Just like John O’Shea, Daryl Murphy is, purely and simply, a really nice guy. He is laid-back and easy-going and takes everything in his stride. He drives a magnificent car with his personal name-plate ‘Mur57ph’ but his feet are firmly rooted to the ground (off the pitch that is).

I met up with Daryl the weekend before last when he came to the WLRfm studios to sign up for the Waterford United direct debit scheme. “Ever since I went over to Sunderland I have followed the fortunes of the Blues and it is sad to see then struggling financially at the present time. The crowds are poor and I am only to happy to sign up and help them out. I owe Waterford United a lot and I really hope they can turn things around,” he said.

During the time spent with him he spoke about his current situation with Sunderland and Ireland. “I suppose getting the vote for ‘Goal of the Month’ for February on the BBC was the highlight for me. The pass from Andy Reid, who was only on the pitch for a short time, set me up for the goal and I will remember it for a long time to come.

“Despite the fact that we came up as champions from the Championship many people expected us to go straight back down. I suppose all we wanted to do was to stay up but the manager [Roy Keane] will want much more this season. To be successful in the Premiership you have to be capable of picking up points against the top four or five clubs and we did not do that last season. We did beat the teams around us however and that fact saved us but he [Keane] will want much more during the coming season.

“I am very happy at the club. We have settled into a house just outside the city and I have a three-year contract which is security.”

Like John O’Shea, Daryl has had a shorter-than-usual summer break due to his involvement with the Irish team. Needless to say he has no

complaints on that score. “I usually have something like eight weeks off but because I was in Portugal with the new manager and then having the two games to play I have about six weeks free. I set up the equaliser against Serbia after coming on and I was brought on again against Colombia in London.

“I believe playing international football will benefit me at club level. I like the attitude of Mr Trapattoni. He settled in very quickly with all of the players and his English is very good considering he is here only a short while. His record as a manager is superb and I am really looking forward to hopefully being involved in the World Cup games and friendlies which are coming up.”

As stated Daryl is a really nice guy and the 24-year-old is hoping to become a bit more ruthless when it comes to scoring goals. “People will talk about the [aforementioned] goal I scored for Sunderland and I am often reminded of the goals I scored for Waterford. Many of those strikes were from long range but I would like to score a few from close range, tap- ins If you like. If I was played as a central striker perhaps I would get some close range goals but playing out left is not the place where you get the chance to score those type of goals. That said, I am not complaining in any way,” said Daryl as he looked forward to a short break away in the sun before getting back into the swing of things with Sunderland again on July 4th.

Sunderland will play Cobh Ramblers, Athlone Town and Shamrock Rovers next month but sadly Daryl will not get the chance to play against his former club as Waterford United are not pencilled in to play the ‘Black Cats.’