Ollie Cooper looking to build on first Swansea City league start
Ollie Cooper has had to wait patiently for his first league start for Swansea City, but the young midfielder grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he produced a stand-out showing in Wednesday's draw at Stoke.
The 22-year-old first donned a Swans shirt 10 years ago at under-12 level, and has worked his way through the academy ranks over the last decade.
After a successful loan spell with League Two Newport County last term, he has returned to SA1 with his appetite whetted for more game time at senior level.
And he has shown he has more than deserved that opportunity, impressing against Oxford United in the Carabao Cup and off the bench at Middlesbrough before getting that Championship start at the bet365 Stadium.
Cooper's energy and ability to surge into pockets of space helped Swansea get into a number of promising attacking situations, while he was also narrowly off target with a spectacular overhead kick in the first half.
Unfortunately a late Tyrese Campbell goal ensured Cooper's first league start did not end with three points, but the playmaker was proud to have made his first league start for the Swans.
“I’ve had to be quite patient and wait for the opportunity but I knew that eventually it would come and I’d have to be ready whenever it did,” Cooper said.
“It’s just amazing being out there on the pitch, playing in front of fans in a full stadium – it’s what you dream about and it’s what I’ve worked towards for a really long time.
“I know now that I’ve just got to keep pushing on and working towards the next game and the next game and hopefully I can just continue playing how I’m playing.
“It’s amazing, to hear the fans singing your name or to hear them singing “he’s one of our own”. It’s special.
“Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to get the home start and, when I get given it, I’ll be ready to perform like I did against Stoke and do my best to try and help us get that win which will come if we keep performing as we did in this game."