By ZAC MILBANK
Norwood’s Declan Hamilton has transformed himself in more ways than one en route to his 100th Hostplus SANFL League game on Saturday.
As he prepares to face Sturt at Wigan Oval in his milestone match, Hamilton reflected on how he has changed as a teammate and a player since arriving at The Parade for the start of the 2018 season.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, the 27-year-old candidly revealed he didn’t think he was ”the best teammate” as he recalled criticising dual Magarey Medallist Mitch Grigg in his third match for the Redlegs.
At that stage, Hamilton had returned from a three-year stint playing as a half-forward wingman for the Western Bulldogs in the VFL.
But his turning point landed at the start of the 2020 season when, under new coach Jade Rawlings, he matured to understand there was more to life than winning a game of football.
Since then, Hamilton has become a valued member of the club’s leadership group while his jovial attitude at training regularly brightens the mood at Woods Street.
Using his speed and ball-carrying ability to his advantage, the Port Magpies junior has relished his role streaming off the half-back line.
A member of South Australia’s victorious 2014 U18 AFL National Championship winning side, Hamilton resisted the lure to play at North Adelaide where his two uncles – Andrew and Darren Jarman – carved out their illustrious careers.
Instead, he has enjoyed forging his own reputation at The Parade, where he was quick to endear himself to the Norwood faithful with this memorable goal celebration during the 2018 Fast Footy pre-season tournament.
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