Hornchurch defender Cooper is ‘buzzing’ to return as they look to push on this season

Hornchurch captain Nathan Cooper (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch captain Nathan Cooper (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch captain Nathan Cooper is ‘buzzing’ to be back out on the pitch after an injury-hit season.

The long-serving defender missed majority of last season but is back involved with the Urchins ahead of the new Bet Victor Isthmian Premier Division campaign.

And the former Romford man is keen to put last season behind him as the Bridge Avenue outfit look to push the table this term.

"I'm buzzing to be back, the last nine months have been both mentally and physically tough," Cooper said.

"The not knowing if I required surgery and potentially miss next season was hard to take.

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"I haven't been able to join in with every pre season session but I'm getting fitter with each week.

"I'm near enough over the injuries now and touch wood I can stay injury free."

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He did reveal watching the Urchins under-achieve last season from the sidelines was tough to take.

"Watching from the sidelines last season was horrible.

"As a team that should of at least challenged for play offs we wasn't performing, not picking up points and we started to drop down the table.

"I found myself screaming and shouting from the stands were I was getting frustrated, but that's football for you."

Hornchurch have brought in seven new signings including Arthur Lee, Rickie Hayles, Matt Johnson, Chris Dickson, Dan Uchechi, Mickey Parcell and goalkeeper Joe Wright.

"The new look squad is looking very strong at the moment," he said.

"So far we haven't set any targets in stone but the manager is still looking at players so I'm sure we will do once the squads complete.

"With the signings we've made already I think it's very clear to everyone where we are aiming to be in the table.

"For myself I just want to play football week in week out, so I'm working hard on making sure I'm as fit as I can be."

Cooper will face stiff competition for a place in the starting line-up with the additions of Lee and Hayles at the back.

"Arthur and Ricky are both great signings with tons of experience and I'm looking forward to playing with them at the back.

"Both are big characters so I'm sure we will push each other for places."

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