Scott Cooper: All you need to know about Jamshedpur FC’s new interim head coach
Jamshedpur FC had a challenging season during the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 campaign. The supporters had high hopes after their remarkable achievement as the Hero ISL 2020-21 League Shield Winners’, where they showcased impressive performances and finished at the top of the league table under the tutelage of Owen Coyle.
Jamshedpur FC had a challenging Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 campaign. The supporters had high hopes after their remarkable achievement as the Hero ISL 2020-21 League Shield Winners’, where they showcased impressive performances and finished at the top of the league table under the tutelage of Owen Coyle.
But, as the new season unfolded, Jamshedpur FC seemed to veer off course. They struggled to replicate the same level of dominance on the field and could only manage to finish 10th in the Hero ISL standings.
Nevertheless, this time around the Men of Steel are determined to reclaim their past glory in the upcoming Hero ISL season and have already started their rebuilding process. The club has named Irish-English manager Scott Cooper as the new interim head coach after parting ways with the previous head coach, Aidy Boothroyd, last Thursday.
With Cooper taking the helm at Jamshedpur FC, he faces a formidable task at the Furnace, aiming to restore the team's past fame. With that in mind, we bring you four things that you should expect from the new Jamshedpur FC interim head coach.
Cooper boasts over 20 years of coaching experience across different continents. He started his coaching career with Chester City Football Club in 1999 when he was only 29 years old. He then moved away from club football and took charge of the Montserrat and Anguilla national teams.
In 2010, he moved back to England again, joining Leicester City, where he developed their youth teams before moving to Asia to work with Buriram United. Cooper managed both their youth and senior teams, and in 2014, he was appointed as the head coach of Muanthong United.
Thereafter, Cooper had brief stints with several Asian teams, including Mitra Kukar, Ubon UMT United, and Police Tero, before being appointed as a senior team adviser for the Philippines National team in 2018. There, he further developed his own coaching style. Cooper spent four years in the Philippines before moving back to Thailand again during the 2022-23 season, this time with Port FC.
Cooper is an attacking-minded manager who prefers the 4-3-3 formation. He has often used this formation as his preferred starting shape during his time with the Philippines and Port FC.
In his 4-3-3 system, he likes to create natural triangles, allowing his players to maintain better possession of the team. Within the three-player midfield unit, he prefers using a single pivot with the other two midfielders playing just ahead of the pivot. This approach can create overloads in central areas and help his team dominate possession.
Success in South-East Asia
Cooper had a major impact and achieved success in Asian football. Having spent almost a decade in Asian football, he knows every inch of continental football.
During his time with the Thai club Buriram United, he led them to the AFC Champions League quarter-finals and achieved an Asian club ranking of 7.
Under his guidance, Buriram United remained unbeaten in the Thai Premier League, AFC Champions League, Thai FA Cup, and Thai League Cup. They won 23 out of 29 matches, drew five, and lost only once under Cooper's leadership. He was also named "Manager of the Month."
Continuing his coaching prowess with the Philippines national team, Cooper propelled the Azkals to their highest-ever FIFA World Cup qualifier points total and steered them to the second round of World Cup qualification. Under his management, the team also reached the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
He continued his successful streak during his previous assignment as the head coach of Port FC in the Thai League, where he won six matches, drew seven, and lost only once.
Emphasis on Youth Development
The 53-year-old coach excels in developing raw talents and offering a platform to young players. Throughout his impressive 20-year coaching career, he has dedicated substantial time to working with youth squads, achieving remarkable success in this area.
While at Buriram United, the Irish-English head coach showcased his talent in nurturing and enhancing the skills of young players, actively engaging with both the youth and senior teams. As a result, an impressive 19 players under his guidance progressed to become senior national team players in Thailand.
In an interview with Khel Now, Cooper enthusiastically expressed his passion for developing young talents, stating, “You can expect youngsters who are showing the signs to be given opportunities, yes. If you are good enough, you are old enough. There is nothing better for fans than witnessing a home and young developed player coming through.”