SIGERSON CUP ROUND ONE
ATHLONE IT V LETTERKENNY IT
Sunday, AIT GAA pitch, 2pm
LETTERKENNY IT manager Michael Murphy has said that the chance for his side to play Sigerson Cup football was just too good to turn down.
The squad will travel to Athlone IT on Sunday to play the college’s first ever game at this level. Murphy, who guided the side to Trench Cup glory last year, said that they deliberated about moving up a level, but ultimately it was just too good of an opportunity to pass on.
“As a college we like to spread our wings,” said Murphy, a Sigerson winner with DCU in 2012.
“I know a lot of the lads on the panel from playing club football and obviously some are my teammates with Donegal, and I think in your development it is one of the best things you can do.
“As a young player you always aspire to play Sigerson football. I think when we were making the decision after the Trench Cup success, whether we would commit to Sigerson, it became this chance that we all wanted to take.
“We want to compete and see where we are at. The Division One league campaign was tough but you just want to afford these lads the opportunity to play Sigerson football.”
Donegal’s influence on the Sigerson Cup has always been healthy and eight squads will have Tir Chonaill representation in this year’s tournament – although surprisingly fellow Ulster sides Queen’s, St Mary’s and Ulster University are not amongst them.
Letterkenny IT, as you’d expect, are coming down with Donegal players with Louth’s Liam Jackson and Mayo’s Sean Neary the only two not from the county on the 34- man squad.
Four of Murphy’s county teammates are involved, Peadar Mogan, Michael Langan, Michael Lynch and Eoghan McGettigan.
The losers of this clash will play the losers of IT Tralee and IT Carlow in a relegation play-off, so there is a lot riding on the fixture.
Murphy is hoping that they can do themselves justice in Athlone.
“We’ve never played Sigerson football before so this is the first year,” he said.
“We have a good few players from last year’s Trench Cup and a few of them were there the year before as well.
“We have a couple of new additions this year too and that has helped things massively.
“In the college here they always just try and create a good atmosphere, we don’t tendto have them out training every night.
“It might be one night some weeks and other weeks they’ve asked for a couple of nights but that’s coming from the boys themselves.
“You’re just trying to create an environment that allows them to enjoy their football. We want them to come out with a smile after having a good experience.
“Going down to Athlone is going to be another big task though so hopefully we can perform.”
He may be just into his 30s but Murphy seems to be taking well to the management scene.
He says that the Letterkenny position is allowing him to assess what he wants to do when he does hang up his boots, which is unlikely to be anytime soon.
“It’s something different. It’s my third year now and you learn something completely and utterly different every time.
“I enjoy it, it’s not an absolute full on commitment like it could be on the club scene or the inter-county scene.
“It gives you a look at it and I suppose you’re looking wondering whether it’s management or coaching you’d like to get involved with down the line.
“You’re experimenting and you’re playing about with it to see what area you like.
“I have a lot of help here too, Francie Friel from Termon has been involved with inter-county squads down through the years and Aidy Glackin and Damian Devenney have been a great help too “We’re enjoying it and looking forward to the match.”