Ollie Cooper | It’s good to get minutes under my belt
Ollie Cooper was pleased to get valuable game time under his belt in Swansea City Under-23s’ victory over Wigan Athletic.
The midfielder played the opening 60 minutes for the young Swans in the Professional Development League encounter at Landore.
And the 21-year-old looked lively with some dangerous runs, while going close to scoring midway through the first half.
It has been a productive season for Cooper, who has been with the club since under-12 level.
He was added to Steve Cooper’s first-team squad at the start of the campaign, before signing a contract extension in February until the summer of 2023.
The Wales under-21 international has been involved in the matchday squad on 25 occasions, making three appearances including his Championship debut as a late substitute in the 3-0 win at Millwall.
And he embraced the chance to increase his match sharpness with the under-23s.
“It’s nice to get a run-out and 60 minutes under my belt,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s been a while since I’ve started a game and you start to miss it really.
“Of course, it’s great to be involved in the first team, but I just want to get back out on the pitch.
“When you come down to this level, it’s still a game so you’ve got to do everything you can to win.
“Sometimes, you’re coming down to show how much you’ve improved since being up with the first team.
“Every game is a chance to impress, and that’s how you must look at it.”
Although he would have preferred to enjoy more game time with the first team, Cooper has taken the opportunity to further his development behind the scenes at Fairwood.
And with the Swans’ play-off place secured with two games remaining, the youngster is hoping for a chance to step up and shine as the season reaches its climax.
“I have focused a lot on working in the gym, which I feel has had an impact,” he added.
“I feel stronger, more powerful and quicker and it’s showing on the pitch, which is a big thing.
“It’s an important time in the season and there are two games left, so hopefully I can get some minutes and show what I can do at that level.”