Cefn Albion have announce that they have bolstered their backroom team with the fantastic appointment of the experienced and well renown Richard Williams-Cooke.
So, who is Richard Williams-Cooke?
Representing his home town club Denbigh Town, 'Cookie' made his Cymru Alliance debut at just 16. By the age of 17/18, after some impressive reserve team performances he soon became a regular starter for the firsts making a big impression at a very respectable standard.
After bursting onto the scene as a youngster he went on to enjoy a very successful domestic career representing and scoring goals for many recognised clubs across Wales’ top two tiers. Newtown, Denbigh, Flint, Bala and Cefn Druids to name a few. During his playing career there aren’t many people who wouldn't have come across Cookie and there are not many who will know the game more than him thanks to his experiences.
Whilst with Cefn Druids, after undergoing two knee cartilage operations, at the age of 31 Williams-Cooke called time on his playing and later turned to management initially with our near neigbours Chirk AAA in the Wrexham Area League before returning to his home town club Denbigh Town taking charge for the 2012/13 season. In his first season with Denbigh, they finished runners up in the Welsh Alliance behind eventual champions Caernarfon Town. Despite the 2nd place finish, Cookie further strengthened his squad and 12 months later they clinched the title in impressive fashion going the entire season unbeaten winning 25 out of the 28 league games they played. His team entered into the record books after recording the all time best ever season at that level. They also won the cup making it a memorable double that year.
After making the difficult decision to finish with Denbigh due to family and work commitments, a spell in the English system followed a few years later when he had a brief stint in charge of the newly formed FC Oswestry Town. However, after this short stint, Rich soon found himself back at Denbigh for a third spell when he was announced as Eddie Maurice-Jones' assistant. The pair secured an impressive top 2 finish in the Cymru Alliance and gained many deserved plaudits for their efforts.
Unsurprisingly their achievements soon caught the eye of one of Wales' most decorated clubs, Rhyl FC and in 2018 Maurice-Jones was revealed as the new manager at Belle Vue with Williams-Cooke joining him as assistant manager. After two years with Rhyl in the cymru north, Wales's second tier Richard Williams-Cooke joins Cefn Albion in what is a real coup for the football club.
Upon joining the Cefners we spoke to Cookie and he told us that he was very happy when Sean Jones got in touch to get involved. He said
"Cefn Albion is a football club I've kept an eye on and admired for a long time. It's apparent that the club has a really strong family and community feel and that is something I have missed, probably since I was the manager of Denbigh Town. I already know a lot of people at the club and now that it's all confirmed in Comet I'm looking forward to starting and passing on things I've learnt over the years. Hopefully i can make a positive impact and help the club push forward in the new north east tier 3 league."
Sean Jones and Ian Andrews welcomed the addition of cookie and shared their thoughts
Sean: "I’m delighted to be able to bring someone of Cookie's ability and experience to the Albion, it’s something of a coup for myself and the club to get him on board.
Firstly, his footballing ability is unquestionable and he will offer us a different footballing option to what we have already. Off the pitch everyone across North Wales will be aware of his legacy especially from his time at Denbigh and even the great job he did at our local neighbours Chirk, I’m certain he will have a positive impact on the group once we can finally get going."
Ian: "I’m looking forward to working with Cookie for the new season, he's a great addition for us and with plenty of knowledge and experience in management. I'm sure we'll all get on great and be ready to assemble the players when we start back, together we'll be looking to push the players so they are ready to challenge in the new league. Hopefully Cookie will have some good contacts of players should we need to add to what is already a very strong squad. Welcome to the Albion Cookie."