Murphy relishing Celtic return

Striker aniticpates action-packed July as Hoops began pre-season

Murphy: Sees tours as good chance for fans to see Celtic up close and personal

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Daryl Murphy has set his sights on a positive pre-season after Celtic players returned to training on Wednesday.

The club's Lennoxtown training complex sparked back into life as most of Neil Lennon's squad began preparations for the new season.

Murphy was one of those called back in having not been on international duty at the end of last season.

And the 28-year-old was glad to get back into action ahead of his second season at Parkhead.

"It's good to get back into it because you want to get your fitness levels up so you can look forward to the games again," he told the club's official website.

"I've missed it, but to be honest, it's only been four weeks so it's not really much of a break.

"I think it was just long enough, though, because any longer than that and it would have started feeling strange without it.

Dread

"Everyone dreads pre-season, except the few, like Cha (Du-Ri), who actually enjoy it. He's an exceptional runner so it's easy for him.

"But I'm always wary of the first day because it's usually very hard.

"It was tough going today but that's just to see where you are really. I felt good, though, so it's a good sign."

Celtic head to Australia on Sunday for three pre-season friendlies before taking part in the Dublin Cup at the end of the month.

And the Republic of Ireland international is looking forward to seeing the level of Celtic support both in his homeland and Down Under.

"It's always good to get back to Ireland and see the fans over there because there's a big connection between them and Celtic," he said.

"There will definitely be a good crowd at the games in the Aviva Stadium. There always are when we play over there and this will be no different.

Inter Milan clash

"It will be a good tournament. We'll be facing a tough Inter Milan side and the league of Ireland game will be very interesting too."

Murphy added: "I'm looking forward to going over to Australia next week and playing a few games again.

"A lot of the lads were saying the last time they were there they saw a lot of Celtic fans and I'm sure there will be even more this time. It's a chance for them to see us up close and personal.

"It just goes to show how big the club is to have fans all over the world, and based on what they were saying, they were taken aback by the number that was there the last time."