“Has anyone got a Kleenex?” he joked after a game in which his largely young and inexperienced side led their visitors from the second minute until the 73rd.
His mood must have been improved by the sight, shortly before that killer third goal, of young Daryl Flynn ambling on to the St Conleth’s Park pitch for the first time since his recent and unexpected return home from life in the AFL with Port Adelaide.
“Yeah, it’s all about the As: we’ve one fella back from Australia and another fella back from Allenwood,” said Ryan. “Johnny [Doyle] is back training next week. He’s been working really hard over the last few weeks… so he’s mad for action. Daniel, he’s missed Gaelic football an awful lot.
“He’s looking forward to being involved with the U21 game [against Offaly] on Wednesday night and being involved with the seniors over the course of the year. He’s an incredibly talented kid with a brilliant attitude so Port Adelaide’s loss will be Kildare’s gain.”
Ryan has already spoken to Flynn in some depth since the younger man’s return home and put the player’s decision to turn his back on a professional career Down Under as a simple desire to play for his county alongside fellow Johnstownbridge men Sean Hurley, Cathal McNally, Paul Cribbin, Keith Cribbin and Brian Flanagan.
“He gave himself a great opportunity out there [in Australia]. He’s a great guy, he’ll go back to college and study and get good qualifications and move on from there.”