Friday, November 6th, 2009 is a day that Brian Murphy will remember for a long time to come. The Ipswich Town-bound goalkeeper who learnt his trade in Ben Wadding Park with the local Waterford Bohemians club knew that he would pick up his second Premier League of Ireland Champions medal later in the evening when he woke from his slumber. Bohemians, under the guidance of Pat Fenlon, had secured the title for the second year running when they defeated Sligo Rovers the previous week and Shamrock Rovers could only draw with Galway United.
The Gypsies had to make the short journey to the seaside town of Bray to play the Wanderers at The Carlisle Grounds in what was their last game of the season. The RTE cameras were there to capture Brian and his colleagues collect the trophy. Thousands of Bohs supporters paid tribute to Brian who was playing his last game for the club.
It turned out to be an even better day for the affable former Dunmore schoolboy when he received the news that he had been called up by Giovanni Trapattoni for the full Republic of Ireland squad ahead of the vital World Cup play-off games against France.
The 26-year-old got the nod from the Italian when Kieran Westwood of Coventry City had to withdraw through injury. Brian was watched by the Irish goalkeeping staff, including former international ’keeper Alan Kelly, a few months ago but despite receiving a rave review a call-up did not materialise until last weekend.
To cap off a truly incredible day, Ipswich confirmed that Brian had signed an 18 month contract with the club on a free transfer. The Tractor Boys have got two goalkeepers on their books at the present time as cover for regular No1 Richard Wright. Bosnian-born Asmir Begovic, who also holds dual Canadian citizenship, is at Portman Road on loan from Portsmouth and in recent weeks he has been in top form after replacing the dropped Wright.
Begovic has been flawless but he would find it extremely difficult to sign permanently. The club’s other ’keeper, Arran Lee- Barrett, is only a short term cover for the former England international, so there is no doubt that Brian will make a claim for a first team place when he is eligible to play on January 1st. He will join on December 8th.