New signing set to join Newcastle United next week as club announce farewell appearance
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Alex Murphy will play his final match for Galway United on Friday night, the League of Ireland club has announced.
Newcastle United agreed a fee to sign the highly-rated defender in May but revealed Murphy wouldn’t link up with Elliott Dickman’s under-23s until July.
Murphy turned 18 last month and has continued to be a regular in Galway’s first-team with John Caulfield’s side currently sitting second in the First Division table.
Galway take on second bottom Cobh Ramblers on Friday night (kick-off 7:45pm) and have encouraged supporters to attend and bid farewell to Murphy.
Murphy will likely have the rest of the weekend off before, presumably, travelling over to the North East next week to begin pre-season training with Dickman’s youngsters.
It is understood United saw off competition from the likes of Celtic, Brighton & Hove Albion and Torino to seal the teenager’s signature.
Murphy, who can operate in central defence or at right-back, joined Galway from Corrib Celtic aged 14 and quickly progressed through the age groups.
Indeed, he made his senior debut against Athlone Town in June last year at the tender age of 16.
This season, Murphy has been a regular for Caulfield’s side at left-back, missing just one of their 23 games.
Murphy has also captained the Republic of Ireland at under-18s level and was a standby for the under-21s squad late last year.
A ‘real coup’ for Newcastle United
Newcastle United academy Steve Harper described Murphy’s capture as a “real coup”.
He said: “He is a very promising young player who has attracted a lot of attention from clubs. It is a real coup for our academy and is a testament to the direction the club is going in under our owners.
“I would like to thank everyone involved with Galway United for their assistance. The club has been a pleasure to deal with and I wish John Caulfield and his players the very best of luck for the rest of the season.”
Newcastle have bolstered their academy ranks with the arrival of full-back Jordan Hackett from Tottenham Hotspur, while Kilmarnock starlet Charlie McArthur is expected to join.