Power to keep the faith with side
PORT Adelaide looks set to make minimal or no changes for Saturday night’s home preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs despite several players pushing their selection cases.
Forward Mitch Georgiades, key defender Tom Clurey, leadership group member Hamish Hartlett, backman Lachie Jones and midfielder Sam Powell-pepper all featured in the Magpies’ SANFL win over Glenelg last weekend as they bid to break into the Power 22.
Georgiades, second at the Power for goals this year with 32 from 21 games, kicked 1.1 from nine disposals against the Tigers but appeared a little rusty.
Powell-pepper, who booted two majors after coming on as the medical substitute in the qualifying final triumph against Geelong, played a half on Saturday before resting as a precaution due to a corked thigh.
Port Adelaide football manager Chris Davies seemed to hint that tweaks to the line-up were unlikely.
“I’m sure that the coaches have a squad in mind and I can’t imagine it’s going to change much from the last game,” Davies told SEN SA.
“We’ve got a few guys who have put their hands up but ... the players that played in the last game performed really well.
“The decision really comes around the final positions in the team, probably the discussion around who will be the sub. We’ll confirm that today or tomorrow and make our final choice on Thursday morning.”
Davies said the club, which lost a preliminary final to eventual premier Richmond last year, had given itself a great opportunity to make this season’s flag decider.
“Time will tell if we’re good enough on Saturday night, but I don’t think we could be any better placed for where we’re at right now,” he said.
“We think we’ve got a game style that can challenge them (the Bulldogs) and we’ve got a really good opportunity to progress if we play the footy we did the other week against Geelong.”
The Bulldogs booked their clash against the Power with a bruising, one-point semi-final win against Brisbane at the Gabba last Saturday night.
Small forward Cody Weightman was subbed out with concussion and captain Marcus Bontempelli came off late with a knee injury.
Davies said the Power’s coaches and players were preparing for Bontempelli to take to the field.
Davies also confirmed his club’s interest in luring recently retired Hawthorn and Power premiership player Shaun Burgoyne back to Alberton.
Burgoyne, who left Port Adelaide at the end of 2009 and pulled the pin last month after 407 games, was also being sounded out by the Crows.
“Our club has had an interest in Shaun Burgoyne for a long time,” Davies said. “If Shaun was to ... come back to Adelaide, of course we’d be interested in what he could bring to our club. I’m not sure that’s the case at the moment.
“There are not too many times you get the opportunity to garner the wisdom of a 400game player to impart on your department or playing group.”
Power senior assistant Michael Voss is the club’s only coach out of contract at the end of the season. He has been linked to Carlton’s senior role and a return to Queensland to assist Stuart Dew at Gold Coast.