Rhys Murphy: It was hard to leave Daggers but I couldn’t turn Oldham opportunity down
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 February 2015
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Forward left Victoria Road earlier this week, but has thanked all the management at the club as well as the supporters
Rhys Murphy has paid tribute to the staff at Dagenham & Redbridge and manager Wayne Burnett in particular after departing the club on the final day of the winter transfer window.
The 24-year-old completed a move to League One outfit Oldham Athletic for an undisclosed fee after scoring 14 times in 46 appearances during an 18-month spell at Victoria Road.
He moved to Daggers in the summer of 2013 after a successful period with Dutch side Telstar and felt it was the right time to leave – after rejecting a move to Peterborough United last January.
“It was mixed feelings for me because it was always my intention to move higher up in the league when I felt the time was right and the right chance came along,” said Murphy.
“Obviously with Peterborough last year I didn’t go and that was partly because I didn’t feel there was a rush and I was happy at Dagenham.
“The boys have been great with me ever since day one and the manager and the staff were fantastic with me. It has been a good time in my career.
“I was unfortunate with my injuries, but the fans were great and they gave me a lovely reception when I come back (against Shrewsbury Town) after my injury and they were all supportive so I can’t thank them enough because it does mean a lot and I was sad to leave.
“But it was the right move for my career to be playing in the league above and pushing for the play-offs at Oldham so it was a big decision for me, but I feel I have made the right one.”
Murphy’s last goal in Daggers colours was a volley filled with emotion against Bury to seal a one-goal victory for Burnett’s side on January 3.
The strike was the forwards first in the league since returning from months on the sidelines following groin surgery towards the end of the 2013/14 campaign.
He poignantly celebrated with manager Burnett and Victoria Road erupted after his volley found the net against the Shakers.
It was a goal that meant a lot to him and he has paid tribute to his former manager and praised him for the job he has done at Dagenham.
Murphy added: “It was my first one back for the first team after my injury so a lot of frustration was let out and happiness to be back in the goals.
“I felt it was important at the time to go celebrate with the manager because he had shown so much faith in me and was always there through my injuries. He was making sure I was alright and my head was in the right place and offering any advice that he could to help me through.
“We had been going through a sticky patch as well and I know he had been taking the brunt of the stick, which happens as a manager unfortunately, but some of it was underserved.
“All the players love him, though, and love working for him and to be fair he has done a great job considering all the factors that go into being Dagenham manager.
“Obviously your budget is low and your facilities aren’t great, but last year we were only a few points off the play-offs. This year has been a bit of a disappointment, but I know results have picked up lately and they will start moving up the table.”
Murphy spoke extremely highly about Burnett, but Darren Currie and Warren Hackett as well and believes the trio have helped him develop into a better footballer.
“I have had several chats with Wayne this week before I left and after I called to say ‘thank you very much for all you have done’ along with Darren Currie and Warren Hackett” added the forward.
“They had been great for me and given me an opportunity back in England to show what I can do and I would like to think I have shown people what I can do when I am fit.
“But they gave me that platform so of course I am very grateful to Wayne and also the coaches as well for working with me everyday and helping me become a better player.
“Whenever I asked to do extra training or needed some help or advice they were there for me the manager, the coaches so they were great for me and I really appreciate what they did.”
Murphy confirmed that his transfer to Oldham was completed in a Wetherspoons pub near Liverpool Street Station with his agent.
He also revealed how disappointed he was to come off against Cheltenham Town last weekend after suffering a minor injury, adding: “Unfortunately I had to come off and I was gutted because I felt there was some goals out there for me and I had one disallowed for offside.
“But I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time at the club. The players and the staff were great with me and made me feel welcome and it is them I have to thank as well as the fans.”