U18 TAC Cup Squad

Story thanks to Star Weekly

Having played only 10 games this season for the Northern Knights, Lachlan Murphy didn’t think he was a chance to win the club’s best and fairest award.

Murphy reckoned captain Mason Blakey would be the favourite for the award, these days named after Knights legend Brent Harvey.

Like Murphy, other contenders such as Luke Bunker (seven games) and Patrick Lipinski (12 games) missed games through injury, school football and Vic Metro commitments.

There was a two-month period in which Murphy didn’t play for the Knights.

But when Murphy, 17, did play in between school commitments with Ivanhoe Grammar, he stood out.

In the final round, Murphy hit the front in the award voting.

“After round 12, when I came back to the team, I had six games where I started to poll a bit,” Murphy said.

Murphy, who started playing football with Diamond Creek, finished on 84 votes, six votes ahead of Bunker.

Blakey, who led with three rounds to go, finished third. He missed the second-last round through playing with the Northern Blues in the VFL.

The award tops off four years at the Knights for Murphy, in which time he has given up cricket and basketball to focus on football.

“It hasn’t been the most successful team, but I’ve met some great people and made some friends,” he said. “The coaches have given me so much to help my development.

“I used to play a lot of cricket and played with the Northern Falcons [representative side] and then I gave it up.

“I played a lot of basketball, too. I’ve given them both up to throw all my eggs in the one basket and give it a crack.”

In his school football, Ivanhoe Grammar was knocked out in the semi-finals.

“It wasn’t a bad season, it was just a disappointing end to the year.”

Murphy’s form hasn’t been rewarded only with the Knights’ best and fairest award – he has also been invited to the AFL state combine.

He is training with other Knights players who have been invited to both the state and national combines.

“I’m not very strong aerobically,” he said. “My sprint is strong and I hope I will test well.

“I don’t know what to expect and want to have fun and enjoy the moment. If my name gets read out, then that’s awesome. If it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.”

Other winners at the Knights awards night were Jamison Shea (core values award), Chas Roberts (most improved), Ethan Penrith (Chris Johnson defensive player), Corey McKay (leading goalkicker), Nicholas Coffield (Michael Mascoulis rising star award) and Patrick Lipinski (Adam Simpson coaches award).

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