DUBLIN MANAGER PAT GILROY is “fairly confident” that he will be able to call on Footballer of the Year Alan Brogan for Sunday’s semi-final showdown against Mayo.
Brogan returned to take part in the Dubs’ training matches last week, a positive sign as he continues his recovery from the groin injury which forced him off in the first half of the Leinster final.
The three-time All-Star was named in Gilroy’s starting XV for the quarter-final against Laois, but was pulled at the last minute and forced to watch from the sidelines as his team-mates made hard work of a task many expected to be straightforward.
“He has played three internal games so far and there has been no reaction,” Gilroy said on Monday. “He did a lot of work before that in terms of straight-line running so unless something happens this week, he looks like he’ll be in good shape.
“We thought he was going to be alright for the last game and then in the last couple of games, it just seemed to come back worse than it had been. We thought he’d be really right a week after it but it has just taken a bit more time. It’s only the middle of last week that he started playing the internal games but he’s been fine, there has been no reaction to it.
“I’d be fairly confident that he will be available for us. But there are other lads who have been playing fairly well as well. You have got to take that into account.”
Despite that warning that Brogan can’t be assured of slotting straight back in to the Dublin attack, Gilroy conceded that they missed his experience and influence last time out.
“He didn’t play in the inside line and that’s where we missed most of our opportunities,” he added.
“There was a lot of wasteful shooting in there, but the one thing that he does do when he is playing a bit further out is that he gets you that score when you have two or three wides in a row. I think we missed that aspect of him.
“We just needed somebody to settle in the second half and get a score. We had an awful lot of possession and he probably would have got a couple of points and that’s the part that we missed most.”