Cooper is out to impress at trial

Joel Cooper in action for Ballyclare Comrades. INNT 05-003-PSB
Joel Cooper in action for Ballyclare Comrades. INNT 05-003-PSB

Ballyclare Comrades winger Joel Cooper is in Glasgow this week for a trial with Scottish League One outfit Stranraer.

The 19-year-old has already caught the eye of more than a few managers in the Irish League but he could be on the verge of a move across the water - if all goes well for him at the Stair Park club.

Since breaking into Ballyclare’s first-team under Eddie Hill in the 2013-14 season, Cooper has shown great potential. He has pinned down a regular place with the Reds in Championship 1 and has scored nine goals in 38 appearances for his hometown club.

As a boy, Cooper played for Ballyclare Colts who produced Manchester United defender Paddy McNair.

Last month Cooper started all three group stage matches for Northern Ireland’s Regions’ Cup squad under Harry McConkey.

“Joel is off to Stranraer for a trial this week, in the hope that he can land a contract with the Scottish League One outfit,” said Reds’ boss, David Dorrian. “I believe he will be checking in at their training quarters in Glasgow, so we all wish him well.

“He has consistently turned in good performances for us and he deserves the opportunity to advance his career.”

Meanwhile, reflecting on Saturday’s 3-1 pre-season win over Rathfern Rangers, Dorrian added: “This was a very useful run-out for 23 players, and it offered the opportunity to assess the depth of our squad.

“The aim was to give as many as possible a chance to stake a claim for a place, but I was also wanted to check on the work-rate and attitude of the players.

“We have no matches this week, but we will be training on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to ensure we will all be well prepared for the start of the league campaign.

“We have five more friendlies lined up, with the next on Thursday 16 away to Nortel, followed by the visit of Stranraer on Saturday 18.”