JUST months after he went to Iceland and became a goal-scoring hero in the Europa League for St Patrick's Athletic, former Ireland youth cap Stephen O'Flynn is heading north to chilly climes again to try and lift his career after severing his ties with the Saints.
Last July Pat's appeared to be on their way out of Europe at the first hurdle, as Icelandic side IBV were leading 2-1 on aggregate in the second leg of their first-round tie. But the much-travelled O'Flynn, who had only come on as late substitute, popped up with an injury-time goal in Iceland to send Pat's through on away goals and tee up further European adventures in Bosnia and Germany.
That goal was about as good as it got for O'Flynn at Pat's and he's since quit the club, which is why today he's in chilly Norway, part of the PFAI squad of out-of-contract Irish players who compete in an indoor tournament tomorrow against squads made up of similar players from Finland, Norway and Sweden, hoping to catch the eye of scouts and managers from continental clubs.
"I am 30 now and I have no real ties back in Ireland so if something was to come from this tournament, in terms of a move to Norway or something like that, I'd certainly look at it as I am finished with Pat's now," O'Flynn told the Herald at the Irish squad's base in the Norwegian capital earlier today.
"I suppose Europe has been good to me before and the lads here were joking, saying that I seem to fancy European football after scoring that goal for Pat's in Iceland, so we'll see what comes of it.
"We have a good squad of players here in Norway for this tournament with a good mix. You have young lads who are just starting off in their careers and would love a move away and then you have older pros like myself, so we'll play in this tournament and see what comes of it," added O'Flynn.
A switch to Scandinavia would not upset O'Flynn, who has certainly been willing to move clubs since he left his home in Mallow to join Wimbledon as a teenager: Cork City, Limerick FC, Cork City again, Derry City, Galway United, Limerick (again), Northampton Town, Limerick (yet again) and St Pat's.
He hoped that the move to Dublin would yield some honours but the experience at Richmond Park was disappointing. "I spoke to (Pat's boss) Liam (Buckley) at the end of the season but he didn't offer me a new contract, and even if he had done, I think I would have moved on anyway. I didn't feature towards the end of the season and it was time to move on no matter what," says O'Flynn, who admits that he didn't help his own cause at Richmond Park by earning a rap on the knuckles and a fine from boss Buckley after a missed flight on the way home from a stag weekend saw him report back late for duty.
He also suffered a rib injury which sidelined him for two months and O'Flynn struggled to get back into the side as Pat's marched to the FAI Cup final. The next move could be to another club in Ireland, on either side of the border, or maybe even the USA.
The 17-strong Irish squad trained in Oslo today ahead of tomorrow's games in an indoor arena in the Norwegian capital.