You might expect a manager to want to take a break from football once a long arduous season has ended but not for Castle Villa boss Liam Murphy, already he can’t wait for the new season to begin.
“It’s only been over two weeks and I am cracking up at home. I’ve been in Carlow watching games, into Athy. You would be looking forward to the break but as soon as it comes you think: ‘What am I going to do tomorrow?’”
Murphy has every reason to be in good spirits after the season that his team have just completed. The Castledermot club overcame a very sluggish start to the season to finish in fine style by lifting the prestigious Lumdsen Cup.
“It was a great finish to the season, 21 games and just two defeats and one of those was by a penalty shoot-out in the Senior Cup semi-final. It was an unbelievable finish to the season and of course winning the Lumsden was just reward really,” he said.
The arrival of Paddy Mahon back into the club after a spell with Newbridge Town in the Leinster Senior League was catalyst for the upturn in their fortunes according to the manager.
“We had a terrible start to the season but I the arrival of Paddy Mahon meant that we could play five across the middle and leave Paddy up front on his own because we were a bit small in the centre of midfield. There is quality in there though and the lads complemented each other, that really changed the whole thing for us,” he said.
Murphy also felt that a June friendly against Airtricity League giants Bohemians helped them turn the corner.
“It all kicked off after we had Bohemians down. We put up a great show against Bohs, and they brought their full complement of players as well. We started with our strongest team and when we watched the DVD afterwards we couldn’t believe how well we moved the ball. We watched it altogether and that gave us a right boost.”
The confidence gained from that certainly propelled Villa through the rest of the season, culminating in a memorable Lumsden Cup final win over Rathangan.
“We always felt that Liffey Celtic (in the semi-final) were the big stumbling block, it’s always a tight game against Liffey. Once we got through that we knew we had a chance. Even after conceding the early goal the day of the final we still always looked comfortable. I knew if we could get the ball behind their defence and into the space that we were good enough to win,” said Murphy, who remembers the display of midfielder Anto Lawler especially in that game.
“Anto’s game was restricted for that game in particular and he played just in front of the defence and broke up play. He moved across from side to side just in front of the defence and he was outstanding. He did the job to perfection,” said Murphy.
It all points to possibly another very successful season in 2013 for Villa.
“If we can keep this squad together we have a lot to look forward to, we don’t just want to be a cup team, we want to get out there and win the league as well so we will certainly be pushing hard for that.”