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05th Jul 2023

Michael Murphy on playing club football and the adjustments he had to make

Lee Costello

Michael Murphy

“I had to get there first, nearly before everyone, that was just engrained in me.”

Michael Murphy has retired from the county game but is still kicking at club level with Glenswilly, although he soon discovered that he would have to make some adjustments.

Murphy represented Donegal at senior level for well over a decade, which meant that he never really got the opportunity to play league football with the club, or train regularly with them throughout the year.

Since announcing his retirement from the county stage last year, the flying full forward has been enjoying his first full crack with Glenswilly from start to finish.

Murphy was chatting to SportsJOE ahead of Sunday’s Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland minor football final between Derry and Monaghan, and explains the difference between club and county training.

“The championship will be coming in the middle of August, so we’re finishing off leagues up here, so we have been playing leagues probably since the start of April.

“I probably have got to play half or slightly more than half of the league, so I have enjoyed that, I probably missed games through going away covering other games around the country.

“I have enjoyed getting back out there, and there’s no doubt that there’s less pressure, less commitment – the demands are definitely less, and it’s taking a wee bit of adjustment to begin with.

“The only time you would have got to play league over the last five or six years was if you were trying to get promotion or if you were trying to avoid relegation, they maybe would have held a league game way back to then.”

Murphy only needed one training session at the start of the year to learn that the demands of the club game just aren’t as pressing as that of county level.

Michael MurphyPictured is former Donegal Minor footballer, Michael Murphy, as he looks ahead to this Sunday’s Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Final between Derry and Monaghan, throwing in at 1pm in Box IT, Armagh.

“It has taken a while to adjust, I remember the first training I was going back out to, I was so used to with Donegal, if our training was half six or seven, I was there at half five – that was it.

“I had to get there first, nearly before everyone, that was just engrained in me, and when I seen the first message for Glenswilly training at seven, I arrived at six to and empty car park, so that was a different one.

“So for now on you arrive at five to seven, that’s when you arrive for training, so that’s been different. It has been good, it’s really nice to get out there.

Michael Murphy

“I had probably started to be around the club more in the past two years than I normally would have been in the past – I started taking the minor team out there so was out probably three nights in the week with them.  So now I’m out five nights a week when you add in the two senior sessions.

“Having younger lads coming into the group, and having different outlooks on things has definitely rubbed off on me a wee bit.

“I don’t think I’ll get their must taste or their dress sense, but they keep you buzzing anyway.”

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