Flynn desperate to get over finish line
PAUL Flynn won't stop running until he gets his hands on an All-Ireland medal.
Flynn, the 25-year-old Dublin wing-forward from Fingallians GAA club near Swords, has covered the hard yards in game after game for Pat Gilroy's team and is ready for more on Sunday.
The doubts about the hamstring strain he suffered against Donegal have been the only blot on the landscape, but there's no doubt about his capacity to accept the work ethic demanded by the Dublin management.
On the subject of the hamstring, Flynn has been slightly amused about the concern expressed by the media and supporters.
"When it happened, I was just frustrated the way anybody would be. When you hear that popping you fear the worst, but once I saw the scans I was delighted," Flynn said.
"I've never had trouble with my hamstrings before, but maybe because it's so far into the season now that it's just getting a little bit tired.
"I was definitely 100pc alright before the Donegal game. It happened in the 67th minute, so I'm sure it was just fatigue.
"People keep asking me about it but it's the same question, same answer. I should probably go around with a sticker on my head saying 'I'm grand'."
Dublin fans will hope he's grand enough to be selected and take his usual place in the half-forward line because Flynn has quietly made himself one of Dublin's most effective players.
Only Alan Brogan's scoring performances edged him out of Man of the Match on two occasions during the course of the championship.
In addition, Flynn has scored 1-4, over the summer, including the only goal of the game in that nail-biting, controversial win over Kildare.
In the semi-final against Donegal, Flynn and most of the Dubs didn't shine individually for that grim, trench-warfare style battle, but all that mattered to them was the 0-8 to 0-6 winning scoreline and qualification for the final against Kerry.
A student at DCU, where he is studying PE and biology, the Fingallians man has a no-nonsense approach to football, which is reflected in his style on the pitch.
He may be getting ready for the biggest day in Dublin's football history since 1995, but Flynn is intent on keeping everything on an even keel.
"We haven't talked about it too much, but I'm very good at blocking all of that stuff out. I've done it for every other game. My house would be busy enough and they know to keep the hype low and they do," he said.
"I like to keep things low key, and I have my own approach to preparing for a match and I won't be changing it for this one."
Reflecting on the Donegal game and Dublin's fight for control of the contest after Diarmuid Connolly was sent off, Flynn felt that the challenge they faced would stand to them against Kerry.
"I think there was a bit of anxiety in the first half, but we had gotten over that and were just thinking 'let's get this game won'.
"We had worked hard enough to get to that All-Ireland semi-final and we just felt that this was our day and we just had to go and make it happen," he explained.
"We're thankful to have had that test. We've had a few this year now, but that was really tough. We showed a lot of character to win it.
"When you win ugly like that it's great for the team because even though it's not easy on the eye or even easy to play in, afterwards there's a great sense of achievement because you dug deep together to get the result."
Flynn made his senior county debut as a sub against Wicklow in an O'Byrne Cup match in January 2008 during Paul 'Pillar' Caffrey's reign.
His role in the present team is demanding, but there's no shirking.
"I do what I have to do and the hard work comes first. I try to get a good supply of ball into the full-forward line and link up the play.
"After that I try to get a few scores if possible, and this year I've been doing that, but it's a bonus. If I can pass the ball to someone else 10 times and we get 10 scores, I'll be just as happy," he said.