Half-century haul of goals bring scouts flocking to check on star striker Flynn

Record breaking striker Ash Flynn from AFC Emley.
Record breaking striker Ash Flynn from AFC Emley.
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FOR a litigation executive who works for a firm of solicitors, AFC Emley goal machine Ashley Flynn has forcefully laid down the law in a remorseless campaign.

Scoring 50 goals in a season is pretty special. Notching a half-century by early December in just 28 games is scarcely believable.

But that is the stupendous haul plundered already by the 26-year-old for the Northern Counties East League Division One side.

Boyhood Newcastle fan Flynn, whose hero is Alan Shearer, needs six more goals to break Heanor Town player Kieran Debrouwer’s league record of 56 goals in all competitions in an NCEL season.

On current form, he should obliterate that figure – possibly even over the festive season – although he drew a rare blank in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Shirebrook.

Small wonder that scouts have flocked to the Welfare Ground this term with clubs eager to find the next Jamie Vardy, with Leicester’s Premier League record-breaking scorer proving that non-league strikers can cut the mustard much higher up.

Like fellow Yorkshireman Vardy, Flynn started his career at Sheffield Wednesday, but a damaged retina suffered when he was 14 ended his dreams with the Owls.

He eventually found his way to Emley via a stint at Frickley Athletic. After scoring 42 goals in his debut season of 2013-14, he returned to the club last season after a spell at Barnsley-based Shaw Lane Aquaforce.

He has not looked back but insists he is enjoying life at his current club.

Flynn told The Yorkshire Post: “I am really happy at Emley.

“It’s a good club on my doorstep and I have a lot of respect for the manager as well.

“It would be hard for me to move unless it’s a lot higher up, which is probably not going to happen.

“I just love scoring goals. I have always supported Newcastle since I was kid as my mum is a Geordie and Shearer was my hero. Number nine is my shirt.

“This season has been the stuff of dreams. The manager set me a seasonal target of 25 to 30 goals. He said if I did that, we’d get promoted this year. If it had been a tenner a goal, it would have been nice!

“I had a bad season last year as I had quite a few injuries. But I had a good pre-season. Rather than doing long stuff, it was a lot of short, sharp work.

“But in terms of games, I had actually had a bad pre-season and was only playing 45 minutes and thought I was going to have a bad year.

“But as soon as I started playing 90 minutes, I have just kept on scoring.”

Flynn’s haul has included six hat-tricks, incorporating two five-goal salvos, not that his manager, Darren Hepworth, has been entirely happy, claiming his predatory marksman could have already scored 60.

For a Toon supporter, it is no surprise that Flynn wears the revered No 9 shirt, with breaking Debrouwer’s 56-goal record being the next record to tick off.

Of his manager’s claim, Flynn added: “Probably, yes. I do miss one or two a game and I could have scored 60. I think I broke the Division One goals record a few years ago and then Marcus Edwards at Eccleshill broke it last season (with 45 goals).

“I have now broken it again. It’s quite funny as Albion Sports (Edwards’s current club) have been trying to sign me as they say he isn’t scoring enough goals and is missing four or five chances a game!”

He added: “I actually missed a penalty the other week and another chance a few weeks ago and was having a really bad game.

“But then I scored and our manager said: ‘If it was anyone else, I would have brought you off.’ But he just knew I was going to score.

“I am getting kicked quite a bit and a few teams are man-marking me. But it hasn’t seemed to work.”