Deniliquin footballer puts name up in lights

By Jamie Lowe

Deniliquin Rovers footballer Raymond Murphy had a stellar showing at the School Sport Australia Under-15 Australian Rules national carnival in Tasmania last week.

Murphy, 15, claimed the medal for the player of the carnival for NSW and was named in the under-15 22-man All Australian squad.

The onballer starred in all five games for NSW during the week.

It was a tough start for NSW, going down to South Australia by 49 points on day one of the carnival.

NSW bounced back the following day, scoring a 23-point victory on Monday.

After a rest day on Tuesday, Murphy was named best on ground in the 15-point win against Queensland on the Wednesday to help NSW finish second on the ladder in its pool.

Thursday saw NSW take on Victoria with a spot in the grand final up for grabs.

Victoria proved far too strong however, with the eventual carnival winners storming to a 64-point victory.

In a play-off for third spot, NSW came up against Western Australia on Saturday.

NSW was unable to capitalise on a solid start, with Western Australia kicking 7.4 to 2.1 in the second half to claim a 38-point win.

‘‘It was a disappointing end, but it was an enjoyable week of footy,’’ Murphy said.

‘‘The standard of footy was through the roof so it was a great experience to come up against the country’s best under-15 footballers.

‘‘To be named All Australian was completely unexpected.

‘‘I just went there to play for NSW and try my best, I didn’t even think about being named in the squad.

‘‘It hasn’t fully sunk in yet that I made the best 22, but it’s something I’m definitely proud of.’’

Murphy will be aiming to add more medals to his collection, with the three-time Rovers fourths best and fairest winner hopeful of winning a premiership with the Roos.

The onballer plays in the thirds side, as well as playing most of the year in seniors.

With both teams set for finals action, Murphy’s focus has switched to the club that has been his biggest supporter.

‘‘I want to try and win a flag with the thirds and can hopefully play finals with the seniors,’’ he said.

‘‘I want to try and give back to the Rovers, because I couldn’t have played in Tassie without the club’s support.

‘‘I’ve had a lot of good coaches with Willsy (Peter Wills) in the fourths and now Haysie (Alex Hay) and Bodey (Josh Bode).

‘‘Haysie is just like a brother to me so it’s been great to learn from him and develop my game.

‘‘I’d also like to thank my mum (Alice Murphy) and all of my family and friends who have supported me.’’