Key Defender


Ollie Murphy

height: 200cm

weight: 85kg

D.O.B: 16-09-2005

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “Having only moved into the back line this year, Ollie Murphy’s development within the role has caught the eyes of many, with his aerial ability and composure proving key features of his game.”

Receiving the MVP award at the end of Vic Metro’s National Championships campaign this year, Ollie Murphy was rarely omitted from his various teams bests each week. His reliability one-on-one, often against the opposition’s best tall forward, proved an important asset at all levels.

At 200cm, Murphy’s aerial game is arguably the best of the defensive crop in this year’s draft class, regularly intercepting and holding contested marks across the last line. The All Australian backman was also part of Sandringham Dragons’ second straight Coates Talent League flag and is right in first round contention.



+ Aerial ability
+ Competitiveness
+ Composure
+ Intercept marking
+ Kicking
+ Upside


- Defensive craft
- Strength

Murphy came into the season as a relative unknown, playing most of his junior football as a ruck and key forward, but a switch to the back line has seen Murphy bolt into first round calculations heading into November's AFL Draft. Whilst he rarely stuffs the stats sheet with disposals, Murphy’s ability to win one-on-one’s or cause stoppages when caught outnumbered inside defensive 50 was invaluable at all levels this year, often stopping thwarting attacking plays on the last line of defence.

As arguably the most consistent Vic Metro player across four National Championship games, Murphy was named MVP for his team, averaging 4.5 marks, 3.8 spoils and 4.0 rebound 50s, proving a strong contributor in both defence and offence for his side. Not only was Murphy recognised as his side's MVP, he was also named in the All-Australian side for the carnival.

Murphy’s strongest attribute is his aerial ability, with his experience in the forward line as a junior showing in his aggression when approaching the ball in the air, and prowess in one-on-one contests. He has a great knack for taking the ball at its highest point, with his reach allowing him to compete well even when coming in late or from behind.

Despite his lighter frame, Murphy is able to hold on to the ball convincingly even when receiving contact from opposition coming in late. Finding the balance between attacking and defending at times remains a battle, but when he gets to the contest he often makes the right decision between marking or playing the percentages with a spoil.

Murphy will also likely need a couple of years of development before being able to consistently impact at the next level, especially in the way of strength and size. Even at Under 18 level, stronger opponents gave him trouble and if he didn't pluck a mark, going to ground was sometimes an issue.

Murphy is just as capable when the ball hits the deck at ground level, showing surprising cleanliness below his knees even when under direct pressure, sometimes beating much smaller opponents when grabbing the ball off the ground.

It’s not all defensive efforts for Murphy though, with his ability to impact in the attacking phase of the game just as dangerous with his decision making and ball use, not afraid to bite off dangerous disposal attempts when the option presents itself, but also balancing that with smart and safe use out of the defensive 50 when required.



Murphy will be a hot commodity in this year’s draft, which is relatively stacked with tall talent at the top end. He has completed a steep rise into the first round conversation and looks a natural defender despite his exposure to other roles in previous years. With a few years at the top level, he can hone his craft and fill out to be able to hold his own against the AFL’s best key position players. Above all else, his aerial ability and intercept quality shine as his best attributes.

Aerial ability
Intercept marking
Defensive craft

AFL U18 Championships

2023Vic Metro321345181628500016048.03.311.

Coates Talent League Boys

2022Sandringham Dragons551030023020022.
2023Sandringham Dragons5035853500600315086.34.410.
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