Paul Murphy happy with less hectic Kerry schedule in 2018

Paul Murphy is hoping the changes to the GAA calendar from 2018 will contribute a less hectic end of year schedule in Kerry.

After tomorrow’s second test, Murphy and his girlfriend will spend a month travelling the east coast of Australia and then onto Southeast Asia before he readies himself for the Kingdom’s defence of their Allianz League Division 1 title.

The break means he will be unavailable to Rathmore in the O’Donoghue Cup but it was a case of if now, never for the 26-year-old. “I was finishing a contract at work and it had been in my head to go travelling at this time of the year. The International Rules came up so it fell in nicely. The body feels good and the mind feels good but I felt I could do with a break.

“The club year in Kerry goes on quite long. I’ve spoken about it in the past – I think it needs to be addressed. One of the main issues for us is that we’re in the same division as Dr Crokes, who have been so successful.

The East Kerry championship is then being held up by the Munster club championship invariably.

“I don’t know what the solution is but it needs to be addressed. Maybe the changes next year will bring it about but it does make for a very long year.

I just felt I need to recharge and see a bit of the world. While playing inter-county football is great all your twenties is taken up with it whereas other people of your age are seeing the world and working abroad.”

Murphy heard about the proposal earlier this week to delay the start of the Kerry senior championship until September. He has no issue with that so long as lower grade championship matches are played earlier in the year.

“April, I think, has been set aside for clubs but might the club intermediate and junior be played off then?

“f that was the case then I don’t think it would be the end of the world. You could play county championship off fairly quickly then from September because the players on the divisional teams wouldn’t have club championship games. It’s a big move, other counties have done it in the past and Kerry haven’t. There might be a bit of a backlash but they see merit in it so it might well work.”

One of Kerry’s best performers in 2017, which saw him earn a second successive All-Star nomination having won an award in ’14, Murphy says Kerry have little reason not to look ahead to the new season with optimism.

“There are a lot of young lads knocking on the door so hopefully next year they’ll keep progressing and get a bit more championship time and league time because a team needs that.

“If you look back to 2014 when we won the All-Ireland, I made my debut in the Clare game and there were four more debuts that day. Ideally, you want to be bringing a few players through every year and maybe we haven’t in the last year or two.

Tadhg (Morley) has come through, Brian (Ó Beaglaoich) and a couple more but we probably need others. I don’t think the idea that we’re in transition will wash in Kerry. The fans are still going to be looking for success and so are the players.

After making his International Rules bow last weekend, Murphy will line out in the Subiaco Oval tomorrow on surer footing. Of the Adelaide game, he reviewed: “It was possibly nerves early on and it was the kind of game you grew into it.

Maybe for the first couple of quarters I was playing within myself because of the heat. I thought I would be struggling come the fourth quarter but I felt fine.

“We were possibly trying too hard to get the ball into the chest. The bouncing ball isn’t ideal. I would rarely punt kick the ball into the chest. I find giving and receiving a bouncing ball in Gaelic football better.

We know more about what they’re about. Maybe we can tweak it so that we bring more of our natural game into it.”


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