Tag Archives: 上海后花园Minerba

From winning trophies at Wembley and Old Trafford to League of Ireland

first_img Image: EMPICS Sport 3 Comments Darren Murphy playing for Stevenage in their League Two play-off final victory against Torquay United at Old Trafford in May 2011. Share11 Tweet Email1 Oct 22nd 2016, 8:00 AM Short URL http://the42.ie/3034741 26,224 Views Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 8:00 AM By Paul Dollery Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article THE DECISION HAD been coming and, in fairness to Darren Murphy, he resisted it for long enough.Eight months after becoming John Caulfield’s first signing as manager, Murphy had made just four appearances in his second spell with Cork City. But it was now time to walk away — not just from the club, but from football entirely.“John and Cork City were very good to me,” Murphy recalls. “They told me I’d be welcome to come back in pre-season if I wanted, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. My mind was made up. I was sick of football. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”Murphy played just 10 minutes of a friendly against Birmingham City at Turner’s Cross before his body let him down again. A dislocated shoulder this time. Injuries are part of football — no player was more aware of that than him — but the game against the English side was his first outing since returning from a seven-week lay-off due to a knee ligament problem.And that double whammy was just the tip of the iceberg in a career that was blighted by injury setbacks — which was why he had found himself back in the League of Ireland in the first place. Three years earlier Murphy was playing at Old Trafford in a play-off final. But in July 2014, a couple of weeks shy of his 29th birthday, his career was over.With the benefit of hindsight, Murphy admits that his style of play may have been partly responsible for some of his regular visits to the treatment table. An energetic, combative midfielder who never shirked the physical confrontations, Murphy never went about his business halfheartedly. He only knew how to operate in fifth gear and there was a reason why. What he lacked in the technical side of the game, he compensated for in other ways.“If I’m being honest,” he says, “I was never the best player. I didn’t make any of the Cork teams when I was growing up or anything like that. But I prided myself on giving it everything in terms of effort and I always wanted to be a professional footballer.I told myself that I was going to get there no matter what.“I felt like I had to do as much as I possibly could to put myself on show in every game. I had to put myself out there and give 100% all the time in order to stand out from the rest. Football is a cut-throat business. Only a small percentage can make it.” Cobh’s Darren Murphy, having just turned 17, challenges for a header with Sean Francis of Shamrock Rovers. Source: INPHOIt was an approach that earned Murphy a place in the youth set-up at Cobh Ramblers, for whom he made his senior debut in an FAI Cup game against Shamrock Rovers at Tolka Park in August 2002 — just three weeks after he turned 17. Murphy quickly established himself as a player with a potentially promising career ahead of him, but it was during his time at Ramblers when he first encountered a serious injury.Nevertheless, he recovered from a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament and was snapped up by Cork City early in 2007. During his two seasons with City, Murphy was competing for a place with Irish internationals like Joe Gamble, Colin Healy and Gareth Farrelly, yet he managed to make a good impression at a difficult time for the club.Financial issues forced the ’07 FAI Cup winners into examinership halfway through Murphy’s second season, and although the club emerged intact to end 2008 as Setanta Cup champions, things were still looking bleak. By the time they were back in examinership the following summer, Murphy had found a more certain future elsewhere.“We were left short for our wages and nobody would be telling you anything,” explains Murphy, who took up an offer of a week’s trial at Stevenage at the end of the ’08 campaign.I always wanted to go to England and Stevenage were absolutely delighted with me. They were begging me to come back.“When I weighed things up it felt like a new period in my life was beginning. I didn’t really like leaving Cork. I loved playing for Cork City, at home in front of my friends and family. But it was the next chapter in my life and it was the chance to go to England that I had wanted.”On first inspection, joining a team in the Conference may not seem like much of a step in the right direction. However, Stevenage were a progressive club with plans that extended beyond the fifth tier of English football — as evidenced by the fact that they soon found themselves in League One thanks to back-to-back promotions.Murphy certainly played his part in bringing Stevenage into the English Football League for the first time in the club’s history, although not to the extent that he would have liked. When he was fit he was a key player for Graham Westley’s side, but that was seldom the case. Murphy keeping tabs on Glentoran’s Michael Halliday during Cork City’s 2008 Setanta Cup final triumph. Source: Neil Danton/INPHOWestley trusted him, the