Murphy eager to become Super League player despite Bradford Bulls axe (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Jobe Murphy eager to become Super League player despite Bradford Bulls axe
After an encouraging pre-season, Jobe Murphy looked ripe to establish himself in Francis Cummins’ plans for 2013.
The second-rower followed his impressive display against Dewsbury with another tenacious performance off the bench in Danny McGuire’s testimonial against Leeds.
His Super League debut came in round three, a televised home win over Castleford, and was the realisation of a dream.
Sadly for Murphy, he went on to make only three more appearances for the Bulls and was told he would not be offered a new contract. His Super League dream, for now at least, is over.
“Opportunities have been limited and recognition has been limited,” said the 20-year-old from Rastrick.
“I don’t know if it’s my ability or playing style, there’s obviously something not right. If I’m going to have a future in rugby league then I need to address it because I’ve had two years in the full-time environment now.
“I know I’ve had my fair share of injuries but I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me. I’ve never once been in any trouble and I’d consider myself one of the hardest-working players around. That’s what I base my game on and I pride myself on it.
“I want to be the workhorse but it’s just not happened for me at Bradford. Whether it happens elsewhere, who knows? People have moved on from here before and there are plenty of other teams to go and play for.”
Last year, Murphy sustained an ankle ligament tear which side-lined him for 12 weeks and then suffered a tendon tear in his right hand, putting him out of action for another two months.
He has been affected by injuries again this season and effectively been overtaken in the pecking order of back-rowers by Oliver Roberts, his cousin, and Alex Mellor.
But Murphy admitted: “I can’t attribute it all to injuries because I was sitting in the stands for eight weeks and been 18th man for a large part of the season.
“Injuries haven’t helped, obviously, but it hasn’t been the main reason. I’ve left no stone unturned and it’s not been for the want of trying on behalf of myself. I’ve put 100 per cent in.
“I got told quite a while ago I wouldn’t be getting a new deal. That was at a point when I wasn’t playing but I was fit to play.
“I would say the nail in the coffin came when I didn’t play in the Challenge Cup game at Rochdale in April. No disrespect to Rochdale but I imagine an Academy side could have beaten them.
“There have been other opportunities I’ve missed out on and it just hasn’t happened for me.”
Having spent time playing for Dewsbury on dual registration during the past season, Murphy could end up playing for Glenn Morrison’s Championship part-timers next year.
“Everything is up in the air but Glenn has been good to me and given me some game time this year,” said the former Siddal amateur.
“But he’s obviously got his squad to look after as well, so I don’t expect any favours from him. There could be something there for me, there might not be, I don’t know.”
The pain of leaving the Bulls remains raw but Murphy, a likeable and positive character, is looking forward with optimism.
He said: “I’ve been at Bradford since the start of scholarship, so it’s a long time. It’s difficult to take because I’ve really enjoyed my time here but it’s time to move on.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m only young and I think I’ve got a lot to offer. I believe I’m a very good player, so I might have a year of being part-time.
“Other than John Bateman, there are not many lads who break through and establish themselves as first-team regulars.
“If I was to be at a Super League team, I imagine I’d be a squad player and getting loaned to a Championship club anyway.
“If I do go to Dewsbury, Morro is a great bloke and he was a brilliant player. I’d imagine he’s got a lot to pass on to me, having played in the same position. If I can’t learn from him, I can’t learn from anyone.
“He might bring my game on and I could be back in Super League at some point. I’d never say never.”
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