Royals defender visted a Community Trust Soccer School to meet the young aspiring footballers...Royals centre-back Jake Cooper made a surprise visit to the Indoor Training Centre at the Madejski Stadium meeting aspiring young players who were taking part in a Soccer School, run by Reading FC Community Trust.
After the youngsters had shown the defender some of their skills, Jake took part in a Question & Answer session with the group, and then signed autographs and posed for some photos.
The 21-year-old then got behind the camera and interviewed one of the Soccer School's participants, Solly Large, discussing all things football and even who his favourite player was! Check out the video at the top of the article to see what he said…
Cooper grew up locally and attended similar soccer schools as a youngster “I used to attend soccer schools, when I was a kid. In the summer holidays my mum and dad were always sending me out the house to get some training and I loved it, all I wanted to do was play football so it was brilliant” he reminisced.
After starring at the Community Trust Soccer Schools as a young boy Cooper then joined the Royals Academy as a 14-year-old, only a couple of years older than some of the young fans participating at the soccer school. He went on to sign his first professional contract with the club at the age of 18.
A Grandparent watching his young grandson attend just his second Reading FC Community Trust Soccer School said: “He loves his football, this is just really good fun for him! He will definitely come back again!"
There was an enthusiastic atmosphere at the event and everyone (including the parents) were very excited to meet a Reading FC first team player in Cooper.
Although the 6ft 6in centre-back towered over the 8-11-year-olds he spent much of the time crouching down to talk to the children and pose for photos. “I used to love events like these when I was a kid,” he said. “To be able to give something back now is great!”
The Community Trust run Soccer Schools around Reading and Berkshire for boys and girls aged 5 to 14 of all abilities during school holidays. Run by FA-qualified coaches, the courses give children the chance to take part in physical activities during the school break. Reading FC Community Trust provide a safe environment for children to learn new skills, improve their technique whilst having lots of fun at the same time!
For more information about Soccer Schools click here