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'It's getting more and more difficult every year as my kids get older and I get older'

Alan Brogan is part of a small group of inter-county veterans.

Alan Brogan with his son Jamie after last year's Leinster final.
Alan Brogan with his son Jamie after last year's Leinster final.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

ALAN BROGAN IS part of a dying breed and he freely admits it.

33 years of age, he’s an inter-county footballer whose senior career stretches back to 2002.

There’s not too many of his ilk still operating on the national stage and his future plans were the subject of intense speculation last winter.

Ultimately he committed to the cause and his reward is to be gearing up for an All-Ireland final on Sunday week.

But the father of two admits the demands are growing ever greater and playing in 2016 isn’t on his radar at the moment.

“It’s getting more and more difficult every year as my kids get older and I get older.

“It’s not a decision I’ve made yet (about 2016) and it’s not one I’ll make until a number of weeks after this match when I’ll be able to sit back and reflect.

“I’ve enjoyed this year, more than I thought I would, to be honest.

Alan Brogan celebrates late in the game Alan Brogan celebrates late on in last Saturday's replay against Mayo Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I’ve probably enjoyed training more this year than I had the last few years because I’ve been injury free.

“I’ve played for fourteen years but it’s not forever. It is coming to an end very very soon.

“I’m just enjoying every day that I’m out there and my mindset has changed a bit in that in early years and even up to a few years ago it was all about the winning.

“Now I am enjoying training sessions and just taking it as it comes. That is a change of mindset for me and a change for the better.”

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Alan Brogan with his wife Lydia and son Jamie after the game Alan Brogan with his wife Lydia and son Jamie after last year's loss to Donegal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Did Brogan think back in 2002 that he would still be plying his trade at such an elite level?

“The game was a little bit different at that stage. There probably was some older guys playing. Dessie Farrell and Jim were playing.

“In years to come I don’t think that we will see too many 33 year old’s playing. There are a few now.

Alan Brogan is tackled by Marc O'Se Alan Brogan is tackled by Marc Ó Sé during the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“Marc Ó Sé down in Kerry, myself, Stephen Cluxton, Denis Bastick, Aidan O’Mahony and Dick Clerkin.

“There’s not that many around now at that age because of the demands of the modern game. I think it is only going to get less and less as the years go on.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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