Andy Cook rejoins Bradford City to play an important role in Derek Adams new-look Bantams

By Jason McKeown

Bradford City have kicked off a busy summer of player recruitment with the welcome return of a familiar face, following the news Andy Cook has signed a two year deal to join the Bantams.

Cook enjoyed a very successful loan spell at Valley Parade last season, netting eight goals in 16 starts (plus five sub appearances) after joining in January from Mansfield Town. It was a hugely impressive showing. In a team that was creating few chances and where he led the line on his own in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Cook proved extremely clinical at taking chances and finished the season top scorer for the club.

The 30-year-old did not have the best of times at Mansfield, who he had joined in the summer of 2019 for an undisclosed fee following a goal-laden couple of seasons. He netted 18 goals for Walsall in 2018/19, an especially impressive feat considering the Saddlers were relegated from League One that season. That was his first season in the Football League, after a prolific spell leading the line at Tranmere Rovers where he helped them earn promotion out of the National League. He has also played non league football for Grimsby and Barrow.

Cook’s overall career record of 159 goals from 395 starts (124 sub appearances) means he is around a 1 goal in 2.5 games striker. And that level of potency is a huge boost for City, who, following the retained list announcement, had gone into this summer without a striker on the books.

City have been strongly linked with Cole Stockton, who played under Derek Adams at Morecambe last season and scored 15 goals in their impressive promotion campaign. But prior to 2020/21, Stockton had never come close to netting double figures in a season. He is a good player for sure but lacks the proven track record that Cook offers. With the news Stockton has agreed a new contract at Morecambe, City have seemingly moved quickly to secure the permanent services of Cook.

With Adams favouring a similar 4-2-3-1 set up to the one deployed at City by Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars last season, Cook’s strong performances would suggest he will fit in very well with the strategy the new manager will look to implement at Valley Parade.

The lone striker role can be a difficult one and the obvious requirement is to have someone who is capable of holding up the ball, which Cook has shown he can do. But Cook also offers a good level of mobility and a willingness to keep making runs, patiently waiting for the right opportunity. His discipline at doing the right things, often without reward, was especially notable given the contrast with his rival for the striker spot last season, Danny Rowe.

This is a strong statement of intent for the Bantams. Cook is a player with several good years ahead of him, and he has proved he can play at a higher level. Cook has also shown he can handle the big club expectations of playing for the Bantams, and his attributes will suit the playing ideals of his new manager.

Categories: News, Opinion


13 replies

  1. Andy Cook can score the full range of goals, with both feet and with head, from inside and outside the box. He puts himself about and will not be bullied. It is a real pleasure to watch his huge number of goals on YouTube. There is something of Bobby Campbell about him. Build a team round him; give him support.

  2. Sensible signing.
    looking forward to who else comes in over the summer

  3. Wrong age for me. I was hoping we would be building a younger team that has a few years in it.

    • 30 y/o on a two year contract is just about right imo.
      There’s an Argument to suggest it’s pointless / impossible to build a younger team at this level.
      If. And it’s a big if. If we are getting promoted you build a team for what’s right in front of you. L2 & L1. Any young talent is still only gonna be on a 2-3 year contract absolute max. And if they’re very good they’ll leave to a club higher up the pyramid with a risk they leave on a free anyway.
      Until city are top end league 1 / championship any hope of “building a younger team” has to be shelved

    • Wrong age? When I read that I had to check his age, thinking he must be pushing forty, but no, Andy Cook is thirty years old. How can that be too old? Even the comment that we should be building a younger team that has a few years in it is slightly ridiculous as, at 30, Cook could have at least five more years as a player to go. If anything 30 is the ideal age for a striker, particularly at our level.

      • Quite agree. Lewandowski is 32; Ibra and Ronaldo in late thirties. Cook is in his prime. Speed is not his game: he’s a natural finisher. But he needs players to supply him and he will score goals.

    • You must have forgotten Peter Thorne. Signed for us in league 2 aged 34. 77 appearances later he had 31 goals.
      Mind you, to be fair, I can think of others over 30 who were garbage

    • Don’t they say that a footballer reaches his peak at age 27 on average? He’s not so far off that, and there are quite a few younger players who have come through in the last year, so it’s important to get a good blend of ages.

  4. I thought we had learned lessons. It was widely said that the older.players (Donaldson, Novak) are more likely to get injuries and that the older they are then it takes longer for heal. We cannot afford for costly players to be on the treatment table.
    The club itself (even.Adams) has said that the way forward is a smaller and younger squad. A smaller squad cannot carry lengthy injuries to be effective.
    When you look around at the teams that were successfull last season a common feature was a young players generally lead by a couple of ‘older heads’.
    That’s what I thought we were going to go for, indeed many fans were themselves saying it was.the way forward. So, yes, I personally am.a bit dissapointed that Adam’s first signing is at the older end of the age spectrum.

    • What about Staunton and Hossanah. Both out for most of last season. It’s not always about age, young-uns get injured as well!

    • Whilst I agree with you Mark about older players taking longer to recover from injuries Cook is 3 years younger than Novak and 7 younger the The Don.
      Cook is a proven goal scorer which is a massive plus. A younger player may have the potential but not the pedigree. It’s a bigger gamble to sign someone younger but without the scoring record of Cook.
      He proved last season he could lead the line for us so I’m happy to see him sign for us.

  5. Watt, Cooke, Paudie, Scales, Sikora, Hornby, Staunton, Crankshaw, Vernam. All in their teens or early-mid 20s. Every team needs some experience and older heads. It’s not as if we’very signed a 38 year old, he’s in his prime!
    Plus, this is the first of a stated 8 signings….how do you know the next 7 aren’t going to be 20-25? We need signings that get us out of this God forsaken division and Cooks signing will help us do that. People expecting 22 year old goal machines to be signed need to get real. We’re in league 2!!

  6. Jason has made points previously that we need to break the cycle of thinking that changing managers in the short term makes the difference. All the evidence suggests it doesn’t.
    The fans need to break this link too. Love him or hate him, Adams is our Manager. Good track record and a back story that may divide supporters. Unless we all get 100% behind him now, we are harming before he even starts. Let’s see how the season ends. Even non promotion would not be a disaster if we are moving in the right medium to long term direction. Unless we are patient, we may only heap on more misery for ourselves.

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