Atherton Collieries are delighted to confirm the return of Brad Cooke to the club as our new manager. Brad first joined Colls in March 2012 and went on to captain the club during its rise from the North West Counties and our first season in the Northern Premier League Division One. He made 265 appearances, scoring 39 goals. Speaking to us this afternoon, Brad said: "I am delighted to be back at a club which is so close to my heart. The last 48 hours have been really tough. But when your club comes knocking you simply can’t say no.
I am hugely grateful to West Didsbury for giving my an opportunity with their fantastic club. The way they have dealt with this situation has been nothing short of first class... as expected. Thanks to Paul Gregory and the committee for believing in me so much by giving this opportunity. It’s one I will take with both hands, this club and the community runs through my blood and will give everything I have to continue the great work that’s been done to date.
I will be bring with me 2 assistants. Chris Lynch will be on one shoulder, whose experience at this level and above is impeccable and has been a former player at Colls. Rob Sadler will be on my other shoulder, who is another local lad who knows what the club and community means to the people of Atherton. Both are good friends who I trust, which is a necessity now in non-league.
The hard work starts now, and I promise that we will give it everything we have got. Unfortunately I will miss Saturday’s game against Hyde as I am getting married (I tried cancelling but had no luck). My staff will be taking the game against Hyde and my first game will be against Barrow. I look forward to seeing you all then. It feels good to be home!!" Chairman Paul Gregory added: "On behalf of myself and my committee at the Colls I would like to welcome Brad Cooke and Chris lynch as the new management team at Atherton Colls. The buzz around the ground on Saturday was electric when word went around we were interviewing Brad for the job. Brad is a Colls legend with black and white running through his veins, plus a really popular person around Atherton. I have spoken to Chris and he is honest, enthusiastic and a winner, as his playing career would suggest.
I must thank our old management team of Michael Clegg and crew, without them we would not be where we are now. I wish them all the best (as long as they remain below us in the league). Here’s to a new beginning and a fantastic future."
As a club, we'd like to thank West Didsbury and Chorlton in their handling of the situation, we wish them well and are sure we will see them soon.
We'd also like to thank all applicants for the job for their interest, we were humbled as a club at the extent and quality of the candidates for the position.