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Keith's goalscoring midfielder Jordan Cooper is loving life at Kynoch Park following his summer switch from Turriff United

By Craig Christie

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Jordan Cooper believes making the switch from Turriff United to Keith in the summer is the best move he's made.

Keith midfielder Jordan Cooper...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Keith midfielder Jordan Cooper...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The 24-year-old midfielder, who began his career at Inverurie Locos, joined the Maroons in August after seeking a new Highland League challenge.

The transfer has paid off, with Cooper scoring four times from midfield including a vital strike in last Wednesday's 3-1 win over Strathspey Thistle.

"I am really enjoying my football at Keith," he said. "It’s a great club with a really good set-up.

"I didn't know what to expect when I came here but the people here care about the club and I’m buying in to that. They don’t pay a lot of wages like the top teams but it’s the best way in the Highland League to bring younger players through.

"The squad here is really young and we only have a couple of older heads in the squad, which you need as part of the mix. "

Cooper has already doubled the tally he managed in his year at Turriff during his first few months with the Maroons.

He said Keith boss Craig Reid has given him the licence to get into the opposition penalty area from midfield and he has seized the chance.

Jumping for joy after his League Cup goal against Nairn County. Picture: Beth Taylor.
Jumping for joy after his League Cup goal against Nairn County. Picture: Beth Taylor.

"I’m mostly box-to-box centre mid but with us playing three in the middle, Craig allows me to play a bit further up the park," he said.

"I love going forward and trying to create stuff. At Turriff I was always playing a bit deeper so that was maybe a reason why I didn't want to stay there.

"Now I’ve got more of a freedom at Keith, it is starting to pay off."

Cooper certainly has a penchance for scoring at Kynoch Park, as all four of his goals this season have arrived on home soil.

He scored in the League Cup against Nairn and his first league goal was against Formartine United before Cooper netted in Keith's Scottish Cup defeat to Luncarty.

His fourth strike last midweek against Strathspey inspired the Maroons' first league victory since defeating Cooper's former club Turriff in mid-August.

"It was quite a nervy game because we have had a tough round of fixtures and not too many points recently, so it was good to get the win no matter how we were playing.

"The three points was the most important thing and it was a good win for us in difficult conditions."

Jordan Cooper has scored four times at Kynoch Park from midfield this season. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Jordan Cooper has scored four times at Kynoch Park from midfield this season. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Cooper was then part of Keith's side who lost 2-1 at home to his other former club Inverurie on Saturday.

Every one of the Maroons' seven league defeats this season have been by a single goal and Cooper hopes his team can turn those slender margins in their favour more often.

"We have only lost by one goal in all of our league games which shows we are competing," he said.

"People now realise that going to Kynoch Park it's not an easy place to get a win. I just hope we can kick on now and start climbing the table."

"We are trying to make Kynoch Park a wee bit of a fortress. It’s been a tough season, we had the really good cup run when we fell just short in the semi-final but beating Buckie at home was a really good achievement for us.

"It shows what we are capable of and we just need to show more consistency. You can’t have one game and two bad ones at this level and it’s a hard thing to do with a young squad, as we are all still learning. But we are definitely heading in the right direction.

"The Highland League is getting better and better every year. There’s players on loan from Aberdeen, Caley Thistle and Ross County at a number of clubs and it’s raising the standard and making it more competitive.

"It’s great to play in as well, it’s top quality. I’m still learning all of the time so I hope my best years are ahead of me."

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