Returning Brogan to fire up Dublin in decider
They may have struggled and appeared unconvincing at times in this year's Championship, but Dublin boss Pat Gilroy is expecting the return of Alan Brogan to ignite a spark among his backfiring forwards as they face Mayo in this Sunday's second All-Ireland semi-final, the prize being a date with Donegal to decide the destination of Sam Maguire in 2012.
“He has played three internal games so far and there has been no reaction,” Gilroy revealed at Dublin's weekly press conference.
“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.”
Brogan's recurring groin injury flared up prior to the quarter-final win over Laois, and his inventiveness was missed from the attacking ranks as they struggled to a 1-12 to 0-12 win, admitted the Dubs manager.
“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,” Gilroy explained.
“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.”
He continued: “He didn’t play in the inside line and that’s where we missed most of our opportunities.
“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 he has two or three wides in a row.
“I think we missed that aspect of him.”
Dublin are in familiar territory with the four-week gap since the quarter-final.
They even took some time away from the capital with a trip to Kerry for a training camp.
The Mayo side they face will be without their natural leader, Andy Moran, but will still contain enough players from the hammering they dished out to the Dubs in the National League [0-20 to 0-8] not to treat their challenge with the utmost of caution.
Of that league clash, Gilroy assessed: “It’s a good indicator and warning to us that if our intensity is anything like that day we will get wiped out of it here.
“We haven’t revisited that place in terms of intensity since, thank God, so I certainly don’t think it will be a match like that.
“We have a massive challenge on Sunday.
“There is no question that if we play up front like we did the last day it won’t be good enough against Mayo.
“They probably have a better inside forward line than Laois had to punish us and I think they would score more if given the chances.”