There's an aspect to Colm Cooper, on and off the pitch, with which we are less familiar. We all know him as the visionary forward, the man who sees the pass before everyone else.
That creative side is balanced out by the attitude of a winner. In an interview with Vincent Horgan in Saturday's Irish Independent, Cooper related his mindset during the final moments of Dr. Croke's All-Ireland club final win against Slaughtneil last month.
The Killarney side had a last minute sideline ball, Cooper trusted no one but himself to take responsibility. He pushed teammates aside to take possession for fear it would be conceded.
Paul Galvin also gives us an insight into the mind of the five-time All-Ireland winner in his tribute to his former Kerry teammate in today's Sunday Times.
Cooper is peerless when it comes to putting nostalgia aside, according to Galvin - something which was clear when he decided to call it a day at inter-county level.
While relating that lesser-known side of Cooper, Galvin also made an excellent point about the effect which WhatsApp is having on teams.
According to the four-time All-Ireland winner, the communication tool has had a deleterious impact on the inner workings of GAA teams. The type of hard mentality he saw in Cooper may no longer be prevalent.
I found the hardness of his mentality a real inspiration as a player. He demanded, he commanded, he reprimanded when necessary, and he’d give you the cold shoulder to make a point if he had to. I’m not sure the game allows for such a hard mentality anymore.
Group culture is being driven in a way no one fully appreciates or understands. In time some think-tank at a university should do a study on WhatsApp and its effect on team culture and mentality. It took hold of the game towards the end of my career and I never got into it. It’s all smiley-faces, thumbs-up and virtual high-fives from the couch nowadays. Honest, frank, face-to-face exchanges on the training ground or dressing room feel like a thing of the past. This is where team culture should be created and driven and points made, not on an app.
Picture credit: Sportsfile