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Lovett-Murray takes on captaincy, no sweat

Jennifer Phelan  February 9, 2013 11:24 AM

AFL 2013 Indigenous All Stars v Richmond Tigers

Nathan Lovett-Murray in action for the All Stars

He's handled it like a true professional
ESSENDON'S Nathan Lovett-Murray has been a "true professional" in the past week while juggling the captaincy of the Indigenous All Stars team and the fallout from his club's drugs scandal, says Michael O'Loughlin.

O'Loughlin coached the All Stars to a 50-point win over Richmond on Friday night at Alice Springs' Traeger Park, with Lovett-Murray skippering the side after the withdrawal of Lance Franklin.

Essendon players Lovett-Murray, Paddy Ryder, Courtenay Dempsey, Alwyn Davey and Leroy Jetta were all involved in the game and the All Stars camp, which started on Tuesday - the day after the supplement scandal become public.

O'Loughlin said the five Bombers had handled the situation unfolding some 1891km away well, and in particular Lovett-Murray, whose media commitments soared with the captaincy.

"They've been great. We haven't heard too much because we've been out in the communities and the schools," O'Loughlin said.

"[Lovett-Murray] has been under the pump a little bit over the last week with what's happening down in Melbourne but he's handled it like a true professional and the boys absolutely love being around him and the rest of the Essendon players."

After the game, O'Loughlin spoke about the bond that had been created amongst the Indigenous players that had taken part in the past four days.

He said a network had been established and the lines of communication open for any of them to contact a more experienced player – like dual Sydney Swans' premiership player Adam Goodes – for advice.

"I guess the support is always there – they've given out the numbers and anything they need to discuss or disclose to each other, and getting advice from each other is always there," he said.

"'Goodesy' rocked up yesterday and the first thing that came out of his mouth was, 'I really want you guys to succeed, it's your time to really take us to another level and if anybody wants to ring me, here's my number'.

"The personal details in terms of the phone numbers and emails have gone out, and I have no doubt they'll have the confidence to call up."

Jennifer Phelan is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow her on Twitter @AFL_JenPhelan.