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|17-year-old Mitch Cooper set to captain Gold Coast United|
17-year-old Mitch Cooper is set to skipper Gold Coast United on Friday night against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park in his A-League debut in the absense of the suspended Michael Thwaite.
Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg told the media that the idea to appoint Cooper as captain came from owner Clive Palmer. Palmer believes it is a ‘symbolic gesture’ to appoint the Vanuatu born midfielder.
"He said if we are playing with such a young team this weekend - and that's what Gold Coast United is all about, to give career paths to young players - we might as well let one of them be captain for the weekend."
"It's the biggest shock I've had in my life," Cooper said on Wednesday morning.
"I thought it was a joke, really. But it's legit. If I told my mates, they'd laugh."
Cooper was obviously shocked to be appointed skipper due to his lack of experience.
"I have no experience in the A-League and I've been looking forward to making my debut for a long time... but wearing the armband is a massive shock."
Despite wearing the armband Cooper may not act as skipper on the pitch with Kristian Rees set to command Cooper on the pitch and help out with the large responsibility.
"He will toss the coin. Then he will ask Kristian Rees which way to go, and then Kristian will tell him what to do (in the game)," Bleiberg said.
United are set to only have two players over the age of 23 due to suspensions, injuries and Olyroo call ups. Those two players being Maceo Rigters (28) and Rees (32) and they will also give a debut to 18-year-old, Victorian Jake Barker-Daish.