Friday 16 November 2018

Captain Michael Murphy faces club v country dilemma

Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Michael Murphy has been unveiled as Irish International Rules captain but is facing a possible club v country conflict on the weekend of the first Test against the Australians in Cavan.

Murphy's club Glenswilly are involved in one of the Donegal semi-finals against Ardara this weekend with the final slated for October 20, the day after the first Test in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Irish manager Paul Earley suggested at yesterday's unveiling of Murphy in Cavan that some county boards will be accommodating in the balance between club and country activity.

"We'll see what happens this weekend with his (Murphy's) semi-final. There's no point in making plans until we see what the outcome is first of all. That's an issue as it is with a lot of players. We just have to deal with it," said Earley.

Murphy admits that the captaincy and involvement with Ireland has been therapeutic after such a heavy SFC defeat to Mayo in August.

"After the Mayo game you are wondering in the weeks after how in the name of God you are going to get back on the horse but when I got the call from Paul (Earley) and got back playing with the club, it was an opportunity even though it was a slightly different game," he said. "It was an opportunity to get out playing and keep yourself in shape but when you get up there then you get competitive and are just mad to get out and win and find a place on the team. I really enjoyed it the last six or seven weeks and it has helped me get over the defeat."

Murphy acknowledged that the departure of Rory Gallagher as Donegal assistant manager in recent weeks represented a significant loss. "Rory is a good man. But the changes have been made but I really don't want to say much more about it."

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