Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 22 January 2018

Brogan straining at leash for Dubs

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

DUBLIN star Bernard Brogan admits that being left out of the side for the early rounds of the National League has sharpened his focus ahead of their Leinster championship opener against Wexford on June 13.

Several of the higher-profile members of the squad failed to feature prominently during the league as Pat Gilroy used the campaign to run the rule over his extended panel.

"I was fit and well and when you are fit and well you want to be playing; you don't want to be sitting on the bench and watching lads," Brogan said.

"The lads were doing well and beating Kerry and I wanted to be out there and part of it. It makes you want to be out there more. It got my competitive edge going and once I got in I wanted to stay in there.

"I had a few good games and the new lads on the panel were moving well. They made it easy for me, the likes of Kevin McManamon made it easy for me in a few of the games. He puts in unbelievable work. I am sure it won't be the last of him that you see this summer."

Gilroy was expected to announce his championship squad early this week but that has been postponed as management assess the gravity of injuries to players and Brogan believes the St Vincent's man has some difficult decisions to make.

"I think Pat is naming the panel (in the next few days) so it will be interesting to see who is there or not. It is a tough call for him to make. He has no qualms about leaving experienced lads out.

"Conal Keaney and Alan (Brogan) didn't play that much over the league and if lads are playing well he will play them. It stands well for young lads if your manager will play you on form and not play lads with experience.

"No one will be able to rest and be assured of their place."

The Oliver Plunkett's sharpshooter returned to Dublin training last night for the first time since hurting his knee during a club game last month and he insisted that he is fully fit for the upcoming campaign.

"I was worried about it because I had done my cruciate before," Brogan said. "It is always a worry then when you hurt your knee. I got the scans and got them all back all clear."

Fingallians star Paul Flynn is another injury worry for the Dubs after he aggravated a hamstring injury in a club championship game and he insists they will learn from last year's All-Ireland quarter-final hammering at the hands of Kerry.

"When you finish a game and get beaten like that you really have to look at yourself, look at your game and what you have to do," said Flynn. "If you want to win All-Irelands you are going to have to be playing as well as they did that day. It was a big lesson.

"I definitely had a look at my game and see what I had to work on, particularly with regards to decision making; they seemed to be able to make the right decisions every time and that was a key area in the game."

Irish Independent

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