Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 21 October 2018

Rathnew can 'do a job' on Connolly and Vincent's, says boss Murphy

Rathnew boss Harry Murphy
Rathnew boss Harry Murphy

Barry Lennon

Rathnew manager Harry Murphy has played down his side's fraught Leinster first round match as just "winter football" ahead of their quarter-final with Dublin champions St Vincent's.

The Co Wicklow champions will miss goalkeeper Peter Dignam on Sunday who serves a one-match ban after an incident in their game with Louth's Newtown Blues.

"There was jersey-pulling and what not. The referee just started up the game again. Winter football, there's an awful lot of pulling and dragging," former Wicklow boss Murphy said. "That's it, like. We're seasoned campaigners, you know the story."

A row had erupted involving several players early in the first half following a previous skirmish before throw-in.

The absent Dignam is one of six veterans who served in Rathnew's victorious 2001 Leinster campaign and still play for the club's senior side.

Another veteran from that campaign Leighton Glynn didn't start the Newtown game and faces a fitness battle ahead of their bid to topple the provincial title-holders at Joule Park Aughrim. Despite the enormous challenge posed by Vincent's, Murphy points out that, under his stewardship, Rathnew have beaten Dublin champions before, defeating Na Fianna to take their 2001 provincial crown.

Engineering

However Murphy, who manages Rathnew alongside running his engineering firm, insists they've no grand designs for a side containing All-Ireland winners such as Diarmuid Connolly.

"(Connolly) he's a fine footballer, no doubt about it. Probably one of best footballers in the country for the last few years," he said.

"We'll be only hoping our lads can compete with him. We've a few lads there that believe they can do a job on him."

Murphy returned as the club's senior manager this year, after succeeding Mick O'Dwyer as Wicklow manager and earning the Garden County promotion to Division 3 in 2012.

The Rathnew native has been involved in the senior dressing room since the 1970s either as a player or manager.

He insists being the latter and running his own business in the same town is "no hindrance".

"It means you've plenty of advice from everyone. I mean I wouldn't know any different. It's what I've been putting up with for all my life," he said.

"We're going a few years (in the business). I'm lucky the son is involved with me. It gives me a bit of time to be involved with the football."

Irish Independent

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