Review PAFC 2020 Season Review

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PJ Power

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 13, 2003
20,339
25,606
Adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
A great season in my opinion. We lost just four games, all to teams that played in Finals, and three against Preliminary finalists. We showed character and resilience throughout and fell just short when it mattered against a very good opponent on a night where we were far from our best.

The rating of this year though will be judged in the context of future seasons. We must continue to improve and preferably find better avenues to goal. Footy is becoming a painful game to watch across the league. Personally I think we contributed to this over the last few weeks by playing heavily defensive football. It certainly made sure we were very competitive in finals, but I’d like us to find a better balance with our offence. I’m hopeful that the development of our young forwards will help in that regard.
 

PJ Power

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 13, 2003
20,339
25,606
Adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Making the grand final generally means you were the two best teams of that particular season.

This season there were three teams of equal standing statistically - Geelong has been great, Port has been great and Richmond has been great.

I’ve got no problem with losing to Richmond in a preliminary final. At the start of the season I said that a semi final appearance would be a pass for this playing group. We won a qualifying final which is infinitely harder than winning an elimination final (higher quality opposition) so my expectations were exceeded.

The reason I don’t have a problem losing to Richmond is they are a team who have won two flags in the past three years and have the same aura that Hawthorn did when they were ascendant and Geelong did when they were ascendant. And it’s an aura that I can see our club developing - when Hardwick says that every time you come to play Port you know you have to play a surge style of game to beat them, and how difficult it is, it means that we are starting to back in our system.

This isn’t smoke and mirrors slingshot football anymore. We are playing football that matched it with the reigning premier in a preliminary final, in conditions that suited them rather than us. With three picks in the top thirty from last year in Bergman, Williams and Mead yet to even play for us.

As Ken says, if you can’t see the positives that are coming for this playing group, you’re wilfully blind. Have we got older players? Sure. But so does every team. With Westhoff and Ebert retiring, we now have the exact same number of 30+ players that Brisbane have.

What do we need to get better? A dynamic weapon midfielder. We are fine for clearances normally, but the reason why we struggled against Brisbane, Geelong, St Kilda and Richmond is they had a midfielder that was a constant threat of exploding from a clearance that we needed to check (Neale, Dangerfield, Jones (though this was more to do with Ryder’s tap work), Martin) and we didn’t. Guys like Boak, Wines, Rockliff and Powell-Pepper are all Joel Corey/Jimmy Bartel/Joel Selwood tier players. They aren’t nuclear threats in the Ablett (when he was younger)/Fyfe tier. And unless you’ve got your own nuke, teams will be able to pressure us around the ball knowing that we don’t have the threat to expose them.

If we want a flag in the next three years - and the window is open now - we need our own nuke. We need mutually assured destruction of teams who try to stack their midfield against ours.

Get me Bontempelli. I don’t care how, or what you have to give up for him. Just get him.
Agree with the sentiment but Bont isn’t going to happen. Do we have anyone who can be a Bontempelli? I don’t think so, although Butters and Rozee will offer more creativity in the midfield than what we’ve traditionally had. Could Bergman become that sort of dynamic, powerful midfielder over time? I guess we’ll wait and see.
 

Enviable Tradition

Professional Procrastinator
Oct 12, 2007
20,177
25,596
The Hills
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Grade B.

Exceeded expectations, seemed to have learnt some lessons then reverted to form when it mattered.

Changes needed.

1. A gun new forwards coach. Find the best in the business and pay them whatever it costs.
2. A gun mid (if we can't recruit one we need to find a high pick to draft one or hope like hell Rozee takes the next step.
3. Georgiadis to develop a tank to round out our forward line.
4. A tall KPD. Doesn't have to be amazing, just AFL standard.
5. Ruthless list management. Get rid of the players that aren't going to win us a GF and go hard for players that might. This means Bonner, Rockliff, Motlop it is time to go.
6. Give opportunities to Hayes to see if he can go past Lycett.

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Shaucob_Burjan

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 11, 2006
14,704
22,488
Sydney
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Goal posts need to change

Development wise, we didn't really see it from most our young guys. Basically only Butters, Powell Pepper and DBJ.

Seniors stepped up for the first time in 5 years which is also unfortunately the only reason why we improved. It meant that we've underachieved significantly prior. Making the finals being our premiership as a result of past season failures is not Port Adelaide.

