Midleton new manager Kevin Murray can't wait for the new MSL season to begin this weekend

Midleton new manager Kevin Murray can't wait for the new MSL season to begin this weekend

Cork City's Liam Nash after scoring his penalty with Dan Smith, as Midleton's Kevin Murray has a quiet word during the Munster senior cup final at Turner's Cross.

IT'S his first stint as a manager and former Cork City player Kevin Murray looks forward to the new Munster Senior League season which kicks off this weekend.

Murray enjoyed three years as assistant to John Ryan at Midleton FC, and now has been given the role to replace Ryan as manager.

After a good pre season, the father of three from Carrigtwohill is pleased with the squad he has assembled and excited with the back room staff he has put in place.

“Pre-season has been going really well, the lads are working extremely hard and the fitness levels are improving week on week which is our initial priority,” said Murray. 

"Every player that has been coming training is giving 100% and really putting in the work which is all we can ask for from them.

“We have made a number of new signings. We have signed Jack Lowney and Dean O’Connell from Mayfield. 

"Both of these lads are super additions to the squad with a lot of talent and they have integrated very well into the group. 

"We have also signed Shane Murphy and Brendan Horgan from Leeside, again I am really happy to have secured these lads for the season, both are experienced lads who will be important additions to the squad with huge roles to play. 

"Andy O’Donoghue and Arthur Nguefang have returned to the club from Cobh Ramblers and UCC respectively and will ensure that the competition for the goalkeeping spot is really high as both are superb keepers. 

"We are also hoping to add one or two more before the end of August.

Midleton's Kevin Murray is injured against Cork City during the Munster senior cup final at Turner's Cross in 2019.
Midleton's Kevin Murray is injured against Cork City during the Munster senior cup final at Turner's Cross in 2019.

“This is my first stint as manager. I am really enjoying the role so far, the players have really been committed with their application and engagement and this has certainly made the early stages really enjoyable. 

"I have built a really strong management team which is vital for any manager that I am really pleased with. 

"It is early days for sure but the group of lads we have assembled are really exciting with a nice blend of youth and experience.

“For us as management we are looking for progression from the lads on last season and our job is to improve each one of them from a fitness, technical and tactical point of view. 

"John did a fantastic job last season with the team finishing fourth and if we can build on that and look at challenging in the cups this season that would be great. 

"I think the league will be as competitive as it has been for a lot of years, Rockmount will no doubt be favourites and rightly so given the quality and depth of their squad and what they achieved last year, but I think Ringmahon, College Corinthians and Carrigaline have all strengthened in the off season and will all be in the mix too. 

"Avondale have also signed really well and in reality any team can put a run together and put themselves in the mix as its such a competitive league.” 

Murray has taken the transition from coach to manager all in his stride but he certainly hopes to put his own stamp on things.

“The significant difference is the increased responsibility as the buck stops with me now. 

"The player engagement (both during and outside of training) is really important for me and this is something that I have tried to implement since taking the role. 

"As assistant I was able to step in and give my opinions to John but he was the one having to make the really big decisions and calls, that is now my job and I look forward to the challenge.

“I have an excellent management in place and all being so much to the squad.

“Michael O’Shea has been added as Head Coach and is a huge addition and asset for both the senior squad and for the club. 

"Mikey brings a wealth of experience having played and coached at LOI level with Cobh Ramblers and more recently coached with Mayfield United in the MSL. 

"I am thrilled that he has come on board with us and the lads are really enjoying the sessions with him.

“Ian Kirby has been around the senior squad for over five years now, he is a club stalwart and is another key person for us. 

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

"Ian is Midleton to the core and everything he does both on and off the pitch is to ensure a better experience for the players and management team. He is an invaluable part of the team.

“Stephen O’Brien and Martin Hickey have both come on board this season. Both have played for Midleton for many years at both Senior and Junior level and are football people. 

"They bring a wealth of experience to the Management team and they are people who I am really happy to have secured for the season as I value their opinions greatly.

“Andy O’Donoghue is a real coup for the club as he brings a wealth of experience of both playing and coaching. 

"He has most recently been the Goal Keeping coach and player with Cobh Ramblers and he will now be combining these roles for Midleton.

“Jonathan Healy has come on board to help out with the logistics on match days and again I am really pleased to have him added to the management team as he will have an important role to play on match days.

“The squad we have assembled is really exciting with a blend of youth and experience. There are a number of young lads that have come through from last seasons U-19’s (that won the Munster Cup) and these are really promising lads with big futures in the game. 

"We have four players still involved from our league winning team in 2018 with John Keane, James Leahy, Kelvin Kruschelle, and Andy O’Donoghue (returning). 

"These lads will be vital players for us and are the experienced guys I will be looking to lead us throughout the season. They are four great guys who I have played with myself and know how important they will be for us. We cannot wait to get started.” 

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