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Deanna Cooper

BIOGRAPHY

Deanna Cooper was the surprise package of the triumphant Spring Series campaign and is back in action again after recovering from a serious knee injury.

The centre-half joined as a 23-year-old from London Bees - for whom she had once scored against the Blues - following a successful trial ahead of the shortened season in 2017, with manager Emma Hayes highlighting her one-v-one defensive qualities and insisting she had the quality to succeed at the top level.

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. She returned at the end of the season when coming off the bench in our final home game against Sunderland.

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.