Flynn allays fears of more bad blood between Donegal and Dubs
Paul Flynn has played down the prospect of more bad blood between Dublin and Donegal on Sunday week.
There has been a number of flashpoints between the counties in recent times with Diarmuid Connolly sent off in the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final although the red card was later rescinded. In last year’s Division 1 game in Ballybofey, there were strong allegation claims a Dublin player had bitten Paddy McBrearty.
As somebody who lived with Donegal captain Michael Murphy in DCU, Flynn rejects the idea that the two camps don’t like one another.
“I know a good few of the Donegal lads and I got on quite well with them off the field. But once you step onto the field, with any opposition you play against, until that game is over it’s a battle and that’s just the way it is.
“It could be with anybody. It could be a club game. A squad game. Whether it is, that’s just football. That’s the way we’re built as athletes and footballers. So I don’t think anyone’s going to be carrying bad blood.”
Flynn wasn’t aware of Jim McGuinness earlier this week comparing Dublin to Chelsea in the way they are being funded and structured.
“The county board in Dublin are doing great work. There’s no doubt about it. I’m from Fingallians. We’ve got a GPO (games promotion officer) there supported by the county board. They do great work in Dublin to build GAA within Dublin. They can do what they do. And when it comes to our set-up, I just go to training and get on with it. And I don’t think any more of it. That’s the way I see it.”
Neither does he believe all the talk of Dublin’s might off the field takes away from the efforts of the players on it.
“I don’t read into any of that kind of stuff. I know when I go training there are 30 to 35 lads there who are going to put the hard work in. We just carry on internally like that. Try and forget about any other stuff like that.”
He’s more interested in highlighting just what the likes of Pat Gilroy and Jim Gavin have done for his and his team-mates’ career. “The guys are unreal. They don’t only work with us as a collective team, they put so much work and effort into the individuals who are in that team.
“To a certain degree, they treat you like their own kids. They nurture you right through the whole journey. I’m sure every county manager is the same. But a lot of credit does have to go to them. Pat obviously brought us our first All-Ireland. I’ll forever have that link and that bond with the 2011 group. Jim has brought us one as well and he’s our manager at the moment so we want to keep that going too. You do build a bond with these guys.”
Having former world champion boxer Bernard Dunne in the Dublin camp these last couple of years has been a great boon, says Flynn.
“Bernard is a world champion boxer. Whether you’re training or in the gym or in Croke Park preparing for a game, if you see him there, it’s a presence to have. Someone who has done it. Who has walked the walk.
“Yeah, he’d chat as well with us and make sure we’re focused. Nothing complex. Or not that there’s anything to hide.
“He’s brilliant. He fitted in seamlessly. He’s great to have around. It’s nothing specific. There’s no rocket science to it. Just general, making sure you’re in the right frame of mind.
“Some lads I know would opt out of performance coaches, but when it’s someone who has walked the walk it’s great. It’s a bit different.
“When Bernard Dunne asks you to go for a chat…I don’t know whether they do opt out. He rings me, I answer and I go and meet him.”
(IrishExaminer.com) / Image: Daily Mirror