Former Welsh Premier League defender Steve Cooper claims FIFA U17 World Cup
Welshman Steven Cooper has managed England to FIFA U17 World Cup success after their 5-2 victory over Spain in the final this afternoon.
The former defender who played his club career in Wales, featuring for sides like The New Saints, Rhyl, Bangor City and Porthmadog oversaw his sides victory in India.
Goals from Rhian Brewster, Morgan Gibbs-White, Marc Guehi and a brace from Phil Foden gave the Welshman his first taste of success in management as they overturned a two-goal deficit, romping home to a convincing victory.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Cooper could not hide his delight in winning the competition, highlighting how well his side played throughout the tournament.
‘We are worthy winners of the tournament, the football we’ve played and the amount of goals we’ve scored. We have individual talent, team identity, character and personality.
Former team mate Marc Lloyd-Williams, who played alongside Cooper during their time at The New Saints, congratulated him on his achievements.
What’s the world coming to, a Welshman leading @England to the World Cup title! Congrats to my old team mate Steve Cooper winning u17 WC👏🍻
— Marc Lloyd Williams (@MarcJiws) October 28, 2017
Cooper who was born in the South Wales Valleys, Pontypridd earned his UEFA Pro-Licence at the age of 27 after calling an end to his playing career.
His coaching and management career has seen him progress each time. Two years after playing for Porthmadog, he was the Head of Youth Development at Wrexham, before moving to English giants Liverpool, where he spent two years at.
The job he did at Liverpool earned him the opportunity to manage the England U16s squad for a year as his side finished top of the Nike International Friendlies group.
He was then put in charge of the England U17’s squad in 2015, where England finished runners up of the UEFA European Under-17 Championships, losing to Spain on penalties.
The defender who played a majority of his career at Farrar Road with Bangor City is the son of former Football League and Premier League referee Keith Cooper.