JOHN Murphy left Chester City to join St Patrick’s Athletic yesterday for an undisclosed fee.
The 31-year-old target man has signed for the side currently lying second in the Eircom League Premier Division and could feature in their Uefa Cup campaign, if the Dublin side managed to overcome JFK Olimps of Riga in last night’s first qualifying round tie at Richmond Park. They were 1-0 up going into the second leg.
“It’s always sad to leave a club where you’ve spent a large number of years there,” said Murphy, who returned to Chester last summer having started his career with the Blues.
“Chester have a good first team squad and I wish them all the best for the new season.
“I first heard of St Pats’ interest on Saturday and to be honest it came as a bit of a surprise.
“Having spoken to Richard Sadlier and Johnny McDonnell, I was very impressed with the club’s ambition.
“I’m looking forward to helping the club challenge for the league title and hopefully play in the UEFA Cup.”
Simon Davies said that Chester would have liked to keep Murphy, but they could not ignore a cash bid for the player.
“We were not forcing John out of the door but when a club comes in and there is money involved, a club like Chester has to look at it,” he said.
Davies was yesterday trying to prepare his squad for last night’s friendly against Swansea City as Murphy completed his move to Dublin.
He said it would be difficult to fill the big man’s role within the team, but added that he never intended to utilise his aerial capabilities as a main weapon next season.
“The plan was always to play in to John’s feet from midfield,” said Davies.
“And the forward players we have at the club currently can occupy that role just as well as John.
“I want the fans to know they shouldn’t expect long-ball football from Chester next season.
“Everything about our preparations has been geared towards playing a fast-paced, passing game.
“We will have the odd bad day at the office where a long ball is required but first and foremost we must play the game properly.
“I think it will make football at the Deva more exciting and I have high hopes for the season.
“The most important thing for us, however, is to have the fans’ support. We will try to play entertaining football but we need people to entertain.
“The fans are crucial to the club’s success and I want the club to be successful.”
Besides preparing his squad and dealing with Murphy’s departure, Davies has also been in conversation with Bournemouth in a bid to resolve the Paul Rutherford situation.
Rutherford has been on a second trial week and has featured in the Cherries’ friendlies in that time, but Davies has told Kevin Bonds that he wants a decision by Sunday.
“It is not fair on us but mostly it is not fair on Paul,” said Davies.
“I have spoken to Bonds and told him that he has had enough time to assess Paul and I will be speaking to him on Sunday to find out whether he is going to take Paul or not.”