Monday, April 15, 2024

Football: Jim Cooper to step down as Grays Athletic Manager with immediate effect

JIM Cooper to step down as Grays Athletic Manager with immediate effect.

Jim notified club officials of his decision on Saturday morning and whilst we are extremely disappointed to lose him and so early in the season, we respect and understand the reasons behind his resignation.

We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Jim for managing the team through such a difficult period, including two null and void seasons. He will of course remain a true friend of Grays Athletic and will always be welcome at our games.

Jim gave us the following comments –

I have decided to retire from football so that I can spend more time with my family.
I am weeks away from my retirement from the police and as such I feel that I need to be able to enjoy this time without the constraints that come with managing a non- league football club.

I have been so very lucky to have managed two absolutely wonderful football clubs. Met Police FC and my current club Grays Ath FC. I have met and made lifelong friends both on and off the pitch and the memories that I have will remain with me forever.

First of all, I was given an opportunity to manage the MPFC when Des Flanders and Tony Brooking asked me to leave my role at Romford FC to manage the first team with Gavin Macpherson. We won numerous county cups and a league title and I would like to think that the club’s profile was raised as a result. Nico, Tarrsy, Nurse, Crampy, Chad and Biggsy alongside others became part of the management team and they helped me develop my skills, to manage some very good, talented players and all of whom will be friends for life.

After a short break, I was so fortunate to manage a power house of non- league football clubs; Grays Ath. This has been an absolutely magnificent period of time for me. I actually spoke to the club’s chairman last week explaining that within a short period of time of me being part of the club, I had already become a supporter alongside being very privileged to be its first team manager. I strongly feel that this group of players are capable of promotion as we have a blend of pace, and strength, youth and experience which provides a dynamic team who, as we saw on Saturday play an excellent brand of football capable of scoring goals (7 on Saturday) but with the highs come the lows, and last Sunday’s FA Cup defeat was a factor in my decision as I know how important the competition is to the club financially. The fact that I have not slept since, constantly ticking about the result had some small influence in my decision, deciding that my family has to come first.

Similar to all at the MPFC, I wish to also thank Steve, Tony, Jan, Glynn, Dave, Rob, Becs and Mark alongside all of the other committee / owners of the fans owned club for making me so welcome.

To all of the other managers who I have enjoyed facing over the years, and in most cases becoming friends, thank you for your professionalism and at times advice that was gratefully received and if I phone you for a ticket to watch your game, pick the phone up!

To my current players and management team especially Joyno, it has been an absolute pleasure, continue to believe and who knows where you will end up.


I am sure all of the Grays Athletic family will join us in wishing Jim a happy retirement and he and his family all the very best for the future.

The club can confirm that all other members of our Management Team will be remaining with Grays Athletic and this will provide important stability for the squad. Paul Joynes will assume the role of Manager with immediate effect. Any additions to the coaching set up will be discussed in the forthcoming weeks.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their excellent support so far this season and hope that you continue this as the Management Team look to move the club forward.


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