Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Gooch' to hold fire on Kerry call until Crokes finish season

John Fallon

Published 01/11/2016 | 02:30

Colm Cooper holds off on decision. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Colm Cooper holds off on decision. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Colm Cooper won't make a call on his inter-county future until Dr Crokes' involvement in the club championship is finished.

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The 33-year old, who played another starring role as Crokes saw of Kilmurry-Ibrickane in the Munster SFC quarter-final on Sunday, said that his sole focus is the Killarney club at this stage.

Dr Crokes, recently crowned Kerry champions for the 11th time, face Tipperary winners Loughmore-Castleiney the weekend after next in the provincial semi-final in Killarney.

"I won't make any decision until the Crokes journey is over. In fairness to the Crokes lads, I told them I'd give that full commitment before I make any big decisions so that's where I am with it," said Cooper (pictured).

But Kerry supporters, who have watched him deliver successive man of the match displays in the county final and again in the provincial quarter-final, will hope he stays on for a 16th season.

"I'm enjoying it and we have the Tipp champions in Killarney in a couple of weeks. That's the focus now," he said.

Cooper said that past experience in Quilty had forewarned Dr Crokes and they took nothing for granted against the Clare champions on Sunday.

Tough

"We knew it was going to be a tough encounter. We were here a couple of years ago and we just got out by the skin of our teeth," he said.

"It took us a while to get going and we did in the second half, and we did well at times."

Cooper set up the chance which led to game's only goal when Daithi Casey slotted home a penalty after Brian Looney had his shot foot-blocked after an astonishing pass across goal from Cooper.

"It was decisive, at this time of the year goals win games," added 'Gooch'. "It came at a really important time for us and probably knocked Kilmurry and we seemed to play good stuff after that and it gave us the confidence to move on.

"We are going to need a strong panel and we have that. You need the players to come in and make a difference, and thankfully the boys did that."

Cooper, who recently won his sixth Kerry SFC, having collected his first back in 2000, said that Dr Crokes have a lot of work still to do if they are to keep their winning run going.

"Parts of what we did were good, parts were not so good. We will go away and we will work on it and try and be ready for two weeks' time again," added the eight-time All-Star.

Irish Independent

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