The Cambridge-born defender will be unveiled as manager Tommy Dunne’s latest signing at Turner’s Cross today, having been let go by Shamrock Rovers after enjoying two seasons of huge success as club captain with the Hoops.
Murray rejoins a Cork side which is back in the Airtricity League Premier Division as First Division champions, the 29-year-old centre-half’s homecoming a reminder to the faithful of City’s glory years when he was skipper of the celebrated team which won the league title in 2005 and the FAI Cup two years later.
New Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Kenny yesterday described Murray as “a terrific club captain here for the last couple of years”, agreeing the Hoops lost a number of “good players” in the close season.
However, Kenny hasn’t been slow to revamp a side which will begin the new campaign without some other players who, like Murray, contributed handsomely to their back-to-back title successes and European conquests.
Yesterday, former Sligo Rovers and Bohemians full-back Conor Powell was unveiled as Rovers’ latest acquisition, following hot on the heels of Killian Brennan, Graham Gartland, Daryl Kavanagh, player-coach Colin Hawkins and new assistant manager, Stephen Glass.
And Kenny revealed he is still in the market for another couple of players, specifically a right-back and a goalkeeper — the latter an especially urgent task, with Ryan Thompson returned to Jamaica and Richard Brush reportedly on his way back to Sligo Rovers.
Despite the fact that the Hoops go into the season as reigning champions, Kenny insists there is room for improvement in Tallaght.
“I think Shamrock Rovers lost five games last year and drew eight and that mightn’t be good enough to win the league this year,” he said. “Sligo will definitely improve, St Pats are putting a real side together, Tommy Dunne has a good team down in Cork, Derry will be strong again and also I think Shelbourne will be strong. It’s going to be quite a competitive league so I think we’ll have to improve.
“You can’t take anything away from the great season Rovers had but you can’t stand still. The margins were narrow at the end between Rovers and Sligo and Derry so you’ve got to look to improve.”
Kenny also confirmed the club would be interested in signing Ipswich’s Irish youngster Shane O’Connor: “A player like that, who’s played quite a few games in the Championship, yeah we’d be interested.”