Best On Ground: History in the making for bold Port Adelaide?

HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Will Port Adelaide spearhead Charlie Dixon hit the scoreboard against Geelong? Picture: Getty Images
HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Will Port Adelaide spearhead Charlie Dixon hit the scoreboard against Geelong? Picture: Getty Images

Is it history in the making for Port Adelaide?

The Power became just the third side, and first since Essendon in 2000, to occupy top spot on the ladder for the entirety of the AFL season.

But the minor premiership is just that. The main prize is what the Ken Hinkley-coached side is chasing.

In an industry where coaches and players often downplay aspirations, such is the Aussie way, Hinkley went against the trend.

"Look out, we're coming," he boldly predicted in February. "I love this club and I love the history of this club and this club's history is premierships.

"So, that's what we're starting out to try and do. We're going to start this year wanting to win the premiership in our 150th year."

It came after Port Adelaide failed to make finals in 2018 and '19, finishing 10th in both of those 22-game seasons.

His public vote of confidence in his playing group would've fuelled their belief.

THE POWER OF BELIEF: Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley wants to bring a flag to Alberton Oval in 2020. Picture: Morgan Hancock

THE POWER OF BELIEF: Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley wants to bring a flag to Alberton Oval in 2020. Picture: Morgan Hancock

The Power went onto win 14 of their 17 matches in a shortened coronavirus-impacted season.

They play an exciting, up-tempo brand of football. But they've been caught out against premiership rivals.

Their three defeats came against top-four sides Brisbane and Geelong and fellow finalist St Kilda.

Port's 10-goal loss to the Cats - its opponent in Thursday night's qualifying final - was one of its most disappointing efforts of the season.

That match was a tale of the tall forwards. Geelong's Tom Hawkins booted six goals, Port's Charlie Dixon failed to hit the scoreboard.

Can the Power turn the tide and advance to a home preliminary final or will the memories of Cats past haunt them?

They will have home-ground advantage at Adelaide Oval in front of their vocal fans who will be hoping to sing 'history in the making' come the final siren.

This week's edition of Best On Ground was written by Warrnambool Standard sports journalist Justine McCullagh-Beasy.

THE FOOTY NEWS YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1

  • Port Adelaide v Geelong, Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2

  • Brisbane v Richmond, Gabba, 7.50pm

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3

  • St Kilda v Western Bulldogs, Gabba, 4.40pm
  • West Coast v Collingwood, Optus Stadium, 8.10pm
This story Is this history in the making for Port? first appeared on The Standard.