Flynn looking forward to life under Gavin
Frustrating defeat to Mayo still rankles with Dublin's double All Star, writes SEÁN MORAN, Gaelic correspondent In New York
The centrepiece of the Opel GAA-GPA All Stars tour takes place this evening in Gaelic Park in the Bronx. The meeting of the football winners from last year with their 2012 successors is purely an exhibition but is looked forward to by the local GAA community in New York and a crowd of a few thousand is expected this evening.
Injuries and the relatively thin back-up of the touring party mean some of the local players will get to play with the laureates from back home.
There are only three players common to both selections. Predictably two are from All-Ireland champions Donegal, Neil McGee and Karl Lacey.
But the third is the sole survivor of last year’s champions, Dublin’s Paul Flynn whose year encompassed winning another Sigerson with DCU and performing as the champions’ most consistent forward, his energy and accuracy often keeping the team afloat, during a disappointing season.
He’s also one of the weekend’s walking wounded and won’t play in this evening’s match.
“It’s hard to put your finger on it,” he says when asked what changed between the championship season and this year. “There are probably a number of little things and they all add up and accumulate to cause a bigger problem. I’ve thought about it and tried to figure it out but it’s hard.
“Some people say it was a lack of hunger. But what does that mean? You can’t just say that and think that answers all the problems. Why was there a lack of hunger, what else was there?
“There were obviously other issues. I’m sure the new management team are going to sit down and think about what it was and ask us. What frustrates me the most is that 15-minute period at the end of the Mayo game was exactly what we were looking for but it came too late.”
That All-Ireland semi-final was the snapshot of the team’s season. Coming in struggling for form but somehow convinced that they could at last raise their game. Mayo had form and left Dublin for dead until from somewhere the champions found a response – but too little too late.
The pivotal moment was a goal chance to level the match, which was saved by Mayo’s goalkeeper David Clarke.
“I just watched the highlights of the Mayo game the other day,” he says, “and Bernard (Brogan)’s chance for the goal – I actually hadn’t seen it since the game. I was like ‘oh my God’ it was a great opportunity.”