Soccer young gun Cooper Heagney is packing his bags to head to the United Kingdom after being selected to train with the West Ham United Oceania Academy.
Cooper is 12 years old and signed up to play the sport with Norths United when he was seven and hasn’t looked back.
In his career he has already represented Northern NSW at state championships, been offered a position in the Ac Milan soccer school in Sydney, captained the North West PSSA team, competed in the national primary games and has represented Northern Inland Football since he was nine.
He was also recently selected to trial and train with the Newcastle emerging Jets squad.
The biggest thing I think he is looking forward to is playing against the European competition.- Cleve Heagney
Cooper will travel overseas with the academy squad at the end of November.
The tour includes coaching sessions with top clubs including Rangers FC, tours of stadiums including Celtic Park and Wembley, watching EPL matches and playing games against various academy squads.
"The biggest thing I think he is looking forward to is playing against the European competition,” Cooper’s father Cleve said.
"He gets to play games and train over there. We are there 17 days, we get to do a lot and see a lot in those days.” He was selected after attending a training camp in Newcastle earlier in the year.
Cleve said it is a credit to the hard work he has put into his sport.
"Cooper did a two day camp when we were in Newcastle and that was a selection camp to go overseas,” he said.
"This bloke has done camps over a fair bit of Australia and he has selected a team to take over to the UK.
"He has always been a kid that has always kicked a ball around.
"It is dedication to his hard work.”
Proud of his achievements, Cleve said Cooper’s game has developed since participating in representative programs.
"He has been in the Northern Inland program since he was nine so four years,” he said. "It has allowed him to do much more than his local competition.
"It is wonderful.”
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