GAA

'They Weren't Saying This 7 Years Ago When Dublin Hadn't Reached An All-Ireland In 15 Years'

As Dublin aim to win their third All-Ireland title on the trot this weekend, many are worried about the possible dominance that lies ahead for the capital in Gaelic football. It's not simply because they are anti-Dub - though some undoubtedly are - it's also a basic worry about the future competitiveness of the game.

Like never before, Dublin GAA has become organised. There's a feeling that with the resources it has - both population-wise and money-wise - it could become an unstoppable juggernaut.

Following Dublin's crushing of Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final, Colm O'Rourke called for Dublin to be split. It has to happen the Meath man argued. His rationale was born in the huge numbers of players who never get to pull on a jersey for Dublin at inter-county level - be it senior or underage.

Alan Brogan believes it is far too soon for a Dublin division to be contemplated. The three-time All-Ireland winner wants other counties to improve their underage structures first.

Things will be cyclical, they weren't saying that seven years ago when Dublin hadn't reached an All-Ireland in 15 years. We're only six years into this [good period for Dublin].

I think other counties need to get their houses in order at underage level and let's see how things pan out then. Dublin have a really strong underage setup because of the work that's been done.

The former players that they've got involved in development squads - the likes of Jayo [Jason Sherlock], Ciaran Whelan, Coman Goggins, Paul Casey, Declan Lally - these guys have played inter-county football and are now passing on that experience to the U13, U14, U15 development squads. That's where this thing is being built.

Brogan says that Jim Gavin would readily admit that the success of his team has been built on the foundations of Dublin's underage system.

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If in 15 years' time Dublin are still winning an All-Ireland 'every second year' Brogan concedes that the division of Dublin GAA may have to be considered but just six years after Dublin won their first All-Ireland in 16 years is too soon.

The model which Dublin GAA has installed for its underage structures is one which Brogan thinks other counties should look to emulate. 'The GAA needs to resource other counties properly so they can implement what Dublin have done at underage level; let's see where that takes us,' he says.

Dublin have got a golden generation through from 2011 to now because of the work that's being done at underage level. Obviously, success can breed success. These guys come in, they've had good underage careers, they're full of confidence and other teams start to fear them. I think it's too soon for something like that to happen.

We need to give other counties the chance to get their houses in order at underage level and use that Dublin blueprint if that's what we have do. This blueprint - the Blue Wave - that's in the public domain. It's no secret what Dublin have done at underage level. I'm sure they're happy enough to share with other counties how this success has come about.

Alan Brogan was training parents and kids at SuperValu’s #BehindTheBall Volunteer Camp at Skerries Harps in North County Dublin. SuperValu’s volunteer camps are taking place nationwide and are designed to encourage more parents to lend their support and get involved in their local clubs throughout the country.

See Also: Jim McGuinness Has "Nagging" Feeling That Mayo Will Beat Dublin

PJ Browne
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