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Gilroy Explains Why He Dropped Brogan From Dublin Team In 2010

Gilroy Explains Why He Dropped Brogan From Dublin Team In 2010
By PJ Browne Updated
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Bernard Brogan ended 2010 as Footballer of the Year. That did not appear to be a possibility at the beginning of the season as he sat on the bench for Dublin's opening three games of the league.

Speaking on Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning's Free State podcast, Pat Gilroy - Dublin GAA manager between 2009 and 2012 - explained he didn't pick Brogan to start in those games as the forward was not making the agreed upon effort to tackle in training. Dublin won their opening three matches against Kerry, Derry and Mayo with Brogan coming off the bench.

"When you were trying to make a point, it would have been a disaster if we didn't win," said Gilroy.

"We said we were going to go after tackling, and every guy had a target of six or seven. He was shooting the lights out in training because he got seriously fit as he'd done the training in the winter. He was doing no tackling but he was scoring five points in training.

27 March 2010; Gareth Bradshaw, Galway, is tackled by Bernard Brogan, Dublin. Allianz GAA Football National League, Division 1, Round 6, Dublin v Galway, Parnell Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

"I just didn't pick him the first game, never said a word to him. I brought him at the end when the game was over. I think he scored two points.


"He was doing no tackling during the week and I never said a word to him. The third game, we'd won two and looked like we were something decent.

"After the third game, he came up to me and said, 'What do I have to do?' I said, 'It's very simple: We're going after that (tackling) and you have a big fat zero every day at training. If you start doing that, you'll get played'.

"He said, 'But sure I'm a forward'. I said, 'Yeah, you're a forward but we all said we're going to do this for the moment to see if it's going to help us. I don't care if you don't score. Just for the moment, obviously down the line we do'.


"Then he worked so hard on his tackling and tackling technique. If you told Bernard, 'It's that', he would then try to become the best at that because he really was a very diligent guy.

"Once he got that and saw, 'If I turn over a fella, it's easier to score than me winning it and having to beat him'. He became obsessed with it, and he became a seriously difficult guy to get past.

"Then if he had a couple of wides, it didn't knock him because he knew he could go out and help defend and would get rewarded for that because it was just as important a part of the game."


15 October 2010; RTE presenter Michael Lyster interviews GAA Football All-Star Player of the Year, Dublin's Bernard Brogan, and GAA Hurling All-Star Player of the Year, Tipperary's Lar Corbett, at the 2010 GAA All-Stars Awards. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Brogan scored 3-42 in the championship that season as Dublin reached the All-Ireland semi-final where they lost to Cork by a point. He became the first player from Dublin to win Footballer of the Year, and also the first player from a county which did not reach the All-Ireland final to win the award.


Gilroy also recalled how one multiple Dublin All-Ireland winner was "delusional" about his tackling statistics.

"I remember asking one player - he has a lot of All-Irelands, I think he has eight - 'How many tackles did you have today?' said Gilroy.

"He said, 'I had five'. I said, 'Five! You had none!' He said, 'I definitely had five, I definitely had five'. I said, 'Right, come on', and we watched the match. 'Jaysus, I was sure I had five,' he says.


"That's players in their heads. He was thinking, 'That was nearly one'. I said, 'No, that wasn't a tackle'. He became a seriously good player but he was delusional at the time about what he was doing. You do have to be really straight up with people."

See Also: Pat Gilroy Reveals Carefree Attitude Of Some Dublin Footballers

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