Dan Murray has extended his association with Cork City Football Club into 2014. The experienced centre half first joined the club on loan in 2002 and spent two seasons with Shamrock Rovers before returning to playing football on Leeside in 2012.
The 31-year-old remains the club’s top goalscorer in Europe and said he is looking forward to linking up with CCFC’s most capped player in John Caulfield for the new campaign, having inked a new one-year deal on Thursday.
“I sat down with John to see if he wanted me to stay on and once that was established, everything else was pretty much agreed straightaway,” Murray revealed to CorkCityFC.ie. “I’ve played with Cork City for a long time now and I’m happy to be giving it a go for another year.
“I was very impressed by what John had to say. His enthusiasm is rubbing off on everyone, and he’s played more games than any of us for the club. He knows what Cork City is all about, and his passion is undoubted. He wants the best for this club, he wants us up towards the top of the League and he wants us challenging for trophies year in year out.”
An improved defensive display is a priority target for the new campaign, according to Murray. “If you look at the team throughout last season, there were more changes at the back than anywhere else on the pitch. If you’re going to be successful, your back four and your goalkeeper are the one thing you try not and change at all. There were issues with suspensions and injuries but, at the end of the day, we conceded too many goals – and I’m sure it’s something we’ll be working on it.”
“The same team probably played the last 10 or 11 games, and it was our best run for the season. I don’t think you can blame anyone – it’s just what was happening – but John did speak about how he doesn’t want it to happen again.
“Conceding the late goals as we did at the start of the season probably killed the whole season for us. We thought we were playing quite well but allowing teams score in the last minute was depressing – and because we weren’t scoring either, it was a recipe for disaster.”
The 2013 campaign is already consigned to history, however, and Murray was quick to admit that he cannot wait for the squad to get together for pre-season training in early January.
“For me, since the supporters took over, this is the first time that I’ve felt such excitement about the whole club and the direction it is going in – even more so than when the club got promoted back to the Premier Division. It has a lot to do with the new manager coming in I think, and he’s been a popular choice in that regard.
“John’s gone about his business really well, he’s bringing in players that have won trophies – one as recently as a few weeks ago – and he knows the type of players that do well for Cork City and who will fit in. For me, he’s going to have a very decent squad put together and it’s encouraging to see him getting everything sorted out sooner rather than later.”