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Ignore England v Germany showdown and head to Croker, urges Alan Brogan

FORGET England v Germany in Bloemfontein -- the real 'Old Enemy' clash this Sunday takes place in Croke Park, when the Dubs and Meath go toe-to-toe.

And Dublin football star Alan Brogan is calling on the Blue Army to ignore the World Cup and come out in full force for the Leinster football semi-final clash.

The Dubs forward asked fans to be patient, but told the Herald that a Croke Park packed to the rafters is what the team needs to help them win the game.

Speaking in Parnell Park, he told the Herald: "A full house of Dubs in Croke Park -- or nearly all Dubs -- is a great sight if nothing else.

"And particularly Hill 16 when it's full of blues is a great sight and something the players hold close to their hearts," Brogan continued.

"The fans are crucial, especially like in the game against Wexford. We were under pressure and the fans really responded in the second half when we started back, and it lifted the team to hear the cheer going around the stadium," he said.

The Dublin v Meath match takes place at 4pm on Sunday, the same time that the second-half of the England v Germany match kicks off in South Africa.

News from the World Cup yesterday that the English will take on their most feared foes in the World Cup will have done nothing to ease the fears of jittery GAA chiefs.

Only around 40,000 fans turned up for Dublin's desperately disappointing opener with Wexford earlier this month.

It is hoped that 55,000 fans will be there on Sunday, despite the other sports taking place on the television.

Meanwhile, Brogan said he hopes fans will give the new members of the team time to gel.

"Things are gelling well, there are a lot of new guys there and a lot of the old guys as well, so I suppose there is a nice mix of young and old," he said.

Brogan was speaking as he stepped out to launch the Suremen Challenge alongside Cork's Sean Og O hAilpin in Parnell Park yesterday.

The Challenge puts local hurling and football team skills to the test and offers them the chance to outwit two of the finest players in the game, and be in with a chance to win €10,000 for their club.

aanderson@herald.ie

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