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"It's a bit of a warzone" | Jonny Cooper on battles with Mayo

Dublin defender Jonny Cooper is expecting a tremendous physical contest when Dublin take on Mayo in the All Ireland senior football final. 

Cooper played in All-Ireland finals against the green and red in 2013, 2016 and 2017. In each year (with 2016 going to a replay), there was just a point between the counties at the end.

Cooper is preparing for his body and mind to be tested to the limit by Mayo's forwards on Saturday 19th December.

"It's a bit of a warzone. You can expect to come off one way or the other very sore and mentally very fatigued as well because it takes a lot of energy, serious concentration. They are very astute, have great movement, always keeping you on your toes, physically and mentally. I've marked some of them over the years which has always provided a great challenge and opportunity at the same time. I'm expecting no different in the next game."

Cooper was sent off for receiving a second yellow card in last year's drawn final against Kerry, but was restored to the starting line up for the replay, which Dublin won to secure five-in-a-row.

The Na Fianna player says his reaction was to beat himself up after the dismissal, but also to back himself to recover.

"I think it's a bit of both. High standards, certainly. Not something in terms of 2019 I would have written into my notes or my script as such. At the same time, you have to be truthful and honest and reflect and be accountable for your actions and uphold the standards that the group would expect of any individual.

"You have to go away and obviously back yourself, which last year would have come with challenges with the quick enough turnaround to the second game. You have to do your best to try and reflect, try to take out the value, the truth and obviously get coaches' feedback at the time to make sure you are back on the two train tracks and ultimately trying to help and add value to the team."

Dublin have sailed through the Championship, winning their four matches by an average of 17 points, while Mayo saw off Tipperary by 13 points in their semi-final.

Cooper expects a ferocious challenge from the Connacht champions as they bid to wrestle the Sam Maguire cup from Dublin's grip and end a 69 year wait for ultimate honours.

"I think to be fair to Mayo they have the ability to mix it up whatever way they need to do it; be it kicking, be it running; be it a bit of both. They have runners from deep, they have finishers inside, they have ball winners around the middle. They have a formidable kick out 'for and against structure' and that has been there. I expect no different, other than them having a few new players that have added serious energy to all of that."

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