By Rory Houston - @RTESundayGame
Paul Flynn believes Pat Gilroy crafted a group of individuals into a team that finally fulfilled their potential by winning the Sam Maguire Cup on Sunday in Croke Park.
The Dublin half-forward told RTÉ Radio that the Metropolitans’s entire management team has done a magnificent job with the large number of players at their disposal.
He said: “What they have brought to the table has been unbelievable. They have galvanised the group and made us the team that we are. We knew we had individuals but we now are an unbelievable team because of what they have done. Pat believed in every one of us from the start.
“You wait your whole life to get to a final and you can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. I just went for it, we went for it as long as we could. Right from the start we didn’t get caught up in the occasion.
“We stayed away from all the hype from the last couple of weeks, we concentrated on what we had to do on the pitch and we did it. We’re All-Ireland champions.”
Gilroy’s substitutions paid dividends once again as a goal from Kevin McManamon led the Dublin fightback that brought about the 1-12 to 1-11 win.
Flynn said having such a strong bench is a great confidence boost to the starting XV: “Kevin came on and he made an outstanding difference. We had Philly McMahon coming on and we know we have that strength-in-depth. We know we do.
“The first lads that are starting know they can work hard for 50 or 60 minutes or how long it will be and know the lads will come and finish it off for us.”
The winning score came from a Stephen Cluxton free and, like so many of the Dublin players, Flynn was in no doubt what the outcome would be once the foul was awarded.
“He is out training an hour before everybody else and he kicks them over with his eyes closed. I didn’t even look at the kick. I looked at him and he just kicked it and ran back. He is a phenomenal man, I am delighted for him.”