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Footy set to win over cricket in latest battle

Tanking talk, no Dusty doubt, Gawn trains The Footy Feed team with all the latest news
Nathan Murphy in action for Brighton Grammar. Picture: Brighton Grammar

TALENTED youngster Nathan Murphy looks set to overlook a promising cricket career to nominate for the NAB AFL Draft this year.

The Brighton Grammar student has caught the eye of recruiters this season with his performances at school level in Victoria, which saw him added to the Sandringham Dragons squad in recent weeks.

Murphy was one of 83 players this week invited to the national NAB AFL Draft Combine in October.

He has been in the same Victorian cricket programs as Will Sutherland, who was touted as a possible top-five pick at this year's draft before deciding this month he would instead pursue his cricket career. 

The same decision awaits Murphy, who is also a part of Victoria's cricket programs, however AFL.com.au understands football is set to be his focus. 

Murphy, a medium forward, began attracting attention when he booted seven goals for Brighton earlier this year against Geelong Grammar, when he was opposed to highly-rated swingman Jarrod Brander. 

His form in three games at TAC Cup level has stood up, averaging 22 disposals. He also booted three goals in the Dragons' most recent game against the Bendigo Pioneers two weeks ago. Murphy was asked to train with the Dragons last summer but didn't pursue it strongly. 

Clubs have already started interviewing Murphy, and more will come at the combine, where at least four clubs needed to nominate the goalkicker for him to attend the Etihad Stadium testing days. 

Sutherland surprised some when he announced less than two weeks ago he would be pursuing the cricket pathway instead of an AFL career, having impressed for Vic Metro during the recent under-18 carnival. 

The 17-year-old performed brilliantly for Scotch College last weekend, reminding recruiters there of his ability. Many had him pegged as the best tall prospect in the 2017 pool. 

Having been captain of the under-19 Australian team, Sutherland's cricket credentials are stronger than Murphy's.