Considering it’s the 150th anniversary of Port Adelaide Football Club, they couldn’t have picked a better year to float the boat and sail towards a Grand Final.

Superb results and performances throughout the 2020 AFL campaign have presented the team with a great opportunity, which they’ll be keen to grab with both hands as the season reaches the make or break Finals series.

When they mounted an excellent run of six wins to open the season, everything seemed to indicate this could be a special season for Port Adelaide. In the midst of that streak, they crushed local rivals Adelaide Crows by 75, claiming a superb 110 to 35 victory in the middle of June.

Making the Premiership run all the more impressive this year, Port Adelaide apparently boast very few of the highest-rated players. According to the official AFL StatsPro player ratings, not even one of their players ranks in the top 20. The highest-ranking was 32-year-old midfielder Travis Boak, way down in 24th spot after round 17 of the fixture list.

Although he will always be considered one of Port Adelaide’s greatest ever players, in the same AFL player rankings, 32-year-old forward Robbie Gray is ranked in 37th, while 27-year-old ruckman Scott Lycett 40th in the same ratings.

That might also explain why Port Adelaide are still considered Aussie Rules betting outsiders to win the Grand Final, priced at 6.50 odds, because they have just three of the top 50 players amongst their ranks this season. By comparison, 2019 champions Richmond are the 3.60 favourites, and they have three players in the top 20.

Nevertheless, once all reckoning is done and we look at the teams perched at the top of the Premiership ladder, the results don’t lie and they’re not fake news. Port Adelaide are where they are for good reason having pooled their individual resources admirably, working hard to forge a team that’s incredibly difficult to beat.

Now their place in the Finals series is booked, the challenge for Port Adelaide is to fully realise the potential they’ve shown, right at the time when it undoubtedly counts most of all. That will inevitably be the challenge for head coach Ken Hinkley, who has remained firmly at the helm of this team since 2013.

Port Adelaide haven’t reached the Finals series for two seasons running, which could make the difference when the pressure really starts to build. They haven’t made it all the way to a Grand Final since 2007, when they lost against Geelong. Prior to that, Port Adelaide defeated Brisbane Lions in a memorable 2004 Grand Final, earning their first-ever flag in national competition.

Having battled so hard to lead from the front in the Premiership for most of the 2020 season, nobody will be taking Port Adelaide for granted this year. If they can go all the way it would be a magnificent achievement for this team, and without any shadow of a doubt, give the football club all the more reason to celebrate such a milestone year.