This book is an inspiring, exhilarating, thrilling and uplifting read. It documents the journey of a young boy with a big dream. Colm Cooper was a freckle faced six year old when he attended his first Gaelic Football training session for Dr. Crokes in Killarney. It was at this first session that he got the nickname “Gooch”.

The coach said “You’re like that Gucci doll with that red hair you’ve got. Now let’s see if you can put a penalty past me Goochie”. Colm scored the penalty and was known as “Gooch” from there on in.

Colm first set foot in Croke Park at the age of eight as a mascot for his home team Dr. Crokes. Colm progressed to the U-16 development county minor squad for Kerry. Colm played as corner forward in 2000 for the minor team. Two years later, he was playing with the Kerry A team in the League. He progressed and earned his place in the Championship squad.

He won his first Man of the Match along the way to his first All-Ireland Final. Unfortunately for Colm and Kerry, they lost this All-Ireland to Armagh. Colm was nineteen years old and gutted. He still managed to be nominated and win his first All Star. RTÉ’s pundit Martin Carney said “Just watching him is worth the price of admission alone”.

Colm went on to win an All-Ireland in 2004 and also won Man of the Match.

There are many highs and some lows in this book. In 2006 Colm lost his dad shortly before playing Dublin in the League. The game ended in a draw, however Kerry went on to win the League and the All-Ireland that year.

Colm won five All-Irelands and eight All Stars and went on to lift the one cup that had evaded him, the Andy Merrigan Cup, before retiring in April 2017.

I found this book to be awe-inspiring, motivating, encouraging and very enjoyable. It gives a great insight into the life of a great Irish Sports Star. The author Donny Mahoney, shows how a humble, hard-working young boy can do great things if he follows his dreams.

I would recommend this book to all members of the family as the parents/older siblings could read it to their brothers or sisters or friends. I believe it would also be a great read for all sports fans, no matter what county or club they support.

I would rate this book 10/10 because I found it to be encouraging to all who feel they may not be able to achieve their dreams. With passion, hard work, focus and determination, they can.

By Alex, 5th Class Killaloe BNS, Co. Clare

Colm “Gooch” Cooper” by Donny Mahoney, published by O’Brien Press, is now on sale for €8.99

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’Brien Pressfree of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review