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Bernard Brogan On Whether He'd Be As Driven If He Played For A Weaker County

Bernard Brogan On Whether He'd Be As Driven If He Played For A Weaker County
By Conor Neville
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There are two schools of thought on the current era of Dublin dominance.

The more alarmist school of thought believes that the game has entered a decisively new era in which the Dubs will exploit their natural advantages to ensure they'll hoover up trophies from now until pretty much eternity, save perhaps for the odd freak result once every five or six years.

The laissez-faire school of thought, more popular in Dublin, tends towards that the belief that this is merely a very gifted crop of Dublin players and not a harbinger of a brave new world in which Dubs dominate forever. They airily insist that sport is cyclical and the Dubs will not always have as rich a seam of youngsters to call upon. Recent setbacks at underage level have given this argument some momentum lately.

Bernard Brogan is definitely in the latter camp. Appearing on the first edition of a new season of the Hard Shoulder podcast on Balls.ie, Brogan was asked by presenters Anthony Moyles and Niall Kelly whether he'd be as committed to an inter-county career if he came from a weaker county (the pair acknowledged that Meath, on recent form, could be placed in that category).


Brogan recalled his own early experiences on the Dublin panel, during the bleak days of 2004, when even a Leinster title was beyond the Dubs.

And he gave us an insight into the Brogan family ritual.


In 2004, when I came on (the panel) when I wasn't playing, when Dublin weren't even winning Leinsters, I wanted to play for Dublin because my Dad played for Dublin, because I played for my club and you represent your parish and your community and your family and all this stuff.

My family go down to my aunties in Connaught Street down in Phibsborough after every game and they've a barbecue and it's just the best craic ever. There's fifty of them there, having a few drinks, having the craic, and it's nearly like a ritual. That's what the GAA is about.

And I'm out there and they're filled with pride. When me, Alan and Paul and James were there in 2011. Four Brogans in Croke Park on an All-Ireland final day. And I come back and they tell us about the stories. Alan is now saying he's looking now to get down to the picnic and the barbecue and it just becomes part of life.

There'll be a time when Dublin will get hammered all the time. Sport goes in cycles. Teams will rise and teams will go up and down in form. We've just been lucky in the last number of years to get some silverware and to do well. Our time will end soon enough. But if I'm still around or whoever is there will fight tooth and nail to get back to where we've been lucky enough to where we've got to in the past few years.

In 2006, '07, '08, we won some silverware in Leinster but we were beaten very badly. But we came back everywhere and gave it just as much as the year before if not more. 2010, same again. Let down in an All-Ireland semi-final that we should have won. But we came back in 2011 with everything we had and got over the line eventually.

The pride of wearing your county jersey is enough for me.

Brogan spoke about plenty more, including how Pat Gilroy transformed the Dublin setup at the turn of the decade, the primary reason for Dublin's wild success after years of underachievement, and the importance of celebrating victories.

Bernard was speaking on the first episode of this year's Hard Shoulder podcast, a weekly GAA podcast hosted by Meath legends Anthony Moyles and Niall Kelly. The podcast will run for the rest of the season and will feature many more special guests, and it will improve your life by 78%.* 

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.


*May not be an exact scientific figure. 

Read more: 'I'm Not Naturally Gifted At Football' - Bernard Brogan On How He Transformed His Career

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