Tuesday 20 August 2019

All-Star Murphy on road to recovery as Cats look to Leinster decider

Kilkenny Hurler Eoin Murphy. Photo: ©INPHO/James Crombie
Kilkenny Hurler Eoin Murphy. Photo: ©INPHO/James Crombie
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

He's the current All-Star goalkeeper but Eoin Murphy wanted to be the next Henry Shefflin when he was younger.

The Glenmore man put down a stellar 2018 and ended the season with selection in the team of the year. However, for a long time, it looked like his future would be outfield, rather than between the posts.

"Obviously when I was younger you'd think you were Henry Shefflin and stuff, you'd want to be playing centre-forward and scoring, but TJ (Reid) wouldn't give me the frees," laughed Murphy, whose side welcome Galway to Nowlan Park on Sunday (2.0).

"The fact I hurled out the field for the club I would have thought of myself as an outfield player.

"I had a bit of a crossover, I played minor, was a sub in '07, played '08 in the goal, then I had two years out the field in U-21, in 2010 and 2011. 

"So I've had the best of both worlds in that regard. Look, I'll be classed as a goalkeeper now, I don't think Brian (Cody) is going to change his mind anytime soon."

Murphy (right) still plays outfield for his club and it was in action for Glenmore that he picked up the injury that has so far seen him forced to sit out Kilkenny's championship campaign.

Cody has also been without the likes of Cillian Buckley and James Maher.

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"When you start a game, you have 15 players so you are not really missing anyone. No disrespect, but when you have the starting team, you can't be talking about, 'Oh, we are missing this lad or that lad'. The time of the year that the players were injured was good in a sense in that it is not happening now and morale might be that little bit low.

"We have been training for the last couple of weeks and a few of the injuries have been a bit longer than we had hoped.

"From that point of view, it was a good time for us because we are all sort of coming back and looking at an end date for our rehab and getting back to protocol of training to play."

Darren Brennan has deputised well for Kilkenny so far with Murphy hoping to be available around the time of a potential Leinster final appearance.

And he insists that reverting back to playing as a goalkeeper isn't that difficult.

"I'd find the transition going from goal back out the field a bit harder, rather than coming out the field with the club to coming back in because you just need to be that bit sharper out the field.

"Usually I hurl midfield or in the half-forward line. So you'd need a fair level of fitness as well. Just the pace of it, even at the club scene, I would find it takes me a while to get up to the pace of that. But I'm used to it now, I've been doing it now for I don't know how many years.

"I'm in a lucky position with Kilkenny as well, some players come in and they have three, four maybe five years of a period of trying to establish yourself, that you are able for the mettle of tough training and the battles that happen in training, to put yourself in a position to be picked for a championship game.

"I was in there two years and I was getting games so I was quite lucky in that regard."

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