APIA Leichhardt Tigers’ striker Jordan Murray has revealed a different mindset and new-found confidence has been the secret behind his incredible goal scoring feats this season.
The in-form attacker has been scoring for fun so far this campaign, netting 11 goals in his past 11 National Premier Leagues NSW matches to lead the race for the Golden Boot at the midpoint of the competition.
After breaking onto the scene as a teenager with Wollongong Wolves, Murray made a high profile move to APIA in 2016 and has slowly developed into the all action goal scorer the Tigers had envisioned when they signed him.
Now in his third season with the Lambert Park based side, it appears that the rising star is finally fulfilling his incredible potential and Murray said it has all come down to finally feeling at home.
“It takes time when you move to a new club and it can be a faster process for some people or take a bit longer for others,” Murray said.
“If you look at my performances from the past three seasons I have gradually played better and better, which all comes down to finding your place and getting to know your surroundings and teammates.
“This season I have come in and not had to worry about any of that which has allowed me to focus on my own game and developing a new clinical mindset in front of goal.”
Murray admitted he struggled with the pressure of living up to expectations when he first made the move north from Wollongong.
However, the 22-year-old has put those struggles behind him and says he has the support of his APIA teammates to thank.
“Being an 18-year-old and coming to a big club like APIA after less than two full seasons in first grade is a big thing,” Murray said.
“I definitely felt the pressure and was desperately trying to deliver week in and out to keep up with what I thought everybody expected of me.
“While I still feel pressure, this season I’m much more at ease and it has really freed me up to play my best football.
“Most of all though I think having such great boys in the squad who have made me feel at home as well as creating so many chances for me to finish on game days.
APIA, currently second in the standings ahead of this weekend’s Round 12 fixtures, will need Murray to continue his incredible feats in front of goal if they are to repeat last season’s incredible doubt breaking Premiership win.
Leading the golden boot standings by three goals ahead of Sydney Olympic Spanish striker Alejandro Sanchez Lopez, Murray is confident he can end the season as the competitions best scorer.
“At the start of the season I set myself the target of 17 goals so I’d be disappointed if i didn’t beat that mark,” he said.
“I want to go further with my football so I really need to keep up my form and keep scoring.
“While I feel I have developed as a player this campaign, you can’t ignore the form of my team which has played a major part in my scoring.
“Without them I wouldn’t be in this position right now and I’m determined to do my best to help the team taste success again this season.”