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Ger Brennan: 'I want to go out on a high'

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St Vincents captain Ger Brennan lifts the McCabe Cup

St Vincents captain Ger Brennan lifts the McCabe Cup

Glenn O'Connell, Rhode, in action against Ger Brennan, St Vincent's. AIB Leinster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Final, Rhode v St Vincent's, Pairc Táilteann, Navan, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Glenn O'Connell, Rhode, in action against Ger Brennan, St Vincent's. AIB Leinster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Final, Rhode v St Vincent's, Pairc Táilteann, Navan, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

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St Vincents captain Ger Brennan lifts the McCabe Cup

BY Ger Brennan's own admission, he resides very much in the here and now.

But after a year in which he never once played for Dublin yet finished last Sunday as a Leinster club champion, he is adamant: "I want to finish playing on a high. I want to win another Leinster and All-Ireland in the county."

"I want to win it by playing and not sitting on the sideline or coming in or out," he continues.

"That's my personal aim and that's something I will have to work on to put questions in Jim Gavin's mind to make sure that I am in the team," Brennan continues before adding the customary: "But I'll worry about that after this run with the club."

vague

It's a fair statement of intent from someone described by Gavin as "a very determined young man," during his regular and usually vague summations of the centre-back's progress in the ultimately lost battle back to fitness.

If he is to do what he says - and you wouldn't put much past Brennan - he'll have to force his way back into a team already in motion due to St Vincent's presence in the All-Ireland club semi-final whilst fighting the same Achilles injury that ruined his summer.

"It hasn't cleared up yet," he explained after Leinster was annexed for a third time in his guise as a St Vincent's player.

"It's still at me but it is a lot better than it was.

"If it didn't clear up I was knackered because you couldn't play at that intensity and have your full wits about you. I'm going to rest up now.

"I won't do a whole lot of running over the next few weeks, stay in the gym, cycling, swimming to keep aerobically fit.

"You learn to deal with these things and how to cope with them. You have to tailor your training regime to ensure that you are fit come the game. I'll continue to do that.

"It's constant," he adds.

"It becomes particularly stiff and then tightens up. Going into games it would be particularly sore and then after games it would swell up. It's grand. You get through it once you rest. It's probably a rest that I need."

"There is the option of a procedure but that could put me back a few more weeks. So I am not going to do that."

Indeed you couldn't but surmise that the biggest victims of St Vincent's All-Ireland win this year were those St Vincent's players with designs on county places.

Gavin said so himself.

But Brennan probably has enough credit in that particular bank to make a go of retrieving the Dublin number six jersey.

"Certainly guys who are looking to establish themselves in a panel it is naturally going to hurt," he admits.

"Maybe myself and Diarmuid (Connolly) we have been playing for a couple of years, the management would be pretty much aware of what we can offer."

So for Brennan at the moment, it's the little things.

There's cups and gongs aplenty at both club and county but such was his bad luck this summer, the mere act of participation is a high of itself.

"To be playing football again is deadly," he says, having spent his afternoon sitting deep, intercepting most of the air traffic around the St Vincent's full-back line in their 10-point win over Rhode.

"You take it for granted.

"But just to be running on the pitch with not as much pain as before and then to win…it's great.

"It's like going for a five-a-side with the lads on a Thursday after work or whatever. I'm just enjoying it.

"I struggled during the summer with setbacks. But I've great people around me, supporting me the whole way."

"And it's great to win," Brennan continues.

retention

"To win two Leinsters is pretty cool. There are not too many teams to have done it," he says, before drawing attention to the next challenge; an All-Ireland club title retention attempt that would seal this team's place as one of the great club football sides.

"You have Crossmaglen who have done back-to-back in the All-Ireland twice. So it's something we can copy. It would be great satisfaction."

"For me, the best feeling I've ever had is the sense of belonging to the club.

"That guys are looking after me the whole time, on the pitch and off the pitch.

"And the community that we have within the club itself. It's just great top be a part of it.

"And then," concludes Brennan, "to add success to that is just the icing on the cake."

So it's both the little, and not-so-little, things.


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