One of the top players in the AFL, Sam joined Melbourne-based Hawthorn Hawks in the 2001 AFL draft and 14 years later, has achieved everything in Australia’s game.
He’s helped Hawthorn win the AFL Premiership on three occasions - 2008, when he was captain of Hawks’ first title win in 17 years, 2013 and 2014 - and twice named an All-Australian, the AFL version of the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year.
Sam has also been awarded the Peter Crimmins Medal as Hawthorn’s ‘best and fairest’ player on four occasions.
Now 32, the versatile player known for his ability to kick equally well with both feet has signed a contract extension that will see him continue to show his skills for the Hawks until 2016.
A physically-demading sport, Sam recently told Hawks’ official site about the importance of balancing his AFL career with family, University work and social life - and that’s where Tottenham Hotspur come into focus.
We first found out how Sam started supporting the club back in 2013. “My best friend lived in London for a couple of years,” he explained. “I love soccer, but I really didn't have a team. He was a Tottenham fan and he sent me a little kid’s kit, so I gave that to my son and he wore it all the time! So then I had a team.”
Sam visited White Hart Lane for the first time ahead of the 2015 AFL campaign back in November and now we’re playing as close to his doorstep as we have done for 30 years when we take on Sydney FC at the ANZ Stadium on May 30 - but he has a somewhat important date already in the diary that day as Hawthorn take on Gold Coast Suns in Tasmania!
It’s a race against time with the target to get to Sydney as close to our 7.30pm kick-off as possible!
“I’m really excited but at the same time it’s a bit frustrating because we’re playing down in Tasmania against Gold Coast Suns on the same day!” Sam told us.
“Our kick-off is 1.45pm so I’m going to look at flights and try to get up to Sydney as soon as possible. As long as things are going well with Hawthorn, I’ll give it a go.
“Hawks’ home base is Melbourne, so Sydney is an hour flight north and Tasmania is an hour flight south. I should just be able to do it if I can get the last flight to Sydney.
“I might not get to see much of the game but at least I’ll be able to catch up with everyone. I’ll certainly try to get there!”
Look out for more from Sam as we count down to Tour 2015…