ALAN BROGAN’S DUBLIN FUTURE – ‘IT IS A DIFFICULT DECISION AND ONE THAT I AM STRUGGLING TO MAKE’
ALAN BROGAN REMAINS undecided on his Dublin future and if he does commit for the 2015 season, he is unlikely to return until the end of next spring’s football league.
Apart from going for one jog, Brogan has not togged out since he lost the Dublin county final with St Oliver Plunkett’s back in October.
He’s met Jim Gavin and his understanding boss is giving him the space to make his decision. With a new baby on the way in next March, there’s plenty to occupy Brogan off the field as he considers his inter-county plans.
“I haven’t decided to go back yet. I’ve met Jim and he has been very supportive. He knows it’s a big call and has left it with me to decide. It is a difficult decision and one that I am struggling a bit to make. I still have a couple of weeks to mull over it and make a call early in the New Year.
“If you want to compete at that really top level, you have to sacrifice other things in your life. I have a young family and another (baby) on the way so that has to take precedence over everything else.
“I would love to go on playing for Dublin forever but obviously other factors outside of football affect that. Even though the form was pretty decent last year, I am still 32 coming onto 33 now and the legs do start to go at some stage.”
Brogan admits overcoming the mental hurdle about recommitting is as significant before deciding what training plan he will embark on.
“There is no way I can do the training that a 23 year-old can do. I think if I decide to go back, I’d be going back on a specific programme hoping to return to play some stage towards the end of the national league. That has to be teased out but I have to decide can I mentally commit to it first.”
Brogan concedes that if Dublin had claimed Sam Maguire, then bowing out would have been a more straightforward decision.
“Any sportsman chases the dream to end their career and if we had won, it probably would have made the decision a bit easier alright.”
It’s been a winter of high-profile inter-county departures and in Brogan’s eyes, it is symptomatic of a growing trend in the game.
“As you come to 30, 31 you have work commitments, family commitments and it becomes harder to get that balance right. I think it is going to continue to happen over the next few years, unless something is done around fixture scheduling to shorten the season. (That will) allow fellas to maybe have a couple of months to get ready for the big competition.”
Brogan has been around since 2001 when he played under Tommy Carr in the league and then the following year was his first championship campaign under Tommy Lyons. Regardless of his eventual decision, he feels he’ll be satisfied with a career that has yielded two All-Ireland senior medals, three Allstar awards and seven Leinster senior titles.
“It’s been a good stint. If you look at other fellas who started in ’02 and I think ‘Jaysus they are around for ages aren’t they’ and that’s what other people think of me too.
“There are obviously matches and things that happened in the past that I wish had gone better. Look I have enjoyed it and whatever happens, I don’t think we have done too bad over the last 13/14 years.”(The Score)