SPARE a thought for John Murphy – he is spending his summer in the classroom rather than on the beach.
Murphy has swapped a holiday for education as he prepares to take his first lot of coaching badges.
The former Seasiders striker rejoined the club as a coach at the start of last season and endured a dream-like start to his off-the-field career – helping Ian Holloway get the Tangerines to a play-off final at Wembley.
But he is playing catch-up in terms of his qualifications.
When he got the call to become coach last August – to replace Stephen McPhee – he had been working on a building site and hadn’t done any of his badges.
It is something he is now about to put right.
“I need to do it because when I first got the call from the club, I hadn’t been involved in the game for a couple of years,” said Murphy, 35.
“The first couple of months at the training ground were a little odd because I didn’t know the names of all the players and I didn’t really know what to do on the coaching side to be honest because it was all new to me.
“Steve Thompson helped me massively. He showed me the ropes, we set up the training stuff together and he ran through things with me.
“The lads themselves made it easy too because they aren’t difficult to work with. They do the sessions without any complaint and are different class really.
“After a couple of months, I started to feel as though I was becoming a better coach but the thing I am lacking is the proper badges so that is what I’ll be doing this summer.
“I will crack on with those over the next few months. It probably won’t be very exciting because apparently these coaching courses are very regimented but it is something you have to go through with and it will improve me at what I do.
“But the best way to get better as a coach is to just work with the players every day on the training ground. I’ve done that for nine months now and I have learned a hell of a lot since the start of last season.”
Ideally Murphy, like his old strike partner Brett Ormerod, would still be turning out on a Saturday.
“That would have been great. I did want to play a bit longer but my body didn’t let me and I had to pack in at 31,” said Murphy.
“I had a couple of years out where I was thinking ‘god what am I going to do?’