Suns' father figure

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

COFFS Harbour Suns centre/forward Sean Murphy is bemoaning the fact that four of the older players from last year's roster are no longer with the team.

Not because it weakens the team any but simply because as a 31 year-old, it now makes him the unofficial father figure within the team when he's surrounded by his much younger teammates.

"I'm the oldest in the team by six years we worked out the other night," Murphy said.

"I think this year that's why we're going so well. There's such enthusiasm among the younger guys and it's a long season so you need to keep that enthusiasm up."

With a tough double header coming up this weekend, the Suns' enthusiasm will need to be at it's absolute peak but one thing in their favour is that at least they're at home against the Port Macquarie Dolphins and Hornsby Spiders.

"Until last year, Hornsby won the comp three years in a row and last year they made the playoffs so I'd expect them to be pretty tough again," he predicted.

"We've got a good record against Port Macquarie but from all reports they've really improved over the off-season so that should be another tough one."

In only his second full season for the Suns after playing for nine years with the Goulburn Bears, Murphy is already considered part of the furniture down at Sportz Central. A piece of furniture that the club is hoping will stick around for a while ? and with good reason.

Standing at six foot five inches in the old scale, Murphy is an imposing figure inside the key and nearly every game he uses his considerable size to make his way onto the results sheets as one of the game-high points scorers.

Murphy though believes that the biggest strength that Coffs Harbour has is its home court advantage created by crowds much larger than those seen at other team's home matches.

"It definitely does make a difference to the team having a good crowd at our home games," he explained.

"Last week we had the kids from Kororo Primary there and the noise was great. Home court advantage for every team is really important and we want to make it really difficult for our opponents.

"It's great to have the kids supporting us and the good thing for parents is that it's good clean fun and it's indoors. They don't have to worry about drunks in the crowd or anything like that.

"There's half time entertainment and plenty of music. There's a lot going on for the fans besides basketball."

Even though he's the old man of the team, supporters who get to Sportz Central tomorrow night and Sunday morning are sure to also see Murphy put on a show of his own.



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