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Bernard Brogan: 'I just decided to take a leaf out of Con's book'


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As Bernard Brogan fought to reclaim a place within Jim Gavin's plans, the decorated Dublin footballer looked to one of his younger teammates in search of inspiration. 

Through a combination of unfortunate injuries and the natural passage of time, Bernard Brogan, who won his seventh All-Ireland title with Dublin this year, surmised that if he was to have a future in the county panel he would need to adapt.

"I felt my role in the last couple of the years would be as the pivot man," he explained to Off the Ball, "as in I'd get the ball and pop it off to a Con O'Callaghan or Paul Mannion.

"I'd be that kind of anchor in full-forward or corner-forward who could be creative and see the gaps."

To whatever degree he attempted to adapt, however, Brogan's efforts were in vain.

"It just wasn't resonating with management, or it wasn't showing," he admitted amid getting very little game-time throughout the season.

"So, the Saturday before the All-Ireland [final replay], I said I'm going to take a leaf out of Con's book, put the head down and just go for it.

"The first four balls that came in, I took my man on and got four scores. Myself and Eoghan O'Gara moved together and from eight balls we got like six-points between us.

"For 15 or 20 minutes we were just on fire and in my head I was thinking, 'Why wasn't I doing this all year?!'

A moment that validated Brogan's sense of self-worth in the Dublin panel, it allowed him to enjoy the five-in-a-row triumph in a manner that may have otherwise been impossible.

"That's why I could sit happily having not played in the final.

"Could I compete and be up there on a level with Con, Mannion and Deano who are sensational footballers?

"That Saturday, I felt I was toe-to-toe with them."

You can watch back Bernard Brogan's interview in full here

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Bernard Brogan Con O'callaghan Dublin GAA Gaelic Football Jim Gavin

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