Hampton's inside information could help Cowboys
WHEN Ben Hampton left Melbourne late last year, he took their secrets with him.
Having learned under Craig Bellamy and served his apprenticeship alongside Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater, the 25-year-old was exposed to information most will never learn.
But after four seasons in the top grade at the Storm, Hampton moved to North Queensland in a bid to reignite his career.
Having left Victoria in October, he doesn't expect much would've changed.
This makes the utility a threat.
Hampton knows the Storm set-up better than most and that's why he's revealed he'll dish the dirt on anything Paul Green wants to know ahead of Sunday's grand final.
"I'll probably talk to him during the week. He'll probably ask me,” Hampton said.
"Everyone wants to win and he'll probably ask me a few things. Greeny and the coaching staff are pretty switched on and pick up things and do things their own way.
"If he does ask me, I'm happy to (tell him). I want to win, I want to beat them. I'm a Cowboy and I love being a Cowboy.”
Hampton played off the bench in Melbourne's grand final loss to Cronulla last year but will get his chance for redemption when he suits up against his former teammates next week.
Unable to bring himself to watch last year's game back, the memory of the final minute still haunts him.
Down by two, the Storm were throwing the ball around with little care.
During the chaos Hampton landed with the ball and had two options - pass inside or outside. He found Suliasi Vunivalu inside and the winger was tackled as the buzzer sounded.
"I don't really like thinking about it,” he said of the 2016 grand final.
"That last minute of the game stands out most. We threw the ball around for a minute just before the siren went and Suli got caught with the ball about five meters out.
"That's the last memory I've got. I've watched it once. I haven't watched the game. I've just watched that highlight once and that was enough to turn me off it.
"That's enough motivation for me to push and try and get this one.”
Brought into the Storm's system through the SG Ball side in 2010, Hampton worked his way through the club's lower grades.
While he's played half and fullback, the latter years of his time with the club saw him play limited minutes off the bench.
The lack of game time prompted Hampton to sign a three-year deal with the Cowboys and the decision has paid dividends.
"I didn't leave on bad terms or anything like that. It was just opportunity, I guess,” he said.
"I saw an opportunity to be closer to home. I moved away as a 17 year old across the other side of Australia. I saw the opportunity to come home and with a club with the calibre of player and coaching staff I couldn't refuse it.
"It was a utility role similar to what I was doing in Melbourne. I thought I might play a bit more regular first grade than what I was playing in Melbourne. I'm lucky enough to do that this year and it's paid off.”