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Suns following Hawk flight path

Michael Whiting  March 29, 2013 9:36 AM

AFL 2013 Training - Gold Coast Suns 010313

Former Hawk Tom Murphy says Gold Coast can follow Hawthorn's flight path

TOM Murphy thinks success for Gold Coast is not far away, and can see similarities with the Hawthorn team he started with in the mid-2000s.

Murphy has fitted into the Suns seamlessly since coming north via free agency last October, and said he had never worked harder in a pre-season.

After eight seasons with the Hawks – including being an emergency in the 2008 premiership and 2012 Grand Final – the 27-year-old defender needed a change and more opportunities.

He will play his first match for the Suns against St Kilda on Saturday night.

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Murphy said the Suns were not as far away from success as many people may have thought.

"At the moment I imagine most people's predictions have got us down the bottom of the ladder," Murphy said.

"Having been at a club that was right at the top of the ladder, I know first hand how they go about it and how they play, and it's not too different to what we've been doing here.

"All the ingredients are right, it's just a matter of hard work and time and getting a bit of confidence in the group."

Murphy said he had watched the Suns' progress with interest the past two years.

Can the Suns rise? Read our Gold Coast season preview

Along with Fremantle's Greg Broughton, he has brought a further voice of composure to the group, and said he could continually see their confidence developing.

"It's easy when there's so many young guys to get a little bit intimidated by older groups and big names you might come up against," Murphy said.

"Speaking to some of the boys, they reckon it might have happened a couple of times over the last couple of years. But a bit of confidence, they get some games under their belt, they start getting a couple of scalps … I think the game they played against Carlton (round 22 win) at the end of last year might have given them a lot of confidence."

Murphy joined Hawthorn via the 2004 AFL National Draft (no.21 pick) after the Hawks had finished 15th.

It was the same draft that netted Jarryd Roughead, Lance Franklin and Jordan Lewis.

Alastair Clarkson came to the club and a new era was born.

But the next two seasons were no picnic as they finished 15th and 11th before making the finals in 2007 and winning the flag the following year.

"I was there and saw the hard yards that need to go in. The Hawks were on the end of some big beltings those first couple of years and guys like Buddy Franklin had half a dozen touches for a game," he said.

"As an outsider I've seen Gold Coast the last two of years have had a bit of a bumpy ride but I've seen Hawthorn go through it and getting games into these guys, bit of confidence and before you know it the tables can turn pretty quickly.

"I'm super excited to be on board."

Tom Murphy is a defender in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 57.5 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.

Michael Whiting covers Gold Coast news for Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_mikewhiting