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We are Port Adelaide

Where are they now? Tom Logan

THIS week’s WATN checks in on a hard nut who works in construction and claims to be Robbie Gray’s lucky charm.

Tom Logan came to Port Adelaide as a rookie in 2006 after being delisted by Brisbane.

Originally picked up by the Lions with pick 49 in the 2003 National Draft, Logan found himself in the football wilderness, deciding whether to stay in Queensland to play with a local team or try get a gig with a team in the SANFL because his parents lived in Adelaide.

In the end he decided to come and visit his parents before making up his mind, and Port Adelaide came calling.

“Peter Rohde, who was the football manager at the time, called my manager and told him Port wanted to sit down with me and have a chat,” he recalled.

“Back then you could do a pre-season with a team so I did the pre-season until the draft and I probably trained hard enough that they gave me a shot.

“Before that I was hopeful of getting another opportunity but I came to the realisation that it probably wasn’t going to happen.

“I was probably only 20 but when Port gave me the chance I knew it was my last chance so I just trained my hardest every time I was out there and did everything I could even when I was playing with Glenelg in the SANFL.”

Admitting he knew little about the club’s history, Logan said he felt he fitted in at Alberton because of his style of playing.

“Growing up I knew Port Adelaide football was about tough football, they were always up the top, they were always hard to beat,” he said.

“I didn’t watch much footy as a kid but they really did stand out back then.

“I was at Brisbane when the Power beat them in the 2004 Grand Final, and again it was all about tough football and Choco (Mark Williams) had the boys playing that style for him.”

Renowned for his insatiable work ethic and unconditional toughness, Logan added 114 games with the Power to the three he played with Brisbane.

Towards the tail end of his career, he was awarded the Anthony Williams Memorial Trophy as the most courageous Magpies player in the SANFL.

“I certainly wasn’t a Robbie Gray skills-wise but I was always pretty realistic about my football ability,” Logan said.

“I knew what I could do and didn’t try go outside that.

“One of my strengths was probably my attack on the football so I tried to use that as my strength and from that I stayed inside my capabilities.”

In 2014 he was delisted by the Power with a promise that he would be re-drafted as a rookie.

He had played just three games that season and knew it was unlikely he would add too many more to his AFL tally.

“I sat down with Kenny at the end of 2014 and he told me the opportunity to play at AFL level might not be there as much but he was really keen to keep me around the club and mentor a few of the first to third-year players,” Logan said.

“It was something I was interested in and I knew the opportunity could come up to play AFL but there were no promises.

“I really enjoyed that 2015 season playing SANFL in a group that was really close.”

And while he enjoyed being in the SANFL group, it would turn out to be his last season before retirement.

“My form in the SANFL had dropped off a bit and I didn’t know that there’d be an opportunity even if I did try to play on so it was pretty obvious it was coming to an end,” Logan remembered.

“I wasn’t one to try and push anything further

“I was pretty happy with where I was at and grateful for the opportunities I had throughout my playing career considering I kept getting one-year contracts.

“I knew my abilities on the field so to get 12 years out of my career, I was pretty happy with that.”

He remained with Port Adelaide, working with Mark Clayton’s Academy team, then decided to move on.

Logan played the 2016 season at Lucindale in the state’s South-East at the club where his brother was coaching.

“I played in 2017 there as well and we won the flag,” Logan said.

“It was the first Premiership I’ve ever played in so I am so glad I played country footy and especially with Lucindale.

“The people are just fantastic, they’re like family and I’m enjoying football now as much as I ever have.

“My brother isn’t coaching there anymore but I’m still playing – and there’s the old Port Adelaide connection because I think Nigel Fiegert played there back in the day as well.”

While he is still making the long trip down south on weekends, his time is now heavily consumed by fatherhood after he and his wife Jamie had daughter Cleo at the end of 2015 and son Syd in May 2018.

“I’m really enjoying fatherhood and the extra responsibility and that’s a whole different part of my life I didn’t have when I was playing at Port,” Logan said.

“It’s the most enjoyable part of life anyway.”

“I’ve also started my carpentry apprenticeship and I’m in my second year now.

“I’m at Manfield Constructions and the owner Ian Manfield is a family friend of mine so when I finished with the Magpies I gave him a call because I was always interested in carpentry.

“After 12 years in the AFL system I thought it might be too late for me but having spoken with Ian I realised there are much older apprentices than me.”

Outside of family, football and work, Logan has a soft spot for US sport, especially college football.

The Oregon Ducks fan admits to being “just a little excited” for the season to get underway in August.

Logan tries to watch the Power play as well, but never really catches any other AFL games.

“I’ve been to three games since I finished playing,” he said.

“But every time I go I’ve seen Robbie Gray have a blinder.

“Last year the two games I went to I reckon he kicked 12 goals and averaged 28 possessions so he’s been trying to get me along to a few more this year.”

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