As part of a club-by-club series, we look at Mark Williams’ solid list management, with one big hole…
THe majority of the Power depth charts are a study in stability, which is a rarity in this time of flux prior to the introduction of draft concessions for the 17th and 18th AFL teams. Port Adelaide have managed to keep all 13 players who were in their starting forward depth charts from last year, for example, which is a major feat. From their midfield they have only lost Josh Carr, which is no great concern, and Shaun Burgoyne, has to step up in the absence of the retired Brendon Lade and the small defender depth chart, which has been vacated by Peter Burgoyne (retired), Mitch Farmer (traded to Richmond), Nick Lower and Jesse Laurie (the last two delisted).
The rebounding half-back was a problematic area for the club last year, with Nathan Krakouer starting the seaosn well but showing a complete lack of ability to handle a tag, with a few others tried but none showing the right combination of acceleration from the defensive 50 with accountability going the other way. Jacob Surjan remains an excellent back pocket but Marlon Motlop is, like Krak, a small forward who is unsuited for defensive assignments, while Jason Davenport hasn’t shown consistency of effort in the back half. The Power traded for Jay Nash but he’s more in Surjan’s lockdown role, so the rebounder slot is still very much up for grabs.
The problem for Mark Williams is that Port is stuffed to the eyeballs with small forwards already. Robbie Gray kicked and clawed his way past Brett Ebert on the depth chart behind Daniel Motlop, while newly promoted rookie Wade Thompson further muddies the waters. This is the major imbalance in the Port list at the moment – one might argue the only imbalance – and it may throw up an unexpected fantasy star in 2010.