Cooper keen to do his homework in off-season

by Cóilín Duffy

Dublin Footballer, Jonny Cooper is aiming to get an extra edge in the off season, as Jim Gavin’s charges prepare to chase an unprecedented sixth All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in-a-row next year.

Cooper’s on-field action for 2019 ground to a halt earlier this month, as his club Na Fianna exited the quarter-final stage of the Dublin SFC, following a 3-15 to 1-15 loss to Ballyboden St. Enda’s.

While inter-county players are often thankful to take break when they can – Cooper says this will just be an on-field one for the moment, as he keeps preparations going mentally in the coming months – trying to find that little bit more which can put him ahead of the game before the commencement of the 2020 campaign.

“I’m just trying to learn and trying to get better, and I guess get some feedback,” he told the Dublin Gazette.

“I’ll maybe do a review of how this year went in different ways, and try to talk to other coaches and other players; look at videos and read articles, so there’s plenty to do.

“There’s not really enough time for some of the stuff that I want to do.

“You have to take a break at some time from a physical point of view, but I certainly think there’s that itch and that competitive drive within us all.

“I can only speak for myself personally, and there’s a mountain that I want to get better at, and I’ll try and get better at.

“I’m just trying to now see over the next few weeks what that is and how can I engage. Can I talk to people who have that small percent that I can feed off if I’m lucky enough to be asked (into the Dublin squad) in 2020.

“I’ve loads to do to be honest – maybe not as much on the physical side , but certainly on the mental and the emotional and the self-awareness and leadership side which I’m really looking forward to.”

Cooper spoke to us in DCU where Na Fianna were announcing a new community partnership with the North Dublin University. Cooper’s been a student there in the past, and also worked there. He’s back studying again at the moment where he’s focussing on organisational behaviour.

“I’m doing a course here in DCU in ‘Organisational Behaviour’ so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into different assignments to give myself a better well-rounded opinion to how I can apply myself to the opportunities that I have.”

Cooper says by constantly trying to strive for more, it will hopefully give him something additional as he battles for a place in what is an extremely competitive squad.

“You are competing against four or five guys in particular that want the same place as you,” he said.

“Can you do something in the off-season that will get you that ‘one-percent extra’? Maybe in the Summer or in two months, something that you might not necessarily see now; where something clicks that you learned along the way.”

The Dublin defender was speaking at the announcement that a seven-year agreement has been struck between DCU and Na Fianna GAA Club, which will provide the Mobhi Road based outfit with access to playing pitches and training facilities in DCU’s Glasnevin and St Patrick’s campuses.

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