Ladder Position: 16th
Port Adelaide will be glad to see the back of season 2011 which was a horror initiation season for coach Matthew Primus. The club elected youth over the likes of the Cornes’ and Dean Brogan, while injuries to Jay Schulz, David Rodan, Domenic Cassisi and Hamish Hartlett meant they were men down for most of the season.
Unfortunately for the Power, they were the first to lose to the Suns, despite being 41 points up a couple of minutes from three quarter time. They managed to narrowly escape the spoon after a last round win against Melbourne put their percentage above Gold Coast.
Right now they are beginning to rebuild after moving on some club champions and bringing in a host of new faces, both recycled and through the draft. Brent Renouf crosses over from Hawthorn and will be used in tandem with Matthew Lobbe in the ruck, while John McCarthy showed promise at the Pies and should get a regular gig in their best 22. Chad Wingard is a highly touted junior and will no doubt play more games than not in Season 2012.
Port have a tough draw in 2012, not playing Gold Coast or GWS twice, while playing four finalists up first before the showdown against Adelaide. Port will be hoping to gain a bit more consistency and avoid blowouts. If they can manage to be competitive and really show promise, their fans will be pleased with the future of the club.
Domenic Cassisi – The Port Adelaide captain is one of keys to helping Port rise up the ladder. Injured for a great portion of the season, he is hoping to get a full season under his belt as his team is in great need of his inside ball winning ability and leadership.
David Rodan – Another injury prone star, whom if he can get on the park, can cause some real damage in the midfield. After crossing from Richmond, Rodan has really lifted and become a key part of the Port Adelaide team.
Robbie Gray – Gray won the highest goal kicking award at Port despite having stints through the midfield. He began to show the potential that he was given when drafted by the Power, and no doubt Robbie will be hoping to continue his rise to fame.
Hamish Hartlett – Hamish was taken at #4 in the 2008 Draft so he comes with a fair bit of potential and hype. Unfortunately for Hamish, he has been inside the medical room more than on the field, playing 31 games in three seasons. However he managed 16 games last season and with his silky skills, expect him to be a key member of the Port Adelaide midfield.
Jackson Trengove – Originally drafted as a ruck prodigy, Trengove became an instant starter in Port’s defence, taking on some of the best key forwards in the league. With still a lot to learn, he re-signed with Port Adelaide, showing his intent to be a one club player.
John Butcher – Out of all of Port’s young guns, Butcher has impressed the most, booting six goals in just his second AFL game. Butcher has vice-grips and a dead-eye kick which saw him achieve the feat from just six kicks. He will no doubt be one to watch in season 2012.
Port have a strong foundation for a team in a few years’ time, but as of this stage, six to eight wins, would be an improvement on what was a horror season for the boys at Alberton.