Western Bulldogs great Robert Murphy says he was shocked to see reports linking number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan with a move away from the club.
SEN Chief Sports Reporter Sam Edmund exclusively reported on Thursday morning that rival clubs believe they are an “outside chance” to prise him out of Whitten Oval.
Ugle-Hagan hasn’t featured at senior level yet, with coach Luke Beveridge instead opting to leave him in the VFL to build fitness and form.
Murphy said the possibility of the prized top draft pick possibly departing the Dogs after just one year at the club was “quite shocking”.
“I’m pretty shocked really,” he said on SEN’s Bob and Andy.
“It feels like he’s been there for five minutes, it’s very early and it’s his first season. He’s played some good (VFL) footy and the idea of a trade is quite shocking.
Murphy said it could be worth playing Ugle-Hagan in the coming weeks at senior level to give him a taste of the standard required to play AFL football on a weekly basis.
“I also think there’s a secondary benefit here (if you debut him), you take Sam’s reporting at face value, it would also give Jamarra (Ugle-Hagan) a taste … you’ve been held back for a reason,” Murphy said.
“The word is it’s about fitness levels and not being able to run out four quarters at the top level.
“If you give him a taste, you show him what the standards are. The positive around it is he’s a number one pick key position player – and this is me being most optimistic – that he thinks he should play and is hungry to me.
“But the pessimistic (side) of me is it’s too early to be getting the grumbles around not getting everything he wants (at the Bulldogs) and maybe things would be better elsewhere, that’s more of a concern.”