Retiring Sydney FC foundation player Terry McFlynn vowed never to play professionally for any other team and has stayed true to his word, admitting he’s knocked back offers from rival A-League clubs.
The 33-year-old former skipper will hang up his boots at the end of this campaign having won two championships and a premiership in his nine seasons with the Sky Blues.
A thigh complaint will sideline McFlynn for Sunday’s crucial Allianz Stadium clash against Perth, where a win will secure Sydney a finals berth.
After 178 games for the club – more than any other Sydney player – the midfielder is likely to have played his last match in the A-League admitting he is racing the clock to be fit for finals football should they qualify.
Of the 30 players still left from the inaugural season of the A-League McFlynn is the only one who has remained with the same club.
Such loyalty is incredibly rare in the modern game but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a 24-year-old playing conference football in England and looking for a lifeline, McFlynn decided to write a letter to every club in what was a new competition in Australia.
Sydney were the only side that replied and offered him a trial.
He was the last player signed for their inaugural campaign.
“I vowed from that day that I’ll only ever leave the club when they didn’t want me,” he said.
“I vowed also never to play for another professional club against them.
“I’ve had a couple of offers to continue doing that in the A-League but out of respect for Sydney FC and the supporters I’ve decided against that.
“I’m so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to play for them for nine years and to be able to make that decision on my own terms.”
The only foundation player left at the club McFlynn has experienced all seven coaching changes.
Frank Farina is yet to find out if his contract will be renewed for next season but McFlynn has backed the under-fire coach as the right man for the job.
“I think he’s a very good man, he’s an honest man,” he said.
“He backs his players and supports everyone around him. So I do think he’s the right man to take this club forward.”
Having just completed a masters of coach education McFlynn is currently in discussions to stay on with Sydney FC in a non-playing capacity with a decision to be made by the club by the end of this week.
But while he won’t be signing another professional contract he doesn’t intend to stop playing football with NSW Premier League club Sydney Olympic reportedly interested.
“If someone in the state league thinks I can do a job, I’d like to hear from them,” he said.