Thursday 18 January 2018

Winning games so easily leaves Dublin players with a challenge, admits Brogan

Alan Brogan at the launch of the Asian Gaelic Games yesterday
Alan Brogan at the launch of the Asian Gaelic Games yesterday
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Dublin veteran Alan Brogan admits it is a "challenge" for Dublin to be heading into an All-Ireland semi-final without having played top-class opposition.

Jim Gavin's team haven't played against Division 1 opponents in the Championship so far - they have seen off Longford, Laois, Westmeath and Fermanagh to make the last four of the race for Sam Maguire.

And they won those games by an average of almost 17 points.

But things will take a sharp upturn next time out as they'll face either Donegal or high-flying Mayo, who clash at HQ on Saturday.

And while Brogan agrees that a series of mismatches hasn't been ideal preparation for their semi-final, he pointed out that they aren't the only team in that position in the championship.

"Last weekend we would have felt that it was a contest, certainly in the first-half," Brogan said of the win over the Erne men.

"Then for the last 10 minutes when we got sloppy, that will give us something to work on.

"Look, it probably is a challenge for us that we've won games quite easy going into an All-Ireland semi-final but there's other counties in the same boat. Mayo are after winning the Connacht final in a similar vein.

"It is a challenge for us but there's a lot of experience in the group as well.

"We'll talk about it and we'll try to overcome that challenge by whatever means necessary."

Former Footballer of the Year Brogan has been confined to cameos off the bench in this year's championship and saw just over 20 minutes of action last Sunday.

But the Oliver Plunketts man is still eyeing an chance to start the semi-final clash against either Donegal or Mayo in Croke Park in four weeks' time.

"That's what everyone is trying to do, get into the team," he said. "It's about 30 guys, whatever it is, 32 guys, working as hard as they can towards that common purpose.

"As long as we reach an All-Ireland final, like, if my part is to come off the bench and get a score or two to get us over the line then I'm happy to do that.

"Obviously at this stage you'd love to be playing but Jim has some hard calls to make too and whatever calls he makes I'll stand by them.

"It's strange for us, the four-week break, it doesn't happen to often. I suppose there's pros and there are cons.

"One of the pros is that we'll take it relatively easy this week, then we'll have two weeks where we will be able to get a good bank of training done ahead of the game.

"We maybe wouldn't have had that when there's only a three-week break.

"It'll give us an opportunity to get a good couple of in-house games and a good couple of training sessions under our belt, which would be important for us."

Irish Independent

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