Port Adelaide 2023

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Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Booney » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:54 am

Season 2023 will be a defining year in the history of the PAFC, one way or another.

With senior coach Ken Hinkley entering his 11th season as coach with the unenviable record of being the longest serving Port Adelaide coach (in 152 years) and the longest serving VFL/AFL coach yet to take his team to a Grand final while entering the final year of his contract, the pressure on the board, coach and players has rarely been higher at Alberton.

Further to that the executive led by Chairman David Koch and CEO Matt Richardson will feel the pressure from a supporter base ready for change. Koch, in his 12th year as Chairman, was instrumental in bringing Ken Hinkley to Port Adelaide while Richardson, in his third year as CEO has navigated the financial disaster of COVID returning Port Adelaide to off field profit but this supporter base doesn’t accept profits ahead of wins.

The expectation surrounding the coaches contract has a fairly popular consensus, it’s a Grand Final or bust, so how does this club go from 10 wins in 2022 to 13 or more and a return to finals and ultimately a Grand Final appearance?

The addition of Junior Rioli from West Coast and the highly publicised move of Jason Horne-Francis from North Melbourne are offset by the retirement of club great Robbie Gray, the Free Agency move of Karl Amon to Hawthorn along with several other list changes around de-listings, retirements and the national draft, the 4 players mentioned here the high profile moves in and out.

So, where is it that Port Adelaide improve? Is it simply a matter of getting the start we desire ( albeit with a tough first 5 weeks again ) or is it deeper than that? I think it’s deeper.

2022 was ruined early, 0-5 on the back of some injuries, some form, playing injured players and ultimately spending 17 weeks trying to make up for the first 5.

In terms of structure season 2022 couldn’t have been more damaging. Lead ruckman Scott Lycett played the first 4 games before succumbing to a shoulder injury and wasn’t seen again, key big man Charlie Dixon wasn’t seen at AFL level until round 11 after preseason surgery, 2021 All Australian key defender Aliir Aliir missed several weeks as the losses piled up early and spent the year playing catch up, Xavier Duursma had his second injury interrupted season playing just 11 games, many of which he appeared to be hampered by a collar bone injury suffered in round 1 and the retiring Robbie Gray missed two blocks of 3 weeks with an aging body telling him it was time while young gun Zak Butters played the year under duress with knee issues, often playing under done as the club played catch up.

Key big men missing from the structure, young guns and an old pro all missed large parts of the season but there’s more to returning to finals in 2023 than just some luck, mind you I won’t turn it down.

Offensively the club has attempted to fix the small forward issues by recruiting Junior Rioli while an almost new recruit could be Orazio Fantasia, missing all of 2022 with injury a fit Fantasia will add some spark to the Port forward 50. With Todd Marshall have a break out year, Charlie Dixon ready to start the season on the park, surprise ruck option Jeremy Finlayson ready to build on his 2022 form and Mitch Georgiades the front half looks well served. Add in Powell-Pepper, Rozee and Butters on rotation and there appears to be more than enough scoring options.

In the midfield led by Wines, Boak, Rozee, Houston and Drew the likes of Bergman, Duursma and Farrell have their opportunity to cement a spot in the midfield mix that will at times include Horne-Francis, Bonner, Sinn and Dumont. Options appear to have some good balance here with inside / outside / attacking / defensive mids in the mix. Lycett will lead the ruck, Finlayson will spend time in the rotation while the likes of Hayes, Teakle and Visentini are waiting in the wings for an opportunity.

It's the back half that Port also tried to bolster in the trade period chasing Geelong’s Esava Ratogolea without success leaving Aliir, Jonas and Clurey or McKenzie in the key posts. Ollie Lord, drafted as a key forward spent time in the key back post in the last half of 2022 in the SANFL and may be used in the back half if required, Jake Pasini is returning from an ACL and will be into full training early in the year. Around them the likes of Byrne-Jones, Burton, Jones, Burgoyne and Bonner.

Off field changes under Hinkley include Chad Cornes as forward coach, Josh Carr joins the club as midfield coach, Nathan Bassett is in charge of the defence while Tyson Goldsack takes over as SANFL coach from Matt Lokan who departed the club along with Brett Montgomery and Jarrod Schofield. In development Luke Kelly ( GWS ) joins Hamish Hartlett and Matt Lobbe.

From a game style perspective Port Adelaide fans most want more efficiency going forward, with a new forward and midfield coach there’s an opportunity to revamp that ball movement and increase the return on our forward 50 investments.

So there’s pressure on the executive as they back the coach in. There’s pressure on the coach in the last year of his deal. There’s pressure on coaches moving into new roles. There’s pressure on the playing group to deliver on the potential they possess. There’s pressure on the high performance team to keep the group on the park. Pressure, they say, can create diamonds. Who might be that diamond?

For mine, I have two stand outs who can elevate themselves from role players to elite footballers at AFL level.

Miles Bergman and Kane Farrell. Both possess midfield running ability, both have elite ball use at their disposal, both 30+ games under their belt. The addition of Bergman to the wing and Farrell in any capacity from half back to half forward should see our ball use increase in efficiency. Watch these two.

The AFL have handed Port a challenging start to the season. Premiership fancy Brisbane come to town in round 1, we then head to the MCG to face another top 4 aspirant Collingwood in round 2 before returning home to face cross town rival and resurgent Adelaide ahead of a trip to Sydney to face 2022 grand finalist Sydney Swans and then Bulldogs in the Gather Round. It’s not unreasonable to think that once again the first 5 games of the season will determine Port Adelaides finishing position at the end of the year. West Coast, St Kilda, Essendon and North opens up the draw after that but it may be too late when we get to that block.

