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Bernard’s Sam memory muted

DUBLIN star Bernard Brogan has revealed that he missed the immediate All-Ireland celebrations because he was being drug tested.

The 2010 Footballer of the Year remains philosophical about missing those treasured moments because they are necessary to keep performance-enhancing substances out of the GAA.

“I don’t remember much of those moments (after lifting Sam), as I was actually getting drug tested straight after the game,” he said. “So my celebrations were muted for 20 minutes or so until I got sorted and it was a different time for me. I was inside having to give my sample. I came back in here and a lot of the lads were gone so my buzz was a bit muted.

“We want to keep everybody clean. It’s an amateur game. We want lads to be at their best physically without any performance-enhancing drugs. I got caught on a bad day, an All Ireland-winning day. But it has to be done.”

Raised on stories of his father’s exploits with the Dubs in the 1970s and his three All-Ireland successes, and his own memories of Dublin’s last success in 1995, Bernard and brother Alan were destined for stardom.

“I was at the game (1995 final against Tyrone), I jumped over the stalls like everybody else did back in those days,” he said.

“My uncle Jim was involved as a selector and, after the game, Jim came out and brought us into the dressing room with the lads. That’s the moment I remember; the lads laughing and singing and throwing the Sam Maguire around and having the craic. It was a great moment and even the schools as well. I think Jason Sherlock and Keith Barr came to my school. It was a memory I’ll always have.

“I was 11, and I was coming to realise what it was all about, seeing the cup come around the schools and the house, and the effect it had on the family and hearing the stories of the Seventies. That’s kinda what drove me and Alan.

“He was a bit older, 13 or 14; he’d say it’s what drove him to be where he is today, and it’s the same for myself.”

In this year’s September showpiece, the Dubs were trailing by four points with less than 10 minutes to go, but Bernard says he never panicked because he knew what his team were capable of.

“We had been down before in matches. It wasn’t the first time we were down. We actually had a training game the week before when the As played the Bs and it was a very similar situation,” he added.

“The As were down by four points. Bernard scored a goal in that training game and I can’t remember who scored the equalising point, but we ended up drawing with the Bs.

“That was in the back of my head. We came back from this just seven days ago; we came back from the exact same thing so it was like ‘we can do it again’.”