The West

Hampson revels in keeping it simple
George Hampson. Pic: Sharon Smith/WA News

Subiaco's George Hampson says coach Jarrad Schofield's mantra of keeping things simple is the reason behind the club's barnstorming start to the season.

The Lions have emerged as the form side of the competition in the opening three rounds, beating South Fremantle, East Fremantle and Claremont by an average of 58 points.

They enter tomorrow's clash with Peel Thunder on top of the ladder ahead of a round-five tussle with East Perth, who only trail the Lions by percentage.

And the news just keeps getting better. Captain Kyal Horsley is expected to play his first league game this week since returning from Gold Coast last year, while the injury crisis at Fremantle is set to impact Peel's playing stocks.

It's easy to pin Subiaco's improvement on their off-season recruiting spree, which netted Shaun Hildebrandt and Wade Twomey, but Hampson said the real reasons behind their recent results came down to a simple message from Schofield.

"Sticking to our structures, playing simple footy, going long down the line to the talls, boys getting front and centre and everyone understanding what they need to do for the benefit of the side," Hampson said.

"We've got the belief that if we play our roles and stick to what we've been taught and what we have to do, we'll get the rewards in the end."

The last time Subiaco started a season 3-0 was 2012.

They went on to win only four more games that season, finishing seventh on the ladder.

Hampson, 24, said with the competition for top-four spots closer than ever, it was important for the Lions to stay focused and stick to the formula which had brought them this season's early success.

"We've had a good start, we just can't get ahead of ourselves," he said.

"No one's an easybeat these days in the WAFL, so we'll just keep doing what we're doing.

"It's a close competition so we've just got to stick to it throughout the year. We can't win three and then drop off through the middle stages.

"We've got that good start, it's just a matter of kicking on now."

Hampson's importance to Subiaco was illustrated last season when he claimed the Outridge Medal, two years after being adjudged the reserves side's best player.

After playing through the midfield for most of his career, Hampson has taken on a new role in the forward line this season.

Though he took a couple of games to become accustomed to the position, his four-goal, 28- disposal effort in the 80-point win over Claremont at East Fremantle last Saturday was perhaps the best of his career.

No one's an easybeat … so we'll just keep doing what we're doing." *George Hampson *

The West Australian

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