Q: Sam Alexander
A: Terry McFlynn
Thanks for joining me Terry. Now, your career began came over from Morcambe, also following what was to be your future wife, what was it like being the new guy on the block trialling for Sydney FC in 2005?
“Yeah it was a great experience initially. I arrived in Sydney with 12 other trialists from Australia and all over the world, couple of guys form Brazil, Chile, Bosnia, few guys form Spain – people from everywhere. It was a very competitive environment that I walked into initially, at that time I think there was three positions available and there was about 12 trialists. The strange thing was that we were all friends because we all lived together in the same block of accommodation at Parklea and we’d go to dinner in the night time. I still speak to two of those guys actually. And yeah it was a challenging time, and the training on the pitch with Pierre with Ian Crook was very intense. All the players were very welcoming to myself and the other trialists, and thankfully for me I was asked to stay on.”
That’s right. Later that year you took part in what was an emotional game, with fans unveiling a banner of support for yourself at that time, at that moment did you know Sydney was the club for you?
“Yeah definitely, I left Morecombe at a time when they were in the conference which is the 5th tier of football, my own personal choice of career had staggered a little bit and Sydney gave me a lifeline. I think that night, when we played Central Coast, when my Uncle and Aunt had passed away, the Cove unveiled a banner that said ‘Terry in times of need the Cove is with you” I think from that moment on I knew that this was home for me.”
Well that’s right it was a beautiful sentiment by the cove. After nine seasons and 178 games, including two championship wins, you have been a club favourite and iconic figure amongst fans, is there anyone you would thank for helping you develop these qualities?
“Look I think from a personal level, I’ll be entirely indebted to my uncle Mark back in Ireland, for first of all exposing me to football. Where we grew up in Ireland we played Gaelic football, soccer wasn’t really the chosen sport. He exposed me to soccer, or football, if you want to call it that. I’ve been able to call it my profession for the last 17 years because of that and I think a lot of the values that I hold dear to myself in terms of loyalty and integrity and willingness to help other people is down to him. That sort of rubbed off on me and it’s kept up with me all the way through. I’ve tried to help anyone as much I can along the way at Sydney FC, and I’d like to thank anyone I’ve come into contact with or worked with at Sydney FC.”
And how did it feel winning one of those championships in front of 42,000 spectators against Central Coast, in 2006?
“That was a very, very special feeling. Wet trained for 14 months for that season, we started in January 2005 and the Grand Final was in March 2006, our focus every single day was to win the Grand Final. With that group of players we built a bond that could never be broken. That bond is still strong to this day; we’re actually planning a 10 year reunion. Players all over the world have committed to coming back.
We knew walking on to the pitch, in March 2006 that we were going to win. We shouldn’t have won, Central Coast had a lot of chances early on in the game to beat us, but we had the belief in ourselves and the belief in the person to the left and the right of us that we were going to go on and win the game. When Dwight moved forward in the second half, I think it was around the 60th minute, and pulled it back to Steve Corica on the edge of the box, we all knew he was going to score. From there we knew that Central Coast wasn’t going to score two goals against us to beat us, so that was very special.”
It really was a brilliant win. Just the last couple of questions, although you’re retiring from the A-League, do you have plans to continue playing the game?
“Yeah I will, I’ll play on. As a young kid you start out playing football for fun, as you progress through, that love of the game never leaves you. As I said I’ve been in a privileged position to be able to call it a profession for the last 17 years. My passion and love for the game has never dwindled, so I will play football at some level. Whether that’s in the park with my mates or at State League or Indoor, whatever it is I will continue to play football.”
Well that’s great to hear. Just finally, this weekend coming up against the Perth Glory, they’ve struggled a bit in their away games only winning one on the road, do you think the boys can do the job?
“Yeah definitely, look it’s been one of those seasons where we’ve had our backs against the wall, and people have questioned the character of the team. The boys have stood up and been counted. This week’s no different, I think the last two or three weeks confidence wise has been great for us. Last week was a great win, to go down to Melbourne and get a draw against the Victory, that’s always a tough place to go but we managed that. Confidence is high, momentum’s on a roll, and like you say Perth’s coming across here with nothing to play for except pride, but there’s an old saying ‘beware the wounded beast’ so we won’t be taking them lightly, that’s for sure. But we’ll know as of tonight with this Newcastle Jets game what’s expected of us on Sunday.”