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Brogan: Young Dubs have made the competition for places 'severe'

BERNARD BROGAN believes Dublin are a better side now than last year because the likes of Ciarán Kilkenny have breathed new life into Pat Gilroy's set-up.

Dublin fans have been raving about the fresh conveyor belt of talent at the Blues disposal, especially last year's defeated All-Ireland minor finalists and this campaign's Under-21 champions.

Although Pat Gilroy has stuck with the tried and trusted for this weekend's clash with Wexford, Brogan admits that the competition for places has become fierce because of the new arrivals.

Writing on his blog for the Vodafone Dub Hub (www.hill16.ie/thedubhub), Brogan said: "The competition for places has been severe and that's down largely to the injection that has come from the four U21 All-Ireland winners that Pat has introduced.

"Jack McCaffrey, Emmet O Conghaile, Kevin O'Brien and Ciaran Kilkenny have all made a big impact. It's great to have fresh faces at training and they have really livened things up, they have pep in their step and have really upped the intensity."


Brogan believes his side are guarding against complacency especially after Wexford nearly turned them over in last year's Leinster final.

Brogan was involved in the major incident in the game as he pressured Wexford custodian Anthony Masterson into cannoning the ball off his own defender and into his own net when Jason Ryan's men appeared to have the game at their mercy.

James McCarthy's stunning goal wrapped up yet another provincial title for the Dubs that day and Brogan is expecting another tough day at the office this Sunday.

"We realise that Wexford know us well and we expect a very tight battle," he added.

"They'll no doubt feel they should have turned us over last year and in fairness to Jason Ryan's team they always try to play good football with you and is a game you enjoy playing in.

"They have six great forwards and will have taken a lot of confidence from getting over a very good Longford side who hadn't been beaten all year.

"Wexford will show no fear and will look to prove a point this Sunday."

The 2010 Footballer of the Year has an injury-ridden start to 2012 and has benefitted from a month of tough training since the Dub demolition job on the Wee County at the start of the month.

"I've never been so happy to have a four week break between games," he continued.

"The gap since the Louth match has allowed me to get a lot of football work done and catch up on ground I had lost this year with injury.

"It's the first time in six years I had no league football under my belt coming into championship and I was really disappointed not to get more football in.

"Between shoulder and knee injuries and also being away at the start of the year I was playing catch-up."