South’s Sampson family legacy reaches another milestone

South Adelaide's Hayden Sampson will play his 100th Hostplus SANFL League game against Norwood on Sunday. Picture - David Mariuz


South Adelaide’s No.24 locker is set to be treasured by the Sampson family on another level once Hayden Sampson notches his 100th Hostplus SANFL League game on Sunday.

The Panthers’ speedster will be particularly proud to have his name etched under that of his father Clay – who played 142 matches for the club and is a past captain, Knuckey Cup winner and Life Member.

And while Hayden’s achievements haven’t quite matched his Dad’s, they are well on the way as he prepares to reach triple figures against Norwood at Flinders University Stadium on Sunday.

Now 24 years of age, Hayden is suddenly one of the senior stars at Noarlunga as the club embarks on a local youth movement to develop its playing list for the long-term future.

Not only has this seen Hayden develop his leadership skills, he has also honed his midfield craft by spending more time inside of the centre square, as well as alongside of it.

Starting his football journey with the Myponga-Sellicks Football Club in the Mini Colts in 2011, Hayden fondly remembered the days he and his two younger brothers, Connor and Jaxon, would play two junior matches each morning.

He soon made the move down the hill to the Panthers, starting in the club’s U13 and U15 development squads before progressing through to U16 and U18 level.

Making his SANFL League debut in his draft year of 2018, Hayden cherished the memory of Clay presenting him with the No.24 guernsey before his first game against Port Adelaide at Alberton.

Off the field, the father-son combination works seamlessly in the sales department of the Fleurieu Milk Company, where Hayden has developed a love for FMC’s popular No Added Sugar Iced Coffee.


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