Paul Flynn still loving every minute after decade on duty with Dublin

It’s a young man’s game and in a little over a fortnight Paul Flynn will officially be classified as one of Gaelic football’s old men.
Paul Flynn still loving every minute after decade on duty with Dublin

The three-time All-Ireland medallist will turn 30 in early July, by which stage he hopes to be on the verge of pocketing another Leinster medal.

It hasn’t slipped Flynn’s attention just two players over 29 — Stephen Cluxton and Bernard Brogan — made the lineup for Dublin’s quarter-final win over Meath.

Perhaps it’s with that in mind that half-forward Flynn is particularly defensive when asked if the hamstring injury that kept him out of that match is down to his advancing years.

“No, I actually don’t agree with that,” said Flynn. “This is a hamstring strain, it can happen at any stage of your career, no matter what age you are. From mid-January, I hadn’t missed one training session through injury so you’re talking about a five and a half month period there.”

Still, Flynn acknowledged that time is ticking by and events like this Sunday’s Leinster semi-final against old rivals Meath, which he hopes to play in, are to be savoured.

“Absolutely, I’m not stupid, I’ve had a great innings,” said Flynn. “This is my 10th season playing with Dublin and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. You have to make the most of everything, you don’t know what’s going to happen or what’s around the corner.

“I’m not a fool, I’m not getting any younger. I’m going into my 30s and there’s not as many 30-year-olds playing as 20-year-olds. But I feel fit. We do fitness tests and I’m always up there in the top five, so there’s no issue there.

“As you get older you might lose that sharpness of pace more than your endurance. You can always build your endurance. My game is based on endurance and pace, that five-yard dart probably isn’t as important for me as for an inside forward.”

As if to underline Flynn’s veteran status, he taught current Meath panellist Joey Wallace while teaching in Ratoath several years ago.

He was also playing six years ago when Meath fired five goals past Dublin in the Leinster championship, the only provincial game Dublin have lost since 2004.

“I was over there in the dressing-room we used that day doing a photo shoot recently,” said Flynn.

“I said it to one of the lads, ‘I haven’t been in this dressing-room since 2010’. I sat in the same corner that I sat in that day when I was doing the photos. It brought it all back. So we’ll blame the dressing-room, will we?! Was that the reason for it?!”

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