MEET the Irishman preparing for the Euro 2020 final next summer – with Scotland.
Sports scientist Shayne Murphy is helping the Tartan Army prepare for their first major tournament appearance in over two decades.
Shayne, 33, from Rathcormac to Cork, worked in elite football for more than 11 years with Premier League giants including Manchester City and Liverpool before returning home earlier this year.
After working with full-fledged internationals such as Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden, Murphy left England to start his own business, SDM Performance.
After leaving his post as a sports scientist and strength and conditioning coach with City, Shayne’s company managed to secure a contract with the Scottish national team.
The soccer specialist had a front row seat as Steve Clark’s men pulled off a penalty shootout against Serbia to advance to their first major since 1998, and is delighted to be playing his own role in the summer. next.
Shayne told The Irish Sun: “The story of Scotland really came from word of mouth.
“There was an opportunity that presented itself, the people in the department that I had worked with before and they said that I would be a good candidate for what they were trying to instill.
“I kind of went on trial to see how I worked and I got along with people, I guess, that matched their mantra and their philosophy and I added my own elements to it and it just went evolved over time, through informal conversations and interviews I would say.
“I had to prove myself, I wasn’t just given the job.
“It’s different (at club level) because you actually have these players on loan.
“You only have them for 10 days and I think the most important thing you can do is try to maintain the good practices they have in other clubs, recognize what they are used to.
“You have to do your due diligence to find out what the players did before they came in. “
Murphy – founder of SDM Performance – admits a little regret that Stephen Kenny’s men did not qualify, but is happy for the Scots.
He smiled: “You really want your nation to always succeed, it’s great for our nation to go to the Euro because it lifts everyone up.
“I saw it with Scotland, what it meant for the Scots when they qualified, and I thought I wish Ireland had that, the country really needs it.
“I guess I have empathy for Scotland coming from a similar type of population, a similar story where we haven’t qualified for a long time, that resonated with me a lot!
“I know what that meant.” I kind of celebrated like Ireland did.
“I think that as nations they don’t clash too much at least! “