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Saturday 7 December 2019

Beating Kerry no slam-dunk, warns '70s legend Bernard

Alan Brogan with Bernard Snr
Alan Brogan with Bernard Snr

Dublin legend Bernard Brogan Senior reckons there are lessons to be learned from history when it comes to the Dubs taking on the Kingdom this weekend.

The father of Dublin heroes Alan, Bernard Jr and Paul told the Herald that in his playing days in the 1970s, he met a young Kerry side similar to Peter Keane's current team.

Kerry went on to clinch that All-Ireland during an era that was defined by the Kerry-Dublin rivalry.

While Bernard is hopeful the Dubs have what it takes to reign supreme this time, he said the contest won't mean a "slam-dunk" victory for Jim Gavin's men.

Hype

"In 1975, we came up against a young Kerry side who hadn't been at the table at all. And they beat us and went on to become one of the best teams of all time," said Bernard Snr.

"This Kerry team has a bit of experience with a lot of young players, and it is unproven - and in football, you don't know what can happen. It's 70 minutes and anything can happen.

"It will be no slam-dunk for Dublin, they still need to go out and score more than Kerry - and Kerry will want to stop that."

He said that the players will be ignoring the hype around the Drive for Five.

"I don't think the Drive for Five will have an impact on the players - for them,they're trying to focus on the match itself."

As for his wife Maria, who is a Listowel woman, he said that after rearing three Dublin legends, there is no doubt she will be backing the boys in blue come Sunday.

Bernard Brogan Jr, who hopes to play on Sunday, with mum Maria
Bernard Brogan Jr, who hopes to play on Sunday, with mum Maria

"She has been here too long for us to have those problems. She has cheered on the Dubs for years with the lads playing. We're not worried about her allegiances," he said, laughing.

When it comes to the big day, he said no matter the result, the Brogans all gather for a family barbecue.

"We don't do anything special - I get up and go to Mass, go up to Croke Park, and then we will go back to a cousin's house for a barbecue," he said.

Son Bernard didn't make the cut for the semi-final, despite a sharp performance when he came off the bench against Tyrone up in Omagh.

"He has worked very hard and he is hoping for the best. He is in good shape," said Bernard.

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