FORMER Collingwood defender Sam Murray has lodged a clearance to join Wangaratta Rovers.
Murray alongside his younger brother, Nick, signed with Williamstown this season after both were overlooked in the AFL draft.
After being delisted by Collingwood, Murray was on the recruiting radar of several AFL clubs including Richmond, North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney.
Both had nominated the Wangaratta Rovers as their second club to return to when free of VFL commitments.
The siblings have since lodged clearances to play under coach Daryn Cresswell at Wangaratta Rovers.
Football operations manager, Barry Sullivan, said both Sam and Nick's preferred option was to play for Williamstown.
However, they had decided to join Rovers with the VFL under a cloud and AFL financial support likely to be necessary for the competition to resume.
"Both Sam and Nick still want to play for Williamstown assuming the VFL season goes ahead," Sullivan said.
"But if it doesn't and the O&M gets to play a shortened season then both the boys are happy to play for us.
"So they both signed clearances back to Rovers but if the VFL gets started I imagine we will clear them both back to Williamstown."
Murray last played for Collingwood against Richmond in round 17 in 2018 but has been sidelined since testing positive to cocaine after a match-day drug test.
His 18-month ban ended in February.
Sullivan said Murray was motivated to make the most of his second-chance.
"I haven't spoken to Sam personally of late but Daryn (Cresswell) speaks to him regularly and there is no doubt he is definitely keen to get back to playing the best footy he can."
O&M and district league clubs are set to resume training on Monday after being given the all-clear.
Initially, clubs will be limited to non-contact training in groups of up to 10 players.
Clubs will be allowed to have up to two groups training on the same oval on the proviso the ground is split into two zones.
Sullivan said he expected both Sam and Nick to remain in Melbourne for training and remained optimistic a shortened season is still a realistic option for the O&M.
"I still think we are a fair way off getting some clarity what is achievable this year," he said.
"I guess you can only take small steps at a time and I'm glad we can at least do some form of training and get the guys back out on the park.
"I feel whether the season will start or not will hinge on the crowd restrictions.
"If 100 people are allowed to gather indoors by mid-July, I'm hoping by then restrictions will allow up to 500 people outdoors at an community sporting event.'"
Sullivan revealed the majority of the Rovers players had indicated they were prepared to play for nothing this season if necessary.
"The general consensus among our playing group is a lot of them would play for nothing if restricted crowds prevented clubs from covering costs," he said.
"So that was a good sign and shows players are playing for the right reason.
"I would like to think the players at most clubs in the league would be similar.
"Maybe it is something that could be adopted statewide this season to ensure a level playing field."