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Neil Cooper says he would ’love’ football return if right opportunity came along

Neil Cooper during his time with Inverurie Locos.
Neil Cooper during his time with Inverurie Locos.

Neil Cooper is keen to get back involved in football after a year out of the game.

Former Aberdeen youth coach Cooper has been without a role since leaving Inverurie Locos in October last year, after two-and-a-half years in the job.

Cooper, who works as a rental agent for Ledingham Chalmers, had been in football since the age of 15 up until the end of last year.

He had two spells working with the Dons youth sides, which included helping bring through players like Ryan Jack, Ryan Fraser and Scott McKenna, as well as a managerial spell with Forfar in the early 2000s.

Neil Cooper helped develop Scotland international Scott McKenna, who recently left Aberdeen for Nottingham Forest.

He left Aberdeen for the second time in 2014 and took the Locos job in 2017.

“I’d love to get back involved in the game,” said Cooper. “I’ve had chances, but it’d have to be the right club. I still miss it. I’m 62 now; I’d been in the game from leaving school at 15 until I was 61.

“An injury can force you out of the game (when you’re younger) and you can retrain. When you’re older, that kind of thing is harder. Most of the guys now do prepare for when their career does finish.

“I would like to get back involved. When I left Aberdeen the first time I got offered the Forfar job. They were bottom of the league and I went in. We had to make changes and I had to find guys who would do well for the club.

“We stayed up and in the next season, in what is now League One, we were six points behind Alloa in third. Then Aberdeen took me back as a coach, which I was delighted to do.

“When I left again I got the Inverurie job. They were 10th in the league and in my first full season, we finished third – a point behind Formartine in second.

“We’d done really well and for two seasons scored more than 100 goals. We had the second-best defensive record in the league. I liked my time at Locos.”

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