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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Sportsfile
# GAA
'Gooch' eager to get going on long road to Croke Park
Two weeks out from the Championship opener, Colm Cooper insists that Kerry are not looking beyond Munster, yet.

THANKS TO DR Crokes success in this year’s championship, Colm Cooper will once again lead Kerry out when they begin the defence of their Munster title against Tipperary in Semple Stadium.

And after facing disappointment in the All Ireland final and the League, he can’t wait to get back into action with the Kingdom.

As he rattles off the numbers, it’s instantly apparent that Cooper is counting the days between Kerry last outing against Mayo and their next:

“We’re two weeks out now from the Tipp game so just getting back into the focus now and just looking forward to the kick-off of the Championship.

“We’ve been waiting a while for it. So everybody seems to be raring to go and we don’t have many injuries to worry about which is great.”

That clean bill of health will be fuel to Kerry’s ambition, last season they dramatically fell at the final hurdle to Dublin despite a number of key players missing out on the Championship run.

However, ‘Gooch’ insisted that there would be no talk of revenge against Dublin, All Ireland or even Munster titles until we’re deep into summer.

“I’m not too sure about revenge.” Cooper told TheScore.ie. “Every year we set out and we want to be involved in September in Croke Park. Coming from a county like Kerry that’s what you’re judged upon.

“We’re keen to get back to Croke Park. We’ve a long road to get there, we’ve Tipperary to start with and there’s a lot of games before we get back to Croke Park so we wouldn’t want to be taking our eye off the ball.”

Should they advance past Tipperary then Cork will be their likely opponents in the semi-final of the Munster Championship. Cooper is hoping to take Munster for the third year in a row, but not for bragging rights. Having been down the hard road of winning an All-Ireland via the unpredictable back door, Cooper prefers the more measured pace of the traditional route to the final.

“Things are more in control when you know you’ve won a Munster final. If you lose a Munster semi-final or a final it takes things out of your hands; you don’t know who you’re going to be drawn against or where you’ll be from one week to the next.

“There are benefits from both, but certainly we’re going out to try and win the Munster Championship this year and see where that takes us.”

Colm Cooper has teamed up with Lucozade Sport today to call on clubs to join Lucozade Sport’s Club Crusade. For more information log onto lucozadesport.ie.

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