For rising Victorian cricket star Todd Murphy, a Northern Rivers under-16 cricket squad training session four years ago was his sliding doors moment.
The elegant left-handed batsman was rolling his arm over in the spinner's net while waiting his turn to bat.
His action and ability to spin the ball caught the eye of former Victorian spinner, and then Sandhurst coach, Craig Howard.
Murphy had been touted as one of the premier batsmen in the Northern Rivers squad, but Howard had other ideas.
He immediately declared Murphy the best spinner in the squad.
12 months later Echuca-Moama-based Murphy was recruited by Howard to play for Sandhurst in the Bendigo District Cricket Association.
Howard worked with Murphy on his off-spinners and the teenager helped the Dragons to a drought-breaking first XI premiership.
Murphy went on to represent Australia at the under-19 World Cup and he's now in Victoria's 18-man squad for the start of the Sheffield Shield season in the Adelaide bubble.
"He's been the biggest influence on my career as a spin bowler,'' Murphy said of Howard.
"When I went to Sandhurst I was a batsman who was dipping his toes into a little bit of spin bowling.
"What he's done for me has been massive. I love talking cricket and spin bowling with him because he's so knowledgeable.
"I get a lot out of him. He's been massive for me."
That relationship continued this pre-season as Murphy prepared for his first full season in the state squad.
During lockdown Murphy stayed in touch with Howard and worked alongside his St Kilda Premier Cricket team-mate and former Australian player Michael Beer.
"In the pre-season Michael Beer was able to come in a couple of times a week to work with the young spinners,'' Murphy said.
"Throughout the pre-season I kept in touch with Craig (Howard) and sent him through some vision to make sure everything was aligning with what we've been working on."
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The training paid off.
Left-arm finger spinner Jon Holland is the number one spinner in Victoria's squad in Adelaide, with Murphy next in line.
If Victorian selectors decide to take two spinners into one of their opening Shield matches then Murphy should make his first-class debut.
"It's an extended squad of 18, so I'm realistic that there's going to be a few players that miss out,'' Murphy said.
"If an opportunity comes up I'm ready to take it, but I want to make sure I enjoy the six weeks over here and learn as much as I can.
"If I don't play then I want to watch the Shield games and take in as much as I can to help me going forward."
Former Australian Test batsman Chris Rogers is the new Victorian coach. He also coached Murphy with the Australian under-19 squad.
"I was lucky enough to work with Chris for pretty much all of last year,'' Murphy said.
"I went away to India with him when he was coach of the (under-19) World Cup side and built a good relationship with him.
"Him coming on board at Victoria has been good for me to have someone that I know and trust and someone that I feel comfortable around."
Murphy is one of several young faces in the new-look Victorian squad.
While the absence of some experienced stars has led many Australian cricket followers to write off Victoria's Shield chances this summer, Murphy was confident the Vics could challenge for the title.
"There's been a fair turnover in players the last couple of years and the squad this year is really young,'' Murphy said.
"The energy around the group is really good and some of the younger players are the ones that drive that.
"Even though it is a young group I still think we're going to be really competitive."
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