“I would say that I’m there to help the young players with whatever they need. They’re continuing to work on their skill sets and to put themselves in the picture. People say that it’s quite a tough transition from youth team football to first team football and it is, but these players are ambitious and age is no barrier.
“The minute they come into the first team environment the manager is looking for them to play. The breaking in period can be very tough but our lads have stepped up to the plate the last couple of years and they’ve always been ready to play.”
The 37-year-old is going through the final stages of obtaining his coaching badges and he believes that the process has helped him in his role at the club.
“The first time Keith [Hill] was at the club I started picking his brain about coaching and then I started doing my coaching badges. I’ve enjoyed it.
“I haven’t set any targets with respect to what I’d like to do in the future, but it has benefited me in terms of what I can do with the players and the information that I can pass onto them. One of the aspects of the coaching badges is how you transfer your knowledge to the players – it’s easy to presume that they know everything you’re telling them, but there are different ways you can show them and tell them.
“I’ve also learnt loads from Keith. He is a very demanding coach and he wants the players to learn and progress every day.
“We have a mantra at the club where every day is a learning day and it’s that type of environment that helps the players to thrive.
As difficult as they can find it some days, it’s very rewarding in the long run. I would suggest that most of our ex-players remain friends of the club and come back so it’s testament to what we do here.”
Barry-Murphy, who is still registered as a player, completed a full pre-season and appears in the regular closed door and reserve games organised by the first team. He has, however, come to terms with taking a seat in the dug-out with the Dale management team on a competitive matchday.
“People ask me if it’s difficult not playing but the lads have been so good over the last two seasons that I’ve rarely felt as though I’ve been required to play in the first team games.
“My role is to help them be prepared for these games, especially the younger players, although there are some older lads as well that I’ve helped in the last couple of seasons.
“I suppose there is always an ambition within you that wants to play, but I feel as though the lads have been so good that there has been no requirement for me to play. That’s the progress that the club is making and that’s what we all want so I’m happy to go with that.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.