Jason Koumas (born 25 September 1979) is a Welsh former professional footballer who played for Tranmere Rovers, Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic, as well as the Welsh national team.
Koumas warming up for Wigan Athletic in 2007
|Full name||Jason Koumas|
|Date of birth||25 September 1979|
|Place of birth||Wrexham, Wales|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position(s)||Attacking midfielder|
|2002–2007||West Bromwich Albion||123||(23)|
|2005–2006||→ Cardiff City (loan)||44||(12)|
|2010–2011||→ Cardiff City (loan)||23||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
On 12 May 2016, Leon Barton wrote in a long blog post for The Guardian that Koumas's talent - often described as "mercurial" - was no less than Steven Gerrard's, but that he had lacked the spirit and determination to succeed at the highest level.
Born in Wrexham, Koumas played for Olympic F.C. during his school years, before playing 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.
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. Koumas established himself as a talented youngster with immense potential. He scored one of Tranmere's goals when they knocked out Merseyside rivals Everton in the 2000–01 FA Cup in a memorable 3–0 victory at Goodison Park. In August 2002, this potential was spotted by then West Bromwich Albion manager, Gary Megson, who paid Rovers a fee of £2.25 million to secure his services.
West Bromwich AlbionEdit
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. However, this was not 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, as well as being named in the First Division team of the year. In the summer of 2004, Koumas signed a new contract with Albion, but during the following season fell out with new boss Bryan Robson. Robson stated that he was "disappointed" with Koumas' attitude and placed him on the transfer list.
Loan to Cardiff CityEdit
At the start of the 2005–06 season, Koumas was loaned out to Cardiff City. 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 from midfield, including a hattrick away at Luton in a pulsating victory. Koumas earned 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.
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.
Return to West BromEdit
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. Koumas was named the Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards in March 2007, and was also honoured in April with a place in the Championship team of the year.
In July 2007, West Brom agreed a fee of £5.3 million with Wigan Athletic, stating that it was a head-turning offer. Koumas completed the move to Wigan on 10 July. Tranmere received a portion of the transfer fee having previously included a sell-on clause in their agreement with West Brom. He made his Wigan debut on 11 August 2007 in a 2–1 defeat away at Everton. 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. Due to injury and a lack of first team opportunities under three different managers during his three years at Wigan, Koumas was linked with a return to previous club West Bromwich Albion along with Newcastle United and Leicester City on a loan deal until the end of the 2009–10 season, however a loan move never materialised. Koumas was released at the end of 2010–11 season following his return from a loan period at Cardiff City.
Second loan to Cardiff CityEdit
On 5 August 2010, Koumas agreed a deal to re-join Cardiff City on a season-long loan, but was unable to complete the move until after Cardiff's transfer embargo was lifted. The following day, the club's transfer embargo was lifted and Koumas was able to register with the club two days prior to the start of the 2010–11 season. Koumas made his second Cardiff City debut in the 4–0 home victory over Doncaster Rovers, coming on as a late substitute for Craig Bellamy. Koumas' second stint at the Bluebirds was severely hampered with injuries and further niggley setbacks. Cardiff needed a win to keep the pressure on second placed Norwich and to keep automatic promotion alive. With it 1–1 at the Keepmoat Stadium in the 87th minute, Cardiff boss Dave Jones sent Koumas on. Within 3 minutes of his arrival he curled a 25-yard free-kick into the top left hand corner. Koumas then finished the game by passing the ball past the Doncaster keeper to make it 3–1.
Return to Tranmere RoversEdit
After being released by Wigan in 2011, Koumas remained as a free agent and considered his playing career. It was revealed by BBC on 8 July 2013 that Koumas asked to train with former club Tranmere Rovers as he attempted to rebuild his footballing career. After a successful trial, he signed a one-year deal on 1 August. On 23 May 2014, Koumas signed a one-year extension.
Koumas announced his retirement on 10 July 2015.
Born in Wrexham to a Greek Cypriot father and an English mother, Koumas was eligible to play for Cyprus, England and Wales. When he received call ups for both Cyprus and Wales, he opted for the latter. Koumas played 34 times for his country, 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 was blighted by his persistent failure to turn up to training. In May 2006, he pulled out of a squad get-together in San Sebastián. He came back onto the international scene with three goals in two matches, one in a 3–1 win against Cyprus in October 2006 and two in a 4–0 win in November 2006 against Liechtenstein.
Koumas captained his country for the first time on 1 June 2008, as Wales lost 2–0 to the Netherlands. He missed a penalty for Wales in a World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan. Koumas retired from international football on 6 September 2009, having scored ten goals in 34 caps. His final appearance for Wales was in a 2–0 defeat to Finland on 28 March 2009.
- As of match played 2 May 2015.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Tranmere Rovers||1998–99||First Division||23||3||—||4||1||—||27||4|
|West Bromwich Albion||2002–03||Premier League||32||4||2||0||1||0||—||35||4|
|Cardiff City (loan)||2005–06||Championship||44||12||—||3||1||—||47||13|
|Wigan Athletic||2007–08||Premier League||30||1||2||0||1||0||—||33||1|
|Cardiff City (loan)||2010–11||Championship||23||2||—||2||0||2[a]||0||27||2|
|Tranmere Rovers||2013–14||League One||31||4||1||0||2||0||—||34||4|
- As of match played 28 March 2009.
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
- Barton, Leon (12 May 2016). "What was the difference between Jason Koumas and Steven Gerrard? Not talent". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- "Double joy for Zamora". BBC Sport. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
- "Tranmere shame Everton". BBC. 27 January 2001. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
- "West Brom tie up Koumas deal". BBC Sport. 29 August 2002. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Koumas wins West Brom award". BBC Sport. 29 April 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Koumas named player of the month". BBC Sport. 3 December 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Henry retains PFA crown". BBC Sport. 25 April 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Koumas commits to Baggies". BBC Sport. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "West Brom put Koumas up for sale". BBC Sport. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Koumas seals Cardiff loan switch". BBC Sport. 27 July 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Welsh stars in team of the year". BBC Sport. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Koumas signs new Baggies contract". BBC Sport. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Koumas handed Championship award". BBC Sport. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
- "Koumas handed Championship award". BBC Sport. 4 March 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2007.
- "Ronaldo secures PFA awards double". BBC Sport. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
- "Wigan complete signing of Koumas". BBC Sport. 10 July 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2007.
- Ferguson, Ryan (28 April 2016). "Jason Koumas, The Emperor of Prenton Park". Planet Prentonia. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- "Everton vs Wigan Athletic". Wigan Athletic F.C. 11 August 2007. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- "Wigan 1–1 Fulham". BBC Sport. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- "CITY SWOOP FOR KOUMAS RETURN". Cardiff City F.C. 5 August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "Embargo lifted, players registered". Cardiff City F.C. 6 August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "Koumas trains with Tranmere". BBC Sport. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Jason Koumas: Tranmere Rovers midfielder signs new contract". BBC Sport. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- BBC News, "Jason Koumas: Ex-West Brom, Wigan, and Tranmere man retires", 10 July 2015
- "Jason Gets A Push to Join Wales". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- "Russia break Welsh hearts". BBC Sport. 19 November 2003. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "Toshack's Wales warning for Koumas". Wales Online. 15 August 2006. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "Robben sinks Wales". The Press Association. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Jason Koumas retires from International football". WalesOnline. 6 September 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
- "Wales 0–2 Finland". Football Association of Wales. 28 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2015/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Games played by Jason Koumas in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Jason Koumas". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 12 March 2015.