The fact that we've totally wasted this season and had basically the cup stitched up in the hands of our senior players drops our season score significantly for me. C grade season.
 

Windy Cindy

All Australian
May 16, 2019
674
1,546
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
We have established ourselves back as a top 8 side.

The 3 kids are getting better and better

The crows finished bottom

No need to rush into signing Hinkley, see how we are going mid season next year.
 

Marmozet

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 10, 2014
13,362
32,455
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
- Our 150th
- Top all year
- Team on top after Round 1 in a leap year

Everything had aligned perfectly for us and we blew it. We had a good season, winning the minor premiership but it's hard to see us maintaining that level or improving from that next year.

Fingers crossed we don't regress as badly as we did post-2014.
 

davo999

Team Captain
Nov 5, 2009
594
727
Aldinga Beach
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
I agree with Janus . We haven’t got a superstar like Martin or Dangerfield plus Hawkins and Lynch are probably a touch higher level than a Dixon . If we could only get a superstar . Mind you Rozee is potentially one
 

Coobk001

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 26, 2007
12,962
24,168
Adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
CWS, OakR, SAS, Ducks
I'd give anything to see us playing Rocky at SANFL level next year. I dont care if it is Crouch, Rozee, Houston, Butters, Mead. We need to introduce more pace in the position Rocky fills.

Much of the time Rocky's lack of pace doesn't hurt us, but in the big games it regularly does. It just creates such a heavy and slow midfield when he is also in there and it is a weakness we could nearly instantly improve.

We must improve next year because our current list and the impending loss of senior players demands it.
 

Power Raid

TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
68,278
57,895
West Perth
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
At the beginning of the season, I had us pegged for 9th or 10th. Having a sh*t coach, our best midfielder (in Boak) turning 50, gray and westhoff ageing, motlop piss weak, soft belly rockcliff lacking penetration, dixon, burton and watts injured, marshall years away from being a CPF, lycett too slow, unreliable bonner, wines sooking over the captaincy, SPP inconsistent. Then add the losses of Polec, Wingard and Dougal.

yet somehow the covid situation seemed to help us and suddenly belief set in at the club. The boys heads lifted and the rest is history.


So based on expectations, I give us a 9/10. Based on the tigers match, I give us 4/10 as we simply failed to turn up.

The learnings and challenges:
- selecting your best fit 22, rather than your best 22 is a must when it comes to finals. Ken should not have selected Burton. Further Burton must learn from Boak as to how to prepare the body and Hartlett as to how to avoid injuries.

- We are close but not close enough. We could probably win a flag if we had 3 additions to the 22 in a better KPF, a better midfielder and a better KPD. However losing Watts, Westhoff, Ebert (retired) then Gray and rockcliff (decline already set in) and boak, dixon and hartlett (decline expected); we are almost half a side away from maintaining our current form.

- Butters, Ladhams, Duursma and Rozee is an excellent part of the rebuild

- Expecting SPP, Marshall, Rozee and Ladhams to be the big improvers. Marshall could be anything he wants to be but I'd suggest boxing during the off season. Learning to take punches, build controlled emotion and "will". However I predict Marshall will end up on the wing or CHB long term.

- Mayes and Liernert could be contributors in 2021 assuming they get re-contracted. Mayes could play off half back releasing Burton to the wing.

- Hayes, Drew, Patmore, Woodcock, Frederick, Williams, Mead and Bergman all have their chances

- de-listing / trading motlop will also help Marshall. Marshall needs to understand what happens to talent that lacks will.


Our side could look many ways, depending on who delivers over the off season and who we recruit. We don't need inside mids, we need avenues to goal (including a small forward who can rove the feet of our talls) and KPPs.

XXXX Dixon Ladhams
SPP Georgie Houston

Burton Rozee Duursma
Lycett Boak Butters

XXXX Jonas Harlett
McKenzie Clurey DBJ

Amon, Wines, XXX, XXX



Let's remember, we exist to win premierships. So let's support the club in making bold decisions.
 
Last edited:

AdamMarrett

Club Legend
May 9, 2014
1,674
3,039
Perth
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Goal posts need to change

Development wise, we didn't really see it from most our young guys. Basically only Butters, Powell Pepper and DBJ.

Seniors stepped up for the first time in 5 years which is also unfortunately the only reason why we improved. It meant that we've underachieved significantly prior. Making the finals being our premiership as a result of past season failures is not Port Adelaide.

