Garstang FC look to the future after naming their new manager
He was announced as the successor to Andy Payton at the Riverside at the start of the week following his sudden exit after only five games in charge.
Graham, Alan Coar and Richard Brown have been part of the caretaker set-up since with the Riversiders losing to Emley AFC on Saturday before winning at Holker Old Boys on Monday.
Cookney watched the latter game and the Riversiders’ board are excited about his appointment.
“Richard has been at Poulton for the last five years,” Graham said.
“He has come up through the ranks from youth team, to reserve team, and then the first team for the last two-and-a-half seasons.
“He’s been successful there, he’s relatively young, ambitious and he has a lot of good ideas.
“He was well in the frame to get the job last time and we’ve gone back to him again.”
Cookney’s first game in charge comes this Saturday when the Riversiders host Sunderland West End in the FA Vase first qualifying round.
He takes over a team with two league wins so far this season but Graham believes the foundations are in place for a possible repeat of the seventh-placed finish they achieved last time around.
Seven games into the season and the Riversiders are third-bottom of the table with six points, two points clear of the bottom club Steeton.
“At this point last year, I think we only had three more points because we won the first three and lost the next four,” Graham said.
“It’s very early days this season and nobody’s running away with the division yet.
“Everybody is beating each other and there is no team with a 100 per cent record so far.
“There is plenty to play for but we do have a bit of relief this weekend in that we’re playing in the FA Vase rather than the league.
“We don’t know a massive amount about Sunderland West End but I’m sure that’s the case with them as well.
“However, we’ll see what happens and, hopefully, Richard can begin with a victory.”