LIFE has been a rollercoaster for Daniel Flynn this past fortnight.
Last week he became a professional sportsman after signing a two-year rookie deal with Aussie Rules side Port Adelaide on Wednesday (2 October) and he returned home on Friday bidding to win a Kildare intermediate football title with Johnstownbridge.
24 hours later, the 20-year-old played a full part in his club’s unforgettable win.
“I got back Friday at about half two,” said Flynn. “It wasn’t too bad, I went to last night and was up ready for the game this morning. I was a bit stiff but it was well worth the trip home for this.”
His two-week spell involved visiting clubs and putting his skills on show.
“The first week over there was just chilling out really. I went to visit a few clubs and had a bit of a kick around. Testing started with jumping on the Tuesday, it was all sprints on Wednesday morning and then some kicking stuff on Thursday morning. I was meant to do a beep test but at that stage I had the contract so I didn’t do it, mainly because of this final. I would have been in bits,” said Flynn.
Amid all the commotion, there were bittersweet feelings for Flynn.
“It’s very hard to leave here. I love playing for Kildare and I love playing for my club. Leaving family and my friends is going to be very tough but it’s a great opportunity, I don’t think I could pass it up,” he said although he may yet have a role to play in a Leinster club campaign, as he doesn’t travel back to Australia until mid-November.
Johnstownbridge manager Emmet McDonnell paid tribute to Flynn after the game.
“If this is going to be his last game with Johnstownbridge for a while Dan wanted to leave it as he did there today, playing very, very well. I was talking to him there coming off the field there and he is exhausted. He only got back home from Dublin Airport yesterday at about half four. He was there today and wanted to be a big part of things and he certainly was,” said McDonnell.
For Flynn, the win made everything worthwhile.
“It’s hard to put into words, we’ve been hurting for a long time but this makes up for it, this rectifies it. I think we were beaten in semi-finals for five of the last eight years so to do finally do this is unbelievable.
“It means an awful to people. The parish is lit up with colour, there is bunting everywhere. Barry McNally said it when he was collecting the cup, he didn’t think there were that many people in the parish.”