Friday 28 October 2016

Galway star Jason Flynn: Tribe not burdened by All Ireland famine

U-21 Galway hurling star Jason Flynn
U-21 Galway hurling star Jason Flynn

"YOU can give out all you want about 20-odd years without All-Irelands," says Galway forward, Jason Flynn.

"But we've this year to worry about."

Which, despite the little factual inaccuracy contained within, seems an inherently sensible statement for anyone connected with the Galway hurlers to make.

It's actually 27 years now Galway have gone without landing the big one. But clearly, Flynn isn't counting.


And nor does he feel - as has sometimes seemed the case with recent Galway players and teams - the dead weight of each of the failed attempts in the meantime.

"There always positivity and negativity and there's a small expectation in Galway of winning All-Irelands," he adds, guilty here only of understatement.

"We'll take it game by game and look at it that way."

Flynn made his League debut in the 2014 League match between Dublin and Galway in Salthill, a rough start to an ultimately disastrous year for Anthony Daly's team.

"I remember enjoying it, it was my first game. I don't think the pitch at Pearse Stadium was up to scratch that day but I really enjoyed it. We scored 0-28 and I got four myself so as a young lad starting, I was delighted."

We'll know more by Sunday evening but already, Flynn feels much has changed with Dublin with the arrival of Ger Cunningham.

"Ger is a fantastic manager and Dublin can only go forward with him in charge," he outlines.

"They're made a few positional changes and it's working out. They could have beat Cork very easily but let it slip in the league but they can only go upwards with Ger."

"Liam Rushe up in the forwards is a big threat, he's a big man and Conal Keaney in the backs strengthens them up a lot. A tough challenge.

"Ourselves and Dublin have a lot of big men," he points out.

"It should be a good, physical game at Croke Park. Croke Park should suit both teams and it should be a good physical game."

Flynn's first major contribution to this year was a late brace of pressurised placed-balls to win a fraught League match against Clare in Pearse Stadium back in February.

First, he landed a late '65' to level the match and then struck the winner from a free 50 metres out on the right touchline two minutes into stoppage time.

"He's a brilliant marksman," gushed is manager, Anthony Cunningham afterwards.


"A young player coming through, a great stickman. He showed great bottle there but he has the talent."

Clearly then, he doesn't feel pressure.

"Not really, I've been taking frees all my life. You get what you put into it and if you know you've the practice done, you know you'll do well."

What, though, if Galway are the recipients of a late, high voltage free on Sunday?

Will it be Flynn or Joe Canning to take?

"Between the two of us," he laughs, "we'll work something out."


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