Wednesday 18 October 2017

Brogan fears Mayo have artillery to expose hidden flaws in Dubs

David Clarke, Jason Doherty and Andy Moran of Mayo celebrate
David Clarke, Jason Doherty and Andy Moran of Mayo celebrate
The Dubs have barely been tested all summer, but former star Brogan has some reservations about their defence Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Sam Wheeler

Alan Brogan is concerned that Mayo have the firepower to expose any Dublin weaknesses that have been masked in the champions' march to the All-Ireland final.

The Dubs have barely been tested all summer, but former star Brogan has some reservations about their defence. Mayo, by contrast, have been able to identify and rectify frailties on their circuitous route to the decider.

"Mayo are the team coming in with the momentum now, having played so many games," said Brogan.

"You learn a lot of lessons through nine or 10 games, and I think that's a problem with Dublin: none of the cracks that might be there have been exposed yet, and Mayo have the artillery, particularly around the half-back line, and up front with Andy Moran and Jason Doherty, to exploit any cracks.

For example, Kildare got through too easily down the middle for a few goal chances. There are a couple of little things that might just be simmering under the surface that nobody's managed to expose yet."

Most opponents have retreated into their shells against the Dubs, fearful of being overwhelmed, but Brogan feels that Mayo will adopt a gung-ho attitude that could pay dividends.

"Teams have played into Dublin's hands by dropping a lot of men back," he said. "That just makes it easy for the Dublin full-back line, and until someone tests the full-back line, and tries to occupy the six backs, Dublin will always have the upper hand because of their forwards.

"Mayo will test Dublin in a way they haven't been tested before. I think they're going to be brave, and go out and try to win this game. They will try to get guys one-on-one that maybe aren't that comfortable being one-on-one."

Brogan was mystified by the decision to leave his brother Bernard on the bench in the semi-final defeat of Tyrone, but he expects the 2013 All-Ireland final man-of-the-match to play a part on Sunday week.

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"It was strange," he reflected. "Bernard scored five points in the Leinster final (against Kildare), although he was quiet enough against Monaghan, but maybe the Tyrone game just didn't suit him - there were a lot of men back in the full-back line so not a lot of ball was kicked in, and that's the game he tends to thrive on. I think it will be different against Mayo.

"But the days of lads throwing their toys out of the pram because they are not in the team are long gone. It's all about Dublin winning the All-Ireland."

Irish Independent

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