Defender meets pupils at Wilson SchoolLocal lad Jake Cooper – who scored his very first Madejski Stadium goal against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend – visited Wilson Primary School earlier this week to meet with teachers and to help inspire the youngsters to hopefully one day follow in his footsteps.
Cooper joined the Royals Academy as a 14-year-old, only a couple of years older than some of the young fans he visited at the school. The centre-back went along to the school located on Wilson Road to sign autographs and pose for pictures – and at 6ft 6in, he towered over the 8-11-year-olds!
PE Teacher Vicki Gaylor, speaking on the school’s link with Reading FC and the visit of Jake Cooper, said, “Visits like today with Jake, as well as the coaching support from Reading FC is great. In particular their work with women and girls’ football has led to a significant increase of girls playing here.
“The opportunity for the kids to meet a local player who has progressed and succeeded in the game is fantastic. You saw how much they enjoyed it on their faces!”
Jake also spent some time chatting to the students and answering their questions. These ranged from ‘who is your favourite footballer?’ to ‘are you going to become a manager when your career finishes?’ – and Jake calmly answered each of the questions, showing the same kind of composure that he has demonstrated against the league’s best forwards this season!
One stand out question was, ‘if you could speak to Messi, what would you say?’ – to which Coops replied, ‘I wouldn’t say anything… I’d be too busy trying to tackle him!’
Speaking about the experience of visiting the school, Jake said: “As a kid, I used to love the chance to meet a professional sportsman, so it’s good to try and give as much back as I can. It’s so important for a football club to support their local community.”