WE caught up with former Grimsby Town and St Albans striker Gary Cohen for a chat this week.
Gary started his career as a trainee at Watford and was added to the club's first team squad during the 2002–03 season but failed to play a first team match and was eventually released by The Hornets at end of the season.
He then teamed up Russell Slade at Scarborough where he scored twice in seven appearances with the club from the McCain Stadium. His next port of call was to sign for Gretna, who at the time had earned back to back promotions that took them from the foot of the Scottish Football League up into the Scottish Premier League.
Gary became one of Russell Slade's first new signings of the 2005–06 season, joining Terry Barwick, Jermaine Palmer and John Lukic as the first new additions. He linked up with Russell Slade once more who signed Cohen on a season long loan deal from his Scottish parent club. Primarily used as a forward at his previous clubs, Cohen became a makeshift right and left sided midfielder and his performances soon earned him a permanent deal when he was signed for an undisclosed fee in February 2006. He was part of the Town side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the second round of the League Cup and the eventual defeat against Newcastle United in the following round.
He was also part of the side that lost the League Two Play-off final against Cheltenham Town.
What do you remember about your time at Town?
Gary: I remember my time well and I must admit it was my happiest time playing football. We had a real good team spirit and the fans were behind us no matter how far they had to travel. I remember Torquay away we had about 100 fans who sung the whole game.
How did your move to Town come about?
Gary: Gretna wanted me out of the club for another season and I was fortunate enough to have David Holdsworth helping me out and he got in touch with Russell and asked if he wanted me for the season.
What was your best moment at GTFC and why?
Gary: Playing Spurs in the league it is strange playing against your boyhood team and beating them, something I will never forget.
You are remembered at Town for that goal you scored at Cheltenham - can you remember it?
Gary: Yeah how can I forget it, I don't think I had been on the pitch long. They had a corner and Mildy claimed it. I started calling for the ball but he rolled out to Gritts, I just said to Gritts put it in behind and he did. As soon as I got the ball I knew I was scoring,
Do you keep in touch with any of the old lads?
Gary: I speak to Reds quite often and have the occasional chat with Ranks.
What are you doing with yourself nowadays?
Haha the million dollar question, I am currently working for an investment bank in Canary Wharf.
Do you still play?
I dusted off the boots to play a few weeks ago for a mate, first time in over three years, I have only just recovered. I think I need a proper pre season before I attempt anything like that again. I think my head still thought I was 21. My body had other ideas.
Do you still follow the fortunes of the Mariners?
Gary: Yeah I like to keep up with their progress. I actually came up a few weeks ago and watched the game against Tranmere, I thought they played well and hopefully have enough to get back in the league.
How long was you at St Albans for? When was that?
Gary: I was there for two full seasons, I had had a season away from football after leaving Grimsby and joined there.
What is you prediction for Grimsby Town v St Albans?
Gary: A draw would be nice so I can catch the return leg at St Albans.
Check out Gary's fantastic goal against Cheltenham.