Bernard Brogan says county footballers are choosing different career paths because of the demands placed on them by their commitments.
The 2010 footballer of the year admits he himself would have chosen an engineering degree if he wasn’t so determined to play for Dublin.
Having seen his older brother Alan pursue a finance qualification, he followed suit to give him the best chance of making it into the team.
Speaking at Sky Sports Living For Sport Masterclass, he said: “I was going on scholarship to Maynooth, a GAA scholarship and my idea was that I had Alan’s notes, he’s done it, he’s been there, it’s 12 hours a week, I’d be able to play football, put time into training and progress and try and get on the Dublin team. If I went all over again, I might have chosen something different.
“I wouldn’t have chosen a degree in finance. That’s my own experience, I don’t know what other people do. I have a lot of debates with Alan and my dad about it and the lads and when I look at their team, there was doctors and physios and all sorts of professionals, engineers and accountants, loads of them.
“You just look at the Dublin team now and other teams, they’re all students or teachers. Like I’m an accountant, Jack (McCaffrey) is studying to be a doctor. There’s a couple of guys that are doing it. It’s not as if lads can’t do it but I just feel that sometimes lads are making decisions to put time into football. It’s great and I did a masters and a professional diploma to elongate my career to play football in college.
“I think it’s great for people that do it but in the holistic global view of GAA people, are there career paths being hampered by training?”
The crippling demand is certainly the GAA’s hot topic but Brogan also sees a dilemma for players on successful club teams aiming to make county teams because of the overlapping calendar.
“Then there are the likes of St Vincent’s pair Dermot Connolly and Ger Brennan who haven’t had a worthwhile break from football in over two years.
“I haven’t been involved in it but the club championship running in to the New Year and into Paddy’s Day, I think is totally wrong. I’ve seen it where it’s affected people. I was just talking to someone yesterday about it, when lads come out of that, say when Vincent’s went on to win the All-Ireland and they come and there’s four or five lads that have played well and they come in to a Dublin setup that has been training since last week.
“There’s lads showing form and there’s young guys coming in and they’ve played in O’Byrne Cup and they’ve played in league games and they’ve scored points and done well. Then some guy comes out of Vincent’s from an All-Ireland final, a couple of weeks’ break obviously because they’ve been playing all year, they come into it in mid-April or May, they’ve no chance. Not no chance, but it’s very difficult. They’re chasing.”
Brogan revealed Alan will meet Jim Gavin later this week to discuss the possibility of him extending his county career into this season.
“I told him ‘you don’t have to be the best in the world, you don’t have to do everything for the team. If you can add something that’s not there or add to the team in a big game or a big play; if you think you can do something for the team, then you should be there.
“And then it’s obviously about family commitments — he has a new baby coming and he has a kid and a new job. They’re all things that he has to talk with the management about if he does need time off. That’s all logistics.”
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