DONEGAL CAPTAIN Michael Murphy says there ‘wasn’t a hope’ he’d have lasted as an Aussie Rules footballer – because he’d have missed Donegal too much.
Murphy was courted for a long time by Aussie Rules agent Ricky Nixon, but passed up on the chance to move Down Under.
Murphy has become Donegal’s most successful captain, leading the county to an All-Ireland SFC and three Ulster SFC titles, having previously skippered the Ulster and All-Ireland U-21-winning squad in 2011.
Murphy is taking part in AIB’s Toughest Trade – which will be screened next month by RTÉ – with Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams having played in a game for Glenswilly last week in Convoy.[adrotate group=”53″]
Murphy is set to spend a week at Clermont Auvergne in France.
“With the time of year it works out perfectly to give it a rattle, give it a go, enjoy the experience and learn a wee bit from it,” Murphy said.
The professional environment will suit a man of Murphy’s enthusiasm and professionalism; and while he will wonder if he might have made it at a different oval-ball game, he has no regrets.
“To live in Australia, I wouldn’t have been cut out for it, not a hope,” he said.[adrotate group=”46″]
“Definitely there were opportunities. I wouldn’t have hacked it. There were sometimes I’d say to myself, I would love to be out in a professional environment and that was probably my opportunity to go and do that.
“I just would have missed home too much. I know myself. I’m quite honest, and at that time and still I just want to play for Donegal.”
Murphy will be with Clermont ahead of their game against Bordeaux-Bégles on January 29 next.
Donegal manager Rory Gallagher has given his blessing to the move and although apprehensive about adapting to the tackle in rugby, Murphy is relishing the prospect and has no fears about changing codes.
He said: “Come ’ere, you could just as easily get injured at a training session back home. I won’t be going into it like that. I will be going into it to learn as much as possible and really challenge myself.”
“We would have done a bit of tackling in Australia during the Compromise Rules. I am sure it is a lot more technical than that tackle.
“That’s a bit of apprehension I have. It probably looks physical but I would say it is a hell of a lot more technical than it actually looks. That’s going to be one of the main challenges and in and around the ruck.”Tags: