The shape I'm in: Alan Brogan, former Dublin GAA star

Alan Brogan

THERE is life after being a GAA inter-county star and former Dublin player Alan Brogan is enjoying the benefits.

The father of two boys — Jamie, seven, and Harry 18 months — was free for the first time this summer to take a family holiday, two weeks in Spain.

It’s been a long haul for his wife Lydia, who has weathered the high and low points. 

“It was always a bit of a roller coaster with the wins and the losses. She was there for all my inter-country career. She often put up with me when I was down after losing matches. She was a rock all the way along,” he says.

His older son is enjoying playing football in his local club but there’s no pressure. 

“It’s not all GAA. He’s been interested in playing golf and he’s playing a bit of soccer as well. It’s important for kids to play any sport,” say the 34-year-old.

Now commercial manager with a design and print company, he is not about to forget his GAA roots, which run in his veins. 

His father, Bernard Brogan, was a Dublin all-star player and his brothers Bernard Jnr and Paul also play for their county.

“My family’s life has been in the GAA. It’ll be no different for me. I’ll just move on to the next stage and it comes full circle again. You go back to coaching the kids’ team or whatever. You’ve got to do your bit there as well.”

Alan Brogan is an ambassador for Cleanmarine for Men.

What shape are you in?

Inter-county teaches you good habits. We were under a very strict regime and now that I don’t have that anymore it’s important that I keep control of my diet and fitness myself.

Dublin has had a full-time nutritionist in place for the last number of years and the hints and the tips that I would have picked up from him have helped me in real life as well. I also take lots of supplements, including Cleanmarine for Men.

What are your healthiest habits?

I’m in an office most of the day and I think it’s very important to stay hydrated for your concentration. When I was playing inter-country football I was probably drinking three or four litres a day. Now I’m drinking two to three litres a day — I have a water cooler beside me. 

On the days when I’m out of the office and I haven’t had as much water as I should, I can feel the effects of that dehydration in my performance at work or on my energy levels in the afternoon.

I’ve always felt that carbohydrates — rice, bread, pasta, potatoes that sort of thing — throughout the day are very important for energy. I think the nutritionist can give you plenty of advice but you know what works best for you.

What would keep you awake at night?

Harry has had his moments over the past few months. He wasn’t a great sleeper but he is getting better now. We are coming out of the far side of it now. A lot of it is mindset as well. 

If you can get up in the morning and have a good positive attitude that goes a long way towards alleviating any tiredness that might be there.

How do you relax?

At home watching TV, I love the box sets. I’m a big fan or Narcos on Netflix. Sport is always a huge relief for me, even if it’s playing a little bit of golf. I took Jamie out for his first game of golf a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed that. Also, watching football matches.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

PJ Gallagher, David Beckham and Barack Obama.

What’s your favourite smell?

Freshly cut grass in the summertime. That was always the sign that championship football with Dublin was only around the corner.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’ve gone a bit grey over the last number of years but that’s the only thing. I’m not too worried about it, to be honest with you. I have a very positive outlook on these things. 

Whatever life throws at you, you try to embrace it, be it good or bad.

What traits do you least like in others?

People who don’t treat others the way they’d like to be treated themselves.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I may not always be on time myself but when I’m late I generally get quite panicked about it. I like to be on time.

Do you pray?

I do occasionally. It’s often around football matches, looking for divine inspiration. They weren’t answered early in my career — He started answering them later. I also go to Mass occasionally.

What would cheer up your day?

The kids coming into the bedroom every morning. We have a bit of fun for 10 or 15 minutes before we all get up. We don’t give out about that.


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