Paul Cooke leaves Doncaster RLFC: Dons and Cooke issue statements

Paul Cooke
Paul Cooke

Paul Cooke has left Doncaster RLFC by ‘mutual consent’.

The former Super League star has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks as the Dons struggled for any sort of form.

Doncaster are bottom of the Championship, without a win from 14 games in all competitions this season.

A statement on Dons’ official website said: “Doncaster RLFC can today confirm the departure of Head Coach Paul Cooke with immediate effect.

“Also departing with 34 year old Paul Cooke is assistant coach Chris Spurr. Both have agreed to end their stay at Keepmoat Stadium by mutual consent, as the club look to go in a new direction and climb the Kingstone Press Championship table.

“The club would like to thank Paul for all his efforts, both in his role as a player and a coach during his three years in South Yorkshire and he will always remain a close friend of all connected to Doncaster RLFC.

“The club would also like to thank Chris for all the support he has shown to Paul during his time as a coach.”

Dons chief executive Carl Hall tweeted: “One of the worst days of my involvement in rugby league. #ToughOldGig”

Cooke later issued a statement himself. He said: “I’d like to say I feel deeply saddened and apologetic to everyone at Doncaster Rugby League Club, especially the fans for the 2015 season.

“I am certainly hurt by the club’s 2015 so far. I know everyone works extremely hard in their department to achieve the club’s ambitions and ultimate goals. I’m a very proud man and believe in my gut feeling that this is within the club’s best interests at this time.

“We part on extremely good terms, which is a novel in this day and age.

“I wish everyone at the club, especially the players all the very best for the remainder of the 2015 season and beyond. I will look out for results and keep everything crossed for a turn in fortunes.”

Cooke replaced Tony Miller as Dons coach in 2013.

He guided Doncaster to a fourth-placed finish in last season’s Championship.

Earlier this season he quit playing to concentrate on his coaching role but was unable to turn the club’s fortunes around.

Sunday’s woeful home defeat to fellow strugglers Workington Town proved to be his last game in charge of Doncaster.