“When Johnny goes marching down the wing” is the opening line to a song that many City fans probably thought they would never get a chance to sing again having watched O’Flynn depart Leeside in 2008 for life with Barnet, after his hometown club entered examinership.
On the 1st of July John O’ Flynn decided to return for a second spell at Cork City after being persuaded to sign by John Caulfield, allowing City fans a chance to sing the famous song again. It was a club that played a huge part in his early career before he moved cross channel. He was returning from a long spell of six years in England where he played with Barnet and Exeter City.
John O’ Flynn played with Peterborough United as a youngster and decided to return home to play with Cork City when things didn’t work out across channel. A little known fact at the time is that he encouraged an English teammate Dan Murray to join City and the rest is history.
With City he played 138 times and scored on 68 occasions. He won a league title and a FAI Cup during his spell with the club and will be hoping for more of the same on his return.
Speaking to the media in Cork International Airport ahead of his expected home debut vs. English Championship side Birmingham City on Tuesday at Turners Cross, O’ Flynn said he has been blown away by the positive reaction to his signing,
“The fans have always been fantastic and I’ve been around town the past few days getting stopped by people saying they haven’t been back in a bit but will be there on Tuesday.”
O’Flynn has followed City from afar and even went to watch a few games this season,, with the Leesiders enjoying a revolution under John Caulfield.
“I’ve gone to a few games and it seems like the buzz is back. There was only one place I was going to go.”
He is returning as a more experienced player and expects to help the younger players in the squad develop their careers and as a result, bring the good times back to The Cross.
“There’s great quality in the squad at the moment. They’re that good at 19/20 coming up that I can even learn a few things from them as well as me showing them a few things. I know coming back that I can’t take my foot off the pedal but I want to come in and prove myself all over again.”
Not much has changed for the club in the meantime according to O’Flynn who has only had a few training sessions since his return. He even had to get a pair of boots from Lifestyle Sports before signing back at the club as all his old boots were in storage over in England. The greater facilities at the club were noted but the majority of the club remains the same.
O’Flynn mentioned that before he left, a young 18-year-old called Dave Meyler was behind the goals collecting all his wayward shots and on his return to the club the same player was there again. The only difference is that Meyler is now a Hull City player and Irish International.
John O’ Flynn will be making his home debut vs. Birmingham City on Tuesday night with a 6.45pm kick-off. Ticket information can be found on corkcityfc.ie
Stephen Walsh, Pundit Arena.