Brogan reveals what he told Dublin team after he was dropped for All-Ireland final
Father Time comes for all athletes.
No matter how good. No matter how consistent. Eventually time passes and takes down all athletes but former Footballer of the Year Bernard Brogan is trying to prolong the fight, at least until next season.
The 35-year-old has become more of a peripheral figure on the Dublin panel in recent years but he still feels that he can contribute and add value to the four-time defending champions as they embark on their drive for five.
Brogan was the crown jewel of the Dubs attack for the first half of this decade but in 2016 he was dropped for the All-Ireland final replay against Mayo.
He was no longer an automatic selection in the Dublin team and he quickly had to come to grips with the fact that a manager thought that there were better options than him on matchday.
Dublin won the replay, and also won the following two finals after that, but Brogan said that the 2016 replay was a turning point where he had to immediately park his pride.
"I'm very much fighting and pushing the lads like anyone," Brogan told reporters at Supervalu’s launch of their 10th season as a sponsor of the All-Ireland SFC. "That's what you're asked for in our dressing room, that everyone drives for the same cause.
"The first time I was dropped for an All-Ireland final was a couple of years ago. Jim told me before the huddle and before he named the team. I just said I was going to stand tall, look everyone in the eye and portray a bit of positivity.
"For someone who's been involved for so long for 10 years, starting every game. To not be involved in the big game, they might have thought I'd throw the toys out of the pram or react differently. So I just stood up, looked everyone in the eye and just said 'I'm here whenever needed. This is about the group.
"I got a lot of feedback from lads that they got energy from that so [I thought] that that's the right way to be. Now when I'm going into training, I'm driving energy and driving young lads and helping them. I think that's the way to do it. I think that's where I can add value.
"I'm not going to get 70 minutes every game but can I help the guys that are there? There's a role for that and that's me playing my part. I might not be the one out talking to media and your name's not up in lights but if you're able to add value to the group and people value you... as a player, all you want is to be able to make a difference and help the group.
"When I looked at the start of the year [I thought] 'am I going to get much game time? Probably not as much as I'd like. Am I going to push for it? Yes, I can control that. Can I help lads around me to be the best they can be? In some way, yeah. So that's definitely one of my roles this year.
"I'm always going to be a massively competitive guy, I'll go through someone for their place and try to get into the team. But there's loads of ways you can help the group. It's not always about kicking the ball over the bar."
Brogan added that he would have liked to have received more gametime during the National League but that he still feels like he can change Gavin's mind regarding his place in the pecking order with the Jacks.
"I said I felt I could add something to the group. And then I went after it. I stayed off the grass but I was in the gym most mornings in December," said Brogan.
"I took an easy Christmas and then came in January and trained really hard all the way with the lads. I would've liked a little bit more game-time in the National League but the way it went it was hugely competitive and didn't have any freebies.
"Jim had to put the best team out every time. That knocked me back a little bit, I would have loved more time. But now I'm back, training away and pushing. I was chatting Jim this morning and I was saying I want in for the next day, I want to be on the 26.
"We're going to have football on Sunday and we're training tonight. He says he'll give me the opportunity and that's all you can ask.
"He says if he feels that I'm in the pecking order then I'm in. It's up to me to prove it. Sport is amazing that one opportunity or one ten minutes of good play as a forward and you've changed people's mindsets. So that's what I'm going to do."
SuperValu today launched their 10th year as sponsor of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship. Joined by their GAA ambassadors Bernard Brogan, Andy Moran, Damien Comer, Doireann O’Sullivan and Valerie Mulcahy – SuperValu revealed that they will contribute over €2.6 million to the GAA and GAA Clubs across the country, this year. Throughout their 10-years as GAA sponsor, SuperValu has contributed over €18 million to aid the development of our national sport.