Cork City star Seán Óg Murphy looking to the future

Amputee Player of the Year winner is now looking to make an impact with the Irish team
Cork City star Seán Óg Murphy looking to the future

James Boyle of Bohemians in action against Sean Óg Murphy of Cork City during the Irish Amputee Football Association National League at Ballymun United Soccer Complex. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SEÁN Óg Murphy had other things on his mind when the final votes for the Cork City Amputee Player of the Year award had been counted and the winner was officially confirmed.

“I was actually back in the yard, I was working on the farm,” he laughs.

But it was only when he read a message in the squad’s WhatsApp group that he realised his teammates had decided he was their best player in 2021.

“One of the lads sent a text message into our group congratulating me. It was a fantastic feeling in fairness, I wasn’t expecting it,” he continued. “I said it to my teammates in the group afterwards that any one of us could have won it.

“We all put in solid efforts this year. There were two cups — with Covid the league was cancelled — and we won one before the Euros and we lost the final to Bohemians in the other cup in November.

“But it is great to be recognised by your teammates and by Dáire (Coughlan) our manager.

All my years playing GAA, there were never any individual trophies really. For your own teammates to vote for you, it’s even more special.

“If it was just management it would be one thing but for your teammates to vote for you and acknowledge the effort you have made throughout the year is special, it’s a fantastic feeling.”

A leader and a gent, is how his manager describes him as he has been a huge influence on and off the pitch since he joined the side back in 2017 before their inaugural, and title-winning season in 2018.

He knew straight away after taking a call from someone involved with the City amputees that he wanted to get involved with the team.

That call came close to three years since he had last been involved with both his local soccer and GAA clubs.

It was August 2014 when an accident at work changed his life.

“See… with the amputees there are fellas from different backgrounds,” he adds.

“There are fellas that are born without a limb, there are fellas that had accidents like myself and there are lads that lost it through illness, cancer or something like that.

“I just had a workplace accident in a factory, it was just sort of a crush, something crushed my foot. They tried to save it but it had to be amputated.

“I spent the first three years not really knowing about the sport but I have played the last four years now. 

Those first three years not being able to play sport but coming from GAA, that was a difficult enough time.

“I had been playing with Cullen but our season was over and I was set to play during the winter then with Los Zarcos — they’re a team from Millstreet — and I just had my first training session with them three or four days before the accident, our season was only getting started.

“It was years later a fella back the road who was involved at the time got in contact with me and from the first conversation I had with him I knew I wanted to be involved in the sport.

“Anyone that’s been involved in a sport knows the camaraderie amongst the players — having the craic inside the dressing room — and it was a great feeling to have that back again.

“But ever since I have met up with the lads — not even just the Cork City lads, meeting lads from Dublin and Donegal, different places that play with us — you learn so much and it’s a great environment to be in.

Kevan O'Rourke of Shamrock Rovers and Sean Óg Murphy of Cork City shake hands. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Kevan O'Rourke of Shamrock Rovers and Sean Óg Murphy of Cork City shake hands. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

“It’s not a walk in the park by any means, it is tough but it is very satisfying to be a part of a team again, for me anyway personally.

“We won the first-ever league back in 2018, Shamrock Rovers won in 2019, last year was cut short so we only had the first three months and Bohs won that and there was no league this year with Covid as well.

“It’s been very fair and competitive since it started.”

Sean Óg Murphy, front left, with his Cork City teammates.
Sean Óg Murphy, front left, with his Cork City teammates.

Cork City will be hoping to reclaim their crown when the league action returns in 2022 and Seán Óg Murphy will be pivotal if they are to have any chance.

INTERNATIONAL

The playmaker also has his eyes set on a potential return to the Republic of Ireland set-up for the World Cup in Turkey.

But again, similar to the player of the year award announcement, his work on the farm has his focus.

“I haven’t really played with Ireland all that much,” he says, almost regretfully.

“I have a young family, I have two small children and another one coming in February and with the farm I never really… I tried in 2017 I went to Poland with them for a tournament which was a fantastic experience.

“The World Cup is coming up next year in Turkey and every fella would love to be going to that because the Turkish FA are very involved with the amputee set-up in the country.

“They even have different leagues and divisions so anyone would love to go to that.

“Unfortunately now, I didn’t really get to make an impact at international level with the farm. But maybe we can work something out that I would be able to go. I’d like to be able to go anyway.”

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