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Hereford boss hits out at Grimsby Town

Hereford boss Josh Gowling hits out at Grimsby Town over a transfer breakdown which occurred over a player earlier this week.

34 year old midfielder Giles Coke had been spending time training with the League Two outfit lately, and a move looked set to be on the cards for him.

However that now looks unlikely, and it’s a decision that is leaving Grimsby boss Paul Hurst feeling gutted as he really wanted to bring the player in.

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Josh Gowling has criticised the Mariners saying that Grimsby should have checked whether Giles Coke was still registered before trying to sign him.

There was an issue with his registration that prevented him from joining the Lincolnshire outfit and now the move looks to be off.

Hurst was expected to sign up the free agent this week after he trained with them for the last few weeks, and Hereford seemingly gave the go-ahead after waiving their seven-day notice period.

The Town boss now admits a move now looks unlikely after it emerged that Coke is still registered with the National League, meaning he can’t secure the move to the EFL following the closure of the January transfer window.

“I would have like to have signed Giles, but there’s seemingly an issue with his registration now,” Hurst said.

“As we speak, that’s sort of been killed. I feel really bad for the player, and I feel bad for us from a selfish point of view.

“Giles is going to get on the phone and speak to people, but at this stage it’s looking unlikely we’ll be able to do anything.

“I know that there has to be a rule in place, but he was told his registration had been cancelled, and when you consider at times that he was playing for nothing, and he’s got a family to support, it doesn’t sit right with me.”

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Hereford boss Josh Gowling – who is also a former player of Grimsby – hits out claiming they should have checked on Coke’s availability before the window closed on Monday.

“Grimsby didn’t check if he was registered or not,” said Gowling.

“They have got to do their due diligence on their players and they haven’t. He was non-contract with us and he’s gone in there and there’s an issue with his registration.

“I think there’s a question of whether he’s still registered with us and whether that should have been cut before the window.

“If the registration was with us through the window then I don’t think he can play for Grimsby even though he’s not with us anymore as a free agent.

“They really should have looked and checked before the transfer window shut about his registration.”

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He is an ex-Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Northampton and Mansfield player, who played a few games since joining Hereford in September but recently had Covid symptoms, coming a day after Hereford played at Kidderminster leading to the Bulls being placed into isolation for around 10 days.

It was in 2003 that he began his career as a youth player for QPR, before going on to link up with his older brother Jon at non league outfit Kingstonian a year later.

His first professional contract came at Mansfield Town who snapped him up in 2005, scoring his first goal for them in a 1-0 League Cup Second Round win against Southampton, a memory he still holds close to his heart.

His performances with the Stags impressed many at the time, with Championship quartet Southampton, Reading, Norwich City and Wolves all wanting him.

In April 2006, he rejected a two year contract with Mansfield, but Peter Shirtliff turned his head to get him to sign a one year deal instead.

Unfortunately for him, he was sidelined for the majority of the 2006/07 season due to injury, despite this though, following the games he did play, it was enough to keep getting interest, Wycombe most notably.

He left Mansfield for Northampton in July 2007 on a two year deal, was out for the start of the season so he could have a further operation.

Following yet another injury and surgery, he finally made his debut in a 3-2 defeat against Leeds in January 2008.

He also managed to get goals for the Cobblers against the likes of Leyton Orient, Gillingham, Hartlepool, Cheltenham and Oldham for the 2007/08 season, and against Swindon and Scunthorpe before a calf injury ruled him out for the rest of the season.

In the summer of 2009, he joined Scottish club Motherwell (then managed by Jim Gammon) after being offered a new contract by Northampton.

Within his spell with the SPFL side, he made his European debut against Steaua București, set up an assist in a league opener (a 2-2 draw against St Johnstone), scored one of his two goals for the club in a 6-6 draw against Hibernian, was offered an extended contract, but then Sheffield Wednesday came calling.

He joined the Owls in July 2010, where he spent the most time with any club, a total of 84 appearances along with finding the net six times, won the club’s goal of 2014, and picked up player of the month award in League One before getting released in 2015.

He did go out on loan with Bury during his spell with the Hillsborough outfit, linking up with the Shakers in 2012, scoring 6 times in 30 games for the 2011/12 campaign.

Coke went on to become a fan favourite at Gigg Lane due to the performances in their fight to avoid the drop from League One. However, he was unable to return to Bury for a second time once his loan spell with the club ended.

The rest of his career saw him have spells with Swindon (loan), Bolton (loan), Ipswich, Chesterfield and Oldham, with the latter as recent as 2020.

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