EXPERIENCED goalkeeper Dave Cooper is the new manager at Ludlow Town — and he’s not afraid to speak his mind.

The former Woofferton and Leominster Town stopper — who has played more than 800 games at local level — said he was thinking of quitting the sport until he contacted former manager Mike Seaborne to assess the situation at The SBS Stadium.

“There were a lot of things going on and I didn’t think people were putting in enough effort,” said straight-talking Cooper.

“I was going to go elsewhere and look at other avenues, until I contacted Mike to see what the situation was and he said that the manager’s job was being advertised.

“There are a good bunch of lads here, but we underachieved last season because there was a lack of commitment, which I hope I can eradicate.

“Some players may not want to play because I’m now the manager and I may upset some of them, but I’m honest enough to tell them why I have made my decisions.”

Cooper, who will be assisted by Jamie Morris and Seaborne, expects to play in goal for the time being.

The person he’s earmarked to take over between the Town sticks is on holiday.

“I’ve singled him out to play and he’s keen,” said Cooper.

“He’s away on holiday for six weeks, but when he comes back, I will pull myself aside and concentrate on managing.”

Ludlow will play in the newly re-structured Mercian League after competing in the Shropshire County League.

“I’m looking forward to it and we’ll see in the next couple of weeks whether it was the right decision,” said Cooper.

“We were a Jekyll and Hyde team last season, but there is a lot of local talent here.

“I want a bunch of 16 to 17 lads who want to play week-in, week-out, who want to train and who are hungry.

“I want to get us back up to the West Midlands League and not play at county level.”

Cooper will get his first opportunity to see his current team when they play Brown Clee in the quarter-finals of the Ludlow Hospital Cup next Thursday (July 19).

It is a pre-season competition that features eight local teams, with the final being played at The SBS Stadium on August 5.

The full quarter-final draw is: Monday, July 16: Bishop’s Cleeve v Tenbury United.

Tuesday, July 17: Church Stretton v Knighton.

Wednesday, July 18: Orleton v Clee Hill; Thursday, July 19: Brown Clee v Ludlow Town.