Colm Cooper has responded to the criticism he received from Joe Brolly on RTÉ’s League Sunday programme following the announcement of his retirement.
The Gooch had praise heaped on him from near and afar in the sporting world following the announcement of his inter-county retirement. He was lauded for all he achieved and almost universally recognised as one of the finest Gaelic footballers of all time.
However, pundit Brolly grabbed headlines for claiming that the Kerry legend lacked leadership qualities and never performed when his team needed him the most; in times of adversity.
Addressing the Derryman’s controversial views on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, the Dr. Croke’s attacker brushed off the opinion of the outspoken pundit. Cooper claimed that Brolly simply “likes to go against the grain sometimes just to create the bait.”
The eight-time All Star stated:
“I take Joe for what he is. He is a very outspoken pundit. He likes to go against the grain sometimes just to create the bait.
“I certainly don’t lie awake at night thinking about what Joe is going to say about me.
“In the earlier part of my career he thought I was a fantastic player. In the latter years he has changed a little bit.
“I played for Kerry and Dr Crokes to win medals and challenge for titles, not to satisfy Joe’s needs or what he thinks about my character.
“If I let Joe get to me I don’t think I’d ever tog out. He has his views and I think he gets a kick out of winding Kerry people up as well and they always bit back a bit as well which he loves. I don’t take it too seriously.”
Speaking publicly for the first time since calling time on his illustrious Kerry journey, the 33-year-old was asked if he would say hello and shake Brolly’s hand if he bumped into him at Croke Park some day, to which he responded:
“I’m not too sure about that, it wouldn’t be all hugs and kisses. I respect his opinion. I don’t think it’s a universal opinion if I’m being honest. That’s his way of looking at things. People down in Kerry see me at club matches and playing for Kerry and how much time and effort I put into football.
“They may have different views as well and I’m sure Joe would have to respect that. They see me up close and personal and what I’m like and maybe they feel I have all the characteristics and attributes that Joe speaks about.
“They get a little bit annoyed and bite back which Joe certainly likes I think.”
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