Jonny Cooper on his All-Ireland final black card and friendship with Mayo's Rob Hennelly

Dublin corner back talks to Off The Ball after retaining the All-Ireland

BY Raf Diallo 19:47 Monday 3 October 2016, 19:47 3 Oct 2016

Dublin’s Jonny Cooper celebrates with the Sam Maguire cup after the match ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Jonny Cooper says it was "very disappointing" to be shown a black card in the All-Ireland final replay win over Mayo.

The Dublin corner-back had to depart the field after just 20 minutes of play after a foul on Mayo's Donal Vaughan.

While his side did go on to triumph by one point, Cooper spent the last 50 minutes watching on from the sidelines. 

"It's great that the lads pulled it out but initially walking off I'm saying 'have I effed this up for the lads?'" he said on Off The Ball.

"And then when I was coming off, Jim said 'you've a big part to play' and kind of stuck with me then for the half-time break that I wasn't wallowing inside, that I was trying to do whatever I could [whether it was to] grab water for the lads."  

He added "it was very disappointing" but praised team-mate Davey Byrne for his performance after replacing him.

After the match, criticism of the black cards was visible on social media and among pundits.

Cooper gave his take on the interpretation side of the debate.

"Some of the [referees] stick to it more, as in stick as close as they can to the letter of the law," he said.

"But some of them have that bit more flexibility depending on the referee. I suppose you'd like it one way or the other.

"I probably rightly got a black card, although there was no intent on my behalf. But I don't really agree with that interpretation of it on that particular play. But overall I do agree with it but maybe not on some of the calls."

Cooper also spoke warmly of his relationship with Dublin manager Jim Gavin but also had kinds words for Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly, whose selection became a huge talking point during and after the replay.

The two won a Sigerson Cup together at Dublin College University and he feels for Hennelly after a "tough couple of days".

"He's an incredibly resilient guy. I've got a good relationship with Rob, having been in DCU with him for a number of years. We do stay in contact. I see him at DCU a good bit through the year," he said, adding that the goalkeeper will have a good support network around him to help him bounce back from the adversity of the final.

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