Monday 17 June 2019

'We're fooling ourselves' - Colm Cooper believes gaelic football's traditional kicking game will never return

Colm Cooper was incredibly accurate from the boot
Colm Cooper was incredibly accurate from the boot Newsdesk Newsdesk

Kerry legend Colm Cooper believes the traditional kicking game associated with gaelic football will never return.

Much has been made of the lack of success enjoyed by teams adopting a blanket defence in recent years but the Gooch feels that anyone expecting a return to a game based on kicking and fielding is being naive.

With ball retention becoming an increasingly important aspect of gaelic football, Cooper feels that players are unwilling to risk coughing up the ball by trying to find a teammate via the boot.

"Coming from Kerry, we like to think we are a very pure footballing county and we like to kick the ball an awful lot but with county managers, these days, if you're kicking a ball and it's coming back to you fairly quickly, you're not going to continue doing that," Cooper told the RTÉ League Sunday Extras podcast.

"We would all love to go to matches and see 15 on 15, man on man, but that day is gone. We're fooling ourselves if we expect to see that.

"If you look at Dublin when they're in their pomp and you've James McCarthy taking off or Con O'Callaghan taking off on a run, it excites the stadium, it excites the players, it becomes infectious. There are many ways to play the game.

"There's hundreds of ways to play football and kicking the ball is just one of them."

He also believes that teams who show a lack of ambition will be doomed to failure because they won't score enough at the business end of the championship.

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"There has been a lot of massed defences in recent years and teams have adapted," he added.

"My only concern about the massed defence from a team's point of view is, I think to win a big championship match in the summer in Croke Park, you need to get to 20 points.

"If you play with an extra man back you're not going to have the ball for large periods so you're going to struggle to get to those scores."

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