THEY CROSSED SWORDS in several high-stakes games in the not too distant past, but these days Paul Galvin and the Brogan brothers are united as they chase honours as teammates.
Galvin, the 2009 Footballer of the Year, sealed a transfer to St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh over the winter to link up with Alan and Bernard Brogan, who he played against in the 2011 and 2015 All-Ireland finals.
The Brogan brothers lifted seven All-Irelands between them for the Dubs, but their club Plunkett’s are more accustomed to the role of bridesmaids in the county.
Plunkett’s have never been crowned kingpins in Dublin and they’ve been beaten in the 2008, 2011 and 2014 county finals.
Galvin brings with him a wealth of experience and he claimed Sam Maguire four times during a glittering inter-county career. Who better than a Kerry man to help them get over the line?
Galvin hasn’t played competitive football since his second retirement from inter-county football in January 2016. He joined Dublin side Kilmacud Crokes a year ago with the intention of hurling with them, but he saw little action due to work commitments.
Despite playing for the two biggest rivals in Gaelic football, the Brogans had an off-field relationship with Galvin. Their mother hails from Listowel, which is less than 10 miles from Galvin’s hometown Lixnaw.
Galvin is 37 but evidently he still has plenty to offer at club level. Alan Brogan, two years his junior, retired from inter-county duty at the end of 2015 and admits it was strange to see a former opponent join the Navan Road club.
“Yeah it was a bit strange,” Brogan said after Plunkett’s disposed of 2016 All-Ireland champions Ballyboden St Enda’s in Parnell Park last night.
“I’m sure for the rest of the lads it was a bit strange too. But look, he’s settled in very quickly, he’s a very committed footballer as he always was with Kerry.
“He didn’t have to prove himself to guys but the commitment he’s shown in the first couple of months he’s been here, the guys have really warmed to him. It’s great to have him he’s had a really positive influence around the place.”
Galvin kicked a point and grew into the game as it wore on. His ball retention, kick-passing are still there and physically he looks as sharp as ever.
“He just has a lot of experience out there,” continued Brogan. “You can see when he gets the ball he never gives it away, he’s a very calming influence on the guys around him and I think he’s had a very good impact here.
“He’s only here a couple of months and you can see he’s settled in quite well out there. He certainly didn’t look out of place.
“It’s a great challenge for him to be back. He’s a couple of years out of the game and to come back to that level of football – I’d say he enjoyed it out there. We all know the type of guy he is. He loves that physical challenge a game like that brings and it was great to see him out there.”
The elder Brogan was brought in after 25 minutes, while Bernard stole the show with a six-point haul and with an assist for both goals.
When Alan was introduced, their forward line had 11 senior All-Irelands and 10 All-Stars between them.
It was a game of the highest quality, with four former Footballers of the Year dotted around the field – the Brogans, Galvin and Ballyboden’s Michael Darragh Macauley.
Then you factor in top class footballers like Conal Keaney, Darragh Nelson, Shane Clayton, Ryan and Colm Basquel, Robbie McDaid on the Ballyboden side and the likes of Tomas Corrigan, Gareth Smith, Ross McConnell and Declan Lally for Plunkett’s.
“There’s no question that club football in Dublin is just a step down from inter-county,” added Brogan.
“You seen the players that were on display out there, the level of fitness, some of the score-taking is just as good as you’ll see in any inter-county game all around the country. I’m just glad to be still playing at that level.”
Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud
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