FOLLOWING DUBLIN’S FINAL Super 8s clash against Roscommon in Croke Park, there was one big talking point — Bernard Brogan’s return.
Less than six months after suffering a devastating cruciate injury, he made a cameo appearance in the Sky Blue jersey as the three in-a-row champions closed out a 4-24 to 2-16 win.
A serious turnaround considering how his career was left well and truly hanging in the balance in February as he sustained the dreaded injury in training.
34-year-old Brogan didn’t feature in the matchday 26 for Jim Gavin’s charges’ All-Ireland semi-final win over Galway though, casting doubt over whether or not he’ll make the bench for Sunday’s decider against Tyrone.
Reflecting on his brother’s injury and quick return, 2011 Footballer of the Year Alan Brogan remains optimistic of his chances.
“No doubt, what he did to get back in five or six months, at his age and this stage of his career is a phenomenal achievement,” he said at the launch of Family SportFest 2018 in Dublin today.
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“It was great to see him coming on against Roscommon. He wasn’t in the squad the last day, so he has another four weeks under his belt.
“I haven’t been talking to him much if I’m honest, I know he trained well last weekend so he is in the shake-up, same as anyone else.
“Look, I’d be delighted to see him get a few minutes, he won’t start at this stage. But I think for him to even get back at this stage, get back into the squad, at 34 years of age, six months after a cruciate operation is a phenomenal achievement.”
Looking to last year’s final showdown against Mayo, Diarmuid Connolly was called upon at half-time and was key to his side’s one-point win at the death.
Alan Brogan at today’s launch.
The St Vincent’s man played a huge impact on proceedings from his introduction and won that 76th-minute free which Dean Rock went on to nail.
When asked would his brother’s experience on the big day be an attractive prospect for Gavin, Brogan remarked: “Of course.
“It depends how the game goes, certain guys will suit if the game opens up a bit. Eoghan O’Gara’s been going well. If Dublin kick the ball in he’ll be well suited there causing havoc in the full-forward line, but if it’s a running game he’s probably not suited and you would have to look at somebody else.
“The likes of Kevin McManamon can come in a play a running game, so it really depends the way the game is going, and that’s the way Jim looks at it. I don’t think he decides on the subs beforehand, if the game opens up he uses different guys. If it stays tight he uses somebody else.
“Obviously he’s very experienced, he’s (Bernard) been there done that, he has the know-how. It’s difficult for any of us looking in from here, we don’t know how things are going in training, we don’t know who showed up well over the last few weeks.
“It would be great to see him get some game time, but like I said even to get back to that stage after 5 or 6 months is a great achievement for him.”
All-Ireland winning footballer Alan Brogan helped launch the second Family SportFest today. Family SportFest is being held at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus on Sunday, 30 September 2018. Tickets are priced at €10 for a family ticket (two adults & up to three children), €5 per adult and €3 per child.
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