Meet Euan MurraySaturday, 8th Feb 2020
The summer signing from Raith Rovers talks about his football career and his comeback from serious injury.
Columnist Jordan Burt interviewed Euan Murray for the Pars programme printed for the recent Dundee match. Space limited the content that could be used but here is a fuller account of Jordan’s chat with the 26 year old Pars player.
Euan began his senior career with Motherwell, breaking into their team in the 2013/14 campaign but he said that during his younger years his father had doubts about his interests in the beautiful game:-
“I think my dad was panicking a wee bit as I wasn`t in to football when I was younger. I`m actually in the same position just now with my son, who is three. He enjoys his superheroes and things like that more!
“I played with Aston Villa Boys Club to begin with, and then I was in at Rangers for a bit. Hearts and Hibs were sniffing about, but Motherwell was closest to where I was staying at the time, so I joined them.
“I was in a situation where, I was one injury or suspension away from playing at Fir Park. The way it worked out that never happened. When I did get in, it was mainly just for one game – or a part of a match – and then back on to the bench again. It was a frustrating period for me as I wanted to play games and I felt that if I was put in the side regularly, I could have gone on and done good things with Motherwell.”
On 9th September 2013 Euan made his debut coming off the bench to play at right back against a Dundee United team that included Paul Paton and had Ryan Dow on the bench.
“We were getting absolutely battered and I had wee Lionel Ainsworth in front of me and I just remember saying to him ‘wee man you are going to need to run back the way and help me out here’ otherwise I was going to be up against Andy Robertson and Gary Mackay-Steven on my own!”
Euan would leave Motherwell having made just three first team appearances and in September 2014 joined Clyde for six months.
“Apart from the injury with my neck this season, this was the hardest part of my career so far. I went from playing for a team who had finished 2nd in the Premiership, were playing in the Champions League Qualifiers and were getting players recognised by other big clubs, as well as internationally, to signing part time with a lower league side.
“There was an offer on the table for me, to remain at Fir Park. I had only played a handful of matches for the club, but I took some wrong advice. From my own perspective I got a bit ahead of myself thinking there were other opportunities out there for me, when there wasn`t – and because of that, I made bad choices.
“The offer that was there was taken off the table and from then on in every day went by in the summer and I couldn`t believe my phone wasn`t ringing. There is only so long you can go without a wage.
“I had moved out of my parents house when I was 18 so I had bills to pay. I had been told all these teams were after me so I never went into any other sides to train or keep my fitness levels up and I was now at the end of August. I think this is why I have matured so quickly and early in my career.
“I had to see the other side of the game, where I was left with nothing. I was naïve, however, thankfully, Clyde took a chance on me and the people there were brilliant with me. They promised me they`d let me walk away in the January if I got myself fit and found a full time club and they stuck to that agreement.”
A full time club in the Solomon Islands wasn`t exactly what Murray had in mind, however.
“Hartlepool United had given me the opportunity to go down south and trial with them, but this offer then came out of the blue – I have absolutely no idea where it materialised from but I got a call one evening from an agent saying Western United wanted to sign me, as they were bringing across a lot of Europeans, to help them with their Oceanic Champions League campaign.
“They had already tabled an offer for me, so I thought “why not?” - I had nothing to lose and for me, it was good to get away from Scotland for a wee while. The club sold me the dream and while they weren`t bad people, with all these great ideas, it was just miles and miles behind what I was expecting.
“It was a great experience though. I travelled to the other side of the World and lived on my own at 21. It was a learning experience living in a different culture, which to be honest I couldn`t deal with!
“For example, one day we had training at 1.00pm but we didn`t get picked up until 2.30 and I was thinking ‘aw naw, we are so late!’ - by the time we got there, it was three o’clock and we were the first to arrive!!!
“They are just dead relaxed across there, whereas, I like to be organised and stick to a plan, so it was different. They tried to keep a hold of me but I knew it was the right time to return home!”
Euan Murray signed for Stenhousemuir on 8th July 2015 and having a successful spell at Ochilview provided him with even more headaches!
“Hartlepool had once again came in for me and I went on trial with them this time. I felt I was doing really well but they hadn`t given me any concrete offers and Stenny had. So I just felt I had to go there where I knew I was definitely wanted and prove myself to everyone once more.
“I got the chance to join Barrow and I decided to take it. I wanted to test myself at another level and see how I could handle it. I really enjoyed my time down there. I went to Southport in the January (2017) and I was the captain of the club on the first day of their new manager coming in. That was a big honour for me at the time.
“However, I knew the time was right for me to come back up the road that summer. I had just became a father and the National League in England is very time consuming and I struggled being away from the family so often as they play so many midweek matches.
“For example, when I was at Barrow, I was allowed to travel home for the birth of my son was born on the Friday morning, in the early hours I got a text saying congratulations but also that I had to report for the game the next day!
“It was very cut throat and I made a lot of sacrifices. I lived in Rochdale and I would get up at four a.m., travel five hours and get straight out my car to train, because I had gone home on a
Sunday to see my wee boy and that isn`t good for you, so, I made the choice to return to Scotland.”
