West Didsbury & Chorlton have confirmed the appointment of Steve Eckersley and Rob McKay to the position of co-chairman following a restructure of the club's committee.
The two were appointed to the role following the club's most recent committee meeting, and will divide the role as they seek to oversee the clubs return to the NWCFL Premier Division and the expansion of the ground.
The club would like to place on record its thanks to out-going Chair Glyn Meacher for his contribution to the role. Glyn oversaw the clubs transition from amateur to semi-professional status as the club rose from the Lancashire & Cheshire Amateur League through the Manchester League and into the NWCFL. The restructure will see Glyn stay on in his role as a committee member.
The co-chairmen have shared the following statement with wdcfc.co.uk:
We begin this message today to say how delighted that we are to be appointed Co-Chairman of West Didsbury & Chorlton. Following the recent restructure of the clubs committee we were flattered to be chosen to the take the club forwards into the next chapter.
However, it would be remiss to go any further about our plans for the future without a thank you to out-going Chair Glyn Meacher. Glyn has always been the self-styled ‘reluctant chairman’ but has overseen the transition of the club from amateur status in the Lancashire & Cheshire League to semi-professional status in the NWCFL.
Glyn guided the club with a dignity and ethos in running the club that we aim to maintain.
We’ve worked quickly behind the scenes over the last few weeks to ensure that everything is in place for the new season. The first major task has been to appoint a new men's team manager and we're pleased that we've overcome this first hurdle with a unanimously agreed decision which I'm sure will benefit the club for the foreseeable future.
The work behind the scenes will continue apace as we look to review existing practices, implement new ideas and form both medium and long term strategy for the long term health of this football club. We are both committed to ensure a continuous engagement exists between the club and its supporters and that your views are represented in the growth of the club.
Whilst things might not appear much different in the short term, we’re committed to identifying 'best practice', ensuring the safeguarding of the future of the club and to ensure it represents the supporters and both the communities of Chorlton and Didsbury.
We're confident in our belief that this is an exciting new era for the football club and we thank you for your continued support.
- Steve and Rob.
In addition the club have confirmed the appointment of Brad Cooke as its new men’s team manager. Robert Sadler and Warren Jones will also join the club as part of the new management team.
Following the departure of Dave Powell last week the club has moved quickly to appoint a new manager following a short application process in which more than 30 candidates applied for the role.
Cooke, 33, joins the club from Northwich Victoria whom he captained last season as they reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Vase and lifted the Mid-Cheshire Cup. Prior to his stint with the Vics he made 265 appearances (scoring 40 goals from midfield) in a 6 year stint with Atherton Collieries which saw him lift the NWCFL Division One, Premier Division, Macron Cup and Evo-Stik League Integro Cup.
Brad is joined at the club by his assistant Robert Sadler who also arrives from Northwich Victoria for whom he was the clubs goalkeeping coach. Sadler has previously spent time as goalkeeping coach with Ramsbottom United and Atherton Collieries as well as time with Atherton LR and Prestwich Heys as a player.
Warren Jones also joins the club as First Team coach having previously been Assistant Manager at Atherton Collieries in which he oversaw the team's promotion from the NWCFL followed by a spell as manager of Atherton LR.
Manager Brad Cooke said; "I am delighted to be taking over the management role at West Didsbury & Chorlton Football Club.
"The club has massive potential and I am delighted to have been given this opportunity. I want to say a massive thanks to the committee for putting their trust in me.
"Myself and my management team (Rob Sadler and Warren Jones) will be doing everything we can to ensure this club gets back to where we believe it belongs. We want to ensure that we match the progression that has been made off the pitch. I am sure the fans will get behind me, my staff and players and I look forward to meeting you all very soon!
"Come on, West!"
Co-Chair Rob McKay spoke of the appointment; “I’m delighted to be able to welcome Brad and his coaching staff to the football club. As a player, Brad is someone I’ve admired for a long time and is someone who has earned universal respect throughout non-league football for his committed performances on the pitch.”
"We had a huge number of responses to our advert for manager and we interviewed four excellent candidates of which all those present were unanimous that Brad and Rob were the clear outstanding choice to take our club forward on the pitch."
“As a person Brad’s not just been a leader but an ambassador for whichever club he’s played for and has been a driving force in galvanising those clubs. It's been evident from the first minute that he’s not just passionate about building a football team but also growing a football club.
"Steve and I are confident that we’re not just in for one of the most exciting seasons ahead but also bright long term future!”