Port Adelaide needs to start from scratch
I sit here baffled, failing to comprehend what has happened in the past couple of days. Port Adelaide’s loss to Greater Western Sydney was possibly the most insipid, lazy, even amateurish match of professional football I have ever witnessed.
And the warning signs were there.
A former Port Adelaide coach and two former champions are now with the Giants, Port had a substantial loss of momentum leading into the game and the celebration for Kevin Sheedy’s 1000th game were all signs pointing to the shock 34 point loss.
Coach Matthew Primus has been told he won’t be the senior coach next year, which while expected, is further proof that the club is heading in the wrong direction.
Now, I’m not a Port supporter. A day after the Power lost to GWS, I was at Football Park cheering on the Crows in their dramatic win over Essendon.
But even though my allegiances are elsewhere, I find it to be a disappointing situation the club’s in. It is definitely not the sort of position a club that has spent 142 years building a tough, successful culture would enjoy.
Basically, Port needs to delve deep into the reasons why they’re lacking in almost every possible way. They need to sit down and sort this mess out.
They need to recruit players and coaches, marketing people, financiers, attract sponsors, pretty much start from scratch to begin to restore the respect that they used to receive.
The majority of situations are approached haphazardly at Port Adelaide.
For instance, I can’t for the life of me figure out why Hamish Hartlett would be used in between a half back flank and a back pocket when he should be utilising his agility, speed and long kicking through the midfield and at half forward.
They recruit inexperienced coaches, inexperienced players and don’t play to the players strengths and weaknesses.
Look at the Crows’ Patrick Dangerfield. Neil Craig had him playing as a crumbing forward last year. And while we could see potential for Patrick to become something special, Craig didn’t assess where Patrick could or should play and as a result he didn’t play as well as he could have.
Brenton Sanderson comes in and views Dangerfield as a bullocking midfielder, with exceptional pace and great clearance ability and utilises him in the best possible way.
Look at him now.
It isn’t rocket science, so I’m wondering why some of these coaches are valued so highly, when they can’t even grasp the basic fundamentals of midfield play.
Port Adelaide also needs to reconnect with their supporter base.
I don’t understand why they put tarps over bays at Port Adelaide games and then attempt to convince people it makes AAMI Stadium look more like Port Adelaide’s home ground.
Nothing will make AAMI Stadium look like Port Adelaide’s home ground, considering their wealthier rivals have built a $30 million megalith with big bold letters saying “Adelaide Crows: The team for all South Australians”. The message is attached to the Eastern side of the stadium as a memento to their continued success.
Port Adelaide people don’t give a shit about money, nor an extravagant headquarters. They don’t care for political bureaucracy in football, or the constant tomfoolery that childish players immerse themselves in.
All they want is for their boys to pull on the jumper with pride and go out there and try their absolute hardest.
Do you reckon they served up their best on Saturday? Not on your life.
They tried for maybe 15 minutes in the third quarter. Then as soon as they started to gain some ascendency, they thought they had the game won and took their foot off the pedal.
Is that something the faithful would enjoy seeing? Is that something any club’s supporters would enjoy seeing?
Well it’s pretty self explanatory, really.
And to the vast majority of people who think that Port Adelaide has no supporters, well you’re just plain wrong. There are thousands upon thousands of Port Adelaide supporters out there, but they’re refusing to turn up and watch sub-standard performances.
It’s also fair to say that a fair number of Port Adelaide supporters are from working to middle class backgrounds, so why would they spend their hard earned money on watching an underperforming team over more necessary things?
I don’t blame the supporters one bit.
To sort out this situation, people have to realise the buck stops with the club itself. Not the supporters or the sponsors, or even Adelaide Oval for that matter. Adelaide Oval won’t be the proverbial saviour the footy world believes it will be if Port don’t start winning games.
And until Keith Thomas and his board start making educated decisions, the rebuilding phase won’t yet have begun, and it will leave the club in a continued state of turmoil.