With a distinctive haircut, a knack for finding the football and serious goal sense, Lauderdale look to have added to its already strong list with the signing of midfielder Sam Burge.
The Canberra native had little knowledge of the TSL last year when he was plying his trade for the Eastlake Demons in the ACT.
All of that changed when he received a message out of the blue about the possibility of playing football in Tasmania, however, with the first-game Bomber impressing in round one to make his mark on the competition.
“In the off season I got a message one morning out of the blue, asking if I wanted to play footy down here at Lauderdale.
“It was completely out of the blue, but I thought it would be a good opportunity and I’m loving it so far,” Burge said.
It didn’t take long for Burge to settle into life as a southern Bomber, kicking three goals in his debut and appearing to slot into an already star-studded midfield group with ease.
“I was a bit nervous going into the game on the weekend, it was pretty fast and a little bit of a step-up from what I’m used to, but I wanted to try and work my way into the game.
“North Hobart were pretty impressive and probably a bit better than us for the first half, but as a few of our players got into the game and got their hands on the footy, we used the handball better and we ended up playing pretty well in that last quarter.”
It wasn’t just his footballing ability that caught the eye, however, with a standout haircut, inspired by one of the AFL’s very best, set to make him a fan favourite.
“I don’t think mum and dad would be too happy with it,” the 20-year-old said of his current salad.
“I like to get a bit of a round one haircut, so me and Henry [Kerinauia] went to get a haircut before the game on Friday.
“There is a bit of ‘Dusty’ [Dustin Martin] about it… a lot of the players are running with a bit of a mullet at the moment,” he said.
Burge, who played rugby league and footy until the age of 18, has taken a liking to life in Tasmania, and particularly working under head coach Darren Winter.
“Windy is a bit of a character,” Burge said.
“I was out fishing with him last weekend which was good fun. I should probably try and stay on his good side, I guess, but I’m loving working with him.”
And after hitting making a strong start to life in the competition, Burge is keen to play his role and help the Bombers have a successful campaign.
“I’m pretty happy playing anywhere. We have a lot of guns going through there (the midfield).
“I will try not to step on any of their toes, and just try and compliment them, but that probably is my go – working through the midfield and pushing forward.
“I managed to get a couple of goals on the weekend which was nice, but I probably need to try and get my hands on the footy more and use it better.”