Heat is on as Martin takes up rugby coaching role at Selkirk

Martin Murray might be finding the weather in the Borders a bit chillier than he’s used to after seven years working in the Middle East, but the former Selkirk player is warming to his new role as forwards coach for the club’s A team.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:31 pm
Former Selkirk player Martin Murray is back at Philiphaugh as part of the coaching set-up there (Photo: John Smail)

“It’s good to be back at Philiphaugh,” the 45-year-old told the club’s website, selkirkrfc.com

“Things at the club don’t seem to have changed too much, with the same sort of people around and the same structures in place.”

While out in Qatar, Murray, a civil engineer by trade, was helping the government there build a new metro system in Doha and latterly a lightweight transit railway in one of the country’s new cities.

Having been born in Dubai, he is no stranger to that part of the world, and until last year his father was living in nearby Bahrain.

“It’s been a relatively easy transition for me, but for my wife Fiona and children Ruaridh and Sarah, it was much more difficult, having spent their whole lives in Scotland,” said Murray.

“Coming back here was more a necessity in light of the pandemic.

“I was out in Qatar for eight months without being able to travel and without being able to see the family.

“When I eventually got the chance to come back to the UK, we decided it wasn’t worth me going back working in the Middle East, given there are still so many unknowns.”

He’s now project director for the reinstatement of the Levenmouth rail link in Fife and his wife is working as an occupational therapist at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose.

Having been away from Philiphaugh for so long, it’s hardly surprising that Martin sometimes struggles to remember some of the younger players’ names, and he admitted: “Finding out where they’re from and which family they’re from is going to be a bit of challenge over the next few weeks.

“I’m hoping we can get into touch rugby in the next month and then start being able to do some contact – hopefully towards the end of May, beginning of June.

“One of my aims will be to try and develop some of the younger A XV players.

“We have two intakes of youth club players all coming up to Philiphaugh at the same time, so we need to make sure we can successfully transition them into senior rugby.”

Murray’s record during his playing career at Selkirk from 1999 to 2011 comprises 279 1st XV appearances, scoring 60 tries and helping win three Border League titles.

He takes over the A XV forwards coach post from Darren Hoggan as he is replacing Neil Darling as 1st XV forwards coach.

David Cassidy continues as A XV backs coach and will continue to turn out for the team on Saturdays if needed, having made 16 playing appearances for the side over the 2019-20 season.