Speaking to Plymouth College, young goalkeeper Mike Cooper reveals he has aspirations to play in the Premier League and for England.
The 20-year-old signed for the academy in 2009 and has played all the through the youth set up. In 2016, he was a crucial member of Argyle u18’s side that made it through to the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup, a run which included wins against Burnley and Manchester City (one of the best academy sides in Europe).
Cooper made his first senior appearance as a substitute in a League One game against Blackburn Rovers after starting keeper Letheren went off injured. He also came off the bench for the last game of the 2018/19 season after Matt Macey got injured. Despite only two appearances in the league, the youngster has been used as Ryan Lowe’s ‘cup keeper’ this season.
As part of their ‘Plymouth College Presents’ series, the former student was asked about what his ambitions are for the future. “Definitely, at the start of next season, try and be the starting goalkeeper and get a lot more games under my belt. Ultimately, become a better player, gain a lot more match experience in the professional ranks and then, hopefully, kick on from that in the seasons following.”
Despite the cup appearances, Cooper has found himself second in line this season behind loanee Alex Palmer (who has kept the most clean sheets in League Two). Cooper feels he has benefitted massively by having Palmer at the club. “He’s a very good goalkeeper and it’s just about me keep working hard,” said Cooper. “He’s 23 and this is his first season in professional football really. I’m only 20 so I have got a lot of time.” The competition between the two keepers meant that Palmer’s form has been so good this season, keeping Cooper out the side.
Cooper is very ambitious and has his sights set on the top-flight. “Well, I want to play for England and in the Premier League. That’s the ultimate goal, but then you have got to set yourself little goals underneath that to give you the best chance of getting to where you want to.”
The young ‘keeper is a highly-rated prospect at Argyle. So much so that in December he signed a new two-and-a-half-year to stay at the club until the end of the 2021/22 season. Fans will be hoping by then Cooper is very much part of the starting XI and will stay beyond the end of his current contract.