Coach – Ken Hinkley
Points For – 9th
Points Against – 8th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
2019 Rising Star Noms
Connor Rozee (Round 3)
Xavier Duursma (Round 6)
Ins – Miles Bergman, Mitch Georgiades, Dylan Williams, Jackson Mead, Jack Pasini, Trent Burgoyne, Wylie Buzza
Outs – Matthew Broadbent, Billy Frampton, Sam Gray, Cam Hewett, Dougal Howard, Aidyn Johnson, Kai Pudney, Paddy Ryder, Jack Trengrove
There are a few subplots playing out at Port this year, none more so than the coaching job. He is coming off a lean couple of seasons at a time when Port probably thought they were getting ready to challenge. They look to have drafted well and have some great young talent coming through, I think they will need to make the finals this year for Hinkley to see next year.
The backline looks short for me, they have Clurey and Jonas but the third tall worries me, they cant afford either of those players to miss significant games. Burton is not an accountable defender and plays his best football as a distributor off half back as do Hartlett and Bonner. Byrne Jones is coming off a very good season. They used Houston down back last year at the start of the year but he started seeing more serious midfield minutes as the season went on.
The midfield is their strength, Wines and Rockliff bring ballwinning experience along with Boak. Duursma gives them genuinely good spark and looks like a gun. I think Rozee may float up a little more this year and they have Houston who put some good numbers up towards the end of last season. The worry for me is still leg speed and two way running, there were times last year when they didn’t work hard enough.
The forward line is very hit and miss. They are desperate for Dixon to stand up and have a stellar year. They can’t keep relying on Westhoff who will be 78 years old at the end of the season. Marshall looks a player and I think this could be his year. They have strong smalls with Ebert, Gray and Rozee as well as Drew who looks a player. When they click, there is a lot to like.
I don’t know what happened last year with Lycett but he fell in and out of favour. He will start as their primary ruck and he should go ok. He isn’t a super star but he will be a solid performer, they have Ladhams coming through and I was surprised they let Frampton go so easily. The coach is an interesting one, he has had some pretty good seasons at Port without ever feeling like they were a serious challenger, there is enough talent on their list this season and no excuse.
I think Port with their home ground advantage will trouble a lot of teams this season. They have drafted well and have a good mix of youth and experience. Their top end talent is good, the only worry for me if the lack of really high quality talls. I think the list they have should carry them into the bottom of the eight with them finishing between 6-8.