Tuesday 17 July 2018

Dublin's invincibility will end like four-minute mile - Kildare's Daniel Flynn

Kildare’s Daniel Flynn in Croke Park yesterday for the launch of the Top Oil Leinster Schools SF ‘A’ Championship with representatives of schools who will be participating for the Br Bosco Cup. Photo: Sportsfile
Kildare’s Daniel Flynn in Croke Park yesterday for the launch of the Top Oil Leinster Schools SF ‘A’ Championship with representatives of schools who will be participating for the Br Bosco Cup. Photo: Sportsfile

Sam Wheeler

Kildare star Daniel Flynn reckons Dublin's aura of invincibility will soon be shattered like the four-minute-mile barrier.

"No-one could beat the four-minute mile, then Roger Bannister beat it, and soon everyone started beating it," says Flynn.

The Dubs have been hailed as one of the greatest teams in history, winning three successive All-Irelands, and 11 of the last 12 Leinster titles.

In June, Kildare were praised for pushing Jim Gavin's men hard in the provincial final, but still lost by nine points.

Flynn, though, is convinced that the gap is closing - fast enough that the Lilywhites can turn the tables next year.

"I can't see a reason why anyone can't beat them," he says. "There no obstacle to us beating them, other than the fact that they are very good.

"There's a mental side against Dublin. And if you can overcome that, it goes a long way towards beating them. It comes down to attitude more than ability."

Heart

Flynn takes heart from Kildare's display in the Leinster final, when they refused to fold after conceding two early goals, and Mayo's efforts in the All-Ireland decider.

"We had huge belief that we were going to beat Dublin," he said. "Like Mayo, we went out and played football, rather than trying not to lose.

"You take what positives you can. We were nine points down after 20 minutes, and we were beaten by nine points; we let in the two early goals, and I missed a sitter to bring it back to three points. If these things went our way; if we didn't let in those two goals, if I scored that goal…

"Watching Mayo gives you hope too. It shows that Dublin are just human. There's a bubble in the media that surrounds Dublin, that they're unbeatable. They have backed that up, but… I don't think there is that much in it, I think the gap is closing between the rest of the counties and the Dubs."

The Johnstownbridge powerhouse is also encouraged by Kildare's performances in the early stages of the championship, and in the league.

"It's been a progressive year," he says. "We set out to get out of Division 2, and that went well; and our style of play is improving all the time. We had a good run in the championship; the Armagh game (a qualifier defeat) was a disappointment, but we're going in the right direction. People ask if staying in Division 1 is a priority, but we want to get to the final. Why not? We don't want to just stay there - we want to push on and do well up there."

All in all, Flynn (23) remains happy with his decision to turn his back on a promising AFL career with Port Adelaide in 2015, when he returned home citing homesickness. Off the field, things have "fallen into place" for him: he has just been offered an auditing job with KPMG, starting next summer, provided he passes his final year accounting and finance exams at Maynooth University.

"I had a small bit of regret for a little while, maybe a year," he says. "There's was a 'what if' sort of thing. That was the big doubt with me, but the football is going well here, my life is going well, I'm on that upward curve to get where I want to be, so I'm happy enough."

Flynn is hoping to return to Australia next month as part of Ireland's International Rules team. He is part of the extended training squad but concedes that making the cut ahead of some household names will be hard, saying: "There's some serious talent there - Michael Murphy, Conor McManus, these boys. They have a presence about them."

If he does get the call, will he be able to afford the time off college, especially with such a big carrot at the end of the year?

"Doesn't matter," he says. "It's a chance to play for Ireland, I won't be saying no."

Daniel Flynn was speaking at the draw for the Top Oil Br Bosco Cup - the new name for the Leinster GAA Schools' Senior Football 'A' Championship. The competition has a new format, with six groups of three schools.

Irish Independent

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