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I'm nervous but I know that the lads will do Dublin proud

THE wife of Dubs star Alan Brogan says she will be very nervous watching the Blues as they take on the might of Tyrone in the All-Ireland quarter final tonight.

Lydia Rock will be cheering on her husband -- but admits that nerves will get the better of her.

"I definitely get nervous watching the lads play.

"I get more nervous as the year goes on and the deeper they go into the Championship," mum-of-one Lydia said.

Throw-in at Croke Park is at 7pm tonight and close to 70,000 fans are expected to attend.

"It'll be a tough game -- Tyrone are a hard team to beat," Lydia told the Herald. "The lads have a lot riding on this and they need to get through."

Lydia will be joined by friends and family at Croke Park, and Alan's family will attend en masse to support not only him, but brothers Paul and Footballer of the Year Bernard.

Although it'll be a family occasion, Lydia won't be bringing the couple's two-year-old son Jamie -- instead leaving him at home with a pal.



rivalry

"I brought Jamie to the Leinster final and my back took a beating from holding him," she said.

"He loves seeing Alan in his gear -- he'll run and put his own on to copy him."

Meanwhile, former Dublin player and Herald columnist Ciaran Whelan believes the Dubs have what it takes to beat Tyrone.

The legendary Dublin star thinks Pat Gilroy's side can go all the way this year, and will leave GAA HQ tonight with a semi-final fixture in the bag.

"I think it's going be a great occasion and probably one of the best games of the year," he told the Herald.

"The Dubs have great rivalry with Tyrone so this is set to be a classic."

Ciaran -- who will cheer on his old teammates from the stand -- is sad to be missing out on the pitch action.

"Playing under lights is always special and I think holding the match on a Saturday instead of Sunday generates much more interest -- it's a better fit.

"If we play to our potential we can win, but it won't be easy.

"Collectively the lads have to perform and there will be reliance on Alan and Bernard up front for sure -- but hopefully they can expose a few flaws in Tyrone's defence."

Although rain is forecast for tonight, the Blue army will not be deterred from cheering on the Dubs in their campaign to reach the SFC All-Ireland Final.

Legendary Micheal O'Muircheartaigh -- former RTE commentator and renowned GAA pundit -- said the Dubs must step it up tonight if they are to beat Tyrone.

"We haven't seen Dublin play their best football yet this year.

"They may have that tonight -- it'll be the most determined team on the field in a long time," Michael told the Herald.

"There's great expectation and a huge following for them."

Micheal praised the ongoing efforts of manager Pat Gilroy, adding that the Dublin boss has long-standing history with Harte's Tyrone troops.

He points to Gilroy's 1995 All-Ireland medal when Dublin beat Tyrone All-Ireland final -- a feat they have not repeated since.

O'Muircheartaigh, who retired from RTE after last year's All-Ireland final, will travel to Croke Park from a match in Galway for the series this afternoon.

hnews@herald.ie


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