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Dubs star Alan Brogan's decision is still in balance

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Dublin stalwart Alan Brogan

Dublin stalwart Alan Brogan

Dublin footballer, Alan Brogan and Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen at Tallaght Athletic Club. They helped launch  this year`s GOAL Miles. They  are pictured as they  carried buckets of water around the running track to highlight the plight of young people in the developing world who are forced to walk miles each day to fetch water for their families. GOAL Miles ,  which will take place in villages, towns and cities the length and breadth of Ireland once again this Christmas. For more informaton go to www.goalglobal.org. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

Dublin footballer, Alan Brogan and Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen at Tallaght Athletic Club. They helped launch this year`s GOAL Miles. They are pictured as they carried buckets of water around the running track to highlight the plight of young people in the developing world who are forced to walk miles each day to fetch water for their families. GOAL Miles , which will take place in villages, towns and cities the length and breadth of Ireland once again this Christmas. For more informaton go to www.goalglobal.org. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

Jim Gavin

Jim Gavin

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Dublin stalwart Alan Brogan

IF you were to take what Alan Brogan said about his inter-county future at the launch of the GOAL Miles challenge in Tallaght Athletics Club yesterday and were forced to arrive at a hunch, you'd probably just side with expecting to see him play for Dublin again.

But such was Brogan's demeanour and his apparent clarity of thought that not only did you leave believing that the 2011 Footballer of the Year hadn't yet communicated his decision to Jim Gavin, he was yet to reconcile it with himself.

"I've met Jim and he has been very supportive and the ball is in my court so I suppose over the next couple of weeks," he began, when asked directly whether he had resolved to bring his inter-county career into a 14th season.

"There are a lot of factors go into it - it is not a decision I will make lightly either way but there are a lot of factors that I need to take into consideration and whichever way I decide to go, it is a difficult decision, to be honest with you.

struggling

"And one that I am struggling a bit to make but I still have a couple of weeks to kind of mull over it and make a call early in the New Year."

He was in this precise situation at the same point last year but in contrasting circumstances.

Then, Dublin were All-Ireland Champions yet the sense of unfinished business was acute with Brogan.

His only involvement of the season was as an unused substitute in the All-Ireland final, the osteitis pubis injury which marred the early part of the year eventually subsiding before an ambush from a snapped hamstring.

This year, he played every single Championship game, yet the season ended in a wholly unexpected calamity to Donegal, spawning that picture of Alan with his season Jamie, both visibly upset by the turn of events and one which led to errant reports that he had retired there and then.

Brogan acknowledges now that had Dublin won this year's All-Ireland, his choice would have been made much easier.

"That would have been the easiest," he admits. "you are always chasing the dream, any sportsman chases the dream to end their career (on a high).

"And if we had won it, it probably would have made the decision a bit easier alright but unfortunately we didn't."

So what other factors go into the call?

"Playing at that level ," Brogan begins, "when you're in, you're in.

"And if you want to compete at that really top level you have to give it everything and because of that you have to sacrifice other things in your life.

"Obviously I have a young family at this stage and another one on the way so that has to take precedence over everything else and take importance over everything else.

"And there is the physical and mental commitment of going training and slogging through those three or four months to get fit...as the years press on that gets a bit more difficult as well.

laborious

"But look," he adds, "I would love to go on playing for Dublin forever but obviously other factors outside of football affect that."

Brogan added that having discussed the issue with Gavin, there was scope for him to ease his way back in, a necessity at 33 years of age, with as many miles on the meter as he does, having just returned from a long and laborious injury.

"There is no way I can do the training that a 23 year-old can do," he admitted.

"And I think if I decide to go back, I'd be going back on a specific programme hoping to return to play some stage towards the end of, I don't know, maybe the end of the National League," added Brogan, sounding like a man with a plan - even if he had to yet whether to go through with it.

"But I have to decide can I mentally commit to it first before we even talk about that."


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