Declan Bogue: Flynn gives Down hurlers perfect lift
The appointment of Waterford hurling legend Paul Flynn has provided the biggest boost that Down hurling could have imagined.
Over the past few years, manager Ger Monan has worked exceptionally hard at his job. Anytime a player was asked about the spirit in the camp or the training, they would glow with praise for their coach.
Yet somewhere along the way, the transition from one team to another has been painful. Men like Gary Savage, Graham Clarke and Simon Wilson departing the inter-county game has proved difficult for the game in the Ards Peninsula.
Emigration robbed them of two of their most naturally-gifted talents in Gareth ‘Magic' Johnston and Brendan McGourty.
The blending of players from less traditional clubs, and scrapping the South Down initiative was not without its' problems either and the overall performance level was slid some way back.
Monan continued to work hard, but a little bit of glamour was needed. It was with some surprise therefore, that Down were able to pull a rabbit out of the hat with Flynn's involvement in the backroom.
For players that had grown weary of catching a boat from the peninsula to the mainland for training, some of their enthusiasm may be re-kindled.
Flynn's addition will not be welcomed in all corners, and the usual accusations will crop up about ‘travelling expenses.' But nobody ever got involved with Down hurling for money.
Instead, a lot of hard work awaits. Good luck to them all.