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The Gooch heard after club training that he'd 'retired' from Kerry but he hasn't made a decision

No call will be made on playing for Kerry in 2017 until his campaign with Dr Crokes ends.
Oct 12th 2016, 6:00 AM 10,383 11

Paul Flynn and Colm Cooper after the game Colm Cooper with Paul Flynn after this year's All-Ireland semi-final Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

COLM COOPER HAS yet to make a decide on whether prolong his Kerry career into 2017 and will wait until Dr Crokes club campaign has concluded before making a decision.

The 33 year-old will line out in next Sunday’s Kerry senior football final after the Killarney club’s semi-final win at the weekend over Dingle.

Cooper revealed that he was made aware last Tuesday night after a club training session that there was speculation that he had called time on his inter-county career.

But speaking yesterday, Cooper insisted that in the midst of club championship games is not the time to be weighing up his options.

“I heard on the Friday night before the All-Ireland that I was definitely staying on.

“And I heard last Tuesday night, when I finished Crokes training, that I was retired. There were quite a few notifications on Twitter.

“To be honest, I haven’t made any decision on it, and I don’t make any rash decision. When we lost to Dublin, there was huge disappointment, and just wanted to get back into the Crokes’ scene, back playing.

“That’s where the enjoyment comes from. Whenever the Crokes thing finishes up, then I need to take a look at the overall picture.

“How’s the body, the enjoyment, the hunger, and then hopefully make the right decision. But when you’re immersed in the middle of a championship it’s hard to do that.”

Colm Cooper at the 2016 AIB GAA Club Championship launch Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

The eight-time All-Star winner has spoken briefly with Eamonn Fitzmaurice since Kerry’s loss to Dublin and has been given the time to focus on his club duties.

“I’ve just had a chat with Éamonn over the phone. I had a very brief discussion with him a couple of weeks ago. He was just checking in to see how the body was going into the county championship.

“There was no big discussion about staying on. We kind of left it. I think he just wanted me to give me a bit of space to go out and enjoy my county championship football.

“When is that chat going to happen? Probably hen Crokes exit the championship but it will certainly be in the coming weeks.

“I think he just wants to give fellas a bit of space because you could rush things and then make a rash decision be it right or wrong.”

Kerry Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice celebrates with Colm Cooper Eamonn Fitzmaurice celebrating the 2014 All-Ireland final win with Colm Cooper Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Cooper admits it will be ‘a sad day’ whenever he does retire after a senior career that started back in 2002 but was more pleased with his 2016 season than the previous year when he was on the comeback trail from a cruciate ligament injury.

“It will be hard to walk away whenever it happens. It will be a sad day whenever it comes, next year or two years, but right now I don’t know.

“I took a knock on the shoulder, banged it on the ground, in the Munster final (against Tipperary). That was disappointing because the league had gone well. I think I’d played six league games, and hadn’t played that many in a long time, and felt I was building.

“In the middle of the summer I was caught for three weeks, not able to do a whole lot. But when I look back on the season, I was far happier than the year before. And I enjoyed it a lot more.

Bryan Sheehan with an injured Colm Cooper Colm Cooper was injured during Kerry's Munster final win over Tipperary. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“It didn’t finish the way we wanted it to finish, but it was more enjoyable for me, and I found it hard the year before, to regain the form.

“This year the knee didn’t react in any way, so that’s the positive. The hunger was there and continues to be there with the club, so we’ll see what happens.”

For Kerry, 2016 concluded in a familiar fashion with a championship defeat at the hands of Dublin but there was a stark contrast in the two games.

“I think we could stand back after the 2015 final and say we didn’t play well enough to win. Losing by three points probably flattered us, to be honest. We couldn’t have any complaints.

“This year was different, for most of the game, we did very well, in most areas. And Dublin again finished stronger than us, which seems to be a bit of a trait for them.

Colm Cooper celebrates Darran OÕSullivan scoring Colm Cooper celebrates Darran O'Sullivan's goal for Kerry against Dublin Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“It’s a trait against every other team as well by the way. So this year was very disappointing, because we felt it was there for us, we just needed another one or two per cent, and we couldn’t find it.

“In 2015 we chasing the game, just hanging in, to be honest.”

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