Former back-to-back All-Star nominee Daniel Flynn has admitted it was a heart-to-heart with Kildare great Johnny Doyle that made him realise he’d lost his ‘grá’ for the game.
Flynn sat out the 2019 season to the frustration of former Kildare manager Cian O’Neill but revealed he’s fallen back in love with football and could feature against Wicklow in the O’Byrne Cup this Saturday.
New boss Jack O’Connor wasted no time in securing the 26-year-old’s services for 2020 and met the ex-Aussie Rules player on the morning of Dublin’s All-Ireland final win. Flynn happily committed having used his time out from the game to recharge his batteries and regain his appetite for destruction.
“The grá had kind of gone,” said Flynn of his decision to quit after 2018. “I sat down with Johnny Doyle, he was managing the college team and he said: ‘You look like a fella who has kind of fallen out of love with the game’. And he was probably right. To take a step back from it was the right thing to do so it’s great now. I love the game again now!”
The powerful full-forward said it wasn’t one specific thing that contributed to him being so frustrated with football.
“I just think it was life really,” he said. “It was a build up of different things.
“Training was....the last number of years it was kind of stepping up the whole time, everyone is trying to bridge that gap and I’d a lot of stuff going on myself with college. I was trying to work, I was trying to spend time with my friends and family, I was just trying to keep all the balls in the air and something had to give.
I started to resent it a small bit, I didn’t want to go to training or it was becoming a bit of a chore. It started to get to me so I said that taking a step back was probably the right thing to do.
Flynn admitted the most difficult part of walking away from the group was the feeling that he was letting down colleagues. They’d reached the 2017 Leinster final, the Super 8s in 2018 and naturally hoped to push on in 2019 with the strongest possible panel.
“Absolutely, I rang a good few of the lads and spoke to a lot of them,” he said. “I went for coffee with more of the senior lads, the leaders of the team and they were okay with it. But I myself did think that I was letting people down and that was tough.”
Flynn reckons he’s back for good now and doesn’t see himself taking more career breaks in the coming years. One thing he’s noticed himself is that he’s started to become more frustrated when results don’t go his way, a positive development.
“I find that’s starting to change a little bit, I’m starting to care about winning a small bit more. People would have said that to me (that he didn’t care about losing).”
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