Tuda Murphy Cayman Islands first professional goal keeper returns to his homeland from Ireland next week to join the national team in final preparations for the return game against Bermuda in the CONCACAF World Cup 2010 qualifying game.
This game is scheduled for March 30 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex at 7pm.
Murphy, 27, takes leave from his Irish First Division club Glenavon FC in Ireland to represent Cayman in this critical return game. He is the No.1 choice keeper at Glenavon FC, seasoned contenders of the Carnegie Irish Premier League and is celebrating his first season with this club as a professional player.
Murphy is a former George Town keeper and willingly accepted invitation from the Cayman Islands Football Association for this vital first leg on the road to reaching the South Africa World Cup 2010 finals.
Jeffery Webb, President of CIFA, was impressed with Murphy’s performance in the first game when they drew 1-1 in Bermuda last month.
He is proud of Murphy knowing that he started out with the national youth programme, progressing to the standard of a professional football player while achieving academically during the transition.
‘I am really proud not only as the president of CIFA but as a proud Caymanian to see a son of this soil elevating himself to this level. I am confident that he will do his duties well and help us to advance to the next level of this qualifying round.’
Murphy joined the national squad on January 29 here at when he participated in last minute training sessions with the squad prior to their departure on February 1 to Bermuda to play the first leg at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire on February 3.
This burly custodian started his football career at seven while attending primary school and at 14 was on the national youth squad playing against countries like Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.
Murphy was second to former distinguished national goal keeper (now FIFA Referee) Alfredo Whittaker and after his exit donned the national colours against Cuba, Martinique and Dominica before heading off to Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.
He is a graduate of the John Grey High School class of 1998 and holds a degree in advertising and communications which he plans to pursue full time after he retires from football. He is married and has a son from the marriage.
Murphy was eager to respond to his call to the national team and feels it is an honour for him. ‘I am appreciative of the focus placed on the development of youth football by CIFA from which I have benefited,’ he said. ‘I thank all the volunteers, the sponsors, coaches, teachers and every single entity who have made extraordinary effort in contributing to football on the island.
‘I feel honoured to have been invited to the Cayman Islands national team to represent my country. It is like going to war as a soldier fighting for my country. I look forward to playing and doing it professionally to make my country proud.
‘Glenavon FC is pleased with the efforts I placed in the first game to give the Cayman Islands the advantage going into the second round.’
Murphy mentioned his primary years as keeper for George Town, his early years and the calibre of support given to him as a youngster by coaches Gillie Seymour, Jocelyn Morgan and a host of others in the football fraternity too numerous to mention.
‘Goal keeping is a dirty job as you have the responsibility to clean up the mistakes of all who play in the middle,’ he added. ‘No one wants to do it and it is unforgivable if a goal passes you. Goal keeping is serious business and it’s a serious job it makes you feel guilty sometimes.’
According to technical director Carl Brown, Tuda’s addition helped to propel the team into its present position having moved from 191 to 183 on the FIFA ranking..
Murphy returns to Ireland after the game and will remain a key player in all the international competitions involving Cayman.