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02nd Mar 2017

Michael Murphy’s conclusion to his professional experience couldn’t sum up the man any better

Typically selfless

Sean McMahon

Always striving for more.

There is something incredibly unique about the GAA.

There are probably few other sports in the world where participants take such pride and honour in representing where they come from.

Be it playing on behalf of a county of over one million people or wearing the colours of your local parish, it doesn’t matter, it is ultimately a privilege.

The length at which all players in hurling, camogie, and football, strive to be the best, to gain some sort of competitive advantage over their opponents can be difficult to believe to those on the outside looking in.

These are amateur players, they work full-time jobs, they have so many other distractions and pressures going on in their lives, yet there they are, hitting the gym at the crack of dawn before going to work, giving up their free time to not only help their team succeed but to become better players themselves.

When you sacrifice so much to be the best, it would not be surprising if you began to wonder what you could achieve if you were in an environment which provided the best chance for you to do so.

There was a hint of this thinking in Michael Murphy’s mind as he reflected on his experience with French professional rugby club, Clermont Auvergne.

“Yeah, there’s something lingering there that you would have loved to have done. You would have loved to really been analysed the way these players are being analysed and just see where it would bring ya.”

Murphy’s view is typical of the man.

He’s not jealous of the lifestyle, the money earned by the players or the other luxuries of a professional sportsperson.

He simply wants to see how he could have improved as a player if there was the same level of analysis throughout his career as there is in Clermont.

Nevertheless, Murphy admits that the level of analysis which he is speaking about does exist in the amateur game, presumably at inter-county level.

“But you know what, you can do that at an amateur level too where I’m at.”

For Murphy, he got a taste of what it would be like if he was a professional rugby player but his main focus now will undoubtedly be aiming to secure success for his native Donegal.

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