History of a sort was made this week when the All Star football nominations appeared for the first time in 10 years without the name ‘Brogan’ attached, but Bernard Brogan believes only one of the famous Dublin siblings has cause to be aggrieved.
Bernard Brogan had no issue with the absence of his own name from the 45, but the 2010 Footballer of the Year was surprised to see elder brother Alan had failed to do enough to make it.
Alan Brogan returned from an injury that cost him the entire 2013 season at an age when many were predicting retirement, yet produced a sequence of influential displays that helped Dublin to another Leinster title and as far as an All-Ireland semi-final.
“I wasn’t expecting one myself but I thought Alan, especially coming back from a year out, played a massive role and showed why he’s been so good for Dublin,” said Bernard Brogan at the launch of Sky’s ‘Living for Sport’ campaign.
“So, yeah, I was expecting to see him there, but I wouldn’t say he’d have envisaged he would have won one if you look at the names there — the [Paul Flynns], the [Diarmuid Connollys], the Aidan O’Sheas, the Michael Murphys — around the half-forward line.”
That Dublin still earned nine nominations says much, but that last-four loss to Donegal overrode all and Brogan described it yesterday as the most difficult defeat of his career thus far.
That was quite the statement to make for a man who has been representing his county since 2006 and experienced more than a few crushing lows before Pat Gilroy orchestrated that breakthrough success in 2011.
“Yeah, I think it hurts more when you feel like you’ve left something behind.
“When you go out to a game and you give it everything and you get beaten on the day, or you don’t get the bounce of the ball, that’s grand.
“But when we went out against Donegal, I would have felt we left a lot behind. My own personal game, I would have been disappointed. I felt I missed a couple of kicks. I just felt we just didn’t ask them enough questions at the end.”
His own contribution aside and the result, he wouldn’t change much else. Maybe redistribute the balance between attack and defence a tad, but the basic attacking principles he still feels were the right way to go against a side that set up as Donegal had.
Brogan also believes events this summer have put paid to a season of debates on whether Dublin’s financial muscle — and their mega sponsorship deal with AIG, in particular — was about to create a playing field where they claimed superiority.
“It probably was overblown. The sponsorship is there and it’s been good for Dublin. But look at Donegal. I think they had three trips away for four or five days. I don’t know how they even got out of work. Kerry have been away on trips as well. There is nobody hiding that other teams are doing the same. We actually didn’t.
“I don’t know if we went away at all, maybe one weekend. So we haven’t done anything better or more in terms of opportunities than anyone else. I wouldn’t say that side of it is where we’re benefiting. We’re not benefiting financially in that sense. I’m sure [Kerry and Donegal] are getting everything they ask for, just like Dublin do, to a degree.”
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