COLM COOPER HAS praised the appointment of former attacking great Mikey Sheehy as selector with the Kerry squad after new manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice last night put the finishing touches to his backroom team for next season.
Sheehy, former goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy and highly-rated trainer Cian O’Neill were all ratified by club delegates last night at a county board meeting.
And Dr Crokes star Cooper is looking forward to working alongside Sheehy.
“It will be great. On a personal level he has been a hero, if you are a forward in Kerry he has been for all of us. He’ll bring something else to the table, he’ll be a fresh voice and a fresh face.
“Some time when new people come in it freshens things up and gives fellas a new lease of life. Hopefully that will be the case.
“It will be much needed for the benchmark Donegal have set. We have a long way to go to see can we get up to that level.”
Cooper believes Kerry need to improve ‘by 25%’ next year if they are to challenge for honours.
“Teams just have to lift it. I can’t speak for other teams but I know if we don’t come back and improve by 25 percent we won’t be involved in the shake up next year. That’s the challenge for us and for Eamonn.
“I certainly feel Donegal aren’t a one hit wonder. People say they have won their All-Ireland now and they won’t do it next year, I certainly feel that isn’t the case. The level they are playing at they won’t just drift away.
“The challenge for everyone else is to get to that level. The professionalism that they played at and I believed that they trained at is a challenge to everyone else.”
Before that Cooper will be seeking his third consecutive Kerry county senior title when Dr Crokes face Dingle in this year’s decider on October 28th.
“They (Dingle) are a very focussed team. They remind me a bit of ourselves a couple of years ago in that we got to semi-finals, finals and were beaten. Of all the club teams in Kerry, besides ourselves, they are the team that coming.
“I just think they feel this is their time to win a county title. We were in that position a few years ago. It will be a great obstacle but a great challenge to see if we can go to the well for another stage.”