Peter Bampton (Norwood)
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 83 kg
Strengths: Ball winning ability, distribution by hand
Areas of improvement: Outside game, footskills
Player comparison: Luke Dunstan
From the Adelaide Hills, Peter Bampton is Norwood’s answer to Luke Dunstan. A powerful inside midfielder, Bampton arguably has more runs on the board than any other draft prospect, having made his SANFL league debut in 2013 and quickly establishing himself as a regular. His 2014 has been marred by injury which caused him to miss the championships, however the natural ability he showed in 2013 and early 2014 has him high on many draft boards.
The inside of a contest is where Bampton excels. His ability to extract and distribute is a real highlight. Despite being a junior, Bampton has a big and powerful frame and some real weight behind him. This allows him to go in hard and really bullock his way through congestion to a level few others can. Bampton looks at the ball, picks his line and just crashes through anything in his path. With ball in hand he’s able to fire off quick and accurate handballs to outside runners. He’s also deceptively quick on the burst with his ability to breakaway and create some separation out of the contest a highlight along with his surprisingly good evasive skills. He’s a volume tackler whose tackles not only stick but hurt. He’s also an incredibly hard worker with a high level of endurance which allows him to be at and impact every contest.
The limitation on Bampton is his outside game. It doesn’t really exist. When in traffic or under pressure Bampton is prone to blindly kicking long bombs and hospital balls and when in uncontested possessions his kicking rarely breaks open games. It gets where it needs to go but there’s just nothing more to it. His kicking technique too is rather awkward and unbalanced and without repair, may put a ceiling on the levels he can reach by foot. Bampton’s tough and courageous style of football also puts him at a higher risk of injury.
At SANFL league level Bampton has excelled, both in 2013 and early 2014. Upon his return from injury his reserves performances were excellent. The knock on Bampton is his upside. Already a fairly matured body and in possession of an accomplished inside game – what could he improve? He’s not a natural reader of the tap with his clearance work done through strength not smarts. He’s also shown no signs of a potent outside game thus far. In Bampton many believe he’s already a ‘what you see is what you get’ prospect – one that will impact early but whose growth might not be as rapid as others. At the end of the day though, if you’re offered a certain mid to low range best 22 player for 10 years with a pick around 25, you take it. Luke Dunstan is a similar type of player to Bampton and one who’s impact Bampton should replicate. Bampton’s footskills aren’t as strong is he as smooth a mover but Bampton is more powerful on the inside with a better burst. The ceiling for Bampton would be a Ben Cunnington ability level.