Colin Cooper has called for the Football Association to "champion" young English hopefuls who complete their coaching courses – after admitting that foreign talent tends to be fast-tracked into better roles.
The Hartlepool boss waited years to get his chance at Victoria Park and is relishing the opportunity to prove that he has the ability to coach “at the highest level”. But he knows how difficult it is for English bosses to get a chance – something that was emphasised by Aitor Karanka landing the Middlesbrough job last week despite no prior managerial experience.
There is no bitterness from Cooper but there is a hope that the FA starts to lobby harder for proteges of their own coaching courses to get better chances.
“There are people out there who get better opportunities. You see foreign coaches coming from abroad who seem to get a slot higher up the ladder,” he said. “I believe that people who go through the FA’s process should be championed a bit more by the FA. They can’t make those decisions though.
“The owners of the football clubs have to make their own decisions and when you get an opportunity, you’ve got to grab it and make the most of it.”
Cooper has the pro-licence but waited seven years to get the opportunity that arose in the summer, when Pool appointed him and Craig Hignett. There is no bitterness towards Karanka though, just an acceptance that it is now up to him to prove what he is about.
He said: “To be honest, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Every football club has to make a decision who they appoint as their manager and fair play to them.
“If my way is the way that I am now I’m more than happy to climb the footballing ladder because I believe in what I can do and what I can achieve.
“While I’m here at Hartlepool I want us to be successful. I believe in what myself and Craig are trying to do and I really want to bring success to this football club and we will work as hard as we can to do that.
“I was us, collectively, to be successful but I believe I have the ability to be successful at the highest level. It’s about proving it now though.”