Interview with "Neil Murphy"
1. When did you join Athenry FC and when did you finish up?
- Joined Athenry FC in 1993 when I was 15 years old and played for all age groups and levels up until I finished in 2017. I did join Renmore for one season after leaving Athenry, but between injuries and old age, I decided to hang up the boots.
2. Who was the biggest influence on you?
- At underage, Johnny Delaney and Timmy Holian would certainly have been key influences. Both were obsessed with winning, but encouraged you to do it by playing the game in the right way.
At junior level, Michael Dunleavy, Timmy Holian and Roger Leggett certainly opened my eyes to different methods and styles of coaching. I certainly enjoyed the coaching experience as a player and hopefully can pass this knowledge on in some form of coaching down the line.
Players who would have been the biggest influence on me at the club, would be David Crimmins, Eddie Fox and Tony Shaughnessy. These lads had brilliant attitudes to training and when playing against or with them, you certainly had to up your game and improve as a player. Great leaders on the pitch also, stood up when it counted the most. All 3 could adapt their game to play in any position if needed and had brilliant long careers at the very highest level of junior football.
3. What did you achieve in your time at the Club? Trophies etc.
Jack Lillis Cup Winners - 2016
Reserve League Champions - 2007
First Division League Champions - 2000/01
Second Division Cup Winners – 2000
Young player of the Year - 2000
4. What are your three most memorable moments with Athenry FC?
- Definitely the year we got promoted to the Premier League for the first time in years, I think it was 2001. We went unbeaten in the league that year, and played some brilliant football. Great craic after games, pints on Sunday followed by the odd late night party in Quinn’s house.
- Any of the FAI junior cups games from 2003 -2006. I just remember the crowds at those games. Raheen would be packed. Beating Usher Celtic 5-0 comes to mind. They were highly fancied to win the tournament but we put them in their place that day.
- Anytime playing in Terryland for the club. Loved playing on that surface.
5. What are your three favourite football memories?
- Brain Costello using cardboard as shinguard's and getting away with it!!
- Away matches in the early days of the FAI junior cup. Always ended in a Sunday session
- Getting the chance to train and play with some brilliant players
6. Who was the toughest opponent you ever played against?
- Any game against West Utd Fc in the swamp…… Hated it.
7. In all the squads you have been part of can you name the following:
Funny Guy – Definitely Paddy Quinn
Tough as Nails – Emmet Byrne\Ronan Kinneen
Fastest player – Johnny Mernagh
Most Skillful – Gary Coffey
Most Grumpy – Ronan Kinneen
Best Player – Brian Costello
8. From all the players you have played with, name your strongest five a side team which includes yourself:
Goalkeeper – Colie Flannery
Defender – David Crimmins
Midfielder – Gary Coffey
Striker – Brian Costello
Manager – Stuart Donoghue
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