Daniel Flynn has opted out of the Kildare panel for 2019 as Cian O’Neill announced his squad for the upcoming O’Byrne Cup.
Full-forward, Flynn was nominated for an All-Star this year off the back of some impressive performances for the Lilywhites and news of his exclusion will come as a huge blow for Kildare as they seek to bounce straight back up to Division One following a dismal campaign last year.
Indeed, the year as a whole looked to be headed towards the county’s worst ever, before a heroic victory over Mayo following the ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ scandal ignited a spark that led to them qualifying for the GAA’s inaugural super 8 series.
It is thought that the Johnstownbridge man will take a year out to focus on finishing his master’s degree before taking an extended break to go travelling.
As well as Flynn, other notable absentees were Niall Kelly is currently away travelling, as well as Eanna O’Connor who it was thought, would be included in the Kildare squad for the forthcoming year.
In their place, O’Neill has included 11 men from last year’s All-Ireland u20 winning side including Jimmy Hyland who won the EirGrid U20 Player of the Year after scoring 0-10 against Mayo in the All-Ireland final.
There is some slight consolation for fans as Kildare Now reported that former Kilkenny captain, Michael Fennelly is to come on board the backroom team as a performance coach, looking after player development.
Fennelly works as Sports Science lecturer in LIT and will replace Jason McGahan who undertook the role as head of athletic development with the Kerry senior team.
The All-Ireland winner captained his club Ballyhale Shamrocks to the Leinster title yesterday and will now attempt to juggle his role with Kildare alongside the Kilkenny champions’ preparations for All-Ireland glory in 2019.
Kildare panel for the O’Byrne Cup: Mark Donnellan, Aaron O’Neill, Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mick O’Grady, Mark Hyland, Mark Dempsey, Mark Barrett, DJ Earley, John O’Toole, Eoin Doyle, Keith Cribbin, Cian O’Donoghue, Kevin Flynn, James Murray, Conor Hartley, David Malone, Jason Gibbons, Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick, Fionn Dowling, Paschal Connell, Fergal Conway, Aaron Masterson, David Slattery, Paul Cribbin, Mark Sherry, Paddy Brophy, Eoghan O’Flaherty, Adam Tyrrell, Tony Archbold, Neil Flynn, Chris Healy, Jimmy Hyland, Padraig Nash, Ben McCormack, Brian McLaughlin, Padraig Fogarty, Kevin O’Callaghan.