Murphy was speaking ahead of Sunday's AIB GAA All-Ireland Football Intermediate Club Championship Final. David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE
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Watching Munster win in camper van in New Zealand to All-Ireland final in Croke Park

Murphy streamed the Munster final from a camper van in New Zealand at 4:30am.

NOT MANY PLAYERS have enjoyed as successful a year as Paul Murphy in 2022.

An All-Ireland title with Kerry, the County Championship with East Kerry, and the Kerry Intermediate Championship with his club Rathmore.

It was a dream come true for the pacy defender, although it arrived 12 months later than initially planned.

“It’s funny, in 2021 I had a diary and they were the three targets that I put at the front of the diary in 2021,” Murphy outlined.

“I’d read something about goal-setting, that you explicitly put it on the diary, and it’s on the front page, you’d see it every time. But sure the three boxes were left unticked! So when 2022 came around, I said I wasn’t going to bother with that. It hadn’t worked out in 2021.

“But the way the year went last year, you couldn’t have asked for better. Every team I was involved with were successful. So it’s pinch-yourself stuff.”

paul-murphy-makes-his-speech-after-the-game Murphy captained East Kerry to the county title. Ben Brady / INPHO Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

However, the hectic schedule that accompanied Rathmore’s run into Munster meant that he was double-booked. And instead of lining out alongside his teammates in Mallow for the provincial final win over Na Piarsaigh, Murphy was instead on the other side of the globe on his honeymoon.

“The honeymoon was planned during the summer,” he explained.

“We were unfortunate to miss the Munster final. Rathmore, there’s a strong panel there. So I was confident that if I was missing, someone else could step in and do a good job.

“The timing of it, there was a couple of factors. My wife, she’s tied down by an academic calendar. She does a bit of lecturing in MTU. She’s tied down by that. I’m caught obviously by football. You’re trying to be around for the busy time in work as well. We’re at year-end here, I work as an accountant, so that’s a factor.

“And then the other factor, my brother and sister both moved separately out to Melbourne in 2022. So the plan was to link up with them for Christmas. It was kind of the only time we could go, it was just unfortunate that it clashed with the Munster final. But thankfully, the lads did the job in my absence.”

He was on the edge of his seat, watching from afar.

“I got to watch it. It was being streamed online,” he continued. It was 4:30am that it started over in New Zealand. We had it on the laptop. We were travelling around by camper van. We had it on the laptop in the back of the camper van.

“Rathmore were up a few points and got a goal halfway through the second-half. After that then, I fully relaxed and enjoyed the last 15 minutes or so. I was confident that we wouldn’t be caught.

“It was a different sort of experience, being so far away, feeling so helpless for a game. It’s not an experience I’d like to have many more times!”

paul-murphy Murphy is hoping to cap a memorable year. James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Focus now turns to Sunday’s All-Ireland final at Croke Park, with Galbally Pearses of Tyrone providing the opposition.

Although Murphy concedes that Rathmore have been in ‘bonus territory’ in recent months, they are fully focused on claiming the All-Ireland title this weekend:

“There’s an element of it being bonus territory. Obviously, you’ve won the Intermediate Championship in Kerry and you’re back up to senior next year. And then the shackles are off a little bit and you can really just go out and try to get to Croke Park. That’s a huge thing in itself for the club to be involved in an All-Ireland Final in Croke Park. It’s really special.

“Now that we’re here the pressure comes back on a bit. You don’t want to go up there and come away a runner-up. You want to go up and finish the job off.

“So the pressure might have been off there for a small bit but when you’re back in an All-Ireland Final you’re putting pressure back on yourself. We’re not there for a day out to play in Croke Park, we want to go up there and come home with the cup.”

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