Club commitment pays off for Daryl Flynn
By John Harrington
Moorefield captain Daryl Flynn has been playing for his club this year like a man who still has something to offer at inter-county level.
He has no regrets though about calling it a day with Kildare at the end of the 2016 championship after 12 years of service.
If anything, Moorefield’s run to Sunday’s AIB Leinster SFC semi-final has validated his decision to focus solely on club football.
“Coming back to a strong club was a fierce help,” said Flynn.
“We're very strong, we're always competitive in Kildare and we've good numbers training throughout the year, we've 30 lads from January up until whenever we finish.
“It wasn't a hard decision to step away, I just felt my time was done and I enjoyed every minute of it and made great friends.
“I was up here this year supporting the boys in Croke Park. It's a different feeling coming up with the fans rather than getting the bus in with the boys.
“Then you're up here watching the boys warm-up for the Leinster final against Dublin and you're kind of saying, 'Why didn't I give it one more year?'
“But at the end of the day the decision was mine at the time and I think I made the right decision. I'm enjoying being back with the club.
“During the 12 years with the county you're coming back during the middle of championship, but this year I played the whole league and all the championship so it's been great. It's a great honour to captain the team as well.
“We've won so that's the main thing as well, not matter who's playing we've won a county championship and that was our goal at the start of the year.”
Flynn was a key member of the Moorefield team that won their one and only Leinster Club Championship back in 2006 when they defeated Rhode of Offaly.
The current team looks capable of emulating that achievement, but Flynn is around the block long enough to know not to look past the considerable challenge of Wicklow champions Rathnew on Sunday.
“I was actually midfield with Ross (Glavin) that day (in 2006),” said Flynn. “Ross is the manager now. There's a few of us still...I know it's a long-time ago now and we're showing our age, but there's a few of us that were there then.
“There was a great feeling then, 'Sos' (Semaus Dowling) was the manager then and it was a magical moment in our career. It would be great to do it again but to do that we've to get over Sunday first.
“It's going to be a tough battle down there and if we do that we'll wake up on a Monday morning and we'll worry about a Leinster final then."
Rathnew caused the shock of the club championship so far by defeating reigning Leinster champions St. Vincent’s of Dublin in the quarter-final, and Flynn knows they’ll bring a lot of confidence into Sunday’s match in Aughrim.
“They will and rightly so. Vincent's, I think they were favourites for the All-Ireland never mind Leinster, so their confidence will be sky-high.
“We'll just have to go down there and expect the same fight they put up against Vincent's. Everyone's saying they'll dog us but watching the game they didn't fight Vincent's, they just outplayed them, outscored them and beat them.
“It's going to be a huge battle down there and it's one we're looking forward to. It's been great training this time of year.
“All the other clubs are probably going back doing the pre-season and we're still training, we're in the Leinster championship.
“There's a great buzz around the club and obviously it's the same in Rathnew, Loman's and Simonstown so it's good.”