Experienced Kevin Murray steps up to take over in Midleton

Former Cork City defender on why the Munster Senior League is the ideal shop window for talented young players looking to push on
Experienced Kevin Murray steps up to take over in Midleton

UCC's Garan Manley clears from Midleton's Kevin Murray during the Beamish Stout MSL premier League game at Knockgriffin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

AFTER three years of being assistant to John Ryan at Midleton FC, former Cork City player Kevin Murray was earlier this month given the role to replace Ryan as the first-team manager at the club.

Murray, who was a player when the club won the Munster Senior League in 2018, is excited by the challenge he faces ahead of the upcoming season and will be looking to have a mixture of youth and experience in his squad for Midleton’s 2022/2023 campaign.

“John made it known that he would be stepping down a few weeks before I was appointed,” Murray said.

“I had been assistant to John for the last three years, so I had an idea that I would be approached. Naturally, it was the next step for me.

“Coaching, managing; is a totally different experience. I was used to being on the pitch and having a certain view of a game, but when you are on the side; you do see things for the better or sometimes even the worse.

“It did take me a while to adjust from playing to watching and trying to see things from a more tactical perspective. It definitely was a transition and a bit of a culture shock initially but it is now something that I really enjoy.

“I’m looking forward now to getting stuck into the next step and being a manager.

“I hope to bring many attributes to management. Personally, I think I am a good people person.

I think I’ve got good people skills. I think I can help the younger lads given my experience of my own playing history.

“I played under some excellent managers. The likes of Pat Dolan, Stephen Henderson and my latest manager John Ryan.

“I have learned a lot from all of them. I feel that if I can blend a lot of their traits and put them into practice, I think I can have a good influence on the squad and the group of players in it.

“I suppose what really appeals to me from the management side is the handling of players.

 Mark O'Sullivan, Avondale Utd, taken down inside the box, surrounded by James McCarthy, Gary Collins and Kevin Murray, Midleton. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Mark O'Sullivan, Avondale Utd, taken down inside the box, surrounded by James McCarthy, Gary Collins and Kevin Murray, Midleton. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be rolling up my sleeves and getting involved in the coaching on the training ground. I’m still in the process of building up my coaching team.

“To be honest, signing players is more difficult than I thought it would be.


“With the club based where it is; East Cork is the catchment area that you have to look at initially. Some players are loyal to their clubs, which I have respect for. However, I genuinely believe with the facilities at Midleton and the set-up it has; the potential of the club is massive.

“At the moment, the club is fundraising to build a full seized astroturf, so hopefully that will be an added facility we see as well soon.

I think Midleton should be appealing to every player out there. It would be a great club for any player looking to further their career.

“The Munster Senior league is improving in standard and I think if any player does well in it, they will put themselves in the shop window for League of Ireland clubs.

“It’s no secret; we are going through a transition. We won the league in 2018 and there are only three players left in the team from that squad, and that is not that long ago.

“So there has been a big turnover of players. But there are a lot of exciting young players coming through at the club.

“The U19s won the Munster Cup only a few weeks ago. Some of them are involved in the junior and senior teams already, but their next challenge is to establish themselves in men’s football.

“Whereas for the others, it’s a natural progression for them to make that next step and move onto playing men’s football.

“That is coupled with a lot of young players that are in their early 20s that I am looking forward to working with and looking forward to developing. “Then we have got a couple of experienced players that I will be looking at to help those younger players progress, like John Keane, James Leahy and Kelvin.

“Players that were part of that 2018 winning side. They will be the lads that I will be looking at to really integrate the younger lads into the team. It’s going to be an exciting season and it is important that we make a fast start when the season begins.”

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