On the verge of just his 50th career game, Sam Durham has been quick to establish himself as a Bomber fan favourite. 

Since making his debut in round 18 of the 2021 season as a mid-season draftee, Durham has only missed three possible games in the red and black, reflective of his strong endurance and durability.  

The 22-year-old has set a high precedent on the track this pre-season, winning both of the club’s two-kilometre time trials on either side of the Christmas break. 

With Durham already successfully transitioning from half-back to the wing across his three seasons, the potential for increased midfield minutes will add new layers to his growth. 


“I’m finding my way into the middle of the ground a bit more, exposing me to different areas so it can help me going back to the wing as well,” Durham said. 

“It’d be awesome to crack in there, but we’ve also got plenty of guys who can play that inside role. It’s not so much about cementing a spot in the midfield, for me it’s about getting exposure so if there’s times late in games, I can get thrown in and it won’t be a shock to me. 

“I’ll still play a fair bit of my time on the wing, but hopefully I’ll get a bit of time in there.” 

A strong body of work over the off-season kept Durham well-positioned to make an instant impact within the group this pre-season, both home and abroad during the players’ training camp visit to Arizona last November.   

Attacking the new year with a fresh approach to training, Durham has been keen to put on size without losing any of his running power.


“Not much has changed (in terms of my method), but I wanted to put on weight without affecting my running. I’ve put on about 4kgs since last season and I’m feeling fitter than I was at that stage, so that’s a big win for me,” Durham said. 

“This pre-season I was definitely more excited coming into the club. I felt like in previous years there was a lot of looking ahead to the season, but I’ve really taken a new mindset to approach it session-by-session.” 

Durham has also been a beneficiary of the Dons’ recent coaching acquisitions so far, including the move of Brent Stanton to a role alongside long-standing Assistant Coach Daniel Giansiracusa as a Midfield Coach. 

“It’s awesome to have ‘Stants’ coming in to help ‘Gia’ out. It provides you with different people to talk to, and (Coaching Innovation and Game Strategy Manager) David Rath has been unreal helping the boys out across the board,” Durham said. 

“‘Stants’ has been really good with our work around the contest, and ‘Gia’ with a wider lens. It’s been awesome.” 


The Bombers’ approach to recent recruiting has paid dividends in the development of Durham and forward Jye Menzie, who has also made his mark as a mid-season selection.  

With the club’s young core taking shape, Durham is hopeful the Dons can continue to progress through its talent. 

“For guys like myself and ‘Menz’, it’s been awesome to come through that way and it feels like all the recent draftees are picking everything up well, so that’s been great to watch,” Durham said. 

“We feel like this can be a better year for us.”