Dessie ‘disappointed’ over Cooper GPA resignation

KERRY’S Colm Cooper resigned from the Gaelic Players Association last week, GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell confirmed yesterday.

Cooper has agreed a lucrative deal with energy drink Lucozade Sport - a major blow to the GPA who have a contract to endorse a rival product, Club Energise.

Ironically according to Farrell, Cooper featured on GPA Club Energise billboards in Kerry prior to last year’s All-Ireland SFC final against Tyrone.

Said Farrell: “We are obviously disappointed. But last week Colm sent us a letter resigning his membership so we are not surprised with a deal such as this.

“Though it is regrettable. we will continue to promote our product.”

Farrell revealed that prior to their existing deal with Cantrell and Cochrane (C&C), the makers of Club Energise, the GPA had approached Lucozade but the company did not express any interest in entering the GAA market.

“But after we launched the Club Energise product and it had become established, Lucozade took a belated interest,” continued Farrell.

“They tried to entice two of high profile members, DJ Carey and Peter Canavan, but both declined.”

Westmeath’s Dessie Dolan, Armagh’s Oisin McConville, Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly and Brendan Cummins along with Kilkenny’s Derek Lyng are amongst the high profile GAA players who have signed with Lucozade.

“A number have chosen to go their own road and we respect that decision,” said Farrell. “But it is not problematic for us. We have a very successful brand which is the only 100% Irish-produced sports drink in the country and it continues to grow and accrue more benefits for our members.

“While it was disappointing, things such as this are the ways of the world.”

The GPA chief also dismissed claims that very few of the Kingdom panel have taken membership of his organisation.

“No, that is not true. Liam Hassett was the representative last year and did wonderful work. The GPA membership in Kerry is in and around the 20 player mark.”

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