Beating Tyrone gave Brogan most satisfaction

11 August 2017

Alan Brogan of Dublin.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Alan Brogan has admitted he got more satisfaction from beating Tyrone than any other team.

Having been on the losing side against the Red Hands in the 2005 and 2008 All-Ireland quarter-finals, Brogan and his Dublin team-mates finally got one over them en route to winning the All-Ireland in 2011.

The rivalry between the two counties at the time was fierce and writing in the Irish Independent, Brogan recalled: "Tyrone were the team I wanted to beat more than anyone when I played for Dublin. Yes, more than Kerry. Much more.

"Both of those teams inflicted horrible pain on us over those few years but Tyrone were different. My Mam’s from Kerry and I knew a lot of the Kerry lads so I could just about stomach losing to them Or at least, I could get over it quicker.

"But Tyrone? They’d won a couple of All-Irelands. They’d spooked Kerry. They were household names. But mostly, we didn’t like them and they didn’t seem to like us. They had this weird aura around them because they’d come from nowhere and we didn’t know any of them. Judging by how they interacted on the pitch, they didn’t seem particularly inclined to get to know any of us either.

"Things got fairly fraught between Dublin and Tyrone in the middle part of the last decade. When we played them, we went to war and it became an edgy, narky sort of relationship.

"Obviously there was the ‘Battle of Omagh’ too, which didn’t exactly help diplomatic relations. That team, with Conor Gormley, Ryan McMenamin, Philly Jordan, Joe McMahon - they were hard and physical and took up permanent residency in your face when you played them. There was bitterness there between the teams and the row in Omagh heightened that to the point where hatred festered between Dublin and Tyrone.

"It was all left in the past when the teams broke up but at the time, it was fairly intense. I’m starting to think it was because we didn’t know any of them personally. Most fellas you play against, you’ve met them before. You’ve been in college with them or in their company on an All Stars trip and you knew their form.

"But I wouldn’t have known any of the Tyrone lads. I still don’t. For that reason, you didn’t know what to make of them."

The counties will renew their rivarly in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final on August 27.