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Mark's man Pat laying down law

THE old saying -- give a job to a busy man. Pat Murphy Junior fits the bill perfectly. He wears many different hats.

He's a senior footballer with St Mark's, he coaches their juveniles, juggles work, college, family life, and on top of all that, he's a referee!

"I'm a GAA man through and through. Playing on a Saturday, refereeing on a Sunday, coaching the juveniles. The way I look at it is that it's great to be involved," says Pat (pictured).

His dad, Pat, is the highly regarded Dublin ref. "He encouraged me to take up the refereeing, and I'd say the same to other players.

"It means that there is something there for you when you retire from playing. It's another outlet.

"This is my fifth season. I'm enjoying it. I did the course with Aidan Shiells, Paddy Power and all the crew in Parnell Park. They are great people.

"The main advice I would give to new or aspiring refs is to keep your head in the game. Don't be listening to what people might shout at you from the sideline. The comments from the sideline can put people off, but if you can overcome that, you'll be fine."


Pat knows full well how hot it can get in the kitchen. Matches can be tight and tense.

He's hoping for bright things at Fortunestown Lane this term. "We have a new manager, Frannie McCann. We have a young team. Some lads have come though from our very good minor side last year.

"Training is good. Things are coming together and the attitude of the lads is excellent."

Frannie was a Super Saint himself for years. He knows how hard it is to retain your senior football address.

"Division 2 is tough," agrees Pat. "And the standards keep on rising. Every match is difficult.

"I have seen a gap developing in Dublin football over the years. The bigger clubs are pulling more and more away.

"For the likes of us, our second team is in Division 8, so that's a jump of six leagues. If we have a few injuries and we have to call on players from there, it's a massive gap.

"A lot of clubs are in the same boat as we are. Smaller clubs from smaller areas. It's hard to keep players involved, especially after minor ranks."


Holding onto senior status is also a priority for Mark's. A play-off promotion place would cheer the mood, and then there's the championship. Mark's will play St Patrick's of Palmerstown in the first round. In the meantime, Pat will keep on whistling, but he knows he has a few miles to go before he can match the longevity of his dad or Jim Turner.

"Jim is amazing. He coached me at juvenile level at Thomas Davis. He's still going strong. I admire him a lot."