Cooper: Injuries the only thing that will halt Dublin

Colm Cooper doesn’t expect fellow cruciate injury victim Bernard Brogan will play again for Dublin this year.

Dublin's Bernard Brogan.

Manager Jim Gavin last week reported that Brogan was “doing a lot of work” following his March operation, but former Kerry star Cooper, who missed the 2014 championship because of his cruciate issue as well as a cracked kneecap, doubts the 2010 footballer of the year will play any part in the forthcoming All-Ireland SFC. He sees his and Jack McCaffrey’s injuries as small opportunities for Dublin’s opponents to exploit.

“Vulnerable is a word I probably couldn’t throw at Dublin, to be fair. No, they are the standout team, they’re on their own, rightly favourites and I’d say very short favourites with the bookies.

“But if you were to look at anything that might give a chink of light for everybody else, it might be injuries. There’s talk Jack McCaffrey will make it back but I’d be amazed if Bernard Brogan saw any time this summer, even though there is still talk that later on in the summer he might get there.”

The doubt over Diarmuid Connolly’s availability also hurts Dublin, Cooper feels.

“I would say the Connolly situation too: Is he going to play during the summer or is he not? He’s a big player to lose. My only concern, well it’s not a concern, because I’m hoping for Kerry’s sake that it gives everybody else a chance, but from a Dublin point of view, if you keep shipping these blows — I know they have strength in depth in every area — but there is no substitute for experience.

You look to the experience of Brogan, Connolly, and Jack McCaffrey to a lesser degree; being without those before the championship even starts, if they were to pick up one or two little niggles it might test them in ways they haven’t been tested before, but still, look, they’re in pole position and looking at the league no team jumped off the page to say they can topple Dublin.

Tomás Ó Sé has branded Dublin’s lack of competition in Leinster as “ridiculous”:

Leinster is a joke at the moment. Take Dublin out of it and you have a good Leinster championship, but the rest are so far behind at the moment. Everybody talks about Dublin, how brilliant… I think above in Leinster, teams are beaten before they go out against Dublin. It’s ridiculous. I wouldn’t even watch a Leinster championship match now.


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