Collingwood will blood its seventh debutant of the season against Port Adelaide, with emergency Nathan Murphy to replace Sam Murray in the selected side.

Murphy has played 16 VFL matches in his first season, but has not appeared in AFL calculations since the AFLX tournament in February.

The 18-year-old was selected with pick No. 39 in the 2017 National Draft, but was touted in some quarters to have been in contention to be taken as high as the top 10.

Murphy leaves the field earlier in the 2018 VFL season. Photo: Shane Barrie.

Averaging 14.3 disposals and 4.5 marks in the state league, Murphy has made big strides at half back in the second half of the season. His ability to read the play in the air is noticeable, as is his decision-making and agility. Murphy performed well in the VFL last Saturday, collecting 18 disposals at 83.3 per cent efficiency in torrential rain against Port Melbourne. He also took five marks, including one that saw him drift back with the flight to mark one-on-one deep in defence.

Murphy joins Murray, Jaidyn Stephenson, Flynn Appleby, Brody Mihocek, Brayden Sier and Jack Madgen as Collingwood’s seven debutants in the first 22 rounds. It’s the most amount of debutants a Collingwood side has blooded since the eight who played in 2013.

Murray has withdrawn from Saturday’s match due to personal reasons.

Nathan Murphy - The Story So Far

Position: Forward
Height: 188cm
Weight: 80kg
Born: 15/12/1999
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons


Medium forward with excellent natural leap for the ball, Murphy is a strong overhead and is a clean mark out in front. An agile and versatile type with good goal sense, Muprhy was a prolific goal scorer at Brighton Grammar before playing for the Dragons. Outstanding cricketer having represented Victoria at underage level. Ran the 2km time trial in 6:21 at the Combine, which placed him among the best performers.

Did you know?

- Murphy was an elite young cricketer, before opting to pursue an AFL career.

VFL Statistics (2018)

Games: 16
Goals: 2
Average Disposals: 14.3
Average Marks: 4.5
Average Inside 50s: 2.1
Average Round 50s: 1.6

What they say

“He’s a bit of a loveable larrikin that comes from cricket. He can play forward and back as a third tall and potentially if he builds up his tank, he can push into midfield with his athleticism. His endurance, agility and recovery are very good and he’s really aware of those around him. I think he’s a natural defender who can go forward and he gets in the right spots,” – Ryan O’Connor (Sandringham Dragons Talent manager), Inside Football, November 2017