fans warmed to him, but his body abandoned him… again, and again, and again. Each time Murphy seemed to be making progress, an injury would interrupt his momentum. Hamstring, groin and ankle problems were common, to the point where he generally found himself back in the physio’s room if he had managed to play a couple of games consecutively. Another injury, another spell on the sidelines.The early stages of the 2010-11 season offer a good example of the kind of rotten luck Murphy endured. After scoring in the first half of a League Cup game against a Portsmouth side who had been playing in the FA Cup final and the Premier League three months earlier, Murphy dislocated his shoulder — not for the last time — and was taken off at half-time.I was flying at the time too; playing well, the best form I’ve ever been in.”As usual, he responded to the setback positively. Rest, rehab, return. A familiar pattern by now. Murphy was back on the pitch for a reserve game four weeks later — but gone again before the full-time whistle had blown. Broken leg.He threw himself into the same routine of recovery once more and got back into contention, as he always did. But the usual problems persisted. Hamstring, groin, ankle. Rest, rehab, return. An injury to one part of his body was increasing the likelihood of a problem occurring elsewhere. A domino effect.Despite being a regular starter when he was available, Murphy had made just 45 appearances in three-and-a-half years for Stevenage when the club opted to let him go at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season.If there’s a hell for footballers, Murphy says, it’s in the stands on matchday when you’re unable to play and those around you are beginning to raise doubts: “Any footballer will tell you the same thing, right up to the top to the likes of Michael Owen, down to the fella in the Sunday League who can’t play his game on a Sunday morning. It is hell.“You hear things and you know people are saying to themselves, ‘Is it all in his head? Is he afraid to push himself on?’ I know for a fact that I always did everything possible to try and get back on that pitch. Actually, I probably put my body on the line a good few times when I shouldn’t have. That’s the kind of thing you could learn from. Should you really play a game if you’re in pain with an injury? But I just wanted to play. I love football.But the worst thing is that you’re forgotten. ‘You’re injured? Okay, you’re out. See ya.’ People never remember what you did for them by putting your body on the line. Or they don’t take into consideration the effect that it’s having on your life away from football. From winning trophies at Wembley and Old Trafford to League of Ireland coaching at 31 Darren Murphy has helped Stephen Henderson to bring Cobh Ramblers to the brink of the Premier Division. “You go into Sony tomorrow, you buy a new TV but the buttons aren’t working on it — you’re not going to ask them to fix it, you’re going to ask for a new one. That’s what football is like. ‘Get rid of him and we’ll get some other fella who’s equal to him.’ Take the top guys like Messi and Ronaldo out of the equation and everyone else can be replaced.” Murphy under pressure from York City’s Levi Mackin during the FA Trophy final at Wembley in May 2009. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesMurphy’s time at Stevenage was defined by injury problems, but there were plenty of good times too: playing in an FA Trophy final victory against York City at Wembley, for example, and at Old Trafford as Stevenage secured promotion to League One by defeating Torquay United in the final of the play-offs. However, savouring those occasions fully was difficult in the knowledge that the next injury probably wasn’t far away.“Playing in Old Trafford had been my dream for a long time because I was a Manchester United fan when I was growing up. And I did. I’ll always have that,” he says.“I worked hard all the time, in the gym and on the training ground. I did everything the medical staff asked of me. But I try not to look back that much because it was hard. There were a lot of other occasions I did miss out on through injury. Injuries absolutely killed me, which was the story of my career.It is quite hard to look back. Sometimes it’s hard to stop yourself from wondering where you might have ended up if you didn’t have all those injury problems. But I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason.”He adds: “In fairness to Stevenage they were good to me. Maybe sometimes they put a bit of pressure on me to get back but that’s only because they wanted me back in the team. And maybe I should have put my foot down as well and said, ‘No, I need rest, I need time out.’“But when you get an injury it’s like nothing else is going on in your life. You’re straight on to the physio table, you’re going home and icing it, and all you’re thinking is that you need to get this right so you can get back as quickly as possible. Get back in the team! Get back in the team! Get back in the team! That was my mentality anyway.