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Kilcoo’s Eugene Branagan won’t play for Down due to their lack of ‘winning mentality’

Eugene Branagan

Kilcoo star Eugene Branagan says that he has no interest in playing for Down, accusing the county team of not having a “winning mentality”.

Branagan was named as the AIB GAA Club Footballer of the Year for his role in Kilcoo’s All-Ireland Club triumph in February this year, although he has never played for Down.

Seven Kilcoo players were named in the Club Championship Team of the Year, although only two of those played for Down as they were put to the sword by Monagan in the Ulster Championship at the weekend.

Branagan was speaking to the media about his reluctance to play for his county and argued that many Down players don’t know how to win.

Eugene Branagan on why he doesn’t play for Down.

“I’ve no ambition to play for the county. I think there’s a core of players who don’t know how to win. They haven’t the winning mentality,” Branagan said, via the BBC.

“I think that’s why a lot of Kilcoo boys don’t want to be involved, they’re just there but I don’t think they’re there to win. That’s the difference between Kilcoo and the county.

“I’m a club man and that’s the truth. These past few years there’s boys coming back from the county and we feel they would be in a better place if they were training with us.

“At the end of the day for us, it’s all about winning, it’s not about going and getting beaten – that’s no good for us.”

The Mournemen have struggled this year.

Down have struggled significantly this year, as they suffered relegation from Division Two of the Allianz Leagues after failing to win any of their seven games.

Things didn’t get any better for Down in the Ulster Championship as they suffered a 10-point defeat to Monaghan, and as a result of their relegation from Division Two, they will play in the Tailteann Cup rather than in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Less than 12 years ago Down lost to Cork in the All-Ireland final by a single point, although they currently look a long way off those lofty heights, despite All-Ireland Club champions Kilcoo hailing from the county.

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