Adam Cooke signs on at Wokingham & Emmbrook ahead of 'tough' FebruaryBy Lewis Rudd
February 01, 2013
Roger Herridge has bolstered his defensive options with the signing of Adam Cooke.
The 18-year-old arrives at Larges Lane from Surburban League outfit Hampton & Richmond, having been recommended to the Sumas boss by recent arrival Jake Butler.
The youngster worked his way up the youth ranks at Chippenham Town and has also represented both Yate Town and the Wiltshire County FA at under-18 level.
He has been named in the Sumas squad for tomorrow's trip to Wantage Town and could be handed his debut at Alfredian Park.
Joining Cooke in the squad which makes the short trip to Oxfordshire will be Sam Whiting, who has returned to fitness following a lengthy injury.
Herridge, though, has no intention of rushing the midfielder back into the demands of Hellenic Premier Division football, having suffered his most recent setback just a number of weeks after recovering from a broken leg earlier in the season.
He said: "He came back too quickly last time so obviously we need to be careful about that one really and make sure the time is right for him.
"It will not be long before he is involved in the squad, and initially I imagine we will be looking to give him 10 to 15 minutes at the end of a game.
"But it is certainly good to get him back involved."
Cooke's arrival, meanwhile, will also come as a welcome boost to Herridge, who is keen to avoid some of the selection problems witnessed in recent months during what will be a fixture backlogged second half of the season.
He said: “I don't think I have made any secret of the fact we have had problems with work commitments, injuries and a very low squad this year.
“Obviously there is an awful lot of games left to play and I cannot expect certain players to play every game, and at centre-half we have had many changes.
“We have had a situation with Tom Hopper who, for charity reasons has missed a lot of games and he still has got other commitments to cover. He is getting married very soon so in his absence we have played Callum Eagle, who has done fantastic for us.
“But he is at university so he has to miss the odd game so centre half is somewhere we have been crying out for more options.
"I have brought in a young lad (Cooke) who is friends with Jake Butler.
“He has been training with us and could be a good player. I was only too pleased to sign him.”
Herridge went on to say he has not ruled out the idea of bringing in more new faces to the club, but for the time being his attentions are turned to plotting a way to end a run of four consecutive defeats.
Having not kicked a ball competitively in the league since the surprise 2-1 defeat to struggling Abingdon Town on January 5, the Sumas now face something close to a baptism of fire, as three of their next four league fixtures are against Wantage, leaders Marlow and local rivals Ascot United.
Herridge, though, insists his charges are ready for the challenges which await them.
“We have had a little bit of a blip in the last few games,” he said.
“February is probably one of our toughest months, given the games we have coming up, but we are looking forward to getting out there and playing again.
“Looking back two or three weeks before Christmas we were fourth or fifth in the table, but we certainly didn’t get above ourselves. We gritted out a few results here and there and we probably did over achieve.
“We are a young squad and if we can finish in the top six, seven or eight places that would be a fantastic season for us, looking at our resources and our well documented lack of home and training resources.
“But I want to make sure the boys’ heads are switched on and don’t want losing to become a habit.”