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A BIG POINT ON THE COMPASS by Whispering Jack

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As he does in every year, WJ looks for a draft prospect from left field ...

A BIG POINT ON THE COMPASS by Whispering Jack

Legend has it that back in the 1840s, South Australian Governor Gawler lost his compass in a spot south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula and as a result the town that was established nearby came to be known as Mount Compass. The small community of less than a thousand people is known for little more than market gardens and dairy farms but all that may change with the AFL drafts later in the year.

Mount Compass is the town where 23-year-old Norwood ruckman Sam Baulderstone was plying his trade as a lumbering country footballer three years ago. The former North Adelaide reserves player weighed in at around 150kg during 2011 but a year later and 10kg lighter, "Bauldy" was contacted by Essendon recruiting officer Merv Keane and found himself at Windy Hill trying out for a possible rookie spot but nothing eventuated on that score.

Undeterred, the 200cm Baulderstone knuckled down, eschewed his favourite fast foods, changed his diet, lost 28kg and made his SANFL debut for the Norwood Redlegs against Central Districts in Round 3, 2013. Although he spent much of the early part of the season in the reserves, by year's end, he was the SA feel good story, gaining elevation to the seniors to become the the 2013 premiership ruckman. Among his teammates in the grand final victory was current Melbourne rookie lister Alexis Georgiou and former Demon Jace Bode.

Rated an outside chance of being drafted at the end of last year, Bauldy missed out again but put in a good preparation for 2014 with running and weight work to the point where his body shape now stands up to AFL comparison. Early this month he polled 15 votes to finish equal fourth in the Magarey Medal and last week, he played in his second consecutive premiership for the Redlegs and is widely regarded as the competition's leading ruckman.

Left footer, Baulderstone has been acclaimed by many good judges in South Australia who believe this late bloomer, whose tale of huge weight loss matching great sporting improvement echoes that of GWS Giant ruckman Shane Mumford, is a certainty to be drafted before the end of the year.

The Footy Almanac review of the game, SANFL Grand Final Norwood v Port Adelaide: The Greatest Win of All acclaimed his role in the premiership,

Norwood race out of the blocks with Sam Baulderstone clearly on top in ruck and Liam Davis proving to be a handful for Port Power, err Magpies kicking 2 early goals. These two are fascinating stories plucked from obscurity, Baulderstone from country footy, an overweight big man with raw talent he has got fair dinkum and lost a casual 45 kgs and is a huge chance to be drafted.

435736-sam-baulderstone.jpg

NORTH: Baulderstone at 145kg+

"Bauldy" is likely to be taken with a late draft pick or as a rookie and might be of interest to Melbourne. Regular ruckman Mark Jamar is reaching veteran status, the club appears to have lost troubled big man Mitch Clark who was earmarked for the ruck by Paul Roos earlier in the year. Max Gawn and Jake Spencer both have a lot of development in them but have had injury worries while Max King has a long way to go.

Could big Sam be the answer to the Demons' ruck problems and, at the same time, convert the red and blue success in his home state onto the national football scene in the same colours?

18%20Sam%20Baulderstone.jpg

SOUTH: Baulderstone now

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How did a young man get to be 150 Kg Gessusssssss?

What does he weigh now WJ?

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How did a young man get to be 150 Kg Gessusssssss?

What does he weigh now WJ?

Around 105kg.

His SANFL grand final stats were 15 disposals (11kicks 4 handball) 6 marks 43 hit outs 1 goal 2 behinds and more than 100 Dream Team points.

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