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Philly McMahon Has Some Questions About Colm Cooper's Greatness

Philly McMahon Has Some Questions About Colm Cooper's Greatness

Bar Joe Brolly, praise for Colm Cooper when he announced his retirement from inter-county football earlier this month was virtually universal.

If Philly McMahon had been asked at the time, he might have been one of the more dissenting voices.

The Dublin defender marked Cooper on a number of occasions during their mutual time in the inter-county game, most famously when the Ballymun man outscored Cooper in the 2015 All-Ireland final.

Asked if he would miss Cooper now that he has retired, McMahon, quoted by the Irish Mirror, wasn't so sure - 'Would I miss any player that I mark? I won’t lose sleep.'

When questioned about where Cooper stands among the all-time greats of Gaelic football, McMahon had some doubts about the quality of defender which the Kerryman came up against down the years.

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It’s very hard for me to rate him because I would have loved to have marked him two or three years (earlier), say 2012 or 2011, around that stage. I would have loved to have marked him to see what he was capable of. All players in my head are really good if they’re not challenged, if they’re not taken outside their comfort zone.

But there’s no doubt... who am I to question what he won or how good he was? He certainly has won a lot, you have to respect that and he’ll always be remembered by this generation anyway, of his generation, that he was one of the best forwards.

McMahon did admit that Cooper was a 'very tricky' player and had 'sold me a couple of dummies' on the occasions when they crossed paths.

Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

See Also: Antrim Footballers Angry With County Board Over Identification Of Player

PJ Browne
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