Doncaster RLFC: Coach Cooke vows to play on for Dons

Doncaster RLFC coach Paul Cooke.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Doncaster RLFC coach Paul Cooke. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

New player coach Paul Cooke is not ready to be a tracksuited touchline boss just yet.

The 32-year-old has vowed to continue playing for Doncaster - who launch their new Championship campaign at Workington this weekend - as long as he feels he is making a positive contribution to the side.

Cooke is likely to start the season at stand off for the Dons at Derwent Park on Sunday.

But he also insists he will have no problems taking himself out of the side.

The transition from playing has been more smooth than the former Super League star thought, helped by his work as backs coach for Doncaster Knights since last summer.

Cooke said: “I’ve not found it too bad really.

“Because I work with the Knights I’ve been able to work on my fitness down there at their top quality facilities.

“It’s meant that when we’ve trained at the Dons that I’ve been able to concentrate on the coaching side of things.

“On the playing side, if I feel someone else would serve us better being in the side then I’d take myself out straight away.

“But I’ve got plenty of confidence in my coaching staff that they can take care of things when I’m playing.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Dons finished sixth in last season’s Championship.

A top nine finish this time around would guarantee the club’s second tier status for 2015, when promotion and relegation from the Super League will return to the domestic game.