AS A SCHOOLTEACHER, Brierly-Christ Church batsman Nathan Murphy urges his children to challenge themselves.
That same mantra provided motivation for the 30-year-old to trial for Victoria Country’s Australian Country Cricket Championships squad.
And it’s a risk that has paid off.
Murphy is one of three Warrnambool-based prospects to be included in the squad, with Russells Creek skipper Cam Williams and Allansford veteran Ben Boyd also named for the Geraldton carnival.
Boyd has been selected as Victoria Country captain for the second successive year.
Murphy, Warrnambool’s Melbourne Country Week captain, said he was thrilled to have the opportunity but admitted it hadn’t been a long-term goal.
“Being a teacher, I tell my kids all the time they have to challenge themselves and I thought this year I’d better take that onus into my own life,” he said.
“I decided I’d try out for the first time and I was lucky enough to get in.
“I’m going up there to learn a little bit about my game and to play without the expectations.
“I’ll back my skills but I think the chance to play with and against some of the country’s best is really exciting.”
With almost 400 Warrnambool and District Cricket Association runs to his name this season, Murphy carries strong form into the carnival.
Being a teacher, I tell my kids all the time they have to challenge themselves and I thought this year I’d better take that onus into my own life.Nathan Murphy
The former Brierly-Christ Church captain revealed he was relishing the chance to face faster bowlers on trademark West Australian pitches.
Boyd – who has travelled to the last four Australian Country Cricket Championship carnivals as the sole south-west representative – welcomed the chance to play alongside two Warrnambool prospects.
“There’s been the odd Western Waves guy, from Hamilton or Horsham, but not from here,” he said.
“To have two guys I’ve played country week with a number of times, it’s going to be a bit different.
“Normally you don’t know any others, which can be a good thing, but it’s going to be good having people to share the experience with.”
The Allansford and Russells Creek great said both Murphy and Williams could expect a rise in class from country week level.
“The difference is – and not that you have any bad players at country week – but the good players you play against are all at this carnival,” Boyd said.
“The expectation is that we’ll play well and put our best foot forward, because we’re really chasing that success this year after being less than a game away from winning it the last few years.”
Williams said he was excited to test his versatility in different conditions.
“Hopefully they’re quick and bouncy but you just back your skills,” he said.