Giles Coke on his fight to secure Grimsby Town move

“I can’t wait to get going.”

It’s a line that almost seems to be a contractual obligation for new signings in their first interview. Whether they always mean it or not can be up for debate – but with Giles Coke, there’s genuine excitement, mixed in with a big dose of relief.

The midfielder is finally a Grimsby Town player, and there can’t be many players that have had to put as much work in to secure a move.

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was assumed it would just be a matter of time before he was officially unveiled. After all, he’d been training with the Mariners for almost three weeks at that point, and Paul Hurst isn’t the type to keep a player around if he doesn’t feel he can add something to his side.

But then came the news that Coke was still registered with the National League, and suddenly the worst kept secret looked as though it wouldn’t happen.

“It’s been a stressful last week or two,” Coke told GrimsbyLive.

“I think not knowing has been the big thing, not knowing whether I’d be able to sign or not.

“When the gaffer told me, he started by saying ‘unfortunately, I can’t offer you a contract’, so I just thought things hadn’t worked out or he didn’t fancy me as a player.

“He could see I was gutted, and he said ‘it’s not because we don’t want you’ and I was like ‘huh?’

“Obviously it was because of Hereford’s registration, and I was absolutely devastated.

“Both the chairman and manager at Hereford told me it was all sorted, and that was why I was allowed to go on trial and see how it went.

Giles Coke joins Grimsby Town on a deal until the end of the season
Giles Coke joins Grimsby Town on a deal until the end of the season

“Obviously these things can happen so I don’t want to start blaming anyone. It was a mistake and it’s now been sorted.

“Of course, once someone tells you that and the rules are you’re not allowed to sign outside of the window, you’re going to think there’s a good chance this might not happen.

“I’m a positive person though and I always wanted to fight the cause and give everything I can to try and make it happen.

“But when I finally got the go-ahead from the EFL and the FA and the gaffer told me it was going through, I was so excited and overwhelmed.

“There were a lot of emails back and forth from the FA, the National League, the PFA – I had to try and get as many people involved because I didn’t really know who to contact to be honest.

“I contacted everybody, and to be honest they were all spot on. They replied, they said they’d look into it. It took a bit of time, but everybody pulled together and made it happen.”

The chance to return to the EFL was never one Coke was going to let slip without a fight, especially after how things ended during his last spell in the Football League.

For any Town fan perusing Twitter after Coke was finally unveiled, they might have been forgiven for thinking they were getting a player who would be spending more…

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