Collingwood recruit Sam Murray eyeing AFL debut in round one

MORE THAN A GAME: Sam Murray, pictured with Ben Reid, has roared into contention for round one after impressing at Collingwood this pre-season. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
MORE THAN A GAME: Sam Murray, pictured with Ben Reid, has roared into contention for round one after impressing at Collingwood this pre-season. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Henty export Sam Murray is hoping he’s done everything he can to make his AFL debut for Collingwood in round one.

The 20-year-old bolted into contention with an impressive performance in the Magpies’ pre-season victory against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

Murray finished with 24 disposals and seven rebound-50s in his first appearance since departing Sydney in the off-season.

Teammate Ben Reid has been excited by what the former Swan has produced thus far.

“You can obviously see what he can do from the weekend with his use of the footy off the half-back line,” Reid said.

“Coming into a new club is always tough, but he’s done everything he can to earn the respect of the boys and he’ll continue to do that as the season goes.

“We’re hoping he can fill a void for us at half-back and add a bit of drive for us.

“These days, if you can get as much drive as you can off the half-back line it can only help you, and he’s a player that has got the skill set to be able to do that.

“His game on the weekend was fantastic and he’ll probably look to build on that over the next couple of weeks and give himself every chance to play round one.”

Murray admitted it was exciting to finally get a taste of senior football at AFL level.

“There was a lot of good people around me team-wise that had really good games which made it a lot easier, but I was super happy and we’ll wait and see what happens from there,” Murray said.

“There’s areas I identified as a player that I needed to work on, but Collingwood came to me, which was the positive, I didn’t go chasing another club to go to.

“I didn’t have massive areas I needed to work on, it was things like consistency and finding my niche to play senior footy.

“It was identified that there was a bit of run missing from the back line at Collingwood, so I hope I can fill the void and I feel comfortable playing back.

“There’s obviously a little more I can do to find consistency, I’ve played one alright JLT game and that doesn’t mean anything, there’s a heap more I’ve got to do to play consistent senior footy.

“I don’t just want to play senior footy, I don’t want to put a ceiling on it.”

Collingwood starts the season against Hawthorn on March 24.