The fact that we've totally wasted this season and had basically the cup stitched up in the hands of our senior players drops our season score significantly for me. C grade season.
Did the goal posts change from your pre season expectations or what transpired during the season?

Coming into the season I thought we could finish from 5th to 8th at best, that was my expectation, then after about round 4 or 5 I thought we were in it up to our eyeballs, and had the side to win a Premiership. It's flattening that we didn't get there, but we are on the right path now I feel to have a sustained run at the flag for the next couple of year I believe.

I think the season was better then we all expected, not many had us finishing top after the home and away season, or hosting a preliminary final, which we did. It's not what we all wanted or acceptable but we are lot better off then we where only this time last season.

The improvement is there in the list. Rozee I feel will be a lot better next season, same as Duursma & Butters. They sky is the limit for those three.

We need Drew to come on next year, injury wrecked his season this year. Sammy Hayes is another I feel could be pushing for the Ladhams spot possibly. Marshall and Georgiadis have higher levels they can develop into, plus Bergman, Mead, Williams hopefully start pushing for games next year.

If we can be smart in the free agent market and just add what we need to complement the list we should be around the same mark next year I expect. I'll be disappointed if we aren't.
 

backtozero

Club Legend
Jul 26, 2020
1,846
4,259
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
It's a failure no doubt, but a bigger failure if we don't get ourselves there again next year.
The worry is that this becomes another 2014 flash in the pan followed by years of mediocrity.

Put ourselves in a winning position in 2021 and I'll view 2020 as a stepping stone rather than the biggest missed opportunity of all time. At the moment its too early to say.
 

Shaucob_Burjan

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 11, 2006
14,704
22,488
Sydney
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
I'd give anything to see us playing Rocky at SANFL level next year. I dont care if it is Crouch, Rozee, Houston, Butters, Mead. We need to introduce more pace in the position Rocky fills.

Much of the time Rocky's lack of pace doesn't hurt us, but in the big games it regularly does. It just creates such a heavy and slow midfield when he is also in there and it is a weakness we could nearly instantly improve.

We must improve next year because our current list and the impending loss of senior players demands it.
After Dixon's goal in the fourth to put us up, we lined up with Wines, Gray and Rockliff in the center, I knew straight away that Richmond was going to win that centre clearing with those 3 being unable to force a stoppage.
 

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Shaucob_Burjan

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 11, 2006
14,704
22,488
Sydney
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Time to move on from living and dying by the forward press and actually try and develop a properly well rounded game. Our inability to use the ball well and score when we really needed it was very hard to watch.
Someone smarter than me will need to dissect, I am positive that the forward press we run means that opposition will always flood defenders there as they need to run in numbers to get out over the back. Dixon etc are awful at leading yes, but our defensive structure doesn't allow for space there.

Then again, Richmond run an almost identical press to us, but whenever they pumpnit forward they always have equal numbers of forwards to defenders.

What is it?
 

MaxPowa

Team Captain
Aug 20, 2018
330
734
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Great season, we were the best team of the year so A plus. The shitshow crap shoot that is the AFL finals series with multiple byes that disadvantage the top/ most successful teams and double chances is not how you crown a champion or run an elimination tournament and not replicated anywhere else on this planet (either do a proper elimination tournament at seasons end or crown the winner of the home and away season the champion FFS). It's an utter joke that a team who has lost in an elimination finals series will be crowned champion of the year 🤪. ******* lol.
 

FishingRick04

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 9, 2007
19,977
14,555
Adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Agree with the sentiment but Bont isn’t going to happen. Do we have anyone who can be a Bontempelli? I don’t think so, although Butters and Rozee will offer more creativity in the midfield than what we’ve traditionally had. Could Bergman become that sort of dynamic, powerful midfielder over time? I guess we’ll wait and see.
Recruiting an A class Vic based midfielder out of Victoria doesn’t happen!
 

tribey

5 Wins-in-a-row Certificate ‘13, ‘14, ‘18, ‘20
Mar 9, 2003
60,136
148,959
Queen St & Peter Rd
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
NUFC, YES.
Time to move on from living and dying by the forward press and actually try and develop a properly well rounded game. Our inability to use the ball well and score when we really needed it was very hard to watch.
I was informed this wouldn’t be a problem when we served up one of our famous goalless quarters against the mighty Swans in perfect conditions at the Oval not long ago.

Just unlucky.
 

