NORTH Warrnambool Eagles recruit Nathan Murphy says a desire to test himself at a higher level was the catalyst for signing with the Hampden league club.
Nathan, who turned 25 yesterday, and younger brother Mark, 20, have shifted from Warrnambool and District league club South Rovers for the 2013 season.
A club best and fairest winner in the South Rovers’ 2007 premiership-winning season, Nathan said he needed a fresh start after 140 senior appearances for the Lions.
“I was a bit stale and needed a new challenge,” Nathan said.
“There are no hard feelings at Rovers. I thank them for all they did.
“It’s a good club and I wish them all the best.”
Nathan, who played one Hampden league game for South Warrnambool on a permit, said the Eagles were a team on the rise.
“It’s a club that has worked hard, from when they weren’t very successful, to playing finals this year and there’s a window of opportunity,” he said.
Nathan said he was happy he would continue to play alongside his brother.
“We spoke about if we go, we’d go together,” he said.
“He is only 20 and is looking forward to it as well.
“He has more natural ability than me. He’s a utility and has height.
“I think I will rotate through the midfield and have a half- forward flank role.
“And I have played in the back line, so wherever ‘Haynesy’ sees fit.”
North Warrnambool Eagles coach David Haynes said the Murphy brothers were welcome additions.
“Nathan has been a proven performer at District league, winning Rovers’ best and fairest a couple of years ago,” Haynes said.
“It’s a big step up for him, the league is a lot quicker.
“He’ll fill the void Josh Parkinson left in the midfield and up forward.
“His brother is still young but quick, a good athlete and has size.”
Nathan will juggle football pre-season with cricket commitments. The Brierly Christ Church captain-coach said it was tough at times but that he loved both sports.
“My body doesn’t get too much of a rest,” he told The Standard.
“With football I have never traditionally done a big pre-season but I have gotten better at that.
“I have won a premiership in football for Rovers and would love to win one with Brierly as well.”
The Eagles officially start pre-season on November 25, with two optional Wednesday sessions over the next two weeks.
Haynes said the club had appointed Scott Sudale as its strength and conditioning coach.