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Colm Cooper on Tommy Walsh return - 'I'd nearly fly over for him myself'

Walsh. intimated last month that he is leaning towards coming home to Ireland next year

Tommy Walsh (file photo)
Tommy Walsh (file photo)
Image: INPHO/Getty Images

COLM COOPER IS highly enthused about the potential return to Kerry of Sydney Swans AFL player Tommy Walsh.

Kerins O’Rahilly’s club man Walsh intimated last month that he is leaning towards coming home to Ireland next year, particularly if he does not receive a new contract.

Cooper lined out with Walsh in the Kerry full-forward line when they won the 2009 All-Ireland final and he would relish the chance of renewing that partnership.

“I’d nearly fly over for him myself. We’d obviously love to have Tommy back. He left in a blaze of glory having a fantastic All Ireland against Cork in 2009 and we were hoping that was the start of
where Tommy Walsh was going.

“Unfortunately for us, fortunately for him, he got an opportunity Down Under. He couldn’t really turn it down. As it stands it’s goon to be his last year unless things change.”

Cooper did not meet Walsh when he was home recently during the International Rules but he plans to meet up at Christmas.

“We were involved in the club championship and he was at the International Rules game up in Cavan so I didn’t get to meet him. He’ll be back at Christmas and I’m sure I’ll get to meet him,

“Tommy is a good guy, he’s very honest, and he wouldn’t be hiding behind too much. If he feels like he wants to come home he’d tell you that.”


Tommy Walsh and Colm Cooper at the 2008 Allstar awards.
Pic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy


Cooper reckons Walsh’s versatility would offer Kerry a range of options.

“You could play Tommy in a variety of positions he’s so big and strong. With full time training and a couple of years behind him I’d say he has probably become more athletic than he was.

“From what I’ve seen of him when he’s come home he’s much leaner. He could give you options in the middle of the field, you could play him at wing forward and top of the square, anywhere from midfield.

“He was in around the Kerry setup in 2007 and 2008 and at that time I think we were at the peak of our powers. In 2009 we had a fantastic panel, probably the strongest we had during that decade. Tommy was on that team so that shows how much he was progressing all the time.

“For a big guy, he wasn’t just pure strength. He had the little flicks of brilliance as well, and any guy with that sort of talent you’d only welcome him back with open arms.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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