Dublin’s Denis Bastick has revealed how car thieves made him feel ‘invaded’ in his own home just days before Sunday’s All-Ireland football final.
Bastick was asleep in his Templeogue residence with his wife and seven-month old son, Aidan, when two thieves using a fishing rod retrieved his car keys through the letterbox before making off with the Audi A4.
The car contained a sum of cash following the sale of a number of All-Ireland final tickets as well as personal valuables including his son’s buggy.
It meant that just days out from one of the biggest games of Bastick’s career, his third final, he was forced to contact Gardaí and work closely with them to eventually locate the vehicle.
“I woke up last Monday morning and the car was stolen from the driveway — the Monday before the final!” said Bastick.
“Two guys fished the keys out through the letter box and took off with the car, baby’s buggy and cash from the tickets from the All-Ireland final.
“So I was dealing with that for the early parts of the week, the Gardaí were great and they actually ended up getting word that the car was in Celbridge with new plates on it, ready to be sold and moved on.
“Thankfully I got it back at the end of the week. There was a small bit of damage but nothing major.”
Bastick said the entire event wasn’t entirely negative as his focus was taken away from the final in the crucial build up.
“It worked both ways, there was filling out insurance claim forms and talking to people on the phone, stuff that took my mind off the game itself,” continued Bastick.
“But it was tough going at the same time. It upsets things at home, you feel invaded and stuff like that but the Gardaí were great and we have the car back with only a small bit of damage.”
Evidently, Bastick was able to overcome the unfortunate event as he started Sunday’s final and held his own for 40 minutes before being replaced by Michael Darragh Macauley in the three-point win over Kerry.
He said he was personally motivated both on Sunday and throughout the summer by constant claims from pundits that Dublin’s midfield was weak.
“It was ‘Mayo had the best midfield in the country’ or ‘Kerry had the best midfield in the country’, all that talk before games,” said Bastick.
“It’s a crucial area, it is indeed. A couple of nice catches and you are a hero but there is a lot more work that goes into the ground work and overall I think we came out on top in the last three games in that area.” The big question surrounding Bastick now is whether or not he will continue his career. He turns 35 ahead of next year’s Championship and has a young family.
Father of two, Alan Brogan, 34 in January, is in a similar position while Stephen Cluxton, their captain, will be 34 in December.
Bastick admitted that in his situation, the fact that he was deemed influential enough to start against Kerry last weekend could sway his decision.
“I’ve a young son there as well, I know if I give it another year I’d miss him growing up for another year of his life,” he said.
“I have to weigh it up, if I do move on there is going to be a huge void left. This is all I have known for 10 years and it gives you a lot of structure in your own life.”
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