Brandon Cooper | it’s good to get 90 minutes under my belt

9th March 2021
First team
Bristol City home Brandon Cooper

Brandon Cooper revealed his delight after stepping up his recovery from injury with valuable game time in Swansea City Under-23s’ draw with Ipswich Town.

The centre-half played the full 90 minutes for the young Swans in the Professional Development League South encounter at Landore.

Cooper, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Newport County, has been out since early January having sustained a sprained ankle shortly after his return from Rodney Parade.

Following a successful recovery, the 21-year-old was an unused substitute in the first-team’s 3-1 defeat by Bristol City at the Liberty.

But he was back on the pitch for the first time since appearing in Newport's draw with Crawley on Boxing Day, as the development side were held to a draw by Ipswich.

And Cooper hopes his performance was a positive step towards forcing his way into Steve Cooper’s plans with the Championship season reaching its final stretch.

“It was great to be back out there playing football and doing what I love after my injury,” he said.

“It’s good to get 90 minutes under my belt. 

“The gaffer told me to do that and give myself a chance to be in contention for some minutes for the first team over the rest of the season.

Brandon Cooper

“I’m going to do everything I can to get my chance with the first team and, when it comes, I’m going to take it.”

Cooper, who made 25 appearances on loan at Newport, comfortably boasted the most senior experience in an otherwise youthful starting line-up that featured four scholars and three first-year pros.

The defender demonstrated that experience to good effect, while he was in constant communication with his team-mates throughout the game.

And although he has now stepped up to the first-team environment, he insists it was important that he set a good example to his peers.

“When I’ve played for the under-23s in the past, I’ve hoped that older players coming down would set a good example and give me valuable advice,” he added.

“Therefore, I tried to do the same by helping the younger players and showing them what it means to play football.

“There’s so much to learn and I’m still learning now.”