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2013 Review: Sam Grimley

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Sam Grimley of the Hawks in action during the 2013 AFL Round 10 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne on June 02, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Sam Grimley of the Hawks in action during the 2013 AFL Round 10 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne on June 02, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

He had to wait four years for his chance but young ruckman Sam Grimley finally made his senior debut for the Hawks in Round 9 this season.

His debut came after an impressive pre-season competition in which he spent the majority of his time playing as a relief ruckman who spends most of his time up forward. In those games, his athletic ability and nous around goals became clear and fans began to get an understanding of the player the Hawks drafted way back in 2009.

Grimley played three senior games in 2013 and was used mostly as a forward. He booted a goal with his first kick in the AFL and had 14 disposals on debut against the Suns.

He backed up that performance with 15 disposals and a goal against the Demons before returning to the VFL to continue his development.

He re-appeared in Round 20 against St Kilda where his athleticism and confidence in his ability shone. He managed 10 touches in that game and kicked a goal before returning to Box Hill to help lead the Club’s VFL affiliate to its premiership win.

At 199cm, it has taken the promising ruckman who was selected with pick 39 in the National Draft a while to develop, but some brilliant performances in the VFL this season along with his senior matches show he’s now capable of making a name for himself at the elite level.

The first step to making an impact in the AFL for any player is to man an impression in the VFL and Grimley certainly did that this year.

His match-winning performance in Box Hill’s Qualifying Final win over Williamstown was arguably his most impressive of the year given the circumstances of a high-pressure final.

Grimley kicked three final quarter goals to help Box Hill secure victory and secure a spot in the Preliminary Final. He overcame a lean opening three quarters to prove the match-winner, which is testament to his attitude, professionalism and ability to stay confident when things perhaps aren’t going his way.

He finished the game with a modest seven disposals but his three goals were the difference.

It wasn’t the first time though, that Grimley emerged as Box Hill’s match-winner.

He booted three goals in the final term against Port Melbourne to steer Box Hill to victory. In that game, it was his marking and pace for a big man that particularly impressed.

He finished that game with four goals, 14 disposals and six marks to be one his team’s best.

Overall, this season Grimley showed has good speed for his size, he protects the ball well when in the air, is a good mark, knows where the goals are and his athleticism is a huge plus given Alastair Clarkson loves his versatile players.

In his three AFL matches, he averaged 13 disposals, 5.3 marks, 8 hit outs and a goal a game – an impressive start to his AFL career and one he will hope to build on in season 2014.


What Chris Fagan said: He made his debut for the senior team this year so that was exciting for him.

He showed in those games that he’s got the ability to play some decent AFL footy. He also had some magic moments at Box Hill, where there were two or three games where in the last quarter he just took the game by the scruff of the neck and kicked three or four goals and Box Hill won.

He’s a real excitement machine and is slowly developing a bit more consistency in his game and once that comes fully into force, then he’ll be a really decent player.

Grimley in the news in 2013
Grimley grinning over 'best feeling ever'

 Grimley helps Box Hill to prelim

 Grimley inspires Box Hill to victory

Videos featuring Grimley in 2013
 Grimley after his debut

 Box Hill Qualifying Final: Grimley highlights

 Round 15 Box Hill highlights: Grimley