By Beth Newman
After an injury-interrupted start to the season, Palm Beach’s Zane Murphy showed everyone a glimpse of his best against Springwood on Saturday.
Murphy was a standout in an undermanned Lions side, getting plenty of touches and creating a lot of run through the midfield.
With a number of players ruled out in the lead up to the match, Murphy said he was glad to be able to step up in such an important game.
“Cressa (Lions coach Daryn Cresswell) put the heat on me this week to play well and he knew how much it meant and that kind of passed on to the players,” he said.
“I’m used to playing games like that compared to what I’ve been doing. It’s been pretty frustrating not to play well and it was good to play like I know that I can (against the Pumas).”
Cresswell sang his praises after the match.
“Zane was outstanding. I reckon he got about 38 touches,” Cresswell said.
“He is a really good player.”
Murphy moved up to the Gold Coast from Tasmania this season, after close friend Billy Joe Jackson relocated, as one of a number of Tasmanian recruits to the Lions.
Having some other Apple Islers at the club, including ruckman Dean Shegog, had made the transition easier in his first season at Palm Beach, Murphy said.
“Yeah it’s been so much easier,” he said.
‘The transition was pretty smooth this year.”
After a breakout performance against the Pumas, Murphy said he was just glad to get back to some of his better footy, after missing pre-season with an ankle injury and spending a month out after a knee injury in round one.
“It’s so good to finally play well again and get the confidence back for the guys around me. Just to show them what I can do was as good a feeling as any.
In a scary thought for plenty of oppositions, Murphy said he still had plenty of upside ahead in the home stretch to finals.
“Because I haven’t really been training, I’m working on getting a little bit fitter,” he said.
“I didn’t do a pre-season because of my ankle. But my fitness is getting better, getting in perfect shape, ready for the finals.”
At only 24, Murphy has plenty of football still left in him and is currently learning to surf, said he wouldn’t be leaving the Sunshine State anytime soon.
“I reckon I’ll hang around for a little while,” he said.
“The lifestyle is great up here and Palm Beach has been really good.”