Sam grows with every game

Sam Powell-Pepper has a good grip on the game of football. Picture: Martin Kennealey d406282
Sam Powell-Pepper has a good grip on the game of football. Picture: Martin Kennealey d406282

The 15-year-old, who plays for Mt Hawthorn Cardinals and Wesley College, has started drawing the attention of scouts looking to unearth the next talent.

This year, having grown about 30cm, he played in the WA Schoolboys football team, which lost the grand final in Darwin by 10 points to South Australia.

He was named best and fairest WA player in that competition.

Sam said it was at that competition that he started to catch the eye of selectors.

Earlier this year, he was also selected for the Flying Boomerangs team that competed in the under-16 National Championships in Sydney. He will travel with the team to New Zealand at the end of the year.

He was also the captain of the WA 15s Kickstart Indigenous Championships team, which won the competition.

And in March he was selected to represent East Perth in the Nicky Winmar Cup, after being singled out as a future talent by his Mt Hawthorn Junior Football Club coach Steve Burke.

Sam said his football game benefited from a growth spurt and being moved to centre halfback after spending many of his early playing days as a small forward.

He knows he still has a long way to go before he has the opportunity to be selected to an AFL club, with a Victorian team his preference, but he is hopeful he can continue being selected for representative teams.

‘It is really good to get the opportunity to represent either my State or Australia,’ he said.

‘I want to get selected for the 16s and 18s teams in the future.’

Sam has only just started playing games for Wesley College after transferring to the school from Mt Lawley Senior High School with the aid of an Australia Indigenous Education Foundation scholarship.

While studying he continues to play for his local club, with his team making the finals, his school and his representative sides.