Friday 17 November 2017

Wexford stars Murphy and Barry call it a day

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Wexford football has lost the services of their two longest-serving players with both David Murphy and Redmond Barry announcing their inter-county retirements.

Murphy and Barry have contributed to 26 championship campaigns between them since they joined the Wexford squad in 2000.

A Leinster medal agonisingly eluded them as Dublin continually proved to be their nemeses but for service and commitment they played huge roles in driving a football renaissance in Wexford over the last decade. Both players admitted successive failure to beat Dublin in 2010, 2011 and 2012 would be a regret but wouldn't overshadow their careers. Murphy said wear and tear had got the better of him after 14 seasons while Barry said family commitments and a desire to devote more time to his club St Anne's prompted his decision.

"The body was starting to feel it," said Murphy. "I have broken both wrists. I have had ankle problems. I've never had a very serious injury but I had a groin operation in 2008 and my wrists and ankles are quite sore.

"I met with Aidan (O'Brien, manager) recently and took that decision. I had quite a good championship but everything was telling me that it was time to go."

Murphy was captain at centre-back when they lost the Leinster final to Dublin by a goal in 2011 and he finishes his career with the greatest number of appearances for Wexford in competitive games, 180 (47 championship).

Barry (32) said he no longer had the time to commit to inter-county football now that he has a young family. "It's a young man's game. The commitment required nowadays gets a lot harder with more dependencies," he said.

Barry has been recognised as one of Leinster's most innovative centre-forwards in the last decade, with his former manager Paul Bealin once likening his playmaking capabilities to Donegal's Martin McHugh.

The St Anne's man was briefly a dual inter-county player in 2005 but found the going tough that year as Wexford reached a league football final that they lost to Armagh. "It is something I will probably wonder about as I go on, could I have played more hurling? It wouldn't be a regret but is something I will think about."

What is a regret, however, is the failure to take Dublin's scalp.

"Getting one victory over them is something I will regret. We gave them a few scares but that's no good. I would rather have been beaten by 20 points by them every time. We just couldn't get over the line," said Barry.

Murphy stressed he is proud of a record that saw them contest eight out of 10 Leinster finals from 2004 to 2013.

Irish Independent

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