THE RTE panel of pundits which had been tasked with the job of selecting the Man of the Match award in the All-Ireland Minor final of 2009 were drawn towards a young man from Lurgan.
Andrew Murnin from the St Paul’s club was described by former All Star Joe Brolly on the day as being “an exceptional talent.”
Speaking to the ‘MAIL’ reporter during the homecoming following the winning of the first ever minor title to be brought to the county young Murnin suggested that he thought that other players had “performed better than him on the day,”
The modesty of the St Paul’s youngster, while admirable, masked a determination and work ethic which could set him apart from a lot of other county players in the years to come.
He recently sidestepped the chance to become a senior county player but the Lurgan man will be more than busy in the field of academia and on the football pitches.
Recently Andrew was at the forefront when Lurgan Celtic won the Bob Radcliffe Cup.
But three gaelic sides namely Armagh under 21s, Queen’s University, under the management of Cathal O’Rourke, and off course St Paul’s,who provided all the youth coaching in his fledgling years, will be delighted to have the talented player on board.
Young Murnin was impressive when Queen’s met Tyrone last sunday in the McKenna cup but Armagh senior boss Paddy O’Rourke may have to leave his door ajar for a while longer, Andrew Murnin is in no hurry to make the big time, well at least not yet.
The dangers of exposing special talents before they have properly matured were apparent last season when Andrew Murnin’s team mate from the minor side of 09, Ruairi Grugan caught the fans and the media’s attention but little has been seen since of the talented Ballymacnab player.
So is Andrew Murnin good enough to capture the eye of clubs in the Irish League and follow in the footsteps of players like Ryan Henderson who is making a name for himself with Donegal Celtic or will the St Paul’s player focus on a future in gaelic football?
Henderson stressed that young Murnin’s talents will be pulling him in several directions.
Ryan said: “Obviously the most important thing to Andrew at the moment would be his education. He is currently attending Queen’s and is playing university football.
“I had a decision to make at one stage about my future but at the end of the day players have to make decisions which suit themselves.”
Ryan Henderson said that no renewed approach had been forthcoming from the Armagh management this season to himself but last year Paddy O’Rourke had sounded him out about a return to the squad.
The Clann Eireann player continued: “To be honest there are things I miss and things I don’t miss about county football.
“When Paddy contacted me last season I told him I wouldn’t be returning to county football.
“Playing in the Irish League is a lot more enjoyable for me. It doesn’t have the same pressure as gaelic football does at the top level.”
Ironically young Andrew Murnin is possibly in the same position which Ryan Henderson found himself in two years ago.
The St Paul’s player, who starred with Armagh Minors, is highly rated by the Lurgan Celtic faithful but where will his future lie?
Ryan Henderson said: “I haven’t played with Andrew but I have gathered that both Lurgan Celtic and his mentors from within GAA circles rate him highly.
“Whatever the future holds in store for him I have no doubt he will succeed in whatever field he chooses.”