Time for Cooney to become Bulldogs’ go-to sub
Sport has produced a plethora of magical moments and memories that will linger in history for many years to come. Plays which captivated and awed the world, some causing euphoria others despair.
From Leo Barry’s mark in the 2005 AFL Grand Final to erase a 70-year premiership drought to John Aloisi’s penalty against Uruguay to seal the Socceroos a spot in the 2006 World Cup.
Sport is capable of producing drama that cannot be written, causing emotion that cannot be rivalled.
Sadly, sport can also be terribly cruel. Injuries are unavoidable in the sporting industry; most players are fortunate enough to fight back from devastating injuries and recapture their best individual form. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
It seems Western Bulldogs’ star Adam Cooney is resigned to never recapturing his match winning form. A degenerative knee injury has tempered Cooney’s output, limiting his breakaway speed and kicking penetration.
Not only is this distressing for Cooney personally but the entire AFL community, who are at a loss for they will never see the best of the tremendously talented Bulldog.
The 2008 Brownlow medallist should be at the peak of his powers now, aged 26. Sadly his debilitating injury has limited him so much former coach Rodney Eade said Cooney is unable to train most weeks.
Cooney’s lack of training has severely hampered his match fitness, meaning he will require regular rests in order to see out the remainder of the season.
At his best Cooney was devastating; breaking lines with his pace, dissecting opposition with sublime ball use and his ability to provide a marking option up front made him the complete package.
Sadly, we will never see the best of a player who promised to be amongst the elite.
Cooney will remain a burst player, capable of briefly impacting the contest but not able to sustain the effort over long periods.
Bizarrely, the substitute rule may assist Cooney.
A player of his quality by no means should be resigned to wearing the green vest, but his body simply does not allow Cooney to compete at 100 percent week in week out.
Cooney could be devastating, coming on late in matches. Against fatigued bodies he may gain advantage despite his troublesome knee.
Playing significantly less game time would also allow Cooney to expand his career.
Food for thought, hopefully the champ can find a role that enables him to contribute weekly.
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