FORMER Newcastle Breakers and Socceroos striker Warren Spink is confident he can guide second-tier newcomers Cooks Hill United to the Northern NSW National Premier League within three seasons.
Spink, 48, has taken over as coach of Cooks Hill, who were promoted along with Wallsend and Kahibah from the third-tier Newcastle Zone Premier League to the second-level NNSWF first division for 2015.
Spink, who played 38 games and scored nine goals for Australia from 1988-1997, was with the Newcastle Breakers from 1992-1994 and scored 28 goals in 45 matches for the National Soccer League team.
He returned to Melbourne, where he played until 2000 before coaching at junior and senior level.
He moved back to Newcastle two years ago and has been involved in junior coaching, including with Cooks Hill teams.
A strong junior club with top-grade grand final wins in three of the past four ZPL seasons, Cooks Hill were believed to be the first choice for elevation to the new-look, 11-team first division.
Spink believes that foundation has Cooks Hill primed to quickly make a push for promotion to the NPL.
‘‘Within the next two to three years we’re hoping to get into the NPL with a couple of strong seasons.
‘‘I saw a few games last year and obviously we are jumping up another league, but we will be looking to have a really strong pre-season.
‘‘We’ve got a few new players in and the nucleus of the side is pretty much the same as last year, so I don’t think we will be far off.’’