Murphy gunning to impress club scouts

Aidan Fitzmaurice

IRELAND U21 cap Rhys Murphy hopes that some sparkling displays on international duty in the next week can help him secure a new club following his exit from Arsenal.

Murphy has spent five years with the Gunners without making a first-team appearance, but his time at the Emirates is up as Arsene Wenger has decided to release the forward, who now hopes to showcase his talents when Ireland's U21 side play Denmark (Monday) and Italy (Monday week).


"I'm finished with Arsenal and looking for a new club, so hopefully I can do well with Ireland in the upcoming games and impress people," says the forward, who had an unsuccessful spell on loan at Preston last season.

"It's disappointing to leave Arsenal after being there for so long, but I am still young and I still feel I have the ability to have a good career.

"I have big ambitions at club level and with Ireland. Hopefully I can do well with the Irish team over the next few days and see what happens club-wise.

"Last season was frustrating for me as I went to Preston but didn't play as many games as I'd have liked, and I was at Hibs in Scotland for a while but nothing happened.

"I just want to go to a club that needs a striker and will play me every week so I can score some goals.

"We have Denmark next week and then that qualifier with Italy the following week. That game against Italy is a massive game for us, a big stage for us all and I hope I can deliver if I get picked.

"I'm delighted to be here in Dublin for these games, even though a lot of my mates are off on their holidays already. Every time you get a call-up it's a huge honour and I just hope I can get some game time against Denmark and then play in the qualifier against Italy," added Murphy.

"Playing international football is great anyway, but to play against Italy in a qualifier for the European Championships, that's a big deal for me, and I just hope we can get a result and go on to qualify.

"The players are aware that Ireland have never qualified for the European U21 finals and this group of players wants to make history by qualifying."


For a while, Murphy had a case of split loyalties at international level. Qualifying for Ireland through his Dublin-born maternal grandfather, he was scouted by the FAI and played U15 and U16 games for the Republic, having been advised by his Arsenal mentor Liam Brady to choose green.

But Murphy then opted to play for England's youth teams for a spell, before returning to the Irish fold last year, scoring the winner on his U21 debut against Hungary.

"I had played for England's under-17s and under-19s but it came to the point where I had to make a decision -- I went with Ireland and I was very happy to do that. It was good to experience both camps because I know that going with Ireland was the right call for me and my career."

Noel King's side play Denmark in a friendly in Tallaght Stadium on Monday as a warm-up for that qualifier against a classy Italian side in Sligo the following Monday.