EXPERIENCED Cork hurling coach Eddie Murphy continues to preach the hurling gospel and enjoy great coaching success.
The Bishopstown club man, was a coach with the Dr Crokes hurling team who captured the Kerry Intermediate county title this season.
Eddie who is now based in Tralee, still has great memories of playing both codes with his beloved Bishopstown.
“They are a great club. My father Willie ‘Long Puck’ Murphy was one of the founding members in 1957. Johnny Crowley was a real inspiration.
“I have great memories of a special club. I returned in a coaching capacity in 2007 and 2008 and we enjoyed great success in both minor and U21 level in hurling,” reminisced the renowned coach.
Eddie’s father is the famous Ballincollig and Muskerry player Willie Murphy, who was a member of the storied Cork hurling side who won the four-in-a-row between 1941 and 1944. His inter-county career in total spanned 20 years.
“I never got to see him play unfortunately but I have heard all the stories of his playing career. He was a selector with the Cork senior team who won the All-Ireland title in 1966.
“I have great memories of that era as I went to every training session. My job was to puck balls back to Charlie McCarthy who was practicising his frees.
“That was a special team. Colm Sheehan got three goals in an All-Ireland final which was unprecedented. Cork also won the U21 title that year and players such as Ger and Justin McCarthy were quickly elevated on to the senior panel.
“I was very young when my father died in 1977. He was a very humble man.
He had the longest puck in the history of hurling. He set up a goal in the 1941 All-Ireland. Two moves and the sliotar was in the net.”
Eddie was also involved with the Duhallow senior hurlers this season and was very impressed with the new format of the club championship.
“We gave UCC a great game. It was good to see an all-city county final. It shows how strong hurling in the city currently is.
“The strength of the Blackrock bench was vital. The new format was a great success.”
Eddie moved to Tralee in 1985, where he is a business teacher in Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí. He quickly began playing GAA in his adopted county. He has a very strong reputation for hurling but he has enjoyed great coaching success in football also.
“People associate me with hurling predominantly, but I have also done a lot of football coaching. I first started out coaching back in 1989 with the Kerry U14 hurling team.
“We won two All-Ireland titles in eight years. I have trained every Kerry team up to senior level. I was very fortunate to win a President’s Award back in 2004. That meant a lot."
He had great success with Cork clubs, particularly Bishopstown and Ballymartle, who made it all the way to Croke Park.
“Winning an All-Ireland medal with Ballymartle was also special. I have been fortunate to have worked with great players all through my career.
“You can’t win anything without good players. I have enjoyed a great journey. I have met great people. I would have loved to have coached a Cork team at any level, but it wasn’t to be unfortunately.”
There is a strong Cork contingent involved with the Dr Crokes hurling team. Eddie was happy to help out after being approached by Newtownshandrum man John Lenihan, the team manager.
“I had been coaching a lot in Kilkenny, Limerick and Cork in recent years and I couldn’t commit exclusively to Dr Crokes.
“John has kept hurling alive in Crokes. I did 22 sessions in total this year. It was great to get involved.
“We were fortunate to have a great captain in Cork man Michael Milner. He was a great leader. He is a very genuine and brave player.
“We had a good Cork presence on the team. We had a selector Dan Kelleher who won a county title in 1963 with UCC. He is from Coachford. He also played a few games with Cork.
“Dan is a very knowledgeable hurling man.”
Eddie was a member of the Kerry team who won the All-Ireland B championship title in 1986.
He played senior championship hurling for Kerry in the following years. Incidentally, his last game for the Kingdom was against Cork in the famous double year of 1990 when he was marking David Quirke.
“I have great memories of playing for Kerry in the Munster championship. We had a good team. We gave Tipperary a great game in 1987. We could have beaten Limerick in 1989, but lost by seven points.
“We lost by nine points to Cork in 1990. To be playing against Cork was lovely and to hold my own added to the occasion. I would be a very proud Cork man. To be playing against such hurling greats was a fantastic experience. That was a great Cork team.”
He has coached teams to county titles now in Cork, Kerry and Kilkenny. He is looking forward to passing on his coaching knowledge to more players in the coming years.
“I love hurling. My family are a great support. They know what coaching means to me. I am always learning and looking to upskill.
“I have been involved in 55 finals and won 44. I am still hungry for more. I love working with players.”