Jack O'Connor's eager for Kerry to keep Colm Cooper involved

The Kingdom great has retired as an inter-county player but his former manager believes his football intelligence has a role in a different capacity

BY Raf Diallo 20:33 Tuesday 4 April 2017, 20:33 4 Apr 2017

Manager Jack O'Connor congratulates Colm

Former Kerry manager Jack O'Connor hopes that the county will continue to tap into Colm Cooper's expertise during his post inter-county playing career.

The Kerry great announced his retirement today, bringing the curtain down on one of the legendary modern Gaelic football careers and speaking to Off The Ball, O'Connor hopes there will be a place for him to contribute further to Kerry football.

"When I was paying a tribute to him today, I said that it would be a travesty if he was lost to Kerry football. He should involved in some shape or form in Kerry football because the football intelligence he has is just incredible," he said. 

"I brought him in to talk to the Minors two or three years ago and they were just in awe of him and he doesn't say an awful lot, but what he says makes sense and he had a lot of willing listeners that day."

O'Connor also recalled the early days of Cooper as he begin his ascent towards legend status.

"I'd have seen him playing as a Minor around 2000. Himself and Declan O'Sullivan were Minors together. I'd have also seen him with St Brendan's as well when I was with Colaiste na Sceilge," he said.

"From the very beginning, very, very far back, he'd have been picked out as a special talent and he was slight of build when he first came into the Kerry team in April of 2002. I suppose he was hardly 10 stone but his movement and economy with the ball was just incredible even at a young age."

He added that many people may have underestimated his will to win because of his outstanding skills but that they would then soon realise just how peerless his "desire to win" really was.

"The thing that stood out for me was that even though he was a superstar, he was a real team player and never put himself above the team," O'Connor added. 


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