Born: 21 March 1988
Junior Club: Mt.Gravatt
Senior Club: Mt.Gravatt
Schools: Chatswood Hills State School, John Paul College
Regional Selection: South-East Bushrangers
Queensland Selection: U18 (2006)
Draft Details: Selection #17 (1st round) 2006 National Draft
AFL Debut: Carlton v North Melbourne, Telstra Dome, Rd 21, 2007 (25 August May)
Jumper Number: 22
AT A GLANCE: A 201cm super-athletic ruckman, he was a surprise packet to emerge from the star-studded Queensland U18 side of 2006 and was drafted by Carlton in the first round of the 2006 National Draft barely two years after he switched from soccer to football. Born in Box Hill, Melbourne, but a Queenslander from the age of three, Hampson didn’t take up football until August 2004 after initially been part of a sporting tug-o-war within his family, which includes an English soccer fan for a father and a Collingwood fanatic for a mother.
He had previously played soccer as a striker among a sporting mix which also included athletes, swimming and baseball. But he turned to football after he was ‘discovered’ by AFLQ regional manager and ex-Brisbane Bears player Corey Bell playing for John Paul College in the independent schools competition. He played U18s for Mt.Gravatt in 2005, and in 2006 was a member of the Craig McRae-coached Queensland U18 side that claimed an undefeated division two title at the Australian U18 Championships. Despite the presence of fellow big men Brent Renouf, Kurt Tippett and Jesse White he did enough to catch the eyes of the recruiting scouts. He finished the State League season in excellent fashion with Mt.Gravatt, impressing no end with his boundless athletic potential, and tested spectacularly well at the AFL Draft Camp, recording 3.00sec for 20m – blisteringly quick for a player of his size – and an 86cm vertical jumper which put him in the top 5% of players tested.
He was snapped up by the Blues at No.17 in the Draft - second-highest among 11 Queenslanders, behind only David Armitage (9), and ahead of Gavin Urquhart (21), Albert Proud (22), Renouf (24), Brad Howard (27), Ricky Petterd (30), Tippett (32), Ben Warren (69), Paul O’Shea (76) and White (79), and subsequent rookie draft selections Chris Smith, Scott Clouston, Gavin Grose, Jarrod Harbrow, Daniel Dzufer, Haydn Kiel and Joel Tippett. Still learning the game, and hampered by a severe shoulder problem, he spent much of his first year playing with the Northern Bullants in the VFL reserves competition, but was elevated to the VFL seniors and was an emergency for the Carlton side in rounds 19-20.
Got his chance against North Melbourne at Telstra Dome in Round 21 in what was Brett Ratten’s first game as the fully-fledged Carlton coach, and impressed with some especially athletic things in his second game to close out the year. After early season injury problems he added 10 games in 2008, including the last four of the season. Was a late starter in 2009, but after breaking into the senior side in Round 7 he missed only two games thereafter due to injury.