Murray, who had been training with a local club in northern Victoria earlier this year, had hoped to be given a second chance with an AFL club, having successfully fought a longer suspension to ensure he could play in 2020.
Under the revised, incoming World Anti-Doping Agency rules, however, Murray would have only served a short suspension – no longer than three months – as WADA has agreed to much shorter penalties for so-called street drugs, such as cocaine, that are clearly not taken for performance enhancement. The new rules were not introduced in time for Murray, a former Sydney Swan who was traded to the Magpies in 2017, to keep his position on Collingwood’s playing list.
Williamstown is not aligned with an AFL club, like most VFL teams, but strong performances with the Seagulls would clearly enhance Murray’s prospects of getting drafted by an AFL club during 2020. The mid-season draft has improved the opportunities for players of his ilk to get picked up.