WE DIDN'T know much about Will Hamill only a mere month ago.

At that stage, the dashing defender from Dromana was just one of the many untried kids on Adelaide's regenerating list but since then he's become a beacon of hope.

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Hamill's played four straight senior games for Matthew Nicks' Crows – one ruined early by a concussion – and he looks increasingly comfortable at AFL level in his second season.

Adelaide was largely in premiership-chasing mode over the past four years under ex-coach Don Pyke and had the equal-fewest debutants in that time with West Coast.

This season, with the Crows' new, longer-term intentions clear, their five debutants (Hamill, Ned McHenry, Fischer McAsey, Shane McAdam and Andrew McPherson) are more than any other team.

AFL DEBUTS BY SEASON

CLUBS

2016

2017

2018

2019

TOTAL

2020

Adelaide

3

4

6

2

15

5

Brisbane

9

6

5

2

22

2

Carlton

4

7

4

4

19

1

Collingwood

6

3

7

2

18

3

Essendon

6

3

4

3

16

1

Fremantle

3

7

8

4

22

4

Geelong

2

8

7

5

22

0

Gold Coast

6

6

5

5

22

4

GWS

3

5

6

6

20

2

Hawthorn

7

5

4

3

19

3

Melbourne

5

4

3

7

19

4

North Melbourne

2

11

5

4

22

2

Port Adelaide

6

6

3

6

21

1

Richmond

8

5

3

7

23

1

St Kilda

3

3

7

5

18

2*

Sydney

7

6

5

5

23

3

West Coast

2

2

8

3

15

0

Western Bulldogs

4

3

5

5

17

4

*Ryan Byrnes has been named to make his debut on Monday night

"I'm really enjoying it – it's a lot of fun playing at the top level," Hamill told AFL.com.au ahead of Monday night's clash with St Kilda.

"It'd be nice to have a few wins but I'm just trying to take the positives from it."

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Hamill, who's already re-signed until 2022, spent most of last year in the SANFL focused on locking down on his opponents but his coach Brent Reilly encouraged his offensive weapons to blossom as the season progressed.

That education went into warp speed this past summer. The 19-year-old is already displaying an excellent blend of the two in his brief AFL career to date.

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He's using his pace to take the game on – he was a national-level long jumper and triple jumper as a junior – but is also performing admirably in one-on-one warfare, even with his light frame.

Luke Brown and Daniel Talia are among those offering Hamill advice on the defensive side, while Brodie Smith and Rory Laird are teaching him the offensive tricks of the trade.

"You look at Brodie, Lairdy and Dave Mackay and their running patterns and how they get the handball receives – it's unbelievable," Hamill said.

"You kind of look at them in awe, thinking, 'How can I get to that level?' but they've all been really helpful trying to get me to use my legs a bit more and run off."

Hamill was somewhat late in contemplating an AFL career, after focusing mostly on athletics until he returned from a year-long family exchange trip in Canada when he was 14.

He still raves about that experience, where he enjoyed being "just a normal kid", given ice hockey was the sport obsession and he was "absolutely no good at that".

In fact, Hamill didn't make an interleague football squad until the under-16s, after which he earned a tryout with NAB League club Dandenong Stingrays, where he was drafted from.

However, football was always a big part of his life, given his dad, Steve, is a former Frankston captain in the old VFA, playing alongside three of Hamill's uncles.

"He was a good local footballer but he doesn't let me hear the end of it," Hamill said with a laugh.

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Hamill has the bragging rights now as an AFL footballer, a lifestyle he sometimes escapes from through one of his first loves, piano, another passion he adopted from his father.

But he's firmly focused for now on the Saints.

"They're a very good side," Hamill said. 

"I'm really looking forward to the game, because Hunter Clark plays for them and I'm mates with him.

"He's a star, so it'll be good fun to play against him and also to play in front of a home crowd at Adelaide Oval." 

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Will Hamill on three other Crows we haven't seen:

Lachie Sholl: "I'm pretty close with him, because we played the same position last year and he's developing really well. He's moved up to the wing this year and he's a very good user of the ball. I sometimes joke he uses the ball on his (non-preferred) left better than I do on mine (natural left-footer). He's working very hard on his defensive craft and body work."

Jordon Butts: "He's a really good defender and quite quick for a big man. He was really close to getting a game at the start of this year and he played a bit of the Marsh (Community Series)."

Kieran Strachan: "He's coming up as a really promising ruckman. He's really stepped up to the next level with his games this year, so it'll be really exciting to see him get a crack when he eventually does."