Liam Cooper: 'I'll prove Hull City were wrong to let me go'
LIAM Cooper is determined to prove Hull City boss Steve Bruce wrong after embarking on a fresh chapter of his career with a move to Chesterfield.
Cooper's nine-year association with the Tigers was ended at the weekend when he opted to turn a successful loan spell with the Spireites into a permanent transfer for an undisclosed fee.
Accepting defeat in a long-held "dream" of regular football with his hometown club, Cooper now hopes his two-and-a-half-year deal with the League Two outfit can be the spark needed to rekindle a once bright career.
Although handed a Premier League debut against Liverpool at the age of 17 in September 2009, a lack of opportunities under a succession of City managers saw the defender struggle to live up to early expectations.
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Bruce's arrival at the start of the season ultimately marked the beginning of the end for Cooper's hopes, but he intends to use City's rejection as a motivation to climb back into the Championship.
"It was a hard decision to make because I was a hometown boy and it was always my dream to play for Hull City," Cooper told the Mail.
"I'd have loved to have done that for the rest of my career but unfortunately it got to the stage where I knew I had to leave.
"The manager (Steve Bruce) made it clear at the start of the season that I wasn't going to be in his plans.
"He wanted to bring in experience and that's fair enough. Of course, that's frustrating but that's football. It's a game of opinions.
"I've got to go and prove a few people wrong now. I'll be getting my head down and looking to do that by getting back into the Championship over the next couple of years."
Despite earning a debut at 16 in a League Cup defeat to Swansea in August 2008, Cooper leaves the KC Stadium having made a total of just 17 appearances.
The 21-year-old's most promising run of form came at the end of last season when starting seven consecutive games in what proved to be the final throes of Nick Barmby's reign.
The arrival of Abdoulaye Faye and Alex Bruce, as well as the return to prominence of Paul McShane, pushed Cooper to the back of the queue once more this term and led to an initial loan move to Chesterfield in November.
"I've needed first-team football over the last couple of years and for a few of the managers I've played under I was still being seen as a young kid," he explained.
"I served under five different managers during my time with City and it can be difficult to convince the next new manager to give you a crack.
"Nick Barmby showed a lot of faith in me at the end of last season and I did pretty well when I got the chance. But sometimes it's just not meant to be."
With Cooper's City deal due to expire at the end of this season, a long-term deal with the Spireites provides security and optimism.
"Paul Cook (Chesterfield boss) has shown a lot of trust in me and that means a lot," he added.
"There's a great bunch of lads here who can do well. We're underachieving at the minute in 11th, but we're confident of pushing up the league."