Pick one from the 2022 AFL Draft Jason Horne-Francis has finally completed his stunning move to Port Adelaide on a six-year deal.
It was the trade request that shook that AFL world on the eve of the trade period; Horne-Francis wanted out of North Melbourne.
A troubled first year that included several off-field incidents ended with the teenager being dropped. That, along with an uncertain situation involving Alastair Clarkson this off-season, all culminated in the former South Adelaide midfielder handing in the request.
To get the deal done, Port Adelaide was part of a four-team mega trade that saw Horne-Francis and Junior Rioli arrive at Alberton along with a 2023 second round pick and a 2023 third round pick.
The club also traded out its picks eight, 43, 53 and 57 to secure the deal.
Horne-Francis boosts Port Adelaide’s midfield stocks
Port Adelaide now gets another body into its midfield group it was crying out for. With the addition of Horne-Francis to the mix that already includes Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, Ollie Wines, Travis Boak, and Sam Powell-Pepper, Port gets another future star.
While his efforts in his 17 games for North Melbourne showed glimpses of his talent, it was few and far between. But that is not to say there isn’t a star player in there. The tough-tackling midfielder will fit right in at Port Adelaide. He also gives Ken Hinkley another arrow in his quiver for the 2023 season.
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For many, Horne-Francis was played a little out of position in his debut season. He was often starting on a half-forward flank and working into the midfield. Now with a year under his belt, the 19-year-old needs to be used in the same way Hinkley used Rozee.
Thrust him into the middle and let him go to work. His addition lightens the workload on Wines and Boak while adding some much-needed speed into Port’s midfield group.
His arrival likely spells the end for Willem Drew, who has been a serviceable player for the club. But he could be relegated to depth player for the 2023 season.
After a 2022 season that failed on so many levels that ultimately led to Port Adelaide failing to reach the finals after being in back-to-back preliminary finals, There is now a renewed sense of excitement heading into the new season.
While it isn’t the big, transformative signing some had hoped for, Port has just gained a former pick one that has loads of potential and could be a 250-plus gamer for the club.
Seeing Horne-Francis alongside Rozee, Butters, and Powell-Pepper in Port’s midfield should excite every Port fan for the next decade.
Chris Davies said that the club was going to be aggressive and were, acquiring a star in the making.
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