Sharp shooter Flynn aiming for qualified success in Kildare's cause
When a player who attempts the audacious shots that are a standard part of Daniel Flynn's repertoire admits that he has been struggling for confidence, it encapsulates the grimness of Kildare's 12-match losing run.
Thankfully for Lilywhites supporters, the devastating inside forward was talking in the past tense on Saturday evening as he contrasted the stunned silence in the dressing-room after the loss to Carlow with the rays of positivity now penetrating the dark cloud that has hung over Kildare football for a year.
It was only a first-round qualifier win over Derry, but when you've waited close to 365 days for the right result, you won't sneer at it.
Confidence returned to the Kildare players during their 2-22 to 2-14 victory, summed up by Flynn's net-bursting thunderbolt that served as the perfect riposte to Derry's early goal.
The forward line which had been stymied, frustrated and wasteful against Carlow, helped end a year-long slide as their starting six notched 2-9 from play.
The final whistle wasn't quite reminiscent of the ending of other GAA droughts, but the interactions between Kildare players and supporters told you just how much they wanted this one.
"After the Carlow game, it was a bit like disbelief to be honest," Flynn said. "It felt like the game passed me by whereas now this is great. You would swear we are after winning a competition with the amount of people on the pitch.
"It's a weight off the shoulders," he added. "It's been a long year. With myself the last couple of weeks, confidence and self-belief just chipping away slowly but surely. It's just a big relief."
Winning tends to ease the toxicity in the air, and Cian O'Neill will hope last weekend gets him out of the firing line for a little while at least.
- Read more: 'After the Carlow game, it was bit like disbelief' - Kildare star on how Lilywhites recovered from surprise defeat
Flynn has wisely removed himself from the online conversation to avoid the championship flak.
"I'm a bit sheltered from it, I deleted social media for a couple of months just to get rid of it," he said.
"Not because of football, but just to get away from it. Going from what people were saying there was a bit of bad talk and negativity around the county, which is understandable."
The 23-year-old showed glimpses of his top form in Owenbeg and if he can extend those moments into impressive spells, he will soon be posting healthy tallies against even the best teams.
"I got it a bit out and when I got to around 20 yards out thought, 'there could be a goal on here'. I hit it as hard as I could and it went in just under the crossbar. I was boll***d for about 20 minutes afterwards!"