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Expectations raised on Leeside: Brogan

ALAN BROGAN admits that an All-Ireland semi-final looked a long way off back in June when Meath ended Dublin's Leinster title bid with a crushing 11-point defeat in Croke Park but reckons the race for Sam Maguire has now been blown completely wide open.

"After the Meath game, it looked a long way back, to be honest," said Brogan, who captained the team that day. "If you asked me after the Meath match if I thought we would be in an All-Ireland semi-final, I would have said 'no'. It did look a long road back but we got a decent bit of luck in the qualifiers. The key for us was not reading too much into what other people were saying."

Brogan reckons the exits of Tyrone and Kerry in the quarter-final will have raised Leeside expectations of a first Sam Maguire triumph in 20 years but reckons Dublin have as good a chance as any of prevailing in September.

"Cork know they have a great opportunity," said Brogan. "With Kerry and Tyrone gone, they'll see this as the chance they've been waiting on. But I think it's wide open now. Anyone could win the All-Ireland."