Murray dreamed of wearing his county colours in Croker
Patrick Murray will line out for the Cleveland Browns at the start of this NFL season, but in a recent interview he revealed that his first sporting dream was actually to tog out for Monaghan GAA.
Murray's father Aidan hails from the county, and while he was born in New Jersey like his mother, he admits that he still has a gra for the sport of his father's homeland.
In his attempts to explain the rules to the local media in Cleveland in an interview with Cleveland.com, and after a brief breakdown of the rules and the type of ball used, he hammered home the most important point: "It's an amateur sport. These guys go to work Monday through Friday and play for their county, which is like playing for your state, on Sunday."
Looking at Murray's Twitter, he's proud of his Irish roots, with plenty of retweets for GAA clubs in the United States as well as in Ireland, and plenty of love for Shay Given on the announcement of his retirement, amongst other topics covered.
With a pedigree in his family for playing the game, and briefly considering heading to Ireland for college, it comes as little surprise that the kicker admits he dreamed of one day playing for his county, which is not his native New Jersey, but rather Monaghan.
Image: Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby talks with Cleveland Browns kicker Patrick Murray. AP Photo/Jeffery Phelps
"I'm a huge, huge, huge supporter and that was my dream to go play for them," said Murray. "My two uncles played for Monaghan. When we would go back to Ireland ... I'd just play with the local club there, go train with them and go kick in the fields and my dream was to go play for County Monaghan, which is where my dad's from, in Croke Park."
"I credit playing that game to helping me get to where I am today," added Murray. Stating that he also spent a lot of time playing football with a club in new York, Rockfields GAA, he noted that the support he received from them as he chased his dream of playing in the NFL was invaluable.
"The people that are there have been so supportive of me through everything because I had to stop playing in college. I had to stop playing for the club because they knew what I wanted to do, which was to get to the NFL and give myself an opportunity to play and they were 100 percent supportive of that."
Also speaking about the role of his father in helping him to the big leagues, Murray said that: "he spent hours upon hours upon hours kicking with me and my brother and we developed into very, very good kickers and we're very grateful for the time that he spent with us and the time that he devoted to teaching us to be our best. Every kick that I take out here, a little piece of him is a part of it."
Murray's path to the NFL and his journey through to the Browns has been a difficult one, often being told that he was too small to play the game and eventually suffering an ACL tear which derailed his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, he credits the GAA upbringing with his toughness, noting that "playing the sports that I did, yes, that physicality is built into me and I don't mind getting in there and mixing it up."
There's competition for Murray in the season ahead as he battles it out with Travis Coons for a spot on the roster. After struggling to make it through to this point however, the difficulty of that battle is not lost on him,
"At the end of the day, the coaches have to make the decision," said Murray. "All I can control is kicking the way I'm supposed to kick, putting the ball through the posts and doing what I need to do on kickoffs."