Sam Cox recently joined National League South side Wealdstone where he will be playing alongside the likes of former Swindon Town defender Jack Smith and Matthew Whichelow who started his career at Watford.
Since leaving Boreham Wood earlier this year, Sam Cox has gone on to captain his national side, Guyana whilst also looking for a fresh challenge for his club career.
For a footballer to be without a club during pre-season is a tough situation to be in. They need to stay match fit and be able to play a high standard of football in order for a club to sign them.
Sam Cox, has experienced this and his hard work paid off when Wealdstone agreed a deal which would see the player resume his playing career alongside coaching at the Tottenham Hotspur Academy, a setup he graduated from in 2009.
The Guyana international captain has spoken to ElWriteBack about this move and what he has planned for the future both on and off of the pitch.
After being a free agent for a number of months you have signed for Wealdstone. How do you feel about this move?
After months of not knowing where I would be playing, I’m now happy to finally have sorted a deal out at Wealdstone and I’m very much looking forward to getting back to playing the game I love.
Those who know me, will know that I went through a tough time towards the back end of last season. It seemed as if some of the things that were said had effected my chances of getting the move I wanted however I was determined to get back playing and enjoying my football once again.
Not doing a proper pre-season in football is always hard for a player because mentally you always feel like you’re behind. For the past few months, I had been putting the work in over time to ensure I didn’t fall behind physically. I was (and still am) in the gym everyday working on my weaknesses and “beasting” myself. I was lucky enough also that after my coaching sessions at Spurs they would allow me to use the facilities to train so I could ensure I was fit and ready for when an opportunity came.
Seeing everyone start the season and myself not having a club was hard to take however I remained patient and carried on training on my own. Over the past couple of weeks, I started to get several offers but when the Chairman of Wealdstone, Peter Marsden and Manager, Gordon Bartlett showed interest I was very keen to hear what they said.
I had been speaking to them both over the past couple of weeks prior to me signing and I was really impressed with what they had to say and the direction the club was going in. I’m someone who always wants to better myself and the Chairman seemed to echo my philosophy. Both Chairman and Manager were very persistent on getting me to sign and that’s always nice when a club wants you.
The club were very understanding and encouraging of my International commitments as the Captain of Guyana, which made it easier to come up with a deal that fitted both parties.
Wealdstone have a great fan base and the club is rich in history. I’m now looking forward to giving my everything and hoping I can help the club get to where it needs to be.
You’ve been busy with the Guyana National Team recently. What’s next for you as Captain of the nation?
We have a two huge games coming up, which could have a serious impact on the football over in Guyana. It’s the third round of the Caribbean Cup and we have been drawn against Suriname and the Caribbean giants Jamaica. It’s played over two matches and whoever tops the group, sees themselves into the final round of the Cup and also cements their nation into next years Gold Cup competition which is huge.
We know we are the underdogs to advance through the group but we also know what we are capable of on our day. We have great spirit, a great young team and come the start of October we will be ready for the task at hand. The manager has assembled a really good squad of recent and we hope to have a full strength side to give us the best opportunity to advance from the group.
You have returned to the National League South, a league you have a wealth of experience in. How comfortable are you playing in this division?
I think whenever you’ve experienced something before you’re always going to know how to handle the situation better rather than if you are going into the unknown. I’ve played over 150 games in the division, captained two different teams, won player of the year awards and won a promotion into the National League.
I am hoping that this time round, my experience at this level can help my new team mates around me and like I said previously, help the club get to where it needs to be. It was a great feeling getting promoted from this league and I have some very fond memories. I’m still just as much hungry and determined to do the exact same and put another medal on the cabinet.
I’m excited for the challenge ahead and I’ll give 100% to try and reenact what I accomplished two seasons ago but now with my new club Wealdstone.
What are your plans for the rest of the 2016/17 season?
Like I said, I haven’t come to Wealdstone for no reason. Come season end I fully expect us to be in and around the play-off positions giving us the best possible chance to achieve promotion into the National League.
On a personal level, I want to win medals and help the side reach its potential by giving the club and the fans good performances on a consistent basis. My plans are also to help Guyana advance through to the final round of the Caribbean Cup and secure a place in the Gold Cup. Playing against Jamaica will be a great experience and to qualify would be a dream for myself and the Country.
Finally, you continue to coach at Tottenham Hotspur. Is this something you want to take to the next level after retirement?
I was over the moon to have been given my new role within the academy at the start of the season. For the past six weeks I have been going in regularly and working with some of the most talented young players in the country.
Not only do I get to help develop these talented young stars but I also get to learn from some of the best coaches in the world. Working with Ryan Hall at the Academy is only going to make me a better coach and he’s been great for my personal development. I’m learning and gaining more experience everyday and when you get to work with these amazing coaches you want to better yourself. John McDermott, Justin Cochran and Gary Broadhurst have also been really good to me and have been great mentors in helping me expand my knowledge within the game. I’ve also had the opportunity to train with the youth team this season, which being involved in the sessions, actually really help understand the coaching side, within.
It’s something that I want to continue to do now and also when my playing days are up. Coaching, developing players and managing is definitely something I’m passionate about and I’ll continue to keep learning new skills and techniques to make myself the best coach I can possibly be.
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