Kerry fans be warned: Defenders are finally ‘on to’ the Gooch
Despite precious little evidence to the contrary, Colm Cooper reckons that defenders have finally figured him out. Be afraid, Kerry fans, be very afraid.
There are plenty of Kerry fans still reeling from the defeat to Cork on Sunday and questioning whether or not the good times are in fact over for probably the greatest team of modern times.
Kingdom followers are understandably worried about the age profile of the defence and the poor form of Kieran Donaghy, but there’s a far greater problem facing the Gaelic Football aristocrats: after nearly a decade of laying waste to some of the best rearguards in the land, defenders have finally figured out what the Gooch is all about.
The evidence for such a suggestion is extremely hard to find, but that’s what the man himself reckons and whatever about the O’Sullivans, Sheehan, Galvin or Donaghy, if teams can devise a way to stop Colm Cooper then Kerry really are screwed.
Explaining the wonderful goal he scored for Dr. Crokes against Gneeveguilla last year – the goal that has since become a YouTube sensation with over 45,000 views (see below) – in an interview with the official GAA website, Cooper said: “I’d say I have done it a lot in my career – different things like hops and jinks and they come from the brain now more so because I have done it so many times in the past.
“It works well, but I think fellas are catching on to me now, definitely down in Kerry anyway because I do it too often.”
Despite his enormous modesty, we don’t think defenders are ‘on to’ Colm Cooper just yet, nor are they ever likely to be, for as long as he keeps selling the dummies, defenders will keep on buying.
We do have a tiny gripe with the Gneeveguilla goal, however. Brilliant and all as it is, does Cooper not switch hands from his left to his right while selling the first of those aforementioned and so-called predictable dummies?
Two of the ‘expert’ GAA minds in the JOE office reckoned he did, but feel free to disagree if you wish in the comment box below.
It’s no wonder he’s so good if he’s been getting away with stuff like that for years.
The Polish football team and Mayo GAA, an odd but effective combination
Many of you may have noticed the sterling way in which the Polish national team finished their 1-1 draw with Russia at the Euros on Tuesday night. Russia arguably had superior ability, but while Andrei Arshavin tired to the point of nearly vomiting in the closing stages, the Poles finished strongly and probably should have won it in the end.
It has been fairly well documented at this stage that Ballaghdereen native Barry Solan is in charge of strength and conditioning for the Polish team and he can take great pride in the fitness of Lewandowski, Copy-Paste-Blaszczykowski and company.
While Solan’s success is a great Irish success story, he had less positive news for Ballaghdereen’s opponents in the Mayo senior championship this summer when talking to the Western People this week.
“I’m always hoping to get back for games but I’ve only managed to play one or two challenge games for Ballagh’ this year because of work,” he said.
“I’ve been kept busy but I was talking to eight or nine of them on Skype last night and it was football talk all the way so, with a bit of luck, I might get the chance to tog out again before the year is out.”
Solan has played for the London footballers in the past and having had the experience of marking him in Mayo club football myself a few years back, I can personally testify to the fact that he’s a fairly fit guy.
If he was fit then, can you imagine what he’ll be like after being in charge of putting a bunch of finely-tuned professional athletes through their paces for the last few months?
Gaelic footballers of Mayo, you have been warned.