Kerry legend Cooper discovers there's more to life than intercounty football

When the crowds and the adulation fade away, re-entry into the real world can be a tough transition for retiring GAA stars - especially at this time of year as the championship heats up.

However, just over a year after he called it a day, Kerry legend Colm Cooper is more convinced than ever he got out at the right time.

“The buzz was gone, and it’s well out of the system now,” he told Examiner Sport.

“This year I don’t miss it at all. I love going training with my club (Dr Crokes), and I don’t miss the meetings, the tedious stuff associated with modern-day inter-county teams. I’ve discovered there’s more to life.”

Cooper, who addresses the problems with Cork football in Saturday’s Examiner Sport, explained the freedom he now enjoys since coming out of the Kerry bubble.

“Last Sunday and Monday I relaxed, trained with Crokes on Tuesday, cut my lawn Wednesday, trained with the club again Thursday. I played golf in Castlegregory on Saturday and Crokes have a barbeque Sunday. And my girlfriend gets to see me.”

Gooch, who turns 35 on Sunday week, the day Kerry face Clare in the Munster SFC semi-final, is also getting used to experiencing some of the frustrations of being a sofa supporter.

“There’s a real sense of disappointment that some big championship games are not being televised. Monaghan-Tyrone last weekend, Tipp-Cork this weekend.

"I understand that the hurling championship is front-loaded and the football is rear-loaded towards the Super 8s. That in effect restricts the number of games RTE and Sky are permitted to show live.

"But we may have already missed the pivotal game in the Ulster Championship, and that wouldn’t happen in any other sport.

What other sport would not put its biggest clashes out there for a national audience?

"In the sport’s primary competition? It beggars belief, and for the GAA to allow that, it’s a crazy decision.”


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