One of the most successful eras in the long history of Sligo Rovers came to an end yesterday, Monday, when the club confirmed that Paul Cook has departed the club to take charge at English League Two side, Accrington Stanley.
Cook was in charge of the Bit O’ Red for almost five years and in that time he transformed the fortunes of the club from being fighting at the wrong end of the table to potential league winners. Under his guidance Sligo Rovers won the Ford FAI Cup in 2010 and retained the trophy last November. The first silverware of the Cook era arrived in September 2010 with the defeat of Monaghon Town in the EA Sports Cup Final which was played at The Showgrounds.
In a statement on the club’s website - www.sligorovers.com- Sligo Rovers Chairman Michael Toolan paid tribute to the Liverpool native saying, “Paul Cook has the distinction of being the most successful manager in the history of Sligo Rovers. His achievements will live long in the memory of everybody associated with Rovers and we want to thank him for his outstanding and historic contribution to us.
“Paul is greatly admired for his management skills but also the attractive style of football his team produced, his engagement with supporters and the hunger to see Sligo Rovers win honours. It produced three trophies, regular European football and some of the best league seasons we have ever had.
“It made him universally popular with the club’s fans, the wider community in Sligo and beyond. We did not want to lose Paul but we also respected his wish of returning to England.
“The process of appointing a manager to build on the progress of the club starts now and with a view to challenging for major honours in 2012, our intentions and ambitions remain as high as ever. We have a large and talented squad already assembled and we’re setting our sights on a high-calibre replacement to give ourselves the best platform possible.”