Bastick undeterred by pre-match car theft as he contemplates retirement
Denis Bastick had one of the worst possible starts to his All-Ireland final week when he woke up on Monday morning last to discover his car had been stolen from the driveway of his Templeogue home.
The veteran Dublin midfielder got the vehicle, an Audi A4, back with some slight damage towards the end of the week when gardaí recovered it in Celbridge. But he admitted it was quite a knock to get as he prepared to play what now looks like his last game of inter-county football.
"Two guys fished the keys out through the letterbox and took off with the car, buggy and cash from the tickets for the All-Ireland final," he revealed.
"So I was dealing with that for the early parts of the week. But the gardaí were great and they actually ended up getting word that the car was in Celbridge with new (Cork reg) plates on it, ready to be sold on and moved on.
Bastick admitted it helped to take his mind off the game in a strange way but the experience was unsettling nonetheless.
"It works both ways, from filling out insurance claim forms and talking to people on the phone, it took my mind off the game itself.
"But it was tough going, when you look out the window in the morning and the car is not there in the driveway.
"It upsets things at home, you feel invaded and stuff like that but lucky enough the gardaí were great, a nice little teaser to throw in the mix the week of an All-Ireland final."
The loss of the buggy hit hardest, he suggested. "That was the big thing. The poor kid, (seven-month old son Aidan) was three days in the house, we couldn't take him out. It was interesting."
Bastick admitted it was satisfying for Dublin's trio of midfielders to prove a point in their last three games when the narrative of inferiority in the sector was being peddled so publicly.
"The media write that week in, week out, we listen to it. All year were written off and probably looking back over the other years we were the same, Cian (O'Sullivan) and Michael Darragh (Macauley), Michael Darragh and myself and so on.
"'Mayo had the best midfield in the country' or 'Kerry had the best midfield in the country', and that talk. It's a crucial area," he acknowledged.
"A couple of nice catches and you are a hero, but there is a lot more groundwork and overall I think we came out on top in the last three games, a combination of myself, Michael Darragh and Brian Fenton."
Bastick will give some thought to his future but the indications are that he will call time on a career that has had the glow of Indian Summer about it.
From the relative obscurity of the Dublin juniors in 2008 to three All-Ireland senior titles, his belated introduction to inter-county senior football has been most productive but continuing on will be hard.
"The level it has gone up to in terms of time and commitment," mused the bank official. "Work is affected, family life is affected and you really have to balance that up. I've a young son there as well, I know if I gave it another year I'd miss him growing up for another year of his life.
"I have to weigh it up, if I do move on there is going to be a huge void left. This is all I have known for 10 years and it gives you a lot of structure in your own life.
"It keeps you on the straight and narrow and for that to be removed, I know you still have club football but it would be a huge difference in my life and a huge adjustment for me. But I'll mull over it and see."
Bastick admitted it would have been nicer to "top off the year with a fantastic performance" but still felt it was the most "controlled" of their three All-Ireland wins and senses great potential now.