20/05/2024

Port Adelaide is interested in Ethan Phillips and Joe Richards.

Port Adelaide did the majority of its off-season work in the trade period, acquiring last year’s number-one pick Jason Horne-Francis and Willie Rioli in the same deal. They gutted their 2022 draft picks to do so, but that won’t worry Port’s recruiters at all.

At the top of the wish list will be mature-agers who can fill needs in key defence and at ground level in the forward line. The Power struggled to fill those gaps when injuries struck during the year and there are options towards the back end of the draft to add immediate competition for places.

READ: AFL Draft Power Rankings: The top 50 prospects in 2022

Port Adelaide’s draft hand: 33, 60, 72

Entering the draft late in the second round, Port will be hoping Joe Richards has made it past Collingwood and is available. Richards may be the best story from the draft, having plied his trade in Wangaratta this year as speedy forward with goal sense and aggression.

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The Forthergill-Round-Mitchell Medallist Ethan Phillips was sensational for Port Melbourne this year and will be drafted like the 15 FRM winners before him. He’s a defender that reads the ball well and intercepts with aplomb. 

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Outside of those two options, Port will be keeping an eye on local talent. Jaiden Magor presents as a special type of forward who can impact in the midfield and win one-on-one contests in the forward 50. Adam D’Aloia may also be a consideration for the Power if they are looking for an inside midfielder – he dominated the U18s all season.

South Australian Billy Dowling would be a nice option towards the end of the draft.

As could West Adelaide duo Harry Lemmey and Tom Scully – both have had moments throughout the year but haven’t done enough to warrant higher consideration. They may be available for Port to take a punt on at the end of the draft.

While only expected to use two picks, they’ve nominated NGA prospect Nathan Barkla who will likely find his way onto the list as a category-B rookie.

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