Darren Murphy set to leave Irish FA to focus on Linfield coaching role

Darren Murphy
Darren Murphy resigned as Dungannon Swifts manager in October 2015

Darren Murphy is set to leave his Irish FA position to focus on his coaching role at Linfield.

The former Dungannon Swifts boss joined Blues manager David Healy's backroom team in May.

Murphy has been an Elite Performance Coach with the national association for three years but will finish the post at the end of August.

"I've been trying to do both roles but it's physically not possible," said the 43-year-old.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with the association and have learnt a lot working under Jim Magilton.

"It was a great experience but it's time now to focus all my energy on my coaching role at Linfield."

Murphy made his debut in the Linfield dugout during Saturday's 4-1 pre-season friendly win over Dundela.

He has not coached or managed in the Irish League since he resigned as Dungannon Swifts manager in October 2015, but has been a regular BBC Sport NI pundit during that time.

Having enjoyed a hugely successful four-year playing career at Windsor Park, he is delighted to return.

'Well aware of the demands'

"It's a great period for the Irish League and I knew it was the right time for me to get back in," he continued.

"When I took the call from David (Healy) asking me to join I said yes automatically and didn't have to think.

"My last match for Linfield was our victory in the Setanta Cup final in 2005 so I'm well aware of the demands placed upon the players and coaching staff. "

Looking ahead to the new season, Murphy said the Blues must be challenging for the league title and Irish Cup.

He commended Crusaders for their switch to a more full-time set-up and said it is a move other Irish League clubs may begin to consider.

"Linfield fans demand that we challenge for all the major trophies and that is what we aim to do," the former Glenavon midfielder added.

"Crusaders have been brave enough to make this move and you have to take your hat off to them.

"The European money that they are earning is obviously what's funding it, but I imagine other Irish League clubs could look at making a similar move in the future."

Linfield begin their Irish Premiership campaign away to Glenavon on 4 August.