Hornchurch defender Cooper departs for Hemel after five year stint at Bridge Avenue

Hornchurch defender Nathan Cooper shouting out instructions

Hornchurch defender Nathan Cooper shouting out instructions - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Defender Nathan Cooper made ‘big decision’ to depart Hornchurch to join National League South side Hemel Hempstead permanently after impressing in dual-registration period.

Nathan Cooper of Hornchurch during AFC Hornchurch vs Harrow Borough, Emirates FA Cup Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 8th...

Nathan Cooper of Hornchurch during AFC Hornchurch vs Harrow Borough, Emirates FA Cup Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 8th September 2018 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

The 27-year-old has been with the Urchins for the past five seasons, where he has made 187 appearances since his debut back in 2015, scoring 16 times and being an instrumental part of Hornchurch’s back four.

He was voted both 2017/18 Players’ player of the season and Supporters’ player of the season when the Urchins gained promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division.

“It was a big decision but like you said it was about myself and being given the chance to play in the National League South isn’t one to give up on lightly,” Cooper admitted.

Cooper was captain of the Bridge Avenue outfit for a short spell and has so many fond memories of his time at the club but there is one stand-out moment.

Nathan Cooper celebrates netting Hornchurch's FA Cup winner at Romford (pic Mandy Davies)

Nathan Cooper celebrates netting Hornchurch's FA Cup winner at Romford (pic Mandy Davies) - Credit: Archant


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“To be honest I’ve got so many good memories,” Cooper said. “But a stand out one would be winning away to Witham Town near the end of the season where we got promoted from the Isthmian North.

“Manager Jimmy McFarlane was just back from his illness and we jumped over the fence to celebrate with him at the final whistle.”

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Cooper has already made three appearances for the Tudors after joining on a dual-registration when Hornchurch were forced to stop playing due to the second UK lockdown - even being named in the team of the month as Lee Bircham’s Hemel side flew up the table.

The league campaign has been delayed further for manager Mark Stimson and his Urchins which perhaps made Cooper’s choice slightly easier.

“It’s all been a bit crazy the last couple of weeks grabbing goals and getting sent off for a goal line save but I’ve loved it.

“I’ve enjoyed the step up and can’t wait to continue to push on.”

The defender added: “I would like to thank all the staff and players at Hornchurch over the years I’ve had a great time.

“Now it’s time to settle in at Hemel and create good memories.”

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