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Friday 20 October 2017

Jonny tops poll for club and county

JONNY COOPER is getting stronger by the day. He is one of Dublin's favourite sons.

The goodwill messages keep on pouring in. He couldn't believe the amount. But that's Jonny for you. Unassuming to the last.

Jim Gavin could see from early on that there was something special about him.

He made him captain of the Dublin U21s. Jonny would lift the All-Ireland title.

It was in 2010. And without him, the success might never have happened.

In the opening round, the Dubs were away to Louth, and they were within a whisker of going out.

With the large home support raising the roof in anticipation of a famous victory, Jonny, at half-back, kicked the priceless point that saved the Dubs and took the game to extra-time.

BRAVE

It was a critical contribution, but Jonny wasn't having it. He said nothing would have happened had it not been for Rory O'Carroll's brave block and Seán Murray's precise pass.

That's Jonny - the essential team player. Following that campaign, there were whispers of a call to senior ranks.

It didn't happen, but Jonny wasn't really expecting the phone to ring.

He said he had still much to improve on as a footballer, and, maybe, a bit further down the line, he might get to wear the senior shirt.

And wear it he did, up on the steps of the Hogan Stand as the Blues collected Sam.

His dedication and his diligence are among his most appealing traits. Playing corner-back is no easy gig.

The headlines or the man-of-the-match awards rarely come your way. But Jonny doesn't get concerned with such things.

Much of a corner-back's work goes unseen. It's not the stuff of the cat walk. The acclaim for the role usually just comes from your team-mates.

For Dublin, Na Fianna and DCU, Jonny has led the way home. And he has done it in the most selfless way.

Just like the brother, Niall, and the Dad, Brendan. Dublin GAA disciples of the highest regard.

Jonny's return to full fitness will be cheered by every club in the country.

Up on the Mobhi Road, the kids all want to be Jonny Cooper.

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