Jason Koumas

Jason Koumas

Football player infobox
playername = Jason Koumas

fullname = Jason Koumas
nickname = JK, Welsh Wizard, Jesus Koumas
height = height|ft=5|in=10
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1979|9|25|df=yes
cityofbirth = Wrexham
countryofbirth = Wales
currentclub = Wigan Athletic
clubnumber = 10
position = Midfielder
years = 1998–2002
clubs = Tranmere Rovers
West Bromwich Albion
Cardiff City (loan)
Wigan Athletic
caps(goals) = 127 (25)
123 (23)
044 (12)
030 0(1)
nationalyears = 2001–
nationalteam = Wales
nationalcaps(goals) = 032 (10)
pcupdate = 23:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
ntupdate = 11 October 2008

Jason Koumas (born 25 September 1979 in Wrexham) is a professional football player for Premier League outfit Wigan Athletic. Formerly of Tranmere Rovers, Cardiff City (loan) and West Bromwich Albion, he is a current Welsh international. Koumas (Greek Ιασωνας Κούμας) is of Greek Cypriot descent. Koumas operates as a midfield playmaker, creating goals for others as well as scoring many himself. He was selected in both the 2005–06 and 2006–07 Football League Championship team of the season.

Club career

Early career

Koumas played youth football at the Liverpool Academy with players such as Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen. However, he did not sign Youth Training Scheme forms with the club, instead opting to join Tranmere Rovers.

Tranmere Rovers

Koumas made his professional debut for Tranmere Rovers in the 1998–99 season. A series of impressive performances over the next four years won him many plaudits, including a place in the PFA Division Two team of the year for 2001–02. [cite news
title=Double joy for Zamora
publisher=BBC Sport
] Koumas established himself as a talented youngster with immense potential. In August 2002, this potential was spotted by then West Bromwich Albion manager, Gary Megson, who paid Rovers a fee of £2.25m to secure the services of the precocious play maker. [cite news
title=West Brom tie up Koumas deal
publisher=BBC Sport

West Bromwich Albion

A successful first season at Premiership level, including sensational solo goals against Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers, saw Koumas win the club's Player of the Season award. [cite news
title=Koumas wins West Brom award
publisher=BBC Sport
] However, this wasn't enough to prevent Albion from suffering relegation to the Football League. Koumas inspired the Baggies promotion back to the Premiership in 2004, winning the First Division player of the month award for November 2003, [cite news
title=Koumas named player of the month
publisher=BBC Sport
] as well as being named in the First Division team of the year. [cite news
title=Henry retains PFA crown
publisher=BBC Sport
] In the summer of 2004, Koumas signed a new contract with Albion, [cite news
title=Koumas commits to Baggies
publisher=BBC Sport
] but during the following season fell out with new boss Bryan Robson. Robson stated that he was "disappointed" with Koumas's attitude and placed him on the transfer list. [cite news
title=West Brom put Koumas up for sale
publisher=BBC Sport
] At the start of the 2005–06 season, Koumas was loaned out to Cardiff City. [cite news
title=Koumas seals Cardiff loan switch
publisher=BBC Sport
] This move proved an immediate success, with Koumas coming off the bench to score on his debut against Leeds United. Throughout the remainder of the season, Koumas consistently turned in man-of-the-match winning performances, scoring 13 times in 44 appearances and earning himself hero status amongst the Bluebirds faithful as well as the club's Player of the Year award and a place in the Championship's PFA team of the season. [cite news
title=Welsh stars in team of the year
publisher=BBC Sport

Cardiff City then attempted to negotiate a transfer fee for Koumas before the start of the 2006–07 season, however they failed to come to an agreement with West Brom. Koumas was effectively on strike throughout the negotiations and refused to return to the Hawthorns, even resorting to training on his own away from the club. On 23 August, Koumas made a U-turn in his West Bromwich Albion career by signing a new three year deal at the club. [cite news
title=Koumas signs new Baggies contract
publisher=BBC Sport
] His club career was then rejuvenated under new manager Tony Mowbray, becoming a first team regular again, and put in several man of the match performances during 2006–07. He won the Powerade Championship player of the month award for December 2006. [cite news
title = Koumas handed Championship award
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/6270507.stm
publisher = BBC Sport
date = 2007-01-17
accessdate = 2008-04-18
] Koumas was named the Championship player of the year at the Football League Awards in March 2007, [cite news
title = Koumas handed Championship award
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/6418171.stm
publisher = BBC Sport
date = 2007-03-04
accessdate = 2007-03-05
] and was also honoured in April with a place in the Championship team of the year. [cite news
title=Ronaldo secures PFA awards double
publisher=BBC Sport

Wigan Athletic

In July 2007, West Brom agreed a fee of £5.3 million from Wigan Athletic, stating that it was a head turning offer. Koumas completed the move to Wigan on 10 July. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wigan_athletic/6748685.stm|title=Wigan complete signing of Koumas|accessdate=2007-07-10|date=2007-07-10|publisher=BBC Sport] He made his Wigan debut on 11 August 2007 in a 2–1 defeat away at Everton. [cite news
title=Everton vs Wigan Athletic
publisher=Wigan Athletic F.C.
] The following month he marked his 300th career league appearance by scoring his first goal for his new club, converting an 80th minute penalty to rescue a 1–1 home draw with Fulham. [cite news
title= Wigan 1-1 Fulham
publisher=BBC Sport

International career

The son of a Greek Cypriot restaurant owner, Koumas was eligible to play for both Cyprus and Wales. When he received call ups for both countries, he opted for the latter. Koumas has played 31 times for his country, since making his international debut against Ukraine in 2001. He was part of Mark Hughes's Welsh team which narrowly missed out on qualification for Euro 2004, losing 1–0 to Russia in the play-offs.

His international career has thus far been blighted by his persistent failure to turn up to training. Most recently, pulling out of a squad get-together in San Sebastian in May 2006. However, manager John Toshack accepted his reasons, and Koumas himself vowed to improve his poor attendance record.

He came back onto the international scene with three goals in two matches, one against Cyprus in October 2006 which set Wales on their way to a 3–1 victory, and a spectacular brace in November 2006 against Liechtenstein which saw Wales run out comfortable 4–0 winners. John Toshack has since announced that Koumas will be one of his key components as Wales attempt to qualify for Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010.

Koumas captained his country for the first time on 1 June 2008, as Wales lost 2–0 to the Netherlands. [cite news
title = Robben sinks Wales
url = http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gBQMti7IA6JGCKyASn6YXBtfQPpw
publisher = The Press Association
date = 2008-06-01
accessdate = 2008-06-02

Koumas missed a penalty for Wales in a World Cup Qualifier against Azerbejain.


External links

*soccerbase|id=13834|name=Jason Koumas
* [http://www.wiganlatics.premiumtv.co.uk/page/ProfilesDetail/0,,10429~8611,00.html Jason Koumas profile] on the official Wigan Athletic website
* [http://www.faw.org.uk/teams/player/32 Football Association of Wales profile]

NAME=Koumas, Jason
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Welsh footballer
DATE OF BIRTH=September 25, 1979
PLACE OF BIRTH=Wrexham, Wales

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