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Published: 11:48 | 9/8/16

Cooper expects Kerry to target Connolly

Dublin full-back Jonny Cooper expects Kerry to try to provoke Diarmuid Connolly in the All-Ireland semi-final on 28 August.

Connolly was sent off during the Dubs' All-Ireland SFC quarter-final win over Donegal at Croke Park on Saturday for two yellow cards.

The first came after an off-the-ball incident with Ryan McHugh in the ninth minute, and the St Vincents' clubman was later booked for a high tackle on Anthony Thompson in the second half.

The Dublin forward was also yellow carded in the Leinster final for his reaction to Westmeath’s James Dolan touching his hair.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin said after the 1-15 to 1-10 win on Saturday that the Tir Chonail men set out to provoke Connolly, a view backed up by Cooper.

"It's challenging for the Diarmuid Connollys of this world," Cooper told Irish Daily Star.

"I'm sure with his skill set and his talent he gets a bit more special attention. But he's experienced enough to know now that he's going to get it. He's dealt with it his whole career.

"I don't think it's going to be any different against Kerry. Naturally enough, they're going to curtail his influence on the game.

"So it's a challenge for Diarmuid to try and manage that and be in control at all times. It's not always easy in the heat of battle, when you have a split second to make a tackle or make a decision."

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