SUPERB SKILLS: Playing for Sunshine Coast in 2012, Todd Murphy finds some space and kicks ahead.
SUPERB SKILLS: Playing for Sunshine Coast in 2012, Todd Murphy finds some space and kicks ahead. Brett Wortman

Murphy aims high at Cronulla

TODD Murphy says he is intent on taking the vacant Cronulla halves position left by Todd Carney, after securing a one-year deal with the NRL club.

The former Kawana and Caloundra junior was snapped up by the Sharks following the departure of Carney, who was banished from the NRL following an unsavoury urination incident in a toilet.

Carney's exit from the game could provide the backdrop for the 24-year-old Murphy to claim a place in the starting 17 in 2015.

"It comes down to opportunity and whether you get one or not, but him (Carney) leaving has definitely opened the door and I will give it my best and keep my fingers crossed," Murphy said.

The half back/five-eighth's main competition will come from the less than electric incumbent, Jeff Robson.

The 32-year-old is a no-fuss player who gets the job done, but if the Shire-based club wants to reinstall itself as a top-eight contender, the selectors will be tempted to give the superbly talented Murphy a shot.

Murphy said he was eyeing a spot in the Cronulla squad for the Auckland Nines before hopefully lighting up the park in the Sharks' pre-season trials.

"It would be a great experience to get over there in the Nines and something I have always looked forward to doing," he said.

"I will be playing the trials and hopefully things go well for me."

MURPHY spent two years with the Brisbane Broncos' under-20s before playing one season with the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles (now Falcons) in the Intrust Super Cup.

One-year stints with Easts and Norths followed before Murphy signed with Cronulla last month.

The former electrician has packed up his tools for 12 months and reckons his memories of the monotony of a day job will push him even more to make his NRL debut next year and reach his full potential.

"It beats working full-time," he said.

"You train and look after your body, which is completely different to what I am used to. I was an electrician for a few years and now I am doing this for the next 12 months.

"Some of the guys previous have taken it for granted, but having a trade and working for years, you know what you have to go back to so it drives you even further."

Murphy said Cronulla's well-documented off-field woes of the past two years were well behind the club.

He said the mood at training and around the club was one of positivity and he was optimistic about their chances in 2015.

"I wasn't there last year when all the stuff was going on, but there has been no mention of it," he said.

"Everyone is there to do a job and try and push the club forward as one."

Murphy has been training alongside NRL stars Paul Gallen, Ben Barba, Michael Ennis and Andrew Fifita and is determined to soak up every drop of their rugby league wisdom.

"I suppose you ask the more experienced guys how they do something, than the way that you do it," he said.

"You just try and learn as much as you can and feed off them."

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