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Murphy takes his chance

Rookie Selection: Lachlan Murphy See the highlights from our rookie selection, Lachlan Murphy
I pride myself on not losing. I love winning and, honestly, I don’t take losing as an answer.
Lachie Murphy

A ‘five-percent chance’ of being rookie-listed was enough for Crows SANFL development player Lachie Murphy to cling to, as he embarked on a grueling offseason program. 

Murphy, 18, played every game for Adelaide’s SANFL team this year, claiming the coveted Dean Bailey Award and finishing fourth in the State League Club Champion count.

The skilful defender’s standout season impressed the Crows, but National Recruiting Manager Hamish Ogilvie still wanted to see more.

“Hamish gave me a call at the end of the season and said, ‘Come back fitter, lose some weight, drop some skinfolds and, ultimately, run a better 2km time trial,’” Murphy said.

“I trained pretty hard over those six weeks and came back in relatively good shape, and it was enough for them to know that I was committed and wanted this like nothing else.

“I thought I’d trained pretty well and I’d ticked off all the areas they wanted me to tick off. 

“It was a long wait on Monday, but it was all worth it when I saw my name pop up and I got that phone call.”

On Monday, Murphy become the first-ever player drafted from Adelaide’s SANFL development squad when Ogilvie called his name with pick No.38.

Murphy was home alone at the time, with his housemates and Crows teammates Myles Poholke and Elliott Himmelberg busy training at the Club.

He quickly received phone calls from new coach Don Pyke and Ogilvie.

Watch behind the scenes footage of Murphy’s conversation with Ogilvie in the player above

A stunned Murphy thanked both for the opportunity, telling them, ‘I won’t let you down’.

“I’m happy to be there, but I’m not satisfied and I’m not finished yet,” he said to Ogilvie.

“I’ve worked hard to get here, but it’s just the start now.

“I’m not there to make up the numbers … I’m there to win.”

From Victoria, Murphy made the bold decision to move to Adelaide at the end of last year.

Despite winning the Northern Knights’ TAC Cup best and fairest award in 2016, he was overlooked in the national and rookie drafts.

“I thought I had a pretty solid year (in 2016), but it just wasn’t to be draft-wise,” Murphy said.

“Hamish gave me a call and said, ‘Look, we’re willing to give you an offer to come over and play in the (SANFL) State League, it’s up to you.’

“One of my good mates, Matt Signorello, got drafted to the Crows that year, so that helped with my decision a lot.

“It was a change of environment and I thought, I’ve got so close and I’ve worked so hard for so long. Why not change it up and give it a go?”

Murphy took his chances, working part-time at the CROWmania merchandise store based at the AFL side’s training base at West Lakes while playing and training with Adelaide’s SANFL team.

“My role for the majority of the year was as a small defender, and that was a challenge. I hadn’t really played there much in my career,” he said. 

“Whatever they wanted me to do I would do. Whether that was to take a dangerous small forward or lock down someone,  I just played my game.

“Once we got the ball I’d use my weapons, run off and take a couple of bounces and kick it long.”

As well as possessing the instinct to take the game on, Murphy has become known for his courage and attack on the ball, belying his 178cm, 74kg frame.

“I just want to be known as someone who doesn’t lose one on ones. I’m a pretty fearless competitor, on the field or on the training track,” he said.

“I pride myself on not losing. I love winning and, honestly, I don’t take losing as an answer. 

“You can expect me to go in as hard as I can and put my body on the line every single moment that I need to.”