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Opinion

The raging bull is back! Ollie Wines is on track to have a career-best year

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Roar Rookie
18th May, 2021
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The 26-year-old midfield beast is having a career-best season for Port Adelaide and is yet to have his colours lowered in 2021.

Finally, after two interrupted pre-season campaigns in 2019 and 2020, Ollie Wines is back to his absolute best in the heart of Port Adelaide’s midfield.

The raging bull has been at his physical best this season, perhaps emphasising what a full off-season of work can produce.

Look at Wines’ stats this season and you begin to see just exactly how ridiculous his form has been so far. His disposal counts of 30, 38, 26, 27, 32, 36, 37, 24 and 32 are on another level.

On the face of it, those numbers are good by anyone’s standards. But when you look at his averages this season compared to his career, that tells its own story.

In the six stats listed on Port Adelaide’s official website, Wines is either elite or above average in all but two of them. Wines is rated as elite for disposals and handballs, above average for kicks and total clearances, while rated as average for marks and tackles.

In 2021, Wines averages 31 disposals, five clearances, four tackles and 18 handballs.

Ollie Wines of the Power kicks on goal

(Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

His 37-disposal game against the Brisbane Lions was perhaps his best game to date. He had 18 pressure acts, 13 contested possessions, nine score involvements, 451 metres gained (joint third), and four clearances (ranked fifth) as he was a shining light in a poor night for his side.

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It is no secret that Wines has relished being free of the captain title that he gave to Tom Jonas at the start of 2020. He finally looks fully fit and free to go about his footy, and it is showing.

His contested work around stoppages is nearly unrivalled, and his work ethic and willingness to get to contest after contest is a testament to his aerobic endurance.

Although his disposal efficiency can leave a bit to be desired, it is his ability to get the contested ball and dish out to his teammates that makes him a genuine star of the competition.

His season overall has been immense. While others have been up and down, Wines has stayed at a high level, gathering touches at will and forcing his physicality onto the opposition. If Port are to make a proper tilt at the 2021 premiership, then Wines is going to have to be front and centre to all of it.

An absolute brute in the middle, Port’s number 16 has been doing as he pleases in what has been a career-best year so far, even though it is only nine games in. He is on track to smash all of his career averages at his current pace with his disposal count going over 30 six times, with three going over 35.

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His contested and clearance work has been a sight to behold this season. Just twice has Wines been under 13 contested possessions and just once has he been under four clearances for a game (his highest is eight).

The AFL community knew how good Wines was when he was drafted, but after a few injury-hit seasons there was talk that Carlton tried to lure him away. Thankfully, he stayed at Alberton, and now look at what he is producing.

Like a fine wine, Wines continues to get better with each passing week and if Port Adelaide make finals and manage to get that coveted premiership, the boy from Echuca will have more than played his part.

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