Turner and Gooch: Five examples of Colm Cooper at his absolute best
Probably the most outstanding footballer of his generation, Colm Cooper has provided Gaelic Football fans with any amount of wonderful moments over the years. Here are five of his best.
Kerry v Kildare, All-Ireland qualifiers, 2002
The Gooch made his debut as a scrawny 18-year old in the National League campaign in 2002 but what he lacked in size, he made up for in ability and it wasn’t long before he became one of the most feared operators in the country.
He won the man of the match award after an impressive display against Mick O’Dwyer’s Kildare in Thurles in 2002, when he scored a goal with a trademark classy finish (see above) and looked just a little bit green when giving an interview to RTE after the match.
Kerry v Mayo, All-Ireland Final, 2004
Mayo are certainly at the top of the pile of counties to have suffered most at the hands of the Gooch over the years and he terrorised them in a one-sided All-Ireland Final in 2004.
As recently as last year, Gooch revealed that the goal he scored in that game remains his favourite of all the many goals he’s scored in his career to date and with good reason too. Stationed as usual at corner-forward, he claimed a high ball above Pat Kelly, dummied Gary Ruane to buy himself some more space and produced an expert finish to beat Peter Burke and put the Kingdom out of sight.
Dr. Crokes v Gneeveguilla, June 2011
Frightening as it must be for inter-county defenders to have to mark him, we can only imagine the sheer terror that must engulf a corner-back at club level when they go over to shake the man’s hand before a game.
A goal Gooch scored against Gneeveguilla in the 2011 Kerry club championship has become something of a YouTube sensation in the time since, racking up almost 70,000 views. It might look as easy as pie to Colm, but the skill displayed to dupe the entire opposition defence with one foot before finishing with the other was simply top class.
Kerry v Mayo, All-Ireland semi-final, 2011
Poor Mayo again. The Gooch seemed to be on something on a one-man mission against the Green and Red in the All-Ireland semi-final of 2011, scoring 1-7 in Croke Park, including an emphatic strike to the roof of the net as an immediate response to a Cillian O’Connor goal down the other end.
He also did this in the same game. We’re not sure how he managed it either…
Kerry v Dublin, All-Ireland semi-final, 2013
Cooper was repositioned as a centre-forward by Eamonn Fitzmaurice last season and while some felt it was sacrilege to move the deadliest finisher in the game further away from goal, he flourished as a playmaker on the 40.
Against Dublin in the semi-final, the Gooch was majestic, pulling the strings and calling the game to his own tune, particularly in the first half, during which he produced a magnificent pass to Donnacha Walsh in the run-up to James O’Donoghue’s goal.
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