‘Corofin are an animal of a football team’ MOOREFIELD READY FOR ULTIMATE TEST SAYS MURRAY
MOOREFIELD’S James Murray says all the pressure is on their opponents Corofin in Saturday’s AIB All-ireland club semi-final in Tullamore.
The eight-time Connacht champions, All-ireland winners in 2015, are well used to this stage of the competition and Murray (right) has described the competition favourites as “an animal of a football team”.
By contrast, Moorefield return to the semi-final after an 11-year absence having captured just their second Leinster title in dramatic fashion in December.
Murray said: “Listen, what they have won speaks for itself. They are after winning the last five Galway titles, two Connacht titles and the All-ireland in 2015.
“They are an animal of a football team but coming into the next game, the expectation is on them to win and there is no pressure on us.
“The pressure is on them, that they have to get to an All-ireland final. The only pressure we are under is the pressure we have within the group.”
Murray was a teenager when Moorefield last reached this stage of the competition back in 2007 as Dr Crokes of Killarney eliminated them after a replay. Current manager Ross Glavin was a key player on the team at the time.
“I was 13 years of age,” Murray recalls. “I remember the last minute of the drawn game. Paddy Murray had a 45 to win it and it just went narrowly wide.
“The replay then, they beat us well but Ross speaks that only 40 minutes into that game did the players actually start to believe that they could beat Dr Crokes. “Probably at the time Dr Crokes had the big name like Corofin have now. So Ross is adamant we have that belief for the first minute the next day. “Four or five players from the ‘07 team and the three lads on the management were on the ‘07 team. “They are able to give us a great insight into how they prepared and how to go about this semi-final.” Breaking the recent dominance of their town rivals in Newbridge, Sarsfields, was the starting point for Moorefield when they convened for the 2017 season more than 12 months ago now, and Murray is very much in the thick of that rivalry as a teacher in the town.
However, they recognised they had to set their sights beyond their own town and county and Glavin certainly didn’t lack ambition in that regard.
“In previous years, we were too focused on being the best team in Newbridge and the best team in Kildare,” explained Murray.
“The start of the year this year, we sat down and said we wanted to win an All-ireland and win a Leinster and all year the three lads in the management – they have kept saying to us that this is going to be our year, that we will win the All-ireland.” TYRONE boss Mickey Harte has lashed out at sections of the media he believes have “an agenda against Tyrone”.
The Red Hands have been criticised in some quarters for playing a negative brand of football which is now holding the team back.
However, the three time All-ireland winning boss (above) countered: “I would love somebody to challenge it because it needs to be challenged.
“There is all signs of an agenda against Tyrone where there is just continuous talk of how many people we have behind the ball.
“I see the very same thing happening to other teams yet the count isn’t on always. So maybe all those people who are making all those comments relentlessly might need to take a step back and see are they really independent thinkers or are they just having other people think for them.
“It also disappoints me that those in a position to ask for more from the people who are making those comments often don’t do that.”
Harte was speaking to the Donegal Democrat ahead of Saturday night’s Dr Mckenna Cup final in Armagh and admitted his team may not be at full strength for the decider.
“It would not be fair to ask players to give off their best right through January, February and right through to March without some kind of a break,” he said.
The only pressure we are under is the pressure we have within the group..
TRIBE ELDERS Galway champions Corofin celebrate winning Connacht title and, above, win All-ireland in 2015