DUBLIN ATTACKER BERNARD Brogan insists his confidence has not been knocked by being taken off in two of the county’s last three championship clashes.
Brogan, an ambassador for Adidas, was withdrawn in the Leinster semi-final against Wexford and the All-Ireland quarter-final against Laois but believes the experience he has garnered in recent seasons has lead him not to be affected by a dip in form.
“My mindset now is a lot stronger than it would have been a few years ago. A few years ago I focused my game on getting scores and having a good game; to me, getting six or seven or eight points was when I played well.
“Now there are loads of other things that I try to bring to my game. If I can set up a few scores, if I can make a few tackles — I take a lot more positives out of different stuff like that.
“The (substitutions) were made at the right time. I’d been on and had a good few chances. We needed fresh legs, we needed intensity in the tackle, and the couple of times I came off, the likes of Ciaran Kilkenny and Eoghan O’Gara have come on and brought serious intensity to the tackle.
“It’s a team game. It doesn’t really matter what way it works as long as you win. I’ve had my own personal glories in the past and they are all well and good but having won last year with a team, it just surpasses anything you can imagine.”
Dublin’s form has been inconsistent this season yet Brogan is pleased at the manner in which they have dug out victories.
“It’s great to go through games knowing you haven’t fired and knowing you have more to build on. Everyone you meet on the street was telling you that you are through to the semi-final (before the Laois game) and all you have to do is show up.
“That’s hard, especially for young players. That’s the struggle as a player when you are going out against a team everyone is telling you that you are going to wipe the floor with, that’s where you get caught on the bounce.”
Ahead of Sunday week’s All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Mayo, Brogan is wary of their opponents capabilities after the thrashing they gave Dublin when the teams collided in the league earlier this year.
“To be honest, I think Mayo are in a better position than we are. They know how to beat us. They are one of the few teams that has a system that beats this new Dublin team. They beat us emphatically in the league and we couldn’t match their intensity in that game.
“They will have a group of players with huge confidence in Croke Park. They remind me a bit of us last year; being so close and never got there. They’re not afraid of a big day in Croke Park. They have some lovely footballers, I was in college with Alan Dillon and he is like a quarterback for them.”
Dublin’s own preparations have been aided by a trip last week to Dingle which Brogan believes helped train their focus on the upcoming challenge.
“Training can get fairly monotonous when you are doing the same stuff all the time. We try to do something different and we have done it in the past. This year we went to Dingle to do something different and I think it worked really well. We did a good bit of training and went down and met Fungi and did some rock climbing and it was a bit of craic.”
Adidas ambassador and Dublin footballer, Bernard Brogan was speaking after showcasing the next installment of the world’s most iconic boot, the Predator® Kicking Boot. The new Predator® Kicking Boot boot is available now from sports stores nationwide.