Dear members and supporters,
With Christmas and a New Year upon us, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in the Port Adelaide family a happy and safe festive season and call on you all to look forward to 2013 with a great sense of excitement and unity.
We end 2012 with our players and coaching groups at AFL and SANFL level working with tremendous dedication and determination. As I hope many of you will, the boys will take a bit of a break at the end of this week, but they’ll be back into it early in the New Year to take their pre-seasons to a new level and even greater intensity.
I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen as Ken Hinkley and his coaching group have taken charge of the Power squad, and Ken McGregor gets down to work with the Magpies.
We’ve had yet another injection of new talent at AFL level, with All-Australian under-18 Sam Colquhoun joining us from Central District via the Pre-season Draft and Sandover Medallist Kane Mitchell and Port Adelaide SANFL product Justin Hoskin coming aboard through the Rookie Draft.
That brings to nine the number of new players on the Power list, which is a very significant turnover and part of what is a very exciting renewal of our AFL playing stocks. The new faces – including those who came to Alberton via the earlier Trade Period and National Draft – have applied themselves to training with great endeavour. They have very quickly become a part of the club and in doing so have helped to make Port Adelaide better through their presence.
At the SANFL level, Ken McGregor has made the move from Canberra and is settling back into Adelaide. He’s even let it out of the bag that he grew up as a Port Adelaide boy, which he managed to keep pretty quiet during his AFL playing career! Ken has rightly acknowledged the contribution some of the Magpies leaders made in getting the pre-season underway early on while Ken was in the relocation phase. Jimmy Meiklejohn, Luke Slattery and Steven Summerton are to be commended for their fantastic leadership, with credit going to the whole group for their application.
We’ll see some new faces in the prison bars guernsey next year, with Andrew Hayes coming aboard from Central District and Henry Slattery becoming a Magpie after the end of his AFL career with Essendon. Will Northeast – son of eight-time premiership great Paul – comes to us from the Eagles, and will be right at home at Alberton. On top of that, it’s brilliant news that Jacob Surjan will be with us at Port Adelaide next year, taking on a playing and development manager role with the Magpies. We’re still finalising our SANFL recruiting, and will have some more news on that front in the New Year.
I have previously acknowledged those who have left our AFL ranks and now, with our SANFL plans becoming finalised, I would like to do the same for the Magpies.
Firstly, on behalf of the club, can I thank Tony Bamford for his service as senior coach and all that he did as a player and in many other roles at Port Adelaide. Tony has found a new coaching role within SANFL ranks and goes with our very best wishes. Tony is a legend of the club and we are sorry to see him leave, but he has much to give football and we understand his desire to continue coaching. Tony spent 17 years with Port Adelaide and his legacy will continue through his tireless efforts as our talent manager, identifying young talent and then nurturing it through the Magpies ranks. Good luck, Tony. You’ll always be welcome at the club.
Thanks, also, to the players who are no longer with us.
Jeremy Clayton has retired after a decorated 126-game career with Port Adelaide, capped by winning a remarkable fifth A.R. McLean Medal in his final season. Jeremy will be remembered for his courage, freakish ability and his dedication to Port Adelaide.
Congratulations also go to Mark Dolling, Jarrod Young and Daniel Lees who all have retired from the game. Brad Mercer will play country footy in 2013, while Luke Wilson, Jamie Solly and Corey Solly have departed Alberton. These guys have all worn the guernsey into battle for Port Adelaide, and they should always consider Alberton a home.
It was an honour at the annual general meeting to help chairman David Koch present the newest life memberships of the Port Adelaide Football Club.
These are honours that are earned through hard work, dedication and a lot of love for this club.
Congratulations go to former chairman Brett Duncanson, cheer squad stalwart Ian Wilson, past player Steven Salopek, former AFL assistant coach Phil Walsh, AFL physiotherapist Mike Heynen, staff member Stacey Williams-Bambrick, Magpies statisticians Glynn Davis and Kylie Christison and Mini-league coordinator Geoff Samuels
These people represent a wonderful cross section of the people and roles that make up a great club, be they tireless volunteers, coaches, players, staff or holders of high office.
Bring on 2013: Beware the Sleeping Giant
We depart 2012 without the results we would have liked, but with a tremendous amount of work undertaken to prepare us for 2013 and the era beyond at Adelaide Oval where we will play our AFL games from 2014.
While our financial result from 2012 is far from good enough, the effort to turn that around continues in earnest into 2013.
We have renewed our board under the chairmanship of David Koch. I again commend the past directors for their service and the selfless and very important act of initiating the renewal of the board room.
I welcome our new member-nominated director George Fiacchi who takes up a three-year term, filling the place of Alex Panas who has contributed to the club in ways few fully understand. Thanks Alex for all that you have done.
I look forward to working with George and the other new directors, including Amanda Vanstone who will be another tremendous asset to Port Adelaide.
We have taken the next steps in reinvesting in our on-field performance and strengthening our coaching panel. We have a revitalised playing group under a new line-up of coaches who have come together brilliantly during what already has been very hectic pre-season.
I firmly believe we will embark on the New Year with confidence and energy that I think we can all feel.
You might have seen the “Beware the Sleeping Giant” billboards we’ve got around the place.
That’s exactly how I feel about Port Adelaide on the cusp of its new era. We are back and ready to really make some ground in 2013, ahead of the big move to Adelaide Oval in 2014.
As I write this, we have ticked over 15,000 members for 2013. That is a fantastic effort and I thank all of those who have come aboard. It was really nice to see about 300 Planet Teal members and their families here at Alberton on Monday taking part in a coaching clinic on the Oval, and lining up for autographs and a BBQ. We love our junior members and hope they have the same lifetime of enjoyment following Port Adelaide that you have.
I would ask every lapsed member or supporter to join up for next season as we farewell AAMI Stadium, and get yourself into the best available seats for Adelaide Oval.
When you sign up, please consider a contribution to our Premiership Fund. It’s a chance to make your own stake in the investment we are making into our football program and Port Adelaide’s future success. If you’ve already joined the club and are yet to contribute, remember you can always contact the club and make your payments part of the PAFC Forever instalment plan. Every dollar will count towards our next premiership.
Your support as a member is critical to the future of the Port Adelaide Football Club and will help us kick into the 2013 season – and the era beyond - in a position of strength.
On behalf of everyone at Port Adelaide, I conclude by wishing all of our members and supporters - and everyone else associated with our great club - a very safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Enjoy your time with your family and friends, and we look forward to 2013 together.