AHEAD OF SUNDAY’S Leinster SFC final, Dublin footballer Alan Brogan has labelled their five-goal defeat to Meath in 2010 “a watershed moment”.
Two years ago, Pat Gilroy’s team suffered an embarrassing 5-9 to 0-13 Leinster semi-final loss at the hands of the Royals – a year after being on the receiving end of a 17-point humiliation to Kerry.
Dublin have since won their first Sam Maguire in 16 years and Brogan, in his 11th year as a senior inter-county footballer, says they knew then something had to change dramatically and that it has helped them shore up their defence.
“I think between that game and obviously the All-Ireland quarter-final against Kerry, we decided we’d need to change something, that you just can’t afford to concede five goals in a game or you can’t afford to concede the scores Kerry got against us.
It probably was a watershed for us. But thankfully it hasn’t happened too often since, where we’ve had to ship losses like that.”
St Oliver Plunketts forward Brogan added that he does not see any significance in the fact that he has got a 100% record in Leinster finals and insists Seamus McEnaney’s men will have no fear going into Sunday’s provincial showdown.
“I just try and worry about my own performance, what I have to do on Sunday to make the team do well. Anything that’s happened in the past, be it a 100pc record in Leinster finals or the five goals Meath got against us, we’ll try and put that to the back of our mind because at the end of the day it has no real bearing on the weekend.
“Meath certainly won’t fear us, even though we’ve a 100pc record in Leinster finals (over the last decade). Meath are probably the one team in Leinster who have pushed us really close and managed to beat us over the years. They’re the only team that have beaten us in Leinster since 2005, I think. So that in itself says something. They certainly won’t have any fear coming into it.”
On his brother Bernard, Brogan admits that he didn’t produce the goods against Wexford in the semi-final but isn’t worried and has backed him to return to form.
He knows himself that the last day against Wexford probably wasn’t his best day. But look, he’s had that before and he’s come out the next day and he’s performed, so I think he’ll be alright. He’s mentally strong enough to deal with that, I think.”