ZAK Butters will start AFL Season 2022 with grand expectations - his own, more so than those of his club, coaches, team-mates or the pundits.

The 22-year-old gamebreaker will take to his new role as a prime midfielder with a new contract at Alberton, extending his current deal with the Port Adelaide Football Club to the end of 2024.

In this time, the 2018 first-round draftee (No.12) - already praised as one of the national league's top-50 players - is expected to be firmly entrenched among the elite of AFL midfielders. 

Such belief sits easily on Butters' shoulders after just 48 senior matches.

"It is a good challenge (to live up to expectations) - I look forward to hopefully backing that up by how I play on the park against the top teams," Butters said at Alberton on Saturday.

"It is up to me.

"I don't see (external) expectation. I want to be great; I want to be good as well. I have that expectation on myself. No matter what people say or expect of me, I want to go out there and perform.

"When I am out there I am not thinking too much of that expectation. I am wanting to enjoy my footy, help my team-mates out and win a game of football.

03:01 Mins
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Highlights: Zak Butters signs on | PTV

See the best of Butters after signing on until 2024.

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"I don't think too much (of the expectations of others). It is good when your coach speaks (highly) of you - and I embrace (Ken Hinkley's glowing assessment of Butters' standing among young AFL midfielders). It is good to have the coach in your corner; it gives you confidence.

"Now it is up to me to perform.

"I am looking forward to the opportunities (in the midfield) this year - and I am lucky to be working with guys like (former captain) Travis Boak and (Brownlow Medallist) Ollie Wines who are teaching me a lot, as are the coaches. I am excited about getting more opportunities in there."

Butters' other personal goal is to "repay the faith" shown towards him at Alberton.

"I am pretty excited by what this group can do," Butters said.

Across the past three days Port Adelaide has extended contracts with nine players - Butters, midfielder-forward Connor Rozee, defenders Ryan Burton, Dan Houston and Tom Clurey, midfielder Willem Drew and untried trio Josh Sinn, Dante Visentini and Ollie Lord.

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Zak Butters press conference - 12 March 2022 | PTV

Zak Butters speaks with the media after signing on through the end of 2024.

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"It is a credit to the club and our culture," Butters said. "There is a strong foundation here and we are a winning team. It is good to be with winning teams. 

"The development by the coaches, you see how much the players improve - and you can see there is a real connection. I am happy to be part of that.

"It is obviously great for the club that nine boys signed in the space of three days - we are really excited with where the group is heading," Butters adedd. "We have some very good friendships among both coaches and players.

"We have made finals the past couple of years - and there is still a bit more. So I want to hang around."

Butters could have waited for a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players - and the spoils of his advancing reputation in the league - to measure his new increasing value in the game.

"All parties (club, player and manager wanted to act now)," Buters revealed. "I am pretty happy to stay around. The club reached out and I was happy (to sign).

"It is a credit to the club, the coaches led by Ken Hinkley, (football chief) Chris Davies and the leadership group for making me feel that I really belong here."

Recruited from Victoria, Butters did have to consider how extending his stay at Port Adelaide would keep him from family, friends and "special people" in Melbourne.

"You always think of them," Butter said. "But the pros (of being at Port Adelside) outweighed that. I also have strong friendships here. Ollie Wines. Darcy Byrne-Jones. Tom Clurey. The older boys get around me and I appreciate that. They have made me want to be here and do something special here."

03:14 Mins
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"Loving playing at Port made it a really easy decision": Rozee interview | PTV

We speak with Connor Rozee after signing on through the end of 2024.

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Port Adelaide prepared for its season-opener against Brisbane at the Gabba next Saturday with a solid match-simulation session at Alberton on Saturday morning.

In strong form was midfielder-forward Sam Powell-Pepper, dismissing the hamstring concerns left after he limped out of the trial game against Gold Coast in Queensland a fortnight ago.

" 'Pep' showed why he should be in the team - and why we need him in the team," Butters said. "He cracks in, he runs hard and he looks dangerous to the opposition when he is forward. It is good to see him back.

"We are ready," Butters said of the pre-season perpetration. "We had a good session today. It is always hard work after having three or four days off, but we took to training with great intensity.

"We have given ourselves the best chance for next week. We are ready."