To be honest I think Port have some ordinary to very ordinary players in their 22 and I think the likes of us and North will catch up to them this year.
Carlile, Cornes, White, Trengrove, Pittard and Broadbent scream: "We are Richmond just super fit."
I don't think their midfield comes close to Hawthorn or Sydney. Hell we would give them a good shake.
Watson, Goddard, Heppell, Zaharakis, Cooney, Myers, Stanton, Zach Merrett.
Boak, Gray, Wines, Ebert, Hartlett, Polec, Cornes, Wingard (Wingard played limited minutes in the middle last year and was played mostly forward from what I saw).
There is a reason why we went over there last year in the second half of the season and beat them, because we are as good as them.
I predict they will stagnate or go backwards this season, 5th-7th.
Interesting way of looking at it, I don't think it's entirely clear one way or the other on the midfield - and that's our biggest strength. Not sure Merrett spends more time in there than Heath, either.
Where they excel is off the flanks, the overlapping run and the easy ball use that creates is far more than just a party trick, it's what they're built around, and it wins them a hell of a lot of games.
Pittard Hartlett Polec Pittard Impey Broadbent White vs Hibberd, Dempsey, Gleeson... pretty stark. Takes a hell of a lot of defending to go with them.
22 something like:
B: Hombsch Carlisle Jonas
HB: Polec Trengove Pittard
C: Hartlett Gray Ebert
HF: Wingard Ryder Monfries
F: Westhoff Schulz White
R: Lobbe Wines Boak
I: Broadbent Impey Neade Cornes
Ain't too bad at all IMHO. 3 or 4 defenders/defensive types who are more blue collar than star quality, but they do their respective jobs, and as a side they're good enough to always present good options.
Limited ish in terms of experienced depth but a heap of guys who are young enough to come good and a coaching panel who is giving a fair impression of knowing what they're doing in improving & coaching kids.