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'He has been one of the greatest man markers in hurling over the last few years'

Cork’s Brian Murphy is back to give their championship aspirations a boost.

Brian Murphy in action against John Mullane in 2012.
Brian Murphy in action against John Mullane in 2012.

CORMAC MURPHY HAS been Cork’s best defensive discovery in 2015.

He got regular game time at wing-back throughout a hurling league campaign that ended at the final hurdle with a convincing defeat against Waterford.

Murphy is on the cusp of his senior championship debut against Waterford next Sunday but he doesn’t view the return of his namesake as a threat to his starting berth.

Brian Murphy has returned to the Cork fold since their league final loss and the 22 year-old Cork newcomer is enthused about the 2006 Allstar’s return.

“You will always welcome a fella who has got All-Ireland medals and Munster medals under his belt.

“He has been one of the greatest man markers in hurling over the last few years.

“The best forwards ever, the likes of John Mullane and Eoin Kelly, would tell you that Brian Murphy is probably the hardest opponent they’ve ever come up against.

If there’s a job that needs doing, Brian Murphy is your man.

Eoin Kelly is tackled by Brian Murphy Cork's Brian Murphy in action against Tipperary's Eoin Kelly. Source: Cathal Noonan

“You wouldn’t be selfish and think about your own place at all. As any other player would say really, you just want Cork to be doing well – to be winning.”

Murphy’s club form with Bride Rovers was one of the persuasive factors in manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy deciding to bring him back and there’s little concern in capacity to get back up to speed.”

“He was one of the standout performers in the opening round of the championship down in Cork,” remarks Cormac.

“He’s a natural athlete anyway. There’s no fear of him. He’s in good shape. I wouldn’t be worried about him at all.”

Lenovo GAA Skills Hub Cormac Murphy at yesterday's Lenovo GAA Skills Hubs launch. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

The Mallow club man feels more confident himself after his breakthrough season.

“(The) first year out of 21 you would be anxious to push on. You don’t want to be hanging around for too long. I am happy enough with the way things are going.”

“I feel a bit more confident all right. JImmy Barry-Murphy and Mark Landers they are very good people. They will always give youth its chance and they are very patient with them.”

Cork footballer retires with 9 All-Ireland senior medals and 3 Allstar awards

‘It is a leap of faith in one sense. There is a risk factor for Brian too.’

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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