AFTER leaving IKON Park in 2013 to continue his career with Richmond, Shaun Hampson has returned to be the ruck/bodywork coach for the AFLW program.
Hampson was drafted in 2006 by the Blues and has found his way back to footy after retiring in 2018 due to consistent back injuries.
While coaching was never on Hampson’s radar, the call from General Manager Brett Munro came at the right time for the former ruckman.
“Brett Munro got in contact and said if I wanted to help out once a week with the taller players and the rucks and do some ruck work and body work,” Hampson said.
“It just sort of fit in with where I was at the moment and I thought it would be great to see if one, I could enjoy it and two, if I could bring anything to it and have a positive impact.”
Standing at 201cm, Hampson spent his AFL career as a ruckman, playing under many coaches and players that he said will shape the way he coaches in 2022.
“I was lucky enough to have some great ruck coaches, Matty Capuano (Carlton) who was here for a number of years, and did a lot of work with Ivan Maric (Richmond), so I’ve worked with some really good people,” he said.
“From 12 years in the system, I’ve picked up a lot of stuff.
"I know the stuff that worked for me, the stuff that didn’t, drills that I found very beneficial so it’s all stuff I can combine into a great program for the taller girls and I think we’ll see some really positive results.”
When Hampson left the AFL world in 2018, he said he had no intentions of having a role back in the system, but after trying his hand at many other pursuits, he determined there was no place like a football club.
“I think there was a bit of absence making the heart grow fonder, that old saying,” he said.
“I finished up, I was quite happy to be away but the more time I’ve been away from it, more than anything it’s the football atmosphere I really miss.
“I’ve done a few things since finishing up and there’s nothing that has come close to that camaraderie and that atmosphere with a footy club.”
Hampson will join fellow former teammate Kade Simpson as an assistant coach, with the two having played alongside each other during Hampson’s time at the Blues.
“ I always loved 'Simmo': he’s a legend of the Club," he said.
"From when I started at the club as a really young guy, he was one of the friendlier guys, always willing to help, super shy like myself which is why I think I liked him. I’m really looking forward to seeing him again.
“I think it’s sort of nice to get past players of a Club involved because I’ve got the love for the Club having played here for seven years, which is a hard thing to instil in people who haven’t: I’ve got that little bit of extra love for the Club.”