DUBS SHOULD STICK TO GUNS DESPITE DONEGAL PANIC-BERNARD BROGAN.
Bernard Brogan pulls up a chair and even though there’s a dictaphone pointed in his direction, he looks happy to have the break.
For the last couple of hours, Brogan and a handful of fellow Dublin stars have been scrambling around Nando’s in Blanchardstown putting in a shift in the restaurant to help raise funds for the Aware charity.
It’s another part of a tough week that saw Brogan and St Oliver Plunketts lose a third county final – marking the end of his footballing year.
“We thought we were going to get something out of the season,” he reflects. “We went into the game confident and said we were going to win.
“But St Vincent’s are a good side and worthy All-Ireland champions, and they were just a little bit better than us on the day.”
Brogan’s only GAA involvement before the new season will be a trip with the All Stars to Boston. Other than that, all there is to do is ruminate on what might have been in 2014.
The All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Donegal prompted deep introspection but Brogan has come out the far side and is convinced Dublin are going about things the right way.
He insists that minor tweaks and not a major overhaul are all Dublin require as he warned against an overreaction to what was the first game of any significance they failed to win under Jim Gavin.
“There would be that danger (that people would overreact),” Brogan says. “I know a lot of people would be asking Jim is he going to change things and go more defensive. I hope he continues with the style of football that has worked well for us.
“I think we have the players to play it, it’s just about getting the balance right and having your structures so you don’t concede silly goals but still attack from deep and in numbers.
“I’m sure it will be the case that we’ll take the lessons learned but still play the football that we like to play.”
The notion that that defeat boils down simply to a system failure doesn’t sit well with Brogan. Dublin could have been out of sight in the first half but he concedes that when the pressure came on, they were found wanting.
“I wouldn’t say it was the system (that failed). A little bit of panic came into the players. When the first goal went in, we could have got a couple of goals and they got one and we panicked a bit,” he concedes.
“At half-time we thought we were okay and that we have been in this position before and this is when we come into our own.
“So there was no panic at all at half-time. We went out and Donegal asked a few more questions of us and it was like ‘hold on, this is worrying’.
“They are a good side and when the second (kick-out) went over the top with the fisted ball – it showed we were chasing the game too much at that time. We were a bit unlucky and a bit too aggressive in going forward.”
Having been in the box seat all season, a chastened Dublin side will likely improve for the experience. And Brogan hinted that his brother Alan, who impressed in the county final, could return for a 14th season.
“He’s one of those guys who could play for years as long as the appetite is there. . . He’ll have a decision to make with his family and he’ll talk to Jim and see what his commitments are and then come to an agreement, but I’m hoping he’ll give it another lash,” he says.
“He has loads left in the tank. It would be a pity to be going out with Dublin and one of your best players is in the pub watching. We’ll do our best to persuade him.