Exclusive: Cooper sacked as England U21 assistant

Colin Cooper (left) had been Aidy Boothroyd's assistant with the U21s for two years

Colin Cooper (left) had been Aidy Boothroyd's assistant with the U21s for two years

COLIN COOPER has been sacked as assistant manager of the England Under-21s after almost two-and-a-half years in the role.

The 51-year-old was appointed in April 2016, when England boss Gareth Southgate was in charge of the U21s.

He carried on under Aidy Boothroyd, who took over six months later, and the team are poised to qualify for the European U21 Championships in Italy next summer following their 2-1 victory over Latvia last night.

However, Cooper did not travel with the team for the trip and is currently involved in exit negotiations with the FA. In his absence, Technical Director Dan Ashworth travelled with the staff and players to offer additional support.

Both Cooper and the FA declined to comment about the matter when contacted by TGG.

Cooper played alongside Southgate for Middlesbrough and was on his coaching staff when he became manager. When Southgate was sacked as Boro boss in 2009, Cooper stepped in as caretaker for four days.

The pair have remained close, although TGG understands Southgate has not been involved in this decision. Cooper, who won two caps for England, had spells as caretaker manager of Bradford City and as boss of Hartlepool in 2013/14.

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