GROWING up and when I first started playing football, goalkeeping coaches were few and far between.
It’s an area of the modern game which I love to see developed.
It’s refreshing to know that no matter what training session you attend nowadays you can almost be guaranteed to see goalkeepers being put through their paces, and rightly so.
It’s one of the most important positions on the pitch and they too deserve the best coaches the game has to offer.
Credit to the FAI who continuously put on goalkeeping courses and one person who has hugely benefited from these is young Macroom man Peter Murphy.
Murphy, although only 19 years of age, has already gained so much experience in the game as a goalkeeping coach and his knowledge has not gone unnoticed as he has landed himself some big roles around Cork.
Currently involved with Cobh Ramblers, the 19-year-old MTU student is busy in both the boys and girls game, with roles in the FAI s Centre of excellence programmes and Gaynor and Kennedy cup squads.
Here he tells us about his experience to date and his ambition to climb the coaching ladder.
“Being the youngest of three boys in the family I had no choice but to stand in as a keeper for most of our kickabouts so I suppose I have to thank my older brothers Alex and Andrew for giving me a love for the position,” said Murphy.
Since Murphy began, his progression as a coach has developed quicker than expected, but anyone that has worked with him will know how this would always be possible as he is a complete gent who gives 100% to every role he has done.
“I started out coaching with my local club Macroom and they have been so supportive since.
"I’m proud to see so many Macroom stars step up to the elite level, with Maisie Murphy, Caoimhe O’Brien, Olan Buckley and Molly Murphy training with the FAI COEs, and Ryan Leahy down in Cobh, it’s really good to see Macroom as a club grow.
“From here I got involved in the CWSSL. Firstly, starting with the U12 CWSSL squad, before being added to the U13 and U15 Gaynor squads in 2019 as goalkeeping coach, winning the U15 Gaynor Cup that year which was a brilliant experience.
"More recently, I was added to the girls FAI Centre of Excellence staff in 2020, and later to the boys COE and Emerging Talent Programme in 2021. I’m really enjoying my roles with the FAI, particularly the girls' sessions which have been really rewarding seeing the improvements in the players' games.”
Last year Murphy decided to put a halt to his own playing career and concentrate more on the coaching side of things and this proved to be a worthwhile move as he soon landed a role at League of Ireland club, Cobh Ramblers.
“I was put in contact with Ivan Bevan, Academy Director at Cobh, in July 2020 regarding the U19 goalkeeping role, which I couldn’t let pass me by.
"After spending a season with the U19s, I was lucky enough to establish the Lead Academy Goalkeeping Coach role in August 2021, and take on its responsibility.
"I’ve been in the role five months now and I’m loving it, although it is tough.
"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the club since I’ve joined the staff here. I can’t speak highly enough of them.
"From the first team management to the U14 management, everyone is so down to earth and willing to offer me advice which is really, really good as a young coach learning the trade.”
Balancing both the boys and girls squads, as well as attending college can be time-consuming however for Murphy it’s all about being organised.
“I think once I’m organised, it makes things so much easier.
"There are differences in the boys and girls games, particularly in the goalkeeping department.
"Generally, the boys are of a similar level to each other, wherein the girls game you have some players developing a lot faster than others.
"That being said, I don’t alter my sessions too much, as for me football is football. The same principles apply to both genders, and I keep all my sessions appropriate to what the goalkeepers I’m dealing with need.
“I got involved with Cork City Women’s when I was quite early into my coaching career, I was just 17.
"I enjoyed the setup out there, But maybe that move came too early for me, as I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should’ve.
"I took some time off from coaching but as all coaches will know, the itch to stay involved got the better of me and I was dying to get back.
"When I chatted to Ivan on the phone about going to Cobh, he really sold it to me. I couldn’t say no! And I’m glad I didn’t as I’m back enjoying the role so much in a fantastic club.
“Life is pretty hectic at the moment but I expect it to get busier.
"I currently have my GK C licence and outfield D at the moment, and I am hoping to achieve my UEFA C and GK UEFA B next year, all going well.
“I’m studying the BSc Coaching Science and Sports Pedagogy in MTU. I can’t speak highly enough of the course, it’s hands-on and practical, pushing everyone out of their comfort zones.
"But it’s really good and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m hoping my coaching background will help me through the course, and I aim to go on to study an MSc in Sports Psychology in years to come, but my plan might change in that time!
"My long-term goal is to make a career of the game.”