Where are they now - former Derry wing-back Paul McFlynn
Club: St Patrick’s, Loup
When did you play for Derry?
What do you do nowadays?
I’m a lecturer in education at the Ulster University, Coleraine. My main role is running the PGCE and PE course, a post-grad in physical education.
Are you still involved in Gaelic football?
I was until the end of last year. I was in with Liam Bradley for a year when he was in charge of Antrim, then I managed Creggan in Antrim for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. I live in Maghera, my second wee boy is involved with Glen but, in the future, I would be keen to go back to my own club to see if I can help out there.
What do you remember about your first game for Derry?
It was a National League game against Kerry in 1997. I remember Brian Mullins came and told me I was starting right half-back marking Billy O’Shea - I near freaked out. I’d only been brought into the panel and I thought ‘I’ll probably not be used that much’. We got beat but, personally, the game went okay and that was the start of it.
What’s your best memory?
The 1998 Ulster final, beating Donegal. I was only 20 and, when that happened, I had won an Ulster title, an All-Ireland U21 the year before and you thought you were going to win an awful lot. We won a National League in 2000 and that was it.
And the worst?
The ’01 All-Ireland semi-final against Galway. Five points up with about 10 minutes to go, they got a point, we kicked eight or nine balls into the keeper’s arms, a bit of panic maybe set in and we conceded a bad goal. I think we would have beaten Meath in the final too. To this day, that one really, really hurts.
Are you glad you played in your era rather than today?
Yes - I wouldn’t fancy doing 6.30am gym sessions, foam roller sessions at lunchtime and all that. Even from a media perspective, I think the scrutiny on amateur players is almost too much. For amateur sports people who have a job and a family, it’s almost too much.
From 2000 to 2006 and even after I left, that group of Derry players certainly underachieved. That’s a regret.