‘Co­rofin are an an­i­mal of a foot­ball team’ MOOREFIELD READY FOR UL­TI­MATE TEST SAYS MUR­RAY

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY PAT NOLAN irish­sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com BY GERRY MCLAUGH­LIN

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

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