Premiership-winning St George Illawarra star Matt Cooper has promised to let the "truth out" over his spat with the club after apologising to former teammates for brushing the Dragons' grand final reunion. Cooper took to Twitter to explain why he didn’t attend celebrations to mark the Red V's 2010 grand final win – delayed by two years due to covid – last Friday.
The former centre wrote: "I want to apologise to my 2010 premiership team for not attending the 10-12 year reunion. "The reason why I did not attend was I didn’t want to make a scene and ruin a special occasion! Knowing former CEO and a player who did not even play in the game were going to be there."
The former CEO is Peter Doust while the player Cooper is referring to is unclear. He then followed up with another tweet several hours after his initial post.
"I can see a lot of people are wondering why I sent that tweet, it was my only way to let the players know why I wasn’t there," he said. "With the why, it has to do with what happened to me when I retired. I’m not ready to share that right now, but the truth will come out next year."
Matt Cooper's Dragons controversy
It's understood Cooper believed he would be offered some sort of role or support post-retirement but nothing came of it. Former teammates were disappointed the 43-year-old decided not to attend the premiership reunion and were in the dark about the reasons behind it.
Cooper, who played 244 games for the Dragons and represented NSW and Australia, has previously spoken of the challenges he's faced since retiring in 2013. He admitted fearing for his life after becoming addicted to pain killing medication.
"My doctor said I am lucky to be alive because of how much I was taking," he said at the time. Cooper has been a vocal critic of the Dragons, taking a pot shot at the club after just three players turned up to this year's end-of-season presentation night.
"There’s no pride in the jersey anymore, from 2001-2011 we only missed the finals twice. Since then, we’ve only made them twice," he wrote. "Obviously it changed when Wayne Bennett left. It all starts from the top… that’s where the culture comes from.
"There’s no pride in the jersey now, no team-first attitude. You can see that when players are asking to be released – and I’m not blaming them. There’s a reason they want to go elsewhere."
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