Colm Cooper reveals the reasons behind hanging up his boots for Kerry

Colm Cooper has spoken about his reasons for retirement and how he felt "huge relief" when he gave his decision to Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice, writes Steve Neville

Cooper explains that after winning the All-Ireland Club final with Dr Crokes in March 2017, he felt it was time to walk away from inter-county football.

Writing in the Irish Independent, Cooper says Kerry boss Fitzmaurice had told him they could tailor his training and even hinted at the captaincy for the season just gone.

Cooper after winning the All-Ireland Club championship with Dr Crokes

But Cooper revealed that after continuing niggles in the build-up to the Club final, he felt it was time to call it a day.

Cooper states that he knew how good a player he was and that the idea of being a bit-part player didn’t appeal to him.

"The idea of being a five - or ten - minute man? Of, maybe, being a non-playing captain? Nope. Not a hope in hell."

The idea of retirement was never emotional for Cooper, even when friends had retired.

Speaking about the retirements of teammates like the Marc O Sé, he says he wouldn't have picked up the phone to them, merely given them a text a few days later.

"I was still a Kerry player, they weren’t. F**ck it, we move on. They can’t help me get my hands on Sam anymore!" he said.

Cooper says he did not let sentiment cloud his judgement when making the decision, which meant he has no regrets.

A few days after Fitzmaurice "started selling the attractions of another year with Kerry", he confirmed his decision to retire to his boss.

"Hanging up [the phone], all I felt was huge relief," he writes.


By Steve Neville

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