FOR the second week running, Port Adelaide will welcome two new faces to its line-up as it prepares to tackle Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Replicating the AFL and club debuts of Jackson Mead and Jeremy Finlayson in Round 1, this week’s fresh faces include and injection of youthful enthusiasm and a strong, mature recruit into the squad.

Port’s first pick in the 2021 National Draft, Josh Sinn, will make his much-anticipated debut after a promising pre-season, while delisted free agent Sam Skinner is set for an incredible return to AFL football after suffering three major knee injuries during his time as a Brisbane Lion.

The Round 1 loss to the Lions came with some extra sting, with All-Australian Aliir Aliir succumbing to a syndesmosis injury and star forward Robbie Gray unable to prove his fitness to take on the Hawks.

However, misfortune often presents opportunity and senior coach Ken Hinkley was excited to provide the chance to play AFL football for Port Adelaide to two more deserving members of the team.

“A great opportunity,” Hinkley described the situation to his playing group during a team meeting on Thursday morning. “Fortunately, when some things go pear shaped for others it goes really well for some and gives them opportunities.”

“Again, for us as a footy club this week, we’re going to have a couple of those people that are going to play their first game for Port Adelaide.”


Skinner spent five years with Brisbane, but could only crack three games at the top level after enduring three separate ACL injuries.

However, after a year with South Adelaide in the SANFL reinventing himself as a strong-bodied intercepting backman, the 24-year-old made his way to Alberton during the pre-season and Hinkley was full of praise for his resilience to make it back into the AFL system.

“The first (debutant) is a remarkable story,” Hinkley said.

“Sam, a remarkable story, after three ACLs, the pre-season you’ve had, playing down at South Adelaide and then getting re-drafted.

“To come in – and you were right in the mix for Round 1 – you’re actually going to play this week, so congratulations.”

The second debutant to face the Hawks has taken a more conventional path to AFL football, but will have the Port Adelaide faithful equally as excited.

Sinn, a smooth-moving half-back/wingman, has made an immediate impression at Alberton after showcasing his explosive speed and accurate left boot during club’s internal trial and pre-season practices matches.

First-round draft pick Josh Sinn will make his AFL debut against Hawthorn this week. Image: AFL Photos.

Hinkley praised his recruiting staff for again putting the club in a position to unearth exciting talent through the draft.

“We’re going to have our second debutant for the year and that is going to be Josh Sinn,” Hinkley confirmed.

“It’s exciting for us again to bring in new talent to our football club.

“Crippa (List Manager, Jason Cripps) and Parks (Recruiting Manager, Geoff Parker) do a fantastic job every year to make sure we get the best possible talent we can.”

Port Adelaide take on Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval this Saturday night from 7:10pm. As well as vying for premiership points, the match holds extra significance as the club honours the legacy of the great Russell Ebert, who sadly passed away in November last year.

Port’s players will wear special No. 7 guernsey patches in Ebert’s honour, while wingman Xavier Duursma has officially retired the number for the evening, which will also hang proudly behind the northern goals.

Supporters are encouraged to get to the game early as members of the Ebert family participate in several pre-match moments, including the toss of the coin and the ceremonial first goal of the game.