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In 2015-2016 Ireland's David Murphy secured a placement opportunity with NUSC.
What started out as a cricket placement has turned into a life changing experience.
This is David’s blog on his time with NUSC.
In late November, out of the blue, I received the NUSC Newsletter from Cricket Ireland CDM Brian O’Rourke. He advised me that NUSC managers had made another inquiry to him as to my possible availability to join their programme. Brian was very pleased that having impressed on the 2014 tour to Newcastle they had kept an eye on me, requesting updates on progress and had been discussing options to bring me into their programme for 12 months. No other Irish, let alone Leinster player had ever been invited and Brian recommended that I was now ready to take up the opportunity.
Having discussed the shock opportunity with my family, I decided to ask if NUSC would accept me to attend their 19th December camp. Having been warmly invited to fly over, and with Christmas just around the corner, my flight over included my sister Emma who wanted to enjoy the famous Metro Centre shopping opportunities and my dad charged with paying all the bills!
We were all lucky enough to be invited to stay at NUSC’s sponsors Hilton Newcastle Gateshead for the weekend which is used by the leading sports teams and recommend anyone going to the North East to stay as you will find out why!
The cricket at NUSC is challenging with some very talented players. I was lucky to be in ‘Team Stix’ run by former Durham and Derbyshire fast bowling all-rounder Ian ‘Stix’ Hunter who was very generous with his support and encouragement as to believing in my ability. My ‘mentor’ was Ahsan a young Afghanistan student who ensured I felt part of the team, knew what was expected of me and made it a fun day.
On meeting NUSC managers John and Grenville Holland at the session dad and I got talking about academic options in the UK. What transpired was eye-opening advice. In the space of an hour, we discovered MCC Universities, the attributes of a good personal statement and most importantly the depth to which the NUSC was known throughout these universities.
On returning to Ireland with a new improved personal statement, I reappraised my situation with my parents. With our new found knowledge and guidance from NUSC, we organised a tour of four MCC Universities. This was in the last week of January and through the NUSC connections I was invited to train with the cricket squads in the universities visited.
This was very important as it gave the coaches a chance to see me in action and meet and discuss life with present students. The tour was a great success and I were treated extremely well everywhere I went. It cannot be underestimated how much the connection with the NUSC helped, the club came up during all our visits and I got to meet some of Grenville’s past players such as MCC Head Coach Graham Charlesworth in Oxford Brookes.
The last month has been a busy time in the family business and my mock exams so I have been unable to attend any training since December. However, good news is I have just been invited back by NUSC to attend their Hilton High-Performance Programme on 20th February. The opportunity is possible to no small extent to a very generous offer made by the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead GM Martin Robinson for the 2-night stay at the hotel.
The whole family is looking forward to getting back over and preparations are underway to ensure I perform well as Brian is always keen his players showcase Leinster’s talent!
That was meant to be the end of my blog. However, as I was typing up, I am so pleased to report that I have just received a number of extremely flattering offers from MCC Universities for 2016 entry. So my time with NUSC has been life changing in opening doors to new and long term opportunities in the UK. Where in the UK, I am not sure yet but I will be having a meeting with Grenville to discuss my options when over with NUSC again.
It is still a bit of a blur all of the opportunities that are coming my way!!
I am really looking forward to seeing Stix, Ashan and all the NUSC squad on the 20th and to pulling on the Hilton shirt again!!
Pembroke and NUSC