THE second part of a two-part interview with Cornish professional footballer Cody Cooke, who recently finished a two-year spell with Scottish Premiership club St Mirren.

In this part, Cody looks to the future and his next step in football.

Read part one of the interview, in which Cody reflects on his time in Scotland, here.

CORNISH professional footballer Cody Cooke has his sights set on a move closer to home after his two-year stay in Scotland came to an end.

Cooke received news of his impending release from Scottish Premiership club St Mirren three weeks ago, although he will remain with the club on furlough for the time being.

Cody’s route to finding a new club is more complicated than it otherwise would have been due to the current coronavirus pandemic, with several leagues having either just resolved their seasons or are still yet to do so.

The English Football League finally resolved their campaigns last week with Leagues One and Two now preparing for the end-of-season playoffs, while negotiations on how to conclude the National League are still ongoing, with a preliminary decision to go ahead with their playoffs only being reached on Wednesday.

“That will give me a bit more room for speaking to people and looking forward to what will happen next year,” Cody said, “but until that settles down a little bit then clubs are in positions where they at the moment don’t know their budgets and don’t know what they can do for next year.

“It’s just about me ticking over and making sure that I’m fit and ready, and like a lot of things in the news at the moment it seems to suddenly one minute nothing happens and overnight all of a sudden something opens and it’ll be the same with football.

“I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready and then see what the best option for me moving forward is and what I want to achieve in the next few years, so it’ll just be sitting down with my family and my missus and my agent and just seeing what the best move for me is and having some stability back in my life.”

Closer to home

Although he enjoyed his time in Scotland, Cody admits that he is looking for a move closer to home this time – and revealed that he would be open to returning to playing on a part-time basis to do that.

“I’ve kind of got my eyes set a little bit on returning a little closer to home if I’m honest,” he said, “whether or not that will continue to be full-time or if I have to go back to part-time to do that.

“Again there’s going to be loads of options that I’m going to have to sit down and work out, but never say never and if I end up back there at some point then I’ve experienced it and I’ve loved living up there, but really I’m looking at something a little bit closer to home.

“But not necessarily at home [in Cornwall]. I’ve lived in Exeter and I've got friends and family in Bristol in that area as well. Anywhere’s a little bit closer than Glasgow if I’m honest!”

Staying fit

Cody’s desire to keep fit in the off-season has again been complicated by the onset of Covid-19, with restrictions on group training sessions preventing him from linking up with a club to help gain fitness.

With house moves now permitted again, the 27-year-old recently returned to Falmouth to stay with his parents while he looks for a new club.

He may look to train with a local side when he steps up his search, but he is happy to go it alone for the time being.

“I’ll be back in Falmouth for the foreseeable until I know what’s happening with football, so I’ll be back with my parents,” he said.

“If teams are back training I might speak to Westy [Falmouth Town manager Andrew Westgarth] at Falmouth or I might speak to someone to see if they’re doing anything, but at the same time I’ve been quite happy doing stuff on my own at the moment.

“I haven’t kicked a ball since March so if it does start running a little bit longer then I’d assume that I would get in training with someone.

"Whether that’s back with Truro and I try and speak to Yetts [Truro City player/assistant Stewart Yetton] or someone about just training with them or whatever that might be, but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes and go from there.”

Treyew return a possibility?

The romantics in the Cornish game would certainly be interested to see Cooke return to Truro, for whom he played for between 2011 and 2018, and while he did not rule out the idea of returning to Treyew Road, he said that may not be just yet.

“It would be a kind of fairy tale for me to finish up at Truro for sure. If they keep going the way they’re going and climbing up the leagues, then who knows when that’ll be.

“I was there for seven years and I would love to go back at some point to make it the magical ten and finish up there.”

While that fairy tale may not become a reality for the time being, he still retains his affection for his former club and still looks out for their progress.

Cody also expressed his sympathy for the White Tigers, who were denied promotion from the Southern League Premier South last season after the FA declared all leagues in steps three to seven of the England non-league pyramid null and void.

“Obviously I keep an eye on their results and still speak to a lot of the boys there and they’ve worked ever so hard this year to try and get promoted,” Cody said.

“It’s a big difference between the league they’re in now and the National League South and they want to get back to where they belong.

“There’s going to be a lot of happy and unhappy people in terms of the scenarios that have happened but the only argument with the Southern League or in and around Truro’s league is how quickly they made those decisions from step three to step seven.

“Those decisions seemed to happen as soon as everything first happened in the lockdown and I think that’s probably Truro’s main argument in terms of why couldn’t they sit back and consider and wait for their options?

“There was no rush to get anything done overnight and it’s just a great shame that they’ve got to stay in that league again.

“I’ve got no doubt that they’ll go up next season, and obviously they’ve got to go out and win it but with the signings they’ve made there’s no reason why they won’t go up next year and I’m sure they’ll do it again.”