Morgan Treacy/INPHO Brogan at yesterday's Living for Sport launch.
# clash of styles
Bernard Brogan: 'I wouldn't be the biggest fan of Jim McGuinness' style of football'
The former Player of the Year respects the ex-Donegal boss’

HE MAY HAVE a grudging respect for his achievements with Donegal but Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan has said he’s not a fan of the style of football Jim McGuinness implemented to secure their success.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s Sky Sports Living for Sport scheme yesterday, the former Footballer of the Year also said that coming up against McGuinness did make him think about a game a little bit more than normal.

“We definitely would have felt he’d have something as in, he’d have a plan, it wouldn’t be just a standard Donegal team.

“Something else would come and he wouldn’t just set up as he did in 2011. He’d do something different and try a different tactic and maybe you wouldn’t think like that about other managers.

“Obviously, everyone has a plan but you kind of think ‘this fella’s a smart lad, he knows what he’s at and he’ll have something up his sleeve’ so we were aware he would have a plan and, in fairness, he has been a wonderful manager for Donegal and he’s brought them to places that, five years ago, they would have not thought they’d get to.

“I would have known a few of the lads and, in fairness, what he’s done with them has been amazing.”

Bernard Brogan under pressure Cathal Noonan / INPHO Brogan feeling the heat of the Donegal tactics. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

However, Brogan doesn’t believe that McGuinness’ legacy will be good for the game, especially as he was raised on attacking, free-flowing football.

“I wouldn’t be the biggest fan of that style of football because I have to play against it, it’s very difficult.

“But no, I know it has a lot of critics but, in fairness, I think what he did, he did the best with what he could and people say he didn’t have a team of superstars he had a team of good footballers who were going to work for a cause and he got them to buy into that cause. He did a great job.

“I wouldn’t be a great fan of the really defensive football. As a kid, I wanted to go out and try to play football and pit myself against my man and have a go at a team so when you’re trying to do that and there’s three lads around you it makes it a bit more difficult.

“When someone has success with a system or a style of football it feeds down. I know in 2011 everyone was applauding Dublin and saying ‘oh, you’ve saved football and if they’d have gone on to beat us that day the game would have gone into disrepute and blah, blah, blah.’

“I don’t know if it goes that far but the standard 15, toe-to-toe, man-on-man is the way football was started and is the way I like to play it the best but, as tactics come into it more, as stats, analysis, all that stuff comes in, I can’t remember the last time I saw a seen a 15-on-15 game of football.”

Bernard Brogan is teaming up with the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative this year to launch an exclusive schools competition for a GAA masterclass. The free initiative uses sport stars and the skills learned through sport to help young people build confidence and develop life skills. For more information on how to enter the competition visit

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