In the summer of 2017 Euan signed for Raith Rovers and had two reasonably successful seasons at Stark`s Park. He claimed that he wanted stability and felt that he got that at Raith:-
“I felt everything clicked and while we didn`t achieve what we wanted to in terms of promotion. I played a lot of games, captained the side and played in a lot of big matches, so, I couldn`t complain about my time in Kirkcaldy.
“It was about re-building my career and I feel I am doing that. Raith have played a big part in me developing into who and what I am today and if it wasn`t for them, I wouldn`t be playing in the Championship with a big club like Dunfermline.
“We missed out on winning the league by one goal. It was literally the width of a posts difference but those are the small margins in football.
“We never quite got the rub of the green but what I would say is that John McGlynn was a great manager for me in my career. I really learned a lot from him in a lot of different areas and aspects that I had never considered before and he has really played a massive part and been a big influence in my development, in recent years.”
Coming to the Pars in the summer, Euan was hoping to carry on the momentum he had built up with the Rovers, but a nasty injury in just the second league match of the campaign at Dumfries severely hampered the versatile player’s appearances.
“Ryan Dow is to blame for all of this because his corner was that bad!!! He had a big loopy corner towards the back-post and I don`t know why I decided to go for it and I`ve already told him – numerous times - ‘you about killed me! I was trying to pull you out of a hole but next time I think I may just leave it!’
“The way I play, I am aggressive and I will go attack the ball and that will never change. It doesn`t play on my mind or anything like that. It is my job and nothing will change that. There was no malice in the challenge at all but unfortunately, I landed neck first on to the surface and it felt like I had to crashed into concrete.
“They`d called for an ambulance, they`d put me on a stretcher in a neck brace and there was genuine concern over my welfare. Then I stood up, ripped the neck brace off and walked into the changing room.
“Everybody was looking at me as if I was Lazarus, back from the dead! I just wanted home so I got changed, went on to the team bus and then went to my bed. The next day was when I knew something was up because I had a weird feeling in my arm and I had never felt that kind of sensation before.
“When you get the scan results back and they show you the x-rays and say how I am extremely lucky that I can still play football. I can still do everything that I was doing prior to the incident, and all the evidence is in front of you with no `ifs, buts or maybes`, that is when it hits home and it really shook me up badly, especially as it wasn`t healing as quickly as they`d initially imagined.
“It was a very stressful time for me but, thankfully, I am back fit now and touch wood, I can kick on with my career and help the club achieve. our goals this season.”
The Pars number 5 shirt returned to the starting eleven against Morton when Euan was handed a midfield position. After five months out he would find himself on the scoresheet too. Euan was delighted to be back on the park especially since Dunfermline was a club he came to through choice:-
“I wanted to be here and I wanted to play a part in the success. To be back out there, in any position, and to represent Dunfermline Athletic once more meant a lot to me. To top it off with a goal, it was great. However, we lost and that was the most important thing for me that day so I left Cappielow disappointed.”
Euan went on to play the full ninety minutes of both the next two matches. The games against Dundee and Queen of the South were both victories, so let’s hope he continues to bring the team success!
First Senior Goal?
For Clyde against Montrose – back-heel flick at the front-post, nutmegging the keeper. I was actually playing as a forward that game!!
First Club Supported?
First Car School?
At Raith – Bobby Barr, Scott Roberts and Graeme Smith – the ex-Rangers and Kilmarnock goalie.
First Red Card?
I was sent-off at Raith for two bookings versus Stranraer, the second one for diving!!! You couldn`t make it up, a defender sent off for simulation! I had to play in the reserves the next game as a `punishment` and honestly, the strips were that tiny and tight, you`d be lucky if it went past my belly button!
First Match Attended?
I can`t remember who Rangers were playing, but, it was at Hampden and it was the match where Andrei Kanchelskis stood on the ball...
First Broken Bone / Injury?
I broke my nose, by headering my own team-mate during a youth team match against Inverness!
First Cooking Experience?
I`m a good cook – a very good cook, in fact! I actually was chef for the first 5 months when I stayed in a flat with Nizzy [Kevin Nisbet] – I had to cook his tea every night because he done absolutely nothing around the house – no shock there, then!!!
First Mobile Phone?
No idea, but it would likely have been some kind of big brick that a kid wouldn`t dare show off to their pals these days!
My dog, Junior, who is a Fox-Red Lab. As I said, I got turfed out the house when I was 18, so I didn`t have any pets up until then!
First App You Use On Your Phone When You Wake Up In The Morning?
Twitter, as I feel that always gives you some good patter to wake up to! - I`m just surprised none of the younger lads have said Tinder to this question, to be honest!!
First Job Outside Of Football?
When I was at Clyde, I was to deliver `Kitchen Doors`; I imagined it would be the big huge heavy doors, but it turned out just to be the wee cupboard door and things like that!
First Gig / Concert Attended?
I`m not a big fan of either of these things, but, I did go to see Basshunter one year while I was in Magaluf.”
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