Hampson offering plenty on arrival at Swans

Monday, March 4, 2019 - 3:24 PM by Chris Pike

WHAT George Hampson will provide on-field for Swan Districts is obvious given his credentials and experience, but it's his ability to teach and help develop the young crop at Swans that is already having an immediate impact.

Hampson is one of the best talents in the WAFL, there's little question about that. 

Just looking at what the 29-year-old has achieved already over 109 WAFL appearances with a premiership at Subiaco, fairest and best awards at both the Lions and East Fremantle, and a couple of appearances for Western Australia speaks for itself.

So what Hampson is going to add to Swan Districts on the field in 2019 is going to be immense. He has the ability to one of the most prolific and damaging midfielders in the competition. 

But then also he can go forward where he is equally dangerous whether kicking goals himself or setting them up for his teammates.

Coming off a 2018 season where he was far and away his team's best and most consistent player to come away with the fairest and best award means that he comes to Swan Districts in 2019 at the peak of his powers.

He has fitted in instantly over the pre-season, is already feeling right at home and now can't wait for the proper action to get underway.

"It's obviously a bit of a drive from Scarborough where I've grown up out to Bassendean four times a week but I'm really loving it down there," Hampson said.

"I've been welcomed with open arms and have already formed a great relationship with the coach Adam Pickering. I'm really looking forward to the season coming."

Hampson joins an impressive group of experienced, seasoned players at Swan Districts for 2019 that includes Tony Notte, Rhys Palmer, Matt Riggio, David Ellard, Steven Payne, Nathan Blakely and Alex Howard.

That's as good a core group that there is running around in the WAFL when you add Hampson into the mix and he has enjoyed fitting in with that group, but also the entire squad and the coach staff to build that bond ahead of the season as quickly as possible.

"We have a really good core group of senior players and then quite a young group outside of that. It has been a really good pre-season and we've had good growth already just in the time I've been at the club," he said. 

"I've found that the balance that the coaching staff have on us as a playing group is really good at the moment. They've got fair expectations of not only the playing group but everyone involved at the club."

When you've played over 100 WAFL games, when you are a premiership player and a dual fairest and best winner who has played State football as well on top of experiencing being part of top and bottom placed teams in your career, you have plenty to offer in terms of your experience.

There's little that Hampson hasn’t achieved in terms of the teams he has been involved with but also personally where he's had to battle injury troubles throughout career as well as dealing with the upheaval of having to leave a club he just won a premiership with and establishing himself at another.

Now fresh off winning the Lynn Medal at East Fremantle, he finds himself having to again find his feet at Swan Districts. 

But what he is making sure he does as much as possible is make sure the young players at Swans benefit from the experiences he's racked up to help fast track their development as quickly as possible. 

"There are lots of young guys at the club who have been asking me questions and are eager to learn," Hampson said. 

"I've just been trying to bring a bit of what I've learned in my time with four years at Subiaco and then East Fremantle the past four years. I'm just trying to help improve the young group of players there and hopefully we get a few wins along the way.

"There's actually a very strong young group and their colts did play in the Grand Final and lost to Subiaco last year so there's good young talent at the club with good size about them. They just fire questions in terms of finding out the reasons why I might have pulled them up about something at training. 

"They will ask for another way of looking at it, for example we had a young guy take off from centre half-forward when we brought the ball through the corridor and he didn’t have to. We had it right in the centre and he took off looking for a short hit up and got hit from behind. 

"So I just talked to him about how he had a bit more time to spot up an option instead of taking off. It's just little things like that where you pick up things during training you can use to help young guys improve and you discuss that with them."

With Hampson another weapon for Swan Districts coach Adam Pickering to use coming into his second season as senior coach, the black-and-whites are looking to change up their game plan a little in 2019.

Hampson likes the way it's coming together and thinks a good season is more than possible for the team.

"We want to play quick footy this year as a team. We want to be quick firing with quick hands out of congestion and then get the ball into our forwards," Hampson said.

"We've got some good targets this year down there including a couple of country footballers who have come back after a couple of years away. But in tight congestion, we want to be a good contested ball side which they might have lacked over the years so there's a real focus on there.

"Then we want to have a good work rate. It's a collection of individuals building up the team which will be stronger than anyone out for themselves so that's what we're looking to put together."