- Voted by his coaches, Leicester City’s Development Squad Player of the Season has been awarded to Shane Flynn
- The defender enjoyed an excellent first season in the Under-23s, contributing several assists and was named captain on occasion
- Flynn reflects on his maiden campaign of Development Squad football both personally and from the team’s perspective
- The experience of being involved in the first team squad was another highlight of the season for the Republic of Ireland youngster
The full-back, who also operated as a central defender on occasion during the campaign, has been a mainstay in the Under-23s setup for the majority of the season, playing 18 of the Premier League 2 Division 1 fixtures, providing three assists for his team-mates.
The Papa John’s Trophy also proved to be a memorable competition for the youngster, who contributed a further two assists and scored a spectacular Goal of the Month contender in the victory over Salford City.
Traditionally deployed as an attacking left-sided player, he has seamlessly transitioned into the defence, taking on his new duties while still providing set-play qualities.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have won it,” the defender commented. “When I was told that the coaches had picked me to receive the award, I wasn’t sure what to say!
The full-back scored a crucial late equaliser ahead of City's shootout success at Salford City in the Papa John's Trophy.
“I was speechless because I wasn’t expecting it at all! Obviously, I thought I had a good season, but I didn’t think it was to the point of where people thought I was our best, if not one of our best players this season. I’m proud to have been given the award.
“For myself, there’s been a lot of development on a personal level, given that before this season I hadn’t played much in a defence role.
“I got moved to left-back at the start of the season and played much of my season there, as well as playing centre back at times. So, I had to show versatility in terms of playing different positions and trying to get used to Under-23s football.
“Not many of us had played at this level before, so it’s getting up to speed with the level and then trying to kick on from there. It’s been a difficult process but one that I think we’re all better for.”
Having made the step up from the Under-18s, the Republic of Ireland youngster has also taken on a leadership role during his first season within the Under-23s setup, being named as captain for several Premier League 2 matchdays.
If I can potentially be involved with the first team, if I’m offered the opportunity, and take my chance when given it, that’s all I can really hope for.Shane Flynn
“I was delighted that the coaches put that trust in me to be captain of the team. I wasn’t expecting it,” the 19-year-old admitted. “I’ve never been in that situation before, so it was a surprise.
“But I was absolutely delighted that they put my faith in me to have that role and lead the team and hopefully next season if I’m still in that position I can go again and learn more as time passes.
“I want to have a good pre-season and then go from there because I think that’s always a massive boost. If you start the season off well, you can go anywhere from there.
“If I can potentially be involved with the first team, if I’m offered the opportunity, and take my chance when given it, that’s all I can really hope for.”
First team involvements have already knocked for Flynn, who was named in the UEFA Europa League squad for the away fixture against Zorya Luhansk and in both matches against Slavia Prague. He was then on the bench for the Premier League trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The full-back has trained with the first team squad in recent weeks.
“It was brilliant,” he added. “I wasn’t expecting anything like that to happen this season so I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy! It was a really good experience, just being in and around the lads and on the bench on a matchday was invaluable.
“I was just grateful to be given the opportunity and again for Prague at home and away, when I got that same opportunity again. Hopefully next season I can get more of that.
“Once you see what goes on during a matchday, how things work in terms of the build-up, the warm-up, during the game, after the game, you want to be in and around that more and more.
“I was training with the first team for a couple of months and got the chance to be on the bench in the Premier League and the Europa League. It motivates you that bit extra, and I want to get back into that situation again.”
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