Main content

New Pie praises old Pie for transformation

Sam Murray joined Collingwood in the Trade Period - AFL,Collingwood Magpies,Trade,Contracts,Free Agency,Sam Murray
Sam Murray joined Collingwood in the Trade Period

Trade period verdict: How did your club fare?
Best 22: How your club could line up in 2018
Your trade verdicts: Adelaide to GWS
Your trade verdicts: Hawthorn to Western Bulldogs

LITTLE-KNOWN Collingwood recruit Sam Murray has attributed his new-found opportunity to the influence of a member of a famous Magpie family.

Former Sydney rookie Murray, 20, conceded he had struggled as a small forward/midfielder but had improved significantly after being swung to defence by Swans reserves coach and former Pies dasher Rhyce Shaw.

The Murray trade was the only one brokered this year by the unusually quiet Pies, who also gained Sydney's No.70 pick and its 2018 third-round pick in exchange for Collingwood's 2018 second-rounder.

It has been a considerable rise for the Victorian country boy, who didn't make the Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup squad in 2015 and instead played for the Wodonga Raiders and finished third in the Ovens and Murray Football League's best and fairest.

Later that year the Swans picked up the pacy left-footer with pick 66 in the AFL Rookie Draft and he tallied 16 goals in 17 NEAFL games in 2016 before being transformed into a hard-running half-back flanker by Shaw, who played 237 AFL games, including 94 with Collingwood.

"I wasn't playing great footy in the forward-line and (Shaw) sent me back to learn how to defend. It all just gelled and I suppose it went from there," Murray told The Border Mail.

Murray, who is listed as 187cms and 88kgs, didn't play an AFL game in his two rookie years with the Swans but this season was selected in the NEAFL Team of the Year after averaging 22 possessions, six score involvements, six intercept possessions and 3.5 inside 50s.

He enjoyed his time with the Swans but when Collingwood declared its interest in him, he knew the decision he had to make for his future.

"As a young footballer you want to play senior footy and want to go to where the opportunity is, and I could see there was opportunity at Collingwood so I jumped at it," Murray told the club website.

Murray describes himself as a line-breaking, hard-running back flanker who likes to rebound with the footy.

"I like to take the game on, but I also think I can impact both in the air and on the ground and I'm pretty versatile," he said.

Pies list manager Derek Hine said Murray would help fill a desperate need for speedy defenders.

"We're really mindful of the fact our (list) profile in that position is not great, particularly given the injuries to Ben Sinclair and others. (Murray) has outstanding speed (and) plays a not dissimilar role to (Sun-turned-Bomber) Adam Saad," Hine told the club website.