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Cornes says interchange cap won't hurt Power

Harry Thring  January 8, 2014 5:07 PM


Kane Cornes says Port Adelaide won't be hurt by an interchange cap

PORT Adelaide veteran Kane Cornes has tipped some clubs will "feel the pinch" of the new interchange cap set to come into effect at the start of the 2014 season.

Speaking on Wednesday, Cornes said heavy rotators, including premiers Hawthorn, would feel the changes most keenly, while claiming the rule suited the Power.

The Power were the League's eighth heaviest user of the interchange bench in 2013, averaging 134 rotations a game, 14 more than the 2014 cap of 120 per game.

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Adelaide, Fremantle, Geelong, Greater Western Sydney and the Hawks all averaged more than 140 rotations a game.

"I think it suits us perfectly, I don't think we'll be affected by it much at all," Cornes said.

"Some other clubs up around 150 (rotations), I think they'll feel the pinch a little bit, but for us, we've been training for this for this rotation cap for a couple of years now."

What the rotation will affect though, Cornes said, was the number of future 300-game players.

While the four-time Power best and fairest believed players would still forge 10-year careers at the elite level, he said the increased demands on the modern footballer would likely reduce the number of games they played.

"I think you'll still get a fair few 10-year players, I'm not sure how many 300-game players you'll get," he said.

"The expectation on the AFL player now, physically and also mentally, I reckon it's going to be very hard for many players to reach 300 [games].

"As a club we've never had one and I think you'll find it very, very hard to get there just with how hard it is on the body and the mind."

As Port Adelaide's games record holder with 268 to his name, Cornes is closing in on the significant milestone.

At 31, he's the oldest player on the Power's list, but he remains one of the fittest and took out another time trial on Monday.

No player has managed to reach 300 games playing entirely for the Power; Gavin Wanganeen played 300 games but only 173 of those were at Alberton.

"It's still a little way away but as it gets closer it'd be something really nice to get there – be the first Port Adelaide player to do it," he said.

Cornes remains the Power's time trail champion, but faced stiff competition from rookie-listed speedster Kane Mitchell.

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Mitchell, the 2012 Sandover Medallist, played 13 games last season and Cornes offered him lavish praise.

"He's a great runner," Cornes said.

"He's probably the best athlete I've ever played footy with.

"He's just a really well rounded athlete. He's got great speed, he's got great repeat speed and he's got great endurance so that's why he played a pretty significant role for us last year, especially when he had that sub vest on.

"Obviously he's still on the rookie list so there are restrictions that come with that, but if the opportunity comes up he'll fit straight in."