Brogan fears club versus country conundrum

BERNARD BROGAN faces a club versus country dilemma ahead of Ireland’s International Rules opener in Limerick.

The Dublin talisman has been training with Anthony Tohill’s squad ahead of the visit of the Australians for the two-Test series which takes place on October 23 and 30.

Brogan takes the field for his club St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh on Saturday in the Dublin SFC semi-final against Navan Road neighbours St Brigid’s.

And should they justify their strong favourites tag and win, the decider is scheduled to take place on the same weekend as the opening Test at the Gaelic Grounds.

Brogan’s Dublin colleague Michael Darragh Macauley is also involved in both competitions and could face a similar dilemma. And Brogan has called on Dublin GAA chiefs to take their predicament into account should the clash materialise.

“I think the dates are meant to be the same – the weekend of the 23rd,” said the star forward who missed the 2008 tour down under when Plunkett’s last reached the final.

“We have to beat Brigid’s first and it would be a nice predicament to be in, but it would be something you’d have to make a decision on. I don’t know what way that will go.

“I missed out two years ago with the club championship final and I don’t want to miss out again. The club championship final is a big day out and they’d want to have everyone right and if I’m playing for Ireland, they won’t want (me) to be playing the next day in the county championship final.

“The county board might do something about it if it is the same day if there are lads playing for Ireland. Mick Macauley is out with Ireland at the moment as well so he could be in the same predicament. If it does clash and the two of us do get there, hopefully they will make an allowance for us.”

Brogan returned from an ankle injury to take part in International Rules training last Friday, working with former IRFU strength and conditioning maestro Mike McGurn. Tohill has assembled a training squad that looks designed for a running game, but Brogan believes there are enough big men to compete with the professionals.

“(McGurn) is a tough man,” he said. “You don’t get off lightly with him. He is very good trainer. He was with Armagh this year and he had them in very good shape.

“The training he does is very intense and very physical. But you need that if you are going to be coming up against the Aussies because they are going to hit you hard. He does a lot of tackling drills and he has a rugby background.

“There wouldn’t be the big, huge, physical men of the past but there is the likes of Cavanagh and Tommy Walsh there.

“I think it might be a smaller team than what is usually picked from what I have seen. It will be interesting to see what kind of mix he (Tohill) gets. He knows the game well having played it and been involved with it after.”

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