Ryan rejects claims Flynn has left Kildare panel

Kildare boss Jason Ryan has dismissed reports that experienced midfielder, Daryl Flynn has left the county panel.

The Moorefield man has suffered injury setbacks this season but according to Ryan is in “great form” as he bids to feature in a Leinster SFC quarter-final on June 8 against the winners of Saturday’s tie between Westmeath and Louth.

Flynn is one of a number of players who didn’t train with the panel on Tuesday due to impending club championship replays following the weekend’s domestic action.

“Daryl is in great form” said Ryan. “I was chatting to him (on Monday). We’re back training this week after a break when the players were with their clubs but Daryl won’t be. Neither will Kevin Murnaghan, Tomás O’Connor, Robbie Dunne or Mikey Conway because of replays. Daryl has been unfortunate. He had an issue with his hamstring and a bad twist of his ankle. He’s working hard to get himself in terrific shape, we can’t fault his attitude.

“He’s got a good bit of work done but the poor fella, he missed one or two hard blocks. It’s difficult because he’s playing catch-up but he’s got the heart of a lion and he’s an incredibly proud man to play for Kildare, so he’ll do everything he possibly can to get himself ready for the match against Louth or Westmeath or whatever happens after that.”

Eamonn Callaghan, Peter Kelly, Alan Smith, Emmet Bolton, Pádraig Fogarty, Niall Kelly and Ollie Lyons have all returned to training having missed large chunks of the Allianz League campaign that ended with Kildare being relegated to Division Two.

“The only guy that’s not got any game time yet is Eoin Doyle. All the rest have played a significant amount of football with their clubs and done a significant amount of training with ourselves. We’ve learned from last year, where sometimes, your head and your heart can conflict and you say ‘we really want this player on the pitch’ even if they’re not fit enough. We know exactly where these guys are, we’re testing them very regularly, we’ve had them for a decent enough block and they’re in good shape. We’re happy with our lot at the moment.”

Fionn Dowling (knee) and Willie Groome (ankle) were the only casualties from the club championship programme. Dowling scored 1-2 as a sub against Down the previous weekend and was pushing hard for a place.

Ryan will travel to Mullingar to scout his future quarter-final opponents but before that, he will be at Punchestown racecourse to attend the Kildare GAA Race Day that he has helped devise and work on.

While there have been a number of smaller fundraisers already this year, Ryan felt the need for one major event that could be run on an annual basis, to help defray the costs of running county teams as well as finance such developments as Kildare’s new two-storey gym, which willopen in Newbridge shortly.

“We wanted it to be Kildare GAA Day, for the families, the clubs and the inter-county teams. It’s not about the senior footballers. On Saturday the players are going to be doing fitness testing, skills competitions and coaching sessions for kids in different areas of the track. All the players on the football panel are scheduled to be involved.

“We want to give the fans an opportunity to mingle with the players, but also an opportunity for the players to be role models for the kids, for the kids to realise there’s a person behind what they see on the pitch and on television.”

Children will have free admission, with general admission at €20. Clubs selling tickets will receive 50% of the revenue from their sales, while a portion of the proceeds will also go to the Barretstown Children’s Charity.

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