From Henty to Raiders and, maybe, the AFL

CHANCE: Wodonga Raiders young gun Sam Murray is on the recruiting radar of several AFL clubs. If he doesn't get picked up in Tuesday night's national draft, he could get taken in the rookie draft.

CHANCE: Wodonga Raiders young gun Sam Murray is on the recruiting radar of several AFL clubs. If he doesn't get picked up in Tuesday night's national draft, he could get taken in the rookie draft.

WODONGA Raiders young gun Sam Murray would complete a rags to riches story if he’s drafted on Tuesday night.

Several AFL clubs have shown interest in the exciting wingman, who finished third in the Ovens and Murray league’s Morris Medal in his first season at the Raiders.

But Murray’s coach at the Raiders, Daryn Cresswell, believes Murray’s best shot at an AFL career will be via the rookie draft on Friday.

“I think he’ll get rookied,” Cresswell said.

“I think he’ll definitely be in the system somewhere.”

Gold Coast, Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and Sydney Swans are among the clubs to have shown interest in Murray. 

Murray first caught Cresswell’s eye when he played a starring role as a 17-year-old in Henty’s Hume league grand final win last year.

O and M clubs then came calling for the left-footer.

“Obviously he’s got some rough edges, but he’s got that X-factor,” Cresswell said.

“I thought with some coaching and structures he could be a dynamic player.

“He’s quick, he’s a good mark, he carries it. 

“He needs to be a bit better on his right side and I believe he can get fitter, which being put in an AFL environment will come.

“He also needs to get a bit more polished by foot.”

Albury duo Nick Coughlan and Lachlan Tiziani also hope their names are called out on Tuesday night in Adelaide after impressive seasons with the Bushrangers. 

Bushrangers talent manager Lee Fraser said key defender Coughlan was “in the mix”.

“He played some football at Footscray in the VFL so he might be a late pick,” Fraser said.

“I’d like to think he’ll get a chance.

“He uses the ball well and is very good over head.”

Wodonga ruckman Mitch King is also a smokey, while Seymour forward Josh Schache and Mooroopna midfielder Clayton Oliver could go in the top 10.

Murray will likely watch the draft with family and friends at Henty.

“You can’t think too much about something you’ve got no control over,” the 18-year-old said.

“I’ve just tried to keep busy on the farm and with training.”

Cresswell said Murray showed strong resilience after missing out on the Bushrangers squad.

“I was surprised he wasn’t on the Bushies list but to his credit he said, ‘I’m going to prove them wrong’, which is a great attitude to take,” Cresswell said.

“He’s a really good young kid, he’s got some arrogance about him, but I like it.

“Sometimes you have to give him a slap around the head.” 

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