Hibs star Fraser Murray: I know it’s now time to kick on
Almost three years after first arriving on the scene, Fraser Murray is determined to start establishing himself in Hibs’ first team.
The 20-year-old currently has 19 appearances and four goals to his name since making his debut in September 2016, but is hungry for more.
After recovering from a groin injury which hindered him throughout 2018 and stalled his progress, Murray was relieved to return to the fray in the closing weeks of last season. Promotion to the first-team dressing-room this summer has come as a further boost as he bids to kick on and prove he can hold his own in Paul Heckingbottom’s side over a prolonged period.
“When I came in for the new season, I walked into the kit room to pick up my new kit and Tam and Joyce asked the gaffer what changing-room I was in,” said Murray, explaining how he found out about his new status as a fully-fledged first-teamer.
“He said I was with the first team and that was the first I knew of it, I didn’t even have an inkling before that. It’s a big step because you feel more a part of things, that you are around the first team a lot more. I trained with the first team last year but now being in there with them is a bit different from being in the 20s changing-room. It was the manager’s decision, it’s just whenever he thinks you are ready.”
Leaving the under-20s dressing-room means Murray, who last year signed a contract until 2023, gets to leave some chores behind. “I still clean my own boots but when you’re with the 20s you have jobs to do as well,” he said. “Some people have to do the first-team gear, some have to clean the dining room, I have been doing that for the past three years.
“I cleaned the dining room, pumped up all the balls, got all the first-team gear in, cleaned the changing-room and all that stuff. So it’s a change when you don’t have to do that any more. The first team also wear small white socks and the 20s wear these big green ones so that’s another change!”
Murray made a goal-scoring debut for Hibs in a Challenge Cup match away to Turriff United as a 17-year-old under Neil Lennon almost three years ago. Reflecting on how things have gone for him since then, the fleet-footed academy graduate said: “It’s been good. Last year was stop-start with injuries and when you get injured it’s hard to get back in the team and the squad if boys are playing well.
“I made sure I kept training hard and I got my chance and hopefully I took it. My aim this season is just to take it from where I left off when I was playing a lot at the end of last season. Hopefully this season I can carry on from there and make an impression.”
Murray, who can play as a winger or in an attacking central midfield role, is relishing the prospect of linking up with Scott Allan.
“There’s a lot of stuff in Scott’s game I like and try to take into my game as well,” he said. “I was buzzing when I heard he was coming back. You want to have the best players in the country in your team and he is, especially in that position. I look to see what he does in games and in training and take it into my game. I didn’t play with him when he was here on loan before, but I enjoyed playing with him in the Betfred Cup games, we played well together.”