Once a defender in his junior days, Bathurst Giants full forward Sam Sloan has been officially confirmed as the AFL Central West's leading goalkicker for the 2021 season.
From 12 games this season, Sloan was a menace for opposing defenders in the attacking 50 as he booted 41 majors, 15 more than joint second best in Bathurst Bushrangers' Matt Archer and Orange Tigers' Todd Fagan with 26 each.
Sloan said it was never his target to lead the goalkicking charts, rather he was more focused on helping deliver his junior club its maiden tier one premiership.
"The main focus for this year was to win a premiership and we put together a really good forward line and had a lot of chemistry up there," he said.
"Obviously you need to kick goals to win the game but it was very much a team effort, no individual focus at all."
Sloan's success up front is in stark comparison to his junior career, where he started at fullback.
"Most of junior career I was actually at fullback," he said.
"The transition to the seniors and even the under 18s, I played in the ruck a little bit but this year I've been playing full forward.
"The last couple of years I've been cementing my spot at full forward but I've been all over the place in my career."
While Sloan was pleased with his performance this season, he gave credit to his teammates that help set him up to score.
"I think I have to thank the midfield a lot this year," he said.
"It's pretty easy when you've got to run out and the ball is placed on your chest pretty easily."
While the Giants couldn't compete for a premiership, with the COVID-19 lockdown bringing a premature end to the season, Sloan said the Giants being awarded the minor premiership was still a great achievement.
"I think the first goal this year was to win as many games as we could, aiming to finish on top of the ladder and host a final," he said.
"We were able to that, it was just unfortunate that the season ended how it did but we had a great season in my opinion."
Sloan will be pulling on a Giants guernsey again in the 2022 AFL Central West season and he's eager to help his club to its maiden premiership.
"We've got unfinished business as Kenno [Giants coach Mark Kennedy] calls it," he said.
"We'll be back next year, fighting to win our first premiership."
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