“Straight away I’d be asking about what foods I can eat or what vitamins I can take. Can I ice it? Can I put heat on it? Can I go for a bath? Can I go for a massage? What else can help me? Any little thing to help my chances of getting back. Maybe I should have just taken more time out because stuff like icing, vitamins, all that… you can never really know for certain what’s working and what isn’t, can you?”After Stevenage, Murphy tried to revive his career at Port Vale and Macclesfield Town. Graham Westley, who had left Stevenage for Preston in 2012, even offered him a second chance when he returned to manage Stevenage a year later. Murphy rejoined the club for pre-season training and went out on loan to Woking, but to no avail. The setbacks continued.It generally doesn’t take much for a Corkman to yearn for home at the best of times, but several factors combined to make sense of a return to Leeside in the autumn of 2013. Cork City were interested and, most importantly, Murphy’s father was unwell. As he trained with the club in Bishopstown, his dad — who was fighting cancer — had the ideal vantage point from Marymount Hospice across the N40.“That was great for him because he loved football,” Murphy says. “After being away in England for a few years it was really nice that I got to spend some time with him when I came back.” Cork City’s Denis Behan and Darren Murphy with the Setanta Cup in 2008. Source: Neil Danton/INPHOMurphy sought to make the most of his second stint at Cork City, but after the injury he ended up suffering the following July against Birmingham City, he knew immediately that he had reached the end of a road that was littered with obstacles. Retired, at 28.“I was just tussling for the ball with one of their players and it left me with with another dislocated shoulder,” he recalls. “I said to myself afterwards that I could probably nurse this injury back to health, maybe get surgery on it, but there was stuff outside of that involved as well.“It was all just piling and piling on me. I just went in and spoke to John [Caulfield] and said, ‘Look, I need to go. I’m sorry, but I need to call it a day. I can’t do it anymore.’I was in a bad place, to be honest. It seemed like there were a lot of things raining down on top of me at that time.”When Murphy’s father passed away a week later, setting foot on a pitch was the last thing on his mind. Cobh Ramblers offered him a chance to give it one last go for the 2015 season, and although he made a few journeys down to St Colman’s Park — out of curiosity to see if he was up to it, more than anything else — he quickly discovered that it wasn’t going to work out: “My head was nowhere near right for it.”Murphy kept a low profile for the best part of a year, taking a break from the game that had consumed his life for as long as he could remember. That hiatus allowed him to rediscover his appetite for football. He knew his playing days were over, but he wasn’t prepared to walk away from the game just yet.Murphy: “At the start of this year I got in touch with Stephen Henderson [Cobh Ramblers manager] and asked him if I could come down and help out. He was brilliant to me right from the start. I had already done some kids’ coaching over at Stevenage as well.I felt like I had something to offer. I was a professional footballer for 10 years, after all.”Henderson quickly recognised Murphy’s potential as a coach and how valuable his knowledge and experience could be to his young team. A native of Carrignavar to the north of Cork city, Murphy assisted Henderson throughout this season as the Dubliner guided Ramblers to a third-place finish in the First Division. And they’re not done yet.Tonight they’ll host Drogheda United [7.15pm] in the first leg of a two-part play-off for the right to take on the team that finishes in 11th place in the Premier Division. The prize for the winners of that tie will be a place in the top flight for 2017.Murphy, who’s currently working for his coaching badges, has been revitalised by his involvement with this Cobh team, who won their last five First Division games on the trot to make the play-offs. Coaching has allowed him to rediscover the kind of passion he had for the game as a player. Cobh Ramblers manager Stephen Henderson. Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO“Yeah, it’s definitely coming back to me,” the 31-year-old admits. “There’s a lot of commitment to give, training two or three nights a week and a game at the weekend. The average age of the team must only be about 21 or 22. From pre-season to now, how much they’ve grown is unbelievable. To see their commitment paying off is very satisfying.”Murphy’s own career may have been cut short, but the ideal alternative for him would be to help the players at Cobh Ramblers to achieve their goals instead — starting with securing promotion to the Premier Division for the first time since 2008.“It would mean a lot,” he says. “Whatever about all the injuries, I did have plenty of success with the clubs I was at, so you develop a winning mentality from that and I try to bring that everywhere with me.“There were a lot of people who tried to pass on their experience to help me when I was playing. That’s what I want to do for them now.”Dundalk and Cork City dominate PFAI Team and Player of the year shortlistTallaght Stadium set for new €1.9 million south stand ahead of 2018 season Darren Murphy playing for Stevenage in their League Two play-off final victory against Torquay United at Old Trafford in May 2011. Image: EMPICS Sportlast_img read more

Posted in wklsytuaariv | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment