Latest signing Brandon Cooper says he is keen to get games under his belt and learn as much as he can in his season-long loan spell at Newport County AFC.
Cooper, who joined on a loan deal from Swansea City, made his debut for County in their first game of the EFL Trophy against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.
It’s been a long time coming for the 20-year-old after the Exiles showed interest last summer and in January but didn’t quite get a deal over the line.
With the team sheet demonstrating Michael Flynn’s eagerness to give young players a chance, Cooper was in the starting line-up against the Robins only a day after his move was announced.
“I got back from Bosnia, came to watch the game against Swansea the other day, which was a great win for the lads, and then got signed straight away, went straight into training and into the game today,” said Cooper.
“It was great with Joe [Woodiwiss] and Sonny [Lewis], I thought they were great today. They’re two young lads who work hard and they did really well.
“There’s opportunities everywhere at the moment, especially for young players who are playing well. My ambition is as high as it possibly can be, to play for Wales, because it’s right there in front of me, and to do as well as I can for Newport now. Then going forward I just have to take it step-by-step.”
The defender came close to scoring on his debut after heading just wide of the post on the stroke of half-time, proving his aerial abitlity in either box, which Cooper says is one of his strengths.
And despite losing 1-0, the Swansea loanee is embracing the test of playing against experienced players and has no doubt given Flynn a lot to think about during team selection for County’s first league game of the season against Scunthorpe on Saturday.
“It would be my league debut and it will be good if I do get the nod to get a game. I’ll try my best and help the team, but that’s up to the manager. I just have to work hard and try my best when I get on the pitch.
“Hopefully some of us lads tonight have got in the manager’s mind and he may change some players around. We’ll see what happens.”
After making his debut for the Swans against Crystal Palace in their Carabao Cup tie during the 2018/19 campaign, Cooper is now looking forward to the challenge that League Two football presents.
“I can see already that it’s going to be a great time for me here and playing for the gaffer so I can’t wait to carry on playing some games.
“I’m so glad to be out on Rodney Parade and putting the Newport kit on.”