Tuesday 23 July 2019

In-form Murphy determined to make up for lost time

Republic of Ireland's Daryl Murphy. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland's Daryl Murphy. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Daryl Murphy is six months older than Kevin Doyle and they both left the League of Ireland for England in the summer of 2005.

But while Doyle has retired this week, with a respectable Irish career behind him, Murphy is still trying to make up for lost time.

And with six goals this season for his new club Nottingham Forest, he is arguably the form striker of the Ireland squad despite the excitement surrounding first timers Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire and Aiden O'Brien.

The 34-year-old's wife and two kids have already moved back to Waterford to settle because he was sick of moving them around and his eldest is starting secondary school.

But the fact that Murphy signed a three-year contract when he joined Forest from Newcastle this summer suggests that it will be a while before he comes back to Ireland on a permanent basis. There's still work to do.

"I don't have to give them a timeframe," said Murphy yesterday. "They always knew when they got to that age that if I was still in England or if I was getting another club and a contract was there for me that I was going to take it and keep doing it.

"It was just with the age they are at, it just wouldn't be fair on them and they love it at home with their family and friends and everyone around them. In England it was a lot different."

Murphy cannot quite put his finger on the resurgence in the home straight of his career. It was a move to Mick McCarthy's Ipswich that really turned things around and prompted Martin O'Neill to bring him out of international exile. That earned him a lucrative switch to Newcastle and he left on good terms after fulfilling the brief of helping them back to the top flight. His stock is such that Forest moved quickly and paid a fee for a man who is at the veteran stage and watching peers like Doyle pack it in.

"I've been asked it (about his renaissance) a lot," he says. "I guess it's just not worrying about it too much if things are not going your way. When I was younger it would play on my mind whereas now the best way to get over it is keep calm and do what you're good at.

"I've missed out on a lot with Ireland. Fair play to the gaffer here because he brought me in from nowhere. If it was under the previous manager, I probably would have never played for Ireland again."

Murphy has engaged in cryotherapy and focused specifically on a niggling calf problem to ensure that his body is in check. Three full games with Forest last week mean that he is certainly match sharp ahead of the double header with Moldova and Wales.

He noted the concussion based reasons for Doyle's exit and admits he's been fortunate on that front despite frequently being in the firing line for aerial collisions.

"I've been lucky and I've never played with someone who had that problem to be honest with you," he said. "Obviously I wish Doyler all the best. You see it and it's scary. He's getting medical attention and you can't gamble on that.

"If you're getting advice you shouldn't carry on, you don't do it. Your health is your wealth."

Irish Independent

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