Danny Murphy Interview by Dylan O’Connell

Former CORK CITY and SHAMROCK ROVERS left-back, DANNY MURPHY, is loving life in charge of the Welling United Girls Academy in London.

The two time League of Ireland winner, who played in both the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and the UEFA Cup, currently holds a UEFA B License and a US Soccer B License and has coached in Ireland, England and the United States.

The 37-year-old opened up to PRO-SCOUT 3 on his pathway into coaching and his journey from the Munster Senior League to the lower tiers of the FA WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE.

Danny :“I started coaching in my last few years at CORK CITY,” Danny said, “I got involved with a number of clubs in Cork such as St. Marys AFC. I also set up SWANSEA CITY’s technical academy in Cork and Waterford. I was also involved with the kid’s camps at Cork City. When I left the club in 2014 I became PLAYER/MANAGER of BLARNEY UNITED and we had a very good season. At the end of the year, I was offered a role in the UNITED STATES with the CAROLINA ELITE SOCCER ACADEMY. I passed my UEFA B License in January and flew out to the States to start work in February.”

Danny :“In America, I did the US Soccer B License which is the American equivalent of the UEFA B License. There are small differences between the two courses, for example, different terminology is used. The US system is also very classroom-based and there is a lot of paperwork in the course on club structures. There were also loads of conferences and guest speakers. I really enjoyed doing the course.”

Danny :“Over in the AMERICA, things were done very differently to what I was used to. They would have four phases to every session. There would be a warm-up, TECHNICAL WORK, ATTACKING DRILLS, and then DEFENSIVE work.”

From two time FAI CUP WINNER Damien Richardson, to current REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Stephen Kenny and former NORTHERN IRELAND manager Michael O’Neil, Murphy has been coached by some of the biggest names in Irish football.

Danny :“I was lucky to play under some of the best coaches in Ireland,” Danny reflected on this, “They all brought something different. For example, Michael O’Neil understood every individual and had a great relationship with everyone in the squad.”

Danny :“My own COACHING PHILOSOPHY depends on the situation. At the moment I have a POSSESSION based approach to the game which has a HIGH TEMPO. But, as much as I want to play nice football, I also want my team to be adaptable. Like, what would happen if you were playing nice football all season, you got to a game, and the pitch is in a state? You need to be able to adapt and for that, you need multiple styles of play.”

Currently, Danny is helping to transform the Welling United Girls Academy into a state of the art footballing school. The role has him putting structures in place for hundreds of kids’ development at the south London club.

Danny :“We are building a full academy structure here. There will be fully QUALIFIED COACHES with every team in the academy. We don’t have the parents of a child looking after their team. We are also actively going out and recruiting coaches for the club.”

Danny :“We have a PHILOSOPHY for the club and academy. We have the person first, the PLAYER second, and the game third. We want to get to know the person behind the player and have a good relationship with them. That is super important to be a coach. Anyone can put on an amazing training session, but to get players to improve you need to know them. This isn’t just having a conversation, you need to know what makes a kid tick, how they learn, and what interests them.”

Danny :“You have to develop everyone on a TEAM. You have to look after the bottom four and the top four on a squad. Everyone will benefit from this and ultimately the whole squad will improve.”

Danny :“It isn’t all about the football what we are doing, it is about teaching the kids life lessons that they can take away from football and use in their everyday lives.”