DROPPED to the SANFL late in 2015, Matthew Lobbe could be forgiven for using that as a catalyst for his tilt on the upcoming season.
Nor will he use the speculation he was a potential ‘tradeaway’ during the off-season.
Instead, Lobbe will use the team’s internal expectations to spur him in the Power’s final month of pre-season training.
“I never wanted to leave – not one second - and Kenny maintained the whole way through [trade period] he wanted me here,” Lobbe said.
“People can say what they want externally, but that’s as simple as it was for me.”
Internal expecations at Alberton aren’t wholesale different to last year, despite the Power’s ninth-place finish.
Port is hunting success again in 2016.
Nor have the expectations on Lobbe altered.
What has changed is the Power’s ruck strategy, it’s increasingly likely Jackson Trengove, Justin Westhoff and potentially recruit Charlie Dixon will ‘pinch-hit’ for Lobbe throughout the year.
“I was always going to do the bulk of the ruck work, I think it [Ryder’s suspension] probably changes who I’m working with a lot,” Lobbe said.
“We’re really disappointed for the boys [Ryder and Monfries], but I don’t think it changes much internally.
“We don’t want to be a group that relies on certain players, like when we have injuries – which are always going to come – we’re going to have to deal with that.”
“Jackson loves getting in there, Westy loves getting in there and getting his hands on the ball and Charlie is a massive body as well.
“I know from past experience he can ruck pretty well too.”
Further down the list, Lobbe will receive support from second-year talls Billy Frampton (200cm) and Dougal Howard (199cm).
“We’ve also got Billy Frampton coming through, and he’s done some pretty good stuff up until now, and Dougal Howard’s having a crack in the ruck as well,” Lobbe said.
“Everyone in the whole AFL at this point of the year is pretty motivated to have a good season.
“As a group we’re motivated to play consistent, tough footy.”
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