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Friday 24 January 2020

Murphy ready for home run

Former Bohs 'keeper hopes to resume his league career

Then Bohemians goalkeeper Brian Murphy in action for the Dublin club July 2009
Then Bohemians goalkeeper Brian Murphy in action for the Dublin club July 2009

After a decade in England, home is calling for former Bohemians 'keeper Brian Murphy as he seeks a return to the League of Ireland.

And despite a long spell as a back-up 'keeper which has restricted him to just ten appearances in the last three and a half seasons, with no game-time at all in two years, the Waterford native (36) feels he can contribute in a league where he won back-to-back titles with Bohemians a decade ago.

Murphy, who signed for Roy Keane's Ipswich in January 2010, has been at Cardiff City since 2016, but his contract is up this month and the former Manchester City trainee feels it's time to come home.

"I am keen to play if the right move is there. It could be a good opportunity to come home and play," Murphy says.

"I have kept an eye on the league back home and even with all that's gone on with the FAI, I feel the standard of the league has improved since I played there ten years ago, I really enjoyed my time at Bohs.

"I am still ambitious, I am driven to come to work every day and train hard and that won't change.

"It's a while since I played in the league but my record with Bohs was good and if I can reproduce half of that I'd be doing well. But also I am a better goalkeeper now than I was back then. I am more mature and more assured of my ability.

"I have been at a club in the Premier League or Championship for the last ten years and I always said if I was to go and play at another level, it would be back home. I didn't want to be in League Two and moving around every six months."

Murphy has already been linked with hometown club Waterford FC, but the fact that former team-mates Neale Fenn (Cork City) and Stephen O'Donnell (St Patrick's Athletic) are in charge of clubs now could spark interest.

Murphy had 18 months at Ipswich before spells at QPR (2011-'16) and current club Cardiff. He joined QPR knowing he would have to challenge for a place, and following their signing of Julio Cesar while in the Premier League, he was third choice.

He played just two league games (six in all competitions) in his five seasons with QPR and was also a reserve for his time at Cardiff, but Murphy defended his call to sign new contracts as a back-up with those clubs instead of moving on to get first-team games at a lower level.

"I just said to myself a few years ago, if someone wants to give me a contract with a Championship club, or a contract to be back-up at a Premier League club, then do you turn it down?"

Murphy also says there's been no issue between him and former manager Roy Keane since Murphy commented on Keane's managerial reign last summer. At an appearance at his GAA club in Waterford, Murphy spoke about Keane and a post-match team talk at Ipswich, where dope-testing officials were present in the dressing room. "To one guy he [Keane] asked, 'Do you want to be a footballer, or do you want to collect piss for a living like this guy?', pointing at the drug-tester," Murphy said last year.

"I have a lot of time for Roy, he gave me the opportunity to go back to England, with Ipswich, and I always said I enjoyed working with him, he drove me mad at times but that's football, that's life," Murphy says now.

"What I said I didn't mean in any bad way and I wasn't looking to make headlines. I didn't realise I was being videoed."

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