Sam Banks, recruited by Richmond with its fourth pick (No. 29 overall) in the 2021 national draft, possesses the necessary attributes to have a long, successful career at Tigerland, according to Matthew Armstrong, a Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame Legend.

Armstrong, who had a fine playing career himself at the game’s highest level with Fitzroy and then North Melbourne, has closely followed Banks’ football fortunes throughout his time as AFL Tasmania’s southern region talent manager and is a big fan of the way the 18-year-old goes about his football.

“Sam is a versatile player who has showcased his skills across a number of positions,” Armstrong said.

“He can play wing, he can play in the midfield and he can play across half-back.

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“He is an elite ball-user by foot and a fantastic athlete with good speed and good endurance.

Sam also is an outstanding leader and the consummate professional on and off the field.

“He really sets a high standard for others to follow. As a coach, you need people like that.

“If he gets into an AFL program, they’ll put 5-10 kilos on him, and I think then they’re going to have a really special player who can play many different roles.

“Because he’s got such a good footy brain, and an understanding of many roles within the team itself, it should hold him in good stead.”

Recently-appointed Tasmania Devils coach Jeromey Webberley agreed with Armstrong’s evaluation of Banks.

Webberley, who played 16 senior games for Richmond from 2010-12, subsequently coached Banks at Tasmanian club Clarence.

“He’s easy to coach because he has high talent, he’s a professional and he picks things up really well,” Webberley said.

“He’s a natural football player and won’t have any issues going into the AFL system – he’ll adapt really well.

“His running ability is a real strength. He has an AFL athletic profile, but then when the ball is in his hand, his decision making and kicking ability really sets him apart.”

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