Bernard Brogan to miss start of League

Dublin footballer recovering from similar groin injury to the one brother Alan suffered

Sports Minister Leo Varadkar with, left to right, Con Doherty, Daniella Moyles, Joe Canning, Bernard Brogan and Mark Pollock at the launch of Wings for Life World Run 2014 in aid of Spinal Cord reseach at Trinity College in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sports Minister Leo Varadkar with, left to right, Con Doherty, Daniella Moyles, Joe Canning, Bernard Brogan and Mark Pollock at the launch of Wings for Life World Run 2014 in aid of Spinal Cord reseach at Trinity College in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Brothers are generally encouraged to share but Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan would have preferred to avoid suffering an identical injury, osteitis pubis, to elder sibling Alan. This groin problem was largely responsible for the latter missing out on an All-Ireland football winner’s medal last September.

The roles are reversed now with Alan, training away – he’s recovered from a subsequent hamstring injury – while Bernard is working through a rehabilitation programme.

Bernard, who scored 2-3 in a man-of-the-match performance in the All-Ireland final, won’t be available for the Dubs’ opening Allianz National League fixture against Kerry in a little under a fortnight as Jim Gavin’s charges begin the defence of that title.

The Westmeath match, the following weekend, might come around a little soon with the most plausible return date, the match against Cork on Saturday, March 1st; it comes following a three-week playing hiatus in the tournament.

Bernard Brogan explained: “After the Mayo game last year (semi-final in April) I kind of broke down a bit and took a month off before the summer.

“I never really caught fire again. I was struggling through the summer. I was getting through games but I wasn’t on top form. Now I’ve got a good bit of a break after the All-Ireland so, I’m good to go now in another couple of weeks.”

He had a minor surgical procedure just before Christmas and is working hard on his core fitness under the guidance of the Dublin medical team and physiotherapists.

He continued: “The last four years have been long years for Dublin. We’ve been in the semi -finals or finals.

“You start training at the end of December or the start of January so you run through until September and then you’ve got club football to play through.

“We’ve had some good years with them in the past as well. So we’ve had a lot of long years and it does take a toll on the body.

“I thought I played well during the (National) League (last year) and (then) just broke down, kind of lost momentum and I couldn’t find it for early parts of the championship.

“The leg wasn’t really bad but I was carrying it a bit. Just some of the sprint power I had and the kicking . . . the thing was, I wasn’t able to go out and practise my kicking, which I usually do twice a week as well as training.

“I wasn’t able to get out and get my eye in. That’s what really affected me. So this year I want to be able to do it right and get it (injury) out of the way early and get my preparation right.

“Last year I wanted to play as much as I could, so I played O’Byrne Cup, went straight into the League, played with Leinster (in the interprovincial championship). I played 11 weeks in a row, or something like that, and I just broke down.

“I was a bit naïve. I was moving well and I wanted to keep on playing. But I broke down. So as much as you need to play and as a forward, you want to get as much game time and get your eye in, you do have to rest the body as well.

“This year when we play, hopefully we’ll have a good run in the League and I’ll be able to get some games. It’s all about getting momentum as a forward.”

The fact Alan suffered an identical injury means Bernard can avoid the pitfalls his brother suffered. The latter explained: “It’s the exact same situation. So I have his guidance. He went through it and he had a couple of breakdowns throughout his comeback. He knows what needs to be done. The medical team have seen it all through him so I’m good hands.

“I think they’ve got the better of it now. Alan’s back playing now. He played with the club all through the B Championship. He’s had no side effects so I was just following his recovery path and hopefully that will be the end of it.”

Bernard is hoping the two will share game time in the blue jersey once again.

“I’m not going to speak for him but we’re hoping he’ll make the call. He’s been out at training already so he could be in the shout for the coming League games.

“But that’s the decision he has to make. I’m not sure. But we’ll be pushing him in the direction to play another year or two anyway.”

Dubs manager Gavin successfully blended the new and more familiar faces en route to winning the League last season and Brogan expects a similar philosophy.

“There is a lot of talent there coming through and he (Gavin) will want to have a look at them.

“There are another two or three lads who have played well in the O’Byrne Cup so I would say he will have a look at them.

“And I’d say he’ll want to keep lads fresh as well. There will be no one playing eight games on the trot or anything like that. He’ll chop and change things. But he’ll be going out to win every game and the further you get in the League, the better it is for your Championship.”

Brogan was speaking at the launch of the Wings for Life Foundation – it funds research into spinal cord injuries – World Run 2014 at Trinity College.

Some 150,000 runners in 40 countries will take part in the event. There are 5,000 places for the Irish leg, on May 4th over a Ring of Kerry route. Details at www.wingsforlife.com/registration.