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Dane Murray

Discussion in 'Celtic Chat' started by Valhalla, Jul 17, 2021.

Discuss Dane Murray in the Celtic Chat area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. Celtic_Daft1888

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    Hjelde has unreal potential as well. A long term deal and a loan to a bigger premiership team like a Dundee United, Aberdeen or Hibs would be a great move for him. Done really well at Ross County last year. He will be ready for that step up.
     
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  2. Dublin Celt

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    Really taken his opportunity in preseason and has overtaken hjelde and urhoghide now

    Sent from my GM1903 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Paul67 Administrator Administrator

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    I thought he did well tonight, and certainly showed the right attitude.
     
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  4. NomDePlum

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    Absolutely.
     
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  5. mickcfc91

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    He was good tonight. Hopefully he gets a good development loan for this season. Defos a potential starter in a few years
     
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  6. HoopswithPride

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    Feel sorry for the boy.

    Flung in at the deep end with another relative novice at this level. Was lost at the 1st goal, although Taylor hung him out to dry by playing the offside.

    Done all he could with the short time and little to no help. Can be pleased with his individual contribution.
     
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  7. Pennywise You'll float anaw ya cunt Gold Member

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    Never ready to play for us. Shocking that it came to it in the first place.
     
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  8. Big C

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    Excellent tonight considering his level previous to last week. Very well played young man, you should be so proud of yourself!!
     
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  9. Lecs

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    Impressive performance from this kid tonight.
     
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  10. G_portillo

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    I think he looks like he could turn out to be a quality centre back. Just needs to keep getting games and experience.
    Looks like he is able to step out with the ball also.

    A shame that his debut was in the midst of the current circumstances, but can hold his head high.
     
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  11. ILoveTheCeltic

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    Done better than I thought, he got the runaround off West Ham and could have bottled it tonight, only really had 3 wee dodgy moments, the pass back to Bain that looked under hit, gave the ball away once and had us countered and the one t the corner flag where he won and lost and won and lost the ball.

    Done ok but he just should never be playing or even on the bench yet.
     
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  12. G_portillo

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    True but not his fault.
    He gave a good showing, despite the circumstances.
     
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  13. Dan Breen

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    Was decent, feel for the guy coming into such a * show.
     
  14. Artorias

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    Especially with Ange ball putting severe pressure on both youth CBs. No even one old head to help keep them right. We are an utter disgrace going into qualifying this under manned.
     
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  15. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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  16. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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  17. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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  18. Valhalla Thus spoke Batistuta. Gold Member

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    That Scotland u19’s generation has some amount of talent man.
     
  19. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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  20. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Dane Murray, the young leader: ‘Against Midtjylland it was how he played at U10s… he never looks under pressure’



    It was a case of needs must.

    Celtic had been 1-0 up and cruising against FC Midtjylland in their second-round Champions League qualifier, their first competitive game under Ange Postecoglou. Then, shortly before half-time, that comfort was brought to an abrupt end. One of the older and nominally wiser heads in Nir Bitton was sent off. That sense of comfort, and the early seeds of positivity under Postecoglou, were shaken.

    With the first-team squad at the embryonic stage of its rebuild, experienced options at centre-back for Celtic’s new manager to turn to were scarce. Instead, on trotted academy prospect Dane Murray, who had turned 18 barely a month beforehand, for his senior debut.

    “It was a big surprise,” Murray’s mother, Laura, tells The Athletic. “We were at the game, we got tickets for it. We were surprised and happy he was even on the bench at that point, although he’d really trained with the first team since the previous January, when Neil Lennon was manager. Then he was away for pre-season with them. I looked at my husband saying, ‘Oh he won’t come on now, they’re down to 10 men’. Then we saw him warming up, and actually coming on and we couldn’t believe it. But that was amazing, it really was.”

    A crucial Champions League qualifier is hardly the most easy-going of situations to make your debut, especially when asked to jog on mid-game with your team reduced to ten men. But Postecoglou had faith in him, and Murray repaid it. His defensive fundamentals were solid and his passing crisp, but what was most eye-catching was how comfortable and unfazed he looked by the occasion. Celtic drew the game 1-1 after a howler from Vasilis Barkas in goal, which did a disservice to Murray’s calm performance.

