'More than happy to throw my lot in with Kilkenny footballers' - Ex-Cats hurling star Murphy

Kilkenny will be playing in the All-Ireland junior football championship.

Paul Murphy in action for the Kilkenny hurlers.
Paul Murphy in action for the Kilkenny hurlers.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

FORMER KILKENNY HURLING defender Paul Murphy has revealed that he is playing with the Cats’ football squad this year for the 2022 All-Ireland junior championship.

Murphy retired from inter-county hurling in 2021, following a decorated career which yielded four All-Ireland titles, four Leinster titles, four All-Stars and three National Leagues.

Speaking on OTB’s The Hurling Pod, the Danesfort clubman explained that he linked up with the squad after he was contacted by the Kilkenny football manager Christy Walsh.

“We started the senior club championship earlier this year,” he begins in conversation with Will O’Callaghan and James Skehill on the podcast. “Christy got in contact [with me] and I’m more than happy to throw my lot in with the Kilkenny footballers.

“We’re basically playing two matches this year. We’re playing Warwickshire on Friday night in Abbotstown. All going well, if we win that match, we’ll be playing a New York team in the final in Croke Park on the Sunday. That’s what lads are looking to play for, and it’s great.

“To go by the phrase, ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is now.’ You need to get the show back on the road, you need lads to put the shoulder to the wheel and get things going. I’m happy to do that and do a service for the footballers.

“And if we get a day out in Croke Park, brilliant. Very few men can say they wore a Kilkenny football jersey in Croke Park.”

Murphy, who is now 33, added that he is unsure as to whether or not he will commit to the Kilkenny team beyond this season, but added that he intends to continue playing “if this year goes well.”

Remarking on the future of Kilkenny football, Murphy said they could return to playing in Division 4 if they can attract more players to line out.

“It’s probably a few years away and I think the only hurdle that has to be crossed is to get more players involved. At the moment, Kilkenny hasn’t got a system in place where players could easily manage playing club hurling and football, and then inter-county football. We know how the calendar sits and fits for inter-county hurling.

“Also, for players to get the space to step out from their clubs and play football, and for it to be recognised that they have inter-county football training, and that football has its space. At the moment, we’re training on Monday evenings so that has to be thrashed out first.

“My own club, Danesfort, is senior football in Kilkenny, and once you play a few matches, you can see the footballers are actually there. If we got the best players on the pitch, we could be back in Division 4 and have a real crack at it next year.

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“They’re going to take beatings, but to get back into the mix. I think Kilkenny played Tipperary in Division 4, and look at where Tipperary have gone. They have savage strongholds in football. There are people in Kilkenny who want to play football. We have lads from football strongholds in Tyrone and Clare.

“The raw material is there to get it back up and going and there is a want to get it back up and going.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


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