Wednesday 23 May 2018

Kingdom worries about Gooch as injury will keep him out of Sunday's Banner showdown

Kerry's Colm Cooper. Picture Credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Kerry's Colm Cooper. Picture Credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Colm Cooper has been ruled out of Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final between Kerry and Clare, Éamonn Fitzmaurice has confirmed.

Cooper suffered a shoulder ligament injury in Kerry's Munster final against Tipperary, sparking fears that his summer may be in jeopardy.

Former Footballer of the Year James O'Donoghue could make a first start of the year after shoulder surgery in his stead, though Cooper's well-being is now a source of serious concern for Kerry given the delicate nature of the injury.

If, as expected, the Kingdom beat Clare on Sunday, their All-Ireland semi-final is scheduled for August 28, against the winner of the quarter-final involving Dublin.

Otherwise, Fitzmaurice revealed that Mikey Geaney was out for Sunday with an ankle injury and Peter Crowley would be fit after suffering a broken nose.

Fitzmaurice also claimed there had been "a huge lack of respect" shown towards both Clare and Tipperary despite their wins at the weekend.

"They were being dismissed because we beat them. It was very disrespectful.


"Both teams have gone on to show the quality they have. I was thinking about it this morning; of the teams that played in Division 1 this year, only two haven't been beaten by a team from a lower division - ourselves and Dublin."

"The other six have all been beaten by teams in lower divisions.

"I think that shows the work that is going on in counties, particularly in Clare and Tipperary, the progress they have made and the wins they have had.

"There was a reaction after the weekend results when it was confirmed that we were playing Clare, words like 'farcical' were being used and that we were inside in an All-Ireland semi-final without having played the game.

"Again, I found that disrespectful to Clare, in particular, given they had got to an All-Ireland quarter-final on merit having played three tough games and that was being described."

Laois, meanwhile, are looking for a new senior football manager after Mick Lillis stepped down following just one year in the job.

Lillis oversaw Laois's relegation to Division 3 after succeeding Tomás Ó Flatharta in the role.

Thereafter, the O'Moore men were beaten by Dublin at Nowlan Park in the Leinster SFC quarter-final and despite beating Armagh twice, after the first match was refixed because Laois used six substitutes, they exited the qualifiers to Clare.

"It is with regret that I wish to inform you that I will not be putting myself forward for consideration as manager of Laois senior football team for the coming season," he said in a statement yesterday.

"I would like to wish the new management team every success in tackling the issues that pertain in Laois football."

John Sugrue is again being linked with the role.

A former team physio, Kerryman Sugrue - who lives and works in Portlaoie - worked as the physical trainer to the Kerry seniors and managed the Kerry Under 21s.

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