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Sam takes a big step up to his AFL dream

Saturday, 28th March, 2015

Sam Simmons (left) in action for the Bendigo Pioneers. Sam Simmons (left) in action for the Bendigo Pioneers.

By Patrick Reincke

Young Sam Simmons has been appointed co-captain of the Bendigo Pioneers for the 2015 TAC Cup season.

In his second year at the Pioneers, Simmons will lead the Under 18 squad with fellow Broken Hill teammate Liam Collins, 

Simmons, a former North Bulldog, is now eyeing off a potential draft position.

His father Jamie was ecstatic about his son’s new leadership role.

“It’s absolutely wonderful!” he said.

“I couldn’t be prouder.”

In last year’s AFL draft roughly 65 per cent of the draftees were from the TAC Cup and the Pioneers have seen plenty of AFL stars come through the team.

Colin Sylvia, Andrew Walker, Nick Dal Santo, Brent Guerra and Adam, Joel, Scott and Troy Selwood all played for the Pioneers and gone on to have industrious football careers.

Most notably, former North Football Club star Dean Solomon was also drafted from the Pioneers and went on to play 209 AFL games for Essendon and Fremantle. 

Simmons could join that illustrious band of brothers with an impressive performance this season potentially resulting in a draft selection.

Young West player Jayden White will make his debut for the Pioneers this season and looks set to do great things.

AFL Victoria Country football development officer for the Sunraysia region, Trevor Ryan said: “It’s a good achievement for Sam.

“He’s worked hard over the pre-season and it’s a great pathway for him.”

Simmons will be going up against the best of the best throughout the season and will lead by example in the centre square as a prominent midfielder.

“I’m very excited,” he said.

“There’s a lot of players that have come before me and it’s a real privilege to be captaining the side.

“I owe a lot of credit to the North footy club for my development.”

This weekend Simmons will play against his best mate and former Broken Hill local, Lachlan Tiziani, who plays for the Murray Bushrangers.

“It’s a small world to grow up with these guys and you end up playing against them,” he said. “It’s great.”

Having adapted to the speed and skill level of the game last season, Simmons has become accustomed to the game style and will now shoot for the potential draft spot.

“That’s what I’m aiming for.”

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