Newcastle Jets rising star Mitch Cooper has conceded officials were right in not awarding him a goal after his shot hit the bar and bounced down and out in last Saturday's F3 Derby.
In the 38th minute of Saturday’s F3 Derby, Cooper let fly with a rasping right foot effort from the edge of the area at Hunter Stadium.
His fierce shot struck the underside of the crossbar and fell to the ground, bouncing on the goal line - just-then back into the arms of grateful Central Coast custodian Liam Reddy.
It was one of the big talking points after the 0-0 draw leading to calls for video technology in the Hyundai A-League.
Cooper admitted that his initial reaction to his shot was that it went in, but acknowledged on Monday that upon reflection the officials had made the right call.
“I actually went off and celebrated a bit early,” he said.
“I just didn’t want to look back at the linesman … I was just hoping to hear that whistle [from the referee].
“At the end of the day it wasn’t a goal, but it could have swung either way and I think that has been our luck this season.”
Cooper knows that as an attacking player, creating and scoring goals are paramount to his position in the team.
His ather knows it too, which is why he shares some sage advice with his son before each match.
“For a player in my position I think it’s important to score goals, so that’s one of the big key factors that I have to focus on in my game.
“Before every game my Dad says ‘when you come on just shoot’. If I am in that position I am going to back myself and that gives me a bit of confidence.
“I have been making the runs and come closer and closer, so hopefully next week if I get the opportunity it might go my way,” he said.
Ironically Cooper’s first Hyundai A-League goal was for Gold Coast United against Central Coast Mariners on February 22, 2012.
His second was so nearly against the same club almost three years to the day.
Cooper - who was born in Vanuatu and moved to Australia from New Zealand at the age of eight - has had an unfortunate run of injuries over the past two years, limiting his game time for the Jets first team.
So if anything, Cooper’s eye-catching performance against the Mariners highlighted his ability to provide an X-factor and influence matches for Phil Stubbins’ side as Hyundai A-League season ten winds to a close.
“I have done enough work behind the scenes to know that I am going out on the pitch confident in myself,” Cooper said in regards to his fitness.
“I would like to start this week against Sydney FC and build off last week. I want to bring my game to the table and the team.
“It was a disappointing result in the end against Central Coast. At home in the derby, I think the game should have swung our way.
“But I was proud of the boys again … we held our own.”
Ahead of this Friday’s Newcastle Jets vs. Sydney FC match at Hunter Stadium, you can win one of five Newcastle Jets jerseys signed by the whole squad, including Cooper, by following the prompts at www.jointhejets.org.