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Saturday 17 November 2018

Gavin's praise for 'determined' Brogan after comeback

HE’S BACK: Dublin’s Bernard Brogan comes on as a second half blood substitute in Croke Park yesterday Photo: Sportsfile
HE’S BACK: Dublin’s Bernard Brogan comes on as a second half blood substitute in Croke Park yesterday Photo: Sportsfile

When Andrew McGowan came on for Colm Basquel in the 60th minute of yesterday's Croke Park dead rubber, it appeared as though our chances of witnessing Bernard Brogan make an remarkably accelerated comeback from ACL reconstruction surgery were gone.

McGowan was Dublin's sixth sub on a day when Jim Gavin made ten changes to his starting 15 and then proceeded to run his bench.

Yet the mere presence of Brogan on the Dublin bench had sent a ripple of interest around Croke Park yesterday afternoon.

Then, Mark Schutte went down with an injury that required him to be temporarily replaced and on exactly 61 minutes, Brogan came trotting on.

Moving freely, he buzzed around an attack that would finish with 4-24 though he never touched the ball in his six minutes and seven seconds on the pitch.

DUBS BOSS: Jim Gavin Pic: Sportsfile
DUBS BOSS: Jim Gavin Pic: Sportsfile

Naturally then, Gavin was full of praise for his player who he branded a "very determined, focused man".

"He's got a very busy professional life outside of his sport," Gavin explained.

"To combine that - and he's just welcomed twins into his family and to have that at home as well - and to still apply himself as dedicated and as diligently as he did the last five-and-a-half months has been remarkable, but he's got such a positive outlook on life.

"From the day the injury happened he was very focused on getting back around this time of the year and it's happened for him.

"He's got a lot of support obviously from family and friends, but it's down to Bernard himself.

"He's put a lot of hard work in there and that hard work has paid off, so it's good to have him back."

Gavin also made a point of mentioning the charity Aoibheann's Tie, whose logo Dublin wore on the front of their jersies in Croke Park yesterday.

"It was a great initiative by AIG staff," he praised.

"Their charity this year was Aoibheann's Tie. AIG approached the county board to see if they could put (the charity's logo) on the jersey.

Traumatic

"We were delighted to be able to support Jimmy Redmond, he lost his daughter back in 2010 to cancer. Aoibheann was eight years-old.

"Anyone who is a parent or who has brothers or sisters or nieces or nephews that old…it must have been such a traumatic time.

"But Jimmy showed great strength to be able to help other families.

"It's very emotional to see Aoibeann's Pink Tie on the Dublin jersey. And hopefully Jimmy and hi charity get the exposure it deserves," Gavin added.

"It was such a worthy cause and we were delighted to be able to support it."

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