Players will retire earlier, says Gooch

Colm Cooper

Colm Cooper believes inter-county footballers and hurlers will retire earlier as the demands placed upon them increase.

Cooper, who is set to return to county action next year after an lengthy injury lay-off, predicts that fewer and fewer stars will play for their counties beyond 30.

However, the Dr Crokes man (31) hopes to buck that trend and have “another two or three years” of top flight action.

“Tomás Ó Sé retired at 35 but I think that is unlikely to continue. I think players are going to be retiring around the 30 mark more often because of family, work and training obligations and the difficulty of combining all three for a long period of time. The game has become more demanding. I hope that if I am lucky enough to stay injury free I might get another two or three years of a career.”

Speaking at an AIB Build A Bank challenge launch in Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny, Cooper also lifted the lid on the training schedules of a county star.

“We are in the gym at 7am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and then have a game at the weekends.

“Most of the season is spent with Kerry and not so much with the club, but I love going back to play with the guys I went to school and grew up with.”


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