Date of birth: 20 June 1993
Place of birth: Kent, England
International: England Under-17s
Trophies won at Chelsea: WSL Spring Series 2017
Deanna Cooper was the surprise package of the 2017 Spring Series campaign, becoming a key member of the Chelsea Ladies defence.
She joined as a 23-year-old from London Bees following a successful trial ahead of the season, with manager Emma Hayes saying: ‘Deanna is desperate to get her opportunity and now she has got it. She is an excellent one-v-one defender and can play all the way across the back line which adds depth to our squad.’
By the end of the Spring Series, the rest of the WSL1 may have been wondering how their scouting networks missed a defender who was undoubtedly the breakthrough star of the season, and among the most impressive defenders in the division.
She started eight of our 11 matches in all competitions over that period, the majority at the heart of the back three, and she quickly became a favourite with supporters, management and team-mates alike thanks to her committed performances, the quality of which belied her lack of experience at this level.
Unfortunately, in pre-season ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, Cooper suffered an ACL injury and underwent knee surgery.
Eagle-eyed Blues fans remembered her contribution to London Bees’ shock win over the Blues in the 2016 Continental Cup, when she both scored and performed heroically in her defensive duties.
Having begun her career with Gillingham, Cooper previously helped Brighton and Hove Albion achieve promotion to FA WSL 2, and she is also a talented cricketer having represented England at Academy level.