Alan Brogan: If my semi-final role is to come on and get us over the line into an All-Ireland final, then I'm a happy man
ALAN BROGAN is such a competitive beast that he wants to play every game. The flip side is that he’s now 33 and he has yet to start any of Dublin’s four championship games this summer.
He now has almost a month to impress Jim Gavin on the training ground, but while a semi-final recall against Mayo or Donegal is obviously high on his priority list, there is a greater collective goal.
“That’s what everyone is trying to do, get into the team,” he reflected.
“I think it’s about 30 guys - whatever it is, 32 guys - working as hard as they can towards that common purpose.
“As long as we reach an All-Ireland final, and if my part is to come off the bench and get a score or two to get us over the line, then I’m happy to do that.
“Obviously at this stage you’d love to be playing, but Jim has some hard calls to make too - and whatever calls he makes I’ll stand by them.”
The three-time All Star admitted that having such a long break between last Sunday’s Fermanagh quarter-final and their August 30 semi-final is “strange for us, it doesn’t happen too often.
“I suppose there’s pros and cons. One of the pros is that we’ll obviously take it relatively easy this week, then we’ll have two weeks where we will be able to get a good bank of training done. We maybe wouldn’t have had that when there’s only a
“It’ll give us an opportunity to get a good couple of in-house games and a good couple of training sessions under our belt, which would be important for us.”
Harking back to last Sunday, he described Fermanagh’s 62nd minute goal (when Stephen Cluxton was bundled over the line by Seán Quigley) as “a bit bizarre” ... but he was more perturbed by Dublin’s subsequent reaction. They conceded another 1-4 in the home straight, including a chaotic second goal.
“It was funny, usually they don’t show the clips (of controversial incidents) on the screens but they did show that,” he recounted.
“That didn’t do the referee any favours. He had a big decision to make and I’m sure, looking back now, he probably sees it was a bit of a barge or a push.
“Luckily for us, it wasn’t in an All-Ireland semi-final or a final because it could have hurt us more. But in fairness to referees, they have a second to make these calls - it can be difficult enough out there at stages.”
The previously watertight Blues hadn’t leaked a solitary goal in their first four-and-a-half hours of championship football. For Brogan, the important lesson to be taken from last Sunday is how Dublin respond to a dodgy call going against them.
“We probably got a bit sloppy after that (first goal) - it probably affected our mindset a little bit. I think we’d be more worried by how it affected us afterwards, more than the actual goal,” he suggested.
“From our point of view, going forward in the championship, you won’t be able to afford mistakes like that.
“If something does happen in a match, we need to be focussed more; not to let it affect the play after that. That’s something we’ve worked an awful lot on, maintaining our focus after a refereeing decision, a wide or whatever, a missed goal - that you do maintain your focus.”