Garstang FC complete their coaching team with two new arrivals

The new Garstang management team (l-r): Mike Hartley, Andrew Forsyth and Richard Cookney
The new Garstang management team (l-r): Mike Hartley, Andrew Forsyth and Richard Cookney

Garstang’s new manager Richard Cookney has completed his backroom staff with the arrival of two new faces.

A fortnight on from his arrival at the Riverside, Cookney has brought in assistants Mike Hartley and Andrew Forsyth.

Hartley is a well-known figure on the Blackpool and Fylde football scene, while Forsyth specialises in the development of goalkeepers.

A club spokesman said: “The three of them know each other well and are throwing themselves into the task of uplifting the first team’s fortunes.

“With no game for the first team this weekend it gives them some breathing space to get to know the players better and look at where improvements can be made.”

Having been named as Andy Payton’s replacement, Cookney has seen the Riversiders lose both of his two games in charge so far.

After losing in the FA Vase to Sunderland West End, the former Poulton manager saw the Riversiders beaten 2-1 at Chadderton last weekend.

Jake Salisbury’s goal had seen Garstang lead at half-time, only for two second-half goals to give their hosts victory.

Cookney’s frustration at losing boiled down to one key element which he feels is missing from the squad at the moment.

“We spoke in the changing room that we need to get them up to a certain level of fitness,” he said afterwards.

“They died off in the last 20 minutes and they are making mistakes with tired legs; that’s the problem.

“To get to a level of fitness that we can work with them, then those mistakes will go.

“We’re also very shy in front of goal; we need to pull the trigger, I’m not bothered whether it goes wide or over.”

The Riversiders are now without a game until a week on Saturday, September 21, when they travel to Cleator Moor Celtic.

As well as extra training sessions, Cookney also has other things on his mind.

He said: “I’ve got a lot of games planned that I need to go to – to look at players I want to bring in from clubs further up.”