Thursday 8 December 2016

Brogan: We love challenge of trying to break down mass defences

Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30

12 July 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Westmeath v Dublin, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
12 July 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Westmeath v Dublin, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

It's put to Bernard Brogan that in the Leinster final there were signs that the lessons of last year hadn't been learned. That Dublin still haven't figured out the blanket defence and how best to deal with it.

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The point was based on the fact that Westmeath had put together their defensive structure in less than two weeks and managed to frustrate Dublin for a while in the Leinster final.

And with the Championship moving into the business end, the Dubs are likely to face teams who are much more adept of playing the kind of game Westmeath tried to put together in a handful of sessions.

Dublin ran out 13-point winners in that game, and Brogan is surprised the brickbats were flying after such a comprehensive win.

"Yeah, I can't see winning the game by 13 points as a struggle," said the St Oliver Plunketts man.

"We obviously play an attacking form of football and have had some great wins with that.

"When it's not as high scoring, people think we were struggling, but, at the end of the day, our mantra is to win the game by one point or more, and that's any team's mantra.

"So, when you win a game by 13 points it's a good victory in my book, and I'm sure in all your books as well.

Structure

"The massed defence is one structure that has been put up to us and we got over it the last day.

"We are a footballing team, we pride ourselves on having loads of talent, loads of speed, loads of pace and work as a team.

"And we are happy and love the challenge to take on a massed defence."

It remains to be seen what way Fermanagh will set up in their All-Ireland quarter-final clash with the Dubs this weekend, but Brogan believes his side showed many of the qualities necessary to break down a blanket defence in that Westmeath game.

"You need to be patient and you need to be able to pick gaps in the defence; it's about coming up with the structures to break down that defence and that's the challenge that we faced that day," he said.

"It wasn't pretty at times and sometimes when there is a mass defence you have to go back and forward at times and try and pick your time, but we got over the line by a good few points in the end.

"A lot of shots were hit wide, so we just need to work on that, get the eye in, and do a bit of work on getting the confidence up on the kicking from distance - and if we have to kick from distance that we have the accurate guys doing it."

Irish Independent

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