STEVE Murphy travels from Ballarat each weekend to play cricket for Pomborneit.
He hops in his car, with his cricket bag and Bulls’ gear in the boot, and travels the three-hour round trip to play for a club he’s loved since he could first wield a cricket bat.
Murphy’s dedication could culminate in his first South West Cricket division one premiership win tomorrow.
The Bulls will play Mortlake in Camperdown in a rematch of last season’s decider.
“I have been away from Pombo for seven years, in Melbourne and Ballarat, and have travelled back since then,” Murphy said.
“I’ve been at Pombo the last 20 years and my old man (Graeme) is a life member and I grew up playing with my brothers Dave and Andrew, so it’s an easy decision to make.
“As far as travelling back goes, the cricket club is like a family.
“Pombo is like playing with 11 brothers I think.
“I love cricket, love playing for Pombo. I am proud every time I take the field for Pombo.”
Murphy, 28, is a police detective in Ballarat and must arrange shifts around cricket.
The middle order bat, who joined the police force in 2007 and did his apprenticeship in Broad Meadows, said his employers were accommodating.
“They have been pretty good,” he said.
“A lot of fellas I work with are in footy clubs so I make it up to them in winter and they help me in summer.”
Murphy said Pomborneit, under the leadership of his older brother Dave, was ready for another fierce battle with Mortlake.
The minor premier suffered a seven-wicket loss to the Cats in the 2012-13 grand final.
“This weekend is a great opportunity. There is a lot of belief within the group,” he said.
“Winning a grand final is a whole season effort and a whole club effort.
“We only have 12 blokes playing in the grand final but it’s important to recognise the contributions of every player.
“Over 40 guys have taken to the field for Pombo this year and 25 have been in the division one team, it’s definitely a whole-club effort.
“We have had some great battles the past few years so I expect this weekend will be no different.”
Murphy, who trains in Ballarat each week with Pomborneit teammate Peter Robertson, said the Bulls’ line-up had benefited from a number of new faces this season, among them leading association wicket-taker Coby Dudman.