"I just didn't think they would get themselves into a situation like that"

April 05, 2021

Dublin's Jonny Cooper and Colm Cooper of Kerry.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Kerry legend Colm Cooper says he was very surprised to learn of Dublin’s training breach last week and didn’t think the All-Ireland champions would get themselves into such a situation.

Last Thursday saw The Irish Independent break the news with photographs that showed nine Dublin players and a coach involved in training drills at Innisfails GAA in north Dublin the previous morning.

Since then, manager Dessie Farrell has been suspended by Dublin GAA for 12 weeks with further sanctions expected for the Sam Maguire Cup holders from Croke Park.

Speaking to RTE’s Sunday Sport, Cooper said that they had made a “poor decision” to return to training ahead of the permitted date and that he had thought it was an April Fools' joke when he heard about it first.

"I thought it was an April Fools'," said the five-time All-Ireland winner. "They've built a reputation as being very clever people in terms of how they perform on the field and off the field. I said that there was no way that they would put themselves in this situation.

"It was very surprising to me. At the end of the day, it was only nine guys kicking a ball around a field. The bigger problem here is that there are so many clubs and inter-county teams around the country abiding by the rules that the Dubs just decided for themselves that they were going to [train].

"The fact that it was an organised and supervised training session as well. I was just very surprised by it. I didn't know why they were doing it. I was asking myself if they had that much to gain when we knew that the green light was being given to the GAA in a couple of weeks' time to get going.

"For a team like Dublin that are so professional in everything that they do, I just didn't think they would get themselves into a situation like that.

"They were certainly offside - it's indefensible. I think it's probably tarnished a bit of their reputation at the moment."

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