Sunday 22 April 2018

Knockout football what it's all about for Dub star Flynn

Dublin's Paul Flynn
Dublin's Paul Flynn
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

IT'S a measure of how far Dublin have come. The August Bank Holiday weekend used to be the rocks Dublin's All-Ireland ambitions would routinely perish on, but for Paul Flynn, the high-line routine of the last eight is the most exciting time of year.

"It's the football I love -- knockout football, where the pressure is really, really on and you have to deliver on the day and there's no second chances. I think it will bring the best out of us. We know we're under the kosh," said the Fingallians man.

Flynn didn't feature in the 2008 hammering at the hands of Tyrone and was just starting to establish himself when Kerry blitzed Pat Gilroy's 'startled earwigs' so he hasn't been around long enough to carry the baggage some others on the Dublin squad might.

"I didn't play against Tyrone in 2008 but I remember Kerry. It's something similar to what they are doing this year -- they were going through the qualifiers and people were writing them off.

"They were just struggling by every game. They came out in Croke Park that day and got an early goal and absolutely wiped the floor with us, they were brilliant.


"I remember preparing for that game, we were probably a little bit naive and complacent as well because we had just come off winning Leinster pretty convincingly.

"We had put in some good performances and maybe we were just a bit naive to think Kerry weren't playing well, and they were obviously hiding something."

Even in victory, All-Ireland champions seek areas for improvement and Flynn points to last Sunday's Leinster final.

If the celebrations looked muted, it wasn't down to an indifference towards their seventh provincial title in eight seasons, but because they had allowed a 10-point lead to be cut to three. The spectre of an old ghost had reared its head and Dublin felt uneasy.

"To beat Meath in a Leinster final -- it's not as if we were taking it for granted or we weren't happy to do that. We were obviously delighted to win it, but I just think we were annoyed with ourselves more so, to finish the game in the circumstances that we did," said Flynn.

"That was probably something we addressed a couple of years ago; it was something of old, one of our flaws, but we've addressed it.

"I don't know -- it still is kind of difficult, you were 10 points up and no matter how hard you try, you nearly just think that it's as good as over.


"You take your foot off the gas a little bit, and you're not doing the things that we're supposed to be doing."

Croke Park have yet to make a decision on whether the draw will be made over the weekend or on Monday morning as has been the case on occasion this season.

Only repeats of provincial finals are forbidden meaning that -- with the exception of Meath -- the Dubs could end up playing any of the sides in qualifier action this weekend.

"We just have to see who we get. There are a lot of good teams in there," said Flynn.

"I think there is a lot more in us, I'd say we have done a lot of good things in different games and if we can piece it all together we would be very happy.

"Maybe we didn't have that in the league but we're starting to show that in the championship in patches. But we haven't held it for 70 minutes yet. Hopefully we can do that.

"If we do that and we come up short then at least we'll know we have given it our all. The group of lads we have, I believe in every one of them.

"When it comes to it we'll be able to dig deep and fight until the bitter end. Because we just don't want to go down without fighting."

Irish Independent

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