Date: 21st December 2017 at 8:52pm
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Former AFC Bournemouth captain Shaun Cooper has joined the academy staff under Joe Roach.

Cooper joined the club on trial after being released by Portsmouth in 2005.

Along with Callum Hart he impressed the then manager Sean O’Driscoll and eventually signed a long term contract with the club.

A versatile player who was capable of playing virtually anywhere in defence and midfield and at times had been compared to former Cherries midfielder Brian Stock, due to his passing style.

Cooper became AFC Bournemouth captain under Kevin Bond, but lost his captaincy following a serious hip injury which kept him out of action for 11 months.

He later returned from injury to be involved in the end of season run in which concluded with the Cherries winning promotion from League Two in 2010.

The following season Cooper was an integral part of the clubs bid for back-to-back promotions which ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat in the League One play-offs.

At the end of the 2011/12 season Cooper rejected an offer to extend his Cherries career, but the former team captain turned down the contract offer and left the club.

Overall he made 240 appearances for the club in all competitions, he went on to play for Crawley, Portsmouth, Torquay, Sutton, Eastborne and Poole.

However he has now retired to take a role with AFC Bournemouth’s academy.

Cooper told the Daily Echo

“I started working with the under-13s on a part-time basis in pre-season and they had a re-jig when a few full-time positions became available, I was fortunate to be offered one and it was a no-brainer.

“I am delighted to be working for a club which gave me so much during my career. Now, I just want to give something back. It is on to the next chapter for me and I am excited to be back and looking to the future.”

Discussing his former playing days at Dean Court he added…

‘…I loved every minute of my time at the club and was fortunate to play with some very good players and under some good managers, especially Eddie Howe and Sean O`Driscoll, who I have learned a lot from.

“Bournemouth gave me the best seven years of my career and, in truth, I hadn`t really enjoyed playing since I left…’

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