Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Torquay United versus Chippenham Town
Date: Saturday 7th August 2021
Chippenham Town fact file:
Year founded: 1873
Nickname: The Bluebirds
Notable honours: Southern League Premier champions: 2016-17
Pre-season so far: Clevedon Town 3-0 (H) W, Newport County 1-2 (H) L, Cirencester Town 0-3 (A) W, Melksham Town 0-2 (A) W, Eastleigh 2-2 (H) D
Manager: Mike Cook
After taking charge on an interim basis in January 2020, Michael Cook became permanent manager of Chippenham Town two months later.
Cook previously managed Gloucester City and steered the Tigers away from the National League South relegation zone in the 2018-19 season. The following campaign saw Gloucester move to the National League North and Cook led them to 12th place in the division prior to his departure in November 2019. Cook also had a spell as manager of Cinderford Town between 2004 and 2006, and combines his role at the Bluebirds with his day job as a PFA coach educator.
As a player, Cook had a spell with Cambridge United between 1989 and 1991 while Gary Johnson was assistant manager of the U’s.
Player to watch: Joe Hanks
A player who will be familiar to Gary Johnson from his time as Cheltenham Town manager, Joe Hanks spent the first four years with the Robins between 2012 and 2016.
His next move saw him join county rivals Gloucester City, who he had two previous loan spells with, where he first played under Cook and made just shy of 200 appearances for them. The pair were reunited when Hanks joined the Bluebirds in the summer of 2020.
He finished the curtailed 2020-21 campaign as Chippenham’s second top scorer with seven goals.