It’s a great unknown how we’ll start off. Win 2 of the first 5 and we give ourselves an opening. Win 3 or more and we’ll have caused at least 1 upset and set ourselves up. Once again at the conclusion of round 5 Port Adelaide fans will know what season 2023 has in store.

Boon’s best 22 :

F – Rioli Marshall Georgiades
HF – Powell-Pepper Dixon Butters
C – Bergman Wines Duursma
HB – Burton Aliir Jones
B – Jonas Clurey Byrne-Jones

Foll – Lycett Boak Rozee

Int – Finlayson, Houston, Horne-Francis, Farrell

Emerg – Drew, Sinn, Bonner, Burgoyne, Fantasia, McKenzie
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Booney » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:55 am

Gee whiz....some op! #JHF #overrated

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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby DOC » Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:13 am

They are the very telltale scars of surgery for Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome. Did well to play with that. Remarkable really.

The lump on the left leg looks nasty but I am sure the medical staff would be on top of it.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby The Dark Knight » Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:27 am

Career defining year for Fantasia you would think Boon?

I like your team, it sort of picks itself, only emergency I'd consider unlucky is Drew.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Booney » Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:39 am

The Dark Knight wrote:Career defining year for Fantasia you would think Boon?

I like your team, it sort of picks itself, only emergency I'd consider unlucky is Drew.


Yep, Fantasia is in the last year of his deal and with Rioli coming in on a 4 year deal he's got some work to do to make the small forward spot his. All reports ( like everyone ) he's in good nick, to be fair that'd be the first time in 18 months, so it'll be interesting to see if he can get ahead of Rioli.

I've got a few spots I had trouble with and agreed, Drew might be the unlucky one there.

Rioli and Fantasia, one of them gets the gig as the small forward.

Bonner/Jones/Burgoyne across half back, I think there's only one spot for those three with the complicating factor that Bonner may go to the wing ( left footer, Bergman right ) and Duursma slips out, that would make room for Drew in the middle.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby The Dark Knight » Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:59 am

Booney wrote:
The Dark Knight wrote:Career defining year for Fantasia you would think Boon?

I like your team, it sort of picks itself, only emergency I'd consider unlucky is Drew.

Yep, Fantasia is in the last year of his deal and with Rioli coming in on a 4 year deal he's got some work to do to make the small forward spot his. All reports ( like everyone ) he's in good nick, to be fair that'd be the first time in 18 months, so it'll be interesting to see if he can get ahead of Rioli.

I've got a few spots I had trouble with and agreed, Drew might be the unlucky one there.

Rioli and Fantasia, one of them gets the gig as the small forward.

Bonner/Jones/Burgoyne across half back, I think there's only one spot for those three with the complicating factor that Bonner may go to the wing ( left footer, Bergman right ) and Duursma slips out, that would make room for Drew in the middle.

If Fantasia can't get on the park again this season (even at SANFL level) you'd think that's his AFL career over, would be too much of a liability to be given another contract.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Brodlach » Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:27 am

Did hear him on the radio Wednesday, taken up Pilates over the past 3 months and said it’s the best he has felt
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby whufc » Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:53 am

Brodlach wrote:Did hear him on the radio Wednesday, taken up Pilates over the past 3 months and said it’s the best he has felt


TBH not sure how it has taken him this long to give Pilates a go.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Dutchy » Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:54 am

I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year? I cant see any way he is there in 2024, even if they won the flag
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby RB » Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:22 am

Dutchy wrote:I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year?


An early win streak and they give him another 3 years...
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Booney » Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:23 am

Dutchy wrote:I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year? I cant see any way he is there in 2024, even if they won the flag


That's the only way he stays on, IMO.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby MW » Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:24 am

Dutchy wrote:I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year? I cant see any way he is there in 2024, even if they won the flag


Depends if Port and their supporters swallow the media narrative that making finals is enough.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby whufc » Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:33 am

Booney wrote:
Dutchy wrote:I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year? I cant see any way he is there in 2024, even if they won the flag


That's the only way he stays on, IMO.


If he gets the flag would he consider retiring at that point.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Dutchy » Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:51 am

whufc wrote:
Booney wrote:
Dutchy wrote:I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year? I cant see any way he is there in 2024, even if they won the flag


That's the only way he stays on, IMO.


If he gets the flag would he consider retiring at that point.


Agree, he would walk away then
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Lightning McQueen » Fri Jan 20, 2023 1:03 pm

Brodlach wrote:Did hear him on the radio Wednesday, taken up Pilates over the past 3 months and said it’s the best he has felt

The instructor?
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby locky801 » Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:53 pm

Dutchy wrote:I know its boring but its going to be topical all year, is there any scenario where Ken and Port don't part ways this year? I cant see any way he is there in 2024, even if they won the flag


Minor Premiers and will fall over in the Prelim at home ;)
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby RustyCage » Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:29 pm

For mine, grand final is absolute minimum. Any less - goneski
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby UK Fan » Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:16 pm

If Hinkley coaches to a preliminary that would be 3 preliminary final appearances in 4 seasons.

That will be enough for Koch to re-sign Hinkley imho
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Lightning McQueen » Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:10 am

I reckon finals will be enough for Kochie to keep him at the helm.
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Re: Port Adelaide 2023

Postby Booney » Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:08 am

Miguel from Portgual has been inducted.
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