Monday 24 October 2016

'Jim Gavin left the door open for me but it was time' - Alan Brogan on retirement

Published 15/12/2015 | 20:45

Dublin's Alan Brogan celebrates in front of Hill 16 after the All-Ireland final victory in September. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Dublin's Alan Brogan celebrates in front of Hill 16 after the All-Ireland final victory in September. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Dublin legend Alan Brogan has revealed how Jim Gavin left the door ajar in case he had a change of heart in his decision to hang up his boots.

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The St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh clubman ended his 14-year inter-county career today having kicked the last point in Dublin's 0-12 to 0-9 All-Ireland final triumph over Kerry in September.

In his 14 years at the top, Brogan won three All-Ireland titles, 11 Leinster titles, three All Stars and was Football of the Year in 2011.

Speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk, the 33-year-old revealed that Jim Gavin was keen for him to stay on in 2016

"I've made the right decision for myself, my family and maybe for the team as well," he said.

"It's been a wonderful 14 years with the craic along the way and the camaraderie in the dressing room. All that stuff I will miss. I think it is time I moved on.

"(Jim) left the door open for me. I'm not sure if he was shocked by it but he probably would have wanted me stay on and gave me an option to have another think about it.

"I spoke to my family, I spoke to my wife and I gave myself two or three months since September to mull over on it.

"I didn't want to rush into any decision.

"I thought strongly about it last year and I remember reading an article, ironically, with Declan O'Sullivan coming back to end on a high and he ended on a high.

"It struck a chord on me and that was one of the days I thought 'I'm going to give it one last go' and go out on a high like Declan O'Sullivan did."

On his final season on the pitch, Brogan admitted that his role as an impact sub suited his abilities but would have naturally preferred to have started.

"Obviously I would have preferred to be starting. Everyone on the bench wants to be starting in the All-Ireland final. I probably would have liked to get more game-time but I understand how hard a manager's job is, especially in highly pressurised situations like that. But I suppose to come and to kick the last score, you couldn't write the script. So, I was certainly happy with that and not everyone sportsman gets to end on a high.

"I might have been pushing my luck if I went for another year.

"I was happy to play that 20 minute role and make an impact."

Dublin were frustrated on their quest for a first All-Ireland triumph since 1995 during the 2000s and one regret for Brogan is that he didn't lift Sam Maguire alongside the likes of Ciaran Whelan and Jason Sherlock.

"That Tyrone team was a special team as well, and even the Kerry team then was in its prime. We came up against two of the strongest teams over the last number of years," he added.

"I remember those times fondly. It's great to have the medals of the last five years but my memories of those mid-2000s are as strong as the last five years.

"It's a regret that we didn't get to an All-Ireland final with Whelo (Ciaran Whelan) and Jayo (Jason Sherlock).

On what got Dublin over the line on 2011, he said: "We took a bad beating from Meath in 2010. We shipped five goals against them and Pat Gilroy dropped three or four of the older lads for the next day and I was probably the only one to hold on for the next day.

"With Pat, we developed a really steely edge and in the final against Kerry (in 2011) we got that little bit of luck that you need sometimes to get across the line.

"That All-Ireland win gave the squad a great sense of confidence and a couplre of the newer guys like Ciaran Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey added a new bounce to the team."

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