Wednesday 18 September 2019

Bernard Brogan to be named in Dublin squad for All-Ireland final replay against Kerry

Bernard Brogan will be in the Dublin squad for the replay
Bernard Brogan will be in the Dublin squad for the replay

Frank Roche

BERNARD BROGAN is set to take his place on the Dublin bench for tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC final replay at Croke Park.

In a dramatic change of fortunes for the 2010 Footballer of the Year, Independent.ie understands that Brogan is primed to be included in Jim Gavin's match-day squad against Kerry.

The 35-year-old forward failed to make the ‘26' either for Dublin's All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo or drawn decider against Kerry 12 days ago.

He had featured as a sub in the champions' previous outing, the dead-rubber Super 8s clash with Tyrone, when he came off the Omagh bench after 44 minutes and scored a point in a lively cameo.

However, that was Brogan's only appearance this summer. And his only previous outing this season came as a 65th minute sub in another dead-rubber – Dublin's concluding Allianz League match in Cavan back in March.

The six-time All-Ireland winner has been a peripheral squad figure since battling back from the second cruciate ligament injury of his career, suffered in February 2018.

He defied the usual recovery time-frame for major knee surgery to appear as a late blood sub during Dublin's final Super 8s fixture against Roscommon in August of last year.

However, he was a notable omission from the squad when Gavin's team completed the All-Ireland four-in-a-row against Tyrone the following month.

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In an interview back in late May, soon after Dublin's Leinster SFC opener against Louth in which he again failed to make the match-day panel, Brogan spoke at length about why he had returned this season.

"Last year, the way it went, I could have easily retired," the St Oliver Plunkett's clubman admitted.

"I could have gone off and I would have been fine, and no one would have questioned you. For me, it's a very personal journey now and trying to see can I get back up to the level, to add value.

"Obviously I've had a lot of chats with Jim about it, a lot of chats with management, about where's my value? Do you still believe that I can offer something to the group? 

"And the answer was ‘yes', and that was my motivation to go again. I still believe that I have the skilled football and the guile and bit of experience, that I can add something different to the group that's there.

"If I didn't think that, I would have retired or Jim would have said, ‘Do you know what, we don't need you any more, we've enough there.'"

Now, however belatedly, it seems that Brogan might have a chance to sign off his decorated career with a potential on-field involvement in Dublin's quest for five-in-a-row history.

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