Saturday 10 December 2016

Murphy more than happy to welcome his namesake back into Rebel fold

Published 04/06/2015 | 02:30

Confident: Cormac Murphy
Confident: Cormac Murphy

One could have forgiven Cormac Murphy for looking over his shoulder when Brian Murphy returned to the Cork hurling panel last week but the 22-year-old is confident in his own ability to maintain his place in the starting team.

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Brian Murphy had decided to opt out of the panel in 2009 before retiring in March of last year but the 2004 'Young Hurler of the Year' has again reversed his decision.

His experience will no doubt bolster Jimmy Barry-Murphy's options ahead of Sunday's Munster semi-final against Waterford but Cormac Murphy is adamant that his experience will prove crucial.

"You will always welcome a fella who has got All-Ireland and Munster medals under his belt," Murphy said at yesterday's Lenovo GAA Skills Hub launch in Croke Park.

"He has been one of the greatest man-markers in hurling over the last few years and the best forwards in the country will tell you that. He's a proven championship hurler so he'll always be an option.

"The likes of John Mullane and Eoin Kelly would tell you that Brian Murphy is probably the hardest opponent they've ever come up against.

"Without being selfish or anything, it's all about keeping the jersey for the next day as well in one sense. I suppose I am happy enough with how it is going and hopefully it will continue now.

"You wouldn't be selfish and think about your own place at all. As any other player would say really, you just want Cork to be doing well - to be winning.

"Whatever part you can play in that, you just have to be happy. As long as Cork go well, I'm happy," the Mallow clubman added.

Murphy is in his second season with the senior panel which in part explains why he is more confident in the environment.

The wing-back was Cork's spare man against Waterford's blanket defence in last month's National League final and although he admitted that it was an unusual position to find himself in, he isn't anticipating a similar scenario in Thurles on Sunday.

"I suppose tactics is coming into hurling a bit more but I think the league is so different," Murphy maintained.

"Once the two teams take to the field on Sunday, you can talk all you want about tactics but if you're not up for the game, nothing is going to work out for you.

"I suppose we are after building a reputation for ourselves as an inconsistent team and we are doing everything we can to try and change that.

"It's probably the worse trait you could have as a team really. We are working on that now. Even in the league final, I don't think we even had any patch of dominance at all.

"It was a fairly dead performance to be honest. We will get rid of that inconsistency, I reckon."

The Rebels have had their defensive difficulties already this year with Christopher Joyce and Lorcán McLoughlin both currently ruled out through injury but Murphy is adamant that the squad has enough quality to cope.

The defeat to the Déise served as a "wake-up call", according to Murphy, but a 10-point loss can't be forgotten that easily.

Waterford have had injury problems of their own however and none more so than their marksman Pauric Mahony (broken shin).

"We've made a few changes and training has been going well. I'm fairly confident about it myself," Murphy enthused.

"I know the last day was disappointing but it's better to have it in the league than in the championship. Both teams are always going to be gunning for each other. It's a classic Munster Championship tie.

"I wouldn't say it's that much at the back of our minds that we're not going to use it as motivation either. You can't dwell on the negatives. It'll be all guns blazing come Sunday."

Cork are unlikely to fall into the same trap that they did last month and with the two Murphys available, the Rebels can have extra reason to feel more confident this time around.

Irish Independent

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