Published: 11:54 | 13/2/20

Cooper back in contention

Jonny Cooper is back in contention for a place in the Dublin panel for the upcoming Allianz Leagues game against Donegal next Saturday (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 6.30pm).

The corner-back has returned to training after spending some time in Australia following the All-Ireland champions’ team holiday in Bali last month.

He returned on January 18th and, after sitting out the first three rounds against Kerry, Mayo and Monaghan, has made himself available for selection for the Donegal game at Croke Park on Saturday, February 22nd.

“The hand is up, so there's thirty-something lads available - or certainly training,” he said.

“So yeah, I'm in the mix and trying to see if he'll involve me in some way.

“I've just been slow enough coming back but it was always the plan to kind of take my time and get a few things in order. I'm studying at the moment as well, so I'm trying to get balance, I guess, but also fitness-wise.

"Just hopefully the next block of games I'll be able to be involved in some capacity and go from there.

“I’m back trying to chase some of the young fellas around. Yeah, it's going ok. Loads of work to do personally, but going ok at the moment.”

The Na Fianna clubman visited AFL outfits Collingwood and GWS while in Australia to get a look at how they do things and spent time with Aviva Premiership side Saracens after the 2018 season.

“It's good from that perspective to see. They're full-time in the sense of the time that they're able to apply to it. Take that into account as well,” he added.

“But certainly the pillars - the physical - it's a different game but the coaching structure and training, lots of the stuff is the same. Off the pitch as well - nutrition and all that sort of stuff.

“It's also subtle things that maybe haven't been touched on this island yet. Like, lots of stuff in Ireland comes a year or two or maybe a couple of months later, even though the science is pretty much shared across the world.

“But there is certain subtle things that I picked up that maybe are there a little bit before we've seen them.”

Image: INPHO

****Watch LIVE Allianz Leagues hurling this weekend on eir sport with Limerick v Waterford and Carlow v Dublin. 

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