Saturday 17 March 2018

Cooper hails selector role for Kingdom 'hero' Sheehy

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

KERRY star Colm Cooper hailed the appointment of his 'hero' Mikey Sheehy to Eamonn Fitzmaurice's back-room team.

Sheehy, Diarmuid Murphy, and new team trainer Cian O'Neill were ratified as selectors at a county board meeting last night, and Cooper believes those fresh faces can give Kerry a "new lease of life".

"In fairness, (Sheehy) was a decent enough player, wasn't he? He probably knows what he is talking about," laughed Cooper, who last weekend helped Dr Crokes to another Kerry county championship final, where they'll face Dingle.

"On a personal level he has been a hero, if you are a forward in Kerry he has been (a hero) for all of us. He'll bring something else to the table, he'll be a fresh voice and a fresh face.

"If he can add something -- it could be five or 10pc -- it will be much needed for the benchmark Donegal have set. We have a long way to go to see if we can get up to that level. Sometimes when new people come in it freshens things up and gives fellas a new lease of life."


And while Cooper insists the Kingdom will have to "improve 25pc" to be in the All-Ireland shake-up in 2013, he believes Kerry will stick largely to their traditional approach to football, insisting they can still win playing that way.

"I can't speak for other teams but I know if we don't come back and improve by 20 or 25pc we won't be involved in the shake-up next year," he said. "We grew up playing football and we play it a certain way. I think if you want to play pure football you can do it, but you just have to work really hard. That will be the challenge for us.

"I am not too sure what road we will go down but I think we have enough footballers, and if you work hard enough, structures and things don't really come into it."

Cooper refused to be drawn on Joe Brolly's comments during the summer where he suggested that the Kerry forward had "choked" in some big Croke Park games for club and county, stating that such criticism is a part of inter-county football.

"A couple of years ago, you were going from being one of the best players in the country to being over the hill," he said. "That comes with the territory and Joe is very much entitled to his opinion."

Irish Independent

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