Cooper: I didn’t kick a ball, I don’t deserve a medal

Colm Cooper says he does not want an All-Ireland medal — despite being part of the matchday panel for last month’s final win over Donegal.

The four-time All-Ireland winner, who was named as Kerry captain for 2014 last December, also togged out in the semi-final replay victory against Mayo in Limerick.

However, as he did not see any action in any of the county’s six Championship games because of his cruciate and kneecap injury he would be reluctant to accept a Celtic Cross.

“I wouldn’t be looking for one anyway. I don’t feel I deserve one, no, no. There are plenty of other guys who deserve them, I didn’t kick a ball all year. While being part of it is great, I wouldn’t think I deserve a medal.”

Cooper trained with the team the Tuesday night prior to the final but didn’t expect he would feature in Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s thinking as an impact substitute.

“In the bigger scheme of things it was never going to happen. I was joining in training and some drills. But in terms of full contact and that, I was never really going at that pitch.

“In terms of when Eamonn sat down to pick the team, I was never going to be in that mix. It was only seven months since the operation. I was never going to play.”

Cooper revealed Fitzmaurice penned him a handwritten letter as he did for all his players, which they received the morning of last month’s final. He thanked the 31-year-old for his presence in the set-up during the summer.

“Every player got their own message, it was just along the lines of ‘great having you back involved in the squad, we really appreciate it and the players really appreciate it’. Just hoping that I really felt part of it and he was just reassuring me I was part of it. That was the general message. It was a nice touch, I hadn’t experience that before. I think all the players took it well.”


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