Port Adelaide has retained the bulk of its 2022 list whilst also adding some exciting additions to its SANFL side. Image: Michael Sullivan.

A back-to-back Mail Medallist, a lively forward with SANFL and VFL experience and a developing talent back for a second season have Port Adelaide coach Tyson Goldsack excited for the 2023 season.

After a difficult last season as injuries in the AFL side took their toll, Port Adelaide has bolstered its list of SANFL contracted players with Goldsack hailing the extra depth and experience.

Among the new names are small forward Cody Szust who has 34 SANFL games at South Adelaide and Norwood under his belt and played for Port Melbourne in the VFL last season and brothers Hugh and Will Ferrari who came through Sturt’s under 18s and reserves programs.

The club has also signed dual Yorke Peninsula Football League Mail Medallist Murphy Short to help bolster its midfield while it has previously announced that West Australian small forward Jed Hagan had moved across after being overlooked at last year’s AFL National Draft.

“Cody Szust who played at South and Norwood, spent time at Port Melbourne and is back now is a lively forward and looks good, while Jed Hagan from Western Australia has had nearly a full summer training with the AFL list and not missed a beat,” Goldsack said of two of his new signings.

Jed Hagan has spent his summer training with the AFL side, looking in fantastic form ahead of the SANFL season. Image: Michael Sullivan.

“For Jed it’s about working hard and hoping for another opportunity to be picked up by an AFL side.

“Murphy Short played at CMS Crows and won some awards on Yorke Peninsula. He’s a talented footballer and I’m confident he can step up to the level of the SANFL.”

Woodville-West Torrens product Ethan Miller and Sturt junior Charlie McArthur, who has come through the Goodwood Saints program, are also new to Alberton.

The signings add to the inclusion of father-sons Preston Cockatoo-Collins (son of Che), Harper Montgomery (son of Brett) and Will Francou (son of Josh) as well as Brodie Motlop - the nephew of former Port Adelaide AFL forwards Daniel and Steven Motlop.

Preston Cockatoo-Collins' father Che Cockatoo-Collins played for Port Adelaide in the early 2000s. Image: Michael Sullivan.

And while there is some excitement around the new faces, the club has retained the bulk of its SANFL contracted list from 2022.

Among those returning is midfielder/forward Aidan Turner who played five SANFL games after coming down from Yorke Peninsula last year. He has been among the most impressive on the training track in pre-season for Goldsack.

“Aidan Turner who played a few games last year for us and came from Moonta originally,” the new Magpies coach elaborated. “He’s made some big inroads this year, showing some good signs in the internal trial.


“He spent some time in match play against some of the AFL guys and looked really good in the minutes he got there.”

Goldsack has moved into the SANFL coaching role – his first as a senior coach – following the departure of Matthew Lokan at the end of last season.

He has been impressed by the dedication of the SANFL-listed players despite the unique circumstances they find themselves in, which involves limited opportunities to train with the AFL-listed players they’ll play with on weekends, and selection dependent on the availability of the AFL side.

Tyson Goldsack is looking to develop some of the side's young players. Image: Michael Sullivan.

“We’ve had a really good pre-season together despite the limited time we get as a group,” Goldsack said.

“We’re probably not together anywhere near as much as the non-AFL aligned clubs are but we try make the most of the sessions we do have.

“The controllables we do have is that our training has been solid, the boys are in great shape, the educational elements around our game plan are coming together well. Now it’s about how we put that together.”

Goldsack was confident under the ongoing leadership of captain Cam Sutcliffe, his side was balanced and would compete with the best sides in 2023.

“We want to win, which goes without saying and at the same time we need to do it in a way where we help develop our AFL players,” he explained.

Cam Sutcliffe will once again lead the side as captain. Image: Loukas Founten.

“We’ve had a strong history of success in the SANFL and we always want to win. That’s the best way to develop our players. We train to win, the AFL players who come into the SANFL side want to perform to get back in the AFL side.

“At the moment our AFL list is really healthy and the SANFL guys are ready to complement that.”

Port Adelaide will play the Crows in a final pre-season hit-out on Sunday 26 March before getting its season underway with a SANFL Showdown at Adelaide Oval on April 1.

Sunday’s trial game at Alberton Oval gets underway at 10am with free admission for supporters.