I first met Murph during my draft year in 2006.
He’d been drafted the year before with the number 1 pick and was presenting the jumpers to the members of the 2006 AIS-AFL Academy squad, which he had been in the year before.
It’s been pretty cool to look back on that moment because we’ve become best mates since then.
Two weeks before my draft, Carlton flew to South Australia to tell me they were going to take me with pick 1.
Murph flew over as part of that travelling party and became a mentor for me through the draft process.
He’d been through it all 12 months earlier, and was a shoulder to lean on as I went through that experience.
That was how our friendship started and it grew from there.
The words that come to mind when I think of Murph are genuine and caring.
He sees himself on the same level as everyone else.
Whether you’re a first-year player, a veteran or a sponsor, Murph always makes sure he gives his time to people.
Over his career he’s always had time for not only his close mates but anyone involved with the club.
He’s a genuinely good person and that’s probably the main quality that I admire about him.
Internally, his dedication and hard work to Carlton is well known but I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.
He has countless accolades that he has worked hard for as a high draft pick, captain of the football club, All-Australian and best-and-fairest winner, but the outside expectation placed on him has often been unfair.
It’s been well-documented since Murph and I arrived at the club where the club was at, but to go through his career at a club that has struggled on field — he’s had to cop a lot of the brunt and face high expectations from the outside.
A lot of people don’t understand the amount of time and effort he’s put into the club taking on the role of captain and the extra responsibilities. He has had to go above and beyond his duties.
Going through the experience of fatherhood with him during such a close time frame has been one of the best memories I’ve shared with him.
To see the father he has turned into has been really special.
He’s a great mate and a great footballer but I’m now beginning to see the sort of father he’s becoming.
Over the years we’ve been on a lot of footy trips together.
During the early days we said to each other that we’d try and get on as many footy trips as we could to build those memories and relationships.
Those trips were a big part on why we’ve gotten to the point in our relationship now where it is so strong, because of all the memories we’ve built up over the years.
Murph and I are always trying to think of our next business venture.
Every time we’d have a few beers I used to get into a lot of deep and meaningful conversations and we’d talk about how we were going to create the next big thing.
Whether it was getting into a pub together or coming up with a crazy app invention, we’d get a bit buddy-buddy and try to work out the next big plan.
We’d always wake up the next morning and think, ‘jeez we talked some shit last night.’
Despite none of these ever getting off the ground, it’s always been quite funny between us.