Steve Cooper confirmed as new Swans head coach

13th June 2019
First team

Swansea City is delighted to confirm the appointment of Steve Cooper as the club’s new head coach.

The 39-year-old leaves his position as coach of England’s World Cup winning Under-17 national team to sign a three-year contract at the Liberty Stadium.

He will be joined by former Liverpool and West Ham midfielder Mike Marsh as assistant first-team coach, with further backroom appointments to follow. Marsh, who worked alongside Cooper at the FA, is also a former Liverpool and Huddersfield first-team coach.

Swansea City chairman, Trevor Birch, confirmed: “We are excited and delighted with the appointment.

“Together with Leon (Britton) and Alan (Curtis) we went through a long and thorough interview process covering a lot of very good candidates. The quality was extremely high, which speaks volumes about the attractiveness of the opportunity and how well respected this football club is within the game.

“At the forefront of our thinking was the appointment of a head coach who was hungry, ambitious, had a clear track record of playing our style of football, plus a pedigree to work with and develop young, talented players.

“Steve matched all those requirements in abundance and his views, coaching ethos and presentation were extremely compelling.

“It may be his first senior role, but he has been coaching for over 20 years and, let’s not forget, our young squad saw more game time for under-23 players than any other team in the Championship last season. And not many people can say they have won a World Cup, even at under-17 level!

“He is highly regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country and at some stage was always going to be given an opportunity by someone. I’m delighted we are that club because Swansea has a great track record of success in doing just that with the likes of Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers, for example.’’

Birch added: “We were targeting a head coach rather than a manager because we feel the work on the training pitch will be vital to our success. The appointment of Mike Marsh as his assistant - who has a wealth of knowledge and senior experience - will play a vital role in supporting Steve.

“We will also ensure he receives support from a strong infrastructure around him. Leon and Alan will be regular and familiar figures down at the training ground who, together with the impending new head of recruitment and other backroom hires, will form a strong collaborative team behind the scenes.

“We believe Steve is ready for it, but more importantly he believes he is ready for it as well. We are excited by the appointment and have every confidence and belief in his abilities to be successful.’’

Former defender Cooper – the son of ex-top-flight referee Keith – was on Wrexham’s books as a youngster before joining the club’s academy coaching set-up, going on to achieve the UEFA Pro Licence coaching certificate at the age of just 26.

After becoming Head of Youth at Wrexham, the Pontypridd-born coach moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy Manager in 2011.

His time with the Reds saw him work under technical director Pep Segura - currently general football manager at Barcelona - where he helped develop such young talents as Raheem Sterling, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Wales international Ben Woodburn.

He moved to the FA in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014, before making the step up to under-17 level the following year.

He led the Young Lions to the final of the 2017 European Championship, where they lost to Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year by coming from 2-0 down to beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final.

The England side that day included the likes of Phil Foden, Rhian Brewster, Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Jadon Sancho was also in the squad for the tournament.

Cooper, who has overseen 88 international games as head coach, was widely praised for his team’s attractive, attacking style of play, and is highly regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country.