Kerry chairman Patrick O’Sullivan says his fellow clubman Colm Cooper is the right man to lead the team in 2014.
The 30-year-old was yesterday evening confirmed as captain for the third time, having previously been put forward by Dr Crokes for the position in 2011 and ‘12. This past season, Cooper’s recently-retired club colleague Eoin Brosnan was named as skipper with Kieran O’Leary selected as vice-captain.
Kerry are one of the few counties in which the reigning county champions continue to chose the following year’s captain.
“I’m delighted,” said O’Sullivan. “He has been one of the best players in the country over the last number of years. He is a player worthy of the captaincy and he has all the qualities you would expect of one.
“I hope he achieves all that he can in the role and his leadership will guide Kerry towards the ultimate goal next year, which is an All-Ireland title.”
O’Sullivan was effusive in his praise of Cooper at Kerry’s recent convention where he expressed surprise the eight-time All Star has yet to win the main footballer of the year award.
Cooper was captain when Kerry beat Cork in the 2011 Munster final but was also skipper when they lost the following year’s provincial semi-final to Counihan’s side.
No captain from Kerry or, for that matter, any county has ever lifted the Sam Maguire Cup wearing the No13 jersey, the jersey the four-time All-Ireland donned for the vast majority of his inter-county.
However, Cooper was named at centre-forward throughout this past season’s Championship campaign, while he had the No14 on his back for all their SFC games bar their two Munster games in 2012.
Cooper has the most Championship appearances in the current Kerry panel with 76. Marc Ó Sé is next best with 73.
Marc’s older brother Tomás, who retired from inter-county football in October, holds the record number of Kerry and all-time appearances with 88.
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