FROM Henty, to Wodonga Raiders, and now the Sydney Swans.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Sam Murray, but it’s all paid off after he was taken by the Swans as a category B rookie with pick No.66 overall.
The 18-year-old wingman, who didn’t make the Murray Bushrangers squad in 2015 and only played one season in the O and M, flew straight out to Sydney from Albury on Friday to start his AFL career.
“I’m a little nervous but excited for the challenge,” Murray told The Border Mail.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted.
“To live it is going to be incredible.”
Albury’s Nick Coughlan was also thrown a lifeline, picked up by St Kilda with pick 23 in the rookie draft.
Murray will be joined at Sydney by Shepparton Bears’ 209cm ruckman Kyle Galloway, who was pick No.59.
Murray was overlooked in the national draft on Tuesday but received a life-changing phone call on Thursday night from Swans recruiting and list strategy manager Kinnear Beatson.
Beatson told the left-footer to pack his bags for Sydney.
“I’ve been talking to them for a couple of weeks,” Murray said.
“It hasn’t really sunk in fully yet but it’s very exciting.
“I got a call and they said they’d lodged the paperwork to take me as a pre-selected rookie.”
Murray’s selection straight from the O and M is a timely reminder for players not to give up their dreams.
“You play good enough footy anywhere, you’ll get spotted,” Murray said.
After starring in Henty’s 2014 premiership - he also won the club’s best-and-fairest award that year - O and M clubs came calling.
But it was former Swans star Daryn Cresswell, the Wodonga Raiders coach, who convinced Murray to move to Birallee Park.
He said Cresswell played a huge role in his career.
“He’s been in close contact with the Swans and they regard him really highly,” Murray said.
“With him talking about me and coaching me has been a huge help for me.
“My inside stoppage work has improved a lot.
“I could always win the footy on the outside but I wasn't where I wanted to be with my inside footy.”
Fight for Murray: P91