It’s been a long journey to reach this point, with spells playing in five different countries, but Alli Murphy is ready to add international football to her list of experiences.
The Texas-born midfielder received a first call-up to the Republic of Ireland Women’s Senior Team for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifier away to Germany and she’s excited to get going.
Murphy has held her Irish passport – secured through her Limerick-born grandparents – for several years now and it has helped her with moves to Sweden, Netherlands, Iceland, and, now, England.
Getting the call to be part of Vera Pauw’s squad for the Germany game on September 19 was unexpected but very much welcomed by the 26-year-old.
“It was a surprise, but a good surprise, to hear that I was included in the Ireland squad. I’ve always wanted to use my Irish heritage to make myself available for the team so it’s great to be in the coach’s thoughts,” said Murphy.
Following a stand-out college career with Texas Tech University (where she was Team MVP and qualified as a Civil Engineer), Murphy was selected at No 20 in the 2016 NWSL Draft by Washington Spirit. That proved to be a mixed experience so she went abroad to seek more playing time in Sweden with Gustafs GoIF.
With the more games that she played, Murphy knew that she belonged at a higher level. She won the golden boot for most goals scored during her time in Sweden but took a chance of returning home by jumping into open trials with the Houston Dash – who were managed at the time by Vera Pauw.
After an enjoyable spell with Houston, Murphy switched to Dutch club Pec Zwolle in June 2018 where she featured in the Dutch Women’s Cup Final against Ajax. And then another call came to pack her bags and fly to Iceland to link up with Selfoss, where she did win the Cup this time.
Since then COVID-19 hit and she was grounded back home in Texas, training on her own and helping to coach local kids. That was until London City Lionesses (who are managed by Dubliner Lisa Fallon) reached out and her wanderlust bug was reignited. She will get started with them on September 6th with the beginning of the new FA Women’s Championship season.
“I’m excited to get going with London City. It’s been a crazy few years. Then we had COVID hit, so now that football is back I’m excited to get playing again,” said Murphy.
“Lisa (Fallon) called me and the second that she started talking I felt like I had been transported back to Ireland, sitting back in my Granny’s kitchen listening to her saying ‘Go on, Go on, Go on’. So I smile every time she talks to me because it feels like home.
“I’ve played in different countries and had different experiences so I’m ready for this one. I’ve played mostly as a midfielder but I can play on the wing, up front or even at right-back, so I would say that I’m a versatile player who just wants to help the team out.
“It is fantastic to get the call-up for Ireland, but I want to get some games in with London City Lionesses first and get my fitness levels up. Then I’ll be in a much better position.”
This will not be Murphy’s first exposure to the Ireland set-up as she previously trained with Sue Ronan’s squad during a trip to the United States, but a bout of flu meant that she was not in the best condition to earn a full call-up.
Still, she has long held ambitions of pulling on that green jersey and will do everything that she can to make the final cut of 23 players for the Germany squad.
Germany v Republic of Ireland
UEFA 2021 Women’s European Championship Qualifying – Group I
Saturday, September 19
KO 13:00 (Irish Time)