Coops is for Keeps

THE future of Argyle was placed in safe hands on Thursday, when goalkeeper Michael Cooper signed his first professional contract.

The 18-year-old graduated from the apprentice ranks by putting pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Pilgrims. 

Young Mike has already made his first-team debut, coming on as a half-time substitute for injured Kyle Letheren at Blackburn Rovers earlier this season and keeping a clean sheet. 

He was also a regular on the first-team bench during the Pilgrims’ ’keeper crisis in the first half of their current Sky Bet League One campaign.

“I am just really happy,” said the latest addition to the Pilgrims’ professional ranks. 

“All that hard work with the Academy over the past two years has paid off, but I have got to keep going now.

“I’m 18, which is still young for a ’keeper, but I want to be pushing to play first-team football as soon as I can.” 

Mike’s performances in the Pilgrims’ magical run to the FA Youth Cup fifth round further demonstrated the vast potential he has shown since joining the club nine years ago. He paid tribute to club captain Luke McCormick and goalkeeping coach Rhys Wilmot for aiding his progress as a Pilgrim. 

He said: “I’ve learnt a lot from Luke over the past two years, and a lot from Rhys because he has been my goalkeeping coach since I was nine. It’s going to be good to continue working with those two. 

“When you start playing football, when you are six, seven, eight, you think ‘I want to be a professional footballer’ but now that the day’s actually come, it feels even better.”