Jonny Cooper available for Dublin return against Donegal

Dublin football defender Jonny Cooper has confirmed he is available to make his seasonal return to action against Donegal on Saturday week.

Jonny Cooper pictured at the launch of Avonmre Protein Gold. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie
Jonny Cooper pictured at the launch of Avonmre Protein Gold. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

The 30-year-old is among a number of experienced stars including Stephen Cluxton, Jack McCaffrey, Diarmuid Connolly and Con O'Callaghan who have yet to feature in this season's Allianz League.

The five-in-a-row All-Ireland champions have played three games so far, drawing with Kerry and Monaghan and beating Mayo to set the pace on four points along with Tyrone and Galway.

Cooper, sent off in last year's drawn All-Ireland final against Kerry, revealed that he took an extended winter break and spent part of the closed season visiting AFL clubs in Australia to gather information.

"The hand is up," confirmed Cooper of his availability to play against Donegal. "There's thirty-something lads available, or certainly that amount training. So yeah, I'm in the mix and trying to see if he'll involve me in some way.

"I came back later from holidays. I came back on the 18th of January. I've been slow enough coming back but it was always the plan to kind of take my time and get a few things (sorted). I'm studying at the moment as well, so I'm trying to get balance, I guess, but also fitness."

The Na Fianna man visited the Saracens rugby club after the 2018 Championship and used a trip to Australia last winter to help pick up more information, this time from Aussie Rules clubs Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS).

Asked what information he gleaned from his visits, Cooper said: "It was more so behaviours, looking at things globally, like facilities and athletes and what they do. For me, personally, it's more so behaviours and the more subtle areas that you wouldn't pick up in a book or an article without seeing it with your own eyes."

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