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Cookie’s arrival gives Cefn Albion a major boost

Cefn Albion Football Club have bolstered their backroom team with a top class appointment – Richard Williams-Cooke.

Rich joins Albion as a player-coach and will work alongside the current team of Sean Jones (manager), Ian Andrews (assistant-manager) and Paul Conlan (physio) in the dugout.

Representing his hometown club Denbigh Town, ‘Cookie’ made his Cymru Alliance debut at just 16.

By the age of 17/18, after some impressive reserve team performances, he soon became a regular starter for the firsts, making a big impression at a very respectable standard.

After bursting onto the scene as a youngster the left-footed dynamo went on to represent Newtown in the Welsh Premier, as well as Denbigh, Ruthin Town, Flint Town United, Bala Town and Cefn Druids in the CA.

Whilst with Druids, after undergoing two knee cartilage operations, at the age of 31 Rich called time on his playing career.

He later turned to management, initially with Chirk AAA in the Welsh National (Wrexham Area) League before returning to Denbigh, taking charge for the 2012/13 season.

In his first season at Central Park, Denbigh finished runners up in the Welsh Alliance behind Caernarfon Town.

Rich further strengthened his squad and 12 months later they clinched the title in impressive fashion, going the entire season unbeaten winning 25 out of the 28 league games they played.

They also won the Cookson Cup, making it a memorable double that year.

After making the difficult decision to finish with Denbigh due to family and work commitments, a spell in the English system followed a few years later when he had a brief stint in charge of newly-formed FC Oswestry Town.

He soon found himself back at Denbigh for a third spell when he was announced as Eddie Maurice-Jones’ assistant.

The pair secured an impressive top two finish in the Cymru Alliance – Town’s highest-ever league position.

When in 2018 Maurice-Jones was unveiled as the new boss of Rhyl FC, Rich joined him as assistant-manager.

He departed Belle Vue in February 2020, citing work commitments, but is now back in football as part of tier 3 North East Cefn Albion’s management team.

Upon joining the Cefners, Rich said: “Cefn Albion is a football club I’ve kept an eye on and admired for a long time. It’s apparent that the club has a really strong family and community feel and that is something I have missed, probably since I was the manager of Denbigh Town.

“I already know a lot of people at the club and now that it’s all confirmed in Comet I’m looking forward to starting and passing on things I’ve learnt over the years.

Hopefully I can make a positive impact and help the club push forward in the new north east tier 3 league.”

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