IF you told Nathan Murphy he'd be playing senior footy for Terang Mortlake a year ago, he'd have said it was long odds.
The veteran onballer, whose partner Lizzie Cook is a Bloods netballer, surfaced at the Hampden league club "just looking to have a kick" and help out the reserves.
But just four rounds in, Murphy, who most recently played at Warrnambool and District league club South Rovers, found himself in Ben Kenna's seniors.
"I thought if I was going to be around the club, I'd just sort of fill in. I came to training and got selected for the first two ressies games and then got selected in the seniors," he laughed.
I've approached it with no pressure. If I play well, that's a bonus, and if I don't, I'll go back to the twos and have a kick around.Nathan Murphy
"I don't expect to stay there for the whole year but I'll just do what I can to help out. It's just been good to compete again, I guess. I'm hoping the body holds up.
"I've approached it with no pressure. If I play well, that's a bonus, and if I don't, I'll go back to the twos and have a kick around."
Murphy, 33, was unsure if his body would stand up to the rigours of Hampden league football again but was finding the speed of the game manageable.
"I was a bit worried I might be a bit slow, because I played for North Warrnambool (Eagles) back in 2013 and 2014," he said.
"The standard of Hampden league footy is really good, so if you get to good positions you normally get used.
"My role has just been to give the boys a chop out through the midfield and go through the rotations there. It's probably been more that contested footy when I can. I'm happy to help out however I can."
The talented cricketer told The Standard he would try to implement some of his footy knowledge on the Bloods' youngsters.
"I did say to them, if you've got some younger guys you want to play for the direction of your club, go for it," he said.
"They're pretty young so it's been to work my way in offer some experience. I haven't had too much to say yet because obviously when you're at a new club you want to learn the ropes, bide your time and earn your stripes.
"It's been really enjoyable and everyone has been welcoming. Footballers, netballers and the wider community."
Murphy said he played against Kenna in the Warrnambool and District league but "didn't know a lot about him" before landing at the Bloods.
He said Kenna's emphasis on simple coaching was benefiting the young side.
"They're able to go out and play on instinct a little bit," Murphy said. "There's still room for improvement for guys to just take the game on a bit more through the corridor a bit more and give our forwards some options."
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