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Paul Flynn following the 2017 All Ireland SFC Final.

Paul Flynn following the 2017 All Ireland SFC Final.

Paul Flynn: 'Competition is the biggest driver'

By Cian O'Connell

Timing matters so deeply in sport; Paul Flynn knows all about that.

In these glittering and glorious days for Dublin Flynn is delighted to be part of it all.

Three All Ireland titles on the spin have been secured, five victories since 2011, Flynn has occupied different roles in the triumphs. The depth of the Dublin panel was particularly apparent in 2017. 

"It's a great thing," Flynn admits. "This year sitting on the bench myself, Bernard Brogan, Mick MacAuley, Eoghan O'Gara, Kev Mac (Kevin McManamon), Darren Daly, Diarmuid Connolly, we're all on the bench and then the lads on the field it didn't seem to have any impact for them because they went out, they were excellent and we came in and finished the job off. 

"That's the mindset we have now and we have to have. Yes, everyone wants to start and they will go hard to make sure they put themselves in a position to start, but if they're not starting they'll get a 20-minute stint, 10-minute stint, whatever it is, they're going to make an impact for the team.

"We've become good at that as a team, they get over the disappointment of not starting quite quickly and realise they have a role to play."

It is precisely why Flynn is so determined to remain an integral part of the Dublin set-up. "I'm looking at next year and am going to go very hard at it and give it everything I have and once the body is good and the mind is good and that's what it is, I'm hungry to play," Flynn says.

"I still can start. Once I'm in that position in my head and the body supports that I'll keep her lit until the body supports that."

Injuries disturbed Flynn during the 2017 campaign, but he is keen to continue to deliver for Dublin. "Competition is the biggest driver," Flynn acknowledges.

"When you have a team where no one's position, and I say that fairly strongly, no one's position is guaranteed. When you have that competition it brings out the best in everybody.

"You can't afford to have a bad training session, never mind a bad game. As well as that there are a lot of group who, for their first five years, didn't win any All-Irelands. 

"I remember that, I remember how tough it was to deal with and when you have a team with the ability to reach the Promised Land and win an All-Ireland you just keep driving it home to make sure you can make the most of it.

"This is a funny game, it can turn in an instant. Anything can happen. A kick of a ball and Mayo are up there lifting Sam. That's what keeps driving it on."

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