27/02/2024

Karl Amon. Picture: portadelaidefc.com.au

Karl Amon's Port Adelaide career was in limbo just three years ago, fast forward to 2021 and he is now one of the games premier wingmen.

The AFL community knows Port Adelaide winger Karl Amon is one of the side’s vastly improved players.

His gut-running ability, raking left foot and silky skills have him in All-Australian contention just eight weeks into the season. However, Amon’s football career has not come easy.

Going back three years to the end of 2018, Amon’s Port Adelaide career was at a crossroads.

After only playing six games in 2018, the then 23-year-old was not seen as a genuine option in Port Adelaide’s best 22.

With Jared Polec currently first in line, Amon found his chances at AFL level limited. But when he did get his chance, he did not exactly take it with both hands.

At the end of that same year, fellow Port wingman Jared Polec was traded by requrest to North Melbourne as part of a cleanout that saw Chad Wingard, Jasper Pittard, and Jack Hombsch depart too.

Suddenly there was a chance for Amon to try and establish himself in the AFL system. However, it was not that straightforward for the young winger.

His Port Adelaide career was nearly over

An intense and honest conversation with Port coach Ken Hinkley ended with the pair settling that should an offer come in to return home to Victoria, then Amon would seriously consider it.

Ultimately those offers never came and Amon ended up staying at Alberton.

Before his side clashed with Brisbane back in Round 7, Amon spoke to AFL.com.au about his 2018 season and the honest conversation he had with Power coach Ken Hinkley:

“2018 wasn’t the best year for me, I think I only played six games and wasn’t really in form and had a few injuries (concussion and knee) in that year,” Amon said.

“At the end of that year, with a year to go on my contract, (coach) Ken (Hinkley) and I had some really good honest conversations. That’s what Ken does really well, he’s a real people person and gets to know you and your situation.

“We came to the conclusion that if there was an opportunity to go home back to Melbourne that we’d both look at it. At the end of the day it was an open look and I think if an opportunity arose back in Melbourne, I probably would’ve taken it and gone home.

“Thankfully nothing eventuated and I find myself here.

“I really saw there was a spot to be taken and for myself to put my best foot forward and have a strong pre-season. To be honest, coming into round one (2019), I still didn’t think I was going to play and ended up getting the nod and just went from there.”

Since the departure of Polec, Amon has made the wing his own and has continued to work on his game to make himself a genuine AFL wingman.

“There was a spot on the wing to take and I’ve felt like I’ve taken that spot in the last couple of years and just grown into that position,” said Amon. “I guess in the last six months I have tried to develop my game and get inside a little bit more and use my strengths, which is my running” Amon said.

With Polec now at North Melbourne, Amon has his chance to impress at the start of the 2019 season as both players were seen to be remarkably similar so it felt like a natural replacement.

Left-footed, great ball users and running ability that is nearly unmatched. Amon ended up playing 17 matches for Ken Hinkley’s side, averaged a respectable 19 disposals.

Amon’s career continues to improve

His 2019 season was his best to date, but in 2020 Amon took his game again to another level. His average disposals fell to 16 however it was what he did with those possessions that made him a staple in Hinkley’s side.

Amon’s pace, gut-running, and superb left foot made him a standout in the competition.

As Amon got a handle on the rigors of AFL football, his performances have improved and in 2021.

Only once has he totalled less than 20 disposals with his best being a 34-possession game against St. Kilda (26 came before half-time).

The 25-year-old is now finally starting to get the recognition he deserves from AFL circles. At the time of writing, he is surely in the 40-man All-Australian squad after eight games.

To quote NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Tom Brady “If you can a chance to step out on that field, don’t screw it up, because you may never get another chance”.

With Karl Amon, he got his chance and he is taking it with both hands.

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