Experienced midfielder joins the Bees on one-year deal.Barnet FC are delighted to announce that Lee Cook has signed for the club on a one-year deal ahead of the new season, subject to international clearance.
The 32-year-old winger, who has enjoyed spells with Watford, Queen’s Park Rangers and Leyton Orient amongst others, has already spent the last fortnight of pre-season at The Hive and is pleased that he will be seeing a lot more of the place during the forthcoming campaign:
“I’m happy to be here. I’ve been training here for the last couple of weeks and gotten to know everybody around the place so I was pleased to sign the contract.
“When you’ve got a club like Barnet with this new set-up - the training ground is fantastic, it’s a lovely ground and there’s a lovely gym that the players get to use - it’s very professional and that was a big reason for coming here.”
Cook was playing in the Greek Super League last season with Athens-based club Apollon Smyrni under former Barnet manager Lawrie Sanchez and although he says that he enjoyed the experience of playing abroad, is now looking forward to returning to the English game:
“It was an interesting experience, I wanted to do it. The atmosphere out there was unbelievable, one of the best atmospheres that I’ve played in. There was an opportunity to go abroad again this year in Spain but I did that for six months and you do get lonely at times without family and friends.
“Although it was a good experience I’m pleased to be back in England and really looking forward to this season. I’ve never played in the Conference so it is going to be a bit new for me but I think generally there’s not much difference between the Conference and League Two and even the bottom end of League One.”
Cook began his career with Aylesbury United before making his breakthrough with Watford, spending five years with the Hornets which encompassed loan spells with York City and QPR. He signed for Rangers on a permanent basis, making over one hundred appearances during three seasons at Loftus Road.
He joined Premier League side Fulham in the summer of 2007 but was hampered by a knee injury and spent time on loan at Charlton and QPR once again, eventually re-signing for the Rs in 2009. His last spell with an English club came with Leyton Orient, where he made 47 appearances during the 2012/13 season before heading to Greece.
Having decided to return home, he admits that it was an old friend in Graham Stack who first turned his head in Barnet’s direction:
“Graham Stack rang me initially because I knew him from my time in the game, and he told me that the manager was interested. I didn’t even know that Martin was the manager here to be honest but when I found out that he was I was interested to speak to him.
“We spoke on the phone for a good twenty minutes and I came down here. When I heard about the signings that he was making, it excited me. He’s a successful manager and I think that we’ll have a successful year.”
Having already started to get to know him teammates, Cook is now looking forward to striking up an understanding with them on the pitch during what he believes with be a successful season for Barnet:
“I knew a couple of the boys here anyway but it doesn’t take long in football to settle into the dressing room. Once you get out on the pitch you get to know each other even better so after the first few games when we get to know each other’s games I think we’ll flourish.
“If we keep our key players fit then we’ve got a good chance of doing something and I’m sure that we are going to be at the right end of the table.”