“MURPHY’S LAW” FOR CITY’S CONOR
DECLAN Devine has emerged a much sought-after personality as he commences his preparations for the 2012 FAI Cup Final next Sunday week.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Indeed, the Brandywell boss has been regularly involved in discussions with supporters and others on the make-up of his starting XI in the Aviva Stadium on November 4th.
However, while he continues to enjoy those conversations, Devine pointed to the absence of striker, Conor Murphy who will play no part in the final due to the fact that he has been cup-tied having already represented the now defunct Monaghan United in this year’s competition.
“I’m delighted that our supporters are involved in debating which is our best starting XI as that is what football is all about. I’ve certainly enjoyed the conversations I’ve been involved in over the weekend, but the team starting the cup final seems to change every day in my mind,” claimed the Creggan man.
“However, I do feel very sorry for Conor Murphy as he’s been side-lined over recent weeks as all our training and preparation has been directed towards the FAI Cup final,” said Devine.
“Conor played in the first half of the game against Sligo Rovers, a match which Monaghan won to end the cup holders’ participation in this year’s competition.
“But his involvement also displayed the player’s honesty and integrity as there were three or four other Monaghan players who refused to play having saw the “writing on the wall” at the club,” he added.
Devine praised the attitude of the Dublin teenager. “Since his arrival at the Brandywell, he comes into training every day and works particularly hard, but while the past few weeks have been hard on him, he continues to train with the group and play his part. He’s travelled to every cup match despite the fact that he was not eligible to play.
“We brought him on during the second half against St. Pat’s on Friday night and he impressed me with his contribution. On another night he would have not only scored a goal, but he would also have been awarded a penalty. He’s 19-years-old and he will remain part of the “group” which travels to the final,” declared Devine.
Commenting after the Pat’s match, Murphy was delighted with the league victory, describing it as a “confidence booster.”
“It was a brilliant result against one of the best teams in the country,” claimed Murphy. “We know how good they are so to defeat them at home is a great boost.
“We’ve had a few good results since getting most of the squad back playing again so we have gained a bit of momentum and that will give us confidence for the cup final.”
Disappointed that he will not figure in the final, the player is confident that his team-mates will go all the way.
“For me it’s hard to accept that I’m going to miss the final and it’s not a nice feeling. My season is over now but I’m delighted for all the boys and I’ll help them out as much as I can.
“Even if I’m not going to be involved, I’ll be absolutely delighted if we can win the cup. That’s all that matters, it’s not about me and I’m going to stick around and help out if I can.
“Obviously I didn’t have a clue that Monaghan were going to go bust and it’s been hard for me. It wasn’t the players’ fault the club went bust. It wasn’t us who made false promises, but things couldn’t have worked out better for me.
“I’m delighted I got the move to Derry City as I really love it up here and, hopefully, that will continue for me.
“My contract is up and if the club wants to discuss a new contract, I would be more than happy to sit down and talk to them,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Derry City will have next weekend off as the “Candy Stripes” were due to finish their season at Gortakeegan against the new defunct Monaghan United.
But did Devine consider the break advantageous?
“For us it works both ways,” he answered.
“We need matches for certain players who have returned from injury as they require game time to get match fit. However, at the same time, there are those players who do not necessarily need the game having played extensively this season and, indeed, they would benefit with a weekend of rest before the final.“Personally speaking, I would much rather be playing a game on Friday night but, that said, the intensity of our training will be increased to accommodate certain players, others will be wrapped in cotton wool.
“It’s an interesting stage of the season and the pleasing thing about it is our recent results. Defeating Dundalk, Shelbourne, Rovers and Pat’s has boosted morale. Players that needed games have got games with our performances and the results very pleasing.
“But we have much to do on the training ground and I feel very fortunate to be planning for the final with competition for places, that’s something I have not be used to all season,” he concluded,
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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