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Lienert: I just want to keep getting stronger, keep getting fitter

2019 Blockbuster start - PTV A quick look at the start of the 2019 blockbuster fixture

PORT ADELAIDE defender Jarrod Lienert is aiming to be stronger, fitter and better at marking next season after a break-out year in 2018.

After arriving at Alberton via the 2017 Rookie Draft, Lienert, 24, made his AFL debut in Round 18 against Greater Western Sydney.

Composed under pressure and with an ability to play both tall and small because of his agility, speed and game sense, he kept his spot for the last five games of the season and earned himself a two-year contract extension.

Back in pre-season training this week with the players with less than four years of experience, Lienert has set himself to step up in 2019.

“I just want to keep getting stronger, keep getting fitter and particularly becoming a better mark of the footy,” he said during an interview with Adelaide radio station FIVEaa.

“I’m pretty tall but not that good at duking them, I feel a lot safer with the spoil at this stage, I’d put Dougal Howard in the same boat as me.

“We’re doing a lot more marking which is good because it’s something I want to work on.”

Lienert said Sam Gray has joined the less experienced players on the track, along with Hamish Hartlett, who is recovering from a knee reconstruction.

And he was full of praise for the conditioning of young midfield bull Sam Powell-Pepper.

“(He) is absolutely flying at the moment,’’ Lienert said.

“I was looking at the running (data) when I left the club and he absolutely smoked everyone in the GPS numbers.

“He is absolutely flying, which is really good for him and the boys as well to see him up and about.’’

Lienert was part of a miserly defence in 2018, with the Power ranked third best for score against.

But there was criticism of the side’s ability to score itself.

On Monday, senior assistant coach Michael Voss promised the Power would be bolder in 2019, a statement echoed by Lienert.

“Naturally coming in last year and playing a few games you probably default to the safer side whereas my natural game as a junior player and coming through the ranks was to take it on a bit more,” he said.

“The style will change, where we’ll become a bit more offensive minded and a bit bolder.

“I think we showed last year that we’re actually really good at defending a score and we’ve got a really good defensive system that Bass (Nathan Bassett) has worked on over the last few years, so I think that has given us a licence (in 2019) to really go for it and be a bit bolder knowing that we’ve got that good system in place.”

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