Back at the Blues after Bhoy-hood dream turns sour

AS much as Daryl Murphy enjoyed his first spell at Ipswich Town he is the first to admit he wouldn’t have expected – nor necessarily wanted – to be back in Suffolk just over a year later.

After reigniting his career with a loan move to the Blues at the back end of the 2009/10 season, the powerful Irish striker realised what he described a ‘boyhood dream’ by moving from Sunderland to Scottish giants Celtic that summer – the club he supported as a youngster.

That dream quickly turned into a nightmare though, the 28-year-old told he could return to Ipswich on loan last week after making just nine starts for the Bhoys in his debut campaign.

“When I first went to Celtic I knew it might take some time to get into the team, but once I did I thought I did well, I started scoring, but then I picked up a bad ankle injury in training which kept out for about six weeks,” said Murphy.

“In the meantime the manager (Neil Lennon) made a few signings, the lads that were playing up front started scoring goals and that made it very hard to get back in.

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“I thought if I bided my time and kept training well I might get back in, but I’ve never really been given the chance to play a few games in a row and show what I can do.

“Sometimes these things just don’t work out and you have to move on.”

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Murphy – who scored six goals in 18 appearances for Ipswich under Roy Keane – has signed a season-long loan deal and fully expects to be Portman Road for the duration. He admits though that Paul Jewell’s interest in bringing him back to the club came completely out of the blue last week.

Signed to play primarily as a target man foil to striker Michael Chopra, but also to act as cover on the wings, he explained: “I’d got up at six o’clock in the morning (last Wednesday) and had travelled all the way down to Blackpool to play a reserve game for Celtic at Blackpool. Just as I got there I was told I wasn’t playing because there was stuff going on.

“I rang my agent, he asked me if I was interested (in Ipswich), I said of course I was and jumped on the plane the next morning to sign.”

Murphy, who enjoyed a solid second debut for Ipswich on Saturday in the 2-1 win over Leeds, added: “I enjoyed playing here before and the fans were brilliant to me. It was a good spell for me because I played every game, managed to score a few goals and went into the summer buzzing having just played in front of big crowds again.

“It just shows you can never tell what’s going to happen in football. I went up to Celtic and signed a three-year deal but things haven’t worked out in the first season. You just don’t know where you are going to end up and I’m just glad I’m back here now.”

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