Houston in action last season. Photo: afl.com.au

Dan Houston is aiming for more midfield minutes in 2022, and has the potential to make the leap to become an elite player.

The 24-year-old is looking to nail down a permanent spot in the midfield in 2022, and is feeling good after playing through injury last season.

Dan Houston could be next in line to be a constant fixture in Ken Hinkley’s midfield.

The former Oakleigh Charger is armed with a classy kick and the ability to find the football. He has often been used across half-back while pinch-hitting in the midfield. It is this versatility that has made him a mainstay in the Port Adelaide side since 2018.

Houston’s ball use is one of the best in the Port Adelaide squad. His ability to hit targets in the forward half are a feature. With several players being used in the midfield rotation so far in pre-season, Houston could find himself spending more time in the middle.

Port Adelaide’s midfield is according to many, one or two bodies light of challenging the likes of Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. Should Houston continue on his upward trajectory, then he could become an even bigger asset for Port going forward.

His long, raking kick makes him a goal threat from just about anywhere in the forward half. Add in his ability to rack up disposals, and he could become a key weapon in 2022.

The versatile midfielder spoke to media on Monday, and wants to help the team score more from the middle. He also stated that playing multiple roles is part of his game.

“I want to settle in a wing role or in the midfield, and help us score a bit more,” Houston said.

“[Ryan] Burton and [Riley] Bonner are in the same spot. That’s part of my game and what I bring to the team [moving around and playing multiple roles], and it’s been good to trial that this pre-season.”

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Houston over injury problems

The smooth-moving Houston was dealing with an injured AC-joint throughout last season. He suffered the injury in Port Adelaide’s 28-point win over Carlton in Round 5. Despite this, Houston averaged a career-high 20.9 disposals in 2021, along with his best return of seven goals.

After a nearly flawless preseason, the 24-year-old says the shoulder is feeling good.

“The shoulder is feeling good – much better than last year,” Houston said.

“It was sometimes hard to get continuity last year but it’s feeling good now, and I’ve had a solid pre-season.”

Having shown his ability to be used as a weapon across half-back, a move into the midfield, whether in the center square or a wing on a permanent basis could be vital in easing the load off Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines and aging star Travis Boak.

The midfielder could be the player to take the next step this season for the Power.

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