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Dan’s departure ends captain’s run

Published on Shamrock Rovers club website 14/01/2012

Shamrock Rovers will begin the 2012 season with a new captain following confirmation of the departure of Dan Murray from the club. All at Rovers will wish the 29 year old the best as he leaves the Hoops following a highly successful two year spell as captain during which time he lifted the league trophy twice as well as claiming the Setanta Sports Cup.

Photo by Bobby Best

When former manager Michael O’Neill brought Dan Murray to Tallaght from Cork City in 2010, he brought a key player into a squad that were runner’s up in the previous season. He was signed to help bring trophies back to Shamrock Rovers by using the experience he had of winning league and cup trophies with his previous team. On joining the club he was handed the captain’s armband and it was a role Murray was proud to take on at the club. “It is a great honour to be the captain of any club and it is great to be captain of Rovers,” said Murray. “The supporters are so hungry and so passionate about the club. To be a part of that, and even better to be the captain, is great.”

Murray picked up a serious knee injury in the latter part of the 2010 season and was unable to help the Hoops on the pitch in that season’s tight title run in. However, amongst chaotic scenes on the final night of the 2010 season when Rovers clinched the title, he did become the first Rovers captain to get his hands on the league trophy since 1994. That had been his aim since the start of the season. “We want to be the best team, we want to be spoken of as champions and that only comes by winning things. That’s the goal at the end of the season.”

Photo by Bobby Best

Midway through last season, Murray lifted another trophy as Shamrock Rovers won the Setanta Sports Cup on their debut in the competition. With the final played in Tallaght, Murray walked up the West Stand steps to collect the trophy on behalf of his team in front of the Glenmalure Suite. He would do so again following the final league game to claim the league trophy for the second year in a row. “It was great to win the first cup of the season,” recalled Murray of the Setanta Cup win, “and especially to win it here in Tallaght. It made it even more special for everyone. I thought the presentation was well done; it was probably the closest we will get to going up the Wembley steps!”

While Murray didn’t get a chance to play in Wembley with Rovers, he did lead out his team in another famous London venue, White Hart Lane. He had a crucial part to play in Rovers’ amazing European adventure which saw them qualify for the Europa League where they played in Group A along with Spurs. Murray has played an impressive 42 times in Europe and he enjoyed playing on the European stage. “It is a real plus getting to play in Europe,” said Murray last year. “It is a great chance to show yourself against foreign teams. You feel like a top class player when you travel away and it’s as close as you feel to being a Premiership footballer. The squad is suited to Europe. The players, as well as the supporters, are hungry for success to bring the club onto another level.” Murray, as one of the heroes of Belgrade, can certainly lay claim to being a crucial part of moving the club on a level during his time in Tallaght. For that all at Shamrock Rovers thank Dan for and we wish him the best of luck in the future.

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