Paul Murphy ready for tour of duty in the Lebanon

Kilkenny star defender Paul Murphy will be ‘missing in action’ for the start of next season’s Allianz Hurling League.

Paul Murphy ready for tour of duty in the Lebanon

However, the Army corporal with the 111th Infantry Battalion is hoping a six-month tour of duty in the Lebanon — beginning next month, and which will see him returning next May — won’t keep him off Brian Cody’s plans for the championship.

“It’s tough being away for the league and the likes of that, but, different jobs have different requirements, and we are not professionals at the end of the day, in terms of the sport,” said the Danesfort club-man.

“Myself, and Colin Fennelly are here, and Ian Corbett who plays football for Limerick is here as well, so it’s an opportunity for us I suppose to go out and do our own training (in Lebanon).

“The hurls have (already) been sent (to Lebanon), so (I’m) covered from that point of view.”

He adds: “There are great facilities out there, so we’ll get a chance to train. It’ll just be tough being away from the team, and knowing there is a fella that could be possibly wearing your jersey at the start of next year.”

But the Kilkenny corporal promises he’ll “come back hungry trying to win another All-Ireland”.

The Kilkenny back man is used to defending his team on the field of play, so his match skills should help him defuse any tense situations that may arise in Lebanon. Murphy, who is a respected crew commander and gunner travelling in the Defence Forces fleet of powerfully armoured Mowag personnel carriers, is clear in what his potentially dangerous duty entails.

“We are made well aware at this stage of the area we are going into. It is relatively calm out there, but, as the CO (Commanding Officer) told us, relative clam shouldn’t be mistaken for durable stability, because anything out there could spark off at any time. Our job is to diffuse any situation that does kick off and just maintain an environment that is safe and peaceful.”

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