Joel Cooper paid his final visit to Mourneview Park at last night’s Dankse Bank Premiership game with Ballinamallard before he heads off later this month to start a two and a half year scholarship in the USA. “I’ll be heading off to take up a two and a half year soccer scholarship and study for a degree at the University of New Hampshire,” Joel explained. “It’s an opportunity I can’t really turn down at this stage, it’s a chance I have to take and hopefully it goes well for me. I hope to get selected for the College team which is the top division of college soccer in the States and the University has a few affiliated teams from the MLS.”

Glenavon Director Eddie Drury wishes Joel all the best for his move to study in America. Photo by Brian Bain

“Gary’s been great since I’ve been here, as has everyone at the club. The club took a risk on me when they signed me a couple of years ago so I’ve a lot to thank everybody at the club for. I’m very grateful to Gary and Adrian and everyone here for giving me my chance. I’d like to say thanks to all the fans too for their support over the two years I’ve been here. It’s been a great experience and it’s something I wanted when I was younger, watching Glenavon from the stands. It’s been great to be able to pull the Glenavon shirt on and play for the time I did.

“I’ve some great memories and of course winning the Irish Cup is the stand-out one for me. I’m sad to see it end but it’s a new chapter in my life that I have to take. I wish the Club and everyone here all the best for the season to come.”

Joel assured us he will be keeping a close eye on Glenavon’s results through our Twitter feed and his from Granddad who first brought him along to Mourneview Park as a youngster!