Are Port Adelaide any good? It appears to have been the everlasting query beneath Ken Hinkley. The opposite one is, can the person really coach?
After successful three finals in Hinkley’s first two years (2013-14) the Energy haven’t received one since, and actually have solely made the finals as soon as. As a substitute, they’ve hacked across the edges of the ultimate eight, ending ninth, tenth, seventh and tenth within the final 4 years.
Even within the two seasons they made the finals, they completed fifth and seventh on the ladder.
What have Port really achieved beneath Hinkley, and the place are they going?
Port Adelaide Greatest 22
B: D.Houston T.Clurey R.Burton
HB: T.Jonas D.Howard D.Byrne-Jones
C: J.Westhoff O.Wines H.Hartlett
HF: T.Boak P.Ryder S.Motlop
F: S.Grey C.Dixon J.Watts
Foll: S.Lycett S.Powell-Pepper R.Grey
Int: B.Ebert R.Bonner T.Rockliff T.Marshall
Em: M.Broadbent Ok.Amon S.Mayes
Port have misplaced Chad Wingard and Jared Polec from their 2018 group, gamers that completed fifth and sixth in the very best and fairest final 12 months respectively, each offering numerous drive and run that might be missed. The 2 of them had been the primary inside 50 deliverers at Port final 12 months.
If Hamish Hartlett can have a full season after managing solely 5 video games final season, his class might assist offset the losses of Wingard and Polec, however he’s already had knee points this pre-season.
Does Robbie Grey spend much more time within the midfield, constructing on final 12 months when he was despatched in there extra typically than in 2017? He’s on the flawed aspect of 30 now, however nonetheless a gun of the very best order, capable of dance and weave out of any scenario.
The Energy can rightfully demand extra out of Steven Motlop too, given he underwhelmed in his first season there. In 2016 at Geelong he averaged simply shy of 20 touches a sport and kicked 38 objectives. Solely 11 objectives final 12 months was by far his worst return since his second season on the Cats, when he solely performed 4 video games.
One other participant that has class is Jack Watts, somebody who has appeared to spend his total profession on the crossroads. He wasn’t terrible in his first 12 months at Port, however he by no means is. He delivers the ball so properly, however wants to seek out extra of it. In over half his video games final season he took 4 marks or much less, which needs to be not possible for a lead-up marking half-forward within the trendy sport.
Ollie Wines and Sam Powell-Pepper are the within workhorses that aren’t essentially the most dependable disposers. Their job is to get the ball out to the silkier runners. The previous appears to supply about what he did in his first and second years, with out having made enormous development. The latter might properly do the identical, however is extra explosive in what he does.
Tom Rockliff is a pure ball-winner, the third large title from different golf equipment that landed at Port for 2018, and like Motlop and Watts he disenchanted in his first 12 months at Alberton. He by no means seemed absolutely match final season, however is claiming to be a lot additional superior this time round.
Travis Boak and Brad Ebert are the stalwarts, each extraordinarily skilled, with 478 video games between them. Boak has spent the vast majority of the final two years as a half-forward, whereas Ebert has apparently been coaching there over summer season and may very well be in for a job change. You realize you’re going to get consistency from each, however not essentially game-changing high quality.
Sam Grey is one other hybrid that’s most likely extra suited to the midfield however is used ahead as a substitute. These are all simply good odd gamers, or maybe a step above that, however lack a dynamism to cowl what Wingard might do.
Port actually have loads of ruck and key ahead choices this 12 months with the addition of West Coast premiership participant Scott Lycett, coming off his finest season. He performed some good footy final 12 months in tandem with Nic Naitanui after which Nathan Vardy, and at 26 is able to thrive main the ruck.
Paddy Ryder has extra versatility and mobility than Lycett in the case of taking part in different positions, so though ruck is his finest private spot the group needs to be utilizing him as back-up, which must also assist protect a physique that isn’t essentially the most sturdy.
It wouldn’t shock to see him in defence, significantly if the promising Todd Marshall continues to enhance and command common video games up ahead.
Charlie Dixon could have a delayed begin to the season, however needs to be stationed as a everlasting full-forward with out the necessity to ruck as he did at numerous phases final 12 months. The brand new 6-6-6 guidelines are designed to assist energy forwards like him.
Justin Westhoff was a deserved finest and fairest final 12 months, taking part in key ahead, relieving ruck, wingman and pushing behind the ball on the finish of quarters or if his defence was beneath siege. There’s a good case to say he’s the very best utility within the sport.
Down again, Tom Clurey and Dougal Howard are in the important thing posts, neither prone to be troubling the All Australian selectors at any stage of their profession. Tom Jonas has made the AA squad of 40 the final two years taking part in taller than his top, intercepting properly and taking part in a rebounding function too. He’s quietly grow to be among the best backmen within the sport – a lot is anticipated of him, and far is delivered.
Ryan Burton might be a brand new addition to the backline after coming throughout from Hawthorn as a part of the Wingard commerce, anticipated to supply run and rebound alongside the likes of the Dan Houston, Darcy Byrne-Jones and Riley Bonner.
All 4 are within the 21-23 age bracket, so can develop and enhance alongside one another as they acquire extra expertise, however at that age there’ll nonetheless be a shakiness about them.
Considered one of Port’s largest issues is that they don’t have a lot in the way in which of uncovered depth. They’ve 20 gamers with ten AFL matches or much less to their title – that’s 43per cent of their listing. Plus guys like Howard, Houston, Powell-Pepper and Bonner which have lower than 40.
The older veterans like Westhoff, Boak, Ryder, Grey, Ebert, Hartlett and Matthew Broadbent aren’t going to get any higher.
There may be numerous flakiness within the Energy listing, whether or not that’s by way of harm or up-and-down efficiency. This was mirrored of their 2018, once they went from a report of 11-Four after Spherical 16 to 12-10 on the finish of the home-and-away rounds.
Port have been a middle-of-the-road aspect for his or her total time beneath Ken Hinkley, able to flashes of brilliance that seduce us, however not often with any substance to again it up. With Adelaide and Essendon certain to enhance from beneath them in 2019, and setbacks to necessary gamers over pre-season, a drop is properly and actually on the playing cards.
14.Western Bulldogs15.St Kilda