Port Adelaide are simply powering along

Dan Lonergan Columnist

By Dan Lonergan, Dan Lonergan is a Roar Expert

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    Port Adelaide went into this season optimistic they would improve their performances both on and off the field.

    That optimism wasn’t necessarily shared by the rest of the footy world after five underwhelming years at Alberton, where the has club at times almost become an irrelevance.

    High profile television personality David Koch was coerced into the role as President, and has provided Port with some badly needed passion and enthusiasm.

    Long serving assistant coach and former Geelong player Ken Hinkley was appointed coach after missing out on a number of other senior jobs in recent times.

    It’s early days, but Hinkley is proving to be an astute appointment, with the Power undefeated after three matches and warm favourites to stay that way when they meet the Gold Coast on the weekend.

    We will get a better idea in the next month or so, when Port start playing some of the more highly fancied teams, of whether they could be one of the big improvers this year.

    So far they have thrashed two of the bottom teams in Melbourne and GWS, and their come-from-behind win over Adelaide indicated they are certainly getting better.

    Their recruiting from the last few drafts seems to be playing a part, as a number of their early selections are starting to show why they were so sought after.

    Hamish Hartlett was the fourth pick at the 2008 Draft. Over the past four seasons he has shown glimpses of his immense talent but injuries have restricted him. He appears to be the fittest he has ever been this season and is playing outstanding football.

    Jackson Trengove and Matthew Broadbent were snared in the same draft and are progressing nicely.

    Ruckman Matthew Lobbe, from the 2007 vintage, has taken time but is developing well, while 2006 has become a very successful draft year for Port with Travis Boak now the skipper and arguably the team’s best player.

    Paul Stewart, Robbie Gray when fit, and Justin Westhoff were also selected then and are very important members in Port’s best side.

    Chad Wingard was their first round pick in 2011 and has had a brilliant start to the season. So has their initial selection in last year’s draft Ollie Wines. The big bodied midfielder slipped through to number seven and is already averaging 22 possessions a game and has looked the part so far this season.

    Other clubs like Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs whose recruiting records are vastly inferior to Port could have chosen Wines, but went elsewhere, with players such as Jimmy Toumpas, Jake Stringer and Jackson McCrae.

    Their junior credentials were outstanding and they may turn out to be stars, but Wines is already the early favourite to win the rising star and it’s an outstanding achievement that he’s having such an impact already.

    Port have also been canny and clever in trading from other clubs by picking up Brad Ebert from West Coast as well as former Bomber Angus Monfries, both of who are adding experience and class to this young and exciting midfield.

    They are playing with freedom and style, along with self belief that they could produce something special under Hinkley, something that hasn’t been seen at Port for several seasons.

    There’s a long way to go, but it looks like Port is quickly emerging from that fog which has hindered them for the past five seasons and are on their way to becoming a force again.

    As the song says, they have the power to win again!

    Dan Lonergan
    Dan Lonergan

    Dan Lonergan is one Australia's most respected and versatile commentators. In more than 16 years on ABC Grandstand he has covered AFL footy (including four Grand Finals), cricket, tennis, and three Olympic Games, including London 2012 where he commentated 16 sports.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • April 19th 2013 @ 6:38am
      Swampy said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      Settle down Dan – this sounds like a Richmond blog!

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • April 19th 2013 @ 7:44am
      Anthony said | April 19th 2013 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      I think Saturday’s game against the Suns is significant. It would be easy for Port to relax after last week’s excellent Showdown victory. They are young & enthusiastic & could easily assume Gold Coast is an easy victory. But the Suns are on the way up & not to be taken for granted. The good thing is that in this round there are fantastic games in every state, so Port may be under the general radar. Leave the hoopla to Richmond!

      • April 20th 2013 @ 11:17pm
        Floyd Calhoun said | April 20th 2013 @ 11:17pm | ! Report

        The hoopla! Power will struggle to win two of their next ten games!

    • April 19th 2013 @ 8:18am
      Franko said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      Hopefully a name to add to the great drafting will be John Butcher, the guy needs to get fit and get interested. He and Westhoff playing well would be difficult to match up on.
      As others have said, we haven’t played anyone special yet, we didn’t even play 4 quarters against the fruit tingles. Being the second youngest side in the competition, I expect plenty of inconsistency so please let’s talk about how amazing Richmond are…

    • Columnist

      April 19th 2013 @ 9:44am
      Vince Rugari said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Get around us! Loving the confidence exuding Justin Westhoff right now, one of the competition’s most in-form players at the moment.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 20th 2013 @ 10:37pm
      Martyn50 said | April 20th 2013 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

      As much as we like to see the lower performing clubs move up the ladder we need to look at who they have actually played this year. Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, Gold Coast Suns and Adelaide. Apart from the win over Adelaide the other 3 sides are not in the top elk at this stage.

      • April 22nd 2013 @ 8:01am
        Anthony said | April 22nd 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

        “It’s not if you win or lose, but how you play the game”
        And Port Adel are playing football that is exciting, athletic, fee-flowing & enthusiastic. Every week has been a test – & they will keep improving, & keep winning.

    • April 22nd 2013 @ 12:19pm
      Josh said | April 22nd 2013 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

      Thanks for the brilliant write up Dan. It’s great to see some thorough research done on our list and I’m loving the coverage from this site of our club so far this year, I’ll be sure to start spreading the word to other supporters about this site as it is great reading.

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