We met with Halstead Town player, Tom Cook. A local lad who plays for his hometown club and has one aim: Get Halstead promoted! Who is Tom Cook? Tom Cook is a semi-professional football player for his hometown club Halstead Town FC, who play in the Eastern Counties First Division (The ninth tier of English football), you may think playing for his hometown club might put extra pressure on him, but no, it makes him determined to take them as far as possible. Tom Cook has played for Halstead from all the way from the under 8s to the first team and Hedingham. Tom’s appeared in 11 games so far this season for Halstead, starting 6 games and scoring 4 goals, including this wonderful goal at Thurrock in a 3-2 shock win in the FA Cup.
What’s the best thing about playing for a non league team?
Playing for a non league team which is my home town, so being able to play for them makes me want to take them as far as possible.
What’s your ambitions as a player – eg playing at a higher level or travelling the world playing in different cultures?
I think every player wants to play at the highest level and I believe I can go as far as I want if I set my mind to it. I want to go traveling so depending where I go then I’m sure I wouldn’t turn down the chance to play.
What’s the hardest thing about play for a non league team?
Compared to watching team and playing against higher level teams, I feel you don’t get as much time of the ball as you would like, you always have someone on your toes.
What do you feel your greatest achievement has been as a player so far in your career?
To be honest I haven’t achieved a lot of we’re talking about winning trophies in my career, but I’d have to say the win against Thurrock is up there and to score as well topped off a good day.
By the end of the season, what are your ambitions?
I’m not worried about personal ambitions, I just want to help get Halstead promoted. We have achieved a lot in cup competitions but promotion is everyone’s ambition this year.
What is the best comeback match you have played in?
The Newmarket game [2-0 down in the 70th minute with 10 men, went onto win 3-2] was probably the best comeback I’ve been involved in.
How much of a role do the fans play to the club?
They play a massive role! The support is amazing for a club of our size. It’s just grown and grown from when I joined three years ago. We definitely have the best fans in the league!
Halstead shocked everyone by getting to the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup this season, what do you feel achieved this?
Hard work and belief I think was the key for our success in the FA cup. Everyone in the team believed we could go as far as we wanted, so to get through a few rounds was a massive achievement for the club.
What have been the benefits of the clubs’ cup run this season to the club and yourself and the other players?
It’s obviously help the club out financially, but people will be looking at us now and they know they’re going to be in for a game. For myself and the other players it’s set a standard for ourselves and we need to maintain that throughout the season.
How did you get signed up by Halstead?
I rejoined them from Hedingham
Halstead were so close to promotion last season, but just missed out, do you feel the club can go one place better this season?
Yes definitely, with the squad we have there’s no excuses really. Everyone expects us to go up this season and I’m sure we can deliver.
Favourite football team?
Favourite footballer ever?
First team you ever played for?
Halstead town youths
One player from Halstead who could do it at a higher level?
I think there’s a lot of players that’s can play at a much higher level but I’ve always thought Muzza (James Murray) can play higher.
How much impact do the fans have on you whilst playing?
They have a big impact, I always want to impress the fans or anyone that comes to watch. They expect nothing but hard work and I haven’t started the season well but they always have a good thing to say to me.
Do you want to say anything to the supporters?
Just thank you for you amazing support and I hope we can bring you something to cheer about at the end of the season!
Dictate the Game would like to thank Tom for answering all of our questions and wish him and Halstead all the best in the quest for promotion this season. You can check Tom out on Twitter at @TCook_7.