Murphy: Geezer a legend

DONEGAL captain Michael Murphy insists there are no outstanding issues between himself and Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney.

The pair, who will travel as player and selector in the Ireland International Rules party to Australia next week, had a frank exchange after the final whistle of the counties’ epic All-Ireland quarter-final.

It has been suggested Murphy had taken umbrage at McGeeney for a “planted” piece in that day’s newspapers about the Donegal forwards’ “cynical fouling”.

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness condemned McGeeney for the piece, claiming it was an attempt to influence referee David Coldrick.

However, 22-year-old Murphy says there is no problem between himself and McGeeney, who mentioned the incident in his post-match comments.

“We were always spot on,” maintained Murphy. “He’s a good fella, and he’s a legend in Gaelic. He’s a brilliant man to work with.”

Murphy believes everyone inside Anthony Tohill’s camp have put any differences aside for the betterment of the team.

“It’s a massively, massively professional set-up, with Anthony and his backroom team. Any time you come across players, there’s a bit of banter with them, but we’re all in the one boat with our country.

“Relationships you have with them do improve and get better. We have a good bond there and hopefully that will carry on to Australia.”

Next Saturday’s trip — Murphy flies out a day after the rest of the panel with the other All-Star nominations — will mark the Glenswilly man’s second visit to Australia after playing with the U17s.

After leading his club to a first county senior title, in spectacular fashion, last Sunday week, the preliminary Ulster SFC round clash against Cavan Gaels in Kingspan Breffni Park is his priority.

Should Glenswilly win, he has been informed their quarter-final will be postponed for his benefit.

“The Ulster Council have said they’ll facilitate us if we do manage to get over Cavan Gaels and there are any major issues afterwards. We’ll see how it goes.”

After winning league and provincial honours with Donegal, McGuinness’s exhaustively-long training sessions and then picking up county silverware with his club, Murphy could be forgiven for looking forward to a break.

But as long as the results remain positive, he has no problem with the amount of games coming his way.

“I suppose the burnout thing is only an issue if you’re winning. It doesn’t happen if you’re getting defeated all the time.

“When results go your way, it will never be an issue. I’m delighted and happy to juggle it on all fronts. I want to give my best to club, county and country and it’s a nice situation to be in.

“We’ll have time for rest in the winter until Jim comes knocking again.”

Of course, a return to Oz sparks memories of Murphy being associated with a move to an Australian Rules team.

It was never on the cards, says the DCU student. “There were a couple of links there alright, but there was never anything too concrete. They would have been rebuffed anyway.

“I wouldn’t have minded going out for a couple of weeks trial just to see what it was like, but to stay out there full-time wouldn’t have been for me at all.

“I’m happy out with the way things are going for me here at the moment.”

Tohill has already mentioned the problems Ireland had with the tackle last year, interestingly revealing certain players are being groomed as tacklers.

Murphy, who was excellent in the 2010 second test, also admits they struggled with it.

“It can be difficult at times. The main differences between the two games are the tackle and the mark but that has been well documented before.

“The tackle is quite different to the tackle in Gaelic, although I suppose nowadays the tackle in Gaelic is very difficult to define.

“We’ve been working a lot in training on them (tackle, mark) because they’re the two big differences. I think we’re well equipped now to manage with them now.

“You just have to do the best every situation allows you to. If someone is about to come in with the tackle, then you can’t always go for the shot.

“You just have to adjust to the environment and see how things go.”

Picture: Sportsfile

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