19/04/2024

Sam Powell-Pepper was superb in the club's trial game today. Photo: @PowerFromPort - Twitter

Sam Powell-Pepper kicked three goals in a best on ground performance in Port Adelaide's intra-club match on Friday afternoon.

Sam Powell-Pepper played a starring role in the club’s intra-club game as he looks to improve on his up-and-down 2021 season after stern words from the club last year.

The midfield bull was told after the club’s embarrassing Preliminary Final loss in no uncertain terms to get fit if he wants to play AFL football.

After the club’s intra-club match today, Sam Powell-Pepper looks to have done just that.

Last season, his form dipped, and he was subsequently dropped. The midfielder was made the medical substitute for Port Adelaide’s two finals games against Geelong and the Western Bulldogs. Such was his fall from grace that there were rumours of him being traded to the West Coast Eagles – a move that never materialised.

In the club’s first real hit out of the preseason, the midfielder was best on ground. He brought all the attributes to his game that saw him rise to prominence in 2017.

Powell-Pepper was sensational. His gut running, ball skills, reading of the play, and the trademark hard tackling and pressure were all a feature. He also kicked three goals for good measure.

It was a great all-around performance that will leave the selection committee with a decision to make for Round 1.

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The 24-year-old spent the majority of his time in the midfield and covered plenty of ground. Powell-Pepper looks fitter than in previous years; his running power and patterns were that of a player who had taken the advice he was given on board and used it to his advantage.

It was a performance that while only an internal trial, proved that the midfielder is now taking things far more seriously at Alberton.

Ken Hinkley will be pleased to see him in this kind of form with the new season just around the corner.

Powell-Pepper not alone in impressing

Powell-Pepper was not the only one to impress in the club’s trial. Draftee Josh Sinn showed his speed and ball using ability off half-back as he was tried in several different positions.

Recruit Jeremy Finlayson looked at home on the half-forward line while pinch-hitting in the ruck. Much maligned forward Todd Marshall also looked clean in the air and was a constant presence in the forward line in what was a good hitout for the players.

Assistant coach Nathan Bassett spoke to the media after the game and gave his thoughts on Powell-Pepper and Josh Sinn.

“We’ve had a strong pre-season from a lot of our guys,” Bassett said.

“Pep (Powell-Pepper) hasn’t missed a beat and it’s great to see him get some reward today. He’s giving himself the best chance to play Round 1.

“Josh (Sinn) is a good mover and is a very talented young man. The rough part for the drafted kids is they’ve barely played any footy, but he’s looked great so far. We like that he can take the ball and carry it forward.”

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