INPHO/Dan Sheridan Alan Brogan was on the bench when Dublin won their second Sam Maguire in three seasons.
Curtain call

Alan Brogan to decide on Dublin future before Christmas

The three-time All Star may base his decision on his next two outings with his club.

ALAN BROGAN HAS revealed he will make a definitive decision on his inter-county career after his next two club outings.

Brogan, who has amassed three All-Stars, seven Leinster titles and two All-Ireland winners’ medals in his career with Dublin, did not play a minute on his team’s path to Croke Park this summer. He was named on the bench for the final, against Mayo, but injuries to players in other positions prevented him from taking the field.

Brogan made a recent comeback for St Oliver Plunkett’s and has featured in three games, with the potential for two more in the next three weeks. There have been no flare-ups of the pelvic and hamstring injuries that sidelined him from playing for Dublin for more than a year. Speaking at the Plunkett’s clubhouse of Wednesday, Brogan said thoughts of retirement were not far from his mind.

“I’ve obviously given it thought but I haven’t made a decision on it yet,” he said. “I hadn’t played a game for 13, 14 months so my plan was always to get back playing with the club. I’ve played two and a half, three games and all is going well enough. There are still little bits that are stiff after [games] but you’d expect that.

I’ve a couple of games to finish out. I want to play them, get through with them and then maybe have a chat with the physios and see how things are going then. I haven’t made a decision and I haven’t spoken to anyone [at Dublin] yet.”

“We’ve two games with the club over the next few weeks, seeing how things go. Maybe the week after [our last game] I’ll sit down and make a call on it. At the start of January, if I am going back, I’ll have to fully commit to it, training-wise. I don’t think I’d do myself justice dipping in and out. It’s important that, if I do go back, I can give it a full lash with training.”

The days of players minding themselves at inter-county level, says Brogan, are now over. “I need to make sure that I’m 100% fit and able for demands of modern, inter-county football.”

Having played a key role in Dublin’s 2011 success, Brogan’s contribution to the team’s triumphant march to another All-Ireland was that of an eager opponent in training and a mentor to young players such as Ciarán Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey. Still, Brogan does not want to close the curtain on his career as a non-playing sub in the victory over Mayo.

“It would be sad to walk away,” he admitted, “with those two years behind me, particularly after 2011. I have to be sure I can meet the demands of it [not] this craic of being able to train and take the next session off. I don’t think that’s a runner at all.”

imageBrogan is promoting, a new Irish website allowing clubs and charities to raise funds through last man standing competitions. INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Brogan believes that, once fit, he is good enough to compete for a starting role with the rising stars of Dublin football. His decision, he explains, will be purely based on his physical capabilities. “I think I’ll find it difficult to get find enough to play on that team anyway so I need to make sure the body is right.” He added:

There’s certainly still a role for me there. Whether it’s a starting position or a sub, it doesn’t really matter. The way Jim [Gavin] is playing the game or has set up the team, I don’t know exactly but he has probably used five subs in every game. It’s fairly obvious ton outsiders that his five subs are just as important to him as his starting players.”

His sister-in-law’s wedding delayed Brogan from jetting off to Cancún with his Dublin teammates but, he explains, work commitments prevented him from following the lads to Mexico. The focus, the 31-year-old says, will be on retaining the Sam Maguire from 1 January onward.

Brogan’s mind is willing to help Dublin towards that goal. The body, he dearly hopes, will be able.

* ensures clubs and charities can save time and effort in managing fundraisers as the service is fully automated and is completely free to register.

‘Ciarán Kilkenny has all the attributes to be one of Dublin’s best’ – Alan Brogan

Here are the top five points of the 2013 football championship