It’s crunch time for Port Adelaide.
Who are the Port Adelaide Power players who should play to their optimum level in 2021?
To be eligible for selection, a player must have played at least five games in 2020, so there can be a reference point as far as those players who apply their talent the best at AFL level.
The Power’s only injury concern is Connor Rozee, who’s listed as a test.
Here are the ten players (plus an honourable mention) who will stand out from the pack in season 2021.
Peter Ladhams tried hard in season 2020 to cement his spot as the second Port ruckman.
Remarkably, despite being a ruck/forward, he averaged the fourth most contested possessions, with an average of 7.70 per game. He averaged the equal ninth most goals with an average of 0.60 goals per game, which he would want to improve on.
He may have only featured in ten of the Power’s 19 games, but he averaged 12.40 hitouts per game. In both finals games, he kicked a goal. He has elements of his game to improve in season 2021, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he develops into the Power’s number one ruckman.
10. Sam Powell-Pepper
Powell-Pepper is a player who worked hard defensively in season 2020, as he averaged the second-most tackles of any Power player, at 4.05 tackles per game. He featured in all 19 games.
He averaged the tenth most disposals per game with an average of 14.74. A stat that he needs to improve in is contested possessions, as he only averaged the eighth-highest per game in season 2020, when he should be in at least the top five.
He has work to do to improve his endeavour in order to play to the level he is capable of in season 2021.
9. Connor Rozee
Rozee is a player with so much potential, but he needs to improve in order to live up to the hype surrounding him, which he is starting to do. A good sign is that he averaged the sixth-most tackles of any Power player and an average of 3.25 disposals per game in season 2020, which is impressive for a player who predominantly plays on the half-forward flank.
He should continue to improve as he has the talent to help the Power make the finals in season 2021, he just needs to have more disposals and assert himself more on the contest.
8. Karl Amon
Karl Amon will be looking to cement himself as one of the best players on the wing in the competition. He featured in all 19 games in season 2020, with the seventh-highest average disposals at 16.11 disposals per game.
Despite playing on the wing, he still averaged the eighth-most tackles with an average of 2.89 tackles per game. He averaged the third-highest uncontested possessions of any Power player in season 2020 with an average of 11.84.
Since he plays on the wing, he will want to average the most uncontested possessions of any Power player this season.
7. Ollie Wines
Wines finished fifth in the Power’s best and fairest, even though he missed two games in season 2020. He averaged the third-most disposals with an average of 20.82 disposals per game. He averaged the fifth-most tackles per game in the same season, with an average of 3.76 tackles per game.
It’s a make-or-break season for Wines, as he needs to prove that he is a player that has the capability of being considered elite.
6. Dan Houston
Houston is a player who performed at a reasonable level in the 17 games he featured in during season 2020.
He averaged the fourth-highest disposals with an average of 17.24 disposals per game, including 23 disposals in the Power’s prelim game against the Tigers. He finished seventh in the Power’s best and fairest in season, despite missing two games.
He was selected in the top six of the Order of Merit for the Power in season 2021 for a reason, he always showed great endeavour in season 2020, which he should replicate.
5. Tom Jonas
Jonas featured in all 19 games for the Power in season 2020.
He may have finished third in the best and fairest, but he has plenty of improvement needed in order to prove he should play to the level that he is capable of.
He needs to win more of the ball, as he averaged the 21st highest average of disposals per game in season 2020 with an average of 10.84 disposals per game. He’ll also need to provide more run out of defence in season 2021.
4. Zak Butters
Butters was named in the All Australian squad in 2020. He finished fourth in the Power’s best and fairest, despite missing two games.
Butters has so much potential, but needs to show the endeavour that will mean that he performs to his optimum level in season 2021.
3. Darcy Byrne-Jones
Byrne-Jones was named on the halfback flank in the 2020 All Australian team. He featured in every game in 2020 and averaged the fifth-most disposals of any Power player, with 16.89 per game. He has to prove that the endeavour he displayed in season 2020 wasn’t an aberration, by being consistent with his level of performance in season 2021 if the Power are to be contenders.
2. Tom Rockliff
Rockliff polled the equal second-highest number of votes of any Power player in the Brownlow Medal in season 2020. He averaged the second-highest disposals per game, with an average of 22.81 per game.
He missed three games last season as he was omitted from the team, but instead of sitting around feeling sorry for himself, it motivated him, as he averaged the most tackles per game with an average of 6.25 per game!
He should play every game this year and challenge Travis Boak for being renowned as the Power’s best player.
1. Travis Boak
Boak is not only the Power’s best player, but the one who should work to his optimum level in season 2021.
He was named the vice-captain of the All Australian team in season 2020, which shows how highly thought of he is in terms of his leadership and the way he goes about playing the game.
He averaged the most disposals of any Power player and the third-most tackles of any Power player last season, and finished second in the Brownlow count.
He will need to replicate the endeavour he showed in season 2020 if the Power are to be a contender in season 2021.