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1 day to the draft: Meet imposing forward and grandson of Pies legend Sam Weideman

Draft Trumps: Sam Weideman The powerful key forward has rich AFL bloodlines and looms as an early pick

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SAM Weideman didn't quite know the extent of his grandfather's legendary career at Collingwood until the Magpies won the 2010 flag.

It was then that the 13-year-old started reading more about his granddad Murray Weideman's history at the club, which includes captaining its 1958 premiership, being a three-time best and fairest winner and a member of the club's team of the century.

Murray also coached the club for a short stint in the 1970s, and his son Mark (Sam's father) played 28 games with the club before knee injuries set back his VFL career.

Weideman is on the verge of becoming the third generation of his family to play at the top level, looming as a very early pick at Tuesday's NAB AFL Draft.

Injuries have cut short his season, however, with an ankle stress fracture ruling him out for more than five months. It stopped him from playing for Vic Metro at the under-18 championships, and was an aggravation of the same injury he suffered towards the end of 2014.

You only have to watch the first quarter of the NAB AFL Academy's game against the Northern Blues in April to see why Weideman is an appealing draft hopeful. By the first change, the key forward had taken five marks and kicked two goals against VFL opposition. It was an imposing and impressive display. 

Weideman's contested marking is a big part of his game and he is smart enough to get away from his opponent on the lead and find space. He is a reliable right-foot shot for goal, but can also turn onto his left when required to send the ball long.

He kicked five goals against developing key defender Kieran Collins at TAC Cup level, and although Collins probably won the battle that day, Weideman only needed 13 touches to impact the scoreboard. At 196cm and 90kg, he has the physical presence to crash through packs.

Weideman's injuries are the cause for concern among clubs who are weighing him up as an early choice. Because he has missed so much footy, there is also limited fitness testing available on Weideman, so clubs don't quite know what his aerobic capacity is like. His absence for most of this year and the back of last season means clubs will need to be confident in his body. 

The way Weideman competes for marks and flies for the ball at top speed reminds some of Gold Coast key forward Tom Lynch. Lynch has become one of the premier young forwards of the competition in part due to his contested marking, a key trait of Weideman.

The supply and demand for quality key forwards means Weideman should be strongly considered at the top of the draft. He seems likely to be positioned in the pick No.3-8 range.

Because of Weideman's injuries, clubs will need to be sure about his fitness as an early choice. But if they are confident he can be a long-term player the reward should be significant. Powerful and efficient, Weideman has the right essentials as a key forward.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs