By ZAC MILBANK
Retired AFL ruckman Sam Jacobs is relishing his chance to shape the next generation of quality South Australian footballers by joining SANFL’s State Talent Academy for season 2021.
The loyal Croweater, who played 208 AFL games for Carlton, Adelaide and GWS, was among the assistants working with head coach Tony Bamford at Thursday’s main training session at Thebarton Oval.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, the 32-year-old said his involvement allowed him to get a taste for coaching while also having a greater impact on SA’s talented youth before they landed on an AFL list or settled at SANFL League level.
Jacobs, who hung up the boots with the Giants last year after 14 AFL seasons, is hopeful of playing a role with the Torrens University SA U19 team at this year’s AFL National Championship should time permit.
Now employed by his beloved Crows as their Club Engagement Executive, Jacobs is a natural at building relationships, a trait which is becoming increasingly vital in elite coaching.
He has been impressed by South Adelaide sensation Jason Horne while enjoying working with tall Woodville-West Torrens pair Lukas Cooke and Jonte Hunter-Price in honing their ruck craft.
A squad of 50 have been in attendance for this week’s four-day camp which has also included strength and conditioning components, together with education on nutrition.
Players have also been handed public-speaking and cooking challenges while also undergoing media training and team building activities.