FOUR PLAYERS are on the cusp of making their debut for Port Adelaide in the opening round of the 2014 AFL Premiership Season against Carlton on Sunday night.
Trade recruits Jared Polec and Matt White are joined by second-round draft picks Tom Clurey (2012 draft) and Jarman Impey (2013) in the Power’s initial 25-man squad to play the Blues at Etihad Stadium.
Preview: Power v Blues
While Polec and White have been impressive on the track during pre-season and in the club’s NAB Challenge games, it is the naming of Clurey and Impey – both products of the Shepparton region of Victoria – which is of particular note.
Impey has been a solid performer during the club’s pre-season campaign while Clurey has held his own as a key defender throughout the summer.
Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley described their naming in the squad as a “reward for effort”.
“It’s a reward for their pre-season and we started off this summer by saying everyone was on a level ground to try and get a spot in our first team,” Hinkley told portadelaidefc.com.au.
“If at the end of the pre-season your form was consistent and solid, you put yourself in the best position to get picked.
“That’s what both these boys have been able to do.”
Previously injured key stars Jackson Trengove, Jay Schulz and Robbie Gray also come into the squad.
“They’re really important to our structure as a football team, with Schulz and Jacko at either end and Robbie playing through the middle,” Hinkley said.
Port Adelaide has an indifferent record at Etihad Stadium, but Hinkley has been quick to instil a set of values at Alberton that his players will prepare for and approach each game with the same methodical, professional and determined approach.
It’s about being beyond venue or oppositional records, according to Hinkley.
“I think as a club you’ve got to be beyond where you’re playing at,” Hinkley said.
“You’ve got to perform a certain way at every ground – whether that’s here at the Adelaide Oval, away in Melbourne or any other interstate venue – we’ve got to have the appetite to play the way we need to get the result we want.
“Round 1 is always a significant game for everyone and we want to start the season on a positive note.
“I’m really impressed with the boys’ ability to turn back up for this pre-season and train real hard, and they’ve given themselves a chance to go back out there, perform and play good football.”
Port Adelaide will finalise its team to play Carlton on Friday afternoon.
Port Adelaide Round 1 squad v Carlton
FB: Jackson Trengove, Jack Hombsch, Matthew Broadbent
HB: Jasper Pittard, Tom Jonas, Tom Clurey
C: Jared Polec, Brad Ebert, Kane Cornes
HF: Angus Monfries, Justin Westhoff, Hamish Hartlett
FF: John Butcher, Jay Schulz, Robbie Gray
Ruck: Matthew Lobbe, Travis Boak, Chad Wingard
Interchange from: Dom Cassisi, Sam Colquhoun, Jarman Impey, Cameron O’Shea, Brent Renouf, Matt White, Ollie Wines
Carlton Round 1 squad
FB: Lachie Henderson, Matthew Watson, Zach Tuohy
HB: Kade Simpson, Michael Jamison, Andrew Walker
C: Dale Thomas, Marc Murphy, Ed Curnow
HF: Chris Yarran, Jarrad Waite, Jeff Garlett
FF: Mitch Robinson, Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs
Ruck: Robert Warnock, Tom Bell, Brock McLean
Interchange from: Andrejs Everitt, David Ellard, Andrew McInnes, Nick Holman, Patrick Cripps, Kane Lucas, Troy Menzel
Article credit: PORTADELAIDEDEFC.COM.AU
AUTHOR: Matthew Agius