Debutant Martin Frederick ran riot in Port Adelaide’s massive win over St Kilda under lights at the Adelaide Oval.
Port Adelaide was challenged early but broke the game open in the second quarter, thanks largely to the run of Frederick off of half-back.
The home crowd cheered when he first entered the fray, coming off the bench about five minutes into the first quarter.
Two weeks ago it was Lachie Jones who set the crowd alight with his courageous play on debut but it was Frederick’s ability to run and carry that really impressed as he ran through the middle of the ground on a number of occasions to surge Port Adelaide forward.
The youngster finished with 23 disposals and five score involvements as Port Adelaide demolished a hapless St Kilda.
Coach Ken Hinkley was delighted with the 20-year-old and believes that his impressive performance is largely down to the hard work put in over the last 12 months.
“We develop our players really well and give them every opportunity to grow and we challenge them to work to be the best they can be,” he said.
“Marty’s a great example because at the end of last year he wasn’t contracted and he had to wait a period of time but we knew he had some talent and we wanted to keep him around.
“What he’s done through the pre-season shows that if you put your head head down and work hard with your coaches and more importantly commit to your own career and make it the best it can be, part of the program is that we support them and that means the program is successful.
“He’s a young, enthusiastic person and the way he played tonight is the way he trains and plays at SANFL level.
“He’s got some courage to take the game on and the boys recognise that, they give him the ball and they encourage him to play.”
After a strong first term, the Saints had their energy sapped as Port Adelaide dominated around the ground by using the ball effectively and finding open teammates all over the oval as it convincingly won the uncontested possession count.
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Houston? No problem.
If the joy of a convincing win wasn’t enough, Port fans will be revelling in the fact that talismanic defender turned midfielder Dan Houston was able to get through the game without any damage to his troublesome left shoulder.
Houston exited the game at half-time in last week’s win over Carlton and was the subject of much speculation throughout the week as Port Adelaide remained cautious about his selection.
He sustained multiple blows to his left shoulder but was able to prove his fitness prior to the ANZAC day clash and was included in the starting 22.
Houston finished the game with 32 disposals and four clearances, chalking up another impressive performance in what has been a breakout year so far.
“We thought he’d get up but we weren’t sure until we tested him just before the game,” Hinkley said.
“We had eight days which helped, to be fair if it was Thursday or Friday Dan wouldn’t have played.
“His range of movement in his shoulder was better even from yesterday to today.
“It’s good for Dan. He’s grown as a player again this year and he’s understood that he can play with a little bit of an injury now as well.”
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