Tweed Seagulls youngster Charlie Murray got a taste of Cup football in 2021 and is working hard to build on his strong season for next year.
The Narromine Jets and Camden Haven Eagles junior is currently taking part in pre-season with the Gold Coast Titans on a train-and-trial deal, an opportunity that came as an added bonus at the end of a season of solid performances in the Hastings Deering Colts competition.
“It’s been awesome... it’s been a little tough, but I have enjoyed every day of it and learning off the senior boys and just soaking up every day pretty much... it’s been awesome,” Murray said.
“I am a train-and-trial until Christmas, I’ve been here for five weeks, I have three weeks left.
“I have learnt heaps, it’s been really good, all the coaching staff are all genuine blokes that want to help you; we are doing a lot of video and they have got a lot of footage of training and stuff like that and they pick what you need to work on and especially the senior boys, they come and help you a lot so, just doing extras and stuff.
“It’s been good... I played with the 21s this year and had a good year with them and I got a taste of the Cup with a debut, so I was really happy with that.
"But unfortunately I had to cut (football) a few games short with my groin, I had a bit of a groin issue, so I had to fix that up before coming here and I think I found out I was doing a pre-season in about June so I was really excited and just wanted to get my body right for that.
“It’s been a really good year and I am looking to build on it next year.”
Since his rugby league career began at under 6, where he hoped to emulate his older brother, Murray has been a keen student of the game since moving up to Queensland from him home just south of Port Macquarie and has been blessed to have a number of enviable mentors.
Currently, the lock is learning from Queensland Maroons forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, whose high standards at training are helping to keep all his team mates accountable.
“Tino is a bit of a role model for us... he’s been really good with us, doing extras and doing all the little things and someone I look up to definitely,” Murray said.
“I have been lucky, I’ve got good mentors and good teachers and coaches, so I have been pretty blessed with that and I think it has helped me out a lot.
"I moved up here for Grade 11, so 2018, and I finished at Marymount College with Matty Geyer coaching there and Jason Hamilton, so I learnt a lot there and it was a really good school and I loved every second going there.
“If I was staying back at Port, I don’t know if I had that access to those (sorts of) guys, but just learning and becoming friends with them and being mentored by them has been awesome."
Next year, Murray’s goal is to put together everything he has been learning to add to his one game of Cup so far.
“I want to try and push on after Christmas here (with the Titans), and if not, I want to go back to Tweed and be a consistent Cup player for Tweed and just put a dent in that and just build my game and stay in the Cup next year,” Murray said.