Dragons great Matt Cooper reveals why he didn’t attend 2010 premiership meeting – as he opens up old wounds and rekindles a bitter feud with the club
- Former Dragons center Matt Cooper did not attend the 2010 Grand Final meeting
- The 43-year-old issued an apology, saying he didn’t want to cause any trouble
- Cooper was reportedly promised a club job by former CEO Peter Doust
St. George Dragons legend Matt Cooper jumped on the club’s grand final reunion in 2010 saying he allegedly caused trouble with an unnamed former CEO and team-mate – suggesting on Twitter he would reveal all about his poor retirement next year.
Cooper, 43, was a key center in the team’s 2010 Premiership season, where he played all 13 years of his career with club Red V.
Dragons’ Matt Cooper celebrates winning the 2010 NRL Grand Final with a member of the club’s support staff
Playing alongside young guns Brett Morris and Darius Boyd, the Blues’ 13 games were highly successful at the Illawarra club.
Yet 12 years after a landmark year, Cooper chose to stay away from reunion celebrations to avoid causing trouble with former CEO Peter Doust and a member of the mystery team.
“I want to apologize to my 2010 premiership team for not attending the 10-12 year old meeting. The reason I didn’t participate was that I didn’t want to make a scene and ruin a special occasion! Knowing that the former CEO and a player who didn’t even play the game were going to be there,’ Cooper told Twitter.
One follower replied “it would be a good opportunity to be the biggest and ignore those people”.
Cooper responded by writing “not if you knew what Doust did to me”.
Former St. George CEO Peter Doust (L) and coach Wayne Bennett (C) at a press conference where Bennett announced his decision to leave in 2011
Doust resigned his managerial role in 2018 after 18 years with the club while Cooper retired at the end of the 2013 season and battled an addiction to painkillers when he fell.
The Aussie center played 243 games for St. George and was emotional at his retirement press conference where Doust was by his side.
“He has been an important role model and in particular, a shining example of our local youth development programs and an inspiration to rugby league players in our region,” Doust said at the time.
Matt Cooper waits for the ball from an offload from Jeremy Smith in the 2010 NRL Grand Final
During his career, Cooper and Doust were apparently good friends and had a solid working relationship, which led to the CEO becoming the longest-serving club manager in NRL history.
Apparently, Doust promised the center a job with the Dragons after his retirement, but backed out of the deal soon after.
In October, at the Dragons’ end-of-season awards night, Cooper addressed the club’s poor culture.
‘Can’t believe 3 players went to the #redv awards night!!! Currently I can! The club no longer has loyalty and honor. It all stopped when Wayne Bennett left,’ he tweeted.
In reference to the uncapped player Cooper tweeted about, that’s subject to speculation.
Dragons fans hoist an ‘Oust Doust’ sign high during the 2015 NRL season as the club began to crumble in form and management
Former Dragons CEO Peter Doust has finally been ousted from the club – and it’s clear there’s some discontent between him and Cooper
Former Dragons center Kyle Stanley was on the 2010 roster but did not make the Grand Finals.
He now has a role in the St. George junior lane system with his brother Chase.
Cooper made an appearance on Channel Seven’s Big Brother VIP following his previous stints on Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Apprentice.
The former point player is working towards an MMA career and is good friends with UFC No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Alex Volkanovski.