Dons to make New Year decision on Cooke

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DONCASTER Rugby League Club have yet to make a decision on whether to pursue their interest in former Super League star Paul Cooke.

Chief executive Carl Hall said the response to coach Tony Miller’s appeal for fans’ backing to finance a full-time position within the club’s development department for Cooke, as part of a package for the 30 year-old half-back, had been ‘encouraging’ and better than expected.

But he added that more money needed to be raised before the club, who are determined to stay within budget, can start to enter into final negotiations. The club are hoping to let Cooke, who is keen to get back into the game following a 12-month lay-off, know of their decision by the start of January.

“I’ve spoken to Paul and he is okay with that,” said Hall.

The former Kiwi international says the club are still looking to local firms and more fans to pledge their support to enable Miller to strengthen his squad ahead of the start of the 2012 Championship One campaign in February.

Miller is looking to strengthen his half-backs and sees the 6’ 5” Cooke as the man to help secure the Dons one of the four promotion spots up for grabs next season.

Hall is hopeful that people who have agreed to pledge money will continue to do so even if the Cooke deal falls through.

“Even if we decide not to pursue our interest in Paul we would still ask that people continue to pledge support for the squad-builder because it’s not just about Paul,” said Hall.

Pledge forms can be down-loaded from the club website.