little bit of homework on them in the next couple of weeks, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen.

“We look to have some pace out wide and a hard-working pack. We’ve got a bunch of players who don’t mind putting in the hard work.

“If we can continue with that sort of work ethic then we’ll not be far off.

“I’m also looking forward to playing alongside such as Craig Fawcett at half-back. Craig’s a kid whose got potential and if I can help and guide him then I will.”