ALAN BROGAN'S days in Sky Blue are "coming to an end" very soon ... but he won't make any definitive decisions about next season until the dust settles on the All-Ireland SFC final against Kerry.
"It's getting more and more difficult every year as my kids get older and I get older," admitted the 2011 Footballer of the Year, speaking at Dublin's All-Ireland media day in Parnell Park yesterday.
"It's not a decision I've made yet and it's not a decision I'll make until a number of weeks after this match, when I'll be able to sit back and reflect.
"Like, I've enjoyed this year. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, to be honest. I've probably enjoyed training more this year than I had the last few years because I've been injury free."
Now 33, the St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh clubman is the second longest serving player on the Dublin panel: goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton made his SFC debut in 2001 whereas Brogan burst onto the starting team in 2002, Tommy Lyons' first season.
All-Ireland deliverance proved elusive until his tenth season, 2011 ... on Sunday week he'll be chasing a third Celtic Cross, having also received a medal in 2013 as a non-playing sub after battling back from a lengthy injury nightmare.
"I've played for 14 years but it's not forever. It is coming to an end very, very soon," the three-time All Star conceded.
"I'm just enjoying every day that I'm out there and my mindset has changed a bit in that, in the early years and even up to a few years ago, it was all about the winning. Whereas now I am enjoying training sessions and just taking it as it comes. That is a change of mindset for me and a change for the better."
However, Brogan intimated that the era of the thirtysomething veteran may be drawing to a close.
"In years to come I don't think that we will see too many 33-year-olds playing," he said. "There are a few now - Marc Ó Sé down in Kerry, myself, Stephen Cluxton, Denis Bastick, Aidan O'Mahony and Dick Clerkin. There's not that many around at that age because of the demands of the modern game and I think it is only going to get less and less."
Brogan also offered an interesting take on the physical skirmishes and off-the-ball flashpoints that marred the drawn semi-final with Mayo.
Asked if the final might be dominated by a referee and if players could find themselves sidelined too quickly, given the recent fuss over cards, he ventured: "The first day against Mayo, both teams were probably a bit over-eager. From our point of view there was a bit of apprehension. We hadn't really played a game of that intensity since we played Donegal last year, so we were a bit nervous of where we were at. There was obviously a huge amount at stake and maybe some of them went overboard a little bit.
"We saw last week, when both teams had settled into it, that there was a good clean game of football.
"Even the black card for Séamus O'Shea was maybe a bit harsh - it probably was by the letter of the law, but it looked a bit harsh when I looked back on it.
"The players are aware of the consequences of a black card, and David Coldrick is a very good referee. He is there on merit - the GAA don't hand out those refereeing positions too easily," he concluded.