Rovers swoop for veteran playmaker Paul Cooke

Paul Cooke has signed for Rovers for the rest of this season.
Paul Cooke has signed for Rovers for the rest of this season.

Featherstone Rovers have signed 34-year-old playmaker Paul Cooke.

The former Doncaster player-coach has joined Rovers for the rest of this season.

Cooke made more than 200 appearances for Hull FC between 1999 and 2007. He won a Challenge Cup winnner’s medal at Wembley with them in 2005 and was a Super League Grand Finalist with them the following season.

He then played for Hull KR for three years before a spell at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. He joined Doncaster in 2012.

Cooke, who can play stand-off or loose-forward, said: “After meeting Rovers chairman Mark Campbell and head coach Andy Hay it feels right to come to Featherstone Rovers as a player and something I’m really looking forward to.

“It will be good to concentrate on just playing and once I’m in full training, in a good routine and get rid of that inevitable rustiness, I’m hoping to really contribute to the side.

“The facilities at Big Fellas Stadium are fantastic. Everything is on one site and as a player you have no excuses to get in the right shape physically in an environment like this as it really helps you focus your mind. Obviously, I know quite a bit about the Rovers side and their strengths so my job now is to get fit and help this side to achieve their goals.”

Rovers coach Hay said: “This is a great opportunity for us to bring in a player who is vastly experienced not only at Super League level but also the Championship. He’ll be a big help on the field and will bring another dimension to our play. He’s been a thorn in our side whenever he’s played against Featherstone in recent seasons and we are looking for more of the same in a Rovers shirt.

“When we found out that Paul joining the club as a player was a possibility we spoke to him straight away. He’s hungry and very enthusiastic to take this opportunity of playing behind a strong pack and also helping our younger players develop.

“We’ve been looking for another option at six for a while since the signing of Ryan Millard did not materialise and we are happy to have secured his signature. We’ll get him on to our training and conditioning programme and as soon as he’s ready to pull on a Rovers shirt we’ll introduce him to the team. He’ll be a fantastic asset for us for the rest of the year and I’m looking forward to working with him.”