Walthamstow have pulled off a massive signing ahead of the 2020-21 season, securing the services of attacking midfielder David Cowley. Cowley comes in with a massive amount of experience having played as a professional, and in the upper levels of non-league football.
A local lad, Cowley began his career at Southend United and West Ham United’s youth set-ups, before a spell in the USA and then in Spain.
Back home, he has had spells at Harlow Town, Grays Athletic, Needham Market, Thurrock, AFC Sudbury – where he scored against Stow – and Ware.
He was Supporters’ Player of the Season at both Harlow Town and AFC Sudbury.
He spent last season at Stowmarket Town who were unbeaten and 16 points clear at the top of the Eastern Counties League when the season was cut short. He scored eight times in 25 games, and was one of the stand-out players in the league, being named in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Fans Team of the Year last season.
For Cowley, signing for Walthamstow is returning to his roots. “I grew up in Walthamstow. I’m coming up to the end of my career now and I started out at Waltham Forest. I played for West Ham and was there for around 11 years and I was in the pro-game for a while. I’m in my early 30’s and it will be nice to it out in Walthamstow. I didn’t expect to be at Walthamstow but when I received the call, I knew it would be a good one.”
According to Cowley, Stow manager Max Mitchell played a huge role in luring him to the club. “It was weird because I’ve played against him and he’s played against me (although he never got near me!). He called me and we spoke about how he wanted to push the club forward and obviously, I’m a local-boy so it was all pointing in that direction.”
East London has always been a hot-bed of talent – Walthamstow’s partner club Ryan FC youth teams are a shining example of this. But Cowley’s time at Waltham Forest Youth was the foundation he’s built his career on, and somewhere he wants to end on a high note and get the club back to where he thinks they should be: “I want to get Walthamstow out of this league and into the league they deserve. It’s a big place and would be nice to push them up a league or two. The main goal is to get promoted. I wouldn’t be with the club otherwise. If we don’t get promoted, I will see that as a failure.”
It’s still unclear when the 2020-21 season will start, though leagues and clubs are aiming for a September start. That can’t come soon enough. “I’m always raring to go. I enjoy playing football. When it’s a matchday on a Saturday, it’s showcase time and you want to win the game. If you don’t want to win, there is no point being on the pitch.
The club his building togetherness and community spirit off the field and this is something Max Mitchell’s first team will mirror. It’s all about the collective goal, rather than individual targets. “It’s not about how many goals I am going to score. The club getting promoted is the main thing and that won’t change regardless of how many goals I score next season. I could get 100 goals but if we don’t get promoted, those goals are irrelevant. Once the club gets promoted, it will progress.”
That said, Cowley still hopes to make his impact. “Skills, tricks, assists, goals, you’ll see it all!”
You can follow our new signing on Twitter; @dcowley8.