To boost them back up the ladder in 2023, Port Adelaide are looking to secure the services of Jason Horne-Francis in this year’s AFL Trade Period. With the former number one draft pick looking to come to Alberton, a godfather type offer will be needed to ensure one of Port’s biggest trades is completed.
It’s not the first time Port Adelaide have made some big plays across the trade period landscape, walking away big winners on multiple occasions since entering the AFL in 1997. The Inner Sanctum takes a look at five of the biggest trades involving the Port Adelaide Football Club.
The top spot was clear from the beginning.
Traded from Essendon in 1996, Port Adelaide’s golden boy Gavin Wanganeen came home to Alberton. Using Picks 2 and 25, Port Adelaide secured the services of Wanganeen who would go on to be Port’s inaugural AFL captain.
He become one of the club’s greatest players, playing 173 games for the club. Starring with 4 second-half goals, his stunning performance in the 2004 premiership was unlucky not to win him the Norm Smith medal ahead of Byron Pickett.
Such as his impact at the football club, each year the best young talent under 21-years-old is awarded a medal adorning his name.
In what may be one of Port Adelaide’s greatest deals at the trade table, Jay Schulz came to Alberton at the end of the 2009 season. Schulz came from Richmond from Port looking for a new opportunity and with the Power needing a future replacement for veteran forward Warren Tredrea, it was meant to be.
Mitch Farmer and Pick 71 were traded to the Tigers in exchange for Schulz who endured a fantastic six years at the club, proving this to be one of Port’s finest gets. Schulz led the Power’s goalkicking in four of his seven years at Alberton, kicking a total of 275 goals which is the second-most in the club’s AFL era.
At the end of 1996, Port Adelaide were ready to enter the AFL and Primus was a key part of the new era for the club.
Traded from Brisbane for Picks 3 and 26, Primus endured a difficult tenure over his years at Port Adelaide but his impact was still as large as some of the greats. Not only was he an inspiring leader and captain throughout his playing career but he single-handily changed the game for ruckmen in the AFL.
Leading Port Adelaide to back-to-back minor premierships in 2003 and 2004, he was still an integral part of their eventual premiership in the AFL in 2004 after seven seasons.
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After being drafted to West Coast with Pick 13 in the 2007 AFL National Draft, the famous name returned home to Alberton in the 2011 AFL Trade Period.
Picks 28 and 49 to secure Ebert’s services were enough to satisfy the Eagles and what Port Adelaide got was an enduring legacy beyond Brad himself. After nine years and 184 games later, what transpired was a Port Adelaide man showcasing courage, often bleeding from multiple head knocks and pulling the club through one of its darkest periods.
He retired at the end of 2020 going out in typical Brad Ebert fashion, back with the flight into the contest.
A premiership player for North Melbourne, Pickett headed to Alberton in the 2002 AFL trade period with Port Adelaide securing the hard-hitting forward with Picks 13 and 31. Playing 55 games for the club from 2003 to 2005, ‘Choppy’ was a big part of the 2004 premiership side.
In this maiden premiership for Port Adelaide, Pickett claimed the Norm Smith with a scintillating three goal and 20 possession performance. It was a short stint in the black, white and teal but Pickett made a hard hitting impact across his three years at the Power.
Premiership players Damien Hardwick and Brett Montgomery were unlucky to miss out on the list as were former Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder and midfielder Steven Salopek.
When considering current-day players, Ryan Burton and Charlie Dixon will come into calculations based on their current trajectory but considering the time they should still have in the game, it is hard to speculate how they will compare to the rest of this list.
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