Deniliquin Rovers fourths player Raymond Murphy put his name in the record books by reaching 100 goals for the season last weekend, but his focus is to do his dad proud.
The 14-year-old’s father Brian died just two weeks ago, following a 16-week battle with bladder cancer.
While Brian missed out on seeing his son reaching the milestone, he did get to see the on-baller make his senior debut as the sub in the Rovers’ one-goal win against Strathmerton in round one.
With Brian being one of Raymond’s biggest supporters, the fourths skipper said he would always cherish the moments spent with him.
‘‘Dad took me everywhere for all of my sports-related goals,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a special day for me in round one with Dad tossing the coin before the game.
‘‘I’m so glad he was able to watch me run out for the seniors and it was a great feeling to see how proud he was of me.
‘‘When Dad passed I decided to still play that weekend because that’s what he would’ve wanted me to do.
‘‘I also wanted to keep things as normal as possible
‘‘The main goal for me is to win the premiership flag with the fourths this year. I know he’d be really proud of that.’’
It is not often that a footy player kicks 100 goals in a season, but Raymond’s century ranks as one of the most impressive.
Raymond, who is affectionately known at the Rovers as ‘‘Razor’’, managed to reach the rare feat during the third quarter of his side’s 130-point win against Jerilderie in front of an adoring home crowd last Saturday.
This made him just the second player in the club’s history to reach 100 goals in the fourths, with the last player to do so being the late Andrew Meadowcroft who kicked 125 goals in the 1979 premiership winning season.
So what makes Raymond’s 100 goals standout from the rest of the crowd you ask?
Well, the fourths skipper has achieved the milestone while playing the majority of the year as an on-baller.
‘‘I never thought that I would ever be a goalkicker,’’ he said.
‘‘I needed five goals to reach the 100 mark and I just wanted to get it out of the way as soon as a I could.
‘‘There was no drama or build up to my 100th, I just ran into an open goal square and smashed it through.
‘‘It was a great feeling with all of the boys getting around me and a lot of the Rovers supporters cheering from the sidelines.
‘‘I only need 25 more to tie the club record and should hopefully have seven games to reach it.’’
Raymond’s season has been quite the joy ride, with his Roos fourths side clear-cut flag favourites with an undefeated run of 14 wins with an average winning margin of 167 points.
He’s also had quite a busy year with his footy, receiving the Riverina Murray MVP honour as well as the Riverina Medal at the NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association under-15 state carnival.
Raymond was also named as the captain of the PDFL under-14 interleague side that took on Mornington Peninsula, with the skipper earning the best-on-ground medal for the league.
‘‘It’s been a good year on the field, but the individual honours don’t matter as much as a premiership,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got about 14 or 15 top-agers in the fourths side who were all a part of last year’s grand final loss.
‘‘I’ve spent a long time playing footy with them all and we’re all close mates, so it’d be nice to get to share that kind of success with them.’’
Raymond, who is a Collingwood supporter, has aspirations to play in the AFL one day.