Ger Monan expects Paul Flynn to cut link with Down
Former All-Star Waterford hurler Paul Flynn is unlikely to continue his involvement with the Down hurlers in 2015, according to Ger Monan, who stepped down from the post of manager over the weekend.
Despite the enormous commute from Waterford to the Ards Peninsula, Flynn had been a novel and inspiring choice by Monan to have in his backroom team, but it seems his involvement will also end, says Monan.
"I would doubt it, to be honest," says Monan of the prospect of Down retaining Flynn's services.
"It was hard enough for us, when you live half an hour or an hour from training, but that man was three and a half hours from training. It's fierce commitment.
"It was definitely a big help to us, getting him on board. In fairness to Stephen McAree and the coaching that was going on, they made a pretty good team. Paul Flynn brought more experience, which is always a good thing."
Monan completed five years in charge of Down this season. Previous to that, he won an Ulster title as manager of Ballygalget, memorably giving the illustrious Newtownshandrum a scare in the 2006 All-Ireland club semi-final.
When he took over, it was almost a rarity to have a man from inside Down manage the team, given the staunch allegiances players have to their clubs. The appointment of men such as Sean McGuinness in previous times had helped break down barriers.
With that precedent, Monan feels there would be nothing to stop the next manager being a Down man.
"We tend to always look outside all the time. Don't get me wrong, you can pick your coaching staff from outside the county but I do think there should be a Down man managing the county."
Whoever it is will have to cope with the inevitable club v county tussle that goes on for players.
"There's a fair enough team coming," said Monan. "But they have to commit to Down as well. You can't try to serve two masters and I think we showed what can be done when players commit to the county.
"The players can move onto the clubs when the county is finished and if that doesn't happen we will just be the same as before.
"Concentrate on the county while the league and Christy Ring is on and then let them back to their clubs, it still leaves six weeks for the Championship, so I don't see how it's a conflict."