Defender departs Gateshead and returns to Rotherham United
Gateshead have confirmed that on-loan defender Jake Cooper has returned to parent club Rotherham United.
The young centre-back spent the second half of last season on loan at the International Stadium and helped Mike Williamson’s side reach the National League North play-offs.
Cooper scored the equaliser in the quarter-final win at Brackley Town and also featured in the semi-final defeat at Boston United that ended Gateshead’s hopes of returning to non-league’s top tier at the first time of asking.
He agreed to return to Tyneside in the summer for a second loan stint but after making 30 appearances for the Heed, he will now return to the Millers and look to force his way into Paul Warne’s first-team squad.
Cooper reflected on his time with Gateshead with great pride and revealed how important the club had been in helping the progress he has made during the early years of his career.
He told the club website: “I want to thank Mike (Williamson), Ian (Watson) and Chris (Bell) for the opportunity they gave me.
“The staff and all the lads know that I thoroughly enjoyed my time last season and this season.
“I played with a great group of lads both seasons and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending every day at the club.
“Hopefully everyone can look back on my time here and think that I left it all out there for the club," he said.
Reflecting on his time at the club, he added: “It’s improved me massively.
“I don’t think I’d be where I am now if Mike and Ian hadn’t given me the opportunity to play senior football.
“Getting pushed on every day has brought out the best in me and being able to go out and do it on a Saturday or a Tuesday night has brought me on loads, which I’ll always be thankful for,” he added.
Gateshead will return to National League North action on Saturday when they make the long trip to Kettering Town.
Striker Paul Blackett will come into contention after his loan spell at North East rivals Blyth Spartans was ended last week.