    He has been regarded as one of the best players from the 2003 age group essentially all his Celtic youth career, but even the most technically gifted prospect could crumble under such pressure. His composed debut accelerated the hype around his future Celtic career, but it was also the fulfillment of something, as well as a beginning. It was the culmination of years of dedication, hard work and sacrifice from Murray and his family.

    “That’s what it’s all about,” his father, Robert, says. “That’s what all that hard work meant it was worth it. Moments like that. That’s hopefully just the start for him.




    Ask people close to the B-team who looks the most exciting talent — the likeliest to make the first-team grade at Celtic — and one name tends to crop up more frequently than most: Murray.

    His centre-back partner Bosun Lawal is very well-regarded too, and there is enthusiasm about the possibility of their solid partnership extending to first-team level over the next few years. Midfielders Ben Summers and Rocco Vata, son of former Celtic and Albania defender Rudi, are also promising, although a year or two younger in their development. But Murray is where essentially everyone comes to agreement. He has the ability, the mentality and the physique to become a first-team player at Celtic — and sooner rather than later.




    He grew up in Moodiesburn, a village in North Lanarkshire, with his mother, his father Robert and older brother Mason. “From when he could kick a ball, that’s all Dane done,” Murray Snr says. “All he was interested in was football. He loved it. If he wasn’t training, the village has a grass football park at the back of our house, so that’s where he spent most of his time. That was all he did, with his friends down there. If you saw Dane down there he would sometimes have goalkeeper’s gloves on, and I always said he secretly wanted to be a goalkeeper, which wound him up.”

    Murray started with his local team, Bridgend Boys Club. He was there for a couple of years, but he always played with boys a year or two older than him even at a young age. “Bridgend had an A-and B-team,” Murray Snr recalls, “and they went to tournaments now and again. One time the B-team were short of a goalkeeper for this certain game and they asked Dane to stand in, and he actually got scouted by three or four teams! We had to tell them that that wasn’t actually his position and they were confused.”

    Murray joined Celtic’s junior academy at under-10s level where he first encountered Martin Miller, Celtic youth coach at the time, before progressing to Celtic’s St. Ninian’s programme — a relationship established with the Kirkintilloch school to help Celtic academy players train as frequently as possible each week without compromising on their secondary education. Miller, who nicknamed Murray “Great Dane”, was impressed by the defender’s level-headedness even when he was so young.

    “He’s always been the same laid-back character,” Miller, who Murray described as one of his most influential coaches alongside current B-team figures Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea, tells The Athletic. “When I saw him play for the first team, I had a wee smile — a wee laugh to myself — because that’s exactly how he played with the under-10s. He never looks crushed or under pressure at all, either in possession or facing up to a player defensively.”

    While Murray was in the junior academy, Celtic introduced a coaching programme called the “bands system”. It was intended to incentivise young players to improve specific aspects to their game. If they, for example, worked on their less-dominant foot — “we didn’t call it the weaker foot” because of potentially negative connotations, Miller explains — to such an extent that the coaching team believed the improvement was sufficient, they would be rewarded with a gold band.




    The idea was that the gold band went over your sock at training, and also in matches,” Miller says. “If a coach from another team, or a scout at Celtic came down, they could tell which player was two-footed, or good at scanning (spatial awareness of yourself, team-mates and opponents). It was a wonderful incentive for the kids, and we got to the stage where so many of them had gold bands at a younger age that one of the opposition coaches on one occasion asked why we had so many injuries, because he thought the bands were bandages!

    “Dane was one of the first kids to get the gold band for his less-dominant foot. It was a wee indication of how he addressed the targets we set for him. He was very focused on developing himself as a footballer. That’s the determination Dane had, the nature he had, and he got his scanning band later too.”

    Perhaps the best indicator of Murray’s maturity despite being so young was his being named captain of his under-12s side, before he graduated to the St. Ninian’s programme and intermediate academy — and how seriously he took that responsibility.

    “We had a wee boy, I won’t mention his name, who was a striker,” Miller remembers. “Going into under-12s, they were transitioning from 7-a-side to 11-a-side, which is an entirely different proposition. At 7-a-side this wee boy would score goals for fun, but he was struggling initially at 11-a-side. It’s a massive jump. When you think about it, it’s probably the most difficult position in that transition from 7-a-side to 11-a-side.

