Murphy: We're starting to believe we can do it
IT'S a measure of his progress at the moment that he's being spoken about as a potential Kerry Under 21, but St Brendan's College captain Kieran Murphy (right) is solely focused on trying to lead the Killarney school to a Corn Uí Mhuirí title in Fitzgerald Stadium.
Both Murphy and Conor Keane are the sole survivors from the defeat to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne at the semi-final stage in 2011 and the Kilcummin native admitted that he thought he would not get an opportunity to make amends in the competition at the outset.
"Pobalscoil wanted it that bit more that day back in Milltown and we've been trying to rectify things since. We didn't think that we would get a chance to make the final again at the start of the campaign, but seeing as we're here now, we intend to give it our best shot in the final," the St Brendan's captain said.
While the O'Sullivan Cup proved to be a bridge too far at that point for 'The Sem', Murphy believes that going so close to pulling off a big win over Pobalscoil in the final provided a massive incentive for the team to try to make amends.
"I think we started to believe that we were good enough to do better after the first night.
"I think the subs drove the team on and started to put more pressure on the first 15 to hold their places which has been a big thing for us since Christmas," he told The Kerryman.
He also admits that the school made a good appointment in the form of Harry O'Neill.
"Harry certainly knows what he is doing and has a good track record. He lays things out clearly for us and probably one of the big things is that he has improved players who were not expected to have much involvement with us this year," Murphy said.
Overall though the team captain believes that the team as a whole have stepped up to the plate.
"Myself and Conor (Keane) are usually praised for our performances, but it's the team working hard around us that gives you the platform to be able to perform.
"I thought we showed good character against St Flannans in the second-half of the quarter-finals when things appeared to be going against us. Diarmuid Galvin and James McCarrick played very well for us against Chriost Rí in the semi-finals and that allowed us to push on and win," he said.
Considering both Keane and Murphy will be facing Kerry Minor team-mates in the form of Eanna Ó Conchuir and Cathal Ó Luing on Saturday, Murphy admits that there will be an 'end of an era' feel to the match in some respects, but is hopeful that the 'Sem' can do enough to defeat Pobalscoil this time.
"We're going to have to take our chances when they come and we're going to have to match their skill and physicality as well. Hopefully we'll be able to get over the line from there."