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.