port AFL

Port Adelaide Season Predictions

Ins: Nathan Barkla (Category B rookie), Francis Evans (Delisted Free Agent, Geelong), Jason Horne-Francis (Trade, North Melbourne), Kyle Marshall (NAB Draft. Pick 59 draft), Tom McCallum (NAB Draft, Pick 36), Junior Rioli (Trade, West Coast), Thomas Scully (NAB Draft, Pick 53)

Outs: Karl Amon (Free Agent, Hawthorn), Martin Frederick (Delisted), Robbie Gray (Retired), Sam Mayes (delisted), Steven Motlop (Retired), Taj Schofield (Delisted), Sam Skinner (Delisted)

Draw: Based on the new weighted draw brought in for the 2023 season, Port Adelaide statistically have the 6th hardest draw in the competition. The Power will face Adelaide, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Richmond, and the Western Bulldogs twice throughout the season.

Forwards:  Charlie Dixon, Francis Evans, Orazio Fantasia, Jeremy Finlayson, Mitch Georgiades, Todd Marshall, Jed Mcentee*, Sam Powell-Pepper, Junior Rioli, Thomas Scully, Dante Visentini, Dylan Williams*

Midfielders: Nathan Barkla*, Miles Bergman, Travis Boak, Zak Butters, Willem Drew, Trent Dumont*, Xavier Duursma, Kane Farrell, Jason Horne-Francis, Hugh Jackson, Jackson Mead, Connor Rozee, Josh Sinn, Ollie Wines

Rucks: Sam Hayes, Scott Lycett, Brynn Teakle*

Defenders: Aliir Aliir, Riley Bonner, Jase Burgoyne, Ryan Burton, Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston, Tom Jonas, Lachie Jones, Ollie Lord, Kyle Marshall, Tom McCallum, Trent McKenzie, Jake Pasini*,

* Indicates rookie/long-term injury listed player

Ones to watch: By all reports, young rookie ruckmen Brynn Teakle has been outstanding in the ruck contests internally at Alberton so far this pre-season. After a indifferent first year at North Melbourne on and off the field, all eyes will be on former number 1 pick Jason Horne-Francis over the pre-season games. JHF was quiet in their internal trial but had previously been training well before that coming off surgery. It will take him time to settle into the Port Adelaide side but expect him to show why he was valued so high in his draft year as the season goes on. Ollie Wines will be looking to get back to his best after a disappointing 2022 campaign by the former Brownlow medallists lofty standards.

Strengths: The Port Adelaide midfield is absolutely stacked full of stars. After starting the season 0-5 last year, Ken Hinkley pulled the trigger on Connor Rozee in the midfield. The young superstar added outside run and slick ball use, which helped take the pressure off the bigger bodies of Boak and Wines. Zak Butters also looks ready to explode with more midfield minutes set to come his way in 2022.  Jeremy Finlayson also had a career-best year last season, playing near every position on the ground, including the ruck where he dominated around the ground.

Weaknesses: For a significant amount of time, the Power have lacked another tall key defender to help out Aliir Aliir. Tom Clurey is a serviceable backman, however the Power often get caught out when up against some of the taller and stronger forward lines in the competition. Aliir plays his best footy when intercepting the ball and setting them up for the quick rebound but wasn’t able to play that way as much due to the lack of key backs and having to lock down a forward.

General thoughts: Port Adelaide would have been extremely disappointed with the year they produced in 2022. Touted by many at the start of the season as top-4 locks, the Power failed to make finals largely due to losing their first 5 games. They struggled with injuries to many of their key players and their next tier did not look up to the standard in several games. In 2023, there should be no reason they don’t make finals with Junior Rioli and Jason Horne-Francis coming straight into their best 22.

Coach Pressure Gauge – 9/10.  – Unfortunately for Ken Hinkley, it’s probably a preliminary final or bust for him this year. Pressure has been steadily mounting over the past several years as they look to finally reach Grand Final day after finishing 2nd in 2021 and 1st in 2020. One can only wonder if Port Adelaide President, David ‘Kochie’ Koch, never made the famous “3 premierships in 5 years” quote, would they even be looking at replacing Ken?

Breakout year: Brynn Teakle, Josh Sinn

B&F Winner: Zak Butters

Fantasy relevant:

Connor Rozee – $780,000 – Mid/Fwd

Zak Butters – $764,000 – Mid/Fwd

Jason Horne Francis – $553,000 – Mid/Fwd

Josh Sinn – $ 233,000 – Mid/Fwd

Finishing spot prediction: 7th

Don’t be surprised to see them finish top 4 or miss the finals completely. They are definitely the hardest team to get a read on after their disappointing year in 2022.

Brody is the founder and head of content at Straya Sports. A self-confessed sporting tragic, Brody has covered (and played) nearly every sport imaginable on a variety of different media platforms.

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