Brogan relished Kerry clashes
By Cian O’Connell
The complexion of Gaelic Football altered following the dramatic All Ireland SFC Final of 2011.
Dublin’s 16 year search for Sam Maguire ended, but it merely started a spell of sustained success for the sky blue outfit.
In nine years Dublin accumulated seven titles, but Bernard Brogan remains adamant that the score that lingers longest in his memory during the decade of dominance is a late point in the 2011 decider.
Diarmuid Connolly and Michael Darragh MacAuley crafted the opportunity before a delightful effort raised a white flag at the Hill 16 end of Croke Park.
“I picked a score that is not shown that often from the 2011 All Ireland Final against Kerry,” Brogan remarked on Inside The Game, Sky Sports’ GAA discussion show that airs every Wednesday evening.
“Kevin McManamon had just got that goal that lifted the city, made it shudder. This was coming into the last two minutes of the game. I was marking my nemesis Marc O Se, we had great battles over the years.
“My old pal Michael Darragh MacAuley popped it out and off the left foot with two minutes to go it put us a point up. It was a big occasion into the Hill which was amazing.
“I thought it was the winner until that fella above me on the screen (Kieran Donaghy) closed his eyes and took a kick from the sideline that landed just over the bar. It put it down to Stephen Cluxton's kick.”
Growing up Brogan heard all the fabled stories about Dublin’s rivalry with Kerry which most certainly endures.
“Dublin and Kerry meant a lot to me,” Brogan admits. “My dad playing in the 70s against the great Dublin teams of the 70s and the battles they had. My mam is from Listowel where I spent my holidays last week.
“To see the relationship that those Dublin and Kerry guys have from the 70s, the respect that they have. It was always a special game for me. Marking Marc O Se, probably the best corner back that has ever played the game, I loved pitting myself against the best.
“When you are out there you want to play against the best, to see where you are at. Marc O Se got the better of me most times, but one or two I slung over the shoulder and went over the bar.
"That is what made it so special in Dublin and Kerry.
“Even the relationship we have now, they are great characters, great winners, and are very respectful in defeat. We play sport, we love the game, we miss it when we finish it, but it is great to meet up. I'm sure we will do that for many a year.”
While his own club, St Oliver Plunketts-Eoghan Ruadh, have exited the Dublin Senior Football Championship, Brogan has been hugely impressed with Kilmacud Crokes, especially Dara Mullin, who featured under Dessie Farrell in the Allianz Football League this year.
“Kilmacud have probably been the team of the year so far, they have put up three or four goals in every game,” Brogan adds.
“They got four goals against us - the full forward line of Hugh Kenny, Dara Mullin, and Paul Mannion.
"Obviously we all know Paul Mannion, but this fella Dara Mullin looks the real deal. He turned our defence twice for goals and got another couple at the weekend.”