My piece on our under 18’s exciting and skilful winger – Chay Cooper:
In the latest of my pieces on our second year scholars, I shall be focusing on our under 18’s exciting and skilful winger Chay Cooper, in the following article. Chay Cooper may not be a name that many Spurs supporters know or are aware of however, the 18 year old has been one of our under 18’s best, most productive and most consistent performers so far this campaign. Currently out injured over the last month, I am writing this piece to give Spurs fans a feel for what type of player the second year scholar is. I will also talk about Cooper’s attributes and style of play in the following piece. Born and raised in Harlow, Essex, Chay Cooper attended the Mark Hall Academy where he was a 200m and 800m champion at county level. Cooper played for football league club Southend United at schoolboy level before joining Tottenham Hotspur towards the end of the 2016/17 season as an under 15. Followers of the Tottenham Hotspur academy set up would have first been made aware of Cooper at the beginning of the 2018/19 season when he was announced as one of Spurs’ new first year scholars. Cooper made his under 18 debut in September of 2018, coming off the bench in an under 18 Premier League Cup game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The then first year scholar who scored 16 goals the previous season for the under 16’s, made ten competitive appearances for our under 18’s that season, playing in a variety of positions (Cooper was also named on the bench for our development side in their EFL Trophy game against Oxford United). The teenager whose footballing role model is Lionel Messi, started the current campaign well and by the end of 2019 he had chipped in with four goals and five assists from 13 appearances for Matt Taylor’s side, before injury struck. Meaning that the teenager who had helped us progress to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup by scoring an important goal against Liverpool in round three, had to sit out our game against Wigan Athletic in round four, Spurs missed him massively. Chay is a versatile player who can operate out on either flank (owing to being good with both feet), in CAM and as a central midfielder. The stylish young player as a winger, is an exciting and direct player who loves to run at opposing defenders. Cooper will get you up off your seat with his pace (he seems to have got quicker this season), direct running and skill on the ball. The highly skilful lad from County Essex, is not only direct, but also unpredictable.
Cooper, who is often involved in Spurs under 18’s intricate attacking play, is a good crosser of the ball and his whipped deliveries often have a lot of pace on them. Furthermore, he is a fine dribbler who likes to weave his way past opponents however, he does mix up his game and will often cut inside before looking to take on further players, pick a pass or test the goalkeeper. Since first watching Chay play I have been hugely impressed by some of his Nathan Oduwa like (former Spurs youth player) skill moves that he pulls off. Oduwa was a highly skilful winger who did and tried things with a ball that would leave you questioning what you had just seen. Cooper does also like to pull off outrageous skill moves. One example of this came in our under 18’s 2-2 draw to Arsenal earlier in the season. In that game with the scores at 1-2 in second half stoppage time, Cooper knocked the ball over an Arsenal player before then deftly putting the ball through the legs of another player. Cooper then skilfully turned away from another Arsenal man as he continued forward before finding Kion Etete who finished it off after brining down Cooper’s nice and accurate lofted pass. As a central midfielder Cooper is silky, tidy and difficult to dispossess whereas, as a CAM he drops into good pockets of space, makes clever runs and helps to link the play.
The promising young player who has more often than not been played out wide this season, has so much for you to admire about his game. Having earlier drawn some small comparisons with Nathan Oduwa, another winger who reminds me a little bit of him in his style of play is 22 year old Anthony Georgiou. Like Georgiou, he is quick and has a good first touch however, although he is quite small and slight it is Cooper’s defensive work I.E: his tracking back, aggression and all round hard work which reminds me quite a bit of Georgiou. Cooper who, is also a good and effective communicator on the pitch, is a player who excites, creates chances and works hard for the team. One would assume that he is going to be developed primarily as a winger due to where he has been played for the majority of this season. And with performances of the quality of the one away to Aston Villa last season when he absolutely tormented their right back Brad Burton, by going on many an unpredictable surging run, hopefully he will continue to develop as a winger. Cooper is a player who will score and create goals for us at under 18 level and hopefully at under 23 level in the future, and for that he is a name that Spurs fans should remember. Cooper should be proud of how he has performed so far this season and I would like to wish Chay a successful recovery from his current injury, and I look forward to seeing him back in action for our under 18’s.