Cross country ace running hot

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 07 November 2012 | 14.43

A champion runner whose stocks soared this year when he lowered the colours of top AFL Draft prospect Lachie Whitfield.

Tom Temay could be the next Heath Shaw. Picture: Chris Eastman Source: Herald Sun

TOM Temay was only 12 years old when he began running with a fitness coach to help his footy.

He never envisaged the move would help mould him into one of the country's top young cross country runners.

After placing third at the Pan Pacific Championships as a 15-year-old, the endurance machine had an agonising decision to make.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Watch highlights of Temay and get our expert analysis in the video player above

Either pursue a potentially international athletics career or continue running his opponents into the ground on the footy field.

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"I was tossing it up, between footy and athletics at that stage, but footy has always been a big dream of mine,'' Temay said.

"Dad (Paul) played a bit (52 games for St Kilda) and footy is a team game and in the end I like being part of a team.''

The attitude has served him well.

The 179cm right-footed backman is firming as a bargain back-end selection in this month's national draft.

Modelling his game on Collingwood's Heath Shaw, Temay blitzed the lines at this year's national championships, averaging 19 possessions at a pinpoint 78 per cent efficiency.

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Broadening his appeal, Temay also illustrated the defensive side of his game in run-with roles on No. 1 pick Lachie Whitefield and WA star, Dayle Garlett.

While Temay's run and carry game can be devastating, the Vic Metro ball-carrier said he is unafraid to roll up the sleeves and help shut down the opposition's match-winning midfielders.

North Melbourne and St Kilda, his father's club, are among those who have taken strong interest.

"I provide run and carry, that hard work through midfield and the back line,'' he said.

"But I also like to help teammates out a lot and do the one per centers.

"I actually really enjoyed the task on Whitfield, it was something I was very excited about.

"If playing a role like that is going to reward my ream, I'm always up for the challenge.''


AGE: 18
HEIGHT: 179cm
FROM: Sandringham Dragons
POSITION: Running defender/wingman
IN THE MIX: Saints (44), Roos (48)
PLAYS LIKE: Heath Shaw
Follow Jay Clark on Twitter @ClarkyHeraldSun

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