Toast Welcome to the SUNS - Patrick Murtagh

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The Gold Coast SUNS have taken Patrick Murtagh as a Queensland Zone Selection to round out the 2019 NAB AFL National Draft period.

A Queensland State Champion decathlete, Murtagh has been part of the GC SUNS Academy as an over-age player for the past year in order to hone his AFL skills.

The 19-year-old showed promise throughout the 2019 Academy Series, playing both in the ruck and as a key forward for the SUNS.

At 196cm, he turned heads in early 2019 when he recorded an 81cm standing vertical jump at a state combine testing day.
Local boy, TSS graduate and former state champion decathlete Patrick Murtagh is now on our list. He's still relatively new to the game so don't expect too much from him in 2020 but an 81cm vertical leap is very impressive. To put that in perspective, Nic Naitanui recorded a vertical leap of 78cm during his draft combine. Natanui stands 201cm so that means Murtagh's maximum vertical reach when jumping is only 2cms shorter than Naitanui's! That's why some believe Murtagh can make it as an AFL level ruckman but it wouldn't be surprising if he used his unique athleticism to become a key forward either. Here's some evidence of how much higher he can get up in the air than others his age:



The best case scenario is we've found our own version of Kurt Tippett (a player who converted to the game in his late teens) and his learning curve is a quick one but it's always important to be patient with players who come to the game late. Anyway, welcome to the Suns Patrick!
 

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Former Queensland champion decathlete Patrick Murtagh has signed with the Gold Coast Suns
MEET the former Queensland champion decathlete who has reached the AFL just months after being plucked from the athletics track.

Patrick Murtagh is the 196cm raw talent and The Southport School graduate who turned heads in the NAB League earlier this year before being signed by the Suns as a Queensland zone selection on Friday.

Murtagh's rise follows a successful stint in athletics last year where he was crowned state champion decathlete before placing sixth at nationals. Murtagh was unearthed by Gold Coast Victory Athletics Club coach Sharon Hannan.

“I was coaching at TSS and trying to fill the team for GPS when I found I needed more older boys,” Hannan told the Bulletin earlier this year. “I went back through all the inter-house carnival results and his name kept popping up with a first, second, third and fourths in multiple events.

“He started training with the club on December 18 (2017) and did his first decathlon at the start of January where he won his age group at the state championships. He went to nationals a couple of months later and placed sixth. He could have absolutely had a future in it if he stuck to it.”

Murtagh was unknown in footy circles until attending a state combine testing day in late February where he recorded the fourth highest standing vertical jump (81cm) of any player around the country. His previous experience in football included just a handful of games for the Carrara Saints lower division side.

...
Hard to believe he first started competing in decathlon events in January 2018 and became state champion in that same month. A few months later he finishes 6th in the national championships. Then you fast forward less than 16 months and he's on our list. Unbelievable.
 

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Where do you see lazy in that post? Actually pretty amazing that AFL club would consider him after only 16 months playing footy. Maybe hardworking instead of lazy?
I don't really understand the criticisms because they seem to directly contradict each other. In another thread, someone was comparing him to Joel Wilkinson because they came from similar athletic backgrounds but you can bet your bottom dollar Wilko was working just as hard (if not harder) than virtually anyone on our list at the time. I'm fairly sure he still holds the club record for bench pressing and 2km time trials. You don't set those kinds of records if you're a lazy trainer.

Sure, you can say Joel never really had a knack for the game and that's why he didn't make it but then you can conversely compare Murtagh with another player from an athletics background in Mark Blicavs, who is now a two-time best and fairest winner at Geelong (ahead of guys like Dangerfield, Selwood, Hawkins etc) and has played over 150 AFL games. So it's not as if this can't be done. We just need acknowledge that Murtagh is a project player right now and see where that takes us.
 

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