St Oliver Plunkett’s stalwart and double All-Ireland winning Dublin footballer, Bernard Brogan, picked up his third All-Star at the annual GAA/GPA Awards dinner last Friday night in Croke Park.
The latest honour caps a magical year for the 29-year-old, given Dublin’s 2013 league and championship double and Brogan’s own 2-3 tally and man-of-the-match performance in the county’s All-Ireland final victory against Mayo in September – although the Navan Road club man didn’t always find playing matters so smooth with injury and not always starting for the Sky Blues.
Speaking to Gazette Sport this week at the Conrad Hotel announcement of AIG’s groundbreaking new five-year sponsorship of Dublin GAA across all codes and the unveiling of next season’s Dublin jersey, Brogan reflected on being named at full-forward on this year’s All-Star selection.
“Your career is measured on All-Ireland medals, but an All-Star is a nice recognition at the end of the year. It’s nice to get personal recognition. When I was nominated in the past as a player in years that Dublin didn’t win the All-Ireland, to be there at the event itself and to see six or seven players from the winners gave me a lot of energy. I always thought it’d be great to have a big night for the Dubs like this year. It’s a great honour that I’ve had three All-Stars now.”
Brogan, who made his debut for the Sky Blues back in 2007, put his overall success in 2013 in the context of those earlier playing concerns this year.
“It was one of my more difficult years. I’d a good start to the year in the league but got a couple of injuries and then found it hard to lock-down my role in the team and to put in some good performances.
“I came off in a load of games and the players that came on made a difference, but I was glad performance-wise with the last couple of games. To score four points from play against Marc O’Se of Kerry, in the All-Ireland semi-final, who I think is one of the best players to ever play the game – I was nearly as happy with that as with starting in the All-Ireland.”
Brogan was also named as an All-Star in 2010 and 2011 – with his initial accolade three years ago coming on the same night he was named Footballer of the Year and his second All-Star 12 months later in recognition of his part in Dublin’s first All-Ireland senior success in 16 years.
Brogan also said he felt that the new AIG sponsorship of Dublin GAA was an indication of Dublin’s success this year.
“It’s a great move and for it to be across all codes is fantastic.”