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Murdock’s Mantra Is Back-to-Back FlagsThursday, July 11, 2024 - 10:50 AM

East Fremantle is desperate to avoid becoming the second premiership team in a row to miss the finals the year after claiming a flag.

With six games remaining in the home and away season the Sharks are a game outside the top five with a Grand Final rematch to come against Peel Thunder on Saturday.

The reigning premiers kept their season alive with a gritty 14-point win over Boorloo (Perth) last weekend.

Last year, West Perth missed September action after claiming the 2023 premiership, but dual East Fremantle Simpson Medal winning midfielder Milan Murdock believes his side will avoid a similar fate this year.

“This team is more motivated than any side I have played in at East Fremantle,” Murdock said.

“I’m very confident in the team’s ability and the club’s great culture.

“We have had a slower start to the season, but I wouldn’t say it’s due to a premiership hangover.

“We are on the cusp of clicking into gear, and we are eager to prove ourselves all over again and go deep into the finals.”

Murdock has again been one of the Sharks’ on field success stories this year, averaging 26 disposals a game and kicking five goals.

“As I continue to develop my game, I have made it a big focus to improve on my speed, strength and tactical awareness,” he said.

“Initially, I was solely an inside midfielder, but being more experienced now and with guidance from my teammates, I’ve expanded my skill set to become a versatile threat on both the inside and the outside.

“I wouldn’t be playing the way I am this year without the help of my teammates, Jarrad Jansen and Kyle Baskerville in the middle as they have helped me take my football to the next level.”

While the 24-year-old stands at just 180cm, he proved his class in this year’s State game against South Australia, named the Simpson Medallist as best afield for WA to back up his best on ground performance also in last year's Grand Final triumph.

“Winning a Simpson Medal after a loss was a bittersweet feeling,” Murdock said.

“It was a mixture of pride but also disappointment, and to be able to represent the state was a massive achievement in itself.

“To be recognised for my efforts was truly humbling, and I am thankful for the experience.

“It’s a memory I will cherish, and it has motivated me to keep pushing myself to be the best player I can be.” 

A premiership player and a Simpson Medallist, Murdock remains hopeful of earning a place on an AFL list.

“Absolutely, I still have high hopes of getting a shot at the AFL,” Murdock declared.

“As long as I have got the passion and drive, I’ll keep working towards my goal of playing at the highest level.

“In the meantime, I’m focussed on taking it one game at a time, learning from my experiences, and pushing myself to be the best player I can be.”