Sunday 17 November 2019

Rovers netminder Murphy grateful for Duff success

Damien Duff made his debut for Shamrock Rovers on Monday
Damien Duff made his debut for Shamrock Rovers on Monday
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Shamrock Rovers 'keeper Barry Murphy has revealed his debt of gratitude to new team-mate Damien Duff for the impact that his success had on his former club Leicester Celtic.

Duff spent a period of his youth with the Rathfarnham-based club and they were entitled to seek a small percentage of his £17m switch from Blackburn to Chelsea in 2003.

That was perfect timing for Murphy who was in the schoolboy set-up at the time and benefited from the clubhouse which was constructed with the funds.

"We used to be (changing) in green containers in Loreto Park with no lights or anything and then we got the move and got the clubhouse," laughed Murphy, speaking after Duff's late debut for Rovers against Cork City on Monday.

"We used to be doing warm-ups before the game and we used to be chasing the lads who'd nick the corner flags.

"They'd be burning caravans at the side of the pitch - it was mad down there. But it was all change when the money came from him.

"There's a new astro pitch down there as well, all courtesy of Damien. I mentioned it to him anyway and he's happy enough. He's been down there since."

Murphy says that the Irish centurion has settled into his fresh surroundings without any fuss, adding that his lively cameo in the defeat of Cork was in keeping with his training ground approach.

"He has that little bit of sharpness," he says, "The picture in his mind before he plays the ball. That's something he got from the level he has played at and will bring that into training and games here. It's brilliant to have him around the lads."

Rovers' minds have turned to the possibility of a late title charge although they have a lot of work to do to catch Dundalk. They are 12 behind with a game in hand - a date with Bray which has yet to be fixed - and they still have to play the defending champions twice.

"The pressure is on them, it's not on us," asserts Murphy who is relieved to have won his place back in the side after falling behind Craig Hyland in the pecking order.

"We've got to go up there (September 1) and get a result obviously."

Dundalk are in confident mood after bringing an end to St Patrick's Athletic's nine-game winning run. "It was an exceptional performance, the first half was breathtaking at times," said Stephen Kenny after his side's emphatic 4-1 success.

"We created chance after chance and played at a level that most teams would struggle with.

"I'm delighted with the application and attitude of the players. We are trying to do something that this club has not achieved - winning back-to-back titles - so it's everything for us."

Irish Independent

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