Paul Flynn of Dublin during the team parade on Sunday. INPHO/Donall Farmer
Game face

Dubs relishing knockout summer, warns Paul Flynn

The All-Ireland champions staggered over the line in Leinster but the wing-froward says they’re ready for the business end of the championship.

ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS Dublin will not give up their title without a fight between now and September, according to wing forward Paul Flynn.

And, having booked their passage to the quarter-finals on the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, Pat Gilroy’s side are relishing knock-out football, he says.

“I suppose it’s the football I love — knockout football, where the pressure is really, really on and you have to deliver on the day and there’s no second chances,” Flynn told yesterday.

“I think it will bring the best out of us. We know we’re under the cosh. People talking about us being All-Ireland champions and stuff, but the way I look at it anyway is there are no All-Ireland champions at the moment. We are in 2012 now, and 2011 is gone and we can look on that in a couple of years’ time, maybe when we retire, but now it’s time to just concentrate on 2012. We are well and truly in it now, and there’s a lot of football still to be played, and there’s a lot of good teams left in it.”

As things stand, the only side left in the draw that the Blues can’t face is the side they saw off last weekend at HQ: Meath. But despite the fact that it could be heavyweights from the Kingdom or Kildare, the Fingallians clubman is looking forward to the challenge of another run at Sam.

“The form Donegal have shown would nearly put them in the favourites’ position for the All-Ireland at this stage. They absolutely annihilated Down and I didn’t see that coming at all. Cork, it has been quiet down there but they are definitely going to be there or thereabouts. They have their full panel back too which is dangerous.

“Kerry, what more can you say about them? They are back and they are hungry and you could see after the win against Tyrone that they mean business. You could see that they were hurt by some of the comments that were made about them. They’ll be back and the like the qualifier route when they get there. It’s heating up so it’s going to be interesting in the draw.”

And will Flynn tune into the proceedings or let lady luck play the cards she will during the draw?

You can’t [ignore it] really, it’s so important, but at the end of the day whoever we get we get. It’s not in our control, we just have to see who we get. There are a lot of good teams in there. If Laois beat Meath we can play any of the four teams but if Meath win then we can only meet one of three teams,” he said at the launch of the All-Ireland football series at Castlebar Mitchells GAA Club yesterday.

“I’d say there will be one or two surprises next week, I can see Tipperary giving Down a good game. They are after coming off a couple of good wins, the six day turnaround is very difficult I think. Coming off a provincial loss, it’s hard to regroup I’d say.”

Battle Royal

Gilroy’s side are in the draw after staggering over the line against Meath in the provincial decider on Sunday. And improvement is obviously needed if they are to scales the heights in September once again.

“It was a weird kind of game. We didn’t play great — we only played well in patches,” says Flynn. “We started off well, and then in the middle of the half we were poor enough, and then we ended the half well. The two goals were crucial, because to go in seven or eight points up wasn’t a true reflection on the first half. We’ll take it — a win’s a win, we’re in the All-Ireland quarter-final, where we want to be. At the end of the day we’ve won Leinster so you’ve got to be happy, but obviously there’s definitely room for improvement.

“I’d be 100% confident that we will [step it up]. If we do that and we come up short then at least we’ll know we have given it our all. The group of lads we have, I believe in every one of them. When it comes to it we’ll be able to dig deep and fight until the bitter end. Because we don’t want to go down without fighting.”

United in respect: Read Tyrone’s tribute to ‘inspirational’ Kerry fans

O’Neill: “Everyone wants to see if someone gets a score that they are entitled to it.”

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.