Flanagan relishing his Ireland call-up

by Cóilín Duffy

FINGAL Ravens clubman Damien Flanagan is set to represent his country for the first time at any level this Saturday, as part of the Ireland Gaelic Football Masters team set to face their Australian counterparts in the KC Sports International Rules match this Saturday in Denn, Co Cavan (3pm).

Flanagan played for the Dublin Gaelic Football masters team that returned to action for the first time in a number of years in 2018, before claiming All-Ireland silverware.

He is also very active off the pitch in his home club, but also as the current Round Towers, Clondalkin Senior Football manager, and as part of the management teams for the Dublin Development squads.

“It’s a great opportunity to play with your country no matter what age you are, especially with the International Rules team as I would be a big fan of it myself, ” Flanagan told the Dublin Gazette.

“It’s my only chance now at 42 years of age to represent my country. It’s a major honour at this stage of my life.”

Flanagan has been a key member of the Fingal Ravens club, and was a part of the Rolestown sides memorable journey in 2007/08, which saw them win Dublin and Leinster IFC titles, before losing the All-Ireland decider to Galway’s Moycullen.

“I’ve been playing with Fingal Ravens all my life, and in that 10-year period from 1999-2009, there was a great buzz around the club, and we had a couple of good wins, and it’s hard to replicate that now and we look back with fond memories in the club,”.

He says the Dublin Masters team is a great way to relive some of that former glory, and also stay involved on the pitch.

“The majority of the panel have played for Dublin at some stage in their career at Minor, Junior or Senior level. I played for Dublin Juniors myself on and off for 10 years – winning the 2008 All-Ireland under Mick Deegan.

“It’s great to play with the lads now having battled for so long against them as well over the years, where some of us didn’t play top-level inter-county football, but we were all at the top with our clubs.”

On the International Rules front, Flanagan is set to line out with some experienced players, including Westmeath duo Alan Mangan and Martin Flanagan; Clare’s Odhran O’Dwyer who has featured for the Irish International Rules Senior team in the past, and Mayo’s Michael Moyles

Two players from each of the teams involved in the Gaelic Football Masters have been chosen, with Dublin also represented by James O’Connor.

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