Mitch Cooper: a great surprise for Vanuatu

Mitch Cooper was one of the Vanuatu National Football Team debutants in 2019. He was called up by former head coach Paul Munster to play 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. Cooper might have been an unknown player for Ni-Vanuatu people but after his great performance in the Pacific Games everyone must know him in the country now.

Mitch Steven Baggio Cooper – a man that carries football in his name. He was born on 18 September 1994, just two months after 1994 World Cup Final when Brazil won Italy in the shootout. One of the most iconic scenes of that World Cup is Baggio’s sadness after missing the penalty that gave the World Cup trophy to Brazil for the fourth time.

Born in Port Vila, Cooper left the country when he was eight years old to live in New Zealand. He moved to Australia when he was thirteen years old and he is living there since then. Cooper started playing football oficially when he was a teenager, reaching a high standard level as a rising star in Australia.

Holding an Australian citizenship, Cooper was called up for Australia National Youth Teams, playing four matches in 2011 U17 FIFA World Cup and helping the Socceroos to reach the Round of 16 in that tournament.

Mitch Cooper playing 2011 U17 World Cup for Australia

Once he was not called up for Australia National Football Team at senior level, Cooper remained eligible to play for Vanuatu. He made his official debut on 3 June 2019 in a 2-0 win against Tahiti. He also played 2019 Pacific Games scoring five goals in six matches.

Mitch Cooper playing for Vanuatu in 2019 Pacific Games

His experience and quality are huge additions for Vanuatu National Football Team. Currently playing for Hume City at NPL Victoria, one of the eight leagues of Australian National Premier League, he also has experience at Hyundai A-League, playing in the most important football league in Australia between 2012 and 2016.

Cooper still has a lot to offer to his country as a National Team player while Vanuatu counts on many young and talented players. The upcoming years might be bright for them.

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