“When Johnny goes marching down the wing the shed is always going to sing” is a classic line from a Cork City chant that will need resurrecting once more with the recent announcement that John O’Flynn has returned to the Rebel Army.
For some fans he is considered one of the greatest strikers of ‘the golden generation’ of Cork City players. ‘Flynnie’ has returned to Turners Cross after spells with Barnet and most recently Exeter City after spending six years away from the club.
The striker had a successful, but at times frustrating, career due to injury problems, before moving on from the club in 2008. John was part of the team that featured in a long UEFA Intertoto Cup run; eventually losing out at the quarter-final-stage against Nantes Atlantique after defeating Malmo FF of Sweden and NEC Nijmegen of Netherlands.
He was unlucky not to have won more titles than he did in his first spell with City but gained success in the F.A.I Cup in 2007 as well as the famous Premier Division title winning decider in Turners Cross over Derry City in 2005.
Highlights of that game can be viewed here:
A player remembered for his deadly ability in front of goal, especially when fit. O’Flynn sparked up clinical partnerships with whoever he played with, including the likes of other Cork City legends like George O’Callaghan, Kevin Doyle and Neale Fenn.
He returns at the age of 31 with much more experience than he left with but It will be interesting to see how O’Flynn is set to fit into this Cork City team with a lot of competition for places in City’s forward line at the moment.
Mark O’Sullivan has been a revelation since he made the step up to League of Ireland level and with Danny Morrissey coming back to full fitness; Rob Lehane making his mark in front of goal and the recent signing of Cillian Morrison from U.C.D., it will not be a simple task for the Cobh native to nail down a starting position every week between now and the end of the season.
One thing for sure is that the Shed End at Turners Cross will appreciate having one of their old heroes back to strive towards their first Premier Division title in almost ten years. Maybe the signing of O’Flynn will be a good omen and a kindly reminder of the Premier Division winning side of 2005.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.