Being impactful is mainly down to good preparation and even better timing. And in a big game situation you take your opportunities when they’re put in front of you or you lose out.
In the 23rd minute on Sunday afternoon in this year’s Leinster Senior Football Final, Bernard Brogan was togging out sooner than expected. With Dean Rock’s dismissal from the action on a black card, Dublin boss Jim Gavin was required to make an unexpected adjustment to his attack.
But this was never going to be an unfamiliar stage for the Dublin veteran forward, more an old stomping ground.
With 4 All Ireland Championships under his belt along with countless other accolades, fans would surely have forgiven the Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh star had he decided to end on a high last year and take his leave from inter county football following yet another successful campaign.
And while his presence has not been front and centre like other seasons, Brogan has accepted his new role with the grace and professionalism he’s shown over the last decade.
In truth, Bernard has never stepped beyond being part of the panel of players, the team, the Dublin Senior Footballers. Despite everything he has achieved over his time as a senior footballer, and with the media constantly buzzing around him since becoming Footballer of The Year in 2010, Brogan has never strayed from being a small part of a much bigger machine.
Sunday afternoon, if nothing else was a reminder to Dublin’s opponents, the Dublin team and management, and of course the Dublin fans, that class is permanent. Brogan shot five fantastic trademark points with as much ease as he’s ever done.
He pulled his markers from pillar to post and his influence on the game was quite obvious in the Dublin attack. He was probably the only player with the experience and wherewithal to steady the ship after Dean Rock was given his marching orders.
And with Dublin now advancing to the Quarter Finals in this year’s All Ireland series, there will certainly be a place for one of Dublin’s most famous sons in the line of duty.
HIs clinical attacking, his precision from either foot, and his game intelligence, are only topped by his desire to be part of the best football team in the country.
HIs time, unfortunately, will come, and while he’ll be massively missed, for now his position in the current Dublin set up can only be a positive influence on the future stars in sky blue.