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Murphy’s “amazing feeling"

In the lead-up to his first outing in the royal blue and white, it’s nearly impossible to wipe the smile from Tom Murphy’s face.

12 months ago Murphy was preparing to line-up for the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup with Luke Davies-Uniacke, and now he’s setting himself for his first game at North with none other than Davies-Uniacke.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Murphy told North Media.

“I was actually just thinking about that yesterday, even from draft night, getting drafted to the same team as Luke is unreal, and to be out there playing in an AFL team with one of your good mates is an amazing feeling.

“It’s all worked-out really well.”

Selected with North’s first pick in the 2017 Rookie Draft, Murphy has had no trouble settling into life at Arden St, and says it has been made easier by having a familiar face in the locker room.

“It’s good to have Luke at the club, we’re really good mates,” Murphy said.

“Given I was with him at the Dandenong Stingrays, it’s good have someone you’re close with around.

“Everyone at the club has gelled really well. It’s a good club and I’m really happy where I am.”

The transition from the Under 18 competition to the AFL has been relatively seamless for Murphy, but the defender admits he’s needed to make some adjustments along the way.

“I’ve noticed how much strength I’ve gained since being here,” Murphy said.

“When I first got here I came in at 79 kilos and I’m currently at 86 kilos.

“I think it just comes from being in the gym a lot ... I’m still running alright, so it doesn’t really affect my running.

“If I’m feeling pretty heavy going into training I’ve got to work out what to eat at the right time so I’m feeling lighter.”

Having missed-out on selection in AFLX and JLT 1, Murphy is welcoming the opportunity to test himself against some quality opposition in Richmond and show what he has to offer.

“It’s been a big pre-season and to finally hear my name being called out is a good feeling, and I’m really looking forward to it even though it’s just JLT,” Murphy commented.

“It’ll be good to have a hit-out against another AFL team and I’m pretty excited.

“It will be a good test to see how we go against the reigning premiers, and we should be able to see where we stand afterwards.”

The 20-year-old understands that the game is not going to be an easy task.

“I’ll just focus on playing to the team structures, try to fit in and do my best,” Murphy said.

That task will no doubt be made easier under the guidance of some experienced teammates.

“Jamie Macmillan and Robbie Tarrant have really helped me out,” Murphy added.

“They have been around the club for quite a while and they’re very experienced, so they’ve definitely been quick to lend a hand out on the track.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs