Saturday 15 December 2018

Cooper warns of dangers involved in 'plaudits and records' for Dubs

Dublin players, from left, Jake Malone, Lauren Magee, Jonny Cooper and Ali Twomey were at the National Sports Campus at yesterday’s launch of AIG’s SmartLane driving app. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Dublin players, from left, Jake Malone, Lauren Magee, Jonny Cooper and Ali Twomey were at the National Sports Campus at yesterday’s launch of AIG’s SmartLane driving app. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Jonny Cooper admits he hears it all when it comes to the discourse around his Dublin team.

They'll start chasing history in a few weeks' time when they look to become the first team to win Sam Maguire five times in a row, but this week Dublin GAA CEO John Costello took aim at some of Jim Gavin's side's detractors.

"Words such as 'robots', 'automatons', 'emotionless' were used, by a small group of commentators, to describe our management and players on several occasions this summer," Costello wrote in his annual report while he also insisted that "the subject of Dublin's games development grants is another crude device used by some to try and devalue the achievements of Dublin's senior footballers."

For Cooper, it's about being able to treat perceived slights and praise with the same amount of caution.

"We do get a lot of that robots and we're very strict and don't have personalities and all that sort of stuff and I guess people take it on face value," Cooper said.

Behaviour

"They see us over 60- or 70-minute periods in a game and that's a certain portion of our behaviour and they kind of see that as the rest of the picture for us which isn't the case.

"Then I guess there's other things around money. Like everyone else in the country we still have to get up and do our gym session at whatever time, 6.30, 7am, use the same equipment.

"So from that point of view I can't see the argument that it's more money in totality going to Dublin, which equals success, which people obviously have that opinion too."

Cooper hears the positive stuff too. Much of the conversation around his side centre on where they rank in terms of the all-time great teams. And that, he says, can be more dangerous than the criticism.

"You hear it all yeah, from one extreme to the other, like the process, no personality, right up to you're the best thing since sliced bread. So it's neither are true, and from my perspective anyway it's somewhere in the middle. That complacency, or potential complacency which comes with getting plaudits or records is very dangerous.

"And is engaging or trying to have conversion with people who think finance is the main driver to the success, It's having that awareness from a player point of view, and knowing how to deal with people, also being realistic to survive, that you're not that good, or that bad."

Cooper intends to make himself available for Dublin when they take on Meath in a fundraiser for Seán Cox on Sunday week. And with the All-Ireland final earlier than in previous years, the close season has been longer than the Na Fianna man would have liked and he's relishing the chance to pull on his boots again.

"For me in my head it's gone on maybe a little bit too long but I guess that's a good thing as well that you get the itch to go back and now it's a couple of weeks until Christmas and we are not really back to January and I'm building up trying to take the edge off January for myself and a couple of other lads might be similar.

"It's been a decent break on one side of it and also it's a long enough period to try and fill too."

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