Glenavon kick Cayman’s Tuda out

In
the face of the celebration that is the World Cup, the Cayman Islands football
fraternity is dealt a crushing blow to its international pedigree.

Goalkeeper
Tuda Murphy, one of the brightest products of Cayman football, was released by
Irish club Glenavon FC last week. The result is Murphy is talking seriously
about abandoning the sport.

According
to Irish newspaper the Lurgan Mail, Murphy has ‘fallen out of love’ with
football after a difficult final season at Mourneview Park. After playing a
total of 63 games for the club, Murphy said he was devastated to be released.

“This
season has made me hate football,” Murphy said. “I have to develop a love for
it again. I’ve got to get a passion for it back because it became just a job.
It’s not even for love or pleasure anymore for me.

“I
stayed on last year when I had a feeling that what happened this season was
going to happen. (Head coach) Marty (Quinn) said to me that it was going to be 50/50
and the best goalkeeper was the one that was going to play. I don’t understand
why I was dropped when I was. There is nothing I could have done, I did the job
whenever I came in and I was dropped. It was a knock on my confidence.”

Murphy
joined Glenavon, an Irish premiership team, three years ago in the summer of
2007. His athleticism in net translated well abroad as he quickly became the
number one goalie. Murphy, 29, soon became a fan-favourite and he states not
being able to have their support is what will hurt him the most.

“The
first thing they should know is that it wasn’t my choice to leave at all. I
really love the club and I didn’t want to move. When Linfield came in for me, I
could have gone to Linfield but I didn’t take that opportunity because I love
Glenavon and I wanted to stay there. In my heart, I didn’t feel like I got a
fair go at it. The most important thing is to give the fans thanks. I want to
thank them for making me feel at home, showing me that love and getting behind
me whenever I didn’t even do well or had made a mistake. They got behind me and
supported me.

“They
knew I had problems with my kicking but they never rubbed that in my face. I
got better at it and that was because they gave me the confidence that I could
do it. I remember the first day that I got back in the team and kicked the ball
for the first time and it went over the halfway line. The supporters cheered
and I was so happy because they knew that I was working hard at it. I don’t
have a personal relationship with the club, I have a personal relationship with
the fans. My wife doesn’t come to Tesco (a grocery store) with me anymore
because I stand talking to them all too much.”

Outside
of playing for Glenavon, Murphy had occasional playing time with Cayman’s
national men’s team. His last major appearance was two years ago during the
2008 Digicel Caribbean Cup football tournament (which doubled as a 2010 World
Cup qualifier). He was in net when Cayman faced Bermuda at the Truman Bodden
Sports Complex.

An
interesting aspect of Murphy’s release is he will not play for Cayman when it
takes part in the 2010 edition of the Digicel Caribbean Cup. The competition is
slated to take place in Puerto Rico in August and the Cayman Islands Football
Association stated in April this year it would only choose Cayman-based players
for the national team. In other words only players for Cayman’s Premier League
and First Division clubs rated amongst the best in the Cayman Islands would
make the cut. That fact disappoints Murphy.

“The
Caribbean Cup is coming up and I haven’t got a call-up because I haven’t been
playing. They’re not going to pay a lot of money to bring me back home to play
whenever I haven’t been playing lately. I want to get back on the national team
as soon as possible.”

Ultimately
Murphy is left with time to ponder quitting football, a decision that might be
clear if he cannot sign with an Irish or international team.

“It’s
still up in the air. There is nothing concrete yet but I’ve had talks with a
couple of Premiership clubs and also a couple of lower league clubs. I came
half way around the world to play at the highest standard that I can play at
and I know that I can play in the Premiership. I want to be back at Glenavon
under different circumstances and I look forward to ending my career there. It
is definitely my home club and I really fell in love with the fans there. I’ll
always be a Glenavon person at heart.”

SPORTSglenSTORY

Murphy might retire after being released
Photo: File

NO COMMENTS