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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Praise The Lads
Colm Cooper - 'I didn't kick a ball all year, I wouldn't think I deserve a medal'
And was it ever a runner for the Gooch to make a dramatic comeback for Kerry in the All-Ireland final?

Cathal Noonan / INPHO Colm Cooper lifts the Sam Maguire Cup. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

HE WAS THERE every step of the way with Kerry’s victorious squad this year and cherished the celebrations of their All-Ireland win like every other player.

But Colm Cooper doesn’t know if he will be entitled to an All-Ireland medal and doesn’t feel he deserves one either.

Since he tore his cruciate on February 15th last, Cooper has been in rehabilitation mode. He was cast in the role of observer as Kerry plotted a route towards September glory and piggybacking on their success to get a medal now is not something that sits right with the Dr Crokes man.

“I wouldn’t be looking for one anyway,” revealed Cooper yesterday. “I don’t feel I deserve one. I didn’t kick a ball all year. While being part of it is great, I wouldn’t think I deserve a medal. Those are the guys who did all the work all year so they deserve it.”

Colm Cooper Morgan Treacy / INPHO Colm Cooper at the launch of the Lucozade Sport Kit Out Project. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Cooper also revealed that it was never on the cards that he would make a dramatic appearance for Kerry in last month’s All-Ireland final.

Cooper did return to training with the Kingdom on the Tuesday night before the game – the training session where a man was infamously discovered attempting from a tree to watch Kerry’s behind-closed-doors session at Fitzgerald Stadium.

But even though the Gooch did tog out as part of the Kerry squad on match day in Croke Park, he was never in a position to play and fast track his recovery from the cruciate injury he suffered last February.

“I’d played some of the football on the Tuesday night. That’s the night he was there, the one night of the year I played football, there was a guy up a tree! I just played on the reserve team and just joined in. It wasn’t full tilt football either.

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“In terms of full contact, I was never really going at that pitch. When Eamon (Fitzmaurice) sat down to pick the team, I was never going to be in that mix. When you’re kicking ball and joining in drills, you can fool yourself in to thinking you’re very close. In the bigger scheme of things it was never going to happen.

“Even in Kerry, I couldn’t walk down the street without being asked the question. ‘Is there 10 minutes in you, is there 5 minutes in you?’ No matter how many times you say no to people, they’ll still ask the question. That’s just the hype of an All-Ireland, you take that as it comes.”

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Colm Cooper at the launch of the new Lucozade Sport Kit Out Project. Sports clubs and sports enthusiasts around Ireland can get kit by collecting promotional codes. The Kit Out Project offers essential sports kit such as balls, cones, jerseys, bibs and much more. For more information visit www.lucozadesport.ie

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