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Fired-up Brogan craves series triumph

By Declan Bogue

It's only his second time taking part in the International Rules series, but Irish captain Bernard Brogan is held in high admiration.

The other Test he was involved in was 2010. In the meantime, a mixture of engagements with his club St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh, and clearing up injury concerns, have prevented him from earning more caps.

In previous years, Ireland managers have made curious decisions regarding who they made captain but it wasn't a mistake current boss Joe Kernan was going to make. Brogan has his own sports management company and he is a GAA version of Jerry Maguire.

"We're going to go at it and we're going to go out there to win," said Brogan.

"We're not going in to put on a spectacle - we obviously want to have a great game, but we're going to go hard, like the Australians will, and we're going to give it a good lash. We have full belief in ourselves.

"We're amateur athletes but we always say we're professional in everything we do. We want to pit ourselves against the best in the world and see where we're at. We wouldn't be coming out if we just thought we were going to make up the numbers.

"So we're really looking forward to it. It's going to be a massive challenge because they're such an amazing side. But that's what football's about. In a one-day Test anything can happen… and it's whoever comes with the most intensity and energy and ball-possession who will have a lot to say."

It's understood that Director-General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, and his AFL counterpart, Gillon McLachlan, have a convivial relationship and are both predisposed to growing the series.

One of the innovations believed to be under discussion is the possibility of playing a Test in New York. Brogan is fired with enthusiasm for that idea.

"There are a massive amount of Irish people in the east coast (of America) and this weekend Dublin and Galway are playing in Fenway Park in an adaptation of the hurling code with 30,000 odd at it," he bubbled.

"It shows the appetite and if that's the case then we'd love to go and showcase our games. Aogán (O'Fearghail, GAA President) and his team are very open to travelling abroad. I was at the Asian GAA Games in Kuala Lumpur a few years ago and 2,000 Irish came together.

"It's everywhere. I was chatting to the AFL Europe girls at our dinner and they told us about the 8,000 people playing around Europe. When you compare our sports to the likes of soccer, there's no reason why we couldn't go shoulder to shoulder with them."

Whether or not this hybrid game would draw a crowd in America remains to be seen. An entertaining tussle in Croke Park tonight would be a decent start.

Belfast Telegraph


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