Reading Football Club are delighted to confirm that 18-year-old left-sided centre back Jake Cooper has agreed to sign a professional contract with the Royals, which will keep him at Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2016
The 6’4” defender, who received a call-up to an England under-18s squad earlier this season, led from the back as our Academy stars reached the Elite League Final in 2012/13, making 30 appearances at centre-half and scoring four goals along the way.
“I’m really pleased to sign this contract,” Jake said. “We’ve had a great season in the under-18s and it’s great to cap it off like this.
Click here to watch Jake's first official interview, exclusively on Reading FC Player.
“Being in the Academy has helped me all the way through, ever since I came in at 14 years of age. The coaches have been magnificent, everyone’s there for you if you need a bit of help, especially Eamonn Dolan, David Dodds and Martin Kuhl.
“And watching Academy players go on to play in the first team at Reading, it gives players like me great hope for the future. So I’m looking forward to next season and many seasons to come.”
Powerful in the air but assured with the ball at his feet, Cooper also confidently made the step up to our under-21s squad last season, playing four times and scoring a late winner in a 1-0 win against Stoke City back in March.
"Jake has enjoyed an outstanding season in both our under-18s and our under-21s sides and he is one of a number of boys we have very high hopes for," Director of Football Nick Hammond said.
"His attitude is good and he is a player who is full of potential and, if he continues to apply himself in the right way and sustains his work ethic, he could become a very good centre-back."
Discussions are ongoing between the club and a number of other promising Academy players about contract extensions at Madejski Stadium.
The signing of Cooper's contract follows on from #AcademyWeek - click here to read last week's dedicated content on the Royals Academy.