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Former Dublin footballer, Alan Brogan, pictured at Sports Ireland's campus for the launch of eir sports' new season of sports coverage, including Allianz Leagues GAA action which will return in the spring.
Former Dublin footballer, Alan Brogan, pictured at Sports Ireland's campus for the launch of eir sports' new season of sports coverage, including Allianz Leagues GAA action which will return in the spring.

Brogan expects Murchan to start


By Cian O'Connell

Former Dublin forward Alan Brogan expects Eoin Murchan to earn a recall to the Dublin team for Saturday's eagerly anticipated All Ireland SFC Final replay against Kerry.

Murchan made an impact in the closing stages of the dramatic drawn encounter with Brogan adamant the pacy Na Fianna clubman could mark Sean O'Shea this weekend.

Brogan believes Dublin have defensive options to alter their approach slightly.

"Dublin have cover, they have Philly (McMahon) on the bench he didn't feature and could be an option in the full-back line if they need him," Brogan says.

"Cian O'Sullivan - I'm not sure if his injury has cleared up - he'll obviously be an option as well.

"Eoin Murchan could come in and pick up Sean O'Shea so they have options there in fairness.

"I think we might see a change with Eoin Murchan coming in and maybe Michael Darragh (MacAuley) dropping onto the bench. In the tight confines of the first 40, 45 minutes I thought Mick couldn't find that space to impose himself on the game the way we're used to seeing him do.

"I think him coming off the bench with 15 or 20 minutes left gives Dublin an impact they haven't had over the last couple of games."

Alan Brogan expects Eoin Murchan to start Saturday's All Ireland SFC Final replay against Kerry at Croke Park.
Alan Brogan expects Eoin Murchan to start Saturday's All Ireland SFC Final replay against Kerry at Croke Park.

That would mean the versatile James McCarthy being moved to centrefield according to Brogan.

"James starting midfield, we've seen Eoin Murchan pick up Niall Sludden in the All-Ireland final last year, " Brogan adds.

"So when Jim has needed a man-marking job done on a nippy forward Eoin Murchan seems to be the guy he's gone to over the last couple of years.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see him in on Sean O'Shea, who was obviously very good the last day and definitely needs to be watched closely."

Brogan fancies Jim Gavin's outfit to edge a tight rematch at GAA headquarters. "Yeah, I think so," Brogan says. "I think there's a lot of lessons to learn.

"In fairness to Jim we've seen over the years he's very good at analysing a game and picking out the learnings of where Dublin can improve.

"I think for that reason they need to provide a bit more cover for the full-back line. It's easy to point fingers at Jonny (Cooper) and the lads but if you're marking David Clifford and there's oceans of space in front of you then there's only going to be one winner.

"The experience and learnings Dublin gained from 10 days ago, I expect them to win. Not by much but by a margin of two or three points."

Alan Brogan believes his brother, Bernard, still has plenty to offer the Dublin set-up.
Alan Brogan believes his brother, Bernard, still has plenty to offer the Dublin set-up.

Brogan also reckons Dublin should include brother, Bernard, in the matchday panel of 26.

"Obviously I have a biased view with Bernard but I think what he brings in terms of his experience, something that he could pass onto the lads before a game or at half-time is invaluable," Brogan states.

"You can't buy the sort of experience Bernard has. Aside from whether he plays for not, that's a huge element. But if you put Bernard into a game like that he's a forward that can go long periods without a ball and he only needs one ball to get that big score. That's a special talent in itself that you can hold that concentration."

Bernard Brogan's ability to remain cool under duress could be critical.

"He often went 15 or 20 minutes without touching a ball in a game, he gets one touch and it's over the bar," Brogan remarks.

"Some of the opportunities Dublin got in the final 10 minutes last weekend if Bernard had been on the end of one of them, would you have fancied him for a score? You probably would have.

"I think that aside, the experience he has, coupled with what he's given to Dublin over the last 12 or 14 years I hope he gets back on the bench.

"In fairness to Jim Gavin he has 36 guys on the panel so he's making 10 phonecalls to guys that aren't going to be in the 26 so that's a very difficult position he's in and I'm sure they're phone calls he doesn't like making. So I think we have to appreciate the position Jim's in as well."

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