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'Jim Told Me. He Stopped Me At The Door And Said, 'Can I Have A Chat?''

'Jim Told Me. He Stopped Me At The Door And Said, 'Can I Have A Chat?''

The career of Alan Brogan is the subject of the third episode of the new series of Laochra Gael. It airs on TG4 at 5:30pm on St Patrick's Day.

In it, the three-time Dublin All-Ireland winner remembers his final game of inter-county football - the 2015 All-Ireland final against Kerry.

Going into that season, Brogan and his family had decided it would be his last in the Dublin colours.

"I put a lot into 2015, a lot of sacrifice from my own point of view, a lot of sacrifice from my family's point of view," Brogan says.

"We knew it was going to be my last year. We decided we'd leave no stone unturned."

It looked as though that effort had paid off when he was named to start the All-Ireland semi-final replay against Mayo. However, shortly before the game, manager Jim Gavin told him that he was being replaced in the starting team by Diarmuid Connolly.

I remember when Jim told me, he stopped me at the door and he said, 'Can I have a chat with you?' I said, 'Yeah, of course'. I knew what was coming.

He said, 'Look, I'm going to put Diarmuid back in and I'm going to run you off the bench'.

I certainly wasn't going to throw the toys out of the pram. I went into the toilet, stood at the sink and said, 'Right, that's it, park that'. I went out to the lads, wished them best of luck and sat down as if I was always named on the bench.

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With the championship still up for grabs in the decider against the Kingdom, and nearly an hour played, Brogan was still behind the white line.

"We hadn't scored much and I remember it was coming to 55 minutes, thinking, 'Right. I'm going to get the call here'," he says.

"I was warming up, no call coming; it was getting to 60 minutes, no call coming. At one stage, I was running down, I was about to run over Jim Gavin, thinking had he forgot about me.

"In fairness to him, he knew what he was doing. I went in after about 65, 66 minutes. There were three or four minutes left in normal time and I knew there was going to be five or six at least of injury time. I had ten minutes to make an impact in this game."

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As Dublin won 0-12 to 0-9 on a rain-soaked day, Brogan scored the final point of the match and his inter-county career.

"I'd spent hours and hours honing my left foot with my dad when we were young, all those hours of honing my weaker foot came home to roost in that split second.

"I knew what I'd been through and what we'd been through over the last number of years... The sacrifices I'd made both in terms of football and my family had made...

"It was definitely a moment that I savoured, those 10 or 15 minutes on the pitch after. I remember at one stage all the players were getting ready to go up the steps of the Hogan Stand to receive the cup and there was nobody between me and Hill 16. I was maybe 50 yards away and I made a run towards Hill 16 and it erupted.

"I knew that was my last moment in a Dublin jersey. I looked up to my mam and dad then."

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Róisín Ambrose Knows Day Is Coming When She Must Choose Between Two Loves

PJ Browne
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