Swans Swoop In For Cooper
SWANSEA City have appointed England Under-17 Head Coach Steve Cooper as their new Head Coach.
Cooper, 39, has signed a three-year deal to replace Graham Potter who joined Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this summer.
He will be joined by former Liverpool and West Ham United midfielder Mike Marsh, who becomes the assistant first-team coach, with further backroom appointments to come.
Marsh worked alongside Cooper at the FA and is also the former Liverpool and Huddersfield Town first-team coach.
Cooper, who during his career played as a defender, is the son of former top-flight referee Keith – was on the books of Wrexham as a youngster before joining the clubs academy coaching set-up, acheiveing his UEFA Pro Licence coaching certificate at the age of 26.
After becoming Head of Youth at Wrexham, he moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy manager in 2011. During his time at Anfield, he worked under technical director Pep Segura, who is currently, general football manager at Barcelona and he helped develop players such as Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn.
He first joined the FA set-up in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014 before moving to under-17 level a year level.
Cooper’s Young Lions reached the 2017 European Championship finals, where they lost against Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year when they beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final.
The England Under-17 World Cup final side featured the likes of Phil Foden, Rhian Brewster, Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi, whilst Jadon Sancho, who has since made his senior debut, was also in the squad for the tournament.
Swansea chairman Trevor Birch told the clubs official website:“We are excited and delighted with the appointment.
“Together with Leon (Britton) and Alan (Curtis) we went through a long and thorough interview process covering a lot of very good candidates. The quality was extremely high, which speaks volumes about the attractiveness of the opportunity and how well respected this football club is within the game.
“At the forefront of our thinking was the appointment of a head coach who was hungry, ambitious, had a clear track record of playing our style of football, plus a pedigree to work with and develop young, talented players.
“Steve matched all those requirements in abundance and his views, coaching ethos and presentation were extremely compelling.
“It may be his first senior role, but he has been coaching for over 20 years and, let’s not forget, our young squad saw more game time for under-23 players than any other team in the Championship last season. And not many people can say they have won a World Cup, even at under-17 level!
“He is highly regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country and at some stage was always going to be given an opportunity by someone. I’m delighted we are that club because Swansea has a great track record of success in doing just that with the likes of Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers, for example.’’
Birch also revealed that the club were targeting appointing a head coach rather than a manager saying:“We were targeting a head coach rather than a manager because we feel the work on the training pitch will be vital to our success. The appointment of Mike Marsh as his assistant – who has a wealth of knowledge and senior experience – will play a vital role in supporting Steve.
“We will also ensure he receives support from a strong infrastructure around him. Leon and Alan will be regular and familiar figures down at the training ground who, together with the impending new head of recruitment and other backroom hires, will form a strong collaborative team behind the scenes.
“We believe Steve is ready for it, but more importantly he believes he is ready for it as well. We are excited by the appointment and have every confidence and belief in his abilities to be successful.’’