Brogan left out as Dublin don't do sentiment, admits Darcy
Sentiment "doesn't wash" with the Dublin management team.
In the now familiar setting of a bright September Monday morning in Dublin's Gibson Hotel, selector Declan Darcy reflected on the decision to omit Bernard Brogan from the official 26-man squad for Sunday's All-Ireland final.
The remarkable speed in which Brogan was able to recover from a torn cruciate ligament in February to make it back in early August for the last few minutes of a Roscommon All-Ireland quarter-final has won admiration from his peers.
But when it came to the clinical process of squad selection, there could be no pandering to any past glory.
Instead, Brogan was given the No.27 jersey and a de facto role on the day in recognition of the effort he made this year.
"We don't do sentiment. That does not wash with us, but we do acknowledge that he is a phenomenal player and the massive effort he made to come back," said Darcy. "He was disappointed, but at the same time we had to pick the 26 we felt were going to do the best for the team. He was not that far off it, just another couple of weeks (away)."
Darcy also praised how the Dublin players continue to stay "grounded", despite their bulging catalogue of record-breaking achievements.
The trip to the Somme battlefield in April, where captain Stephen Cluxton laid a wreath to commemorate the Irish who died in World War One, is part of that perspective.
"You need to be humble and very grateful for where we're at," Darcy said. "I think there is a danger that players lose the context of what they're about and the realities of life."
The Somme visit was made, he said, "in the context of so many Irish had fallen on the battlefield".
"Again, grounding players. A lot of the players got a lot of value out of it and it gave us a lot of stuff going forward."