Colm Cooper: “Inter-county managers have so much power”

Colm Cooper: “Inter-county managers have so much power”
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Colm Cooper feels that GAA clubs pay the price for inter-county success.

The Kerry star, who will play in the Munster SFC club final for Dr. Croke’s on Sunday, understands the frustrations felt by clubs.

The 33 year old also claims that intercounty manages have “too much power.”

“There’s frustration certainly from the club people, because they don’t know when they’re going to be playing and they don’t know when their championship is going to commence again after the summer,” he told the Independent.

“And then they don’t know when they’re going to have access to all their players.

“So it’s difficult for club managers to plan and they probably feel that, look, the club is what the GAA is all about, that’s what it’s built on, and we’re not getting a fair hearing here in many cases.

“So maybe that’s where the frustration of the club manager comes from.”

The club v county argument has been raging for some time, and Cooper understands the disconnect better than most. Unfortunately, the ‘Gooch’ doesn’t see a solution appearing any time soon.

“But there’s two spectrums and I’ve been lucky to see both sides of it. When you’re with the county, you want tunnel vision on trying to achieve getting to Croke Park and winning an All-Ireland with Kerry.

“And that’s the Kerry manager’s job. His job isn’t to facilitate the club structure.

“At the same time, the club manager is only worried about his club team trying to win a county championship.

“So everyone has their own priorities but, at the moment, it’s creating tension and frustration – and from what I’m hearing, I don’t think we’re going to see a solution any time very soon.”

“The problem is intercounty managers have so much power and in a lot of the cases have a very strong view on fixtures and when they want their county players,” he explained.

“If you’re an intercounty player you’re going to be judged on the success of your team and you want them all during the summer and you don’t want them going back to clubs and picking up knocks or things.

“That’s the way it seems to be going and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.”

Cooper will decide whether to retire from county football after the club championship ends, and says his final decision will depend on his “hunger.”

Dr. Crokes take on The Mire in the Munster final on Sunday afternoon.


David Smith

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