Waterford native Brian Murphy (pictured above) has turned down a move to SSE Airtricity Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers to remain with his hometown club Waterford FC in a bid to lead the club back to the top division in what is a massive signing for manager Ian Morris.
Murphy, who plied his trade for many years in the UK before moving back to Waterford, becomes the 13th player confirmed by the Blues this season, and after the disappointment of suffering relegation last season, he’ll be hoping that it will be a change of fortune in 2022.
The experienced netminder was a pivotal player for the Blues last season, and after defeat to UCD in the relegation playoff, he described it as a “disappointing moment that breaks my heart,” but his decision to remain on board is a major boost.
That air of disappointment at Richmond Park after the playoff loss left it unclear whether or not he’d be back for the 2022 campaign, but after playing 40 times for the club in the past two seasons, his decision to turn down the opportunity to play Champions League football for the First Division is a big statement.
As Murphy prepares for a third campaign with the Blues, it was the vision that he got from speaking with new boss Ian Morris that convinced him to remain on board for the season ahead as the players look forward to the season opener next month away to Athlone Town.
The 38-year-old netminder will be certainly a leader in Morris’ squad for the upcoming campaign, and he is now looking forward to helping to try lead the club back to the top flight that will erase the memories of the heartbreak of last December.
A CHANCE TO PROGRESS
Speaking on his decision to re-sign to the club media, Murphy said, “I’m really happy to be back. When Ian came in he said he wanted me, and I like the look of what he’s done so far and the ambitions he has for the club.
“We need to progress now and get the club back into the Premier Division for the 2023 season and that’s the aim and probably the main reason I wanted to stay on. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season and start playing games again.
“Keeping a lot of the team from last year is huge, too; it’s about building a club now. It’s great to see the lads who have re-signed and others joining the club too and it’s up to us as players now to give the fans something to smile about.
“I know we’ve a good number of season tickets sold already and you see how much of a football city this is and there’s a real appetite to succeed. It’s up to us as the players to do that now and put smiles on people’s faces again. We need to aim to bounce straight back and that’s exactly what we’ll look to do.”
Speaking to WaterfordFC.ie, manager Ian Morris said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get Brian sorted. He is a top, top goalkeeper and a fantastic leader and role model in this club. The goalkeeping department at the club is as good as anywhere.”