Fan favourite Mark Cooper returns for third season with the Belfast Giants
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First arriving in Belfast for the 2021/22 season, 31-year-old Cooper has iced over 100 times for the Giants, fast establishing himself as one of the cornerstones of the team.
Contributing an impressive 54 total points in 50 games during the 2022/23 season, Cooper played a pivotal role as the club secured its first domestic treble – Elite League, Elite League Playoffs, and Challenge Cup, in history.
Commenting on a return to the Giants for the 2023/24 season, Mark Cooper said: “I am so excited to be coming back to Belfast for another season.
“It has truly felt like home over the last couple of years, and I couldn’t be prouder to put the jersey on once again.”
Cooper added: “The support we get from the fans is world-class, and I cannot wait to get things going come August.”
Before joining the Giants in 2021, Cooper gained experience with teams across both Canada and the United States, including St Michael’s Buzzers, Bowling Green State University, Chicago Wolves, Tuscon Roadrunners, Rapid City Rush, Kansas City Mavericks, San Antonio Rampage, South Caroline Stingrays, and Charlotte Checkers – playing over 550 games in the process.
Adam Keefe, head coach of the Belfast Giants, said: “Bringing M Coops back after being such an important player for us over the past two championship seasons was a no brainer.
“Mark’s attitude embodies what being a Giant is all about, and having someone of his experience and calibre on the roster is invaluable.”
Keefe added: “I don’t doubt that Mark will continue to be a great leader – on and off the ice, and I am very much looking forward to working with him again over the coming season.”
Away from the ice, having studied alongside his playing duties for the Giants, Cooper graduated from Ulster University with a Masters degree in Business Administration in December 2022.
Further signings are expected to be announced in the coming weeks – keep an eye on Belfast Giants’ website and social media channels for the latest news and signing announcements.
Belfast Giants 2023/24 pre-season and Champions Hockey League (CHL) home fixtures are on sale now, with Elite Ice Hockey League and Challenge Cup home games to go on sale in the coming weeks. Tickets are available for purchase here.