THE return of sport is welcomed by so many and recently I caught up with former Cork City player Danny Murphy and here he tells us about his journey in football since leaving Cork City and his new business adventure which he took up during lockdown.
“Lock down was hard and not easy for anyone and for me the hardest part was not been able to be out coaching and playing games but I’m delighted to be back now and enjoying it more than ever,” said Murphy.
The former left back always knew he would stay involved in the game at some capacity and for him, coaching was a route he always expected to go down.
Currently the academy Manager at Welling United in the UK, the 38 year-old has already made huge progress with their women’s side of the club and he is looking forward to helping the club become full time in the not too distant future.
Here he tells us how life has been for him.
“Coaching was something I always knew I would enjoy doing however I never realised how hard it actually is , so much more to it then just planning a session.
“I started with running camps in Ireland then on to Blarney as manager.
"I then made the move to America coaching elite girls football and now I find myself back in the UK where I set up Welling women’s club.
“My Main role is to develop all things within the women's side of the club from pre academy to the women's team.
“The women's team currently play in the seventh tier of the women's game, we had to enter in to that level because we are a newly formed club.
"It isn't ideal as we are better than the level we are at, having played seven games winning seven and scoring 53 goals, hopefully next season they will move us up a few leagues.
“I have a few roles within the club, the women's first team and girls academy manager and boys scholarship program, plus the newly formed girls scholarship program.”
Working full time in coaching, albeit an enjoyable profession, it also has its tough challenges and none more so than during the past two years.
“It’s important we all try to find some positives from the hard two years we have had and for me the down time has helped with getting administration work done and put other things in place that the club wanted to roll out this year which was hard to stay on top of with everything else.
"It's been challenging but we have been able to make it work. I have a good team of coaches, parents and players so we have all mucked in and done zoom calls and video challenges to keep the kids interested which was important.”
While busy coaching in the UK, the father of one living in South London, regularly keeps check on the League of Ireland and although disappointed to see Cork City struggle in the first division, he believes they will be back competing at the top tier in the not too distant future.
“I still follow the results and will always have an interest in Cork City, it’s very disappointing to see the biggest club in Ireland where they are and a shame, but I know they will bounce back again.
"It’s a difficult league to get out of and you have some very hard places to go and play but once they can cut out the same silly mistakes they have in the past then they ll do fine.”
Asked if he would ever return to coach in Cork, this is what Murphy had to say.
“My ambition is to be the best I can be and help players improve, one day be back at Cork City as manager who knows but for now I’m still learning my craft as a coach.
“Since leaving Cork City I have had many regrets as I didn’t finish how I wanted to. But I would love the opportunity to go back one day and fix that and be as successful as managers in the club have been in the past.”
Although busy with coaching at the moment, Murphy was looking for ways to keep himself busy during lockdown, and finding a new business adventure kept him occupied and is doing really well.
“I found a new hobby during lockdown and that was converting a horse box which is now a mobile bar.
"It is used for events such as weddings and special occasions and it has been going great. It certainly is something outside my comfort zone but I have two very good business partners in Emily and Alison Symonds who really do most of the work and it’s an enjoyable journey to date.
“Now that football has returned the girls are busy with the bar while I can focus on the pitch and continue my ambition of being the best coach I can be.”