herald

Friday 20 September 2019

'Let's make a festival of it' - legend Flynn urges fans to back men and ladies

Paul Flynn speaking to the Herald. Photo: Frank McGrath/Irish Independent
Paul Flynn speaking to the Herald. Photo: Frank McGrath/Irish Independent
Paul Flynn congratulating his wife Fiona Hudson after Dublin’s All-Ireland win in 2017. Photo: Sportsfile

Dubs legend Paul Flynn has urged people to support the ladies in their All-Ireland final in Croke Park against Galway.

He married Fiona Hudson, a former stalwart on the Dublin ladies' team in December 2017, and has always been a great supporter of the side.

He will be there to cheer on the Jackies in their bid for three in a row.

Last year saw a record attendance of 50,141 for the final when they successfully brought home the Brendan Martin Cup, and the numbers keep increasing.

Battle

With Jim Gavin's team set to do battle against Kerry this evening, Flynn told the Herald he thought it was great that the men's and women's matches were on the same weekend.

"You can kind of make a festival of it and I hope people come out and support the women tomorrow because there is going to be three games on there - junior, intermediate and senior finals," he said.

"It's a great advertisement for our women's game which has grown exponentially in communities and clubs and at senior level it's been great.

"Last week we saw just shy of 25,000 at the camogie final, which was a brilliant one.

"It's really important we support these games and it is vitally important for the next generation and the current generation."

He hoped that in the near future both the camogie and women's football finals would be sell-outs.

"I think with the media support, with the structures and systems in place at club and community level, and sponsorship and funding, we could get there."

He will be at both matches, cheering on the women as they take on the Tribeswomen in their sixth consecutive All-Ireland final.

"There is great excitement in the house," he said.

Wedding

"In 2017 , in the same weeks, myself and Fiona were preparing for All Ireland finals and preparing for our wedding.

"We were blessed - we both won that year and had the two cups at the wedding and obviously a lot of members of both teams there, so it was great."

He said girls attending tomorrow would be able to see their role models - and there are plenty of them in the game.

Flynn said that since he took off his inter-county jersey he was back proudly wearing his club jersey.

The Fingallians club man, the chief executive of the Gaelic Players Association, said his retirement from inter-county football earlier this year had meant him investing his time in his club - "it's been brilliant to be back down there.

"I am now playing hurling and football with them and hopefully will get involved in some coaching next year. I haven't had time just yet but I definitely will."

He said this could involve taking on one of the younger teams.

"I think that is the beauty of the GAA and the strength of it in many ways is the community aspect," said the native of Swords.

"The great thing about today's replay, everybody there, wearing the Dublin and Kerry jersey, all wear a different jersey underneath that.

"They all have a club jersey. They love their connection with their club," he said.

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