    “His confidence suffered and he found it difficult, and confidence is so important at that age. This lasted for several months. But suddenly the confidence seemed to come back and he was scoring goals for fun. You always want to find out what the switch was, how his confidence came back, so you as a coach can learn from it to help and encourage kids in the next level below if a similar situation presents itself. He told me it was because of Dane Murray.

    “I was thinking, ‘How has Dane helped him?’ Dane had been chatting to him separately without us knowing, putting an arm around his shoulder to encourage and motivate him, and that’s what got him back on track. Dane, unbeknown to us or without input from coaches, as captain, was also texting all of his team-mates to remind them to bring their gold bands with them, their shinpads with them, to remind them what time they should be arriving at and to not be late.

    “Imagine a 12-year-old doing that. Despite all the input from coaches, it wasn’t the coaches that transformed this boy. It was Dane Murray. It just blew me away. It’s not something I’d ask from a kid that age — that’s too young to take on that level of responsibility, but he took it on by himself.”

    Even after he graduated to the St. Ninian’s programme, Murray continued being the figure to whom Celtic’s coaches could turn to help a struggling team-mate if their own input could only go so far. “He was the go-to guy if a younger player was struggling in some way during the school programme,” Miller says. “You could trust Dane to go and have a wee word with a kid who was struggling, to take him aside and have a wee chat with him. That’s the kind of boy Dane is.”







    Everything has not always been smooth sailing for Murray. “As he got older he did make sacrifices,” Murray Snr says. “He came away from his friends at primary school when he went to St. Ninian’s. Celtic sent him there when he went into first year, and it was mostly just the Celtic boys that ended up being his friends. He lost contact with his friends from primary school. That’s a big sacrifice to make to follow your dream at that age, as an 11-year-old.”

    The St. Ninian’s programme is intense and time-consuming, with many boys needing to get up before 6am to head for an hour-and-a-half of training at either Barrowfield or Lennoxtown, depending on the age group, have their breakfast on-site, go to training after school, then head home where homework awaited them. That was the case three or four times a week.

    “Thankfully for us, St. Ninian’s was only 20 minutes away,” Mrs Murray adds. “Some of (the boys were) coming from an hour or an hour-and-a-half away. That’s before going to school, and then after training they’d be getting home late. It is a big sacrifice.

    “He got picked up for school in the morning, but for training that was mostly down to me with his dad working away a lot of the time, but luckily Barrowfield is not too far either. But it does really take over your life for a few years. You’re waiting for them at training. So your evenings are taken up by them, three or four nights a week.

    “His brother would get palmed off to aunts and uncles and grans, because he is the total opposite of Dane; not interested in football at all! They say you don’t get two the same, and the two of them couldn’t be less alike. Dane never moaned about (the schedule), he just got on with it. And he enjoyed it a lot, which made a big difference for us, that made it worthwhile. You could see that it was really what he wanted to do — he was that dedicated from a young age.”

    As Murray progressed through the youth teams, veering between defence and midfield, his reputation as a technically gifted player with sound defensive fundamentals grew. He was someone who relished executing a line-breaking through-ball as much as calmly heading a dangerous cross away, and is now an essential part of the B-team’s spine. As important as his playing qualities are, the same strength of personality that awed Miller back when Murray was under-12s captain remains possibly his best attribute.

    “I think he’s never been an extrovert, but he has self-belief,” Miller argues. “I don’t think you can play in the first team and do yourself justice in a game of that importance and be shy or lack confidence. He’s just happy in his own skin. He enjoys just doing his job and letting the funny guys be the vocal ones. Every other player respected him. He was chosen to be a captain for that level because he is a leader through his actions, a leader in terms of his play. He was always a tough character in his challenge, on the ball, and in that respect he was the complete leader.”

    Nothing is certain in football, but it is difficult to escape the notion that those appearances against Midtjylland were just a prologue to his Celtic career. As Miller notes: “With a manager willing to give chances to someone as young as Ben Doak, you’d hope Murray will get his own chance soon. The way he coped with his first-team appearances as well was remarkable. He looked so comfortable. He is one of my all-time favourites as well — and it’s a growing list of my all-time favourites!

    “He’s very dedicated to what he’s doing and nothing fazes him,” Murray Snr replies when asked how he might handle regular first-team football. “That’s the way he’s always been I think, because he’s done it since he was five or six. This is just… what he does.”
     
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