Tuesday 21 November 2017

Flynn banking on long break to cure persistent groin woe

Paul Flynn has been struggling with a groin problem since last year's NFL semi-final with Monaghan (SPORTSFILE)
Paul Flynn has been struggling with a groin problem since last year's NFL semi-final with Monaghan (SPORTSFILE)
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Paul Flynn is hoping to reap the benefits of a complete break from football that lasted three months in an effort to clear up a nagging groin problem for once and for all.

Flynn had to manage the problem for much of last season after suffering a recurrence in the league semi-final against Monaghan last April.

He had undergone corrective surgery at the beginning of 2015 but steered clear of a second operation that could have brought complications.

"I got through the year. I just had to manage my training a bit better. I needed to rest it," he reflected on a season that left him without an All-Star for the first time since 2010.

"When we finished up, I went back playing with the club and it just got worse and worse. I wasn't doing them any favours and I definitely wasn't doing myself any favours. So I gave it the rest it needed."


Flynn says he switched off to such an extent after the All-Ireland final that he struggled to find his boots in recent weeks. Some bike and pool work and upper body weights was as much exertion as he committed himself to.

Last night he faced into his first running session of the season and has targeted the Cork match in early March as a comeback date though he left the door open to face Mayo in Castlebar in just over two weeks' time.

"Second operations aren't always a good option. There can be complications with them. We feel that we may not need it," he said. "It's no different from any player. Every player has niggles. I had very few injuries over the last while," he pointed out.

"I was very lucky. It was only a matter of time really because everyone gets chronic injuries, given the way we abuse our bodies. Training affects lads that way."

Flynn disputes the view that the injury held him back in 2015 and contends himself that he played better than he did in 2011.

"I definitely didn't hit the heights last year that I hit in '14. I probably played as well, if not better, than I did in '11. It's just that your own standards are rising each year," he said.

"The first game against Longford, I didn't do too badly. The next two games I didn't score. If I'd scored the points, it would have been fine.

"But in the All-Ireland series I started getting better. Sport is a funny thing. You can come in and out of form. Some days it's on, some days it's not."

Flynn admits 2014 has been his best season since his introduction to inter-county football, a summer when he felt things came easier to him.

"I felt like every game in '14 I was, sports people talk about being in the zone, I was just comfortable, confident. Every game I felt I was going to get scores.

"Every game I felt my passes were finding the man, I was going to win the kick-outs, I was going to find myself in the right place for breaks. Everything felt like it was easy, in my own head it was easy.

"There can be times when you are playing a game when you can be constantly battling with yourself. 'I need to get on the next ball, I need to make the next pass.' In 2014 it was a flow."

If 2014 was his best season, 2015 was the most enjoyable.

"The first one was very special, but last year we just had this group and it was the best craic I ever had throughout a year, whilst working hard and having a very competitive environment.

"We were always challenged, always feeling like you have to perform in training. But when we had any training camps or any training sessions as a group we had the best craic ever. If you are enjoying your football that much, it just makes it so much easier."

He enjoys the privacy of league football, afternoons and evenings when mistakes aren't magnified as much and you can play through poor passages of form.

Dublin have won the last three leagues and Flynn has made it his business to be available for as many of those 27 games as possible.

"You get your match fitness up, you get really good competitive games against Division 1 teams. You can work through your form.

"You don't mind if you have a bad game. But you reflect on them. You can reflect on them without the world watching them."

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