"The hunger was missing. I was afraid I'd start pulling the thing down"
Every man has a tipping point.
And between work, study and training, Daniel Flynn's arrived in the winter of 2018. With commitments calling from every direction, the Johnstownbridge man decided around this time last year, that he needed a timeout.
So to the horror of his county, the Lilywhites' star player called a year out in his prime. It was a devastating blow for Kildare, one that neither Cian O'Neill nor the team would recover from, but Flynn has never been a man to take things overly seriously.
He didn't deliberate and he was away. Laid back just about does the man justice.
This is a fella who, in a world of paralysis by sporting analysis, doesn't watch Gaelic football all that regularly, and couldn't tell you much about games he's not involved in. Says he hasn't seen a gym in a year, and has always hated running.
Happy-go-lucky is the vibe and he wouldn't play football if he didn't enjoy it. His isn't a big GAA family, and he's not pushed or forced into anything so when the Kildare commitment began to grate last year, he wasn't for hanging about.
"I was giving out every night going to training. The matches were fine, I love matches, I never minded them at all but it was the Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, Friday nights going to the gym I’d be like ‘ugh, I don’t want to go up here,'" he said at Future Proof media at the launch of On The Ball team building.
"When I’d get over there I’d be fine but I think that’s kind of normal for lads...Sometimes you just want to chill out and not have to endure the whole thing. I just didn’t want to do anything so I didn’t," he says with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
"For me, I was afraid that I’d start pulling the thing down and affecting the team. The best thing for me to do was to take the time for myself and I think it’s worked a treat..."
So off he went on his travels. New York was the destination and he had the holiday of his life. Now refreshed, renewed and re-invigorated again, he's eager to get back on the horse this year.
"Yeah. The hunger was missing, I think that can happen when you’re training non-stop and going from thing to thing as well - work and college - there’s a lot of different balls you have to keep in the air and something had to give.
"I was back and I was playing with the club and that was really good to just start from scratch again and tip down the road with the boys and have a bit of fun in training.
Great to see Daniel Flynn back in Kildare and floating them over.
Some talent in full flow.pic.twitter.com/3y5Sz9HIgx
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) April 29, 2019
"But as the year started to go on, I was eager to get back in with Kildare. I was thinking about going back in in the middle of the year but I thought it wouldn’t be right to go back in unless I go back in fresh..."
"Maybe around last summer it was in the back of my mind and as championship started to go on, I really wanted to go back in..."
And Jack O'Connor has freshened the whole thing up, according to Flynn.
"I met him before I went back in, we had a coffee in the Glenroyal and it was just an informal chat. He was just wondering why I wasn’t playing last year or, whether there was anything up and I just told him I needed a break from football so it was really good yeah.
As for the fitness, Flynn claims to have taken it handy during his year off - and hasn't seen a gym in a year.
"I haven’t been fit in five years," he jokes.
"It is tough to get back into it but it’s like anything, you just have to keep doing it. I don’t think I’ve been to the gym in a year.
"I would if I had other stuff but I’d rather just go and see the lads and chill out. You have to do it now and it’s ramping up now, just to get strong for the year ahead. So we’d be doing two or three sessions a week and I enjoy that, I enjoy the gym. I hate running so I need to run more often but a lot of lads take care of that themselves..."
"We’re back training since the start of November so it’s not too bad. We’re training maybe four times a week between pitch and gym so it’ll probably go up to five come the new year. So it’s not too bad, at least you’ve an extra night to yourself. Good bit of contact, it’s all football work and a good bit of running..."
Daniel Flynn will do things his own way anyway. And Kildare are blessed to have him back.
Daniel Flynn of Kildare in attendance at the launch of On The Ball Team Building training camps in the Dingle Peninsula. On The Ball Team Building create experiences designed to develop, energise and inspire teams to perform at their peak for the season ahead. For more information visit http://www.ontheballteambuilding.com/.