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Jake Cooper

Born: 3rd February 1995 
Nationality: English 
Position: Centre-back 
Royals first team debut: Reading 1-0 Ipswich – 16/08/14 
Appearances: 39(+15)*
Goals: 4

Cooper‘s Story:
Towering above most strikers, 6’4” Cooper joined up with our Academy as a 14-year-old schoolboy in 2009 and attended the Forest School in Winnersh. 

He received a call up to the England U18's squad in February 2011, and made his international debut for the team against Belgium. 

That was to be just one major achievement in a busy couple of months for the defender, as leading from the back, the Royals made it all the way to the U18's Premier League final in May – Cooper made 30 appearances and scored four times in the run in. 

Just a month later, he put pen to paper and signed his first professional contract with the club. 

The following year, Cooper stepped up to the U21's squad, and despite injury set-backs, played a fundamental role at centre-back as the squad were crowned champions of the Premier League Cup in its foundational season.  

That summer, he was included in Nigel Adkins’ first team squad that travelled to a midlands training camp. Having been a part of the side through pre-season, Cooper was ready to make his senior team bow at the start of the 2014/15 campaign. 

He debuted at Madejski Stadium in our opening home league fixture against Ipswich, being introduced as an 87th minute substitute for Nick Blackman. 

That season, Cooper was one of eleven Academy graduates to make their break-through into the first team setup. He was widely used as first choice back-up for Pearce and Hector, making 10(+9) appearances throughout. 
Not just a defender but a goal scorer too, Cooper scored his first Royals goals as a brace during our trip to Carrow Road last November. Coming from 1-0 down, he rose above the defence twice to head home and secure a much needed three points over the eventual play-off winners. 

When he wasn’t involved in first team fixtures, Cooper was able to play a part in the U21's promotion winning season to Premier League Division One, with appearances at Centre-back against Brighton, West Brom and Huddersfield Town. 

In 2016-17, Cooper won promotion with Millwall - ending a loan period with the League One club by being part of the Lions squad that beat Bradford City at Wembley in May 2017. He had started that loan spell by conceding just one goal in his first nine games at the New Den, also helping Millwall achieve FA Cup giantkilling wins over Watfrod and Leicester City!

*Stats correct as of 01/06/2016