Build up continues - Ten questions with Bryan

posted 17 Sep 2013, 03:54 by Skerries Harps   [ updated 20 Sep 2013, 01:09 ]

Ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland final against Mayo, we put Dublin wing-forward and 2011 All-Ireland winning captain Bryan Cullen under the spotlight.

1. Select your all-time dream half-forward line, with you starting at No. 12.

Alan Brogan at No. 11 and David Hickey at 10. In the 10 years that I have been playing for Dublin I think Alan is the most naturally talented player I have come across. David is a legend of the game in Dublin circles and his achievements speak volumes, playing in six All-Ireland finals and winning three. Throw in his sheer pace and he’s a legend.

2. Do you possess any sentimental GAA items?

I have my first championship jersey from the Louth game in 2003. It’s in the bottom of a drawer in the house somewhere – No. 10 actually – but it’s my first jersey so it’s important. When I was younger I used to hold on to them but as I got older I didn’t have the space to hold on to all of them to be honest with you.

3. If you could swap jerseys with any player in Ireland, who would you like to swap with?

I don’t swap the Dublin jersey!

4. Who was your toughest opponent in the underage grades in Dublin?

Myself and Declan O’Mahony would have been the same age growing up. He would have been midfield for Ballyboden and we would have clashed with them a lot. He was a very talented guy and progressed on to the Dublin senior team like myself. Declan was very athletic, very tall and very commanding in the air. He was also a very good kicker of the ball so he had it all really.

5. Who was your childhood hero?   

Paul Curran, the former Dublin wing-back. He was an outstanding footballer and I would say he was the best wing-back of his generation, and I really liked the way he played the game.

6. If you could play an All-Ireland final in any stadium outside of Ireland, where would you like to play it?

The MCG in Melbourne because I played down there in the International Rules Series a few years ago and it’s a fabulous stadium with a huge capacity of 110,000. I think if you filled that for an All-Ireland final the sound effects would be pretty massive

7. What do see as the percentage split between work-rate and talent in terms of what it takes to become an inter-county footballer?

Wow, good question…50-50 I would have to say. Everyone has their stories about the guys that have all the talent in the world and are outstanding with their clubs growing up but probably aren’t willing to commit to the training or commit to the weekends and end up going another course in life.

8. What’s the most you’ve ever scored in a single game in your career?

I scored 0-13 in an U21 championship game against Na Fianna back in 2004. I scored them from a mix of frees and from play and I was helped by the fact that the game went to extra-time as well.

9. Is there any one score you have gotten in your career that stands out for a particular reason? 

I remember kicking a point in the Leinster final against Laois in 2005. It came at a point when we were under a lot of pressure because Laois had scored four or five points in a row to bring themselves level and we were struggling to get points. Then I kicked one over from the left hand side of the pitch with my left foot. I couldn’t have struck it any better and I remember it sailing over. That was the momentum we needed to kick on and win that game.

10. If you could revisit any one moment in your career and go back and change it, what moment would you choose?

I remember when we played against Kerry in 2009 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Pat (Gilroy) put me at wing-back and I wasn’t really comfortable going into the game. I never really said that to him, so I think if I could go back I would probably sit him down and tell him I wasn’t happy playing there. Let’s just say it didn’t work out that day!