New Doncaster Rovers boss has the world in his hands

Spotted: Samir Nasri caught Brian Flynn's eye as a teenager. Picture: Star Photographer
Spotted: Samir Nasri caught Brian Flynn's eye as a teenager. Picture: Star Photographer

REAL Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri are on Brian Flynn’s watchlist.

Or at least they were!

The French internationals will not be heading to the Keepmoat Stadium any time soon.

But Flynn’s rendezvous with the superstar duo, while he was in charge of Wales’ junior set-up, helps highlight the kind of player network that Doncaster’s new manager can call upon.

“I’ve got a huge list of players from all over Europe, from a host of countries,” said Flynn.

“I’ve been involved at international level for many years and I remember one game in particular against France in Le Bourg.

“We did the wrong thing by scoring in the first thirty seconds to go 1-0 up. By half time, with Benzema and Nasri in the side, France ripped us apart.

“They were two sixteen-year-olds then. I wouldn’t get them now but they were on my list.

“That’s an example of what I did when we played foreign teams,” he added.

“I kept a note of the players, ready for when I moved back into club management.

“I hadn’t given up hope of getting back into management. Recruitment and player knowledge is so important in this job.”

Rovers’ superb form has contributed to a seamless transition during their change of manager.

And Flynn maintains that his return to domestic management, after an eight-year spell working for the Welsh FA, has been an easy one.

“It’s a piece of cake,” said Flynn.

“I haven’t stopped doing it for the last eight years while I was with Wales.

“The only difference was that I was doing it at tournaments.

“I was in charge of three teams so basically it was like running a football club.

“I had the under 21s which was like the first team, the under 19s which were like the reserves, and then the under 17s, the youth team.

“I was running three teams on a constant basis.

“I’ve also been all over Europe watching different coaching staff, different tactics, and speaking to foreign coaches about how they work.

“I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge in the last seven or eight years.”