By Rory Houston - @RTESundayGame
Bernard Brogan heaped praise on his brother Alan after the forwards helped Dublin end their wait for an All-Ireland title with victory over Kerry.
Bernard, footballer of the year in 2010, and Alan were part of a brilliant Dublin attacking line-up this summer and hit 0-08 of Dublin 1-12 in the win over the Kingdom.
Bernard Brogan told RTÉ: “I’m delighted for Alan. He has been a trojan for Dublin and given so much to the blue jersey. It hasn’t always been easy times. There is no man out there that deserves it more than him and hopefully he can go on to win Player of the Year.
“He has given us everything and been sublime. It shows the measure of the man that he is still producing after all the years.”
While the Brogans combined to score 0-08, it was goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton that proved the hero with an injury-time free to ensure Dublin would lift Sam Maguire.
The St Oliver Plunketts forward knew from his experience in training with Cluxton that nerves would not get the better of him: “To be honest with you I never doubted him. I have been kicking frees with him in training for the last nine months. He is unbelievable, his accuracy is unbelievable and I never doubted it.
“It was in a sweet spot, that’s where he kicks all his frees and when we won that free I knew that was it. “
Kevin McManamon played an important role for the Dubs for the second match running. Coming on the back of an influential cameo against Donegal in the semi-finals, St Jude’s man McManamon scored a vital goal that got Dublin back in the game in closing stages.
Brogan spoke of the vital strength-in-depth of the Dublin panel: “We had people like Kevin McManamon on the line who can change a game. He is unbelievable and a special man.
“That has been our strength all year. There are 35 lads there that can play any day and Kevin has showed his mental strength all year. He probably thinks and he is good enough to start in that team, but he has got a job to do and that is to make an impact.
“He has done it all year. It is a hard place to be when you think you should be playing. Paul Flynn did it last year and it shows the measure of a team when a player will sacrifice his own game for the better of the team and it shows the last two games that he has come on and made a huge impact. It shows our strength all year and that is why we are champions.”
Wild celebrations greeted the final-whistle and the players stayed on the pitch for as long as they could in the aftermath. Brogan revealed he wanted to savour a time he had craved for his whole career.
“I had to be dragged off by the stewards. I was in the centre circle and I didn’t want to leave. It is an unbelievable feeling and I just wanted to cherish it.”