AwwThatsApples

Club Legend
Mar 24, 2019
1,494
868
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
HFL
Grade B.

Exceeded expectations, seemed to have learnt some lessons then reverted to form when it mattered.

Changes needed.

1. A gun new forwards coach. Find the best in the business and pay them whatever it costs.
2. A gun mid (if we can't recruit one we need to find a high pick to draft one or hope like hell Rozee takes the next step.
3. Georgiadis to develop a tank to round out our forward line.
4. A tall KPD. Doesn't have to be amazing, just AFL standard.
5. Ruthless list management. Get rid of the players that aren't going to win us a GF and go hard for players that might. This means Bonner, Rockliff, Motlop it is time to go.
6. Give opportunities to Hayes to see if he can go past Lycett.

On SM-G960F using BigFooty.com mobile app
Irrelevant to the thread, but is there actually anybody out there to suit the needs of our midfield on the trade table right now? (And no I'm not counting Coke Crouch or Shaun ******* Higgins)
 

powerrrrrrrrrrrr

Club Legend
Feb 17, 2010
1,617
2,570
adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
To me, our forward efficiency issues need to be fixed by improved our defensive press next year. We have a great defence and are able to lock the ball in our forward half and create repeat entries but that’s all due to creating a total gridlock in our forward half and removing any ability for our forwards to lead and create space.

Our defensive press seems to be set by our half backs in line with the centre square line near our 50 and our full back line in line with the centre circle.

They are too far forward and this creates half the ground with basically every player on the field in it. A secondary aspect of this high press is that we get caught out the back defensively. Any team that clears our centreline press and it’s almost free reign into the goals.

We need to push our press back 15-20m and allow space for the forwards to move and create. Push our half backs to the centre circle line and fullback line 10m behind that. Use one or two of our half forwards to then fill the space where our current half backs fill and suddenly we have a wide open forward line and a defensive zone in place to hopefully maintain pressure.

Our forwards aren’t our sole issue with not scoring from our entries. It’s our defensive lineup and positioning in my view which needs altering.It’s all well and good to be the best defensive team and block up the opposition rebounds but if we then can’t score as well it becomes counterproductive.

Other then that, actually pretty happy with our season as a whole. Finally won a final again. Disappointed in the finish but hopefully can carry onto next year our wins and then we can judge the true outcome of this year
 

AdamMarrett

Club Legend
May 9, 2014
1,674
3,039
Perth
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
To me, our forward efficiency issues need to be fixed by improved our defensive press next year. We have a great defence and are able to lock the ball in our forward half and create repeat entries but that’s all due to creating a total gridlock in our forward half and removing any ability for our forwards to lead and create space.

Our defensive press seems to be set by our half backs in line with the centre square line near our 50 and our full back line in line with the centre circle.

They are too far forward and this creates half the ground with basically every player on the field in it. A secondary aspect of this high press is that we get caught out the back defensively. Any team that clears our centreline press and it’s almost free reign into the goals.

We need to push our press back 15-20m and allow space for the forwards to move and create. Push our half backs to the centre circle line and fullback line 10m behind that. Use one or two of our half forwards to then fill the space where our current half backs fill and suddenly we have a wide open forward line and a defensive zone in place to hopefully maintain pressure.

Our forwards aren’t our sole issue with not scoring from our entries. It’s our defensive lineup and positioning in my view which needs altering.It’s all well and good to be the best defensive team and block up the opposition rebounds but if we then can’t score as well it becomes counterproductive.

Other then that, actually pretty happy with our season as a whole. Finally won a final again. Disappointed in the finish but hopefully can carry onto next year our wins and then we can judge the true outcome of this year
If you push that line back, it's no longer a press as it creates space for the opposition to use to get out, that extra 15-20 metres the good sides will pin point targets in it. I'm sure there has to be a happy medium somewhere with it but I'm not sure. I've only come to that conclusion when I've been at games and watch a lot of the set ups we use off the ball and how it works.

It's a catch 22 with the press it locks the ball in, but space in our forward line is at a premium. Dixon gets choked out by the numbers in front of him, but I thought on Friday we missed a lot of short passes into 50 by bombing it in.

It is however effective as most of the Premiers the last decade have used it to great success.

The defensive set ups and system isn't the issue, it's kicking goals. Prime Carey & Tredrea would struggle in our forward line as in big games it ends up cluttered. What the solution is I don't know, some elite kicks into the side would go along way.
 

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