Derry Murkin may have left Colchester with his family at the age of four but there is no doubt when it comes to what country he would love to represent one day.
“For sure England!” Says the 18-year-old. “Everyone in my family is from England and I still feel 100% English.”
The young winger may have spent fourteen years in the Netherlands but where his loyalties lie are obvious – it’s with his country of birth. His mother’s job relocating forced the Murkins to up sticks and leave Essex for Amsterdam in 2004 but the move certainly hasn’t had any ill effect on the winger’s footballing career. The youngster plays for Volendam, a second division club who also has a reserve team playing in the fourth tier.
Having started the season with the club’s youth side playing in the U19 Eredivisie against the likes of Ajax and PSV, the 18-year-old also broke into the second team this year. During his time with the men’s side, he scored in a promotion play-off game against TEC in May but his side would eventually lose the two-legged tie on aggregate meaning they will spend another season in the fourth tier. Perhaps not the worst result for the youngster who is still adapting to the adult game.
“This season has had ups and down,” he says. “Mostly ups but I feel like I could have done a lot better.
“The aim for this season was to create a lot of goals for the team and make sure I’d force myself to a contract. Unfortunately the last named objective didn’t happen.”
The fourth division in Holland is a mixture of semi-professional clubs and the second sides of professional clubs, like the one Murkin plays for, and although he is yet to secure his first professional contract he will still be with the club next season and hopes he will finally achieve his goal in the near future.
“I definitely think I can break into the first team here. My aim is to make at least one appearance by Christmas 2018.”
Describing himself as a “a pacey left footed winger who can play on either wing and who always works hard for the team”, Murkin still remembers when his chance to train for the adult teams first came about.
“It was quite a step up,” he recalls. “It started at the beginning of last season by training with the first and second team. I realised the tempo was much higher and most of the players were stronger than me so I had to do a lot of work to eventually get in the team.”
“I think that if I stayed in England I would play a more physical game than over here. From what I see and hear, it’s different because it’s a very tactical game in Holland. Which has it’s positives and negatives.”
Murkin is totally focused on his goal of breaking into the first team at Volendam but he admits that he may be one day tempted to return to his birthplace to experience playing in English football for the first time. He has experience of playing against an English side already though, having scored in a friendly against Shrewsbury Town in 2016.
“I still have to see what my future holds. I would love to come back to England and play there but wouldn’t mind going somewhere else to make a name for myself.
“To play for Liverpool has and always will be my dream. If it happens or not we’ll see. So keep an eye out for me!”
Murkin will never forget his heritage, whether he ever returns to England to play or not but the opportunities he has been provided so far in Dutch leagues show that perhaps his mother’s job relocation has been a blessing in disguise. Whatever your opinion is on B teams being in the football pyramid, you cannot deny that the winger has benefited from his time in the fourth division with the second team this season and don’t be surprised if that results in a first team debut next season.