Paul Flynn hopes other teams follow Dublin’s example and start to play a more attractive brand of football.
Jim Gavin’s side are top of Division 1 with four wins from four having scored a total of 6-63, 18 more points than second highest scorers in the top flight, Kildare. The fact three of their games having been played on Croke Park’s fast pitch has undoubtedly been a factor but Gavin’s encouragement for them to express themselves has also had a determining effect.
“I haven’t noticed too much of a difference, as a wing-forward anyway!” smiled Flynn at yesterday’s launch of the Dublin senior teams’ two-year deal with Skins.
“It’s the same kind of engine room. But regards how we’re playing, I suppose we’re trying to play a little bit more of an attacking style of football.
“It’s coming out. We’re getting good scores, but we need to be a bit tighter in defence, I suppose, because we’ve let away two sloppy goals there [v Kildare] on Sunday and we need to eradicate that.
“Hopefully, it [prevailing style of Gaelic football] works in cycles, and maybe everyone might go this approach because it’s a lot more attractive to watch. I can only speak for ourselves. We’re still working on the defensive side of things as well, but it’s probably just trying to have a nice balance.”
Before Christmas, Flynn warned the quality of talent coming up in the Dublin ranks was frightening. Only four games into the league and he has already formed an exciting partnership with 19-year-old Jack McCaffrey on the right wing.
“He’s a breath of fresh air around the place,” said Flynn.
“He’s so full of running, he’s so good going forward and even defensively he’s rock solid at the moment.
“He’s doing great and it’s nice to have someone there like that. He’s doing a lot of running going forward and I go back and it’s a nice little system of play.”
Flynn mightn’t be a spring chicken but the 26-year-old has been finishing games whereas in recent seasons when he might been replaced with 10 or 15 minutes to go due to fatigue. In an attritional position like wing-forward, that’s understandable but he’s finding himself able to play longer.
“I think in the position of the half-forward line, over years you kind of build up the fitness. Do you need to build up that endurance over years? And I think that’s what happens because I feel I’m working harder nearly in games but yet I’m able to go for longer.
“I heard someone say before about marathon runners and people who do these ironmen, they would be in their 30s before they [peak] because they build up the endurance.
“And I think that maybe, in the position that we play, it’s a lot more endurance-based and we build up that endurance over years. Or maybe you’re a bit more optional about some of the runs that you’re making, and you realise that you don’t have to go back in some cases and in other cases you do.
“Maybe it’s being a little bit more economical, but we are seeing out the 70 minutes and I’m happy enough if it stays like that.”
Flynn sees some similarities between Tyrone and Dublin in how they are grooming younger players with star qualities.
“They’re at the stage now when they’re rebuilding a team and making a new team there.
“They beat Donegal last week, I watched that on TV and I was really impressed by them.
“I didn’t see them at all last week against Cork but they’re obviously going to be mad for action on Saturday night.”
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