He likes his toasted sandwiches cut into rectangles and (quietly) prefers Nesquik to Milo on icecream. 

He’s also never seen Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. 

There’s plenty to know about resurgent Gold Coast defender Sam Collins, and his story is more interesting than most.

Shot down as an 18-year-old looking for his first chance in the AFL, Collins had to bide his time in the VFL before an opportunity presented itself. 

Collins played for Box Hill and was named in the club’s leadership group at just 19, before his first chance came via Fremantle in the 2015 AFL draft.

He played 14 senior games there in two years before being delisted at the end of 2017.

Overlooked again, Collins returned to the VFL to play for Werribee in 2018.

It was there he started to flourish.

The 24-year-old took a record 111 intercept marks in his 18 VFL games that year, winning the club’s Best and Fairest, being named in the VFL team of the year and finishing third in the league’s MVP award.

It earnt him a second chance in the AFL with the Gold Coast SUNS.

“(My journey’s) very different to most people, even now there’s probably more mature-age players getting taken,” Collins said on episode three of Touk’s Talk presented by Metricon Homes. 

“But I think I’m a much better person and player for it and wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

“It’s good when you look back on it and you know that you’ve earnt everything that you get.

“I wasn’t gifted anything and it’s something that I’m pretty proud of.”

Collins spoke of the difficulties juggling life and semi-professional football in the VFL.

It was one of the most challenging years of his life, but the key defender never lost his drive to return to the highest level.

“I kind of had the idea of how hard it is going to full-time uni and work after doing it prior at Box Hill,” Collins said.

“But then when you get into the 8 till 5 grind and then sit in peak hour traffic, it’s pretty challenging.

“But Werribee was a great club so I always looked forward to getting there when I finished work.”

Collins came to the SUNS at the end of 2018 as one of three AFL special assistance players.

Chris Burgess and Josh Corbett were the others taken under the same rule, with the latter also coming from Werribee to join the SUNS with Collins.

“To have a familiar face when you first walk in the door is really helpful,” Collins said.

“Corbo is obviously a pretty lovable character so it makes it a lot easier when you’re moving up.

“I kind of had a greater understanding of what I was walking into this year having played at Freo a few games. 

“But the standard obviously increases, it’s more the ball speed and the reaction time and things like that, that’s probably the biggest thing.”

Collins has played in every match this season.

The key defender is averaging five marks per game in defence and is ranked elite in contested marks with 1.8 per game.

It’s the latest chapter in what is sure to continue being a very interesting journey for Sam Collins.