Eamonn compliments Casey and the team
THERE ARE few people in Wicklow more qualified to talk about hurling than Eamonn Murray.
In a career that spanned more than half a century, Murray played in 12 All-Ireland finals, winning six, five with London and one with Wicklow.
But as he freely admits, the last of those and the first with Wicklow in 1971 is the one that means the most to him.
“I’d been away in London for years so to come back and win on for Wicklow was special, definitely the highlight of my career.”
As well as enjoying a successful club career in London, Murray also won two Junior titles with his native Avoca and those two wins were 50 years apart.
However, the game of hurling was different back then and he believes it was much more physical.
“I don’t think there is the same passion for hurling in the county as there was when I was growing up.Back then you’d rarely go anywhere without a hurley and ball, they were different times back then though.
“The game was much more physical back then, its a lot more skilful now and it is a lot faster as well,” he said.
With Wicklow hurling on the up, I had a chat with Eamonn about hurling in the county now and about Wicklow’s prospects in this year’s Christy Ring Cup which begins on Saturday.
“We are going well but our one weakness is in the forwards, the forwards now aren’t as tall as they were in my day, we miss the likes of Eamonn Kearns. That is not Casey’s fault though.
“Casey and the team have the lads going well though. There is a great belief in this squad. They are a very skilful bunch of players.
“There is an interest in Wicklow hurling, a belief in the game and that’s a good thing,” he continued.
That brought us onto Saturday’s game and Wicklow’s chances in this year’s Christy Ring Cup.
“We have the beating of Kildare, We are fit and rearing to go. The lads are very fit. I think the current team is more skillful than the team we had.
“Casey and the team have done a great job with them. They believe in themselves,” he said.
“We had an excellent league campaign. It was a great performance against Down. We showed great heart that day. We hurled well and deserved to win. The winning of the game for us could be in the middle of the park. It won’t be easy, that’s for sure. They are a good team. Getting on top in the middle of the park will be crucial for us, as will a good start. We have a great chance on form though and confidence in high and that will count for a lot”.
Before I finished I had to ask him what he thought helped him play for so long. He played his last game for Avoca when he was in his late 60s
“I didn’t drink or I didn’t smoke and I always kept myself busy,” he said laughing.
Eamonn Murray gives us his thoughts ahead of the Christy Ring Cup clash.