Brogan still has major role to play for Dublin

Manager Jim Gavin has every faith in full forward as Dublin prepare to take on Cork in All-Ireland quarter-final

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan is surrounded by Meath defenders during the Leinster final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan is surrounded by Meath defenders during the Leinster final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Thu, Aug 1, 2013, 11:55

Despite replacing Bernard Brogan in all three championship outings this summer, Dublin manager Jim Gavin this morning rejected the suggestion his highest profile attacker is off form.

“The management team certainly don’t think he’s struggling at all,” said Gavin. “The data we get back shows he’s playing a very important role for us. His play is very good and he’s been a great example to the younger players in the squad.

“He’s being double-marked consistently and has to work hard to get on the ball. That takes a big toll on any player. The times he’s come off have been on a tactical basis and we’ve looked for something different.”

Considering how the game has progressed, Gavin was asked whether the days of posting 1-6 from play, as Brogan did against Cork in the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final, is beyond any forward?

“He is playing in a different system now . . . (but) Bernard has shown in the current system the potential to get big scores. As he did in the National League. He’s a potent player if any team gives him space.”

Change, however, is expected in Gavin’s full forward line for Saturday’s quarter-final.

Having impressed in an impact role this year, Dean Rock appears to have leaped over Eoghan O’Gara and a fit again Paddy Andrews to start alongside Paul Mannion and Brogan.

O’Gara was a late replacement for Andrews in the Leinster final victory over Meath on July 14th although Rock came in and registered 0-2. He also kicked two points off the bench in the league final against Tyrone, and in the championship against Westmeath and Kildare.

Gavin will release the Dublin team later tonight.

No other changes are expected, so Kevin O’Brien should hold off Darren Daly at corner back and Cian O’Sullivan stays in midfield.

Gavin also contested the suggestion that O’Sullivan was being played out of position.

“No, I wouldn’t say that, back in 2008/09, he played for me in midfield [on the Dublin under-21s].

“Cian’s a very versatile player, very adaptable and can play in any of those positions all the way back from number nine.

“That’s the great thing about Cian. He has that flexibility and doesn’t get fazed by where you put him on the pitch.”

Against Meath, O’Sullivan was replaced after 40 minutes by Denis Bastick who made an impact when it came to winning possession.

“Denis is a traditional midfielder. A great fielder of the ball and brings the whole physicality into the game when he comes on. He has a big role to play as well.”

Gavin added: “In any of the games we’ve played a lot of the time the ball has by-passed midfield so we’re very comfortable with our midfield set-up.”

Veteran forward Alan Brogan (hamstring) and recent underage graduate Cormac Costello (broken collarbone in training last week) are not being considered for selection.

It’s unclear whether Brogan, the 2011 footballer of the year, will be available at any stage this season.

“We’re just looking at the game on Saturday evening and I couldn’t answer that question. Certainly he’s not going to feature on Saturday.”

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