Wednesday 22 November 2017

Pain of last September driving Murphy on

Kilkenny star Paul Murphy. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Kilkenny star Paul Murphy. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

It was seventh time unlucky for Paul Murphy.

Last September's All-Ireland final was his seventh time, including replays, to be involved on hurling's biggest day with Kilkenny but it was his first to be in a losing side. And that sinking feeling is something he's happy to bring into the new season.

"The losing feeling, I don't think, compares to the winning one for spurring you on," he said. "The losing one, there's a serious fire there, you don't want to be in the losing dressing room, that's the thing. And that's nearly more scary than trying to get into the winning one.

"You want to be in the winning one but the fear of being in the losing one is nearly worse than being in the winning one.

"Certainly it is motivation. It's a new angle. It's my seventh All-Ireland but the first time I sampled it and I'm appreciative that it is but it is somewhere you don't want to be going back into. And it is great, you do enjoy going back now because you're feeling you're getting the wheels in motion to try and get things right as you would feel it, get back and make a mark in both the league and the championship.

"You have to learn from these things and bring them on with you. There's no point in experiencing a feeling like that and just leaving it there ... it could be the difference between winning and losing a matches somewhere along the year."

Last year's All-Ireland final defeat to Tipperary was particularly galling for Murphy (above) and his colleagues in the full-back line.

"Obviously the glaring thing was 2-21 and of course we have analysed it ourselves," Murphy reflected.

"I suppose if I was 19 or 20 and I was in that position, I may have take it a lot harder from the point of view of people outside talking. I took it hard on myself as my own performance and the full-back line as a unit but in terms of the outside talk, people are entitled to talk and do analysis on it and have their opinions and you have to respect that.

"I didn't take it on board myself in terms of I didn't take it hard that, 'This person talking is right or that person', I just didn't pay any attention to it. I broke it down myself, we talked about it ourselves. That's what I take on board from it. Look, I was in the best position that year to see what happened. I don't need anyone else to tell me what happened that day."

Perhaps it's with that in mind that Kilkenny have taken to the Walsh Cup with renewed vigour and they have rolled out several front-line players as they look to get back to the top of the tree in hurling.

"We're training the last 10 days now up until September and to lose the one match that you want to win - that's effectively a waste of a year because that's what you're training for - to win the All-Ireland."

Irish Independent

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