Cooper appoints himself as boss . . . just like that
LOCAL legend Tommy Cooper has handed himself a return to football management.
The Peterborough Sports chairman is moving back downstairs to the dugout after becoming one half of the city club’s new joint managerial team.
Cooper, who won two Premier Division titles during a glorious reign at Ortonians in the early 2000s, will be the frontman of a partnership with popular local figure Seamus Morgan who has been acting as director of football.
They have a simple aim of leading the club to promotion from the Peterborough League Premier Division next season after taking over the reins from current boss Chris Bartlett.
He has been axed despite leading the club to promotion and a top-six finish in his two seasons at the helm but has been offered the chance to remain in the director of football role vacated by Morgan.
A new-look Sports managerial team will also include respected coach Dan Dobson, who is moving across the city from Northern Star, while current number two Malcolm Kenny is also to remain on board.
Cooper said: “Chris has achieved everything the club has asked of him by winning promotion from Division One and securing a top six finish in the Premier Division in his two seasons in charge.
“We couldn’t be more appreciative of the work he has done for the
email@example.com club and that’s why we are so keen for him to remain as part of the new structure.
“But we have to look at being able to attract and retain players capable of performing at the next level and I feel myself and Seamus can do that.
“Our aim is to be playing in the UCL by 2013-14 so that means we have to win promotion next season. There is £200,000 worth of investment being made in the club’s facilities so we have to make sure everything is right on the pitch.”
Cooper also won the PFA Senior Cup and Hunts Senior Cup during his Ortonians days and guided Northern Star to the United Counties League Division One title in the 2008-09 season.
Morgan is also no stranger to success after leading the Northern Star Reserves team to title glory in the UCL Reserve League and two Northants Cup triumphs. His team became only the second reserve side ever to lift the Northants Junior Cup only a year after winning the Lower Junior equivalent.
Sports are currently playing at Campbell Drive in Gunthorpe while their PSL base undergoes a major revamp that includes new changing rooms and the installation of floodlights. They hope to be in a position to return there early in 2013.
Bartlett is still mulling over the offer of the director of football position but admits he is disappointed to lose the managerial post.
He said: “I’m proud of what I have done at Sports but there is clearly a lack of belief in me going forward.
“I understand the club’s view though and I’ll take some time to make up my mind about what to do in the future.”
Bartlett’s last game in the Sports hotseat ended in a fine victory away at Premier Division champions Pinchbeck last night.
He went out on a high courtesy of a 3-2 success achieved thanks to two Ondre Odain goals and an Addie Staffieri strike.
Player-boss Ian Dunn, who is chasing the Premier Division golden boot award, and Dan Maddison fired Pinchbeck 2-0 ahead but they couldn’t hold on.
Kings Cliffe sealed second place in their debut top-flight season by beating Moulton Harrox 2-1. Andrew Bradley and James Picillo hit their goals with Josh Ford on the mark for the visitors. Other Premier Division results last night: Coates 0, Parson Drove 2 (J. Mcmanus, Kilby); Crowland 2 (Challis, C. Thomas), Netherton 0; Oundle 1 (Paling), Ramsey 3 (Stephens, Edwards, C. Taylor).