Drinan: Murph Nickname is a Compliment
Friday, 11th Sep 2020 12:26
Last week’s first-team debutant Aaron Drinan is more than happy to be nicknamed ‘Murph’ after former Blues striker Daryl Murphy.
Drinan was given the soubriquet shortly after joining the club a couple of months after his fellow countryman had departed for Newcastle United.
Some monikers are anything but flattering but in Drinan's case he's only too happy to be compared to Murphy, the former Republic of Ireland striker whose cv also shows he served part of his apprenticeship with Waterford, where he has now returned and for whom he could make his second debut this evening when they face Bohemians away in the League of Ireland.
"It's a nice nickname and I take it as a compliment," said Cork-born Drinan. "Daryl had a great career here and I'd be delighted if I could get anywhere near it. He scored a lot of goals, earned good moves to other clubs and now he's back in Ireland playing for Waterford again. He's definitely someone I look up to and there are bits of his game that I've taken on board."
Drinan, 22, first arrived at Portman Road in October 2017 at the invitation of then manager Mick McCarthy, who offered him a contract which started once the transfer window opened the following January.
McCarthy named him as a substitute in four Championship games, as well as one in the FA Cup, but he was unused on every occasion and it wasn't until last week's first game of the new season, the 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Bristol Rovers, that he finally made his senior debut.
Drinan spent time on loan at non-league Sutton United, former club Waterford, Swedish second tier outfit GAIS and, earlier this year, Scottish club Ayr United, who were keen to make the move permanent.
The 22-year-old suddenly burst onto the scene in pre-season and when the real thing got under way last week he had done enough in the warm-up games to be given his big chance, providing an assist for one of two goals scored by Freddie Sears, with skipper Luke Chambers netting the other in an impressive display.
Drinan retained his place for the midweek EFL Trophy clash with Arsenal's U21, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat, and added: "I think I've got off to a great start, to be fair. Obviously, both the performance and the result against Bristol Rovers were great and against Arsenal we were the better team for about 40 minutes. We sort of died off after that but on a personal note, over the two games I thought I did alright.
"When the gaffer told me the day before the Bristol Rovers game that I was going to be playing it was an unbelievable feeling. It also came as a bit of a relief because I'd been at the club for so long without making my debut.
"I know it was a cup tie but in my head I treated it like a league game because we were playing one of our League One rivals and that's the bigger competition for us.
"It was a lot different to the games I played when I was out on loan. I was still playing first team games when I was on loan but the Bristol Rovers game was a new experience. They were stronger opponents and the game was a lot faster than anything I had experienced before."
Drinan is keen to complete a hat-trick of first team starts when Town kick-off their League One campaign with a visit from newly-relegated Wigan on Sunday in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
He admitted: "I will be disappointed if I don't start on Sunday but it's the gaffer's decision and I will respect it and get on with it, whatever he decides to do.
"The two games in which I played were proper competitive games. We'd been about five months without one but I think we're all feeling good and the fact that we have three games in such a short space of time is good for us.
"It will be unbelievable, really, if I make my league debut for the club on Sunday. It's been a long time coming – about two and a half years – and in that time I haven't really been involved until now. To eventually make it would be unbelievable."
Photo: Matchday Images
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