Saturday 24 March 2018

Flynn: We lost respect for final failings

Paul Flynn
Paul Flynn
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Former Waterford hurler Paul Flynn has acknowledged Waterford lost respect because of their actions just before the start and in the early stages of the 2008 All-Ireland hurling final against Kilkenny.

Flynn makes his comments in the latest 'Laochra Gael' programme which will be broadcast on TG4 tomorrow night.

Flynn, who came on as a sub, reflected on attempts by Waterford players to intimidate Kilkenny which clearly backfired. "I think we lost a bit of respect. There's no question that the first five minutes of that All-Ireland don't figure as one of our finest achievements."

Flynn also raised questions about the preparations for that game – a series of team-building activities they engaged in – a stark contrast from what Kilkenny were doing.

"The hurling aspect of the All-Ireland final was gone," he recalled. "We were climbing, canoeing, jumping off the pier in Carlingford. Meanwhile, Kilkenny were playing six 50-minute matches of hard hurling."

Flynn wonders if Waterford might have been better off not getting to the 2008 final and he admits it was "difficult" to prepare for the game knowing he had no chance of playing.

"To know that you weren't going to be picked no matter what happened is difficult".

Flynn said the appointment of Davy Fitzgerald as manager went ahead without any influence from the players.

Flynn also believes Waterford blew arguably their best chance to win an All-Ireland title in 2007 when they lost the semi-final to Limerick and criticised the substitution of John Mullane.

"I knew any chance of me influencing the game was gone, but taking off John as well was probably a bad idea," he said.

He considered retirement after that game, but felt Waterford were the second best team in the game at that time and it influenced his thinking.

Irish Independent

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