It's not every day that you get mentioned in the same sentence as Tim Cahill, however, Jordan Murray hopes to follow in the Socceroos great's footsteps after linking up with Jamshedpur FC.
The Woonona talent ended months of speculation about his playing future on Sunday when he joined the Indian Super League club on a two-year deal. It will be Murray's second ISL club after he departed the Kerala Blasters in June following a one-season stint.
He will join a small list of Australians who have represented Jamshedpur. Cahill finished his career with the club in 2018-19, while Murray will replace A-League journeyman Nick Fitzgerald for the upcoming season.
"It was a no brainer to go back if I'm honest, I felt really comfortable over there last season. I'm obviously with a different team now, but I've probably played some of my best football over there," Murray told the Mercury.
"For me, it's a big deal to play for (Jamshedpur manager) Owen Coyle, who is an ex-Premier League coach. Owen really wanted me to jump on board. The club is sort of new and has good plans to win the league. They've spent a lot of money and brought good players in. So it was a no brainer for me to go to Jamshedpur, it's obviously a club that Tim Cahill played for as well - hopefully I can follow in his footsteps."
Murray headed to India last October in a bid to take his game to the next level, after the former Wollongong Wolves forward had been released by the Central Coast Mariners.
The 25-year-old expected to play in front of crowds of 50,000 people, but COVID's impact meant games were played behind close doors. However, it didn't make the experience any less enjoyable, with Murray finishing his campaign with seven goals from 19 appearances.
"It was my first move overseas and I didn't know what to expect, so I was a little bit daunted by the move. Being in a hotel room for eight hours a day, for six, seven months was pretty hard, but I had one focus and that was playing good football," Murray said.
"We're going to be in a bubble again so there will be no fans unfortunately. Football is getting very large in India so it's been very good to be part of that progression. Obviously there's a high amount of people there who support football and there was a warm welcoming on my social media."
Murray has been enjoying time in the Illawarra while waiting for his deal to be finalised. He can't wait to return to India.
"I'm looking to go over in the next week or two It's been to spend time with family and friends, as much as I can anyway, but I'm looking forward to leaving and getting back into it because I've had a long spell," he said.
"My family's very keen to watch me apply my craft and hopefully have a better season."
Ready for the 🐍 celebration, Jamshedpur?— Jamshedpur FC (@JamshedpurFC) September 5, 2021
Ferocious forward, @jordanmurray28, has signed for Jamshedpur FC!
Dedicating this announcement to @ChandraDipPras1 who will be so happy. 😉
Shower your love to our latest signing in the Jamshedpur style⚔️🔴🔵#JamKeKhelo#JoharJordonpic.twitter.com/y2Sj56ZQjC
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, pleasesubscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.