Na Fianna Star Eoin Murchan seems to have slotted nicely into Jim Gavin’s Championship plans
We’re two games down in the All Ireland Football Series. Normally that would mean Dublin would be preparing their onslaught for an All Ireland Final. But not this year. Thanks to the Super 8’s there’s been more action than usual with one more game to go.
For Dublin’s Senior Footballers it’s been business as usual. The various ends of the media trying their best to find the kink in the armour. By now everyone knows that yes, Dublin are beatable in the Championship. Fortunately for them it hasn’t happened since 2014.
And as the years go on, a team has to evolve. Standing still is a pastime that Dublin boss Jim Gavin surely doesn’t believe in. New faces arriving, old faces doing different jobs.
Dublin’s New Era taking shape
We’ve seen new leaders in Brian Fenton and Ciaran Kilkenny. A different animal in Jonny Cooper. And new faces like Niall Scully and Brian Howard grab the headlines over the past few months. And on July 14th, Dublin fans got introduced to Dublin’s latest weapon.
In just two Championship games, Na Fianna’s Eoin Murchan has impressed even the impossible to impress.
As a last minute inclusion to the starting side to face Donegal, Murchan was given the task of silencing their opponents pacy wing back Ryan McHugh. And he made easy work of nullifying the defenders runs.
At U21 level Eoin excelled under Dessie Farrell as his mentor, and in the the 2017 Championship final, he was flawless man marking Galway forward Michael Daly.
So to some it would come as no surprise that the Na Fianna man would be touted to make an impact this year alongside the likes of Brian Howard and Colm Basquel.
Size isn’t everything
The huge difference for this kid is his size. Visibly, he stands more than a foot shorter than midfielder Brian Fenton. But what he lacks in size he certainly make up for in pace, skill and knowledge of the game.
The way the game of football has evolved over the years, defenders no longer need to be brick walls, as speed and counter play come more to the fore. What Murchan has in his game is lightening pace. Rumour has it on occasion in training he nearly beats Jack McCaffrey to a ball.
This past Saturday, rewarded for his efforts against Donegal, and obviously killing it in training, Murchan again made the 15 against Tyrone. Niall Sludden was his target, who Dublin would have seen as one of the biggest threats to their game.
Once again, Eoin rose to the challenge, stifling Sludden’s game completely, and giving Jim Gavin exactly what he required.
Murchan has turned heads
In the last few weeks, Eoin has received acclaim from everywhere. His former U21 manager Farrell said he had all the attributes, a real student of the game, always looking to improve himself.
He drew praise from Mayo star Lee Keegan in the RTÉ Studio after his job on Ryan McHugh a couple of weeks ago,. More recently former Dublin boss Paul Caffrey said Eoin’s performances have surprised everyone.
None more so than Ryan McHugh and Niall Sludden.
Had the Super 8’s not happened and Dublin were sent straight into an All Ireland Quarter Final, would a player like Eoin Murchan have been given a starting slot?
We’d hope the answer would still be yes but if the new format can be held responsible for the start of what will hopefully be another rising star in the Dublin camp, who would complain?