Rapidly emerging Collingwood half-back Sam Murray has told budding AFL prospects they are never out of sight.
The 20-year-old returned to Wodonga Raiders for training on Thursday night three years after he was drafted by the Sydney Swans, before joining the Pies.
“I just think the main message is, if you want to do something, go for it,” he enthused.
“We’re privileged enough now that there’s always going to be people out there watching footy, whatever league it is, I know there’s recruiters at every game and if you believe in it and dream it, you can do it.”
Murray has played a key role in Collingwood’s resurgence with his exciting run and carry.
I know there’s recruiters at every game and if you believe in it and dream it, you can do it.Sam Murray
“Everything’s played in a 60-70m circle, so if you can be a player that can get it outside that defensive layer, it really opens up the game,” he said.
“’Bucks’ (coach Nathan Buckley) has given me a licence to play the way I play and express myself.”
Murray was presented with his AFL rising star nomination on Thursday night after his 21-disposal game against Carlton in round three.
He also trained with Raiders, ahead of Saturday’s home blockbuster against Albury.
Coach Daryn Cresswell was in his first year with the club when the precociously talented teenager starred and Murray has always paid enormous respect to his former mentor.
It’s allowed Murray to play in front of massive crowds, like 91,440 against Essendon on Anzac Day.
“You can’t really put words on it, it’s like nothing you can describe,” he said.
“In the first game ‘Pendles’ (captain Scott Pendlebury) said, ‘don’t worry about being serious in the warm-up, just when the first bounce goes, that’s when you crack in’.”