Town’s first summer signing talks to htafc.com
New boy Joe Murphy knows he is in for a challenge in competing for the goalkeeping berth at Huddersfield Town – but he’s up for the battle!
The highly experienced 32 year-old has joined ‘The Yorkshire Club’ on an initial two year contract at the expiry of his contract with League 1 Coventry City and is eager to add to the 450 domestic games he has already played in England.
“When I first came to speak to Huddersfield I was impressed; everyone made me feel very welcome,” Joe exclusively told htafc.com.
“The Chairman even text me when I went on holiday, which is something that doesn’t happen at a Club very often! He’s told me about the ambitions here and I want to be a part of that.
“This is a new challenge for me; one I’m looking forward to. I’ve taken a bit of time to think about the move, but I’m happy to have signed the papers today (having returned from a family holiday). Hopefully I can hit the ground running.
“I’ve played a lot of football over the last eight seasons, not missing much more than a dozen games across that period. As I’ve got older I feel like I have grown as a goalkeeper.”
Joe recently received a call-up to the Republic of Ireland international squad under new Manager Martin O’Neill and he hopes that his step up to the Championship might lead to him adding to his two previous caps.
“Every player wants to play at the highest level they can and I’m the same. I was in the Irish international squad a couple of weeks ago and when I talked to the Goalkeeping Coach, he told me to get into the Championship fray and see what happens. I’ve only got two caps in 12 years so I’m not expecting to earn a dozen this season, but everyone wants to play internationally and I enjoy being in the Ireland squad. It would be nice if this move brings that opportunity.”
Murphy is under no illusions as to the challenge he will face in dislodging reigning two-time Players’ Player of the Year Alex Smithies from between the sticks.
He continued: “I’ve played against Alex a good few years ago. He was a top ‘keeper then and has played a lot more football since. There’s a lot of talk about him within the game and for a lad of his age to have played the number of games he has is outstanding; he deserves credit for that. I’ve always liked him as a goalkeeper. I’m looking forward to working with him.
“As a goalkeeper it is quite difficult, as you only play in one position, but I’m only 32 and I haven’t come here to be put out to pasture – I want to keep playing First Team football. My plan is to arrive for pre-season, work hard and see where that gets me.”
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Joe will also work alongside new Head of Goalkeeping Nick Colgan on a day to day basis; a man who is familiar to Town’s new capture.
“When I was first called into the Ireland squad, Nick was also in the squad alongside Shay Given; I actually replaced him for my senior debut. I know him quite well; he was a hard worker as a player and I’m not surprised to hear that has been the case during his coaching role at the Academy before being promoted this summer.
“I’m looking forward to hearing what ideas he has and working with him. Nick has the personality you need as a goalkeeping coach, because it is a high-pressure position to play in.”
Manager Mark Robins is also no stranger to Murphy; the two worked together at the Ricoh Arena.
“Mark came into Coventry when we were struggling a little bit; we had just got relegated and we didn’t get the results in our first 10 games of the season. He came in and turned things around quite quickly; he was a calming influence. I really enjoyed that spell playing under him; he made me Captain when the regular skipper was injured, which was a nice touch.
“He likes to play good football, which suits me; I think I’m pretty decent with my feet and I enjoy that part of the game. I’m certainly looking forward to playing under the Manager again and I’m delighted to have joined the Club.”