The Roar
The Roar

AFL
Advertisement

Opinion

The locks and shocks of Port Adelaide's best 22 for 23

Roar Rookie
6th February, 2023
Advertisement
Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Roar Rookie
6th February, 2023
40
2241 Reads

There’s been a lot said about Port Adelaide’s team heading into 2023, and having read a few different articles on the Power’s chances, I decided to up the ante.

This is my take on Port Adelaide’s best side for the new season.

Backs

Tom Jonas

He has been known to be able to cover bigs and smalls – in his day it would be the opposition’s number one forward regardless of size – but he has slowed a bit, which means he’s better suited to the bigs. I have too much respect for his contribution to the club to speculate on his future at this time of the year. He’s a lock for captain.

Tom Clurey

Whoever gets the gig will be undersized. I wanted someone I can trust at fullback, and if I ignore last year Clurey has some good runs on the board. I have also picked his closing speed over Trent McKenzie’s left boot. The choice is between these two, and because of this, both had ordinary years under the pressure to play for their spot. He is the question mark of the defensive unit. Show me, Tom!

Darcy Byrne-Jones

Advertisement

He seems to get the competition’s most dangerous small forwards and does a pretty good job, although it appears his output is down because of this. He is a lock in this side. He has come a long way since I affectionately labelled him Darcy Bin Juice! He should also be freed up when not required for a big job.

Sam Powell-Pepper of the Power and Tom Jonas

(Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Half back

Ryan Burton

He had a really good year and is a lock. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Aliir Aliir

Although his numbers were up, I thought his influence was down. Obviously he’s a certainty. If we could defend better through the middle, he would again drive our forward thrusts instead of just thwarting the opposition.

Advertisement

Dan Houston

He was terrible for our ball movement at times last year and needs to move it on a lot quicker. He is a lock, but I tossed up whether that was half-back flank or wing. In the end I trusted his defensive ability more than other options.

Aliir Aliir

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Centre

Xavier Duursma

I was so happy to hear his interview from not long ago and the confidence he exuded. He’s a sure thing when up and about. If he can return to form, there’s no question this is his wing.

Ollie Wines

Advertisement

He’s a lock.

Kane Farrell

He’s a nice ball user and can deliver or go for home from the wing. He’s better suited to an outside role than a running defender role. I tossed up this wing between Farrell, Houston and Miles Bergman, but Kane gets first dibs due to his polish.

Kane Farrell

(Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Half forward

Sam Powell-Pepper

I thought he was sensational last year. I also thought we missed his grunt at the end of 2021 and during the finals. He is a lock to play on the edge for his teammates and club. Every team needs an SPP-style player, especially in September – despite the chance he could do something silly at any given moment!

Advertisement

Todd Marshall

I’m so happy he had the year he did. I have been (perhaps unfairly) asking for more for two years. He needs to go another step again, but I can finally say with confidence that he’s a lock.

Zak Butters

He’s a jet and will run through midfield. I just wish he looked after himself more. Truth be told, he’s more of a danger to himself when on his own flopping about than he is running into blokes. I thought he stalled a bit last year, but injuries curtailed him to a degree, and to be fair we heap a lot of expectations on him and Connor Rozee, and it can be a burden at their age, and an unfair one at that.

Zak Butters

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Forward

Orazio Fantasia

Advertisement

He is almost a lock when fit. He has the talent and craft to be one of the best small forwards in the competition, but the truth is he needs to be managed carefully, so no wet tracks and kept primed for spring.

Charlie Dixon

Please don’t ruck this man! He needs to expend all his energy on his forward craft, leading patterns, wrestling three defenders and kicking goals – and, dare I say it, running under the footy. The only time he should be considered up the ground is if we are unable to get him the ball and he’s getting cold, even then I’d prefer him to just wander up on his own accord.

Mitch Georgiades

He had the blues a bit last year with some minor injuries reducing his polish and confidence. He’s still a lock and a great option for crowd-surfing the defenders that Dixon draws in with his presence.

Charlie Dixon of the Power (center) is wrapped up

(Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Ruck

Advertisement

Scott Lycett

I was very vocal about us disrespecting the game by not playing a true ruck. I don’t care which stats we focus on to make it look like a decent move, it just isn’t. Scotty isn’t a lock due to his age and injuries last year, but playing at least one full-time ruckman is!

Travis Boak

He’s still a certainty and still first in line, even if for shorter stints generally. He should be called on for nearly all centre bounces.

Connor Rozee

Enough said.

Connor Rozee of the Power celebrates a goal

(Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Advertisement

Bench

Jeremy Finlayson

He won me over. He sits on the bench as a chop-out for Lycett but is also tall cover for game-day injuries.

Miles Bergman

He offers a lot and covers a variety of positions. I’m enjoying his development. He was unlucky not to start on the wing or half back, but he has the potential to lock one in before the year is done.

Junior Rioli

I moved him to the bench from emergencies once I realised I forgot the sub role. He was stiff not to make it originally, but I did think he would still play plenty of footy with Fantasia in and out.

Advertisement

Jason Horne-Francis

JHF nearly got a starting role but also nearly missed out altogether. In the end I wanted a forward-mid option on the bench, and he’s a pretty good one. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for us. His first-year stats were impressive, especially on half a calf. I know the chatter about his mental strength has him fired up and ready to prove a point.

Sub

Lachie Jones

I like this lad a lot. In time he’ll be a lock. Right now his versatility gets him the sub role over Willem Drew. I did have him in the side, but he fits the sub role better than most (unfortunately for him!).

I feel like this is a pretty balanced side, with a question mark on each line – as most teams have. But it leaves a fair bit of experience in the depth department also.

Didn’t make the cut

Advertisement

Willem Drew

Stiff, but he’s first in if a midfielder goes down. I just see more strings on a few other bows.

Riley Bonner

Also stiff, but he gets a run if a mid-sized defender or winger goes down or is not performing.

Trent McKenzie

He found it tough last year after proving a capable tall(ish) defender. I knew he would get squeezed out, but he’s a handy backup.

Advertisement

Young guns and depth

Jase Burgoyne

There’s a lot to like about this lad, but sometimes you just have to bide your time. I’d be more than comfortable with his inclusion at any time.

Jackson Mead and Josh Sinn

As above.

Sam Hayes

I wish I could say he had more experience than he has. I thought he showed enough to play more last year, and I’d be confident with him if we need him.

Advertisement

Brynn Teakle

I like what I saw here too. He’s probably next in line if Finlayson drops out, whereas Hayes is Lycett’s backup.

Dylan Williams and Jed McEntee

They’re small forwards who have been pushed down the pecking order with the inclusion of Rioli and my preference for only one true small forward in the team at a time.

Dante Visentini, Hugh Jackson and Ollie Lord

They’re untried but have impressed me with the Maggies and in trials. I’d be stoked for them to get a run.

close