All-Ireland Club SFC Final: Kilcoo squad a band of brothers says joint-captain Aidan Branagan
|AIB All-Ireland SFC club final: Corofin v Kilcoo|
|Date: Sunday, 19 January Venue: Croke Park, Dublin Throw-in: 16:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster MW, the BBC Sport website, app and BBC Sounds.|
Five Branagan siblings are set to start Kilcoo's All-Ireland Club Football Final on Sunday but the oldest of them, joint-captain Aidan, says the entire team is akin to a band of brothers.
At 36, Aidan is preparing for a final he probably believed would never come against a Corofin that have won three of the last five All-Ireland titles.
"Me and Conor [Laverty] took a few of the underage teams," says Branagan.
"We took the under-14s for a few years and they were like our wee brothers.
"A lot of them are in the senior team now and we knew them as children.
"You were having the craic with them when they were growing up. Now they are just playing with you. So it is very, very tight knit."
'Mark was the best of the lot of us'
But it's difficult to get away from the novelty factor of five brothers set to line out together in an All-Ireland Senior final.
Father-of-four Aidan is careful to point out that the "most talented brother of the lot of us", Mark, will not be involved after having hung up his boots.
"It's great playing with your brothers but of course there are the ups and downs," says Aidan of Niall, 32, Aaron, 28, Daryl, 26, and Eugene, 21.
"After a match, there are plenty of arguments. I suppose it keeps you on your toes for the next game.
"No one gets any praise in the car. It's always 'you could have done better' or what you should have done. Maybe it's good for you.
"You don't really think of it as your brother. It's just the same as your friend playing.
"If he's not getting on, he's doing something wrong or he's not up to pace and that's up to himself to get himself back into position."
'When Mickey talks, everyone listens'
Kilcoo's veteran manager Mickey Moran is the man who has to break any bad news about team selection but according to Branagan, it will be done in the nicest possible way.
"He just has a great way with him. If he takes you aside and tells you, you're not playing well, he doesn't tell you straight blunt out 'you're not playing well'. He just goes about it a nice way and gets the best out of you," adds the joint-captain, who was set to retire before Moran's arrival in the autumn of 2018 provoked a rethink.
"He's a very special man. It's hard to put into context. He takes the best out of you. He has a great aura around him.
"Every time he speaks, everyone is just listening 100% to what he is saying. He just has that x-factor that people would talk about. You listen to every word he says."
As regards the prospect of becoming All-Ireland Club champions, Branagan acknowledges that he is "almost afraid to think about it".
"That's just human nature. You don't run away with yourself. We'll just concentrate on the game and hopefully all those things come.
"If we perform to what we are capable of, I'm sure we could give any team a good run for their money. We'll see what happens on the day."